Thursday, June 20, 2024

“Beyond the Thirteen” at History Camp Boston, 10 Aug.

History Camp Boston will take place on Saturday, 10 August, with ancillary events before and after.

At organizer Lee Wright’s request, I’ll speak on the topic “Beyond the Thirteen: The American Colonies That Stayed with Britain”:
As Americans we speak of “the thirteen colonies,” but that includes only those colonies that rebelled in 1775. Britain’s empire in the western hemisphere included up to three dozen more colonies, depending on how one counts. Some were small islands while others were older, larger, and wealthier than the colonies that sent delegates to the Continental Congress. Most of those places were subject to the same new taxes that caused such problems along the north Atlantic coast. This talk will map the full boundaries of the British Empire in 1775, look at the Congress’s fraught relations with those other colonies, and explore why they didn’t join the move toward independence.
That’s a different sort of topic for me—broader, longer, and without an obvious narrative. But I’m plucking smaller stories out of the records.

There are more than fifty other sessions on the History Camp Boston schedule, including a whole lot about the Revolution and eighteenth-century America:
  • 1774: The Year the Revolution Began, Robert J. Allison
  • An American Revolution Christmas Night: Washington Crossing, Salina B. Baker
  • The Debatable Lands: The History of Georgia 1733–1750, Wheeler Bryan, Jr.
  • From Daughters of Liberty to Republican Mothers: How Women Evolved From the Eve of the Revolution to the Foundations of the Early Republic, Melissa Bryson
  • The Chocolate Girl and Drinking Chocolate in the 18th Century, Patricia A. Buttaro
  • Civilians Trapped Behind the Lines During the Siege of Boston, Alexander R. Cain
  • Mercy Otis Warren and the Writings of a Revolutionary: American Calliope, Michele Gabrielson
  • General Washington’s Spymaster: Major Benjamin Tallmadge, Sam Garrity
  • The Great Bengal Famine of 1770 and the Boston Tea Party, Chris Hall
  • They Tore Down the King’s Colours (on the storming of Fort William & Mary), Cynthia Hatch
  • Pups of Liberty: Animating the Revolution, Jennifer C. and Bert Klein
  • How American Rebels Blocked British Control of the Hudson River: Iron in the Water, Kiersten Marcil
  • Slavery’s Legacy in a New England Town, Elizabeth Matelski and Abby Battis
  • Captain Slarrow, Major Montague, and the 1774 North Leverett Sawmill, Will Melton
  • Researching Revolutionary War Patriots: The Challenge, the Results, and Tips Based on Our Project in Hingham, Ellen Stine Miller and Susan Garret Wetzel
  • What’s New at 250?: Interpreting the Revolution for Today’s Audiences, Jake Sconyers and Nikki Stewart
  • The British Are Here, Richard O. Tucker
As usual, it will be impossible to attend every session that intrigues me. But an embarrassment of possibilities is a good thing about History Camp.

This main session of History Camp Boston will once again take place in the Suffolk University Law School building, 120 Tremont Street. Doors will open at 8:00 A.M., and the presentations are scheduled to start at 9:00. That gathering will end at 5:30 P.M., but folks can choose to attend Revolution’s Edge at the Old North Church an hour later.

On Sunday, 11 August, there are four tours available at extra cost—two inside Boston, one on the North Shore, and one on the South Shore (which is already sold out).

Registration for the Saturday sessions with breakfast refreshments and lunch costs $110. A T-shirt, a Sunday tour, and a donation that brings an invitation to a reception on Friday night are all extra. For all the details, start on this page.

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