On April 7th, 1775, British Lieutenant General Thomas Gage commanded four regiments of British troops from his headquarters in Boston toward the countryside where Revolutionaries were holding Massachusetts in what the Parliament declared a state of rebellion. Doctor Joseph Warren, fearing for the future of the Revolutionaries in the countryside, sent Paul Revere to warn the Massachusetts Provincial Congress stationed in Concord of the impending movement of the British troops.
General Gage had already sent out his men to arrest statesman Samuel Adams in Boston, but having heard of the British troops intentions from Paul Revere's message, Adams and Hancock escaped capture and the first shots of the war rang out at Lexington and Concord.
By the fourth of July in 1795, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, with local developer and militia officer William Scollay, placed a plate beneath the cornerstone of a building declaring it for use of the legislative and executive branches of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The building was to become the State House of Massachusetts. Beneath the building, the three men also placed a time capsule.
The contents of the capsule remained buried in its original location until 1855 when, to preserve its contents, the capsule was relocated to a brass box and reburied. (The original capsule was constructed out of cowhide and would not have survived its time underground.)
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 - 220 years after its initial burial - the time capsule was opened and the contents of the 10-pound copper box delicately removed by Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston's Head of Objects Conversation, Pam Hatchfield, and Executive Director of Massachusetts Archives, Michael Comeau painstakingly handled the contents of the capsule.
Five folded newspapers, a pine tree shilling, a copper medal depicting George Washington, and 24 coins, dating from 1652 to 1855, were among the findings. (The 1855 coins would have been added during the move of the capsule in the same year.)
The excavation took seven hours.
A silver plate, personally engraved by Paul Revere, informs the context of the capsule. Keep in mind that in 1795, the independence of the country was still in its infancy and the men would have had no idea if America would have survived as a country at all.
A half-cent, one-cent, half-dime, 10-cent and 25-cent were among the coins discovered.
American Revolution figures, patriot Paul Revere and statesman and political philosopher Samuel Adams in 1795.
A painting depicting Paul Revere’s “Midnight Ride”.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be exhibiting the capsule for a limited time. The Museum, itself founded in 1870, will then return the capsule to the earth to be excavated by future generations.
The silver and copper coins dating from 1652 to 1855.
Credit: Daily Mail