The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution

Alfred F. Young




Beacon Pr

Publication Date:




Alfred Young unearths a rich story of the American Revolution with the life history of George Robert Twelves Hewes, a Boston shoemaker who participated in the Massacre, the Tea Party and other events of his time. Hewes was born in Boston in 1742 and was a poor shoemaker all his life and intermittently a fisherman, sailor, militiaman, and farmer. He would have been entirely forgotten if not for his longevity and the historical mood of the 1830s -- the Tea Party had become a leading symbol of the "spirit of '76, " and Hewes lived long enough to be among the last surviving participants. In 1835, he was invited to Boston as a celebrity, the guest of honor on Independence Day and the subject of a portrait that hangs in Boston's Old State House today. Young pieces together this extraordinary tale from memoirs Hewes dictated to writers near the end of his life, from the recollections of Hewe's descendants, and from rare archival sources. He completes the telling with poignant reflections on the historical value of oral testimony, memory, and myth, and explores key questions about the times: What was the life of a shoemaker and a poor man in Boston) What moved an ordinary person to participate in the Revolution? Did patriotism or another ideology play a part What did it mean to be a veteran of the Revolution His answers give us an exciting read and a priceless chapter in Revolutionary history.

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Other editions: Softcover - 2000, Softcover - 1993, Hardcover - 1993, Hardcover - 1993

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