Exhibition – Death, Mourning, and the Hereafter in Mid-19th Century New York

Monday, October 28, 2019

12:00 p.m.5:00 p.m.

This event repeats every week on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 9/26/2019 and 11/4/2019.

Please note: This event has already taken place. Please use the Search options on the right to find upcoming events.

Including 19th-century mourning attire and accessories from the Tredwell Collection

In March 1865, family patriarch Seabury Tredwell died in his upstairs bedroom; his wake and funeral were held in the double parlor, shrouded in black crepe. Grief was not unique to the Tredwell family that year. The Civil War had ended, with more than 600,000 dead, and President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination plunged the nation into a period of unprecedented public mourning. The overwhelming sense of grief and loss led to heightened interest in Spiritualism, as survivors attempted to contact their dearly departed through seances and mediums.

Poignant scenes throughout the house explore 19th-century customs surrounding death, a time, unlike today, when death and mourning were pervasive and integral parts of life; dying and funerals took place at home; rituals of mourning helped the bereaved cope with the ever-present anguish of death; and Spiritualism offered hope of a Hereafter.

Pay your last respects at Seabury Tredwell’s deathbed upstairs, then join in the mourning in the double parlor set with a coffin for his wake and funeral. And, in “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House,” discover why our fascination with spirits, ghosts, and the Hereafter endures to this day. (If you see something, say something!)

New this year! On Saturday afternoons, the newly-widowed Eliza Tredwell (portrayed by a costumed interpreter) will greet guests and answer questions about life and death in the 19th century.

Included with regular admission; reservations not required.



$15, included with regular admission

Event Organizer

Merchant's House Museum,

Contact Number

(212) 777-1089


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