King Manor Museum

Rufus King (1755-1827) was a distinguished lawyer, statesman and gentleman farmer. The son of a wealthy lumber merchant from Maine, King graduated from Harvard in 1777, served in the Revolutionary War in 1778, and was admitted to the bar in Massachusetts in 1780. He was a member of the Confederation Congress from 1784 to 1787, where he introduced a plan that prevented the spread of slavery into the Northwest Territories. King was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and made his most famous contribution to American history as a framer and signer of the U.S. Constitution.

After his marriage to Mary Alsop in 1786, King relocated to New York and was appointed to the first U.S. Senate, serving from 1789 to 1796 and again from 1813 to 1825. An outspoken opponent of slavery, he led the Senate debates in 1819 and 1820 against the admission of Missouri as a slave state. King served as Minister Plenipotentiary to Great Britain from 1796 to 1803 and again from 1825 to 1826. In 1816 he was the last Federalist to run for the presidency, losing the election to James Monroe.

The earliest part of the King Manor building dates to the mid-1700s. In 1805 Rufus King purchased the farmhouse and a 90-acre farm for $12,000. He planted orchards, fields and some of the stately oak trees that still survive near the house. King added the eastern section of the house and a summer kitchen, and introduced Georgian and Federal design elements, such as the dining room with its curved end wall and the neoclassical marble fireplace in the parlor.

By the time of Rufus King’s death in 1827, the estate had grown to 122 acres. King’s eldest son John Alsop King lived here and updated the house with Greek Revival details, such as the entrance portico. Cornelia King, granddaughter of Rufus, was the last family member to occupy the house. After her death in 1896, the house and the remaining 11 acres were bought by the Village of Jamaica, and the property came under the jurisdiction of the Parks Department in 1898.

King Manor has operated as a museum since 1900 under the care of the King Manor Association of Long Island, Inc. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the house and park are designated New York City landmarks. King Manor Museum is open on a regular basis for tours, educational programs and community events.


"Rufus King Park: King Manor Museum and Park," New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed October 19, 2022,

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, Rufus King,