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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Wednesday, April 03, 2019

“William Dawes’s Secret” in Roxbury, 7 April

On Sunday, 7 April, I’ll speak to the Jamaica Plain Historical Society and the Roxbury Historical Society about “William Dawes’s Secret.”

Here’s our event description:
William Dawes, Jr., is known today only as the other rider who carried news of the British army march to Lexington in April 1775. Like the more famous Paul Revere, Dawes was deeply involved in the Patriot movement for years before and after that date. This talk reveals Dawes the militia organizer, the fashion icon, even the arms smuggler whose secret mission for the Patriots’ Committee of Safety helped bring on the Revolutionary War.
Dawes appears in The Road to Concord as the Committee of Safety’s liaison to whoever in Boston knew where the militia train’s stolen cannon were hidden. His descendants in the late 1800s said that he had participated in stealing those cannon as well. I’ll lay out that episode, but also talk about Dawes’s family ties to Roxbury, his work in Worcester during the war, and how he came to be buried in Roxbury today.

This talk will take place at the First Church of Roxbury at 10 Putnam Street, and the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry is cosponsoring it. We’ll start at 2:00 P.M., and afterwards there will be light refreshments and books for sale. The event is free and open to the public.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just reconfirming, John -- this is the big white, wooden church on top of the hill at John Eliot Square, right?

William passed by there on his ride, and there was a church on the site at the time, although the present church dates from about 30 years later. Also nearby are the Dilloway-Thomas house and the Parting Stone, both dating from before his ride and both still standing.