Old South Meeting House

Boston
MA

Portrait by Artist to Come

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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

Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense (1775), urging the colonies to declare their independence, found 150,000 purchasers in a population of less than 3 million — the equivalent today of a sale of 14 million.

Richard Brookhiser
Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution (2003)