The next site on the Freedom Trail is the King’s Chapel and the King’s Chapel Burying Ground. This was right across the street from our hotel. It looks a little funny because it lacks a steeple that was supposed to be added eventually, but never was. This is an Anglican church and has been the object of controversy. King James II ordered an Anglican church to be built in the colonies, but the Puritans wouldn’t sell any land on which to build a church because, after all, the Church of England was the reason they came to the New World. In order to build the church the governor had to seize a corner of the burial ground and build the church there.
The oldest continuously used pulpit in the country…
This was Paul Revere’s pew. All the pews were numbered, walled boxes with benches or chairs inside. Parishioners paid for their pews yearly – the more that the family paid, the closer their pew was to the front of the church. Members were free to decorate their pews however they saw fit. The pews were walled in to hold in the warmth from the foot warmers that the members brought from home in the winter months. This was all very interesting.
The first organ in America.
The Governor’s Pew…George Washington actually sat in the Governor’s Pew.
Guess what…another cemetery!
This cemetery holds the remains of Capt. John Winthrop, Mary Chilton who was the first Pilgrim to touch land in America, William Dawes the other night rider to Lexington, and Elizabeth Pain who was the inspiration for Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne of The Scarlet Letter fame.
Right behind King’s Chapel is Boston’s Old City Hall. It isn’t used anymore by the city. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is in the bottom of it.
In the garden in front of the Old City Hall and surrounded by patio tables from Ruth’s Chris is this famous sculpture of Ben Franklin.
Just think…you can have a yummy steak right underneath the gaze of Ben Franklin…only in Boston. Then, I guess, you can have dessert under the watchful eye of Josiah Quincy, Boston’s second mayor.
Dan really didn’t want to take my picture in front of this donkey. You notice that I’m not petting it. Ha! It does stand for the democratic party because the majority of the first mayors of Boston were democrats. As an aside…Do you know that the hottest selling t-shirt in Boston this summer (according to the Boston Globe) is one that displays a picture of former President Bush with the slogan “Miss me yet? How’s that hopey changey thing workin’ out for you?” They were everywhere. The Boston Globe article says that the president didn’t get such a warm welcome on Martha’s Vineyard this year.
Old South Meeting House – “The Nursery and Sanctuary of Freedom,” was a Congregational or Puritan parish. It was the largest building in town at the time preceding the Revolution, so became the place where the largest meetings were held prior to the Revolution. The colonists met here on the day after the Boston Massacre. This is where the Boston Tea Party was planned some 4 years later. 7,000 citizens met here to hear Sam Adams chair the meeting in which he said “Gentlemen, this meeting can do nothing more to save the country.” That was the cue for the Tea Party to begin.
During the occupation of Boston by the British, the church was used as a stable and a riding school and drinks were served at a bar in the gallery. The pews were chopped into firewood and the library of the pastor was burned. The quote below is printed on the gallery wall.
The next stop on the trail is the Old State House, the oldest public building still standing in the eastern part of the United States. “Here the child Independence was born.” It stands in the middle of a bunch of skyscrapers and was almost torn down to widen a street until the city of Chicago offered to buy it and move it brick by brick to the shores of Lake Michigan “for all America to revere.” The people of Boston were so offended by the offer that they decided to preserve the building.
It was at this point that I was beginning to get a little droopy and I certainly looked it. Ha!
Each Fourth of July someone stands on the balcony at the end of the Old State House to read the Declaration of Independence. The Boston Massacre occurred in front of the balcony.
Faneuil Hall is the most cherished of the buildings because this is where the colonists first began to speak out against British rule. This was where the citizens created a Committee of Correspondence and where the colonists first uttered the words “no taxation without representation.” It was, and still is, a large meeting hall and market. The weathervane is a gilded grasshopper. It was said that the colonists knew who was a friend or foe by asking them to identify what was on the weathervane on top of Faneuil Hall.
Statue of Sam Adams
There were lots of people visiting Boston on Saturday and lots of vendors. The bottom of the hall is filled with places to eat and get snacks. We decided to stop at Dick’s to get a burger. It’s famous for its waiters who are intentionally a little uh rude. They tied bibs on us. The bibs were better than the dunce hats they made for others.
While we were eating we were visited by Redcoats.
We were somewhat refreshed after our meal and ready to tackle the rest of the Freedom Trail.