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, January 27, 2012

Intimate Acquaintance

After Abigail Adams learned the details of Dr. Benjamin Church’s correspondence with the British command, conducted at one point through his mistress, she wrote to her husband in Philadelphia:
What are your thoughts with regard to Dr. Church? Had you much knowledg of him? I think you had no intimate acquaintance with him.
This is the sort of query for which there’s really only one acceptable answer. It’s not, “We worked together for years as political organizers, and everyone kept quiet about his mistresses.” It’s, “I barely knew the man, honey.”

(By the time John Adams received that letter, he’d actually already sent Abigail his thoughts about the “detestible Subject” of Dr. Church, so he got the answer right.)

On Sunday, 5 February, at 2:00 P.M. the Shirley-Eustis House in Roxbury will host a performance of “The Intimate Correspondence of John and Abigail Adams,” based on letters like that one. The press release says:
Today, over 230 years later, we can still listen to their conversations, share in their thoughts and desires, and get to know them as real people, not just as words in a history textbook. During the “Love Letters” presentation, the audience will hear letters that began with John’s and Abigail’s courtship, and continuing through John’s years at the Continental Congress. Enjoy these iconic personalities as they reveal their teasing humor, their pleasure in children and farm, their deepest hopes for the future, and their undying love and respect for each other.

“Love Letters” will be presented by two Adams scholars and living history performers—Patricia Bridgman and Thomas Macy—who have over forty years of living history experience between them.
After the show, there will be a question-and-answer session in character and refreshments. Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for members of the Shirley-Eustis House Association. Call 617-442-2275 to reserve seats.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

There’s another performance of this show on 11 February at Old Sturbridge Village.