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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Saturday, February 01, 2014

“Reporting the Battle of Lexington” Lecture, 7 Feb.

On Friday, 7 February, I’ll speak to the Lexington Historical Society about how the start of the Revolutionary War was reported.

The society’s events page says this talk “discusses Reporting the Revolution, a new publication showcasing newspaper reporting of the Revolution in real time.” It’s more accurate to say my talk will be inspired by one of my articles in Reporting the Revolutionary War, the volume that Todd Andrlik edited in 2012. But since those chapters are too short to fill an hour, I’ll go into more detail about some stories that didn’t get into the newspapers.

The Massachusetts Patriots faced a couple of challenges on the morning of 18 Apr 1775. The first was alerting New England allies and the Continental Congress about the fighting. The second was to manage the flow of information, both in North America and to Britain, so that it supported their image of having been unfairly attacked. I plan to talk about dispatch riders like Isaac Bissell, the Provincial Congress’s report on the first day of fighting, and John Derby’s voyage of the Quero to Britain.

This event will start at 8:00 P.M. in the Lexington Depot at the heart of town—there’s ample parking nearby. The talk is free and open to the public.


Anonymous said...


I'm struck in Florida. The Quero talk would be of much interest to me. Any chance you make slides, etc. available at later date?

Jim Padian

J. L. Bell said...

If there's a video archive available to the public, I'll post a link on this site.