But I learned several things during my walk and in doing some research during the past week. Let's start by putting the American Revolution into historical perspective. The era from the 1600's to the 1800's was one of change from feudal societies to capitalist societies. This was a progressive movement at the time. And along the spectrum of the leaders of the American Revolution the Boston leaders were among the most liberal. Many were influenced by the reaction to a movement towards Puritan orthodoxy in the 1760's and then by the arrival and formation Unitarian Universalist congregations in the early 1770's. Read about the history of the UUA here.
|Massachusetts State House|
The Freedom Trail starts at the Boston Commons and the Massachusetts State House. This "new" state house was completed in 1798. The dome was originally wood, and then covered in copper by Paul Revere's in 1802.
From the Commons you walk north along Tremont Street and pass the the Park Street Church. Don't skip the Old Granary Burial Ground. This cemetery is home to the remains of many prominent early Bostonians and Heroes of the Revolutionary War. These include the 5 men killed during the Boston Massacre, The family of Benjamin Franklin (although not old Ben, who is buried in Philadelphia), Sam Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock.
|Samuel Adams' grave|
One of the things that I found fascinating is the way the tomb stones were decorated by the families of those "Founding Fathers" whom we are told were so religious. Most of the gravestones are decorated with skulls and deaths heads:
Continue following the Red Brick path of the Freedom Trail past the King's Chapel:
|Old South Meeting House|
|Speakers platform in the Old South Meeting House|
|Old South Meeting House interior|
The next stop is the Old State House - which was the site of the Boston Massacre
|The Old State House, with new Boston in the background|
|The Old State House|
Continuing on to Fanieul Hall and Quincey Market - These buildings contain a large food court and many shops spreads among 4 buildings. This can be a nice place to grab lunch, although it is always crowded, there are plenty of places to sit outside if you use the food court, and many good restaurants.
The next stop is Haymarket Square, where there is a fruit and vegetable market on Fridays and Saturdays.
|Oyster shuckers in Haymarket Square|
The Freedom Trail now crosses into the North End. Today this is Boston's Little Italy. There are many restaurants and gelatoria's, but my favorite food are the fresh made canollis. I find that the North End is one of the most European looking neighborhoods in the United States, although my mother votes for the West Village in NY.
|The North End|
|Building Details in the North End|
|North End Street|
|North End street|
|Paul Revere's Home|
|Paul Revere with the Old North Church|
Almost to the end of the Freedom Trail, it is now time to cross the Charles River and climb Bunker Hill
|The Bunker Hill Monument|