John Winthrop (1587 – 1649) is considered the Founding Father of Boston, his "city upon a hill".
Winthrop, a Puritan lawyer and English immigrant, helped establish the town of Boston, and served 12 terms as Massachusetts Governor. Although he was enormously influential in the colony's early days (and is still quoted in political speeches today), Winthrop's religious conservatism, intolerance, and anti-democratic principles complicate his legacy. He has been called "a significant founding father of America's best and worst impulses."
Regardless, John Winthrop's legacy lives on. Some local landmarks that bear his name include:
- The Winthrop Building (skyscraper on Water Street)
- Winthrop House (Harvard)
- Winthrop Hall (Bowdoin)
- The John Winthrop Statue (Back Bay)
- Founders Memorial (Boston Common)
- Winthrop Square (Downtown Boston)
- Winthrop Square (Brookline)
- Winthrop Square (near Harvard)
- Winthrop, MA
- Winthrop, ME
(John Winthrop is also the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather of Secretary of State John Kerry.)
Winthrop, MA is home to the oldest continually-lived-in home in America, which was built by ... Deane Winthrop (John's son). The Deane Winthrop House is included in the list of the oldest buildings in Massachusetts.