Returning to Cape Cod from New Hampshire, we again stopped in Boston, this time to visit the Massachusetts State Capitol, or State House.
The building is situated on 6.7 acres of land on top of Beacon Hill in Boston, opposite the Boston Common. It was built on land once owned by John Hancock, Massachusetts's first elected governor.
The original wood dome, which leaked, was covered with copper in 1802 by Paul Revere’s Copper Company. Revere was the first American to roll copper successfully into sheets in a commercially-viable manner.
The dome was first painted gray and then light yellow before being gilded with gold leaf in 1874. During World War II, the dome was painted once again, this time black or gray (depending on the source), to prevent reflection during blackouts and to protect the city and building from bombing attacks. In 1997, at a cost of more than $300,000, the dome was re-gilded, in 23k gold.
The dome is topped with a gilded, wooden pine cone, symbolizing both the importance of Boston's lumber industry during early colonial times and of the state of Maine, which was a district of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when the Bulfinch section of the building was completed.
The Sacred Cod was given by John Rowe, a prominent merchant and representative from Boston, and installed in the Old State House "as a memorial of the importance of the cod fishery to the welfare of this Commonwealth, as had been usual formerly." This is the second carving of a New England codfish to preside over the General Court—its predecessor presumably lost during the Revolution. By this time, the image was a familiar one, appearing on everything from corporate seals to weathervanes and stairwell decorations. New claims to fishing rights both coastal and on the high seas, however, strained negotiations with England for years, and undoubtedly fueled Rowe's desire to reinstall the simple yet potent emblem over the heads of his fellow legislators.
Old Senate Chamber
Other Artworks Throughout the State House
Statue of George Washington – depicted as a representative of the people, rather than in military dress. Having never met his subject, the sculptor was loaned a full-length portrait of the president by Gilbert Stuart from which to model the face. The scroll and drapery held to the chest, however, are neo-classical references that were still popular in England.
Abraham Lincoln – life-size (6’4”) portrait – the body was painted after his death and the head added from that portrait from which the image on the penny was taken. Notice that one arm is hidden behind his back … when painted, the addition of arms and legs added to the cost (a reason the phrase “costing and arm and a leg” came into usage).
Mural – Paul Revere's Ride – And, "No", he didn't yell, "The British are Coming!" becasue, at th time everyone in American werer British citizens and many of them were "Loyalists". Rather, it is beleived he knocked on teh doors of partiots and told them "The Regulars are Coming!"
While the State House Grounds are limited, several statues of notable and unknown Massachusetts residents sit in prominent locations.
Daniel Webster – an American statesman who twice served in the United States House of Representatives representing both New Hampshire and Massachusetts, served as a US Senator from Massachusetts, and served as Secretary of State under three presidents.
Ann Marbury Hutchinson, a Puritan spiritual adviser, mother of 15, and an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy that shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638. Her strong religious convictions were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma helped create a theological Schism that threatened to destroy the Puritans' religious community in New England. She was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony with many of her supporters.
Mary Dyer (c. 1611 – 1 June 1660), was an English and colonial American Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged on the Boston Common in 1660, for repeatedly defying a Puritan law banning Quakers from the colony. She is one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston Martyrs.
We also had an opportunity to visit the Massachusetts Old State House;
built in 1712–13. The previous building, the wooden Town House of 1657, had burned in the fire of 1711. A notable feature was the pair of seven-foot tall wooden figures depicting a lion and unicorn, symbols of the British monarchy.
On March 5, 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred in front of the building.
The King's Chapel congregation was founded in 1686 as the first Anglican Church in colonial New England during the reign of King James II. The original King's Chapel was a wooden church built in 1688
Because no resident would sell land for a non-Calvinist church.
the church is characterized by wooden columns with Corinthian capitals that were hand-carved in 1758.
Seating is accommodated by box pews,
most of which were originally owned by the member families who paid pew rent and decorated the pews to their personal tastes. The current uniform appearance of the pews dates from the 1920s.
The pulpit was built in 1717 by a local Huguenot carver for the first King’s Chapel building.
It is the oldest pulpit in the United States still in use on its original site. More than 30,000 sermons have been preached from it. Today, the Minister still reads the service from the Reading Desk and the Ascends to the pulpit to preach the sermon. Originally, a Clerk stood in the lowest level of the desk, from where he led the singing and reading of the psalms and chants. The Sounding Board above the pulpit was installed in 1836 and helps project the minister’s voice out over the congregation. The hand-carved rails leading up to it were made by apprentices. Following Puritan tradition, one of them rotates the wrong way, symbolizing human imperfection.
The King's Chapel bell, cast in England, was hung in 1772. In 1814 it cracked, was recast by Paul Revere, and was rehung. It is the largest bell cast by the Revere foundry, and the last one cast by Paul Revere himself. It has been rung at services ever since.
The Park Street Church (built in 1809)
is predated to 1804 when the "Religious Improvement Society" began weekly meetings with lectures and prayer. The society organized the charter of the church on February 27, 1809 by twenty-six local people, mostly former members of the Old South Meeting House, who wanted to plant a church with orthodox Trinitarian theology.
The church is located adjacent to the historic Old Granary Burying Ground.
founded in 1660, is the city of Boston’s third-oldest cemetery. It is the final resting place for many notable Revolutionary War-era patriots, including three signers of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere