Liberty Tree 2015

What Does Liberty Mean to you?

History of the Liberty Tree

The Liberty Tree was a real elm tree that once stood on the corner of today’s Essex and Washington streets in Boston. Colonists gathered there to protest what they felt were unjust taxes imposed on them by the British Parliament in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Other towns in the American colonies also adopted their own liberty trees and they became a symbol of protest against British rule.

Since official buildings in Boston, such as the Town House, were affiliated with the British government, Bostonians designated the Liberty Tree as an alternative meeting place and many protests and parades began or ended there. Many of the protests at the Liberty Tree were very theatrical and full of symbolic acts including hanging royal officials in effigy, such as Royal Stamp Tax distributor Andrew Oliver. Lanterns and banners were hung on or around the elm tree and protests were full of spectacle, much like street theatre.

Join us in commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Stamp Act protests by visiting the We Are One exhibition at Central Library in Copley Square. Add your voice to the #LibertyTreeBPL conversation

Three Ways to add a leaf:

Download your leaf here

Snap a picture of your leaf and join the #LibertyTreeBPL conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

HANG YOUR LEAF Visit the We Are One exhibition at the Central Library in Copley Square and place it on the tree yourself

Place in the Liberty Tree box at your local BPL branch and let us add it or mail it to us:

Leventhal Map Center
Liberty Tree 2015
700 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02116

Related programming and Book Lists:

Check our events page for upcoming programs connected to We Are One and Liberty Tree 2015

Read more about the connections between the American Revolution and modern struggles for Liberty:

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (