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.

Follow by Email


Friday, August 26, 2016

The Road to Concord Goes Through Washington, D.C.

Next week I’m traveling to Washington, D.C., for a couple of talks about The Road to Concord.

On Wednesday, 31 August, at 6:00 P.M. I’ll speak at Anderson House, the museum and library of the Society of the Cincinnati in Dupont Circle.

The museum’s website says:
In the early spring of 1775, on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts, British army spies located four brass cannon belonging to Boston’s colonial militia that had gone missing months before. British general Thomas Gage had been searching for them, both to stymie New England’s growing rebellion and to erase the embarrassment of having let cannon disappear from armories under redcoat guard. Anxious to regain those weapons, he drew up plans for his troops to march nineteen miles into unfriendly territory. The Massachusetts Patriots, meanwhile, prepared to thwart the general’s mission. There was one goal Gage and his enemies shared: for different reasons, they all wanted to keep the stolen cannon as secret as possible. Both sides succeeded well enough that the full story has never appeared until now.
Okay, that’s actually the jacket copy for my book, which I drafted, so I like it. At Anderson House I’ll focus on the Patriots’ effort to gather cannon for their nascent army—buying old guns wherever they could, dragging them out of shore batteries, and even stealing them out from under British sentries. And how did the Boston Patriots get their cannon out of town with the king’s soldiers and sailors everywhere?

This is a public lecture in a setting so luxurious that even this year’s Republican Presidential nominee would feel at home. It’s free and open to the public, with light refreshments and the chance to have copies of The Road to Concord signed.

The following Wednesday, 7 September, I’ll speak to the American Revolution Round Table of D.C. at its usual meeting-spot, the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant in Alexandria. The group’s website says, “RSVPs should be submitted at least one week before the meeting. As usual, payment for the meal may be made ‘at the door’.” The event starts at 6:00 P.M.

The same well-written description of The Road to Concord appears on the D.C. Round Table’s website. But in the hopes that some people may wish to attend both talks, on that second evening I’m going to talk about the other side of the conflict in early 1775: Gen. Gage’s increasingly risky moves to stymie the Patriots, spy out their secrets, and recover the stolen cannon.


Peter Ansoff said...

Sorry I'll miss you JL -- I'm a member of ARRT-DC, but I'll be on the west coast next week. I'm taking your book to read on the plane!

Jim Padian said...

Wish I could attend. Alas, stuck in Florida, waiting for the hurricane (or not).