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, January 28, 2016

Fowler on the Crises after Yorktown in Lexington, Jan. 29

On Friday, 29 January, the Lexington Historical Society will host a free talk by William Fowler, Jr., on the topic of his book American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783.

The publisher’s description:
Most people believe the American Revolution ended in October, 1781, after the battle of Yorktown; in fact the war continued for two more traumatic years. During that time, the Revolution came closer to being lost than at any time in the previous half dozen.

The British still held New York, Savannah, Wilmington, and Charleston; the Royal Navy controlled the seas; the states—despite having signed the Articles of Confederation earlier that year—retained their individual sovereignty and, largely bankrupt themselves, refused to send any money in the new nation's interest; members of Congress were in constant disagreement; and the Continental army was on the verge of mutiny.

William Fowler’s An American Crisis chronicles these tumultuous and dramatic two years, from Yorktown until the British left New York in November 1783. At their heart was the remarkable speech Gen. George Washington gave to his troops encamped north of New York in Newburgh, quelling a brewing rebellion that could have overturned the nascent government.
Fowler is a a professor at Northeastern University and a former director of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His short biography of Samuel Adams was the spur that got me into studying Revolutionary history intently about eighteen years ago, so he might have a lot to answer for.

This talk is in the historical society’s Cronin Lecture series. It will take place at the Lexington Depot starting at 8:00 P.M. It is free and open to the public.

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