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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Monday, May 08, 2017

Marblehead Resistance Walking Tour, 10 May

On Wednesday, 10 May, and twice more at the end of the month, Judy Anderson of Marblehead Architecture Heritage will lead a walking tour of Marblehead focusing on the events of 1774 and 1775.

At that time, Marblehead was the second-largest town in Massachusetts, third-largest in New England. Historically it stood out from the rest of the colony with an economy based on fishing more than farming and a population less devout than the Puritans.

The tour will quote from writings by and about Marbleheaders at that time—some secret, and some in diaries or newspapers. It will focus on the town’s resistance activities, from top to bottom.

As a significant trading port (with a bunch of smaller coves) and a large fleet, Marblehead was an important site for importing weapons and gunpowder in those years.

On 27 Oct 1774, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress appointed its first five “commissaries,” responsible for obtaining supplies for the army it was surreptitiously forming. Those men included Jeremiah Lee of Marblehead (shown here).

On 9 February, the congress added Elbridge Gerry, also from Marblehead, to what had become a whole committee on supplies. Meanwhile, another delegate from the town, Azor Orne, was on the committee of safety. And with the port of Boston closed, those three merchants and their neighbors brought in a lot of the military supplies the Massachusetts militia started the war with.

The 10 May walk is scheduled to last from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. It will start at Abbot Hall, 188 Washington Street. It will end at Homan’s Cove, where Lt.-Col. Alexander Leslie’s troops reportedly disembarked in Marblehead Harbor on Sunday, 26 Feb 1775. That cove is between two harborside restaurants—The Barnacle and The Landing—where tour members can choose to eat before or after the event.

Anderson will repeat the walk twice on Memorial Day weekend: on Saturday morning, 27 May, 9:00 to 11:00 A.M., and Sunday afternoon, 28 May, 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. There is a suggested donation of $5 per adult for any tour. Reservations are not necessary.

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