image via “Paul Revere and his Engraving” by William Loring Andrews (1901)

One thing that came up repeatedly during both the dedications and small talk at Morristown National Historical Park yesterday was the upcoming anniversaries in the next few years. 2024 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Washington Association of New Jersey, who came into being in 1874 after purchasing the Ford Mansion. It was the WANJ who gave the house to the NPS in 1933. They were present yesterday participating in the events. Next year also brings the 200th anniversary of Lafayette’s 1824-25 tour of America, which I intend to write about quite a bit over the next two years. In April 2025 comes the 250th anniversary of Lexington and Concord. And of course in July 2026 is the Big One: the semiquincentennial of the Declaration of Independence. When I was researching at the Society of the Cincinnati last July I had talks with several people saying speakers were already being lined up, there and elsewhere, for all these things. I say all this because today is the 253rd anniversary of the Redcoats’ shooting of Bostonians on King Street. As we see from the broadsheet above, people were marking the anniversary of what we today call the Boston Massacre already in the years immediately after the incident. Dr. Church’s oration was three years after the massacre and nine months before the Boston Tea Party, which took place in December 1773.