Brackett's Tavern Liberty Tree
Site of Quincy’s Liberty Tree, rallying place for patriots prior to the American Revolution, Liberty Tree Park is located in an elongated traffic island that has remained in the middle of this three-way intersection since the early 1700’s. In 1959, Quincy’s Granite Manufacturers Association placed a granite monument commemorating the locations of community’s Liberty Tree and Brackett’s Tavern, an important community gathering place.
Backstory and Context
SUNDAY. MAY 4TH. 1766, “I saw for the first Time, a likely young Button Wood Tree, lately planted, on the Triangle made by the Three Roads, by the House of Mr. James Brackett. The Tree is well set and well guarded and has on it, an Inscription ‘The Tree of Liberty,’ and ‘cursed is he, who cutts this Tree.’” --John Adams, Diary.
Liberty Trees such as the one on this site became important rallying points for patriots here in Massachusetts and around the colonies, their size offering a natural landmark around which to gather, and their sturdy nature symbolic of the deeply rooted nature of the rebellion. The concept of liberty trees later spread to France during the French Revolution.
Taverns were also important gathering points for the patriots and Brackett's Tavern, a notable Quincy landmark in its day, stood on this site before and during the American Revolution. Today, Quincy newcomer Liberty Tavern across the street honors the spirit of liberty that lifted this community in the 1770s and beyond.
Lehner, Fanin and. Liberty Tree Park, Quincy MA, Historical and Architectural Survey. July 1st 1986. Accessed November 2nd 2020. http://mhc-macris.net/Details.aspx?MhcId=QUI.943.
Adams, John. Sunday May 4th, 1766, Diary of John Adams, Vol. 1, Adams Papers Digital Edition. Accessed November 2nd 2020. https://www.masshist.org/publications/adams-papers/index.php/view/ADMS-01-01-02-0010-0004-0001#sn=0.