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Boston Massacre Site (1770)

Crucible of Revolution

Abigail Adams  (Bunker Hill, 1775)

"Perhaps the decisive day has come upon which the fate of America depends."

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Hub Town Tours recreates the full picture of complex, fallible, and determined individuals who spurred an 18th-century town to declare war on an empire, and later inspired a 19th-century city to demand liberty for all in a new nation. From the American Revolution to the Civil War, Boston played a key role in the formation of our country. Whenever possible, we use primary sources and direct quotations to enliven our narratives, giving voice to the men and women whose arguments and actions would create the United States of America.


"Just superb. You will come away knowing so much more about Boston, the underpinnings of the Revolutionary War and the key people and events."

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"Bloody Massacre" (1770)

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Five years after a violent altercation claimed the lives of five Bostonians—known among locals as a “Bloody Massacre”—hundreds of American militiamen looked out from rudimentary dirt fortifications as thousands of British redcoats advanced up Breed’s Hill. Only ten years prior, New England’s inhabitants had considered themselves loyal subjects of the King of England, proud to enjoy the blessings of liberty afforded to all Englishmen. Known today as the Battle of Bunker Hill, this summer’s day in 1775 marks the first pitched battle of the Revolutionary War. But how had it come to this? Visit the iconic Freedom Trail with Hub Town Tours to hear the gripping true story of the first American revolution.

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"A cohesive and connected story of the real people and events leading to the Battle of Bunker Hill. Five stars and highly recommended!"

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Battle of Bunker Hill (1775)

Civil War
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Two years into a brutal conflict that had claimed more than 100,000 American lives, two men, black and white, stood on the steps of the Massachusetts State House watching hundreds of African-American soldiers march down Beacon Street toward war. Within months, nearly half of the men observed by Frederick Douglass and Governor John Andrews—members of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, including its leader Col. Robert Gould Shaw—became casualties in America’s deadliest war. But the struggle did not begin with bloodshed. Decades of arguments and activism, centered around Boston’s free black community in Beacon Hill, brought about America’s second revolution: the fight to end racial enslavement.

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"Made the story come to life as it really dug beneath the surface and explained the cultural climate with great insight. Loved this tour!"

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Assault on Fort Wagner (1863)

Reading List
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AmRev Read

American Revolution in Boston

Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes

1942 – Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in History and vivid account of Boston's most famous resident and the world of colonial Boston.

The Boston Massacre by Hiller B. Zobel

1970 – The definitive historical account of the endlessly controversial "Bloody Massacre" in the streets of Boston on March 5, 1770.

Three Men of Boston by John Galvin

1976 – Unpublished account of personal dynamics in Colonial Boston between Samuel Adams, Thomas Hutchinson, and James Otis, Jr.


Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick

2013 – Fast-paced account of the Siege of Boston in 1775–76, with a particular focus on Joseph Warren and the Battle of Bunker Hill.


American Civil War in Boston

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

1975 – Winner of Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, an unforgettable depiction of the Battle of Gettysburg as experienced by those who fought in it.

Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson

1988 – Winner of Pulitzer Prize in History, the definitive one-volume history of the Civil War and motivations that preceded armed conflict.

More Than Freedom by Stephen David Kantrowitz

2012 – In-depth history of Boston’s small, but committed, free black community organizing to end slavery and achieve social equality.

Master Slave Husband Wife by Ilyon Woo

2023 – True story of married and enslaved Ellen and William Crafts, who escaped bondage with Ellen posing as a white man and William as her servant, eventually gaining worldwide fame in Boston. 


General History of Boston


Boston: A Topographical History by Whitehill and Kennedy

1968 – The definitive source for how the physical city of modern Boston has been built over last four centuries.


Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston by Michael Rawson

2010 – Boston’s environmental relationship with its surroundings as it grew from a small seaport to an industrial metropolis.


The City-State of Boston, 1630–1865 by Mark Peterson

2019 – How Boston guided the foundation of American principles in the 1700s, but eventually lost its role as the “Cradle of Liberty” due to the political influence of slavery in the 1850s.

CivWar Read
Boston Read
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