4. Crispus Attucks Burial Place, Granary Burial Ground

Street or Other Address: Tremont Street

Nearest Corner: Tremont between Beacon and Park

Digital & Degree Coordinates: 42.357350,-71.061183; N42 21.441 W71 03.671

View Granary Burial Ground and Crispus Attucks Grave.  Crispus Attucks (ca. 1723-1770) was the first casualty of the American Revolution. On the evening of March 5, 1770, a confrontation between soldiers and a group of townspeople resulted in five dead and six wounded. Attucks, of African and Native American descent, grew up in Framingham, Massachusetts, and was said to be a runaway slave who found work and spent many years as a sailor and rope maker in Boston. He, along with other local sailors and rope makers, felt particularly threatened by British soldiers and sailors who would often compete for part-time jobs with the locals during off-duty hours. This competition lead to a fight on March 2, 1770, between British soldiers and local rope makers, which helped fuel tensions that lead to the massacre a few days later. (4) Colonists, in general, were very agitated with the increased taxes put on them by the British government, as well as the increased presence of British troops in town. Tensions between the colonists and the British troops built to a point that made confrontation inevitable. (5)

The confrontation on March 5, 1770 that became known as the Boston Massacre, began when a large group of locals started taunting British soldiers with snowballs, stones, and clubs. At the head of this group was Attucks. Several British soldiers came to the rescue of the soldiers being taunted and open fired on the crowd. It is unclear whether Attucks attacked a soldier first, but he ended up being the first fatality from bullet wounds. Two others, Samuel Gray and James Caldwell, also died during the incident. Two others, Samuel Maverick and Patrick Carr died days later as a result of their injuries. Six others were wounded.

View Tremont Temple (88 Tremont Street between School and Bosworth) — Although Boston had come to be associated as the seat of the antislavery movement, many of the city’s citizens held contrary views. In December 1860, a group of abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, met at Tremont Temple to commemorate the anniversary of John Brown’s execution. The assembled abolitionists considered Brown to be a martyr to their cause, but other Bostonians were not persuaded. Some of the latter interrupted and took over the proceedings, passing resolutions that condemned John Brown’s raid and expelling the abolitionists from the hall.

A noted group of abolitionists in country, including Frederick Douglass, assembled here January 1, 1863, to await news that Emancipation Proclamation had been signed.

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) was an early Boston leader in the movement to abolish slavery in America, sometimes at the risk of his life. In 1829 he made his first public speech against slavery. In 1831 he founded  The Liberator, the influential anti-slavery journal. In 1832 he joined in organizing the New England Ant-Slavery Society. As was usual among emancipation leaders, Garrison also supported the movements for women’s rights, temperance, pacifism, and free trade. The bronze statue of a seated Garrison was created by the sculptor, Olin Levi Warner (1844-1896). It was funded by public subscription, and dedicated in 1886

Garrison was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, A newspaper editor by trade, he joined the abolitionist movement at the age of 25. Within a few years he founded a newspaper, The Liberator, which he ran from Boston for 35 years.

Frederick Douglass (c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing.

Douglass wrote several autobiographies, eloquently describing his experiences in slavery in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, which became influential in its support for abolition. After the Civil War, Douglass remained active in the United States' struggle to reach its potential as a "land of the free". He actively supported women’s suffrage. Without his approval, he became the first African American nominated for Vic President on the impracticable and small Equal Right Party ticket. Douglass held multiple public offices.

Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female Native American or recent immigrant, famously quoted as saying, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."

The original hall burned down in 1893. The existing structure opened in May 1896. It was intended to be a church with an auditorium suitable for business purposes. The building had stores on the ground floor and commercial offices on the upper floors. Revenue from business rents and rental of the auditorium for concerts enabled the church to continue to provide free seats to all worshipers.  The church negotiated an agreement with the city to provide these commercial uses, but it refused two types of events:  conventions of rumsellers, and the staging of minstrel shows. Until recently the Tremont Temple hosted Christmas season productions of Black Nativity, based on the Gospel of St. Luke, combined with the poetry of Langston Hughes.

 

Image: 
latitude: 
42.36
longitude: 
-71.06