For your Brahmins of Boston Walking Tour, you should make your way to Bruegger's Bagel Bakery at 7 School Street, located at the corner of School and Washington Streets, just across from the Old South Meeting House, where your tour guide will be waiting under the front awning.
With your expert guide, you will set off on a fascinating journey of discovery to learn about the elite “Brahmins of Boston” and their influence on the development not only of their city but of the American nation.
The term “Brahmin” refers to an upper class in the caste system in India. In Boston it has been applied to the old families of Puritan origin who became highly influential in the development of arts, culture, science, politics, trade, and academia.
The walk begins at the Old South Meeting House , one of the oldest churches in Boston and the place where the Boston Tea Party was planned. Here you will get your bearings with a brief overview of some of the social and political developments in Boston at the turn of the 19th century.
During the walk you’ll find out how Boston under the Brahmins gained much more of an international outlook through immigration, trade, and intellectual curiosity. Your leader will introduce this theme at the Irish Famine memorial in front of the Old South Meeting House and continue with a visit to the Boston Atheneum, the city's most prestigious membership library that is graced with Italian sculpture, French maps, and evidence of the Brahmins’ great love affair with the Grand European tour.
The walk then takes you into the heart of Beacon Hill where you will discuss the architectural and urban planning context of this beguiling neighborhood, and visit such key landmarks as the Boston Common and State House. You will stop by the African Meeting House and Shaw Memorial to discuss the central role that Abolitionism played in Boston at this time and the effect of the Civil War on the city. We will also look closely at Jewish history in Boston and stop by the Vilna Shul/Boston Center for Jewish Heritage.
After meandering through this neighborhood and visiting several other historic homes, you wind up in the Boston Common, the central landscape of Boston and a perfect place to conclude the discussion of this city, its inhabitants, and their crucial role in American history.