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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Friday, May 20, 2016

Launching The Road to Concord, 2 June

I received two excellent packages from Westholme Publishing in the past week, and this photo shows me preparing a fine cup of Yorkshire Gold Tea to celebrate.

Yes, The Road to Concord is a real book now. I understand Amazon is shipping early orders, and the University of Chicago Press is supplying retailers. I’ve even started an Amazon author page.

The Massachusetts Historical Society has graciously offered to host the book launch. That’s a fitting place to share The Road to Concord since of the crucial documents behind it are in M.H.S. collections, and I first shared its thesis at the M.H.S.’s early American seminar series.

That launch will take place on Thursday, 2 June, starting with a reception at 5:30 P.M. followed by a talk and ceremony scheduled for 6:00 to 7:00. Here’s the event description, just added to the M.H.S. calendar:
In September 1774 Boston became the center of an “arms race” between Massachusetts’s royal government and emboldened Patriots, each side trying to secure as much artillery as they could for the coming conflict. Townsmen even stole four small cannon out of militia armories under redcoat guard. As Patriots smuggled their new ordnance into the countryside, Gen. Thomas Gage used scouts and informants to track down those weapons, finally locating them on James Barrett’s farm in Concord in April 1775. This book reveals a new dimension to the start of America’s War for Independence. MHS Fellow J. L. Bell, proprietor of Boston1775.net, will share highlights from The Road to Concord and describe how the society’s collections provided vital clues to this untold history.

As a special treat, the U.S. Postal Service will join us for the Massachusetts unveiling of a new stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the end of the Stamp Act crisis, the first act of the American Revolution.
I’ve even managed to come up with a way to tie the Stamp Act crisis of 1765-66 to the “arms race” and four stolen cannon of 1774-75. It helps that pre-Revolutionary Boston was really a small town where nearly everyone was connected in some way to everyone else.

The event will be free; the M.H.S. asks people to register in advance. Copies of The Road to Concord will be on sale, and I’ll of course be happy to sign them and thank you for your interest and support.


Charles Bahne said...

Congratulations, John, on two major accomplishments within the space of a week! I look forward to the celebration on June 2.

Will the Postal Service offer commemorative cancellations of their new Forever stamp, as well as selling it that evening? I'm considering making my book purchase "official" by buying one of the stamps, affixing it to the book's flyleaf or maybe the title page, and having it cancelled to prove that I bought both the book and the stamp on the launch date. I figure there would be quite a bit of irony in that.

Again, many congratulations, John. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. You deserve to be immensely proud of your work.

Charlie Bahne

EVR_99 said...

Best of Luck with the book and look forward to your appearance at Fort Plain Conference.

Q said...

Congrats! Looking forward to reading your book. Wish I could be in Ma to attend your signing....

Richard T said...

Congratulations, sir, on a task well done! Your sharing of your great interest in this time period is gratifying.

Good luck on your "Opening Day" and the success of your book.


Jim Padian said...

Congradulations, John. Look forward to reading your book. Struck in Florida. Cannot be at the reception.

Jim Padian

J. L. Bell said...

Thanks, folks! I don't know if the U.S. Postal Service ceremony will include cancellation of the stamp. Or even selling it. We'll see!

RodFleck said...

Congrats John! What a great accomplishment.
Living across the continent, can we purchase both book and stamp release in advance and have you sign them? Maybe I could call them in advance?

SilkDamask said...

Hearty congratulations! Look forward to reading your book and seeing you on the 2nd. All best, Kimberly

colin.nicolson@stir.ac.uk said...

Looking forward to reading your book, John. Congratulations and Best Wishes Colin Nicolson

Brian Mack said...

Congratulations John! I look forward to your visit and talking in Fort Plain and I can't wait to read the book!

J. L. Bell said...

I can now report that the U.S. Postal Service will be selling the anti-Stamp Act stamp at this event. There won't be a special cancellation; instead, those stamps can be canceled by the local post office. (I apologize if I don't report the technicalities right.)