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, March 19, 2015

Women to Meet at the Shirley-Eustis House this Spring

This spring the Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury is hosting a series of first-person interpretive presentations on women of Revolutionary Boston and later periods.

Sunday, 22 March, 2:00 P.M.
Meet Phillis Wheatley
Valerie Link Foxx kicks off the series with a poignant first-person performance of the life of Phillis Wheatley. Brought to Boston from Africa at about the age of seven, little Phillis learned English so quickly that she was composing impressive verse while she was still in her teens. As a young woman she pursued literary success with a trip to London even while she was still enslaved, then personal independence as an author, wife, and mother in Boston.

Foxx is an actor, author, wife, and mother. She is also a native of Roxbury and has performed since the age of seven. In 1977, Valerie and her mother, Bernice Link, co-founded Link & Foxx Productions to produce one-woman and family skits and stage plays.

Sunday, 29 March, 2:00 P.M.
Meet Rachel Revere—Petticoats at the Revolution
Hear a remarkable story of tea and Revolution from the woman who rode through life with Paul Revere. Rachel Revere tells of the Boston Tea Party, the midnight ride, and the siege of Boston through the eyes of a woman who had to keep the home fires burning while her husband fanned the flames of Revolution.

This presentation will be performed by Joan Gatturna, creator of Petticoat Adventures. Gatturna is an actor and storyteller. She has been named as a Creative Teaching Partner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is on the Touring Roster of the New England Foundation for the Arts.

Sunday, 12 April, 2:00 P.M.
Meet Elizabeth Murray—Shopkeeper to Farmstead
Elizabeth Murray, a Scottish immigrant, developed a successful retail business in colonial Boston. By offering the latest fashions and teaching advanced crafts, and by insisting on prenuptial agreements in two of her three marriages, she achieved economic independence and became a mentor for younger women. Through the upheavals of the American Revolution, Elizabeth (Murray Campbell Smith) Inman faced the challenge of separating from Tory family members while maintaining her home in Massachusetts.

Una McMahon, Founder-Owner of Acorn Tours, provides customized sightseeing tours of Boston and New England and specializes in their rich colonial histories. She is a Governor/Board Member and the Chair of the Events Committee for the Shirley-Eustis House Association. McMahon has taught French Language, led student tours to France and Canada, and established organizations such the Irish Business Network Small Business Forum.

In addition, on 26 April Marcia Stein-Adams will present “Meet Isabella Stewart Gardner,” and on 3 May Jan Turnquist will offer “Meet Louisa May Alcott.”

Admission for each lecture is $10 per person.

(The copy of Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Rachel Revere above comes courtesy of Oceansbridge.)

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