by Mike Virgintino,
The Sites and People Associated with Freedom
Boston is one of the most historical cities in the U.S. and it is packed with places to see that sparked the Revolutionary War.The names of Adams, Revere, Hancock and Washington are heard throughout the town and some of the key points of interest include Faneuil Hall, the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s House, Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights.
Fanueil Hall is the place where disgruntled patriots, known as the Sons of Liberty, met most of the time to voice their grievances against the crown. Regular attendees included John Hancock, Sam and John Adams and Paul Revere. The first of the tea meetings was held here on November 5, 1773, leading to the rebellion against that “baneful weed.”
Nearby, The Old State House, also known as Boston’s “Towne House”, dates to 1713 and was the center of all political life and debate in colonial Boston. Occupied by many who were loyal to the crown, it was a continuous reminder to the locals that Great Britain dominated the colony.
Just outside is the spot where the Boston Massacre occurred on the snowy night of March 5, 1770. Six years later, on July 18, citizens gathered in the same street to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the building’s balcony. It was the first public reading of the terms of separation to be held in Massachusetts.
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
The most famous church in Boston is the Old North Church. Known as “Christ Church in the City of Boston”, this Episcopal house of worship was built during 1723 and it is Boston’s oldest church building. From the original tower (blown down years later during a hurricane), the lanterns were lit that spurred Paul Revere, who was on the opposite shore, to begin his ride to warn the countryside that British troops were on the march.
The church is open regularly for tours. A statue of Revere mounted on his steed commemorates the ride and is located on the grounds. Revere’s house is nearby. Built around 1680, it was occupied by the Revere family beginning 1770. Throughout the the19th Century, Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants who flocked to the crowded North End of the city lived in the house before it was restored and converted to a museum.
Boston Common and Battle Areas
Boston Common is the oldest park in the country and it has been used for many different purposes throughout its long history. Until 1830, cattle grazed the Common, and until 1817, public hangings took place here. British troops camped on Boston Common and left from these camps to face colonial resistance at Lexington and Concord during April 1775.
Boston’s major battle during the Revolution was fought at Bunker Hill. Actually, it was fought on nearby Breed’s Hill, with the colonials retreating to Bunker Hill. The battle is commemorated with a huge obelisk and a diagram of the events that occurred there on June 17, 1775. Unfortunately, it takes some imagination to “see” the battle as the fields that once sloped to the harbor have become a crowded residential neighborhood.
A bit more open is Dorchester Heights in another part of north Boston. George Washington fortified this area with cannon, which eventually convinced the British to evacuate the city. This park is marked by an obelisk and several descriptive plaques.
If you are feeling a bit nautical, the USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides”, is anchored in the Charlestown Navy Yard near the Bunker Hill monument. First launched during 1797, it is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It is one of six ships ordered for construction by George Washington to protect America’s growing maritime interests. The ship was restored during 1927 with contributions from the nation’s school children. To learn more about revolutionary Boston, visit The Freedom Trail, and when you are in Boston walk The Freedom Trail. Ori published with Suite