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Revolution in Boston 2007

Revolution in Boston 2007
Produced for The History Channel

It was in Boston that colonial patriots first stirred the fires of independence and abolitionists fought for an end to slavery. The Old State House and The African Meeting House were at the center of these transforming movements. Host Steve Thomas explores the history behind these two notable buildings as they undergo preservation efforts.

The Old State House is the oldest surviving public building in Boston. Built in 1713 to house the government offices of the Massachusetts Bay colony, it has been referred to as the most important public building in Colonial America. In the words of John Adams, "There the child independence was born." Within the walls of this building, stirring speeches and fervent debates by dedicated patriots took place against the British crown. Today, the Old State House is operated by The Bostonian Society and owned by the city of Boston.

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Built in 1806, The African Meeting House is the oldest African-American Church edifice still standing in the United States and the largest meeting space owned and controlled by people of color in Boston for much of the nineteenth century. The African Meeting House played host to several significant events during the Abolitionist movement. It was here that William Lloyd Garrison founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832 and Frederick Douglass gave rousing anti-slavery speeches and recruited members of the 54th Regiment, the first all black brigade to fight in the Civil War. The African Meeting House is currently being restored to its appearance as it stood in 1855.


In the clip below, Steve Thomas and historian Robert Allison bring viewers into a re-enactment of the Boston Massacre.

In the clip below, animation from Sputnik shows how the Statehouse has changed over the years.