William Hickling Prescott House

William  Hickling Prescott House 1808 Beacon Hill Federal townhouse. An historic property owned and operated by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America Massachusetts Chapter.

Operating as usual

09/11/2021

By the dawn’s early light …

Happy Labor Day! Today, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would...
09/06/2021

Happy Labor Day! Today, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would like to celebrate, honor, and thank all those who work and have worked so tirelessly in the American economy.

Labor Day is the annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. In order to honor the hard work of laborers as essential to the development of the United States, Labor day was first celebrated on September 5th, 1882 in New York City by the Central Labor Union. The holiday’s origins lie in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being. In June 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law declaring Labor Day an official federal holiday.

Labor Day is celebrated by both Americans and Canadians on the first Monday in the month of September. Other countries around the globe have their own forms of celebrating Labor Day as well.

Happy Labor Day! Today, The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would like to celebrate, honor, and thank all those who work and have worked so tirelessly in the American economy.

Labor Day is the annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. In order to honor the hard work of laborers as essential to the development of the United States, Labor day was first celebrated on September 5th, 1882 in New York City by the Central Labor Union. The holiday’s origins lie in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being. In June 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law declaring Labor Day an official federal holiday.

Labor Day is celebrated by both Americans and Canadians on the first Monday in the month of September. Other countries around the globe have their own forms of celebrating Labor Day as well.

07/04/2021

Happy Independence Day!
Graphics courtesy of Linzee Prescott @studio1991.mx

Dolley Payne Madison was born May 20th, 1768 and died July 12th, 1849. She was born in North Carolina into a Quaker fami...
07/03/2021

Dolley Payne Madison was born May 20th, 1768 and died July 12th, 1849. She was born in North Carolina into a Quaker family. When her family moved to Philadelphia in 1783, the city folks were warmed by her and delighted by her and her family's Quaker spirits. This amiability resonated and continued on throughout her life, truly cementing the great connections she would eventually make as First Lady.

Dolley Payne Todd and James Madison had been introduced through lawyer Aaron Burr. Madison immediately fell for her, and professed this through love letters. The two married while Madison was serving in Congress in Philadelphia, during George Washington’s second term in 1794.

During James Madison’s presidential campaign, Dolley Madison’s lack of child bearing was used against her. However, the painful words never stuck as Dolley was beloved throughout the new capitol and her true nature shown through. While taking office as First Lady, Eliza Collins Lee, a friend of Dolley’s, called her “peculiarly fitted to the station” as she possessed all the gracious, amicable and powerful tendencies needed for the role (Roberts, 183).

Dolley was always prepared and delighted to host the events of the White House. Her cordial and gentle nature made her perfect for the position as she could put at ease any politicians which took a seat next to her. In fact, she was responsible for the interior design and furnishing of the White House. She believed that the White House needed to reflect the worthiness of housing the Head of State, and procured five thousand dollars in funds from Congress for the project.

Dolley’s poise and ability to perceive continued the expectation of First Ladies to be more than a wife. They were as integral to the political relations of White House and American guests as any male politician. Dolley, along with Martha Washington, and Abigail Adams, fostered the tradition of First Ladies being strong and capable women at the forefront of the nation.

Dolley Payne Madison was born May 20th, 1768 and died July 12th, 1849. She was born in North Carolina into a Quaker family. When her family moved to Philadelphia in 1783, the city folks were warmed by her and delighted by her and her family's Quaker spirits. This amiability resonated and continued on throughout her life, truly cementing the great connections she would eventually make as First Lady.

Dolley Payne Todd and James Madison had been introduced through lawyer Aaron Burr. Madison immediately fell for her, and professed this through love letters. The two married while Madison was serving in Congress in Philadelphia, during George Washington’s second term in 1794.

During James Madison’s presidential campaign, Dolley Madison’s lack of child bearing was used against her. However, the painful words never stuck as Dolley was beloved throughout the new capitol and her true nature shown through. While taking office as First Lady, Eliza Collins Lee, a friend of Dolley’s, called her “peculiarly fitted to the station” as she possessed all the gracious, amicable and powerful tendencies needed for the role (Roberts, 183).

Dolley was always prepared and delighted to host the events of the White House. Her cordial and gentle nature made her perfect for the position as she could put at ease any politicians which took a seat next to her. In fact, she was responsible for the interior design and furnishing of the White House. She believed that the White House needed to reflect the worthiness of housing the Head of State, and procured five thousand dollars in funds from Congress for the project.

Dolley’s poise and ability to perceive continued the expectation of First Ladies to be more than a wife. They were as integral to the political relations of White House and American guests as any male politician. Dolley, along with Martha Washington, and Abigail Adams, fostered the tradition of First Ladies being strong and capable women at the forefront of the nation.

Martha Skelton Jefferson nee Wayles was born October 19th, 1748 and died at 33 years of age on September 6th in 1782 aft...
07/02/2021

Martha Skelton Jefferson nee Wayles was born October 19th, 1748 and died at 33 years of age on September 6th in 1782 after enduring many tenuous labors and deliveries over a span of 15 years.

Martha Wayles was before married to Bathurst Skelton but remarried to Thomas Jefferson in 1772. The couple had five children together, two of which grew up to adulthood: Martha, known as Patsy, and Mary, called Maria or Polly (Roberts, 73, 94). It was Martha’s tutelage that encouraged this next generation of women to pursue education and a behind-the-scenes role in furthering their husbands’ political goals.

Due to Martha’s struggles with health after her pregnancies, Jefferson never ran for president during her lifetime. The health of his wife and family were prioritized over his grand political career. Jefferson did serve as a delegate for the Virginia House, but refused further appointments to the Continental Congress which would have taken him away from home in Monticello.

After Martha passed away in September 1782, Jefferson took some months but resumed his political career. He enrolled his eldest daughter Martha in school which taught her ideals of republican motherhood and took her to France where she was further educated in the Abbaye Royale de Panthemont Convent School. Eventually the family returned to America when the French Revolution broke out in 1789.

Martha, “Patsy,” Jefferson Randolph was born September 17th, 1772 and died on October 10th, 1836. She served as an informal First Lady during her father’s two presidencies from 1801 to 1809. “Patsy” Randolph was respected by those in Washington D.C., not only was she the daughter of the President, but a Virginia woman who was educated, wholly capable, and held a great presence at any social or political gathering she attended. “Patsy” was able to serve as First Lady while raising her own family.

As our series has demonstrated, women were essential to furthering the population of the United States through childbirth but also in imparting ideals through the education that they believed in and instilled in their children. The lives of women shaped the political pathway of their husbands, sons and daughters - demonstrating how women played key roles in raising the future United States of America.

Images: Martha Wayles Jefferson in Blue and Martha 'Patsy' Jefferson Randolph in black

Dorothy Quincy Hancock was born on May 10th, 1747 and died February 3rd, 1830 in Boston MA. Dorothy Quincy grew up in Qu...
07/01/2021

Dorothy Quincy Hancock was born on May 10th, 1747 and died February 3rd, 1830 in Boston MA.

Dorothy Quincy grew up in Quincy, MA in the Dorothy Quincy Homestead (details below). Dorothy was raised surrounded by supporters and fighters of the American Revolution. Known frequenters of the house were John Adams, John Quincy, and John Hancock.

Dorothy’s close ties to Patriots led her to witness the first battle of the American Revolution. Dorothy and an aunt were eyewitnesses of the Battle of Lexington which occurred on April 18th, 1775. There are detailed letters written by Dorothy about the event, which have provided information regarding numbers of the British and overall relaying of the historical and infamous battle.

Growing up around these Patriots, it comes to no surprise that Dorothy married John Hancock in 1775. John Hancock was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence on August 2nd, 1776. Hancock became President of the Continental Congress in May 1775, with Dorothy by his side as his Presidential secretary, managing and organizing his correspondents, bills, meetings etc,. Hancock went on to become Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dorothy Quincy’s role as a woman growing up in the midst of revolution has made her letters and presence at the time key to recounting and preserving history. The letters she wrote and received from her outspoken Patriot husband make for a great window into the thoughts of revolutionaries and those closest to at the time. Dorothy was surely a ‘Lady of Liberty’ and embodies the strength that women had at a time of such unknown turmoil, patriotism, and pride.

Historical Reenactors depicting Governor John Hancock and Dorothy Quincy Hancock at the Dorothy Quincy Homestead, a house museum owned by the Commonwealth of MA under the auspices of DCR and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a 501(c)3 non profit organization. The grounds of the house are open for self-guided garden tours in summer 2021. For more information please see: https://nscdama.org/quincy-homestead/. Photo courtesy of John Collins Photography.

Dorothy Quincy Hancock was born on May 10th, 1747 and died February 3rd, 1830 in Boston MA.

Dorothy Quincy grew up in Quincy, MA in the Dorothy Quincy Homestead (details below). Dorothy was raised surrounded by supporters and fighters of the American Revolution. Known frequenters of the house were John Adams, John Quincy, and John Hancock.

Dorothy’s close ties to Patriots led her to witness the first battle of the American Revolution. Dorothy and an aunt were eyewitnesses of the Battle of Lexington which occurred on April 18th, 1775. There are detailed letters written by Dorothy about the event, which have provided information regarding numbers of the British and overall relaying of the historical and infamous battle.

Growing up around these Patriots, it comes to no surprise that Dorothy married John Hancock in 1775. John Hancock was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence on August 2nd, 1776. Hancock became President of the Continental Congress in May 1775, with Dorothy by his side as his Presidential secretary, managing and organizing his correspondents, bills, meetings etc,. Hancock went on to become Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dorothy Quincy’s role as a woman growing up in the midst of revolution has made her letters and presence at the time key to recounting and preserving history. The letters she wrote and received from her outspoken Patriot husband make for a great window into the thoughts of revolutionaries and those closest to at the time. Dorothy was surely a ‘Lady of Liberty’ and embodies the strength that women had at a time of such unknown turmoil, patriotism, and pride.

Historical Reenactors depicting Governor John Hancock and Dorothy Quincy Hancock at the Dorothy Quincy Homestead, a house museum owned by the Commonwealth of MA under the auspices of DCR and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a 501(c)3 non profit organization. The grounds of the house are open for self-guided garden tours in summer 2021. For more information please see: https://nscdama.org/quincy-homestead/. Photo courtesy of John Collins Photography.

Abigail Adams nee Smith was born on November 22nd, 1744 and died October 28th, 1818. Born and raised in Weymouth, Massac...
06/30/2021

Abigail Adams nee Smith was born on November 22nd, 1744 and died October 28th, 1818. Born and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Abigail was one of three daughters born to a minister. Although she lacked a formal education, she and her sisters had abundant access to books, leading to the formation of her informed and strong opinions. Abigail met her future husband, John Adams as a teenager and finally married in 1764. The couple is famous for their plentiful exchange of letters, which hold great insight into Abigail’s opinions of familial, social, and political affairs.

While serving as the First Lady to John Adams during his 1797-1801 presidency, Abigail was John’s primary counselor and advisor. In the March 22nd letter written by John to Abigail, merely weeks after his inauguration to office, he proclaimed “ I never wanted your advice and assistance more in my life.” The trust in thought and respect that John and Abigail had for one another solidified the movement for women to start vocalizing their political opinions.

As First Lady, Abigail went beyond the role of hosting political guests, she conversed, debated and provoked her President husband to think about problems from her personal view, which in turn shed light on the equal capabilities of women.

Before they were key figures in American history, John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock were childhood friends in the village of Braintree, Massachusetts. Together they advocated for freedom from the Crown. (Stories are often shared at the Dorothy Quincy Homestead when open for tours.)

”Historical Reenactors depicting President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams at the Dorothy Quincy Homestead, a house museum owned by the Commonwealth of MA under the auspices of DCR and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a 501(c)3 non profit organization. The grounds of the house are open for self-guided garden tours in summer 2021. For more information please see: https://nscdama.org/quincy-homestead/. Photo courtesy of John Collins Photography.

Abigail Adams nee Smith was born on November 22nd, 1744 and died October 28th, 1818. Born and raised in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Abigail was one of three daughters born to a minister. Although she lacked a formal education, she and her sisters had abundant access to books, leading to the formation of her informed and strong opinions. Abigail met her future husband, John Adams as a teenager and finally married in 1764. The couple is famous for their plentiful exchange of letters, which hold great insight into Abigail’s opinions of familial, social, and political affairs.

While serving as the First Lady to John Adams during his 1797-1801 presidency, Abigail was John’s primary counselor and advisor. In the March 22nd letter written by John to Abigail, merely weeks after his inauguration to office, he proclaimed “ I never wanted your advice and assistance more in my life.” The trust in thought and respect that John and Abigail had for one another solidified the movement for women to start vocalizing their political opinions.

As First Lady, Abigail went beyond the role of hosting political guests, she conversed, debated and provoked her President husband to think about problems from her personal view, which in turn shed light on the equal capabilities of women.

Before they were key figures in American history, John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock were childhood friends in the village of Braintree, Massachusetts. Together they advocated for freedom from the Crown. (Stories are often shared at the Dorothy Quincy Homestead when open for tours.)

”Historical Reenactors depicting President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams at the Dorothy Quincy Homestead, a house museum owned by the Commonwealth of MA under the auspices of DCR and operated by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a 501(c)3 non profit organization. The grounds of the house are open for self-guided garden tours in summer 2021. For more information please see: https://nscdama.org/quincy-homestead/. Photo courtesy of John Collins Photography.

Address

55 Beacon St
Boston, MA
02108-3531

Park Street T stop

General information

Open Saturdays through October Open Wednesdays June through September, except July 3. Hours both days 12-4, tours start 15 past hour. Last tour starts 3:15.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when William Hickling Prescott House posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to William Hickling Prescott House:

Videos


Other Boston museums

Show All

Comments

Really looking forward to touring the William Hickling Prescott House on April 13th.
Really looking forward to touring the William Hickling Prescott House this coming Saturday!!!
Discovered Susannah Amory Prescott ! Wife of William Prescott
We will all miss Cynthia Cadwalader as Prescott House Chair. Thank you for those many years you gave to improving the house, the collections, and the standards by which we operate. It shows!!
My grandparents were caretakers there when my siblings and I were children. We spend many many years in that house! My grandparents lived in the back where there was a small apartment. I can still see it in my mind. I remember going around with my grandfather while he wound the grandfather and grandmother clocks. Mrs. Webster, of Stone and Webster, on a regular basis, entertained there, also had a group of women who would arrive in colonial garb to sew flags. I remember the original Paul Revere bowl sitting in the middle of the enormous table! I remember the powder room, which looked so big to me as a child and when I saw it 15+ years ago it seemed to be much smaller! And the elevator. My brother and I would ride the elevator up and down and call our friends from the phone in the elevator! We were kids from the suburbs who had a tough life so being there with them were the good times in our lives. Going to S.S. Pierce with my grandmother while she shopped for an event; seeing real live reindeer at the Common and the Swan Boats at the Gardens. Such wonderful memories for kids that had a tough life. This place is historical but for us it was a huge part of ours lives and I'm thankful for that. My sister and I take the boat in and walk over there, just standing there remember the good times with wonderful grandparents who brought so much joy to our lives. I will forever remember 55 Beacon St.
HISTORICAL TRIVIA! Do you know what the connection is that links the Poinsettia Plant with William Hickling Prescott ? HINT #1 - Two Men & One Plant Like and follow our William Hickling Prescott page today, and discover the historical connection!