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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Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Look at Cambridge’s Christ Church around 1781

One of my favorite schoolboys from Revolutionary Boston is Joshua Green (1764-1847) because he saved a lot of stuff from his youth that other men, and their families, threw away.

We have Joshua’s textbooks from the South Latin School, and his notes on how much those books cost him, and his notes on class ranking, and his almanac for the year 1773. Unfortunately, his papers were spread around among different libraries by his grandson, historian Samuel Abbott Green.

Only this month I learned that a few of Joshua Green’s architectural drawings from early in his college years are at Harvard. The thumbnail image here shows Cambridge’s Christ Church as it appeared around 1781, when it was thirty years old. (Today the congregation celebrates the building’s 250th anniversary.) Click here for the whole collection of drawings.

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