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, April 08, 2011

“Lost & Legendary Riders” in Beverly, 25 April

We’ve entered the Patriots Day season in Massachusetts, with many events linked to the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Among them, I’m pleased to announce, will be:

The Lost and Legendary Riders of April 19th
Monday, 25 April, at 9:30 A.M.
Beverly Public Library
Beyond Paul Revere and his companions, Americans have passed along stories of other notable riders on April 19, 1775. In this illustrated lecture I’ll explore the facts and fiction behind Hezekiah Wyman, the dreaded “White Horseman”; Abel Benson and Abigail Smith, children said to have helped raise the alarm in Middlesex County; and Israel Bissell, the post rider credited with carrying news of the fight all the way to Philadelphia.

I delivered an earlier version of this talk at the Old South Meeting-House last fall. This will be my first public appearance on the North Shore. I plan to dress warmly.

For less important events, such as the annual battle reenactment involving hundreds of participants, see the Battle Road website and Boston National Historic Park’s events listing. Events at National Park Service sites could of course be affected by the House of Representatives’ government shutdown. [ADDENDUM: I hear that the Meriam's Corner Exercise scheduled for Saturday, 9 April, in Concord has been canceled due to uncertainty about the federal lands, but that the town’s Patriots Day Parade and Dawn Salute will go on.]

Since Patriots Day is the start of Massachusetts’s April school vacation, many historic sites and museums, such as the Paul Revere House, have extra programs for kids and families that week. Local sites would not be affected by problems in the federal government.

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