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


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

History Camp in Boston, 28 March

Boston’s second annual History Camp will take place on Saturday, 28 March, at the Harriet Tubman House of the United South End Settlements at 566 Columbus Avenue in Boston.

History Camp is a self-organizing conference for people interested in all sorts of history in all sorts of ways. That means the schedule of presentations and panels will be decided on the day of the event, with folks then choosing which sessions to attend.

Who’s going to be there? Paula Bagger, who put together the pieces of evidence about Prince Demah. Jason Rodriguez, editor of Colonial Comics. Elizabeth Sulock from the Newport Historical Society. Liz Covart from the Ben Franklin’s World podcast. Salem Witchcraft Trial experts Marilynne Roach and Emerson “Tad” Baker. Erik Bauer from the Peabody Library. Dr. Sam Forman, Judy Cataldo, and many more.

Including me. Here’s the presentation I’m preparing:

“How Would-Be Assassin Samuel Dyer Nearly Triggered the Revolutionary War”

In October 1774 an angry seaman named Samuel Dyer arrived in Newport, describing how the Royal Navy had kidnapped him from Boston to London, how high government ministers had interrogated him about the Boston Tea Party, and how the Lord Mayor of London had helped him to return to America. Rhode Island Patriots fêted Dyer and sent him back to Boston. Soon after arriving, Dyer confronted two Royal Artillery officers on the street and shot at them before escaping to the rebellious Provincial Congress in Cambridge—only for those Patriots to send him back to the royal authorities and the Boston jail. This talk digs into Dyer’s story: how he came close to setting off war in Massachusetts, what happened to him next, and how much of the outlandish story he told was true.
This is a story I haven’t told in full on this blog or anywhere else.

The Harriet Tubman House is five minutes by foot from the Mass. Ave. T stop and ten minutes by foot from a large covered parking garage that serves Jordan Hall. Here are directions.

Last year’s History Camp filled up in advance. There’s still time to register for this one.

1 comment:

Diane Mayr said...

I already signed up!