Green Dragon Tavern
A drawing of the original Green Dragon Tavern (image from Good Old Boston)
Historic image of the original Boston Green Dragon Tavern (image from the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum of California)
The current Green Dragon Tavern of Boston (image from Somers Pubs)
Green Dragon Tavern marker at 11 Marshall St., Boston (image from Historic Marker Database)
Historic Marker for Salutation Tavern and the Green Dragon Tavern at Paul Revere Mall, Boston (image from Historic Marker Database)
Backstory and Context
The historical Green Dragon Tavern, which served as the St. Andrew's Lodge of Freemasons and headquarters for the American Revolution, was located at Union Street, near Hanover. Though the current Green Dragon Tavern of Boston (near Union and Marshall) sports a historic marker, it is neither the same building nor location of the original tavern. Boston's historical Green Dragon Tavern was established sometime before 1714, possibly as early as 1654. It was frequented by Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Joseph Warren, Joseph Webb, Thomas Melville, Samuel Peck, and other notable Masons, "North-End men," and Revolutionaries.
According to the Masons' records, John Cary kept the Green Dragon Tavern in 1697, that the St. Andrew's Lodge had been formed in the Green Dragon's "Long Room" by 1756. The Long Room was on the north side of the tavern, which the lodge purchased on March 31, 1764. The Green Dragon was briefly renamed the Freemasons' Arms, serving as meeting headquarters until the lodge moved to the Exchange Coffee House in 1818. The hall continued to function as a tavern under the management of Benjamin Burdick, captain of the watch for central Boston in the 1770s. Dr. Joseph Warren was Grand Master of the Lodge, and Paul Revere was a member. Private committees, planning committees for rallies, and political clubs also met in the Long Room of the Green Dragon Tavern, including the North-End Caucus (established 1768 by Boston mechanics), the Sons of Liberty, the Boston Committee of Correspondence, the Caucus Pro Bono Publico, and the Boston Caucus. The planning of the Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773) took place at the tavern, as well as many other secret meetings. In 1774, Paul Revere overheard that the British authorities were aware of these clandestine planning sessions, and it was from the Green Dragon that Revere rode to Lexington and Concord on April 18, 1775, to warn the Revolutionary militia, including John Hancock and Samuel Adams, of oncoming British troops sent to arrest them. The resolutions on the adoption of the Federal Constitution also took place at the Green Dragon Tavern, in January of 1788. Although the building was torn down for the widening of the street in 1828, Secretary of State Daniel Webster noted the tavern in an 1843 speech, referring to the Green Dragon Tavern as the Headquarters of the Revolution.
Historic Marker Inscriptions:At 11 Marshall Street (Current Green Dragon Tavern)
Green Dragon Tavern / Boston / Near this spot the / Green Dragon Tavern / The secret meeting place of the / Sons of Liberty / and in the words of Webster the / Headquarters of the Revolution / To mark a site forever memorable as / The birthplace of American Freedom / This Tavern is restored to its rightful place on / Boston’s Freedom Trail / June 1993
At Paul Revere Mall
The Salutation Tavern
Opened in 1662, stood on the north east corner of Salutation and North Streets adjoining this Mall / It was the meeting place of The Committee of Safety and in it was planned The Boston Tea Party / Here Samuel Adams, Josiah Quincy Jr., Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, John Adams, James Otis and the North End ship caulkers urged The Independence of America
The Green Dragon Tavern
Called by Daniel Webster "The headquarters of the Revolution" / stood on Union St. near Hanover. It was a meeting place of the patriots during the early years of the Revolution.