Friday, December 16, 2016

Favorite Ancestors: John Simmons, Sr.

John Simmons was an English born tavern-keeper in New York City in the years preceding and following the American Revolution. The tavern was located at the corner of Wall and Nassau Streets. John got the nickname of "Wall-Street John." He was reportedly the biggest man in the colony - by weight - topping out at over 400 pounds. John frequently sat outside the tavern greeting customers. Upon his death, part of the door frame had to be removed in order to get John's body out of the tavern. The city hall, across the street, became Federal Hall when NYC became the capital. Washington's inauguration could be viewed from the tavern. The 1st mayor of NYC was sworn in at the tavern. Samuel Fraunces, who operated the tavern where Washington bid farewell to his officers, was John's brother-in-law.

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