Alfred Young, the author of “The shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the American Revolution”, brings out the historical events in America. To instruct the readers about the American Revolution, Young uses a character by the name George Robert, who is a Boston shoemaker. The story is an imaginative rescue mission of an ordinary American from a fascinating inquiry and obscurity history.
Several ships carrying unwanted tea cargo had just arrived from England and thrown into the harbor of Boston. A young shoe maker participated in this protest of 1973. The book analyzes the event between the life of a shoemaker and the Boston Tea. These were historical practices, which were exemplary, displayed on a life “recovery”. The book clearly tells the importance of Revolution in America, where the poor greatly participated in contesting for the Revolution.
The issues in the book relate mainly in memory. Between 1960 and 1970, Alfred Young was working on a story relating to the common Boston people and the role they played in bringing Revolution in America. George Robert’s name kept on appearing on the historical records. The shoemaker had been present in most of the Pre-Revolutionary Movement events. These events included the Tea Party, also referred to as the Boston Massacre.
The Boston Massacre remains crystal clear in the minds of those who witnessed it. It was a dramatic event. However, the event was not highly felt by the upper class people in the nation. For those affected by the massacre, the event serves as a commemorative event or a revolution act. The poor people had become tired of oppression and were willing to go to whichever height to bring about the revolution, which would benefit them. The Young’s story, therefore, serves as a good reminder of the events that took place in America before the Revolution.
An old man discovered in the Otsego County, was full of happy thoughts when he recalled the revolution that had taken place decades ago. The man was in his late nineties and was one of the few remaining people who struggled for the revolution since most of them had already died. The man narrated his story, and the writers published the story. The man was publicly praised in Boston for his achievements. These memories have enabled Young to prepare his two volumes of the shoemaker’s collection. In this book, Young describes Hewes’ life and what he had done for the nation.
With the historical scholarship regarding psychologists’ work and the collective memory, Young used the two intertwined stories to come up with his book. The history of Hewes and the history of the Tea Party have mainly comprised the book. These two portray the American culture. Young can be termed as an archeologist, who is trying to show the significance of the shoemaker in American Revolution, where he helped in dumping of tea in the Boston Harbor. He goes on to show how contestation and appropriation of events continued with the help of the succeeding generations, to get the freedom that is exercised today in America.
Young creatively goes through and reads the historical records that are on the ground. These include the monuments, the fetes and the visual records. These have helped him produce his narrative, and he insists that these are not mere accompaniments. In the documentations, you can get Hewes’ portraits as well as the Tea Party engravings. This makes the story more interesting and one becomes eager to know further analysis of the stories represented by those images. Young has tried as much as possible to show the role played by the shoemaker and Hewes in terms of American Revolution.
In the Narrative, The shoemaker and the Tea Party, we see the discovery of Hewes and the recovery of the Boston Tea Party. Hewes returned to Boston in 1835 and people considered him as one of the very few surviving members of the Boston Massacre. They honored him as a prominent person in a very big celebration. This marked a reverse of the War Veterans who had suffered from neglect by the public. This is in line with the 1820s and 1830s political insurgency where the workingmen’s Party and other groups contended over the Revolution legacy.
In the second quarter of the nineteenth century, more people were seen celebrating on the streets of Boston. This is compared with the life of Hewes who returned to Boston and celebrations were held all over. Also in the case of the shoemaker, the simple person turned out to be a political figure which could not have been expected. The shoemaker’s move was seen as dangerous for a common man but, eventually it bore fruits in the sense that the revolution took place and people were no longer tortured.
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After the revolution, a new government was formed following independence of the nation. Hewes disappeared from the vicinity along with several other people of England, who moved to the West, settling in New York. The Tea factory became less strong after the Boston Massacre and this was a deliberate move to downplay the actions of the crowds. After independence, the commemorative occasions were replaced one by one by some other occasions. The Boston Massacre Anniversary was rarely noticed, yet it was previously observed than any other day. Familiar buildings and places such as the Liberty Tree were destroyed to make them unavailable to the public and to erase their memories. The paramount leader was George Washington, who wanted to erase all the Revolutionary memories.
In his book, Young reminds us of the Revolution official memorials such as Charles Bulfinch, which is built, in honor of Revolution. This memorial is built on Beacon Hill, in an urban landscape, which is symbolically and physically distanced from the Tea Party. Fabrication of a new festive calendar had already been done by 1820s. One had little mention of the event leading to destruction of the tea. The people who lead to revolution were hardly considered and in deed they had long been forgotten.
The arrival of Hewes in Boston was like a miracle, a real life Rip Van Winkle. The shoemaker who had challenged higher class people had long been forgotten. Hewes was celebrated as a very old and wise or respected person. His story has been published and is very important in America’s history. The Shoemaker and the Tea Party narrative, gives the readers public memories of the iconic American named “The Boston Tea Party.” Young tries to tell us that heroes should be celebrated, and their memories should not be erased.
The readers are reminded of the historical event that took place in 1773 whereby the Americans rebelled against their rulers, who were the Britons. During this event, 200 chest of tea were dumped into the Boston Harbor. This marked a very important period for the Americans because it brought the Revolution and later Independence, which they had longed for for a long time. The book portrays exactly what used to happen in America at the time of colonization. The poor were engaged in fighting for independence. To show this, Alfred Young uses characters such as Hewes and the shoemaker who represent the poor in the society. These people’s role in revolution is not recognized after acquiring independence, not only in America but many nations.
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