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, February 28, 2020

“Natives at the Siege” talk in Cambridge, 12 Mar.

On Thursday, 12 March, I’ll speak at the Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge on the topic of “Native Americans at the Siege of Boston.”

This is the latest of the annual talks I’ve given at that site to commemorate the anniversary of Evacuation Day.

The description we came up with:
Indigenous Americans fought in the Revolutionary War months before Gen. George Washington arrived in Cambridge. They came to the siege as members of their towns’ militia, in companies from “praying towns,” and as emissaries to confer with Washington, John Adams, James Bowdoin, and other Continental leaders. This talk examines the work of David Lamson, Captain Jehoiakim Yokum, Colonel Louis Akiatonharónkwen, and other Native Americans active in the first campaign of the Revolutionary War.
I’ll draw on a couple of hefty National Park Service studies: George Quintal’s Patriots of Color: ”A Peculiar Beauty and Merit”: African Americans and Native Americans at Battle Road & Bunker Hill and my own Gen. George Washington’s Home and Headquarters—Cambridge, Massachusetts. I’ve also found some new stories about Native soldiers on the Continental side in the first year of the war.

This talk will start at 6:30 P.M., when Cambridge parking becomes a little more possible. It’s free and open to the public, but there’s limited seating, so the site asks people to reserve a seat by calling 617-876-4491 or emailing long_reservations@nps.gov. I believe the talk will be recorded and eventually shared online, but that will take some time.

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