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 01, 2014

“Building a Handsome Church” in Essex County, 7 June

On 7 June, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem will host a symposium titled “Building A Handsome Church”: St. Michael’s, Marblehead, 1714. It will bring together “historians, architects, architectural historians, ecclesiastical scholars, and the general public” to discuss the 300-year-old Anglican church and its place in Marblehead history. St. Michael’s is the oldest Episcopal congregation in New England holding services in its original building.

The chair of the symposium is Donald R. Friary, President of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and historian of religion and architecture in colonial America. Speakers include:
  • Robert L. Howie, Jr., St. Michael’s Church Historian emeritus and Chair of the Tercentenary Committee.
  • Stuart P. Feld, President, Hirschl & Galleries, Inc., on “St. Michael’s Marblehead—From Widener Library at Harvard to London and Amsterdam and Back.”
  • Christopher P. Magra, Associate Professor of History, University of Tennessee, on “‘Extravagance, Intemperance, Negligence in Religion, and Disorderliness’: Marblehead, the Early Years.”
  • David D. Hall, Bartlett Research Professor of New England Church History, Harvard Divinity School, on “Reliving the Past or Fashioning a Different Future?: Anglicanism and Puritanism in Eighteenth-Century New England.”
  • Carl Lounsbury, Senior Architectural Historian, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and College of William and Mary, discussing “The Church of England’s First Colonial Buildings: Virginia, 1608-1714.”
  • Louis P. Nelson, Associate Professor of Architectural History and Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, University of Virginia, who will speak about “St. Michael's, Marblehead: A Case Study in Atlantic Anglicanism.”
A panel of three local historians—Howie, social and cultural historian Judy Anderson, and town historian Bette Hunt—will help place the St. Michael’s experience in the context of the Church of England throughout colonial America.

This symposium will run from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. The $75.00 registration fee includes a box lunch and afternoon tours of the church, including access to its crypt, belfry, and archives. There will be a reception at the end of the day. There’s limited space, but registrations might still be available through the St. Michael’s Church Tercentenary year website, which also has information on concerts, lectures, community events, and special religious services.

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