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American Revolution History by
American Revolution History by
Legend: Selected Site Area Merchant Site Historic Site Historic Marker Historic Shipwreck
Marker data courtesy of   Some map icons courtesy of Map Icons Collection

1776 Mayflower : A Story of Courage, Community, and War
The Federalist Papers Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution
Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West John Adams
Benjamin Franklin : An American Life The Bloody & Brave History of Native American Warriors & the Women Who Supported Them
Click here for additional books

We the Kids : The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States The New Americans : Colonial Times: 1620-1689 (The American Story)
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery A History of US: Vol 3, From Colonies to Country (A History of Us)
Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
They Called Her Molly Pitcher Now &  Ben : The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

Pirates and Traders: Gold! Hidden Treasures Hidden Object
Dedaloop (Kindle Fire Edition) Word Treasure
Treasure Island, The Experience Robinson Crusoe
The Patriots Hero Tales from American History - AudioBook

Selected Site

Old North Church

193 Salem Street
Boston, MA, 02113

Click on heading to visit the website (excludes markers).

Nearby Historic Sites

Abiel Smith School/African Meeting House

46 Joy St.
Boston, MA, 02114

Boston Gazette / Printing Office of Edes & Gill

21 Unity Street
Boston, MA, 02113

Boston National Historic Park

15 State Street
Boston, MA, 02109

Bostonian Society - Old State House

206 Washington St.
Boston, MA, 02109

Paul Revere House

19 North Square
Boston, MA, 02113

Click on any heading to visit the website.

Nearby Historical Markers

Arrival of the Frigate Arbella

Boston, MA, 02114

To commemorate
the arrival on June 12, 1630 of the
Frigate Arbella, bringing Governor Winthrop and
the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony,

This tablet placed by the
Daughters of the American Revolution

Faneuil Hall

Boston, MA, 02109

Known as America’s "Cradle of Liberty" Faneuil Hall was a central location for organized protests against British tyranny prior to the American Revolution. Given to Boston in 1742 by Peter Faneuil and designed by the painter John Smibert, it was enlarged by Charles Bulfinch in 1805. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company has been headquartered on the top floor since 1746.

Following English custom, a public meeting hall still sits atop a marketplace. Shem Drowne’s grasshopper weathervane is derived from London’s Royal Exchange.

Top Marker:
Faneuil Hall
has been designated a
Registered National
Historic Landmark

Under the provisions of the
Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935
this site possesses exceptional value
in commemorating or illustrating
the history of the United States

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service


Green Dragon Tavern

Boston, MA, 02109

Near this spot the
Green Dragon Tavern
The secret meeting place of the
Sons of Liberty
and in the words of Webster the
Headquarters of the

To mark a site forever memorable
The birthplace of American
This Tavern is restored to its
rightful place on
Boston’s Freedom Trail
June 1993

Mansion of Gov. Hutchinson

Boston, MA, 02113

Here stood the
mansion of
Thomas Hutchinson
built about 1687

This tablet
placed by the City of Boston

North Church Lanterns

Boston, MA, 02113

The Signal Lanterns
Paul Revere
displayed in the
steeple of this church
April 18 1775
warned the country
of the march of
the British troops to
Lexington and Concord.

North Square

Boston, MA, 02113

Here in North Square
Lived Paul Revere and his wife
Rachel Revere for whom this overlook is named
* * * * * * * 
Here lived Major Pitcairn
of the soldiery
occupying Boston in 1775
Governor Thomas Hutchinson
Sir Harry Frankland
William Clark

The alarm that British troops
were marching to Concord
to seize Patriot stores
was given by Paul Revere

Many men of North Square
and its neighborhood
joined the Boston Tea Party
at Griffin’s Wharf
and threw the tea overboard

This public open space built
and this tablet erected
by the Boston Park Commission

Paul Revere House

Boston, MA, 02113

Paul Revere House
has been designated a
Registered National
Historic Landmark

Under the provisions of the
Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1935
this site possesses exceptional value
in commemorating or illustrating
the history of the United States

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service


Paul Revere House

Boston, MA, 02113

"Messenger of the Revolution"
"Patriot Engraver"
"Pioneer Industrialist"

These are among history’s labels for Paul Revere, who occupied this small frame house on North Square from 1770 to 1800. Built about 1676 after one of the great fires of Boston, this is the oldest frame dwelling left in the city, and a rare example of 17th century domestic architecture. The house was witness not only to Revere’s increasing involvement in and commitment to the cause of Liberty, but also to three centuries of change in Boston’s North End, one of the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Evidence of these many years of diversity, activity, and continuity can be seen all around the Revere house here in North Square.

Samuel Adams

Boston, MA, 02109

Samuel Adams
1722 - 1803
A patriot
He organized the Revolution
and signed the
Declaration of Independence.

Right Side of Monument:
A Statesman
Incorruptible and Fearless

Left Side of Monument:
A true leader of the people.

Back of Monument:
Erected A.D. 1880

from a fund bequeathed to the
City of Boston
Jonathan Phillips

The Old State House

Boston, MA, 02109

" . . . there the child Independence was born."

Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. In this building the Royal Governors, the Colonial Courts, and the Provincial Assembly met before the Revolution, and here the government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts continued after independence. In the Council Chamber James Otis argued forcefully and eloquently against the Writs of Assistance in 1761. In Representatives Hall John Hancock and Samuel Adams denounced the right of taxation by Parliament. Though no longer extant, the world's first gallery from which the public could watch their government in action was build as the result of a motion by James Otis and Samuel Adams in 1766. On July 18, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time to the citizens of Boston from the eastern balcony.

The Old State House

Boston, MA, 02109

The Old State House, Boston’s oldest public building, was built in 1713 as the seat of British colonial government. Here the Royal Governor and the Massachusetts Assembly debated the Stamp Acts and the Writs of Assistance. The Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians from the east balcony on July 18, 1776.

The building served as the State House until 1798, and was also Boston’s City Hall from 1830 to 1841.

Community Histories



Trimountaine was the original name given by European settlers to the peninsula that would later be incorporated as the City of Boston. The name was derived from a set of three prominent hills on the peninsula, two of which have been leveled as the city was modernized. The middle, Beacon Hill, remains to this day as a prominent feature of the Boston cityscape. In 1628, the Cambridge Agreement was signed in England among the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The agreement established the colony as a self-governing entity, answerable only to the king. John Winthrop was its leader, and would become governor of the settlement in the New World. In a famous sermon, "A Model of Christian Charity," Winthrop described the new colony as "a City upon a Hill."

In June 1630, the Winthrop Fleet arrived in what would later be called Salem, which on account of lack of food, "pleased them not." They proceeded to Charlestown, which pleased them less, for lack of fresh water. The Puritans settled around the spring in what would become Boston.

Governor Winthrop announced the foundation of the town of Boston on September 7, with the place named after the town of Boston, in the English county of Lincolnshire, from which several prominent colonists emigrated.

Early colonists believed that Boston was a community with a special covenant with God, as captured in Winthrop's "City upon a Hill" metaphor. This influenced every facet of Boston life, and made it imperative that colonists legislate morality as well as enforce marriage, church attendance, education in the Word of God, and the persecution of sinners. These values molded an extremely stable and well-structured society in Boston. Puritan values of hard work, moral uprightness, and education remain a part of Boston's culture. The first school in America, Boston Latin School (1635), and the first college in America, Harvard College (1636), were founded shortly after Boston's European settlement.

Town officials in colonial Boston were chosen annually; positions included selectman, assay master, culler of staves, fence viewer, hayward, hogreeve, measurer of boards, pounder, sealer of leather, tithingman, viewer of bricks, water bailiff, and woodcorder.

Boston's Puritans looked askance at unorthodox religious ideas, and exiled or punished dissenters. During the Antinomian Controversy of 1636 to 1638 religious dissident leader Anne Hutchinson and Puritan clergyman John Wheelwright were both banished from the colony. Baptist minister Obadiah Holmes was imprisoned and publicly whipped in 1651 because of his religion and Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard College during the 1640s-50s, was persecuted for espousing Baptist beliefs. By 1679, Boston Baptists were bold enough to open their own meetinghouse, which was promptly closed by colonial authorities. Expansion and innovation in practice and worship characterized the early Baptists despite the restrictions on their religious liberty. On June 1, 1660, Mary Dyer was hanged on Boston Common for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from being in the colony.

The Boston Post Road connected the city to New York and the major settlements in Central and Western Massachusetts. The lower route ran near present-day U.S. 1 via Providence, Rhode Island. The upper route, laid out in 1673, left via Boston Neck and followed present-day U.S. Route 20 until around Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. It continued through Worcester, Springfield, and New Haven, Connecticut.

From 1686 until 1689, Massachusetts and surrounding colonies were united. This larger province, known as the Dominion of New England, was governed by an appointee of the king James II, Sir Edmund Andros. Andros, who supported the Church of England in a largely-Puritan city, grew increasingly unpopular. On April 18, 1689, he was overthrown due to a brief revolt. The Dominion was not reestablished.

In 1755, Boston endured the largest earthquake ever to hit the Northeastern United States, (estimated at 6.0 to 6.3 on the Richter scale), called the Cape Ann Earthquake.

The first "Great Fire" of Boston destroyed 349 buildings on March 20, 1760.

By the 1770s Americans focused on their rights as Englishmen, especially the principle of "No Taxation without Representation," as articulated by James Otis, Samuel Adams and other Boston firebrands. Boston played the primary role in sparking both the American Revolution and the ensuing American Revolutionary War. The Boston Massacre came on March 5, 1770, when British soldiers stationed fired into a rioting mob on King Street outside the British custom house, resulting in the deaths of five civilians and dramatically escalating tensions. Parliament, meanwhile, insisted on its right to tax the Americans and finally came up with a small tax on tea. Up and down the 13 colonies, Americans prevented merchants from selling the tea, but a shipment arrived in Boston Harbor. Local Sons of Liberty, disguised as Indians, dumped the tea in the harbor in the Boston Tea Party. The British government retaliated with a series of very harsh laws, they closed down the Port of Boston and stripped Massachusetts of its self-government. The other colonies rallied in solidarity behind Massachusetts, setting up the First Continental Congress, and arming and training their militia units. The British sent more troops to Boston, and made its commander General Thomas Gage the governor. When Gage discovered the Patriots had set up a shadow government based in the town of Concord, he sent troops to break it up. Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott made their famous midnight rides to alert the Minutemen in the surrounding towns, who fought the resulting Battle of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. It was the first battle of the American Revolution. Militia units across New England rallied to the defense of Boston, and Congress sent in General George Washington to take command. The British were trapped in the city, and suffered very heavy losses in their victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill; Washington brought in artillery and forced the British out as the patriots took full control of Boston. The American victory on March 17, 1776, is celebrated as Evacuation Day. The city has preserved and celebrated its revolutionary past, from the harboring of the USS Constitution to the many famous sites along the Freedom Trail.

Boston was transformed from a relatively small and economically stagnant town in 1780 to a bustling seaport and cosmopolitan center with a large and highly mobile population by 1800. It had become one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports, exporting products like rum, fish, salt and tobacco. The upheaval of the American Revolution, and the British naval blockade that shut down its economy, had caused a majority of the population to flee the city. From a base of 10,000 in 1780, the population approached 25,000 by 1800. The abolition of slavery in the state in 1783 gave blacks greater physical mobility, but their social mobility was slow.

Boston had the status of a town; it was chartered as a city in 1822. The second mayor was Josiah Quincy III, who undertook infrastructure improvements in roads and sewers, and organized the city's dock area around the newly erected Faneuil Hall Marketplace, popularly known as Quincy Market.

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