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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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Stamp Act Lectures at Old South in September

Starting this Wednesday, the Lowell Lecture Series presented by the Paul Revere Memorial Association at Old South Meeting House will explore the sestercentennial theme of “Exploring the Stamp Act: Hangings in Effigy, Crowd Actions, and Funerals for ‘Liberty’.”

Wednesday, 9 September, 6:30-7:30 P.M.
“Troubling their Neighbors”: Boston Mobilizes against the Stamp Act
Just after the conclusion of the French and Indian War, the Parliament of Great Britain passed a series of policies intended to reshape the workings of its American empire. Colonial Boston already had a history of antagonistic dealings with imperial officials, and the townspeople reacted violently in response to the Stamp Act of 1765. Paul Revere belonged to a waterfront community that mobilized a strong coalition against the Stamp Act. Although royal officials attempted to divide Bostonians along class lines, the town stood unified. Professor Benjamin L. Carp of Brooklyn College, CUNY, will illuminate Boston’s waterfront community, describe the actions of its radical coalition, and explain why Revere and his compatriots were so successful. 
Wednesday, 16 September, 6:30-7:30 P.M.
The Stamp Act Crisis—What Difference Did It Make?
What were the long-term consequences of the crisis? This episode is important for what happened—a broad mobilization of Bostonians, who demolished property and forced the resignation of Crown officials—for how the British government reacted—by rescinding the Stamp Act—and for the way Bostonians would remember these events. Professor Robert J. Allison of Suffolk University, will discuss the overall significance of the Stamp Act Crisis, how it affected all classes of people in different ways, and how it has been viewed in succeeding centuries. 
Wednesday, 23 September, 6:30-7:30 P.M.
“The Lowest of the Mob”: Exploring the Actions of Sailors and Slaves during the Stamp Act Crisis
In the late fall of 1765, colonists wearing “soot, sailors habits and slouch hats” harassed Crown officials, tore down houses of prominent merchants, and violently hounded those suspected of involvement with the “damned stampt paper.” Descriptions of these disorderly, drunken protestors contrasted with accounts of symbolic protest scenes, such as funerals for “Liberty.” Molly Fitzgerald Perry, Lecturer at Christopher Newport University, will analyze the descriptions of Jack Tar sailors alongside those of free and enslaved people of color, highlighting questions of these individuals as both social actors and political icons. Tracing the spread of news and heated debates between residents of New England port towns and plantation ports across the Lower South and West Indies, Ms. Perry will recreate the central role played by mariners and African Americans during this moment of imperial disruption. 
Thanks to support from the Lowell Institute, all three lectures are free and open to the public.

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