Tombstone of William Hough, 1714. Copp’s Hill, the Town’s second burying ground, was established in 1659 on a hill named for shoemaker William Copp. The site soon rivaled the Common as a public venue, hosting such spectacles as the 1704 execution of seven pirates.
In 1635, Boston established the first “public” Latin or Grammar School in America, resolving that Philemon Purmont, a shopkeeper, “be entreated to become a schoolmaster for the teaching and nourtering of the children with us.” The original Latin School was demolished in 1844 to make way for City Hall. This plaque decorates the sidewalk nearby.
British troops bivouacked on the Boston Common from 1758 to 1776, when George Washington forced them out, demolished their trenches, and sent them packing with loyalists to Nova Scotia. Cast in Paris in 1868, the Fountain was donated by Gardner Brewer and named for him. The fountain was restored in 2009-2010.
200 years ago today, “USS Constitution” fought and defeated “HMS Guerriere,” a British frigate taken from the French. Commanded by Isaac Hull, “Constitution” dominated the British ship, shot away her mizzen mast, took the crew prisoner, and burned the wreck. This commemorative stamp was issued yesterday.