The "Tree of Liberty"

Annie69 By Annie69, 8th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>History

The "Tree of Liberty" was the colonists' symbol of freedom during their days before the Revolutionary War. See how the tree got its name and what happened to it.

The Tree

The Tree of Liberty was an elm tree that stood in Boston during America's colonial days. The tree had stood at the corner of Essex and Orange streets since 1646. Please note that Orange Street has since been renamed Washington Street.

The Stamp Act

In 1765, King George III imposed a Stamp Act on the colonists. Since stamps were required for all papers, documents, newspapers, letters, playing cards, etc., the colonists felt this was taxation without representation and a form of censorship.

Andrew Oliver was born in Boston in 1706 and went into politics in 1737. It was Oliver that was commissioned to carry out the Stamp Act. Although he was personally against the act, he told the people he was in favor of it.

The "Tree of Liberty" is Born

On August 14, 1765, a group of men met under that elm tree to discuss what they could do about the Stamp Act? That day Oliver was hung in effigy from the tree. This group of men soon began calling themselves the Sons of Liberty and the tree became their meeting place. On September 10, 1765, someone nailed a sign to the tree: "Tree of Liberty."

When the Fighting Began

Things did not improve over the next ten years and the first shots of the war were fired in April 1775. Because the Loyalists knew what the tree meant to the colonists and Sons of Liberty, they cut down the "Tree of Liberty" and used it for firewood.

That, of course, only added fuel to an already out-of-control fire, and the stump was referred to as "Liberty Stump."


Andrew Oliver, King George Iii, Liberty Stump, Sons Of Liberty, Tree Of Liberty

Meet the author

author avatar Annie69
History column appears weekly in local newspaper. Also news, human interest, and pictures. My fiction and poems have appeared in literary anthologies and I've written 3 novels

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