Boston By Foot Tour: Brahmins of the Back Bay: Notable and Notorious

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The “Boston Brahmins” have a reputation for being exclusive and elitist, but many of these nineteenth-century upper-class men and women were active in making our city—and the whole nation—a better place to live.  They fought to abolish slavery and to recognize women’s rights, and they built libraries, colleges, museums and orchestras. 

On this tour we will visit the place where Isabella Stewart Gardner lived before she transformed a Venetian Palace into a museum, and the home of Julia Ward Howe, who fought for women’s rights and started one of the first women’s clubs. We will see three of the men's clubs formed after the Civil War; each had a distinct personality, and furthered a variety of good causes, including contemporary art, philanthropy, and political reform.  We conclude at Copley Square with Phillips Brooks, who brought the social gospel to his wealthy parishioners and won the hearts of Boston’s rich and poor.

Meet your guide rain or shine in front of the Arlington St. Church.