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This Day in Boston History

November 29th, 1832

Louisa May Alcott

On this day Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, the second of four daughters of Amos Bronson Alcott, a noted transcendentalist philosopher and educator, and Abigail May, a descendant of one of Boston's more prominent families.

Never formally educated, the children were taught at home by their father, who brought them into contact with some of the great intellectuals of the day, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. Louisa, tutored Emerson's daughter Ellen and spent many hours in Emerson's library, where she read classics of both philosophy and literature.

She is best known for her children's fiction, which includes the eight novels grouped under the Little Women series. Autobiographical in nature, Alcott's Little Women books were modeled after her family and neighbors in Concord and Harvard Massachusetts.


England's Prime Minister never expected this tea tax to cause an outcry, let alone revolution. In 1767, England reduced its property taxes at home. To balance the national budget they needed to find a mechanism for the American colonies to pay for the expense of stationing officials in them. The officials would generate their own revenue by collecting taxes on all imported goods, and once paid affixing stamps on them. This Stamp Tax generated more in the way of protests and smuggling than added revenue.

Religion. Politics. Rebellion. Boston’s pedigree was forged back in England in the midst of religious dissension, where Puritans and Pilgrims sought religious reform, and Cavaliers and Roundheads vied for political power. The question isn't where did Boston get its name – but how.

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