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 OFF THE BEATEN TRAIL
 Historical Sites!
 Boston, Mass. - Cradle of the Revolution
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Author Previous Topic: Minutemen: Lexington and Framingham Topic Next Topic: Literary Concord, Mass.  

James N.
Colonial Militia

James N
USA



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October 24 2007

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Posted - February 20 2012 :  4:10:08 PM  Show Profile  Send James N. a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Although I've visited Boston on a couple of occasions and walked parts of its Freedom Trail, I've never been able to examine it as fully as I'd like; therefore, this will be something of a potpourri or "sampler" of some of its more notable Revolutionary sites. If the Revolution truly has a "cradle" it would likely be this building, the Old South Meeting House:

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Originally a church for Boston's "southern" Congregationalist Meeting, it served as the scene of tumultuous events leading to the eventual outbreak of hostilities, usually led by Samuel Adams or James Otis. It was used Dec. 16, 1773, as the meeting-place for members of Adams' mob that transformed themselves into "Mohawks" and proceeded to the waterfront for the original Tea Party. An annual feature was the ceremonial address held here commemorating the March 5, 1770, Boston Massacre, the most notable being that of Dr. Joseph Warren in 1775 attended by Gage's heckling redcoat officers. Later, in the winter of 1775 - 76 during the continued occupation of Boston it was turned by the hateful British into an indoor riding academy for British officers! Restored, it now serves as a museum devoted to its Colonial and Revolutionary past.

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Now surrounded by brownstones, the nearby Old Granary Burying Ground serves as the final resting place of several notables of the period, among them "victims" of the Boston Massacre at left, and the "Father of the Revolution", Sam Adams ( 1722 - 1803 ). In a nearby family plot lies Paul Revere ( 1735 - 1818 ):

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In the Eighteenth Century this windmill stood safely outside the environs of the town of Boston, making it a likely place to store the colony's supply of gunpowder. British General and military governor of Massachusetts Thomas Gage sought to diffuse tensions in the winter of 1774 - 75 by stealthily siezing the colonist's arms and ammunition, thereby eliminating their ability to resist. The resulting raid known as the Powder Alarm secured the store here, but at the cost of making his plans obvious and causing the colonists to remove arms and other military supplies farther into the countryside to locations like Concord. Later during the 1775 - 76 Siege of Boston, the windmill again served as a powder house, this time for George Washington's besieging army.

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James N.
Colonial Militia

James N
USA



Bumppo's Patron since [at least]:
October 24 2007

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Posted - February 20 2012 :  4:46:36 PM  Show Profile  Send James N. a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote  Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Boston's North End contains several important Revolutionary sites; most prominent among them is the fabled Old North Church, still a house of worship, but like many others no longer Congregationalist. Form here the signal lanterns were hung, warning the colonists that "the Regulars are out" and Gage's forces were on another raid looking for military stores. I photographed it from the back, showing a window then-recently uncovered by restoration through which the sexton had crawled on his mission to hang the lanterns:

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Paul Revere, whose house is also nearby, is remembered by a well-known statue near Old North Church:

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Across town, Revere is also memorialized in the collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts which has his portrait by John Singleton Copley ( along with that of Sam Adams and the famous "unfinished" portraits of George and Martha Washington by Gilbert Stuart ) and this display of some of his silver:

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Also in the North End and just across the river from the Charlestown Peninsula is the Copp's Hill Burying Ground which served as a British artillery position during the June, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. From here British poet, playwright, and MP Gen. John Burgoyne, commanding Gage's forces remaining in the town, watched the battle, though his view is now obscured by the ubiquitous brownstones:

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James N.
Colonial Militia

James N
USA



Bumppo's Patron since [at least]:
October 24 2007

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Posted - February 20 2012 :  8:26:06 PM  Show Profile  Send James N. a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote  Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Across the Charles River is Charlestown, site of Breed's and Bunker Hills and its Monument, now engulfed in yet another slum of mid-Nineteenth Century brownstones; photography there is very difficult due to the crowding and "lay of the land". These are the few I took during my brief visit:

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Statue at the base of the Bunker Hill Monument dedicated to Col. William Prescott of "Don't fire 'till you see the whites of their eyes!" fame, commander of the earthwork bastion.

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Diorama of the battle showing the redoubt between the British assaults; this very good model is in the museum inside the monument's base.

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Burst Revolutionary cannon, The Adams, also on display inside the monument on the wall of the winding staircase to the top.
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James N.
Colonial Militia

James N
USA



Bumppo's Patron since [at least]:
October 24 2007

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Posted - February 21 2012 :  10:37:02 AM  Show Profile  Send James N. a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote  Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
I readily admit this doesn't belong here, but considering my "other" classic movie interest, I can't resist! While walking Boston's Freedom Trail through Boston Common on Beacon Hill ( Revolutionary site of the signal tower or "beacon" and also John Hancock's fine mansion ), I passed by the gold-domed State House; directly across from it sits Augustus Saint-Gauden's memorial to the 54th Mass. Volunteer Infantry and their colonel, Boston Blueblood Robert Gould Shaw. ( While visiting Old North Church I also spied in a display case a non-regulation officer's sword of Civil War vintage said to have belonged to him. ) The monument had been fairly recently cleaned and restored for use in the film Glory, looking fabulous:

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Monadnock Guide
Council of Elders


USA



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March 14 2005

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Posted - February 24 2012 :  2:48:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Again, some great pics James, - and having been born in Cambridge, Mass. (a loong time ago)they do bring back memories. These days however, I avoid Boston at all costs, ... driving with those fools is absolutely dangerous.

you can keep "The Change"
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Wilderness Woman
Watcher of the Wood


Young George Washington
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Posted - February 25 2012 :  11:15:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
Great pics, James. I need to get back over to Boston so I can go see the Bunker Hill Monument. As I understand it, the name of one of my 5th great-grandfathers is engraved on it. He was with John Stark's brigade and was killed on Mystic Beach, below Breed's hill, while those brave men repelled British advances. William McCrillis is on that monument.

"It is more deeply stirring to my blood than any imaginings could possibly have been."
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richfed
Sachem


King 1
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Posted - February 25 2012 :  1:42:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit richfed's Homepage  Click to see richfed's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote  Copy this URL to Link to this Reply
The historic trail in Boston is just an awesome walk ... I walked that whole trail and it is one of the best places I have ever visited. Not to mention that Lexington & Concord and Battle Road [all a part of Minute Man National Historic Park] are nearby. All-in-all, makes a very interesting vacation destination.
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