J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How Boston looked under siege

Ed St. Germain at AmericanRevolution.org alerted me to a website showing effects shots for a History Channel movie called Washington the Warrior. From this link, the fifth example (bottom row, second from left) portrays an explosive moment in the siege of Boston, Apr 1775-Mar 1776.

Our best images of besieged Boston actually come from inside the town because of the all the British officers who had been trained in taking surveys and drawing and had little to do. One of those officers was Lt Richard Williams of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Some of his sketches were auctioned quite nicely at Bonham's last November. Here's a copy of one of those views, courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society. And here's a engraved map published in London based on his drawing, courtesy of the Bodleian Library in Oxford. (Note the name "Mount Whoredom" for the part of Boston now known as the Mount Vernon neighborhood.)

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