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house Bill H.R. 3222

Saving Religious Historical Homes in Flushing, Queens, NYC

Argument in favor

It’s important to protect monuments in Flushing, Queens that played a significant role in the religious history of the United States.

Argument opposed

These buildings are already treated by the local community as de facto landmarks--a costly study isn’t required to give them official status.

What is House Bill H.R. 3222?

This bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to oversee a study of several sites in the neighborhood of Flushing in Queens, NY that are historically connected to the Flushing Remonstrance signed in 1657.

The Flushing Remonstrance
was a petition delivered to the Dutch governor of New York requesting the right for Quakers to practice their religion without being persecuted by government authorities. This petition was considered one of the most important precedents for establishing freedom of religion as a tenet in the Bill of Rights.

Several buildings in the area of Flushing played significant roles in the events leading up to the petition. The most important among them was the John Bowne House in Queens, which is named after a Dutch citizen who allowed Quakers to use his house as a space for worship, for which he was eventually arrested.

This bill would launch a study to determine how feasible it is to designate historic resources like the John Bowne House as part of the National Park System, and whether they qualify as National Historic Landmarks. This would involve:
  • Estimating the historical value of the Flushing area and identifying properties that are eligible for status as Historic Landmarks.
  • Weighing the suitability of these the area as potential units in the National Park System.
  • Determining the impact that National Historic Landmark status would have on the local economy.
  • Identifying the legal justification for the Secretary to participate in local land-use decisions in Flushing, like changing the zoning of buildings or creating regulations for parcels of land that are joined with the National Park System.


John Bowne House, the people who frequent Flushing, Queens, Quakers, the National Park System, the Secretary of the Interior, the National Historic Landmarks Program.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3222

$250.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost approximately $250,000 over the next three years.

More Information


During the 17th century, New York was known as New Netherland and belonged to the Dutch. The Dutch were strict Calvinists — a branch of Protestantism — and had no tolerance for other Christian denominations. Quakers in the colony were prohibited from practicing their religion until a group of English citizens signed the Flushing Remonstrance, which demanded religious freedom for Quakers and other religious minorities.

The government ignored the petition. In response, several activists, including John Bowne, hosted Quaker meetings in their homes. Bowne eventually won support from the Dutch West India Company, which pressured the New Netherland government to enact religious tolerance laws in the colony.


Queen Gazette


(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Flushing Remonstrance Study Act

Official Title

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites associated with the 1657 signing of the Flushing Remonstrance in Queens, New York, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed September 15th, 2014
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
      Committee on Natural Resources
    IntroducedSeptember 30th, 2013

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