an old historic house with flowers in front
– Courtesy of Bowne House

Bowne House virtually celebrates an OHNY Weekend with a narrated slideshow titled, “Flushing’s First Quakers: The Bowne House, The Fox Oaks and the Friends Meeting House.” Created by Bowne House researcher Kate Lynch and narrated by Bowne House archivist Charlotte Jackson, this slideshow features historical images and archival text to illuminate the religious history of early Flushing.

The 1661 Bowne House is the oldest house in Queens, and the second oldest in New York City and New York State. It was built by John Bowne, who emigrated from England to Boston in 1649. Bowne and his family later settled in Flushing, when New York was under Dutch rule. For thousands of visitors, the home has been a memorial to John Bowne and his wife Hannah, one of the first female American Quaker ministers. John played an important role in securing the freedom of conscience espoused in the 1645 Charter of the Town of Flushing. He was arrested in 1662 by Peter Stuyvesant, banished to Holland for allowing Quaker meetings in his home, and successfully appealed to the Dutch West India Company for religious liberty.

Occupied by nine generations of Bowne-Parsons family members over the course of 300 years, the family left its mark on American culture, participating in events of both regional and national significance-starting with John Bowne’s courageous defense of religious freedom and continuing with subsequent generations’ abolitionist activities and participation in the Underground Railroad. The Bowne House is a New York City Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a state site of historic significance.