The “Abolitionism in Black & White” symposium went very well, thank you. And while I was relying on posts prepared well in advance, the Salem News and Boston Globe reported on the discovery of a Paul Revere letter in the archives of Marblehead.
On 15 Nov 1787, Revere wrote to Jonathan Glover, who had been the Marblehead treasurer during the war and held other important offices:
When I was last at Marblehead, I took notice that there were a great many old cannon at different places, which appeared to me, to be good for nothing but the old iron; upon inquiry, I found that they mostly belonged to your town; I am informed that a person who had seen them, supposed that they belong to the State, he has petitioned the Governor [John Hancock] and Council to sell them to him.Revere was starting to shift his business from a workshop creating luxury goods in silver and gold to a factory producing metal sheeting and other products. He was seeking a good deal on, in effect, army surplus goods—old cannons that Marblehead had mounted to protect its harbor during the war.
As I am in want of iron, for the furnace which I have built in Boston, I should be glad to purchase them. . . . If you will be good enough, when your Town is to be call’d together, to git an Article inserted in the Warrant, for that purpose, you will oblige,
Sir your most humle. Servt.
Paul Revere. . . . .
Revere asked Glover to put the sale of those cannon on the agenda (“Warrant”) for a town meeting. Meanwhile, he understood, someone else was angling for those cannons as well, working through the state government. Are there more documents on this story in the Marblehead town records, the Massachusetts Archives, or Revere’s surviving account books?