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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Thursday, March 05, 2020

EXTRA: After the Sestercentennial of the Massacre

And you thought the Sestercentennial commemoration of the Boston Massacre was over after the reenactments on Saturday. But no!

Here are the events I know about in the coming month.

Sunday, 8 March, 12:30-2:30 P.M.
Faneuil Hall to the Granary Burying-Ground, Boston
Reenactors and the public are invited to a period oration delivered by Henry Cooke IV under the Samuel Adams statue, followed a procession to the Granary Burying Ground to lay a wreath at the victims’ tomb.

Tuesday, 10 March, 7:00 P.M.
American Antiquarian Society, Worcester
Mitch Kachun, author of First Martyr of Liberty: Crispus Attucks in American Memory, discusses how and why certain historical narratives gain widespread credibility and familiarity while others are forgotten or marginalized. This talk explores the different ways that Crispus Attucks has been either made a part of or excluded from Americans’ understandings of the story of the American Revolution and the story of the nation.

Thursday, 12 March, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Old South Meeting House, Boston
“Sanguinary Theatre: Dr. Joseph Warren & His Massacre Oration” will blend modern context and costumed interpretation to revive a fiery oration of 1775. Following the Boston Massacre, the residents of Massachusetts Bay made their feelings on the violent event known in a series of annual memorial meetings, with speeches by well-known orators of the day. Dr. Joseph Warren delivered such a speech to a tense and rowdy crowd at Old South Meeting House in March 1775, months before his death at the Battle of Bunker Hill. In this oration, Warren both mourned the Massacre victims as martyrs and inspired his audience with a call to protect liberty for future generations. Witness Warren’s thoughts on the military occupation of Boston, the Bloody Massacre on King Street, and these events’ repercussions as colonists found themselves on the brink of war. Tickets available through this page.

In addition, as already noted, Serena Zabin will be speaking about her new book, The Boston Massacre: A Family History, in Lexington on 10 March and in Newport, Rhode Island, on 12 March.

And don’t miss these ongoing museum exhibits:
And of course the legal trials that followed the Boston Massacre in late 1770 were important historic events in their own right. Stay tuned!

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