the only names excepted from the royal proclamation of forgiveness.
It was only an accident; but it was an accident which, in the stirring history of the most momentous change the world has seen, placed Boston
in the van. Naturally, therefore, in our streets and neighborhood came the earliest collision between England
and the Colonies.
Here Sam Adams
, the ablest and ripest statesman God gave to the epoch, forecast those measures which welded thirteen Colonies into one thunderbolt, and launched it at George III.
magnetized every boy into a desperate rebel.
Here the fit successors of Knox
and Hugh Peters
consecrated their pulpits to the defence of that doctrine of the freedom and sacredness of man which the State
borrowed so directly from the Christian Church.
The towers of the North Church rallied the farmers to the Lexington
fights; and these old walls echoed the people's shout, when Adams
brought them word that Governor Hutchinson
surrendered and withdrew the red-coats.
Lingering here still are the echoes of those clashing sabres and jingling spurs that dreamed Warren
could be awed to silence.
's blood immortalizes State Street, just below where Attucks
fell (our first martyr), and just above where zealous patriots made a teapot of the harbor.
It was a petty town, of some twenty thousand inhabitants; but “the rays of royal indignation collected upon it served only to illuminate, and could not consume.”
Almost every one of its houses had a legend.
Every public building hid what was treasonable debate, or bore bullet-marks or bloodshed,--evidence of royal displeasure.
It takes a stout heart to step out of a crowd and risk the chances of support when failure is death.
The strongest, proudest, most obstinate race and kingdom on one side; a petty town the assailant,--its weapons,