We Are One…Aren’t We?

There is no better venue than the Boston Public Library for an exhibition called “We Are One,” showcasing priceless artifacts from America’s beginnings.  I count myself privileged to have spent a recent afternoon browsing there.

From top: compass, surveyor’s chain, and document by a young George Washington.  Below: list of ships in the British fleet, model of the Agamemnon (Lord Nelson’s favorite ship), detail of scrimshaw on a power horn.

Teapots of the era were small in comparison to their modern counterparts.

Cartoon depicting the death of the Stamp Act.

Above: a colonial family.  Below: poignant portraits of two people instrumental in shaping the history of our country.

Hendrick the Great (1692-1755), chief of the Mohawks, in British uniform (engraving made from the work of a British court painter). “Tee Yee Neen Ho Ga Row,” or “Tiyonaga,” ruled over six of his people’s nations, negotiating peace with England using the principles of the Iriquois government.  He was killed in a skirmish with the French and Canadian Indians just before the Battle of Lake George, while the little girl pictured next was running around free in Africa.

Phillis Wheatley (1853-1884) was an extraordinary poet, educated by the Boston couple who bought her.  She was seven years old when captured and removed from her family and homeland.

From one the eulogies she wrote, for a general in the army:

But how presumptuous shall we hope to find

Divine acceptance with the Almighty mind

While yet a deed ungenerous they disgrace

And hold in bondage Afric: blameless race

Let virtue reign and then accord our prayers

Be victory ours and generous freedom theirs.

(With appreciation for the scholarship of Dee Albrinck, Hebron, Kentucky; and Ted Green, Webster University, via http://www.history.org)

A Stroll in the Back Bay

We interrupt this blog’s planned programming on World War I Era research for some current photos of Boston.  Staying in the Back Bay last weekend prompted a walk in the area, and I couldn’t pass up sharing it with you.

Our good fortune was that the hotel was near so many historic pieces of architecture.  I hadn’t realized that, in addition to the Old North Church from which Paul Revere saw the light, there is an Old South Church.  Begun in 1669 when Massachusetts was still the Bay Colony,  it was this body, though at an earlier location on Milk Street, where Benjamin Franklin was baptized, the Sons of Liberty planned their tea party, and notable members (including poet Phillis Wheatley and the judge who presided over the Salem Witch Trials) attended.

Berkely, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield…parallel streets are flagged by Yankee names in alphabetical order, close to famous Commonwealth Avenue.

This photo and next by Amy Griffin

Townhouses with charming gardens in front are separated by grass,  flowers, and benches in the median of the street.

This statue in the Boston Public Gardens is something which visitors, joggers, and neighbors walking their dogs enjoy on a Sunday afternoon (it was only three months ago that the last snow from the city melted).  There is a special section here in memory of September 11 victims.

Fall flowers drape a church entry; a few blocks away the Boston Public Library is undergoing an expansion.  You will see some special exhibits we found waiting for us inside that beautiful building, next time, right here.