Turtle Bay, New York

views updated

Turtle Bay, New York

TURTLE BAY, NEW YORK. Turtle Bay was a small, rock-bound cove in the East River at the foot of today's 47th Street in Manhattan. The area has been reclaimed and is now covered by the United Nations Park, which is located north of the United Nations building. While the cove once did contain turtles, its name is more probably a corruption of its early Dutch name, Deutal Bay, because it was shaped like a knife-blade, deutal in Dutch.

The cove was the site of a British storehouse that was captured at midnight on 20 July 1775. This coup was led by John Lamb, Isaac Sears, Alexander McDougall, and Marinus Willett, all of whom were New York Sons of Liberty who later became famous in the Revolution. The raiders left Greenwich, Connecticut, in a sloop, passed through Hell Gate at twilight, and surprised the guard at midnight. The storehouse was still standing seventy-five years later, and is the subject of a sketch by Benson J. Lossing. Part of General George Washington's army was posted here in September 1776 before the British landed at nearby Kips Bay (which was located at present-day 34th Street in Manhattan).

SEE ALSO New York Campaign.


Lossing, Benson J. The Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution. 2 vols. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1851.

                                  revised by Barnet Schecter