Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy will present a lecture by Harvard historian Jill Lepore at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, 18 November, in Shrader Lecture Hall. The history department’s announcement says:
Titled “Poor Richard’s Poor Jane,” Lepore’s lecture is based on her forthcoming biography of Benjamin Franklin and his sister, Jane Mecom.Lepore’s lecture is free and open to the public. On Wednesday night I spotted a poster about this lecture and two others, which were already past.
Jane Mecom was also the subject of a biography by Carl Van Doren, published posthumously in 1950. It’s based mostly on the letters that she and Franklin exchanged, which Van Doren also published, and their letters with other family members. There’s been a lot of scholarship on women’s lives since that book, as well as a lot of cultural change, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Lepore has new insights to share.
Thumbing through Van Doren’s book, I see that in 1789 Mecom told Franklin:
If my dear Brother would add to his superscriptions [i.e., addresses] of his letters “At the back of the North Church,” I might get them the readier.That’s another example of post-Revolutionary Bostonians using the term “North Church” to apply to Christ Church, as Paul Revere did in his 1798 account of his ride. Longfellow later called it “the old North Church,” which stuck.