Liberty Tree

The Liberty Tree at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown: What does liberty mean to you?

Share your thoughts with the world by posting a message on the Liberty Tree. The 17-foot metal sculptural tree, rooted in the galleries at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, features 20 electronic lanterns that display liberty messages from all over the world. You can enter your thoughts on liberty by clicking the button below. Send your message to the tree for everyone to see in the museum.  After submitting your liberty message, be sure to check out what other people had to say by using the map feature.





What is a liberty tree?

During the time period leading up to the American Revolution, a stately Elm tree on the Boston Commons served as a place to demonstrate dissatisfaction with British rule. On August 14, 1765, a band of discontented merchants and artisans hung an effigy in the tree to protest the Stamp Act.  Hundreds of Boston citizens gathered under the tree to see the spectacle. After that, the tree became a symbol of objection to British policies. Complaints were posted on the tree’s trunk and the tree became an inspiration to other communities to establish their own Liberty Tree. When the Stamp Act was repealed in March of 1766, Bostonians hung lanterns in the tree to celebrate. The tree continued to serve as an important place to demonstrate opposition to British actions until August, 1775, when the tree was cut down by British troops. Though the Boston tree of the Revolution is gone, its symbolic presence is captured in the Liberty Tree at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.