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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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Three Online Events on Revolutionary History Tonight

September usually brings a burst of historical events as the academic calendar restarts while museums and tourist sites keep appealing to visitors. This year the pandemic means that a lot of those events are being organized online, and are thus available to much broader audiences. Plus, they’re often recorded and made available online for later.

All of which exponentially increases the number of historical talks and panels one feels guilty about not attending in some way. Here are three scheduled for tonight alone.

The Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar at the Massachusetts Historical Society gets under way for the year. Prof. Lauren Duval of the University of Oklahoma has shared a paper titled “The Horrid Deeds of our Enemies.” Prof. Carolyn Eastman of Virginia Commonwealth University will be the principal commenter, but this will be a discussion session.
The American Revolution was waged not only on the battlefield, but in the realm of culture. American homes and the wartime violence within them—particularly directed against women—were prominent subjects in novels and historical paintings. Reimagining women’s interactions with British soldiers solely as relationships of violence and deception, not volition, these narratives promoted a gendered vision of wartime domestic invasion and violation that would, in memory, come to define the war’s devastation and contribute to emergent ideas about the meaning of independence.
To subscribe to the papers in this series and other seminars hosted by the M.H.S., use this link; the cost is $25. Register for tonight’s event here. This seminar will run from 5:15 to 6:30 P.M. Unfortunately, there are no sandwiches and conversation afterward except what we provide ourselves.

Monticello is offering a series of “Tom Talks,” and tonight’s is grandly but not inaccurately titled “The Election of 1800: A Battle for the Soul of America.”
Jefferson recalled the Election of 1800 as the “revolution of 1800;” the first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another in the young United States. Yet it was shaped by a bitter campaign in the press as the Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties battled to decide the nation's future course. Join John Ragosta, Historian at the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and Jeff Looney, Editor of the Jefferson Papers: Retirement Series as they discuss the political maneuvering that led to Jefferson’s presidency.
That event begins at 6:00 P.M., and access costs $25. Monticello is also posting many free videos on other aspect of the third President’s life.

Finally, History Author Talks features two experts speaking on “The Ravages of War in New York and New Jersey.” William L. (Larry) Kidder, author of Ten Crucial Days: Washington’s Vision for Victory Unfolds and the upcoming Revolutionary Princeton, 1774-1783: The Biography of an American Town in the Heart of a Civil War, and Todd Braisted, author of Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground Around New York City and Bergen County Voices from the American Revolution: Soldiers and Residents in Their Own Words, will discuss military maneuvers in the crucial corridor between the two largest cities in North America.

This conversation will start at 7:00 P.M. To register, use this link. The History Author Talks website has links to recordings of many previous conversations between authors this year, including mine with Nina Sankovitch and Paul Lockhart.

Don’t you feel more guilty already?

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