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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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Reprinting the Constitution by Hand

Since I’ve been looking at the effort of starting a new newspaper in pre-Revolutionary Boston, it seems appropriate to share the video on this page from The History List.

Lee Wright recorded Gary Gregory of the Edes & Gill Print Shop in today’s North End talking about how he researched, recreated, and now prints Benjamin Edes’s edition of the new proposed U.S. Constitution. Edes put that out ahead of the Massachusetts ratifying convention in 1788. The only surviving original appears to be at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The photo at right shows Gary holding a previous—and mercifully shorter—document that he’s also recreated: John Gill’s printing of the Declaration of Independence soon after that text arrived from Philadelphia in 1776.

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