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Boston - Freedom Trail: Granary Burial Ground - James Bowdoin | by wallyg
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Boston - Freedom Trail: Granary Burial Ground - James Bowdoin

James Bowdoin (August 7, 1726 – November 6, 1790) was an American political and intellectual leader from Boston, Massachusetts during the American Revolution. He served in both the colonial council (senate) and house, was named as a delegate to the Continental Congress but didn't attend to health reasons, and was president of the Convention that created the Massachusetts Constitution in 1779.


After independence, he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1785. Bowdoin was governor during Shays' Rebellion , an armed uprising in western Massachusetts from 1786 to 1787. The rebels, led by Daniel Shays and known as Shaysites (or "Regulators"), were mostly small farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes. Failure to repay such debts often resulted in imprisonment in debtor's prisons. Bowdoin and a number of Boston area bankers raised a pool of private money to hire some 4,400 mercenaries, later legitimized as a militia, under General Benjamin Lincoln to crush the rebellion. The lack of an institutional response to the uprising energized calls to reevaluate the Articles of Confederation and gave strong impetus to the Constitutional Convention which began in May 1787.


Bowdoin was primarily responsible for the creation of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He died of tuberculosis.


Founded in 1660, the Granary Burying Ground is Boston's third-oldest cemetery. In this two-acre plot are the remains of more famous people than any other small graveyard in America. It serves as the final resting place for three signers of the Declaration of Independence, nine governors of Massachesetts, the victims of the Boston Massacre, and many notable Revolutionary War-era patriots. Originally part of the Common, its name derives from the old grain warehouse that once stood next door on the site of the Park Street Church.


Notable burials here include signers of the Declaration of Independence John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Robert Treat Paine; patriots James Otis, and Paul Revere; Boston Massacre victims including Crispus Attucks; prominent early Bostonians Peter Faneuil, Colonial Governor Richard Bellingham Esquire, <First Mayor John Phillips; and even a Mother Goose.

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Taken on May 5, 2007