“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

Copp’s Hill and the American Revolution

Copp’s Hill and the American Revolution Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 14, 2009
1. Copp’s Hill and the American Revolution Marker
Inscription. In the 18th century, Copp’s Hill was higher than it stands today. On April 23, 1775, just a few days after the battles of Lexington and Concord, British Admiral Samuel Graves received General Gage’s permission to construct a redoubt on Copp’s Hill to protect his ships from rebel fire from Charleston. His seaman dragged six 24-pound cannons up the hill and built a temporary battery above the burying ground to the southwest (across the intersection of Hull and Snow Hill streets.) At 9:00 am on June 17, 1775, the Copp’s Hill battery opened fire on the Colonial forces across the harbor. Later in the day, the battery was directed to fire “carcasses” (cannon balls containing combustible fuel) at the town of Charleston, causing a fire that destroyed the town.

General “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from the Copp’s Hill Battery and wrote that it was “one of the greatest scenes of war that can be conceived . . . before us a great and noble town in one great blaze – the church steeples, being timber, were great pyramids of fire above the rest; behind us the church steeples and heights of our own camp covered with spectators of the rest of our army which was not engaged; the hills around the country covered with spectators . . . the roar of cannon, mortars and musquetry . .
Marker in Copp's Hill Burying Ground Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 14, 2009
2. Marker in Copp's Hill Burying Ground
The grave of Robert Newman can be seen to the left of the marker.
. .”

Robert Newman, (1752-1806)
“One if by land, two if by sea”

The commemorative marker along the Snow Hill Street fence suggests that Robert Newman (W-22), breeches-maker and sexton of Christ Church (now Old North Church at the bottom of Copp’s Hill), is buried in Tomb 41. It was Newman who, at the age of 23, hung the lantern in the Christ Church steeple as a signal to Paul Revere and others on April 18, 1775.

Captain Daniel Malcom (1725-1769)
Legend states that the holes in Daniel Malcom’s stone (D-86) are from British soldiers at the Copp’s Hill battery conducting target practice against a “true son of liberty.” Captain Malcom was born in Maine and moved to Boston around 1750. A mariner, merchant and (according to the British) smuggler, he was one of the most vigorous opponents of the British Revenue Acts. In September of 1766, customs officers tried to search Malcom’s house and cellar for smuggled wine. Malcom “solemnly swore . . . if any man attempted to open it, he would blow his brains out.” When a mob formed, the customs officers withdrew. Malcom was also arrested for his part in unloading a cache of wine under cover of darkness from John Hancock’s sloop Liberty in April 1768. Capt. Malcom was a “Son of Liberty” and an active member of the Charitable Irish Society,
Grave of Robert Newman Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 14, 2009
3. Grave of Robert Newman
Here Rests
Robert Newman

Born in Boston, Mch 20, 1752,
Died in Boston, May 26, 1804

The patriot who hung the signal lanterns
in the church tower, April 18, 1775
serving as its Vice President at the time of his death. Ironically, his brother John Malcom was a customs officer, who was twice tarred and feathered. Daniel Malcom’s wife Ann (Fudge) Malcom (c. 1730-1770) (D-85) died only six months after her husband. Their gravestones were carved by their good friend, Capt. John Homer, whose cellar was raided by customs officers only a few weeks before Malcom’s death. Malcom’s father, Michael Malcom (d. 1775) (D-84), and possibly his sister, Sarah Malcom (d. 1767) (D-83), are buried next to them.

“Here lies buried in a Stone Grave 10 feet deep Capt. Daniel Malcom who departed this Life October 23d 1769 Aged 44 Years.
a true son of liberty
a Friend to the Publick
an Enemy to oppression
and one of the foremost
in opposing the Revenue Acts
on America”

Location. 42° 22.033′ N, 71° 3.386′ W. Marker is in Boston, Massachusetts, in Suffolk County. Marker can be reached from Hull Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located along the walking trail in Copp's Hill Burying Ground. Marker is in this post office area: Boston MA 02113, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gravestone Art: Skulls, Wings, and Other Symbols (a few steps from this marker); Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
Grave of Capt. Daniel Malcom Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 14, 2009
4. Grave of Capt. Daniel Malcom
The scars on the gravestone of Capt. Daniel Malcom are said to have been made by British soldiers who deliberately used his stone for target practice.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Copp’s Hill Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); African Americans at Copp’s Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Copp's Hill Burying Ground (within shouting distance of this marker); Seventeenth Century Copp’s Hill (within shouting distance of this marker); From Colonial Burying Ground to Victorian Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Unusual Gravestones (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Boston.
More about this marker. The center of the marker contains a map of “A Plan of the Battle, on Bunker Hill. Fought on the 17th of June 1775. By an officer on the spot.” Engraving with hand coloring. Printed in London, 1775. Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The right side of the marker contains Copp’s Hill Facts
• 60% of the gravestones date to before the American Revolution.
• It is believed that 29 participants in the Boston Tea Party may be buried at Copp’s
Malcom Family Graves Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 14, 2009
5. Malcom Family Graves
The gravestones of Michael (father) & Sarah Malcom (sister?) are seen here next to that of Capt. Daniel Malcom.
• At least 43 Revolutionary War veterans are buried at Copp’s Hill.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers found in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground.
Also see . . .  Copp's Hill Burying Ground. Details of the Freedom Trail from the City of Boston website. (Submitted on May 11, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
Categories. Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Revolutionary
Battle of Bunker Hill Map from Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 14, 2009
6. Battle of Bunker Hill Map from Marker
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,508 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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