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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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

“Paul Revere’s Pictures of the Massacre” in Boston, 9 Mar.

On Saturday, 9 March, I’ll speak to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Paul Revere Chapter, about “Paul Revere’s Pictures of the Boston Massacre.”

Here’s the description we came up with:

Paul Revere’s engraving of the Boston Massacre is famous, but he didn’t design that image. He did, however, produce three additional visual depictions of what happened on March 5, 1770. This talk will dive deep into Revere’s pictures of the fatal violence on King Street and explore what they tell us about the event and its political implications.
Here, as a taste, is the first picture that Revere produced to illustrate the Massacre: a “woodcut” of four coffins representing the first four deaths, carved for the Edes and Gill print shop and used in the Boston Gazette and broadsides.
Revere must have made this image after Crispus Attucks’s real initials became known; in the first week that big corpse was called “Michael Johnson.”

The scythe, hourglass, and “Æ. 17” on Samuel Maverick’s coffin signal his youth—he was only seventeen when he was killed, cut down too soon.

This D.A.R. chapter meeting will take place at the Fenway Community Center, 1282 Boylston Street in Boston. The gathering will start at 11:00 A.M., and I’m scheduled to speak at noon. People who aren’t D.A.R. or S.A.R. members are welcome (but might expect to be recruited as potential members). There will be refreshments and books for sale afterward.

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