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, January 20, 2008

Basely Deprived Him of the Whole

It’s been a while since we checked in on John Morrison, the minister from Peterborough, New Hampshire, who marched with his town’s militia company to the siege of Boston and then, shortly after the Battle of Bunker Hill, deserted to the British.

The Pennsylvania Packet for 1 Jan 1776 printed a dispatch datelined “Cambridge, December 21”:

That one Morrison, who officiates as a Presbyterian Minister, being appointed searcher of those people who were permitted to leave the town, promised, on receiving a bribe, to let a person bring out 240l. sterling in cash and plate; but afterwards basely deprived him of the whole of it.
Such a shame when you can’t trust the people you bribe.

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