Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Boston Tea Party

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We picked up a mooring in the downtown Boston waterfront from Boston Harbor Sailing School. What a deal. $47 for the night with the water shuttle included in a world-class city.  I like Boston because you have two ways to get around the city. Take the Boston T train, aka subway, or just look down while you walk and follow the line in the sidewalk. Its the Freedom Trail and takes you to a bunch of old history stuff and past most of the Starbucks in Boston.

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We took the Freedom Trail and stopped at the Old North Church made famous by the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem about Paul Revere:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea…...

Of course in those days the church was known as the North Church, not the Old North Church.

bostonIMG_3076 Paul is buried here – or at least somewhere within about 100 feet of here, as they have a tendency to move the headstones in Boston when they get in the way of the sidewalks and walkways. Paul’s birth year is engraved in the headstone as 1734, but Wikipedia knows better. Apparently there was some change in the calendar between then and now and in our calendar it was actually 1735.’

Paul Revere was born in the North End of Boston on December 21, 1734, according to the Old Style calendar then in use, or January 1, 1735, in the modern calendar

I’m thinking of using the New Style calendar for soliciting dates on Facebook – makes me look younger --- and the Old Style for applying for Social Security.

Paul Revere was born of a French Huguenot father. Dad spelt his name Rivoire. The French were really pretty key to the success of the Revolutionary War – not withstanding Freedom Fries.

 bostonIMG_3058 This is the organ that Mr. Revere and his compatriots ran past when they headed up the stairs to the church tower to signal the British were coming. Not sure if the yellow Don’t Tread on Me flag was hanging at the time.

bostonIMG_3066 Copp’s Hill Burying Ground (1600’s) – where a bunch of real old dead people are, including Paul Revere. The location was selected because it was well-protected from the “three great annoyances, of Woolves, Rattle-snakes and Musketos”.

bostonIMG_3055Here’s Chris turning the crank of the Benjamin Franklin designed Glass Harmonica. I guess the monkey who normally handles the crank was off on a banana break. Fascinating sound.

bostonIMG_3074 And Benjamin himself gracing the front of the former city hall and the site of the oldest public school in America built by Puritans in 1635. Attended by Benjamin, Sam Adams and John Hancock. It’s now a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Lucky Ben was not a vegetarian.

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The Old State House, apparently before they leveled the streets.

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A historic recreation in period dress of the Boston Tea Party from the deck of SV Georgia in Boston Harbor.

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Revolutionary War Guinness flag.

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We left Boston passing close by the Boston Light. The second oldest lighthouse in the US. This one was rebuilt in 1783 from the ruin of the 1718 light. Kinda cool to think of all the trans-Atlantic ships that have passed by here in the last few hundred years. Another lighthouse at the entrance of the harbor sits on a ledge known as The Graves; that’ll get your attention.

Paul

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