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, September 07, 2017

Arbogast on “Two Domestics” in Waltham, 12 Sept.

On Tuesday, 12 September, Camille Arbogast will speak at the Lyman Estate in Waltham on “A Tale of Two Domestics: Adventures in Archival Archaeology.” This event is co-hosted by Historic New England, owner of the estate, and the Waltham Historical Society.

The talk description says:
In 1772, Ruth Hunt, a thirteen-year-old from Concord, Massachusetts, was formally indentured to the family of the local minister. A generation later, Mary Tuesley, recently arrived from England, was hired by the wealthy Gore family. Both of these women worked in domestic service, but how they came to do so and what they expected from their service was very different. By uncovering and piecing together the original source material that exists for these women, we get a richer portrait of working class women’s lives in pre- and post-Revolutionary Massachusetts.

This talk is about the two women, the similarities and differences in their situations, as well as context about indentured servitude and domestic work in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It is also a bit of a detective story, describing the documents Arbogast used, how she found them, and what we might infer from them.
Arbogast has worked for Historic New England, the Trustees of Reservations, Gore Place, and the Historic Newton. She is currently researching the Codman family of Lincoln and colonial-era indentured servants.

The event will start at 7:00 P.M. at 185 Lyman Street in Waltham. Admission costs $10, $5 for members of Historic New England and the Waltham Historical Society. Call 617-994-5912 or go to this site to register.

(The picture above shows the original façade of the Lyman Estate, designed in the 1790s by Samuel McIntire.)

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