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, May 28, 2015


I”m sorry I didn’t spot this blog when it was running. In December 2013 and January 2014, the “Begs leaves to acquaint his subscribers” blog reproduced advertisements from the Boston Gazette for the corresponding weeks in 1771 and 1772.

The anonymous blogger not only transcribed the ads but took care to present them typographically similar to the way they first appeared, includong the long S. Thus:

Benjamin Andrews was later killed by his friend Benjamin Hichborn.

Alas, this excursion into long-ago marketing stopped when 1772’s Leap Day meant the Monday dates no longer aligned.

(Hat tip to Steve Rayner for spotting this.)

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