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, February 24, 2018

“Black Experience in Concord” panel, Lincoln, 25 Feb.

On Sunday, 25 February, as part of its “Winter Learning Series,” the Friends of Minute Man Park will sponsor a panel discussion on “The Past We Never Knew: New Research and Reflections on the Black Experience in Concord.”

The event description says, “In the last couple of years alone, historical scholars and site staff have made dozens of intriguing discoveries as they have engaged in uncovering and recovering the lives of Concord’s black residents and visitors.”

The panelists sharing their findings will be:
  • Maria Madison, President of the Board of the Robbins House (shown above), the Concord home of the descendants of an African-American veteran of the Revolutionary War. She is also the Dean of Diversity at Brandeis.
  • Dr. John Hannigan, scholar-in-residence at both Minute Man National Historical Park and the Robbins House and now the Head of Reference Services for the Massachusetts State Archives. His original focus was on black soldiers in the Revolution; his work eventually broadened to encompass a broad range of African-American experiences over a long span of time.
  • Jane Sciacca, curator of the Wayland Historical Society, retired after twenty-eight years as an interpreter for the National Park Service. Jane has studied local slavery in the Revolutionary War period and done extensive research on the man who escaped slavery to take up temporary residence with the Alcott family at the Wayside.
The panel will be moderated by local historian Jayne Gordon. It will take place at Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, in Lincoln, starting at 2:00 P.M. This event is free and open to the public.


Joe Bauman said...

The fascinating new biography of Thoreau, “Henry David Thoreau:A Life,” by Laura Dassow Walls has an interesting report about his exploring ruins and cellar holes at Walden Pond that remained of a community including former salves. It also discusses the lives of some of the black residents. I highly recommend this book.

J. L. Bell said...

Thoreau collected a lot of gossip about Concord’s blacks (and Loyalists), making his notebooks among the best sources for local historians studying those families.

A few years back the book Black Walden also explored this topic in depth.