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Maps of Boston – 1775

Colonial Boston at the time of the American Revolution  (Scroll)

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Boston, Its Environs and Harbour with the Rebel Works, 1775

A Plan of the Town of Boston with the Intrenchments of His Majesty’s Forces in 1775

Stars: Red (Town House), Blue (Old South Meeting House), Green (Griffin’s Wharf), Purple (Liberty Tree), and Gold (Edwards House – Ben’s ancestor’s property in the North End)

A Plan of the Town of Boston in 1775 with select buildings and Paul Revere’s route past the HMS Somerset added

A map showing the original 783 acres and the areas of made land

Boston History

Key events in the history of Boston

Stamp Act – March 22, 1765

The first direct tax on the American colonies. Taxed items included legal documents, newspapers, dice, and playing cards. It was repealed in 1766.

Boston’s Liberty Tree

Townshend Acts – June 29, 1767

This act of Parliament imposed duties on glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea imported into the colonies. All were eventually repealed except for the tax on tea.

Landing of the Troops – September 30, 1768

British warships, armed schooners, and transports arrive and anchor in Boston Harbor. The following day two regiments of British troops (upwards of 700 men) land at Long Wharf, march into town, and begin their occupation. Engraving by Paul Revere.

Boston Massacre – March 5, 1770

British soldiers fire on a crowd in front of the Town House killing five men – three died at the scene and 2 died later. Engraving by Paul Revere.

Tea Act – May 10, 1773

Gave the British East India Company a monopoly. The company had the right to ship its tea directly to the colonies without first landing it in England, and to commission agents who would have the sole right to sell tea in the colonies.

The Boston Evening Post, August 23, 1773

Boston Tea Party – December 16, 1773

A group of colonists (to date, there are 116 documented participants) board three merchant ships (Dartmouth, Eleanor, and Beaver) docked at Griffin’s Wharf and dump 340 chests of tea into Boston Harbor.

Coercive Acts – March-June, 1774

A series of five laws passed by the British Parliament to punish the Massachusetts Bay Colony for the Boston Tea Party. Among these was the Boston Port Bill, which closed the Port of Boston until damages from the destruction of the tea were paid.

Paul Revere and William Dawes ride – April 18-19, 1775

Learn the details of that famous night and view the video “Paul Revere’s Ride – The Real Story.”

Battles of Lexington and Concord – April 19, 1775

Battle of Bunker Hill – June 17, 1775

The Declaration of Independence is read in Boston – July 18, 1776

From the balcony of the Town House, today’s Old State House, the Declaration of Independence is read to the citizens of Boston on July 18, 1776. An illustration of the event from One April in Boston and an audio excerpt from the Independence chapter follows.

Back Street

In the footsteps of Ben’s ancestors

Alexander Edwards (1733-1798) lived on Back Street. He was a cabinetmaker and a member of the Sons of Liberty.

This map of the North End of Boston in 1775 shows the location of the Edwards family home on Back Street.

The lower portion of Salem Street (formerly Back Street) as it appears today. The Edwards property was on the left.

This painting by Cortney Skinner shows the Edwards home (at left) on Back Street as the street may have looked in April 1775. Cortney’s research for the artwork was aided extensively by “Clough’s Atlas – Property Owners of the Town of Boston based on the Direct Tax Census of 1798.”

L’Osteria Restaurant at 104 Salem Street in the North End of Boston is located on the site where the Edwards family home once stood.

The home of Alexander Edwards (1733-1798) and his wife Sarah Greenough Edwards (1735-1823) is shown on the left, and next to it their stable and Alexander’s cabinetmaking shop.

Cooper Street today. In 1775, this was an eight-foot-wide passageway off Back Street running through the Edwards family property.

Walking down the eight-foot-wide passageway (Cooper Street today) we see a portion of the Edwards family home on the left and the cabinetmaking shop of Alexander Edwards on the right.

What makes this artwork accurate?

The Sons of Liberty

The signature of Alexander Edwards on the Boston Citizen’s Non-Importation Agreement of July 31, 1769.

Alexander Edwards’ name appears on this list of the Sons of Liberty who dined at Liberty Tree Tavern in Dorchester, Massachusetts on August 14, 1769.

Acorn Street

Acorn Street in Beacon Hill is Boston’s oldest surviving cobblestone street. It was laid out in 1823 and the nine brick row houses that line the street were built by architect-builder Cornelius Coolidge between 1828 and 1829. Back Street may have been paved like Acorn Street. Photo by Ben Edwards.