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Spotlight on Massachusetts: The Liberty Tree

The Liberty Tree was a famous elm tree in Boston, Massachusetts that symbolized hope and a better future in the years leading up to the American Revolution. Upset colonists known as “Patriots” first defied the British government at the site of this tree when they publicly protested against the Stamp Act.


For years to come, the tree would be a symbol for both sides of the revolution. Patriots nailed a sign in front of it labeling it The Liberty Tree, and a few years later during the Siege of Boston, the British spitefully cut the tree down, knowing what it symbolized to the colonists.


As centuries passed, the tree was largely forgotten and failed to even receive mention in many Boston guide books. All that remained was an obscure plaque on a nearby building. In the mid-1960’s, a Boston Herald reporter did a series of stories on The Liberty Tree and persuaded the then Massachusetts Governor to visit the site, leading to a brief resurrection of interest in this historic landmark.

Today the site still remains underappreciated according to many Bostonians and American history buffs, as it’s memory is preserved in the original location with only a plaque reading "Sons of Liberty, 1766; Independence of the Country, 1776." However, several commemorative “Liberty Trees” have been planted outside of Boston, including the one at Disney’s Magic Kingdom pictured here.


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