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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Thursday, July 30, 2009

“Gossiping about the Gores” Now Online!

In January, I had the honor of speaking at Old South Meeting House in a series of lunchtime lectures on the Loyalists of the Revolution. My talk was “Gossiping about the Gores,” telling the stories of the family of decorative painter and paint merchant John Gore and his many children.

After participating in political protests against Parliament’s new taxes in the 1760s, John Gore sided with the Crown in 1774. As a result, he sailed away with the British military in 1776. But his wife and children stayed behind; in fact, several of the younger generation were very active Patriots. In addition to that political division, the family also had to deal with business challenges, riots, sudden death, stolen cannons, and at least one dicey marriage. Intrigued?

My talk has now been archived in audio form at the WGBH Forum. The videotape ran into technical problems, I understand, but really you didn’t miss anything. In fact, I can offer much better visuals than me talking.

Above is part of John Singleton Copley’s picture of the Gore children in the mid-1750s; John, Jr., is on the left, and Samuel on the right. The full image, including two older sisters, appears on Flickr and The Atheneum, and the original is at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

Below is part of the handout I prepared for the talk and alluded to a few times. It charts out John and Frances Gore’s many children and their spouses. Clicking on the image should take you to a larger version. Download and follow along!


David B. Appleton said...

Having finally gotten the time to go out and listen to this audio, I want to thank you so much for helping to make it available this way. I was very disappointed to be unable to make the lecture (living in Dallas is not especially conducive to attending lunchtime lectures in Boston!), but this was almost as good as being there. Thank you so much!

J. L. Bell said...

Glad you found the talk interesting! And thanks to Old South and WGBH for making it available for all.