Old South Meeting House


Portrait by Artist to Come




View Larger Map

Built in 1729 as a meeting house for Puritan workship (not to be confused with a church), the Old South Meeting House was the stage for some of the most dramatic events leading up to the American Revolution.

None was more important than the assembly of Bostonians that met on 16 December 1773 to discuss how to handle the delivery of unwanted tea. Nothing came of the meeting, but it was followed that night by the unloading of tea — into the harbor — by disguised Sons of Liberty. Later it was dubbed the Boston Tea Party.

Phillis Wheatley, African-American poet and slave, was also a member of the congregation, a free one, after 1778.

Part of the Freedom Trail™.

Associated People

The men who lost America were also the men who saved Canada, India, Gibraltar, and the British Caribbean. The political leadership of the North government can be credited with the victory at the Saintes in 1782; the same year, Admiral Howe raised the Spanish siege of Gibraltar which had been heroically defended by a garrison of German mercenaries and British troops. In contrast to the British navy in the Chesapeake Bay, Howe was able to shield his transports and supply vessels behind his warships to enable them to relieve the garrison. This climactic end to the three-year siege was one of the most celebrated wartime subjects of artists like John Singleton Copley. The final voyages of Captain James Cook to Australia and New Zealand took place during the American Revolution, and the convicts formerly transported to America became the first settlers of Australia.

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013)