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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Friday, September 30, 2011

David Library’s “Letters from the Front”

The David Library of the American Revolution in Pennsylvania is blogging some items from its collection transcribed and collected as “Letters from the Front.” (Not all items are tagged that way yet, hence the list below.)

Several of the documents so far are letters from Col. Jedidiah Huntington (1743-1818, shown here courtesy of the Huntington Family Association) to his father, Connecticut militia general Jabez Huntington, during the siege of Boston. But there are some other familiar names as well.

Just to make things interesting, there were two physicians named Samuel Adams in the Continental Army in 1775-76. The son of the Boston Patriot organizer, born in 1751, was assigned to the hospital in Cambridge.

The Dr. Samuel Adams one who wrote the two letters listed above was born in Connecticut in 1745 and practiced on Cape Cod. He joined the provincial army as surgeon for Col. John Fellows’s regiment, and in 1776 was assigned to the 18th Continental under Col. Edmund Phinney. He was a widower, having lost his wife and their first child in 1765. Sally Preston became his second wife.

The David Library will undoubtedly post more letters, following the front as it moves away from Boston.

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