A diary of my visit to two cities in the center of the founding of my country: Boston and Philadelphia Oct. 14 - 24, 2005

Monday, October 17, 2005

Oct. 17th – Politics Schmolotics!!!

After finally getting on a train and making it back to downtown Boston, I started the day at the Old State House. What a historic building!! (Of course, I could say that about most of the buildings I was in today, but that doesn’t make it any less applicable about this building.) The Old State House was the capitol of the colony of Massachusetts. There were many debates there over the ideas of independence, including James Otis’s speech against the writs of assistance. The Boston Massacre happened directly in front of the building, and the Declaration of Independence was read from it’s balcony for the first time to the people of Boston. It is now a museum of Bostonian History. I stayed there for about an hour and a half.

After that, I was planning on visiting Faneuil Hall, which is a block away from the Old State House. The Hall was closed for a private event until 2:00, though, so I had to change my plans. (Plans are meant to be changed, right?) I walked down the street to the Old South Meeting House. What a historic building!! This was a Congregationalist Church which also happened to be the largest meeting place in Boston before the Revolution. Because of this, many meetings were held here. This church is where the Patriots planned the infamous Boston Tea Party. After the British took over Boston, they burned the pews and books, brought in dirt, and turned the Church into a riding stable. When Washington saw the church after the British had evacuated Boston, he was appalled at the lack of respect shown the colony’s religious buildings.

When you leave the Old South Meeting House, you are across the street from the location of Benjamin Franklin’s birthplace. The house is long-gone, but there is a bust of him in the window. I snapped a couple pictures and was on my way. The next stop was the New Massachusetts State house.

The new State House was built in 1795 when Samuel Adams was Governor. It is a very historic building. Paul Revere presided over its building, and it was designed by Charles Bulfinch. Boy, have I heard about Charles Bulfinch a lot in the past three days. He was a prominent architect in Boston in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. He also helped with the design of the US Capitol in DC. He designed the Otis house that I toured yesterday. The State House was pretty impressive. I visited the rotunda, great halls, and the Senate and House chambers. I tried to get into a committee session to compare the politicking of Mass with that of Tennessee. I walked around and finally found the committee rooms…in the basement. I didn’t want to just start opening doors, so I found a security guard and asked him if there were any committees in session. He pointed out a room and told me to go around the corner and walk in the door labeled B-1. I walked around, found the door and opened it. It was the door directly behind the committee chairman’s seat!!! Thankfully, there was no committee in the room. If there had been, that would have been very embarrassing. After that, I decided I wasn’t meant to observe a Massachusetts legislative committee session, so I walked back out.

By now it was around 1:00. I had to wait until 2:00 to see Faneuil Hall, so I stopped at a Dunkin Donut place for a snack. Dunkin Donuts are a historic institution in Boston. There are Dunkin Donuts ALL over. I’m serious. There is a Dunkin Donut place on every corner. They even have them in the T stations underground! I think the DD to Human ratio in Boston is around 1 to 14.6. I stopped for a quick pumpkin donut and then walked over to Faneuil Hall. They didn’t open the Hall for tours until 2:15. It was pretty cool, though. I think I would call it....historic. There was a park ranger who talked about the history of the Hall. Like the other park rangers, she was great. Faneuil Hall is also known as the “Cradle of Liberty.” The ground level is a market, and the second level is a meeting place. This hall was the location of many debates about over the “Cause of Liberty.” In fact, the Boston Tea Party started here, and then moved to the Old South Meeting House when too many people showed up to fit in Faneuil.

After Faneuil, my schedule was complete. It was 3:00, and I had completed my entire Boston itinerary. Believe it or not, Katie Wallen was forced to do something waaaay out of her comfort zone….be spontaneous!! Never fear, she was able to step up to the challenge. Yesterday at the Adams’ farm, the tour guide mentioned that John Adams book collection is located in the rare book room of Boston’s public library. I checked out my map, and Trinity Church is located near the library. I had thought about visiting the beautiful church, but I didn’t think I’d have time. So, I started walking in that direction.

I walked through Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens, two parks. The Public Garden has an awesome statue of George Washington. I took some pictures and kept walking. There are a lot of statues in Boston. Statues everywhere.

I arrived at the library and found the rare book room. It was incredible. All of the books are behind class, but you can still see them really well. They had a few of John Adams books lying open so that you could read his notes and inscriptions from the authors. The room had at least several thousand of Adams books. They also had a collection from one of the earliest ministers in Boston. His collection is equally impressive. He had a copy of John Eliot’s Algonquin Bible, the first Bible printed in the United States in the 1600’s. John Eliot learned their language, created a written language, translated the Bible, and had in printed. The library was a treasure.

After the library, I walked across a plaza to the Trinity Church. The church is gorgeous.

After the church, I was pretty much worn out. I took the T back to Qunicy Market to get some dinner and came back to the Inn. I think I’ll be going to bed early tonight. I’m certainly glad that I’ll be driving tomorrow. My legs are getting a little sore. After all, I walked 19,216 steps today. That’s almost 8 miles.

That’s all for today! Tomorrow is Lexington and Concord!


Anonymous Lauren said...

Sounds like a great day...American history up close and a pumpkin donut - what a combination! I am jealous! :)

10/18/2005 10:45 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home