Presidents, States, and Capitals

Posted by Jianne Carlo | 7:15 AM | 9 comments »

The Founding Colonies – Massachusetts

In case you’re new to this blog, I’m on a citizenship quest and I’m determined to know each state one by one. I’ve started with the Thirteen Founding Colonies, and I’m doing those in alphabetical order. After that, I’m going to go through the 50 states as each one joined the constitution.

I’ve been to several conferences in Boston, the extent of my travels in the state of Massachusetts. I loved the European flavor of the city, the parks the trees, the wide waterways, and even more, that people are always walking about. It feels like a livable city, like there’s a sense of community, and of course a great deal of pride.

The DH says the culture of the state revolves heavily around politics and sports. With teams like the Boston Red Socks, the New England Patriots, the Celtics, and the Boston Bruins, and four presidents and three VPs, it may be that he’s right.

So below are the Maryland facts.


Capital: Boston
Size: approximately 10,555 square miles with 192 miles of coastline
Size Rank: 44
Bird: Chickadee
Admitted to Statehood: February 6, 1788, 6th Constitution
Population: 6,349.097
Presidents (birth): John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, George Herbert Walker Bush
Vice Presidents (birth): John Adams, Elbridge Gerry, George Bush

The list of famous Massachusetts residents is astonishing ranging from Benjamin Franklin to Bette Davis. I had not realized that Louisa May Alcott was born and raised in the state.

Home schooled by her father and friend to both Emerson and Thoreau, Louisa wrote her first book, Flower Fables, to entertain Emerson’s first daughter. Determined to contribute to the family income she went to work taking jobs considered below her station, working as a servant, a seamstress, and during the civil war, as a nurse.

The letters Lousia wrote to her family during the war were published under the title, Hospital Sketches. Shortly after that she published her first novel, Moods, and Little Women followed four years later in 1868.

I don’t know about you, but Little Women was one of my first books, and it still remains one of my favorites. Most experts consider the book autobiographical with Louisa being played by Jo March. Whenever HBO replays the recently made movie starring Winona Ryder, I always watch it. Such a heartwarming movie.

Susan B. Anthony, the famous suffragist who's credited with starting the movement for equal rights and pay for women, was also a Massachusetts resident. She is the face of the one-dollar coin minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999.

Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, was also from this state. During the civil war she organized supplies, nursed soldiers in camps and battlefields and eventually became known as the Angel of the Battlefield.

After the war President Lincoln charged Clara with locating missing prisoners and identifying those dead in battle. In Europe for a conference after that, the Franco-Prussian war erupted and she stayed to work with the International Red Cross. Shortly after returning to the U.S. Clara founded the American Red Cross.

How inspiring, the lives of these two women, and what a great way to start the day with such success brimming in my brain.




  1. Judy // August 26, 2009 at 8:19 AM  

    Interesting...I lived there for many years and still found some new facts in your blog. Uh... one thing though, Boston Red Sox is spelled this way. Important for all those baseball fans! You're doing a good job! Keep it up! thanks!

  2. Mona Risk // August 26, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

    Thanks Jianne for the article on MA. It brings back nice memories. I lived in MA as a young bride. Both my kids were born in Boston. For two years I lived in Concord, almost in the backyard of the Minuteman monument. What a beautiful city but so cold in winter and the drivers are horrible just like in my present Florida. LOL

  3. Pamela Varnado // August 26, 2009 at 12:45 PM  

    I've never traveled to MA, but I've always wanted to visit the state. Though I know Boston is probably bustling with activity, in my mind I have images of lush foliage and lots of hiking trails in the countryside. Hopefully one day I'll get to visit and see if I'm right.

  4. Nightingale // August 26, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

    These posts are so interesting. I'm delighted you are doing them.

  5. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 26, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

    Enjoyed the facts! You're going to ace your test!


  6. Mary Marvella // August 26, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

    I lived in there the first year of my marriage. The new hubby was in the army and I taught in a catholic school, a first for me. I did not like the cold and the snow, but the place was interesting. Good job, Jianne.

  7. Jianne Carlo // August 27, 2009 at 6:35 AM  

    Thanks everyone, I'm learning a lot. Just hope I'm not boring everyone to the dithers..


  8. Mary Ricksen // August 27, 2009 at 9:48 PM  

    I love these posts Jianne, you are teaching us what we should already know as citizens.

  9. Arty4ever // September 1, 2009 at 8:45 AM  

    Great posts! I created a deck of flash cards for memorizing the 50 States and Capitals using funny picture-codes. You can check them out, if you wish, at: