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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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Celebrating James Barrett’s 300th on 31 July 2010

On Saturday, 31 July, Save Our Heritage is hosting a 300th Birthday party of Col. James Barrett of Concord, with events from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Here’s the group’s tentative schedule for the day, and here’s the summary version from the Friends of Minute Man Park.

Barrett was in charge of the Middlesex County militia regiment, and sometimes a delegate to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. He became the local point man for assembling military supplies, and then for hiding them from the royal authorities. Those supplies included four brass cannons that members of the Boston militia artillery company had stolen from their own gunhouses and then helped to ship out to Concord. (One of them is shown above, as currently displayed at the M.M.N.H.P.’s Concord visitor center.)

I expect to be speaking at the Barrett birthday party about those cannons, how they got out of Boston and how Gen. Thomas Gage sent troops to Barrett’s farm find them. I may also speak about the so-called “Pitcairn pistols” captured on 19 Apr 1775, which also went through Barrett hands. Save Our Heritage is raising funds to preserve the Barrett homestead and allow it to become part of the larger Minute Man Park.


Pvt.Willy said...

One of the brass cannon barrels may also be seen at Bunker Hill.Just take a hike to the monument's top.Its the one with the burst barrel from a celebratory firing ceremony in the 19th.c.
I think few folks notice it,actually.

J. L. Bell said...

The “Hancock” cannon in Concord was once mounted in the chamber atop the Bunker Hill Monument, like its mate the “Adams.” Apparently the “Hancock” came loose sometime in the 1970s. After time in an M.D.C. facility and an N.P.S. warehouse, and [ahem] new work highlighting its importance to the events of 19 Apr 1775, it went back on display out at Minute Man. But both cannons tell the same story.

RFuller said...

Thanks again, JL, for all the work you do, and in particular again for the investigative research you did on the "Hancock" cannon and its mates. We make it a point at Minute Man NHP in our interpretation to the public about the cannon to mention your role.