Anne Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society writes:
Readers who visit Boston this summer will have the chance to view the gold Comitia Washington Before Boston medal on display at the
Boston Public Library in an exhibition titled We Are One.
Thanks! Here's some more information from the library site. -Editor
We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence
May 2 through November 29 2015 – Boston
2016 - Colonial Williamsburg
2017 - New-York Historical Society
Opening May 2, 2015, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center will present an exhibition that commemorates the 250th anniversary of Britain’s
1765 Stamp Act. This pivotal moment sparked American opposition to Britain’s restrictive colonial policies, particularly taxation without
representation, which was established to help pay for troops stationed in the colonies during the French and Indian War (1756-1763).
Protestors in Boston hung one of the tax collectors in effigy on an elm tree near the Boston Common. The tree became known as the Liberty
Tree, and the loose organization of protestors were known as the Sons of Liberty. This early opposition throughout the colonies to British
imperial control set the stage for growing opposition to British rule during the next ten years, resulting in the American Revolutionary
We Are One maps the American road to independence. It explores the tumultuous events that led thirteen colonies to join to forge a new
nation. The exhibition takes its title from Benjamin Franklin’s early design for a note of American currency containing the phrase “We Are
One.” This presaged the “E Pluribus Unum” found on the seal of the United States, adopted in 1782, and on all U.S. coins.
Using geographic and cartographic perspectives, the exhibition traces the American story from the strife of the French and Indian War to
the creation of a new national government and the founding of Washington, D.C. as its home. Exhibited maps and graphics show America’s
early status as a British possession: thirteen colonies in a larger trans-Atlantic empire. During and after the French and Indian War,
protection of those thirteen colonies exhausted Britain economically and politically, and led Parliament to pass unpopular taxes and
restrictions on her American colonial subjects. The Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and limits on colonial trade and industry incited protests and
riots in Boston, as contemporaneous portrayals in the exhibition show.
When tensions between Britain and her American colonies erupted into war, British cartographers and other witnesses depicted military
campaigns, battles, and their settings. These maps, drawings, and military artifacts now bring the long, bloody struggle for independence
There is an online version of the exhibit available for browsing. Here's the entry for the Washington Before Boston medal. -Editor
In 1776 Congress voted to honor George Washington with a gold medal for ending the siege of Boston and forcing the British troops to
evacuate. They commissioned a French engraver to create the medal, which was minted in 1789. On the hundredth anniversary of the
evacuation, Bostonians purchased it from Washington’s heirs and donated it to the Boston Public Library. The medal features a profile of
Washington on one side and a group of officers watching the British troops leave the city on the other. The profile portrait alludes to
ancient Roman and Greek coins, artifacts of societies that influenced the new American government.
To read the complete article, see:
We Are One 54
For more information, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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