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


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Upcoming Events Off the Beaten Path

In addition to the annual commemorations grouped around Patriots’ Day that I linked to here, a few more talks caught my eye because they’re one-off events in unusual venues.

On Monday, 16 April (which is legally Patriots’ Day), at 10:00 A.M., Dr. Sam Forman will sign copies of Dr. Joseph Warren: The Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, and the Birth of American Liberty, at the Vine Lake Cemetery, 625 Main Street in Medfield. Why a cemetery in Medfield? Because that’s the burial place of Mercy Scollay, Dr. Warren’s fiancée when he died. Forman will “read from her newly attributed works and unveil her portrait.”

That same day at 7:00 P.M., Seamus Heffernan will do a book-signing and chat about his alternative-history comic Freedom in the Modern Myths shop at 34 Bridge Street in Northampton. Check out our conversation about that reworking of the Revolution starting here.

On Tuesday, 17 April, the Nichols House Museum will present a lecture by Peter Drummey, the Stephen T. Riley Librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society, on ”The Real Liberty Bell: Boston Abolitionists, 1700-1863.” This will take place the American Meteorological Society at 45 Beacon Street in Boston starting at 6:00 P.M. Admission is $20, or $15 for members of the museum. For reservations, call the museum at 617-227-6993, preferably by 13 April.

Finally, on the actual anniversary of the outbreak of the war—Thursday, 19 April—Prof. William Fowler will speak at the National Archives in Waltham about his latest book, American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two years After Yorktown, 1781-1783. Fowler is, among many other things, the Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. That free program begins at 6:00 P.M. Reservations are recommended; email or call toll-free 866-406-2379.


Jim Padian said...

Happy to see that through the good offices of Dr. Forman Mercy Scollay is finally receiving much-deserved public notice. God knows, I spent an entire day in 1992 searching for her grave without success (the local historical society had a fire and records were lost).

I was somewhat surprised that in all the posts on Boston 1775 related to a mention of Miss Scollay there is no mention of the fact that Dr. John Warren successfully sued her in court to recover guardianship of his bother's four children (the decision is in the Massachusetts State Archives - I'm sorry I do not have the actual date and reference number. A flood in my condo eight years ago destroyed the reference work I had compiled on Dr. Joseph Warren and others. I'm doing this from memory).

J. L. Bell said...

Sam Forman's biography of Dr. Joseph Warren mentions friction between Mercy Scollay and the doctor's brothers over those children, but I don't see explicit mention of a lawsuit. Clearly Scollay was receiving money for them and asking for more, so there was an economic as well as a familial edge to such a conflict. It would be interesting for someone to rediscover those documents.