This post continues to be written by our four staff over in Boston – this time over the weekend exploring American history.
The weekend was spent exploring Boston’s significant history, namely its prominent place as the birthplace of American independence. We walked the ‘Freedom Trail’ which commenced at Boston Common; the origin of America’s fierce defended right to freedom of speech.
However in the 1700’s this common land was also host to public punishments for the Puritans which included time in stocks and public hangings.
The first icon of the tour was the Massachusetts State house, referred to as the New State House. Over its life it has had three different roofs; the first was wooden which rotted, the second of copper which went green and the final (commissioned by Paul Revere), is gold. This requires maintenance and is re-done every twenty years.
Our historic walk next took us to the historic Granary Burial Ground, the third oldest cemetery in Boston, and is the resting place of many famous American revolutionists, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams (namesake of the famous American beer) and John Hancock. John was at the time, second wealthiest man in Boston, and the nemesis of England’s King George III. It is said that when signing the Declaration of Independence, John signed his name in large print so that the nearly blind King George could read his signature without his glasses.
Towards the end of our walk, we stopped at two famous locations. Firstly, the Old South Meeting House, the largest building in Boston was where 5000 men congregated to plan the Boston Tea Party. Several uprisings had seen the abolition of all of England’s tax except one; on tea, the most popular beverage of the day. In revolt, Revolutionists threw all the tea chests into Boston Harbour thereby destroying all of Boston’s tea stores, with an estimated worth of $2 million today.
The Old State House is Boston’s oldest surviving building, and is the site of the infamous Boston Massacre. It is also the place where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the euphoric Bostonian crown on July 18th 1776, some 14 days after it was signed.
Each year on the 4th July, the Declaration is read to the awaiting crowds.