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.

Follow by Email


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Exploring Benjamin Lincoln’s Life in Hingham

This afternoon the Hingham Historical Society launches its new season of lectures with the theme “Benjamin Lincoln’s World: Stories from Colonial Hingham to the Early Republic.”

The society is in the process of acquiring Gen. Benjamin Lincoln’s house, a National Historic Landmark that has been owned by one family for eleven generations (shown here).

These online talks are designed to explore Lincoln’s life and work in the Revolution, and to raise interest and funds for turning the house into a house museum. There are seven lectures scheduled through May 2021 and a self-guided walking tour.

Here are the first two events:

Sunday, 27 September, 3:00 P.M.
“Benjamin Lincoln and the American Revolution: A Conversation with David Mattern”
Andy Hoey, Head of Social Studies for the Hingham Public Schools, will interview David Mattern, Gen. Lincoln’s biographer and the recently retired editor of the Papers of James Madison.

Sunday, 25 October, 3:00 P.M.
“The Evolution of Benjamin Lincoln’s Lifelong Home”
J. Ritchie Garrison, Ph.D., former Director of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture at the University of Delaware, will lead an architectural examination of the Benjamin Lincoln House.

Further lectures will discuss Hingham and the slave trade, colonial schooling, beer-making, women’s lives in early New England, and eighteenth-century lighthouses.

The self-guided walking tour “Getting to Know Benjamin Lincoln’s Neighborhood” will debut on the web in October. It will describe downtown Hingham structures that would have been standing in the general’s lifetime and the families who lived there.

Access to the full series of seven online lectures costs $200, or $175 for Hingham Historical Society members. One can order gift subscriptions, memberships, or copies of David Mattern’s book from the same webpage. Unlike some other online talks, I don’t expect these to be available on the web for free soon, so don’t sleep on this subscription! (That’s a little narcolepsy joke in Gen. Lincoln’s honor.)