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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Thursday, June 13, 2013

“Ephraim Moors’s Powder Horn” talk in Boston, 14 June

The Massachusetts Historical Society has just opened an exhibit called called “The Object in History.” The society is known mainly as a repository of manuscripts, but it also looks after many three-dimensional artifacts and curiosities, including “Portraits, needlework, firearms, clothing, furniture, silver, scientific instruments,…and books.” Back when the society was founded, such curiosities went into its “cabinet,” which no doubt expanded beyond one piece of furniture.

Among the artifacts on display is the powder horn shown above, carved with the name of Ephraim Moors. The records of the society’s May 1876 meeting say:
The monthly list of donors was read by the Librarian, who reported for the Cabinet a gift of a powder-horn from Captain Samuel Clarke, captain of the ship “Edith Warren.” The powder-horn was inscribed, “Ephraim Moors his Horn, Made at Temples Warf, Dec. 29, 1775;” and there was engraved on it, with some skill, the representation of Boston, Bunker Hill, Prospect Hill, Winter Hill, Charles and Mystic Rivers, &c.
There was no other information about this particular horn on file.

On Friday, 14 June, I’ll speak at the M.H.S. about “Ephraim Moors’s Powder Horn” and what it might tell us about the life of a provincial soldier during the siege of Boston. My illustrated talk will run from 2:00 to 3:00 P.M. and is free to all. The horn itself will be on display with the rest of the exhibit through the first week of September, Monday through Friday.

6 comments:

RodFleck said...

Any chance someone might be capturing your presentation so it could be accessed via youtube? On my list is to be able to be in Boston and listen to one of your presentations.

J. L. Bell said...

I don't think that's been arranged. A couple of my talks are up on YouTube, C-SPAN, or other sites.

D. Brooks said...

Perhaps a Google+ "hangout" video chat that can be uploaded to youtube for later viewing would be something to explore in the future.

J. L. Bell said...

I was with you right up through “Perhaps a.”

Gritius said...

Great presentation and very well researched. Any possibilities of sharing the power point slides?

J. L. Bell said...

Since my PowerPoint slides are mostly images without text, I don't think they'd convey a lot of information on their own, and I might need permission from the M.H.S. to “publish” them. This summer I hope to write up both my talks on powder horns in a more formal format for the institutions.