The Freedom Trail is 2.5 mile walking trail full of the rich history of our country’s creation and sacrifices. This trail will lead you to 16 different locations that are nationally significant to our country’s Revolution. Walk through museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story our of nation’s past. There is truly no other experience like the Freedom Trail and no other place where you can walk in the same steps as the people who created our nation.
The Boston Freedom Trail map!
The exact number of those Patriots who participated in the Boston Tea Party is unknown. Why? Because many participants of the Boston Tea Party remained anonymous and lived discreetly for years out of fear of punishment. Currently, 116 men are known for sure to have thrown tea overboard the Eleanor, the Dartmouth, and the Beaver because they were documented. But many members have been lost in history. Many of the men were under the age of forty and the classes of men covered a wide variety of social status. However, we do know that thousands witnesses this momentous event in American history and were able to convey it to future generations!
Peter Faneuil certainly gave the city of Boston a gift. In 1740, he offered at a public meeting to fund a public market house, which was a project that the public had been suggesting for years. The vote for the construction was passed unanimously, so the construction of the building began at Dock Square and they hired John Smibert to style the building as an English country market.
Since the occurrence of the Boston Tea Party, it has become an international and political symbol of protest. In 1973, people in Boston were calling for the impeachment of President Nixon and on the 200th anniversary of the Tea Party, there was a mass meeting at Faneuil Hall. They were protesting the oil companies in the current oil crisis. After the meeting, protestors went aboard a ship like the Dartmouth in Boston Harbor to hang an effigy of Nixon and dump several empty oil drums into the harbor.
A photograph of protestors hanging a wax effigy of Nixon on a replica of the Dartmouth.
Even though the Boston Tea Party occurred in Boston, it has become an international phenomenon and symbol. So it’s not surprising that it has been referenced in other political protests. When Gandhi led his famous mass burning of registration cards in South Africa in 1908, a newspaper in England compared the event to the Boston Tea Party. In fact, when Gandhi sat down with a British viceroy in 1920 after the Indian salt protest campaign, Gandhi took some tax-free salt from his clothing and said it was to remind us of the Boston Tea Party.
Gandhi’s famous salt protest march!
Did you know that the term “Boston Tea Party” wasn’t created until 1834? Before that, people often called it just the “destruction of the tea.” This is because, according to historian Alfred Young, Americans were very reluctant to celebrate and be reminded of the destruction of property. So the event had been mostly ignored in the recollections of American history. These notions soon began to change in the 1830 when a Tea Party member, George Robert Twelves Hewes, began to write about his experiences in a biography. He termed the destruction of the tea, the “Tea Party.”
A portrait of George Robert Twelves Hewes, a Boston Tea Party member!
This was a resolution passed by British Parliament that attempted to reach a peaceful settlement with the colonies right before the start of the Revolutionary War. It declared that those American colonies who had contributed to the common dense, supported civil government, and the administration of justice would not have to pay any taxes or duties expect those for regular commerce. It was an obvious punishment to cities who were openly engaged in anti-Crown rebellion. This resolution was sent too late, because the Continental Congress ignored it and the American Revolution began at Lexington on April 19th, 1775.
The Maryland cargo vessel, the Peggy Stewart, burned on October 19, 1774 as a punishment for violating the boycott on tea imports that had been imposed in respond to the British treatment of Bostonians after the Tea Party. Americans came to view the burning of the Peggy Stewart as a heroic action because the people who had demanded the burning of the Peggy Stewart were patriots in resisting the British Tea Act.
Patriots burning the Peggy Stewart.
The American colonists began their revolution with huge disadvantages in comparison to their British enemies. They lacked a national government, an established military force, a set financial system, a national bank, and a system of monetary credit. The colonists did create legislative and correspondence committees, but these often proved futile and inefficient. Even ocean shipping was blocked by the British, which was a necessary operation to the buying of goods.
The colonist military forces were often composed of militiamen.
Signed September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris formally ended the America Revolutionary War between England, and the United States and it’s allies. The document was signed at the Hotely d’York in Paris [now, 56 Rue Jacob], by Americans John Adams, Ben Franklin, and John Jay. Britain also signed separate documents and agreements with France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic.
This is Benjamin West’s painting of those representatives from American and Britain who signed the Treaty of Paris. Jay, Adams, Franklin, Laurens, and Temple are pictured here. But the British delegates refused to be painted, so the painting was never finished.