colonial boston


When Christmas was banned in Boston,

To the Puritans of the 17th century, Christmas was terrible thing.  Christmas was the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus by praying, being humble, and working hard, all with a spirit of self denial.  In the mid 17th century Christmas was banned in Britain by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliament. In America the Puritans wanted something similar.  The Rev. Increase Mather (pictured above), father of Cotton Mather, spearheaded the movement to ban Christmas with this denouncement,

“it is consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in Mad Mirth.”

In 1659 the City of Boston banned Christmas, the law stating,

“It is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shilling as a fine to the county.”

Boston’s ban on Christmas lasted 22 years.  In 1681 a royal governor named Sir Edmond Andros took control of governance of the colony and rolled back many Puritan laws, including Boston’s ban on Christmas.  However, Christmas was still de facto illegal by many other laws.  Civil servants could be removed from their posts, public school students could be expelled for skipping Christmas Day.  Celebrating Christmas was also highly looked down upon by Bostonians.  When Gov. Andros attended Christmas celebrations in 1686, he had to be guarded by a regiment of soldiers to fend off a mob of angry Puritans.  Christmas celebrations didn’t come back into fashion in Boston until after the American Civil War.

anonymous asked:

Please tell me the story of getting lost and crying in Paul Revere's lap

This has been in my inbox for months. 

So basically when I was little, like second grade little, my family went to Boston. On said trip to Boston we went to this little village that was either on the edge of Boston or just outside of Boston where there were 1700s style houses and everyone dressed in 1700s clothing, like Colonial Williamsburg but in Boston. So in the mix of it all, I somehow got separated from my family. 

Something you should now is that I’ve always been an anxious piece of shit, so being as anxious as I am but even smaller than today, you can imagine that even being separated from my mom for 2.5 seconds was enough to cause a meltdown. On top of that, there were chickens running around this village unsupervised. Don’t ask me why but young me was terrified of chicken, turkeys, and any bird that was the same size as me. The fear was fucking real for young me. But my parents taught me well and they taught me that if I ever got lost I should find the nearest staff member of the place and ask them for help. And Paul Revere happened to be 5 feet away from me.

Another thing is that you should know about me is I am terrified of people in costume. So as soon as he asked me what was wrong, I pretty much malfunctioned, my little brain couldn’t decide what was more terrifying: Being abandoned by my parents and having my eyes pecked out by chickens or talking to a man in a costume. 

So I just started screaming. 

Luckily this apparently wasn’t the first time I’d responded to a stressful situation by just screaming with all the sound my tiny body could produce and my parents had already noticed I was missing and were looking for me and, upon hearing the screaming, they immediately recognized the sound and began to follow it. They found me sitting on the ground in front of a terrified 20 year old guy dressed as Paul Revere who probably never expect this when he got the job. They were able to calm me down and apologize to the poor man. 

I just hope they gave him a really good tip and I gave him a good story. 

Home for the Holidays

Hi @usukdorkfanfics,  I’m your secret santa !! admittedly, i was already kinda nervous to write something for you because I really like your fics! I was also a little worried with just the prompt of “human au”, but I ended up running away with it and got lost lmao ouo;; I hope your Christmas celebrations are going well and you enjoy! C: Merry Christmas!!

Title: Home for the Holidays

Summary: Alfred waits tables and sings on the sidewalks of New York City in his struggle to survive in the heart of such an active town. When he meets Arthur, a well-off lawyer with a bad taste in coffee and a love for restaurant pies, he doesn’t expect to have his most challenging Christmas wish granted, and the potential of something more.

Rating: G

Warnings: None


busk - verb

1. play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways.

“the boy made extra money by busking on the streets of New York”

Read it on, AO3, or below the cut !

Keep reading

While the melodrama of chucking crates of tea into Boston Harbor continues to inspire civic-minded hotheads to this day, it’s worth remembering the hordes of stoic colonial women who simply swore off tea and steeped basil leaves in boiling water to make the same point. What’s more valiant: littering from a wharf or years of doing chores and looking after children from dawn to dark without caffeine?
—  Sarah Vowell, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States
Free subject

The Boston’s Freedom Trail

Located in the city of Boston (Massachusetts), the Freedom Trail is a downtown pathway which give the opportunity to see 16 famous historic monuments and locations of the city. It’s a 4km long path, marked by a red line which starts at Boston Common and end at the USS Constitution, the oldest warship of the United States. Founded in 1630 by English migrants, Boston’s is one of the U.S. oldest city, that’s why Boston has a huge historic background and the Freedom Trail is a great way to get you back in the past and have a better knowledge of the US colonial history.

Boston Common, the starting location of the trail is the oldest public park in the history of the USA and during the Independence War, the park was used as a military camp for the British troops.
From the park, you can see the Massachusetts State House and its golden cupola, which is the center of the state governance. Then, you walk along Park Street, where you can see Park Street Church, and right next to the street there is the Old Granary Burial Ground, where most of Boston’s famous revolutionaries were buried.

After passing the burying ground, King’s Chapel and one of the oldest american bookstore, you will arrive to the Old Meeting House, this building was used by the patriots to speak to the crowds and encourage people to revolt against the British Crown. A little further, there is the Old State House which was the place of the colonial government before the revolution. Then you will see the site of the Boston Massacre, it’s there where the British troops shot 5 colonists and this event is considered as one of the key events who leads to the revolution

The next stop on the Freedom Trail is Faneuil Hall, this building was (and is still) used as a marketplace, on the first floor, you will find a large choice of food and dishes, from sea products to Italian cuisine, after you’ve got your food you can have a seat on the second floor to taste it, back on times, the second floor was a meeting place for the patriots to unite the colonist population in order to fight the British oppression. There is also a statue of Samuel Adams in Faneuil Hall, he is one of the Founding Father’s of the United States.

While you still walking on the trail, in the north direction, you will see the Paul Revere House (home of a famous express rider), the Old North Church and the Copp’s Hill burying ground. Then you cross the river and arrive to the Bunker Hill Monument which commemorates the battle of June 17, 1775 between the British and the colonial forces. The last step on the Freedom Trail is the USS Constitution which is probably the most famous warship in the U.S. because it won more than 40 battles and was never captured by the enemy.

Concert being advertised in the Boston Gazette April 24, 1774. I’m amused that apparently concert goers have always been notorious for showing up late. In case anyone is curious the “Dollar” mentioned as the fee for the concert was the Spanish dollar, which was widely used. It’s more familiar to modern audiences as a piece of eight.

Stamitz’s symphonies are early classical versions and are something like 10-12 minutes long each. They’re lovely little numbers. The German flute is actually a transverse flute (what we think of as a modern flute). In the 18th century instruments like clarinets, oboes, & flutes would have all been called the same thing.

As for the specific pieces played I have no idea what would have gone on. I’m guessing that the harpsichord concerto is likely to have been Handel given his popularity in England. The violin could have been any of the Italian Baroque masters or maybe something from Bach–I don’t know what would have been popular in America (or what would have come over to America with a regiment of soldiers).

I saw this advertisement while researching something else and thought it was interesting. Figured some of you might like it.


Last night’s activity: Viewing of the Elizabeth Bull wedding dress at the Bostonian Society. (And free booze!) The dress was begun by 14 year old Elizabeth Bull in 1731. Clearly the dress was altered several times since as it was passed down through her family, including the addition of the oh so Victorian puff sleeves. 19th century sleeves are so poofy. The dress was donated to the museum in 1910 and displayed for a while, before being put in storage and the current restoration has taken three years.

Fun fact: One of the historians measured the waist and then converted it to a modern dress size. The waist is 21" around and translates to a J. Crew size 000! (It also looks really short even though Elizabeth was 5'3" and I’m 5'4" so feasibly it should fit me length wise, but it looked so much shorter. The model in that first photo must have been so tiny.)