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, October 27, 2006

Simons Speaks on Witches and More

D. Brenton Simons, author of Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder and Mayhem in Boston, 1630-1775, will speak at the Waltham Public Library on Monday, 30 October, at 7:30 PM.

I know this is the season for witches, but I like the rogues in Brent's book best. One of the finest is Dr. Seth Hudson. Here are four entries from young printer John Boyles's "Journal of Occurrences in Boston" that give a flavor of the man.

10 Sept 1761: “Jeremiah Dexter, lately detected in passing counterfeit dollars stood an hour in the Pillory in the presence of great number of Spectators, many of whom were very liberal in bestowing Rotten Eggs upon Mr. Dexter, particularly Dr. Seth Hudson.”

8 Oct 1761: “Dr. Seth Hudson, and Mr. Joshua How were committed to Goal, being charged with forging Treasurer’s Notes.”

10 Mar 1762: “Doctor Seth Hudson, having been convicted on four several Indictments of Counterfeiting the Treasurer’s Notes, was sentenced by the Superior Court, to be set in the Pillory one hour, to be whiped 20 Stripes, to suffer one year’s Imprisonment, and to pay a fine of £100 to the King, upon each Conviction.”

10 Sept 1767: “Lately died of the Small-Pox in Albany, Dr. Seth Hudson, famous for the particular Marks of Distinction some years since conferred on him by the Superior Court of this Province for his ingenious Practice.”
In addition, Maureen Regan will lead a "Witches, Sex, and Scandal in Colonial Boston Walking Tour" on Saturday, 28 October, starting at Faneuil Hall at 10:30 A.M. and ending about noon with Brent signing his book. Registration is limited; $20 for adults, $16 for children under twelve. Contact the New England Historic Genealogical Society to reserve a space. Rain date: 11 November.

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