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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Thursday, January 19, 2023

“The Hive” in Concord, 18–19 Feb.

On the weekend of 18–19 February, Minute Man National Historical Park, Friends of Minute Man, Revolution 250, and the Massachusetts Army National Guard will host this year’s edition of “The Hive: A Symposium for Living History Interpreters.”

The 2023 Hive will offer two straight days of presentations and workshops on the start of the American Revolution, geared toward eighteenth-century reenactors and living-history interpreters.

As in past years, these sessions are designed to improve the accuracy of people’s portrayals of that past, particularly for the commemorations of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April but beyond that as well.

That concern for accuracy in costuming, weapons, and other material culture is why the continuously improving “Battle Road Standards” are a benchmark for Revolutionary reenactments. But it’s also valuable to understand the political issues, the social milieu, and the ordinary customs of the time when interacting with the public.

This year the Hive will take place at the Massachusetts National Guard Armory in Concord. The schedule is still being filled out, but some of the planned presentations are:
  • Bob Allison, “Why Did the Revolution Happen?”
  • Michele Gabrielson, “A Pressing Matter: Media Literacy & 18th-Century Newspapers”
  • Henry Cooke, “Introduction to Men’s Clothing”
  • Ruth Hodges, “Introduction to Women’s Clothing”
  • Paul O’Shaughnessy, “Basic Musket Maintenance”
  • Jim Hollister, “Interpretive Skills Workshop”
  • Larissa Sasgen, “Essential Stitches for Beginners”
  • Niels Hobbs, “Re-fit Your Kit: Things that Bring Your Impression to the Next Level”
  • Adam Hodges LeClaire, “Portraying the Lower Sort”
  • Alex Cain and Joel Bohy, “Militia Equipment in 1775”
There will also be times open for practicing military drill, organizing sewing circles, displaying objects from the period, and touring the armory.

For more information about this free event for dedicated reenactors (and those curious about being dedicated), visit the park’s webpage.

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