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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Monday, January 19, 2009

J. L. Bell Speaks on the Gores, Old South, 22 Jan

This Thursday, 22 January, I’ll be speaking on Revolutionary Boston at Old South Meeting House. My talk is part of this month’s “Middays at the Meeting House” series on Loyalists. These events run from 12:15 P.M. to 1:00, so bring your lunch and your questions. The admission is free for Old South members, $5 for others.

Depending on which brochure you look at, my talk is titled “The Gores: One Family Divided” or “Gossiping about the Gores.” Whichever turns out to be official, I won’t be able to stay away from the juicy gossip. This is, after all, a family whose members:

  • secretly helped to organize America’s first public protests against the Stamp Act.
  • hosted a spinning bee for women objecting to new Customs regulations.
  • suffered a wound in a riot eleven days before the Boston Massacre.
  • patrolled the docks before the Boston Tea Party—and on that dramatic night.
  • snuck cannons out of an armory under British army guard.
  • were split by the war, with some family members going to Britain and others staying in Boston.
  • included two sisters who married the same man, and one sister-in-law who married a married man.
  • helped launch the Industrial Revolution in Massachusetts, and suffered a sudden bankruptcy.
The thumbnail picture here is John Singleton Copley’s portrait of the oldest four surviving Gore children in about 1755. From left, they are Frances, Elizabeth, John, and Samuel (in the pink). The painting is now in the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, and this snapshot comes from Jay Glenn’s Flickr site.


Rob Velella said...

Are these Gores any relation to Christopher Gore, one-time governor of Massachusetts?

J. L. Bell said...

Shhh, you’ll give away part of the ending! But yes, Christopher Gore was the baby brother of the kids in the painting.