7. US Presidents in Bedford-Stuyvesant
Continuing in Brooklyn, moving a few blocks north to Bedford-Stuyvesant, is a cluster of streets names serving as reminders of some of the country’s earliest presidents. Jefferson Avenue and Madison, Monroe, and Van Buren Streets honor the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth presidents, respectively. And while Quincy Street appears to be in reference to John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, the street is actually named after Josiah Quincy III, according to Leonard Bernardo and Jessica Weiss, authors of Brooklyn by Name. With no connections to New York or Brooklyn, Quincy served as a congressman, mayor of Boston, and president of Harvard College during the first half of the 19th century.
The street names surrounding the presidents are also remembrances from the revolution, according to Bernardo and Weiss. Hancock Street honors John Hancock, president of the Second Continental Congress, and Putnam Avenue is in remembrance of Israel Putnam, one of the commanders at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Lexington Avenue is named for the first battle of the revolution at Lexington, Massachusetts, and both Greene and Gates Avenues owe their street names to legendary Continental Army generals Nathanael Greene and Horatio Gates.