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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

Bunker Hill Museum

43 Monument Square
Charlestown, MA, 02129

Bunker Hill Museum

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

Nearby Historic Sites

John Adams Library

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA, 02116

Massachusetts Historical Society

1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA, 02215

USS Constitution

1 Constitution Road
Charlestown, MA, 02129

USS Constitution Museum

Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA, 02129

Click on any heading to visit the website.

Nearby Historical Markers

Bunker Hill Monument

Boston, MA, 02129

"Don’t fire ‘til you see the whites of their eyes."

The Battle of Bunker Hill, fought here on Breed’s Hill, June 17, 1775, was the first major military confrontation of the Revolutionary War. Although the British won the battle - at a terrible cost - it was a great moral victory for the Patriots, who prayed that they would and could stand up against the British regulars. This monument of Quincy granite, built between 1825 and 1843, stands today as a memorial to the courage, purpose, and sacrifice of those Patriots of 1775 whose actions here rallied the Colonies and prompted General Washington to declare "The liberties of our country are safe."

Connecticut Gate

Boston, MA, 02129

June 17, 1775

He who brought us over still sustains us.

Connecticut American Revolution Bicentennial Commission

South Marker:
General Israel Putnam of Connecticut helped decide to fortify the Charleston peninsula and with Captain Thomas Knowlton commanded Connecticut’s forces. Captain Knowlton’s company held the rail fence and helped to cover the colonial retreat from the redoubt.

New Hampshire Gate

Boston, MA, 02129

June 17, 1775

Strength United is Stronger

New Hampshire American Revolution Bicentennial Commission

East Marker:
Colonel John Stark commanded 900 New Hampshire men at the rail fence and at the stone wall on the Mystic River shore against the British advances. This was the largest contingent of men from any of the colonies. They later assisted in covering the colonial retreat in the last minutes of the battle.

Paul Revere

Boston, MA, 02129

At this site
Paul Revere
landed on the night of
April 18, 1775
to begin his midnight ride

Dedicated by
The Massachusetts Society
Sons of the American Revolution
April 1999

Paul Revere’s Landing

Boston, MA, 02129

On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere set out to warn of the march of British troops on Lexington and Concord. He departed Boston by water, was rowed to Charleston, and landed near here. Walking the short distance into town, Revere borrowed a horse and then rode into the countryside.

When Revere reached Lexington, he cautioned patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the impending danger. Revere then rode towards Concord to ensure that patriot arms and gunpowder stored there were safely hidden.

Along his route, Revere alerted other riders who fanned out into the countryside to warn patriot militias of the British advance. On April 19, patriot militiamen clashed with British Regulars in Lexington and Concord, the first major conflicts of the American Revolution.

This wayside was made possible by: The Paul Revere Memorial Association and Friends of City Square Park.

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.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article " ", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0


Thomas and Jane Walford were the original English settlers of Mishawaum (later Charlestown); they settled there in 1624. They were given a grant by Sir Robert Gorges, with whom they had settled at Wessagusset (Weymouth) in September 1623. John Endicott, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, had sent William, Richard and Ralph Sprague to Mishawaum to lay out a settlement. Thomas Walford, acting as an interpreter with the Massachusetts Indians, negotiated with the local sachem Wonohaquaham for Endicott and his people to settle there. Although Walford had a virtual monopoly on the region's available furs, he welcomed the newcomers and helped them in any way he could, unaware that his Episcopalian religious beliefs would cause him to be banished from Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire within three years.

Originally a Puritan English city during the Colonial era (a time to which many of the neighborhood's structures date), Charlestown was founded in 1628, and settled July 4, 1629, by Thomas Graves, Increase Nowell, Simon Hoyt, Rev. Francis Bright, Ralph, Richard and William Sprague and about 100 others who preceded the Great Migration. John Winthrop's company stopped here for some time in 1630, before deciding to settle across the Charles River at Boston.

Birdseye view of Boston, Charlestown, and Bunker Hill, between 1890 and 1910 The territory of Charlestown originally included what is now Melrose and Malden (both until 1649), Stoneham (until 1725), Somerville (until 1842), Medford, Everett, Woburn, Burlington, and parts of Arlington and Cambridge. On June 17, 1775 the Charlestown Peninsula was the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill. Much of the battle took place on Breed's Hill, which overlooked the harbor and the town and was only about 400 yards from the southern end of the peninsula; Bunker Hill is near the northwest end of the peninsula, close to Charlestown Neck and about a mile from the Charles River. The town, including its wharves and dockyards, was destroyed by fire during the battle.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article ",_MA ", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0