Watch This Video Tour Of Plymouth Church With Brad Smith and Karl Junkersfeld

From Karl Junkersfeld this note about his latest BHB video:

One of the wonderful things about living in Brooklyn Heights is its rich history. Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church are near the top of the list as far as historical significance. According to many Henry Ward Beecher was, next to Lincoln, the most famous man in our country during the mid 1800’s. This video attempts through the excellence of Brad Smith, to provide some insight into Plymouth Church and why it is a significant part of the fabric of Brooklyn Heights and its current population.

Share this Story:

, ,

  • lois

    There’s a lot of misinformation in this video. Abraham Lincoln did NOT speak at Plymouth Church – for several reasons, he delivered that speech at Cooper Union in Manhattan. On February 26th, 1860 he attended worship services with a family who were members of the church and “had their own pew” at the church, which is why that pew is marked with his name. Brad left off a very important speaker – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who delivered what would become the “I Have A Dream” speech from the pulpit of the church. Hilary Clinton’s speech was to the Brooklyn Heights Association who held their annual meeting there – she did not preach or deliver her speech to “Plymouth Church”. I think if a video tour of the church is published, it should have been led by Lois Rosebrooks, Head of Plymouth’s History Ministry.

  • Karl Junkersfeld


    Sorry you were displeased with the video. I know you have tons of knowledge of Plymouth Church and made the video partly with you in mind. Both Brad and I are well aware that Lincoln didn’t speak at Plymouth Church but I merely wanted to convey that Plymouth was in such high esteem that it was a first consideration until it was relocated to Cooper Union In all likelihood the location was changed due to capacity issues considering the increasing anticipation by the populace regarding the content of this speech, that being the slavery issue. I agree that my editing created a false impression and I apologize for that.. Your contention that there is a lot of misinformation in this video is a bit disingenuous to Brad. Not sure I understand your point about the pew. I would assume “family owned” or not, the reason it has a plaque on it is because Mr. Lincoln sat there. As far as speakers we could have included William Thackery, Horace Greeley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Clara Barton to name a few, as well as, Martin Luther King.

    “In February of 1860, Abraham Lincoln was invited to speak at Plymouth Church. At the time he was the as yet unannounced presidential candidate. Although the speech that Lincoln was suppose to give at Plymouth Church was moved to The Great Hall of The Cooper Union in Manhattan last minute, the meaningful speech is credited with winning him the Republican nomination for president. This was as well the speech in which Lincoln stated his place against slavery. In spite of the relocation, Lincoln did attend Plymouth Church prior the day of the speech. Three weeks later, following campaigning in New Hampshire, Lincoln worshipped at Plymouth Church again. Today his pew is now noticeable with a silver plaque. Plymouth Church is the only church in New York City that Lincoln’s ever attended.”

  • Ann Geismar, Plymouth Church

    Dear Karl & BH Blog Readers,

    On behalf of Plymouth Church, we’re pleased to see this video tour online, and look forward to sharing it with others. Just to clarify one point: the Lois who posted here is not Lois Rosebrooks, Director of History Ministry Services at Plymouth. Ms. Rosebrooks has worked closely with Brad Smith in the past, and will continue to enjoy working through the finer points of Plymouth history with him.

    Ann Geismar, Director of Communications

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Suzanne, aka Montrose Morris, has written an excellent article for Brownstoner regarding the abolitionists movement in NYC with particular attention to the Tappan Brothers one of which, Lewis lived on Pierrepont Street. They attended Plymouth Church, the cradle of the abolitionists movement, here in Brooklyn Heights. Article also mentions Henry Ward Beecher and Plymouth Church. Great read.