Taverns have been intimately intertwined in the lives of Americans throughout history but never more so than in the birth of our nation. In 1765, the British government imposed the Stamp Act on all American colonies, an oppressive censorship tax that required all documents, newspapers, pamphlets and playing cards to carry a British Tax Stamp. Well, the colonists had finally had enough of British oppression and taxation without representation!
On a quiet evening in 1765, very late at night, under a beautiful elm tree in front of Robinson’s Tavern in Dorchester, just outside of Boston, a few of our forefathers met and created a secret patriotic society that became known as the “Sons of Liberty”. Its purpose was to oppose the Stamp Act, but the group, unintentionally at the time, sowed the seeds of revolution and the ideals of a new nation. They would meet at the tavern as discreetly as possible usually under the cover of darkness to discuss and plan their strategies. As a result, the Tavern was renamed Liberty Tavern and the stately elm tree in front of it, the Liberty Tree! As word spread, Sons of Liberty societies, Liberty Taverns and Liberty Trees sprang up throughout the colonies.
Many of the actions that furthered the cause of liberty and revolution have their origins at Liberty Tavern. Historic events, like the Boston Tea Party, were designed and crafted at these clandestine meetings. Indeed, a large protest was organized on August 14, 1765 where the citizens of Boston, led by the Sons of Liberty, marched in the streets, burned tax collectors in effigy and ransacked British government offices. On the 4th anniversary morning of that historic demonstration, a large crowd of 355 (see list of attendees on our wall) converged on the Liberty Tavern where a grand feast was had and 45 toasts (see list of toasts) were made. Tables were spread in an adjoining field under a tent and speeches and songs inspired and livened the diners. The Sons of Liberty, including John Adams, his cousin Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Paul Revere, drank Madiera wine supplied by John Hancock and celebrated their achievements and their cause of liberty until 5:00 PM that late afternoon!
And so it is that the original Liberty Tavern in Boston is referred to by historians as the place “Where America Was Born!” And so it is that we name this humble establishment, “Liberty Tavern” located on Liberty Street (named for the same reasons), after the original Liberty Tavern in honor of our forefathers and their sacrifices for the cause of liberty.
We thank you for your patronage and although we don’t permit effigy burning or ransacking any longer, we do encourage you to relax, enjoy your visit, partake in some of our exceptional tavern fare, have a pint and ponder the possibility that maybe, just maybe, some of you will set your life’s path over food and drink here at Liberty Tavern, just as our forefathers did.