Council Chamber

Where colonial power gave way to revolutionary action

Open Daily at the Old State House.
Entrance is included in the price of admission.

Pass through these doors and you are transported to the birth of American independence. The Council Chamber, where the Royal Governor of Massachusetts met with members of his Council, was a nerve center for the British Empire in North America, and a direct link between Bostonians and the Crown. From its balcony, Independence was declared to ecstatic Bostonians, and a new Massachusetts–and American–government was born. In this very room, John Hancock and Samuel Adams served as the first two Governors of Massachusetts.

Today, furnished with meticulous reproductions and interactive displays, visitors experience this room as it appeared more than 250 years ago. Sit in the Royal Governor’s chair, thumb through reproduction documents on display at the Council table, and explore how culture, commerce, and ideas combined to define a distinctly “British” Boston just prior to the American Revolution. Once an exclusive space for the most powerful men in Massachusetts, now all are invited to connect to our nation’s history.

Visit today to attend a Gallery Talk and view the Humble Petitioner Exhibit.

Explore More in the Council Chamber

The Humble Petitioner exhibit in the Council Chamber at the Old State House

The Humble Petitioner

In Colonial America, those without the right to vote were...

Gallery Talks

Gallery Talks in the Council Chamber

Guests are invited to convene in the Council Chamber at...