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Liberty Takes Root!

Published in Spread the Word Blog on November 16, 2023 by Will T. Zwart

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” -Thomas Jefferson

In early September of this year, the COS Maryland team attended the annual regional summit in Philadelphia, and as a special treat, were able to take a trip through history in the Museum of the American Revolution. A great number of stories and artifacts from our nation’s beginnings were to be found inside, but one stood out from the rest: the last remnant of the original Tree of Liberty. 

As seeds of revolution grew in late 18th-century America, the patriots that would one day found the greatest nation on earth began to unite in their shared values of liberty and self-governance. However, while we today enjoy many forms of communication by which to join forces, the colonists didn’t have Zoom or instant messaging. Gathering in person was the only feasible means by which to form a resistance against British tyranny. 

Patriots across the 13 colonies began having meetings at Liberty Trees, such as the one in Annapolis, where those who opposed the taxation without representation would congregate and strategize. Maryland Declaration signers William Paca and Samuel Chase organized Sons of Liberty meetings at the tree in Annapolis: 

After the Revolution, time took its toll on the Liberty Trees, whose numbers began to dwindle. The last remaining one stood in Annapolis until 1992, where it was damaged beyond repair by a hurricane. However, while the original tulip poplar was no more, several determined patriots put great effort into ensuring the survival of the Tree of Liberty.

One man, Mark Mehnert, actually followed the trucks that carried the tree’s chopped-up remains to the dump, and convinced the owner to let him have the wood. Mehnert eventually sold it to Bob Taylor, a music store owner, who turned it into 400 Liberty Tree guitars.

Another patriot who wished to preserve the tree’s heritage was Champ Zumbrun, who spearheaded a project to grow new trees from seedlings of the original. Zumbrun’s efforts saw descendants of the Liberty Tree planted in historical sites all across Maryland, including two on St. John’s campus, and one at the state house. 

COS Maryland intends to carry on the tradition the Sons of Liberty began. On December 1 we are hosting a Tour of the Capitol in Annapolis led by Delegate Fisher.  
Our rally point is 12:30pm at the Liberty Tree Memorial.

We hope to see you there! Learn more below about the Tour of the Capitol in Annapolis on December 1st.
The story of the Liberty Tree is one of hope and perseverance, reflecting the cause of freedom for which it is named. It witnessed our rise to rebellion, our victory and creation of the constitutional Republic, our struggles as a young nation, the turmoil of the Civil War, our endurance through two world wars and ascension as the most powerful nation on earth, and now, our fall from grace when we rejected our roots of Judeo-Christianity, and now suffer the consequences as cultural Marxism threatens to sweep us away. 
Yet just as the Almighty preserved a remnant of the Liberty Tree to see it take root and begin to thrive once more, so will He pull this nation back from the edge of destruction and replant us on firm ground, to grow once more as a symbol of hope and freedom for the world. All we need do is call on the name of the LORD. 

 “If my people would only listen to me, if Israel would only follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes.” Psalm 81:13-14.

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