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, July 20, 2013

Gen. Gage at Salem Maritime Park, 20-21 July

I didn’t hear about this event until yesterday, and it looks like the schedule is still being worked out (with one possible factor the rolling but oh-so-welcome thunderstorms):
General Gage and His Troops Return to Salem

In May of 1774, General Thomas Gage, the newly-appointed Governor of Massachusetts, arrived in Boston with some controversial orders in his pocket: move the capital of Massachusetts to Salem, where calmer heads would hopefully prevail after several years of upheaval in Boston. He was wrong. During that summer, the Massachusetts legislature defied him, sent representatives to the first Continental Congress, and rejected his authority as Governor, setting in motion the events that culminated in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

To commemorate that event, Salem Maritime, the National Park in Salem, and the Center for 18th Century Life at Minute Man N.H.P. are once again hosting a British Encampment at Salem Maritime on July 20-21, 2013. The National Park Service has invited some of the best re-enactors in Massachusetts to portray General Gage, his staff, his troops, and the legislators and civilians that he met in Massachusetts.
The events are due to run 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. It makes an interesting bookend with last weekend’s reenactment of Gen. George Washington’s arrival in Cambridge in 1775. While the two homes Washington used are still in place, the house where Gage lived is now in Washington, D.C.—but of course there are many other Revolutionary-era sites to enjoy in Salem.

The image above comes from the N.P.S.’s gallery of photographs from a similar event in 2011.

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