These images of newspaper articles are from a clippings file scrapbook in the Chicago Park District Archive.
They are reproduced by permission and courtesy of the Chicago Park District Special Collections.




The news of the dedication of the Kennison boulder made it as to as far away as Texas.
This excerpt from an article about Revolutionary War soldiers, mentions that David Kennison's remains were left in Lincoln Park after the transformation of the grounds from the City Cemetery because his grave was never marked.



The day the David Kennison boulder was to be dedicated there were rainstorms in Chicago.
The dedication ceremonies were moved inside the Academy of Sciences building, just north
of the memorial site. The Chicago Evening Post presented the story of the dedication in its
December 19, 1903 newspaper, accompanied by the text of the speech given by George L. Douglass:

A hundred and thirty years ago to-day all New England was ablaze with excitement, and Boston
was the center of interest; for Massachusetts patriots had accepted the challenge and defied the
power of King George; and far-seeing men knew that the great issue of political freedom versus
political servitude was joined and sooner or later must be fought to a finish. The American colonists
of that day were the most vigilant, the most alert, the most mentally and physically active people
in the world.

During four generations thousands of sturdy, self-reliant men and brave women had faced
the dangers of shipwreck, cold, hunger and disease, and with undaunted courage made homes
for themselves in the American wilderness. Of the hardships they endured we of today, can
have no adequate conception. But these hardships constituted an enormous factor in the evolution
of character then in progress. The weak in body or in strength of purpose fell by the wayside or
returned to the old country, while the strong in body and mind remained to fight the never-ending
battle. Thus in every colony there came about a genuine “survival” of the fittest; and long before
the contest with the mother country began the colonies possessed, in proportion to population, more
men of clear vision, large ability and personal courage than any other country upon the globe.

Time does not now permit detailed reference to David Kennison as a citizen of Chicago.
But I think it would be said that while he was yet living, eminent citizens took great pains
to verify the identity of the man and the facts of his revolutionary career; and that in the early
days of this busy city, and in the closing years of his long life, David Kennison was honored
and reverenced by his fellow citizens of Chicago for what he did on that great and fateful occasion.

Our honored friend, Fernando Jones, knew David Kennison well. With his own eyes he saw him;
with his own hand he many times grasped the hand that helped throw overboard the tea on that
famous night 130 years ago.

Surely it is a thing to stir the hearts and well worthy of remembrance, by all present that we are
still in this day and generation so closely-linked with the great and glorious past. This bowlder is a
fitting memorial not only of the man but of the great event in which he participated. Typical of the
granite hills of New England, where heroes were bred; Kennison and his comrades; it is also typical
of the great republic which has been reared upon the foundations they helped to lay; and here it will
remain, a reminder to young and old, in all the years to come, of the great principles which underlie
the liberties of the people.

David Kennison died in Chicago Feb. 24, 1852, at the age of 115 years 3 months and 15 days.
He was buried in the “old city cemetery,” which afterward became a part of Lincoln Park, and his
body has never been disturbed. After the Boston incident Kennison enlisted in the continental army.
He fought through the war of the revolution. When the conflict of 1812 started he was doing garrison
duty at Fort Dearborn. Fortunately for him, on the day of the massacre he was on the march to Fort
Gratiot under transfer orders. Thus he escaped the fate of those who remained in Fort Dearborn.
Kennison did not visit Chicago again until 1846, at which time he was 110 years old. “Long John”
Wentworth set about to verify Kennison’s statements, and he found them correct. The historian
Lossing also investigated Kennison’s claim to being a survivor of the Boston tea party and found it true.

Kennison was 37 years of age when he attended the preliminary meeting in Faneuil Hall, and he was
one of the most active of the disguised “Mohawks” that boarded the British vessel and hurled the chests
of tea into the sea. Kennison carried away from the ship as a souvenir a quantity of tea concealed in
his boots. A vial of the tea is said to be preserved in Chicago today.

When he came to Chicago to reside the last time Kennison became a local celebrity. He was always
given a seat on the platform at political rallies, and he rode in a carriage in the processions. He became
manager of Mooney’s Museum, 73 Lake street, Nov. 8, 1848.

When he died all the civic and military bodies in this section of the state took part in an imposing funeral
pageant in his honor, and his remains were interred in a spot where the bowlder monument now rests.

Pamela Bannos © 2017