By 9th grader Maya
On a warm Wednesday a few weeks ago, the entire Division 3 class went to Boston’s famous Freedom Trail. Although many students had been there before, I had never had the chance to go. As a part of exploring how history is told, each of us was given a single site on the trail to study. This trip was a bit of a fact-finding mission where we had to pay attention to our specific site in preparation for exploring what stories were told and what stories were not. Because of this focus, I like to think I got a special tour because of all the weird and obscure questions we were asking.
We started off at the Boston Common, which happens to be my site for the project. From there, we continued to the State House, learning about the massive amount of gold it took to cover the dome. Our tour guide played the character of Thomas Hutchinson the Third, a loyalist during the revolution – as it turns out, Copley and Ruggles were also named after loyalists – and a descendant of Puritan spiritual advisor Anne Hutchinson. The tour guide was very interactive and funny, but rarely stayed in character. He would often use students to demonstrate events, like the Boston Massacre.
Because of the character our guide played, and maybe just how curious our class is, we got to see a really different side of Boston history. Was the Boston Massacre really just someone yelling “Fire!” a little too loudly? Is history absolute? Our guide really drove home the fact that every person whom he works with would tell a different story, which was a fitting lesson for our Humanities course this year: American Historiography.