Photos & Videos

Historical Photo: Robert Newman’s House

Photo Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Print Department

Just in time for Patriots’ Day, this week’s photo is of Robert Newman’s house in 1775, located on the corner of Sheafe Street and Salem Street in the North End. If you’re unfamiliar with his story, Robert Newman was known for the critical role he played during Paul Revere’s fateful midnight ride.

At Revere’s request, Newman and Captain John Pulling took two lanterns to the top of Old North Church to alert patriots in Charlestown about the route the British troops were taking to advance to Concord. One lantern meant they were traveling by land, two meant by sea (the phrase “one if by land and two if by sea” references these lanterns).

At the time, Newman’s mother was actually renting part of this house out to British officers – he had to sneak out of the house to get to the Church! Afterwards, because he was also one of the few residents who had a key to the Church, British soldiers arrested him for his alleged involvement.

Tune in on Thursday’s to view our featured neighborhood photo from back in the day! Submit your historical photos by tagging @northend.waterfront on Instagram. Please include a caption or story telling about your photo.

See past historic neighborhood photo posts.