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, October 05, 2018

Digging the Soldiers out of Faneuil Hall

On 5 Oct 1768, Boston’s selectmen assembled again to discuss what to do about the soldiers of the 14th Regiment of Foot bedding down in the rooms of Faneuil Hall.

Selectmen John Rowe, who had been born in England and played both sides of the political divide, was evidently acting as the town government’s emissary to the military authorities. He left little about this in his diary, but the selectmen’s official minutes say:

Mr. Rowe acquainted the Selectmen that he had seen Collo. [William] Delrimple, who informed him that it was not in his power To remove the Soldiers from Faneuil Hall, but that Barracks were provided and as soon as they were ready the Troops would be removed to them —
Once again, 250 years ago today, nothing changed. So what to talk about today?

Well, it’s Massachusetts Archaeology Month. Among the many special programs at sites around the state are these.

Saturday, 6 October, 11:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
Underwater Archaeology of the Whydah
Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, 869 Main Street, Chatham
Learn about pirates on Cape Cod with the true story of the Whydah! Hear about the tale of “Black Sam” Bellamy and his treasure. Discover the exciting world of underwater archaeology and uncover your own pirate treasure. Children will have the opportunity to excavate like an underwater archaeologist. (Excavations can be messy.)
Wednesday, 10 October, 4:00 P.M.
Parker’s Revenge: The New Evidence
Minute Man Visitor Center, Route 2A in Lexington
Archaeologist Meg Watters will share details about the Parker’s Revenge Archaeology Project, which was successful in locating a key Revolutionary War battle site from April 19, 1775. Following the presentation, Park Ranger Jim Hollister, joined by His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, will lead a walk out to the scene of action. The re-enactors will demonstrate how we believe the battle was fought, based on the results from the excavations. This program will feature musket firing.
Thursday, 25 October, 12:00 noon to 2:00 P.M.

Archaeology Live: Harvard College Life in Colonial Times
Between Weld and Matthew Halls in Harvard Yard, Cambridge
Peer into an active archaeological excavation and learn about the oldest section of North America’s first college, founded in 1636. Harvard archaeology students will answer your questions, demonstrate archaeological methods, and display recent finds from the seventeenth century that reflect how Harvard College students—centuries ago—ate, dressed, and amused themselves, among other experiences. Drop by any time during this two-hour event. The site is steps away from the famous John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard.

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