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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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Welcoming Three Documents to the Paul Revere House, 16 Oct.

On the afternoon of Thursday, 16 October, the Paul Revere House will welcome three documents related to the silversmith and early industrialist into its collection.

The first of these is a letter that I quoted in 2012 when it was treated by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Paul Revere wrote that note to his second wife, Rachel, in late April 1775 when the couple was separated by the siege lines around Boston. Elbridge Goss transcribed the letter in his biography of Revere over a century ago, but then the document was thought to be lost until an heir and the Revere House staff recognized its significance.

The second document is a receipt from April 1778 when Revere was a lieutenant colonel in the Massachusetts artillery corps commanding at Castle Island. The site says, “It is one of only few surviving documents that are both written and signed by Revere using his military rank.” It came down in the same branch of the family as the letter to Rachel Revere.

Last is a copy of the 10 June 1775 Pennsylvania Ledger with a supplement printing “An Account of the Commencement of Hostilities between Great-Britain and America” by the Rev. William Gordon of Roxbury. That detailed report mentioned Revere by name. The newspaper was donated to the Paul Revere House by historic tour guide Ben L. Edwards and his family.

At 2:30 on Thursday, the Paul Revere Memorial Association, which runs the house, will host a ceremony titled “My Dear Girl: A Revere Letter Returns.” An actress portraying Rachel Revere will read the letter as she did in 1775. All three documents will then be available for public viewing in the Pierce-Hichborn House while tours go on next door inside the Revere House.

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