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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Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Real Paul Revere in Newton, 7 June

On Tuesday, 7 June, Robert Martello will speak at the Newton library on his book Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise.

This book is part biography of Revere, part history of the climate for new business and technology in the early republic. Revere was an entrepreneur, but then so was nearly everybody in an economy based on family workshops and farms. Revere stood out as a pioneer in moving from his North End to large metalworking factory compounds—in his case, casting bronze pieces like church bells and cannon and rolling copper sheets for ships and buildings.

Martello is a professor of the history of science and technology at Olin College. I heard him speak at Lexington earlier in the year, and he packs a lot into one talk. (Which means he speaks even faster than I do.) His talk begins at 7:30 P.M., and he’ll sign books afterward.

Also, via BoingBoing and Judy Cataldo, here’s a Photoshop artist’s rendition of how Revere might have responded to recent news.


Jen said...

Colonial face palm. Awesome. :)

Rob Velella said...

This iamge made my day.

I heard Prof. Martello speak at "Paul Revere's Row" in Charleston earlier this year. He's a great speaker!

EJWitek said...

Actually I think he just realized that he spelled it "Hencock" when he engraved it.

Jen said...

She's now insisting that she wasn't wrong. I'm not kidding.

Kelly Weaver said...

Look at what Palin supporters have been up to with the Wikipedia page on Paul Revere. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/38678_Palin_Fans_Trying_to_Edit_Wikipedia_Paul_Revere_Page

boneman said...

Israel Bissell (1752-1823) was a post rider in Massachusetts who alerted the American colonists of the British attack on April 19, 1775. He rode for four days and six hours covering the 345 miles from Watertown, Massachusetts to Philadelphia along the Old Post Road, shouting "To arms, to arms, the war has begun," and carrying a message from General Joseph Palmer which was copied at each of his stops and redistributed.

At the end of Bissell's first leg, in Worcester, his first horse collapsed and died from having been driven so hard. At each town along the way, church bells were rung and muskets fired to spread the word; when he reached Philadelphia, the pealing of the Liberty Bell caused a crowd of 8,000 to assemble to hear the news. Bissell then returned to Connecticut, where he joined the army alongside his brother, Justis. After the war, he moved to Middlefield, Massachusetts. Bissell died in 1823 and was buried in the Maple Street Cemetery in Hinsdale, Massachusetts.

J. L. Bell said...

That capsule biography of Israel Bissell from Wikipedia is mistaken in many respects. Most important, the real rider’s name was Isaac Bissell, and he rode to Hartford, not as far as Philadelphia. But I didn’t know that when I started this blog.

Charles Bahne said...

"But I didn’t know that when I started this blog."

A true mark of maturity is the ability to recognize when you make a mistake -- or when one of your heroes makes a mistake -- and to admit that it is indeed a mistake.

Thanks, John.