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.

Follow by Email


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Benjamin Carp on Revolutionary Networking in Newton, 13 Feb.

On Monday, 13 February, at 7:00 P.M., Prof. Benjamin Carp of Tufts will speak on “‘Our United Sentiments’: Boston, Newton, and the Cause of Liberty” at the Newton Free Library. The library’s description:
Boston is famous as the vanguard of the American Revolution—but the Revolution would have been impossible without the men and women of rural Massachusetts. This talk explores the revolutionary network that linked Boston and its neighbors, including Newton. The leaders of the resistance against Great Britain made a massive effort to galvanize Massachusetts. The Durant family and their community offer a window into the inner workings of the Revolution.
This talk is free and open to the public.

I like how that description treats Newton as a typical example among rural towns rather than trying to make a case that it was special. Every so often Boston 1775 has taken issue with a Massachusetts town’s claims of unusual Revolutionary significance, whether it’s having a large militia contingent or hoisting a rare flag or being the resting-place of Benedict Arnold’s widow.

All those towns participated in the Revolutionary movement, to be sure. Some did have distinctions. But too often local authors haven’t realized or acknowledged how many towns reacted to British imperial policy in much the same way. It was that rural solidarity which made the movement so powerful.

(The handsome image of the stairwell in the Newton Free Library above comes from Elisif Photography, specializing in architectural images.)

No comments: