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How to Use
the Map


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Locating the Site

Map 1: Boston area today.
[Graphic] Map 1 with link to higher quality map.

Map 2: Boston area, 1775. [Graphic] Map 2 with link to higher quality map.

(National Park Service)

Few cities can claim such a drastic change in the geography of their land. Starting as early as 1742 the city of Boston began to fill in the shallows near the shore and build such existing structures as Faneuil Hall, the first open market place and town meeting hall in Boston. By the 1820s and into the 1830s hilltops were being scraped and used as landfill. By the 1850s barges ran around the clock bringing in landfill as a growing cosmopolitan Boston filled in the Back Bay section extending the city into the bay created by the Charles River.

Questions for Maps 1 & 2

1. Using a large-scale map of the United States, locate Boston and its harbor.

2. Compare the land masses shown on Maps 1 & 2. What changes have been made? Why did Boston have to use landfill in order to expand?

3. Examine Map 2 and locate the Charlestown and Boston peninsulas as well as the roads from Cambridge and Roxbury to Boston Harbor.

4. On Map 2, note the approach to Boston through the harbor. Now locate the various hills and heights surrounding the harbor. Why might it be important for an army to command the hills surrounding the Boston harbor?

* The maps on the screen have a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Map 1 and Map 2, but be aware that each file may take as much as two minutes to load with a 28.8K modem.




Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.