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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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Content Lists from the Dublin Seminar

For the first time, the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife website now lists the titles of all the papers in each of its Proceedings volumes. Some of the items that have stood out for me over the years (by no means a complete list):

  • From Foodways in the Northeast, "Wholesome, Toothsome, and Diverse: Eighteenth-Century Foodways in Deerfield, Massachusetts," Daphne L. Derven. "From a seasonal perspective, the lamb, mutton, and veal [transaction] categories peaked in the spring and summer months. These meats did not keep well, but the carcasses were small enough to permit timely consumption in the warmer months. Beef had two major peaks in the fall and late winter with minimal representation in the summer. . . . The year-round availability of pork in contrast to beef was probably related to pork’s ease of preservation and smaller carcass size." I'd never considered this dimension of the colonial diet before.
  • From Families and Children, "'Girling of it' in Eighteenth-Century New Hampshire," Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Lois K. Stabler, and "Nursing and Weaning in an Eighteenth-Century New England Household," Ross W. Beales, Jr. The first analyzes a New Hampshire man's grumpy infatuations and sexual gossip. The second uses a clergyman's diary to analyze how that family dealt with breast-feeding; one infant was weaned early so that the diarist himself could have the health benefit of his wife's milk.
  • From New England Music, "Military Music and the Roots of the American Band Movement," Raoul F. Camus. All American brass bands seem to go back to Crane's artillery regiment during the Revolutionary War. Which means, I suspect, they go back either to Paddock's artillery company in pre-Revolutionary Boston or to an artillery band from Rhode Island, where Crane moved in 1774.
  • And of course "Du Simitière’s Sketches of Pope Day in Boston, 1767," J.L. Bell, in Worlds of Children.

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