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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Saturday, March 08, 2008

All Hurry and Commotion

In March 1776, the diaries of town selectman Timothy Newell and British army captain John Barker ran in parallel as both described the hasty preparations for the evacuation of Boston.

On 8 March, Newell wrote:

The town all hurry and commotion, the troops with the Refugees and Tories embarking.
I find it interesting that Newell distinguished between “Refugees”—presumably folks who moved into Boston to be behind British lines after September 1774—and those who seem to be the town’s own “Tories.”

As for Barker, he wrote about some men who wanted to stay behind:
The whole Crew of a Brig deserted last night.

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