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


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Transport Ship to Point Shirley

As winter approached, the British authorities inside besieged Boston tried to remove civilians who didn’t want to be there and would only add to the difficulty of keeping the garrison and Loyalist families fed and warm. Selectman Timothy Newell recorded one of their actions in his journal on 24 Nov 1775:

A transport Ship carried about 400 of our Inhabitants to Point Shirley [in Winthrop]. One poor Dutch woman attempted to carry with her about 60 dollars. Morrison the deserter seized them and carried them to the town Major. Ten dollars was stopped by him.
This was the third time that Newell complained about John Morrison.

On 28 November, Gen. George Washington reported to the Continental Congress:
About 300 Men, Women and Children of the poor Inhabitants of Boston, came out to Point Shirley last Friday, they have brought their Household furniture, but unprovided of every other necessary of Life: I have recommended them to the attention of the Committee of the Honorable Council of this Province, now sitting at Water Town.
The Council was the upper house of the Massachusetts legislature. With the royal government broken down, it had taken executive authority in the province. And now it was responsible for the poor refugees from Boston.


Anonymous said...

Is there a link to the journal of Timothy Newell? I would be interested to see his journal entries.

J. L. Bell said...

To my knowledge, the journal of Timothy Newell isn’t available online, though (since it was printed 1852) it’s in the public domain.

That’s one reason I’m working my way through the entries, day by day.