Why “Essex & Orange 1773”?

The History Behind Essex & Orange 1773


The Liberty Tree is an important symbol in our nation’s history.  Although many have heard about it, not much is commonly known about it.

The original Liberty Tree stood in front of a tavern at the corner of Essex and Orange in Colonial Boston.  It was a huge American Elm tree that at the time of the American Revolution was several hundred years old.

It was an English tradition that so-called “commons” trees were the place where the local citizenry met.  Usually near or on a village’s common, these trees were gathering places for all kinds of events and activities, many of them political in nature.


During the decade of unrest that led to the American Revolution, Boston’s Liberty Tree was an important symbol of the colonist’s desire to be heard by their British rulers.  Many meetings were called there by the “Sons of Liberty” an organization dedicated to American Independence.

In November of 1773 it was at this tree where Bostonians gathered before walking to Boston Harbor and committing that defiant act of political theater, the famous Boston Tea Party.

During the early months of the Revolutionary War, Boston was occupied by British troops.  Incensed by this living symbol of American defiance, the tree was cut down to the ground.  However, this symbol would not die and the colonists continued to gather at “Liberty Trees” and “Liberty Poles” throughout the thirteen colonies.


Not only was it a symbol of liberty in America, it was adopted by freedom loving people throughout the world, most notably by the French during the French Revolution.

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