Patriots' Paths, a multi-year outreach program, helps communities within the heritage area recover the lost stories of how their towns made history immediately before, during and in the wake of the American Revolution.
To date more than twenty teams of citizen researchers, working with award winning historian Mary Fuhrer as a guide, have researched primary source evidence. Their goal is to uncover how real people responded to and participated in this pivotal period of American history. Farmers, widows, Loyalists, spies, local merchants, youth – all had a view and a voice in the growing struggle to articulate individual rights and liberties.
In 2014, these stories were woven into a dramatic script that presented the moving story of how individual communities — each in its own way, yet all to the same end — came to embrace and prepare for Revolution. Presented in a series of free public programs throughout the heritage area, the presentation has been modified and piloted in several area high schools and is being adapted for additional use.
The creation of individual scripts for individual towns is ongoing. As the stories unfold, they will be used to enrich school curricula and support public exhibitions, programs and news media to share how their community embraced and prepared for the American Revolution.
Patriot's Paths is a multi-stage project. In coming years, we will expand our study of local records to explore our towns’ participation in declaring independence, participating in the Revolution, and shaping the early years of nation building. This is a vibrant, exciting period in our history, and your town played a role.
As part of the Patriots' Paths program we have developed the following initiatives:
STAMP ACT IN OUR TOWNS
A joint program of Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society in which participating towns investigate local responses to the Stamp Act, from public and written protests to sermons and town resolves.
The program focuses on recovering the specific ways in which local towns articulated their rights and resisted incursions on their liberties. Our citizen historians use newspapers, sermons, journals, local town records and other primary sources to discover how the people of their town participated in this opening salvo of the Revolution.
DECLARING INDEPENDENCE – THEN & NOW
A joint program of the Freedom’s Way Heritage National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society. Citizen-historian teams conduct primary source research revealing how individuals within their communities debated and responded to the Declaration of Independence.
Interpreting Your Town Meeting Records 1765-1775
Researching Characters: Potential Resources for Patriot’s Paths Towns
Finding Evidence: The Declaration of Independence in Your Town
Sources and Stories (Paths of the Patriot’s)
Responses of Freedom’s Way Towns (includes an overview of the Stamp Act Timeline)
Stamp Act Power Point and Notes
Declaring Independence (2016)
Annual Meeting (2014) Path’s of the Patriots: The Untold Story – Along the Path of Revolution
Leominster’s Road to Revolution (2015)
Sudbury’s Road to Revolution (2015) Don’t have the presentation
Lexington’s Road to Revolution (2016)
Bolton’s Road to Revolution (2016)
Annotated Reading Script
Text: Groton’s Women’s History Talk (Uses Lexington as an example of the role of women)