Men Of The Revolution: 16. Daniel Morgan

A few months after the shooting began, the besiegers and the beleaguered of Boston became aware of a new presence on the scene. It was a new man, so to speak, with a new weapon; and since there were some fourteen hundred of them—boisterous, cocksure frontiersmen, clothed in fringed buckskin shirts and leggings, given at the slightest encouragement to demonstrating their skill with their deadly-accurate long rifles—it was difficult for anyone in the vicinity of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to ignore them.Read more »

Was It Legal? Thoreau In Jail

When Constable Samuel Staples of Concord, Massachusetts, placed Henry David Thoreau under arrest for nonpayment of his state poll tax in late July of 1846, he had no idea that his act would bring about international repercussions a century later. On a less important but perhaps equally interesting level, neither of them evidently was aware that the arrest was extralegal—a fact that has just now come to light. Read more »

Men Of The Revolution: 14. John Hancock

Like Abou Ben Adhem, his name led all the rest. On the document proclaiming America’s independence it is inscribed boldly with flourishes, the mark of a confident, proud man; and the fact that it was written an inch longer than he customarily signed it gave rise to the legend that John Hancock had recorded his name large enough for George in to read without spectacles. Read more »

Local History Makes Good-sometimes

The systematic collection of the sources of local, as well as of national, history began in the United States with the organization in 1791 of the Massachusetts Historical Society.Read more »

The Spies Who Went Out In The Cold

In late February, 1775, three men in what they thought was Yankee farmers’ dress, “brown cloaths and reddish handkerchiefs round our necks,” boarded the ferry at the foot of Prince Street in Boston, bound for Charlestown, a half mile across the Charles River.Read more »

A Mere Woman

A shy Yankee named Hannah Adams never thought of herself as liberated, but she was out first professional female writer.

If they should care to, the leaders of Women’s Liberation may add Miss Hannah Adams, born in 1755, to their roster of distinguished women. She was probably the first native American woman to earn a living as a professional writer. Read more »

Asa Smith Leaves The War

AN AMERICAN HERITAGE ORIGINAL DOCUMENT
Edited and with an introduction

In the summer of 1861 a twenty-five-year-old resident of Natick, Massachusetts, by the name of Asa Smith set out to join the Union Army. It was not very easy to do this, because all the companies around Natick seemed to be full; eventually, on July 2, Smith managed to get into a company being raised at Watertown, and this company became part of the l6th Massachusetts Infantry.Read more »

Firebrand Of The Revolution

For ten tumultuous years Sam Adams burned with a single desire: American independence from Great Britain.

Members of the British Parliament who voted approval of the Stamp Act late one night in 1765 and went yawning off to bed had never heard, it would seem, of Boston’s “Man of the Town Meeting,” Samuel Adams. It was a fatal lapse. From that moment until the Declaration of Independence, Sam Adams pounced on Britain every time she moved to impose her will on the colonies. He made politics his only profession and rebellion his only business. He drove two royal governors out of Massachusetts and goaded the British government into open war.

The Working Ladies Of Lowell

Proud and independent, the farm girls of New England helped build an industrial Eden, but its paternalistic innocence was not to last

Dusk fell over the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, a few minutes before five o’clock on January 10, 1860. In the five-story brick textile factory owned by the Pemberlon Manufacturing Company, lamps began to flicker in the ritual of “lighting-up time.” The big building—nearly three hundred feet long and eighty-five wide—rumbled unceasingly with the noise of its hundreds of machines for turning cotton into cloth: its scutchers and spreaders, carders, drawing frames and speeders; its warpers and dressers; and its power looms for weaving the finished fabric.

Soldier In A Longboat

Three times John Glover’s Marblehead fishermen saved Washington’s army; in a final battle, the “amphibious regiment” rowed him to victory across the Delaware

 

Some years after the Revolutionary War, Henry Knox, onctime major general and chief of artillery in the Continental Army, rose before the Massachusetts legislature to speak on a bill in behalf of his former comrades in arms, the Marblehead fishermen. Standing there, his hulking aSo-pound frame commanding every eye, Knox recalled the cold Christmas night in 177(1 when these brave men had ferried Washington’s army across an ice-jammed river to launch the attack against Trenton.

 
Read more »