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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Video, Audio, and Web Links

Audio and Video Recordings

At C-SPAN’s American History T.V. site archives J. L. Bell’s talk at Anderson House in Washington, D.C., on the Four Stolen Cannon that Ignited the Revolutionary War. Also on C-SPAN is a video of a panel on Todd Andrlik’s book Reporting the Revolutionary War, which Bell participated in.

Liz Covart interviewed J. L. Bell about “The Boston Stamp Act Riots” on her Ben Franklin’s World podcast in August 2015.

Folks at the National Park Service have posted videos of J. L. Bell’s lecture “Washington’s Artillery: Remaking the Regiment between Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights,” delivered at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in March 2012. And “When Washington Changed His Mind: The Question of African-American Soldiers in the Continental Army” in March 2015.

Bell’s talk at History Camp Boston in March 2014 on “The Boston Bankruptcy That Led to the American Revolution” is archived in video form. Also available is a recording of his talk at the Pioneer Valley History Camp in 2016, “How the British Empire Lost New England Seven Months Before the War.” 

Bell consulted on the History Detectives episodes about a brass cannon in Concord (transcript) and a 1775 almanac diary.

In August 2012, Bell spoke to WBUR Radio Boston about the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III videogame. Here’s the interview with host Anthony Brooks and a link to the preview video under discussion.

Save Our Heritage has posted videos of Bell’s three talks at the James Barrett house in Concord in July 2010 in its online video archive.

“A Knock at the Door: Three Centuries of Governmental Search and Seizure,” a panel discussion at the Old State House in Boston in November 2009, can be viewed through the WGBH Forum Network. (Technical problems prevented the taping of expert moderator Frederick Lane’s introduction, so the video unfairly starts with Bell’s presentation.)

“Gossiping About the Gores,” presentation at Old South Meeting House in January 2009, is archived in audio form at the WBGH Forum Network. Bell’s talk follows one Boston family from the 1760s through the 1820s—striving in society, divided by politics, and occasionally star-crossed by love. For full enjoyment, follow along with the handout.

Read the transcript of J. L. Bell’s discussion of John Adams with Mike Pesca, host of N.P.R.’s The Bryant Park Project, in April 2008.


The 150 Years of “Paul Revere’s Ride” website, created by J. L. Bell for a coalition of historic and cultural organizations, offers information about Henry W. Longfellow’s famous poem. First published at the end of 1860, those lines had a profound impact on how Americans remember the start of the Revolutionary War.

1 comment:

Colin Weeks said...

I have been an avid reader of your Blog for some time as I am a direct descendant of John Lovell who married Priscilla Gardner in 17099. They were the parents of John and James Lovell who you have sometimes referred to in your banter.
In a recent article you referred to the Hessians and the role they played in Boston with the Loyalists.
I am sure you would like to know that the daughter of John Lovell who married Abigail Greenin Sept.1734 was the mother of13 children among whom wasElizabeth Lovell who was said by you to have been a beauty who may have tempted some of the Loyalist Officers who were in Boston trying to stop the rebellion.
My point in writing to you is to let you know that this beauty has a link to the Prussians as she was swept off her feet and married Baron de Schellen who waS then serving in the 58th Prussian Infantry.
They were married in 1780 which made Elizabeth (Bess)30 years old.
I hope this is of some interest to you and to give you some information on at least one unit of the Prussian army.