The Newberry Library Seminar in Early American History and Culture
Co-Sponsored with the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University
September 25, 2003
The Newberry Library
Liberty Tree: Made in America ?
Alfred Young, Newberry Library
The liberty tree in Boston was a major site of resistance that led to the American Revolution, of both the popular resistance that produced a plebeian leader, the shoemaker Ebenezer Mackintosh, and of the efforts of the Sons of Liberty to control "the people out of doors." While focusing on Boston, I explore the other liberty trees and liberty poles. The last article on this subject was in 1952. I return to the question of origins and then attempt to track liberty trees, liberty poles, and liberty caps in public memory their emergence in France and their revival in the United States in the 1790s. If the liberty tree was made in America, as I argue, it disappeared in the 19th century and was abandoned in the 20th century to Walt Disney and Timothy McVeigh, a subject that should also be of concern to keepers of the past.
E-mail or call to receive a copy of the paper. We prefer to send papers as e-mail attachments. Please include your e-mail address with all correspondence.
The seminar format assumes that all participants have read the essay in advance, and that those requesting the paper will attend the seminar. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend. We encourage faculty members to call the seminar to the attention of graduate students.
The full schedule for this and other Scholl Center seminars is available at
Scholl Center for Family and Community History
The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
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