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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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Call for Papers on “The Adams Family and the American Revolution”

The Sons of the American Revolution has announced that its 2017 Annual Conference on the American Revolution will take place in Quincy. In honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of John Quincy Adams, the theme will be “The Adams Family and the American Revolution.” The gathering will also honor Lyman H. Butterfield, founding editor of the Adams Papers.

Here’s the call for papers:
John Adams famously wrote that “I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.” The comment seems to describe the story of the family in the generations from John to Henry Adams.

Yet the Adamses, whatever else they did, were political men and women. In 1821, an aging John Adams wrote his grandson George Washington Adams, an aspiring poet, that he must study politics, for “without some knowledge of it you will be always in confusion, blown about by every wind.” Politics were central to the story of the Adams family from the start, and at the foundation of the family’s politics was the American Revolution, a revolution that would create an American republic.

With that in mind, this conference proposes to explore the Adams family’s understanding of the nature, meaning, and significance of the American Revolution over the generations from John and Abigail to Henry and Brooks Adams. It will focus on the way their understanding of the American Revolution shaped their writings and their works from the Writs of Assistance Case in 1761 to Henry Adams’s death in the early 20th Century.

In support of their Congressional mandate to encourage historical research, the Sons of the American Revolution invites paper proposals from graduate students and advanced scholars in history and political science on any topic relating to the Adams family and the American Revolution.
Proposals should include a 250-word abstract of the paper and a short curriculum vitae for the author. They should be submitted to Richard Samuelson, Associate Professor of History, California State University, San Bernardino, by 15 Dec 2016.

The conference is scheduled to take place on 9-11 June 2017. The organizers will cover presenters’ travel and lodging expenses, and offer a $500 stipend. They anticipate collecting the papers in a subsequent printed volume.

TOMORROW: Back to our extended discussion of John Adams and birthday celebrations.

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