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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Monday, August 03, 2015

Tyler on the Hutchinson House at Old North, 26 Aug.

As I described yesterday, on the night of 26 Aug 1765, Bostonians ripped apart the North End house of Lt. Gov. Thomas Hutchinson (shown here at a happier moment).

This action was connected to the town’s ongoing protests against the Stamp Act. Hutchinson had in fact joined Massachusetts’s official argument against the new law when the government in London asked the colonies for their opinions, and his private letters also warned his British correspondents against enacting such a tax.

However, the lieutenant governor had long been a voice for less populist policies locally and more deference to the imperial authorities in London. He was politically allied with and related by marriage to Andrew Oliver, the stamp agent. So Hutchinson’s big family mansion in one of Boston’s poorer districts made a fat target for locals riled up about Parliament’s new tax.

On 26 August, the sestercentennial of that violent event, Old North Church will host an illustrated lecture by John Tyler titled “‘Such ruins were never seen in America’: The Looting of Thomas Hutchinson’s House at the Time of the Stamp Act Riots.” Tyler, co-editor of the Hutchinson Papers now being published by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, will use the lieutenant governor’s inventory of what he lost to the mob to discuss the colonial elite’s furniture, clothing, and general lifestyle.

Tyler’s lecture is scheduled to last from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. that Wednesday night. There will be a reception afterward. Old North Church, a member of the Revolution 250 coalition, asks attendees to reserve seats in advance.


G. Lovely said...

"Sestercentennial" two days in a row? Don't forget "250th anniversary" works too.

J. L. Bell said...

I'm on a linguistic mission.