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Account of the Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress

Author: Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress. Title: Account of the Society of Friends of Foreigners in Distress : with the nature and views of the institution ; also the plan and regulations, a list of subscribers, and an appendix, containing...
From: Recent Antiquarian Acquisitions on 12 Aug 2021

Asians in Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts

South Indians were enslaved in North America well before the two Continental Army soldiers I discussed yesterday.The 9 June 1757 Boston News-Letter included this advertisement: Ran-away from his Master, Ebenezer Webster, of Bradford in the County of Essex,...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 May 2021

Studying America’s Earliest Jewish Communities

The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at the New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering an online course on “Freedoms and Challenges: America’s Earliest Jewish Communities, 1650–1840” starting on 2 March.The course...
From: Boston 1775 on 27 Feb 2021

When John Piemont Set Up Shop in Danvers

At the website of the Danvers Archival Center, part of the town’s public library, Richard B. Trask shared his essay “Discovering Paul Revere in the Dried Prunes Box,” also published decades ago in Family Heritage. It involves the engraved...
From: Boston 1775 on 17 Dec 2020

Charles Bourgate’s Massacre

Today, 5 March, is the Sestercentennial anniversary of the Boston Massacre. I’ve written a lot about the Massacre over the years, including this post from 2007 about how the trouble started and how easily people could have avoided it.So today I’m...
From: Boston 1775 on 5 Mar 2020

The Life and Death of Christopher Seider

The younger boy hit by “Swan shot” from Ebenezer Richardson’s musket on 22 Feb 1770 was named Christopher Seider (although that last name also showed up as Snider and in other forms). Christopher’s story starts with an effort to...
From: Boston 1775 on 24 Feb 2020

America’s First Vampire Investigators

The Connecticut Courant article I quoted yesterday named three men in addition to Isaac Johnson, the paterfamilias so distraught by tuberculosis in his family that he had two of his children’s bodies dug up in 1784. One was the man who wrote the...
From: Boston 1775 on 9 Jan 2020

A Double Exhumation in 1784 Connecticut

On 22 June 1784, the Connecticut Courant ran an article which has become highly significant for hunters of vampires and vampire lore. It read:WHEREAS of late years there has been advanced for a certainty, by a certain Quack Doctor, a foreigner, that a...
From: Boston 1775 on 8 Jan 2020

The Furniture of the Middling Sort

Many thanks to Chris Pickvance for this guest post on the furniture of the middling sort. You can hear Chris talk the team through a “middling” style chair in the video at the end of this post… You can also read more about furniture...
From: Middling Culture on 7 Jan 2020

Colonial Records of King’s Chapel to Be Published

On Thursday, 5 December, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts and King’s Chapel will celebrate the publication of The Colonial Records of King’s Chapel, 1686-1776, two volumes edited by James Bell and James Mooney.King’s Chapel was...
From: Boston 1775 on 27 Nov 2019

Farinelli on “The Palatine Wreck,” 3 May

On Friday, 3 May, the New England Historic and Genealogical Society will host a noontime lecture by Jill Farinelli on the topic “The Palatine Wreck: The Legend of the New England Ghost Ship.”The event description says:Two days after Christmas...
From: Boston 1775 on 1 May 2019

Richard Fry’s Greatest Scheme

Before going on with The Saga of the Brazen Head, I’ll zip through what happened with Richard Fry.Under his contract for the paper mill with Samuel Waldo and Thomas Westbrook, Fry had to pay £64 a year. But making paper on the Maine frontier...
From: Boston 1775 on 31 Dec 2018

“The great Seal should on one side have…”

As discussed yesterday, in the summer of 1776 a committee of Continental Congress heavyweights—Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson—asked the Swiss-born artist and historical collector Pierre Eugène du Simitière...
From: Boston 1775 on 23 Nov 2018

A Turkey of a Great Seal

In the musical 1776, the characters of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson debate which bird would be the best symbol for the new United States: turkey, eagle, or dove.I saw the movie version of that show during the Bicentennial. My class...
From: Boston 1775 on 22 Nov 2018

Talk About Change: LDNA at Festival of the Mind

Last weekend, Linguistic DNA & friends took over the Spiegeltent in Sheffield city centre, as part of the University’s Festival of the Mind. Spiegeltents are a Belgian invention–tents decorated internally with mirrors, creating the perfect...
From: Linguistic DNA on 28 Sep 2018

In Captivity with Gen. Charles Lee

Gen. Charles Lee was captured in New Jersey on 13 Dec 1776. On 28 Jan 1777 he wrote from British-occupied New York to Robert Morris in Philadelphia:I am extremely obliged to you for your kindness and attention—the money for the bill I am told I...
From: Boston 1775 on 1 Aug 2018

The Last Years of Baron de Steuben

When we left the retired general Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, usually then known as Baron de Steuben, his first postwar housemates had left him as well.Those were three of his former military aides: Benjamin Walker, James Fairlie, and William North....
From: Boston 1775 on 31 Jul 2018

Steuben, Walker, and North (and Fairlie)

For the last few days I’ve been discussing statements about Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s sexuality made in this comic published by The Nib. I think there’s good evidence for Steuben being gay, but there are also a lot of errors...
From: Boston 1775 on 30 Jul 2018

“The abominable rumor which accused Steuben”

Here’s the continuing discussion about what we know and don’t know about Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s sexuality, keyed to statements in a recent comic at The Nib.“Rumors about Steuben’s ‘tastes’ were common...
From: Boston 1775 on 29 Jul 2018

A Letter of Recommendation for the Baron de Steuben

Yesterday I started to analyze evidence about Gen. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben’s sexuality. In sum, I think that evidence strongly suggests he was gay, but it’s not nearly as definite as popular articles have recently claimed.I’m drawing...
From: Boston 1775 on 28 Jul 2018

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