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, September 04, 2019

Upcoming Talks at the Newport Historical Society

Here are a couple of events coming up at the Newport Historical Society this month.

On Thursday, 5 September, Will Simpson will speak on “‘Frère et Concitoyen’: A Newporter in Revolutionary France.”
The story of William H. Vernon’s years in France (1778-1797) is one of thrilling political intrigue as this young American merchant, a member of one of Newport’s most influential Colonial-era merchant families, found himself thrust into the midst of the French Revolution.
Simpson won prizes at Middlebury College, where he majored in French with a minor in history, and did research in the Newport Historical Society’s Vernon Family manuscripts as a 2019 Buchanan Burnham Summer Scholar in Public History.

The “Frère et Concitoyen” program will take place at the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, starting at 5:30 P.M. Admission is $1 for society members and retired and active-duty military personnel, $5 for other people.

On Thursday, 19 September, the society will host a lecture originally scheduled in January but postponed because the President’s decision to shut down the federal government for the second time in a year.

Emily Murphy, Curator for the National Park Service’s Salem Maritime National Historical Site, will deliver her lecture “‘I am an honest woman’: Female Revolutionary Resistance along the New England Seacoast.” I can recommend this talk to anyone interested in the political activism that led up to the war and independence.
In Colonial New England, lower-class men and women could take to the streets and protest, men of the middling sort could participate in political action, yet women of the middling class were restricted by law and society. This didn’t stop these wealthier women, who became known as Daughters of Liberty, from showing their support for the Patriot cause. Along the New England seacoast, it became a popular springtime occurrence for ladies to participate in spinning bees where they would create homespun fabric and boycott purchasing fabrics imported from England.
Murphy earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University in 2008. She has worked for the National Park Service for nearly twenty years and is also an accomplished living historian.

This talk, co-sponsored by the Hotel Viking, will also take place at the Resource Center, 82 Touro Street in Newport. Admission is $5, or $1 for society members and retired and active-duty military personnel.

(The picture above shows the Vernon family mansion, still standing on Clarke Street in Newport.)

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