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, February 07, 2011

How Hannah Adams Spent the Revolutionary War

Hannah Adams was born in Medfield in 1755, daughter of a bookish farmer with little money. She had a big intellect, a nervous disposition, and even less money, but she made herself into a respected author in the new republic.

In her memoir, this is what Adams had to say about her war years.

During the American revolutionary war, I learned to weave bobbin lace, which was then saleable, and much more profitable to me than spinning, sewing or knitting, which had previously been my employment. At this period I found but little time for literary pursuits. But at the termination of the American war, this resource failed, and I was again left in a destitute situation.
With European goods once again coming into North America in quantity, the price for lace must have dropped, and Adams could no longer support herself by making it.

The photo above of a bobbin lace border in progress comes from the Chesapeake Region Lace Guild. Here are more action photos from Jill Hall at Plimoth Plantation.

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