There’s a great story to be told along Boston’s Freedom Trail – the story of how our revolution came to be. A column in today’s Boston Globe Ideas section calls for an update to the freedom trail:
In one way, the Freedom Trail has been a victim of its greatest successes: the loving restoration of Boston’s three most important public buildings of the Revolutionary era, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, and the Old South Meeting House. But we are so used to thinking of government as representative and as taking place indoors that we have lost sight of what the revolutionary generation called “the people out of doors.” After all, some of the most famous events of the Revolution in Boston took place not within these buildings but in the streets or squares — and involved thousands of ordinary people who were not normally part of the political system.
The processions protesting the Stamp Act in 1765 began with effigies hanging from the Liberty Tree, the great elm at the corner of Essex and Washington streets, and the space beneath the tree (known as “Liberty Hall”) remained a center of political activity for the next decade. The Boston Massacre of 1770 occurred in the square below the balcony of the State House. The Tea Party of 1773 took place at Griffin’s Wharf, where several thousand stood in hushed silence as 100 or so men staged their famous act of civil disobedience.
The story is there to be told.. but only if you already know it.