History Camp Boston 2022

Post-Camp updates August 22: Event photos posted
August 29: Links to session videos (where available) included below
Date Saturday, August 13, 2022
Location Suffolk University Law School, 120 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Directions, transportation, and lodging information
Doors Open 8:00 am, light welcome breakfast served
History Camp 9:00 am–5:30 pm
Lunch 12:30 pm–1:45 pm – On your own or join us for a catered lunch (additional ticket fee)
Exhibit Hall and Vendors Opens at 8:00 am
Saturday Evening Boston History Trivia Night Saturday after History Camp
Sunday See the Sunday Tours and Events page. Information on new tours and events is added as we receive it.
Register – Sold out Updated July 18: History Camp Boston 2022 is sold out. Join us online for History Camp America on November 5.
For presenters Interested in presenting? You’ll find details here.

History Camp Boston 2022—Sessions


Welcome to History Camp Boston 2022

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Lee Wright, Creator of History Camp, Founder and President of The Pursuit of History, and Carrie Lund, Founder and Executive Director of The Pursuit of History

Welcome, update on History Camp and The Pursuit of History, the ground rules for History Camp, and thanks to the many people that are creating History Camp Boston 2022.


Salem’s Great Age of Sail

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Giovanni Alabiso (TheSalemHistoricalTours@gmail.com) President/Owner of Salem Historical Tours, Inc in Salem, MA (www.SalemHistoricalTours.com)

Salem begins in 1626 as a fishing village and grows into a dominant seaport after the American Revolution. By the early 1800s, Salem is arguably the richest seaport in the United States with wealth in today’s dollars that exceed $150 billion. Elias Hasket Derby Sr. becomes the country’s first millionaire in 1793 and his wealth today would be worth $30 Billion. Salem ships are sailing around the world and the logo of the city is “Divitis Indiae usque sinum,” which translates to “To the farthest port of the rich east.” However, the city truly fails to recover after the War of 1812 with England. Tariffs, a self embargo, a shallow harbor, and westward expansion of the US all contribute to a slow decline. By 1845, the Great Age of Sail is over. Oh, but what a ride it was.


Abraham Lincoln’s Struggle with Divine Providence

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Mark Szymcik (mszymcik@qcc.mass.edu) teaches philosophy and religion at Quinsiganond Community College and Becker College. He was previously a history teacher of special needs high school students.

There is an anonymous saying “It is easy to see the hand of God in the world; the difficulty is to figure out which way His finger is pointing.” Lincoln rejected the Hard-shell Baptist religion of his parents, yet struggled with discerning God’s will throughout his life. His articulation of that struggle has led Spiritualists, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, atheists, and others to claim him as one of their own, while Jews refer to him as Rabbi Abraham.

What were the stages of Lincoln’s spiritual journey? How did his contemporaries view his religious beliefs? What was his religious stance at the end of his life? Why do so many denominations claim him as their own? How have biographers and others distorted his faith in Providence?


The April 19-21, 1775 Evacuations of Middlesex and Essex Counties

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Alexander Cain (mcalpin77@gmail.com, historicalnerdery.com), Author, We Stood Our Ground: Lexington in the First Year of the American Revolution and I See Nothing but the Horrors of a Civil War.

When Lexington’s alarm bell rang, panic set in. A hostile military force was marching directly towards the town. Plunder and destruction were feared. The Reverend William Gordon of Roxbury reported, “the inhabitants had quitted their houses in the general area upon the road, leaving almost everything behind them, and thinking themselves well off in escaping with their lives.” Some took a few belongings. Others hid or buried valuables. The roads were clogged with “women and children weeping.” Residents escaped to woods and fields or to nearby towns. While much attention has been paid to the shots fired that day, we’ll take a close look at what happened to those who weren’t engaged in combat.


Armed Young Women of the Dutch Resistance: Hannie Schaft and Truus and Freddie Oversteegen

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Samantha Garrity (svgarrity@gmail.com, Twitter @LadySamofDunans) is the Office Coordinator for the Center for Writing at the College of the Holy Cross and a professional tutor at the Center for Writing.

Few have heard of Hannie Schaft, Truus Oversteegen, and Freddie Oversteegen. They were assassins in the Dutch resistance during World War II. They became assassins as young women, some only in their teens, when they first began seducing and liquidating Nazis.

Joining us via Skype during our Q&A will be the one of the foremost experts on these three women, Sophie Poldermans. Sophie is the author of Seducing and Killing Nazis: Hannie, Truus and Freddie: Dutch Resistance Heroines of WWII. She knew Truus and Freddie Oversteegen and worked closely with them for over a decade as a board member of the National Hannie Schaft Foundation.

The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us

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Margo Burns, AB, MA, (margoburns@gmail.com, salemwitchhunt.org) is the Project Manager and Associate Editor of Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, published in 2009 by the Cambridge University Press, the definitive comprehensive record of legal documents pertaining to the Salem witchcraft trials, organized in chronological order.

On first impression, the witchcraft trials of the Colonial era may seem to have been nothing but a free-for-all, fraught with hysterics. This presentation explores an array of primary sources from the witchcraft prosecutions in seventeenth century New England. Documents from the Salem witchcraft trials and other cases in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut detail the sequence of events in witchcraft prosecutions, from initial formal complaints to warrants for execution, and reveal the methodical process and legal logic used by courts trying these capital crimes. Facsimiles of the original legal manuscripts from cases against Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Martha Corey, John Willard, Bridget Bishop, Martha Carrier, Samuel Wardwell, Eunice Cole, Rachel Fuller, Mercy Desborough, and Elizabeth Clawson will be shown.


Skeletons in the Closet: The Memorialization of George Jacobs Sr. and Rebecca Nurse after the 1692 Witch-Hunt

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Daniel A. Gagnon (danielgagnonhistory.com) is the author of A Salem Witch: The Trial, Execution, and Exoneration of Rebecca Nurse (2021), and serves on the board of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead Museum in Danvers, Mass. (formerly known as Salem Village).

Almost two centuries after the 1692 Witch-Hunt, an impressive memorial was constructed near the purported grave of Rebecca Nurse, one of the nineteen innocents executed for witchcraft. However, across town the well-known (but unmarked) grave of George Jacobs Sr., another executed “witch,” was left bare, with no memorial or even a headstone erected to mark the spot.

Worse still, after Jacobs’ body was accidentally exhumed in the 1950s, it spent decades traveling around Danvers, including being kept under a dining room table, in a resident’s bedroom, and as the centerpiece of a display in a high school cafeteria. Jacobs finally received a proper burial in 1992 near the monument to Rebecca Nurse.

This presentation will examine why one witch-hunt victim was memorialized while another in the same town was left in an unmarked grave. What can be learned about how the local community confronted its legacy of the witch-hunt in the centuries after 1692, and why did the remains of a man executed in 1692 do so much traveling?


Inconvenient Founders: Thomas Young and the Forgotten Disrupters of the Revolution

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Scott Nadler (senadler@nadlerstrategy.com, nadlerstrategy.com, Twitter @NadlerScott) Forty-five year career in politics, government, industry, consulting, and academics.

For all we study of “the Founders,” we overlook some of the most interesting, and maybe most important, people: The disruptors, the organizers, the agitators who tore down British rule and created the openings for the Founders. By looking at one agitator in particular, Thomas Young, maybe the Zelig of the Revolution, we get a tour of the Revolution from the bottom up, a tale that connects Ethan Allen, the Boston Massacre, the Tea Party, and the Declaration of Independence, and ends in censure! Fascination with this topic came from the disconnect between what university history taught about the Revolution and what hands-on experience in political organizing showed.


His Master’s Voice: Racism in Material Culture through 1900s Discography

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Bernard Rosenthal Trubowitz (BernardRTrubowitz@outlook.com, LinkedIn) worked in the public history field in Massachusetts for over a decade and a half at sites including the Old North Church, USS Constitution Museum, and the National Park Service in Lowell. He also taught at the Tsongas Industrial History Center, a collaborative between the Park Service and University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is currently a Park Ranger in Paterson, New Jersey.

Which is more pervasive, a stone monument or a shellac record?

Using a period gramophone, we will explore the influence of material culture in shaping and encoding racism in the United States and discuss the responsibility of museums and institutions to address “problematic” collections items and amplify marginalized narratives.

Note: Original artifacts will be interpreted that are often distasteful (use of stereotypes, mention of lynchings, etc.). Some of the slides also have Confederate imagery, Klansmen, and blackface.


The Bloody Flux of 1775, Looking at the Little Picture

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Judy Cataldo (judycat5@verizon.netcolonialspinningbee.blogspot.com) is a lover of historical events both great and small. Judy is an independent researcher, spinner and long time volunteer interpreter.

The summer of 1775 was a sad time in many Massachusetts towns when they experienced an epidemic of dysentery known as the Bloody Flux. As historians, we spend a lot of time looking at the big picture of how we got from Lexington to Yorktown. This will look at the little one and how it would have effected communities.


Ghosts and Shadows of Automobile Row: Commonwealth Avenue in Boston & Brookline

Ken Liss (kliss@brooklinehistoricalsociety.org, brooklinehistory.blogspot.com, Twitter @brooklinepast) is a public historian and president of the Brookline Historical Society. A retired librarian, he served most recently (2014-2021) as Head of Instruction at the Boston University Libraries.

The stretch of Commonwealth Avenue from Kenmore Square to Packard’s Corner in Allston was once home to more than a hundred auto dealerships and other auto-related enterprises. The businesses that made up the former Automobile Row are, with just a few exceptions, long gone, but reminders of this former mecca of the Motor Age, from street names to tire icons to gargoyle-like figures of auto mechanics, remain, many of them hidden in plain sight. Learn about the 20th century growth and decline of Boston’s Automobile Row and the modern reuse of its historic infrastructure, much of it as part of Boston University.


The Puritans and the Parallel Universe of New England

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Lori Rogers-Stokes, PhD, (lori.stokes@comcast.net) is an independent scholar, public historian, and contributing editor for New England’s Hidden Histories, a digital history project making thousands of pages of colonial-era Congregational church records available through digitization and transcription. She is the author of Records of Trial from Thomas Shepard’s Church in Cambridge, 1638-49: Heroic Souls (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). Lori studies the history of Woodland New England, particularly the founding decades of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during which time the Indigenous people of the Eastern Woodlands began to preserve and protect their history and identity as English puritans created New England, and forms of church and state that would shape American history for better or worse for centuries to come.

When we talk to people about the history we love, we find our listeners are generally fans or critics. When it comes to the puritans, most people are critics. This means that I often find myself labeled a de facto “puritan defender” because my talks are often about clearing up negative myths about the puritans.

But my main purpose in making puritan theology, government, and society understandable is to help people today understand the journey from puritan New England to 21st century America so we can promote positive puritan legacies and stamp out harmful ones. And more and more of my work is focused on the journey we might have made if the puritans had been able to accept the values of the Indigenous people of the Eastern Woodlands. Their failure to do so led them to create the parallel universe of New England, which operated as if the Woodlands didn’t exist. In this session, I’ll outline Indigenous and English approaches to land and law and invite you to join a discussion about them.


You Can’t Keep A Good Mill Down: Preservation and Perseverance of Industrial Spaces in a Post-Industrial World

Mark Kenneth Gardner (gardner.mark.k@gmail.com, Twitter @HistoryGardner, LinkedIn) is a public historian and educator. He is currently the president of the Rhode Island Social Studies Association and is also the historian for the Western Rhode Island Civic Historical Society.

This presentation examines the variety of ways that nineteenth and twentieth-century textile mills and the communities that formed around them have repurposed themselves to be economically relevant in the twenty-first century, as well as the options and resources available to individuals and neighborhoods seeking to keep their local mill buildings intact.


Evacuation Day and Dorchester Heights

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Robert Allison (rallison@suffolk.edu, robertallisonhistory.com) is a professor of history at Suffolk University, and has written about the Barbary Wars and Stephen Decatur. He is a life trustee of the USS Constitution Museum, president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and chairs the Revolution 250 Advisory Committee.

Julia Mize is a ranger at Boston National Historical Park.

The British evacuation of Boston on March 17, 1776 was the first American victory in the War for Independence. It is commemorated both by the annual Evacuation Day holiday, and by a monument on Dorchester Heights. This year, the National Park Service will begin a $25 million restoration of the 1902 Monument and the grounds surrounding it, and will bring it back in time for the 250th anniversary of the Revolution. Find out more about Evacuation Day and the Monument in this discussion with historian Robert Allison and Boston National Historical Park Ranger Julia Mize.


Reinventing the Historic House Museum

Ken Turino (kturino@historicnewengland.org) is manager of community partnerships and resource development at Historic New England. He oversees community engagement projects throughout New England and is responsible for exhibition partnerships at the Eustis Estate, Langdon House Museum, and the Sarah Orne Jewett Museum and Visitor Center. Ken consults on interpretive planning and community engagement projects at historic sites including Madam John’s Legacy, New Orleans, Louisiana on best practices of community engagement, James Madison’s Montpellier, Orange, Virginia where he was part of a charrette to rethink the visitor experience, and recently with the Connecticut Landmarks’ Palmer Warner House on interpreting LGBTQ history. Ken holds a MA in Teaching, Museum Education, from the George Washington University and is an adjunct professor in the Tufts University Museum Studies Program where he teaches courses on historic houses. Mr. Turino is also Vice President of the board of the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts. Along with Max van Balgooy he is an instructor of AASLH‘s Reinventing the Historic House workshop and co-editor of the recent Reinventing the Historic House Museum: New Approaches and Proven Solutions.

Ken Turino profiles historic sites that are using new models to engage with their communities in order to become more relevant and that are adopting creative forms of interpretation and programming while earning income to become more financially sustainable. This illustrated presentation will give a variety of case studies from the United States and abroad on sites that are succeeding in getting the public involved with history.


Using New Media to Present History

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Michael Troy (mtroy.history@gmail.com), host of American Revolution Podcast (pod.amrevpodcast.com and blog.amrevpodcast.com)
Jake Sconyers ( jake@HUBhistory.com), host of HUB History podcast (www.hubhistory.com)
J. L. Bell (boston1775@earthlink.net), author of the Boston 1775 blog (boston1775.blogspot.com) and the book The Road to Concord
Larisa Moran (larisa@historydame.comhistorydame.com, Twitter and Instagram @History_Dame), creator of the History In Under A Minute video series and History Dame On The Road video series.

A panel of podcasters, bloggers, and video bloggers discusses how new forms of media are transforming the presentation of History. We will discuss how podcasting and other new media differ from traditional media, why they reach new audiences, and trends in how presenting new media is continuing to change.


Public History Along Boston’s Waterfront

Liz Nelson Weaver, MEd, (bostonharbornow.org/get-involved/fohw, www.boshw.us) is the author of two collections of historic stories, Newburyport: Stories from the Waterside and Concord: Stories to be Told as well as a travel guide, 52 Places North of Boston. She is the editor of Making Freedom: African Americans in U. S. History, a five-volume high school curriculum set, and two teaching guides about China: The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China and China in the World. She contributed many entries to MassMoments.org. After a dozen years spent writing for two Boston hospitals, Liz returned to her first love, history, spearheading the team effort to add dozens of interpretive signs along Boston’s 43-mile Harborwalk.

How to create interpretive signs that are engaging, inclusive, and historically accurate? Where does our team find information and discover terrific images? Who do we turn to for help? We’ll share an overview of our process, which is applicable to many projects, discuss challenges, and show examples of our Harborwalk signs.


The Final Farewell: Five Women Pay Tribute to Abigail Adams

Cheryl Browne-Greene, a BPS teacher for over 30 years, received a Boston Educator of the Year Award. She is a member of the Roxbury Collaborative, which has supported the Patriots’ Day reenactment and scholarship activities at the First Church in Roxbury for more than 23 years.

Karyn Greene, a lifelong lover of women’s history, studied Classics and Women’s Studies at Denison University and the University of Vermont. Karyn teaches at Boston Latin Academy.

Ferna L. Phillips, PhD, is currently the Director of the Office of Student Accessibility Services at Fisher College. She has over thirty years experience serving as an administrator and educational consultant in higher education. She is also an ordained Deacon in her church, Massachusetts Avenue Baptist, located in Cambridge, MA.

Mary Rudder, author of the presentation, has teamed with her colleague, Maria D’Itria, on many BWHT projects including the Charlestown and the East Boston Women’s History Trails. Mary taught in the Boston Public Schools for 46 years.

Mary Smoyer (Howsmoyer@gmail.com, bwht.org, Facebook @BostonWHT) is a co-author of the BWHT guidebook as well as editor and co-author of the BWHT publication Twenty-One Notable Women. Mary worked as a librarian and classroom teacher in public and private schools for over 30 years.

Dressed in period costumes, Boston Women’s Heritage Trail (BWHT) board members portray five influential women in the life of Abigail Adams: Her mother, Elizabeth Smith; her older sister, Mary Cranch; her daughter, Nabby Adams Smith; her daughter-in-law, Louisa Johnson Adams; and her friend, Mercy Otis Warren. Based on correspondence between the women and Abigail, the presentation brings to life the woman who exhorted her husband to “Remember the Ladies”.


“No Good Man Can be Silent & Inactive in the Cause of Liberty”—Your Town in the American Revolution

Jonathan C. Lane, Revolution 250 Coordinator.  Revolution 250 (www.revolution250.org) is a consortium of more than 60 organizations planning for the 250th Anniversary of the events leading to American independence.

A keystone to the development of Revolution 250 is the understanding that the “Revolution” was not restricted to the seaport of Boston alone, nor even to the immediate surrounding communities.  The American Revolution took place in every town, village and hamlet throughout New England in a fascinating variety of ways. This session will discuss the multiplicity of events, declarations and communications that occurred across Massachusetts on the road to independence.


Battle of the Steam Titans: Leavitt vs. Reynolds

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Eric Peterson (EPeterson753@gmail.com) is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum (www.waterworksmuseum.org) in Chestnut Hill. He also serves on the Board of the Mass History Alliance (www.masshistoryalliance.org).

Size mattered to 19th century steam engineers E. D. Leavitt and Edwin Reynolds. In fact, they competed to build the largest Prime Power equipment on the planet. This session will explore the remarkably similar lives of these now-forgotten master makers and show how their work impacted cities and shaped the future of American manufacturing. Find out who won the title of world’s steam titan and learn how a site in Boston is the only place where their behemoth machines still go mano-a-mano!


Backwards and in High Heels: Boston Women Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Greatness

Michele Steinberg is a volunteer tour guide with Boston By Foot (www.bostonbyfoot.org, Twitter @Bostonbyfoot, Facebook @bostonbyfoot). Since 2007, she’s given tours and narrated cruises covering the city’s architecture, Revolutionary War history, and the social history of immigrants, abolitionists, women in the labor and suffrage movements, and more. Her day job involves fire safety at the National Fire Protection Association.

Gretchen Grozier (ggrozier@comcast.net) started volunteering to give tours in Boston in 1995. In recent years, she’s been helping Boston By Foot and the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail (bwht.org, Facebook @BostonWHT) highlight the stories of unsung heroines on tours in Beacon Hill, Jamaica Plain, and Downtown Boston.

We all know that quote about Fred Astaire—that he was a great dancer, but Ginger Rogers had to do everything he did backwards…and in high heels. Women played a huge role in Boston’s history and made their contributions while not having full citizenship and often not even having what we think of as basic human rights. We will present the activists, artists, scientists and others who changed the course not only of our City’s history but the history of our country as well. We’ll also spend time talking about suffragists whose road to the vote spanned more than 100 years.  They overcame the obstacles in their path and achieved amazing things.


Boston By Map

Dennis McCarthy (mccarthy@acm.org) does volunteer work in public history as a tour guide for Boston By Foot, as a docent at the Boston Public Library, and as a workshop leader for the Leventhal Map and Education Center.

Megan Nally is the Public Engagement Coordinator at the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center. She is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University and holds a B.A. in Government, Hispanic Literatures & Cultures, and a certificate in International Relations.

Interested in Boston history? Like old maps of the city? This session will show you how to use historic maps to illustrate Boston’s history.  You will learn how to use free online tools to overlay maps from different years in order to depict changes in the city over time. This session also includes a brief survey of historic maps of Boston, including where to find them online.


Yours at Power: Knowing One’s Place in the Early Modern Scottish Highlands (16th-18th Centuries)

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Roxanne Reddington-Wilde, PhD, (roxanne.reddington-wilde@go.cambridgecollege.edu), professor of Cambridge College

Equality was not a social ideal in the Early Modern Scottish Highlands of the 16th – 18th C.

“Be yours assurit at his command;”(#26) “Your is assuritly att his power;”(#27) “Your Ladyship is to command at service”(#40): Cranky Colin Campbell—Laird of Glenorchy; his universally beloved wife, Kait Ruthven; their Campbell friends… and MacGregor enemies closed letters to each other with these and similar statements. Each knew their place in society’s hierarchy as they manipulated social relationships to their own, personal and clan ends.

The mid-16th C. Campbell of Glenorchy letter collection becomes a springboard to explore how Highlanders understood and expressed their place. Gaelic poetry, Highland architecture and Scottish painting, legal contracts, and English travel writings all expand on the relationship clues found in letters. Why did Highlanders insist on maintaining inequality? Was it ever set aside within family, between friends or husband and wife? Without an understanding of and appreciation for the role of unequal power relations between people, one cannot begin to understand Highland society of the period or the Campbell/MacGregor feud.


The Forgotten Adams

Moriah Illsley (moriahillsley@gmail.com) received her master’s in public history at UMass Boston. She has been working for the National Park Service since 2014, spending three seasons at Lowell National Historical Park and three seasons at Adams National Historical Park.

Alison Kiernan is in her fifth season as a Ranger at Adams National Historical Park. She obtained her B.A. in History and is currently pursuing her MA in history. In addition, she received a certificate in Public History from Rhode Island College in 2016, and is also a 2014 alumna of the NIAHD collegiate program at the College of William and Mary.  Alison has worked and volunteered in a variety of research and museum settings, including at Colonial Williamsburg, The College of William and Mary, Linden Place House Museum, the Massachusetts Historical Society and the National Park Service and as a transcriber on the Massachusetts Historical Society’s JQA Diary Project.

Louisa Catherine Adams was the daughter-in-law of a president, the wife of a president, the mother of an ambassador to England, and a forgotten Adams. The wife of John Quincy, our sixth President, she was generally overshadowed by her domineering mother-in-law. Although not as prolific in her writing as her husband or other members of the family, Louisa was influential in her own way. She was incredibly charismatic and quickly became a favored member of the various European and American social circles in which she was engaged throughout her husband’s political career.


Madison v. Hamilton

Bil Lewis (Bil@LambdaCS.com, presidentmadison.weebly.com) is a Computer Scientist who has worked in research and taught most of his life, most recently doing Genetics Research at the Broad Institute of MIT. He has taught at Stanford and Tufts Universities, subbed in Somerville, and worked in R&D at Sun Microsystems, FMC, and Nokia.

James Madison and Alexander Hamilton worked closely together to build a nation. They are the two primarily responsible for the Constitutional Convention, they wrote the Federalist in close cooperation, they walked down Maiden Lane together day after day, talking about the nature on man and politics, and yet they came to be strong political adversaries.

Bil Lewis (in costume as James Madison) will discuss this interesting division with the members of the audience. He will speak for some time on his memories and concerns regarding his old friend and then turn to the audience for their thoughts.


Digging and Debunking: Using Online Tools to Investigate the Myths of American History

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J. L. Bell (Twitter @boston1775) maintains the Boston1775.net website, offering daily helpings of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England. He is the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War and numerous articles.

From Founders’ quotes to inspirational legends to details that historians have repeated for so long that nobody considers where they came from, our history abounds with assertions that we should be skeptical about. This workshop discusses how to assess such historical tales and tidbits. It will share tactics for using Google Books and other free resources to pinpoint when and where stories arose, and lay out the dynamic of “grandmother’s tales,” “memory creep,” and other ways legends spread. And every so often these techniques reveal that a story almost too good to be true is supported by solid evidence.


“Thrown into pits”: How were the bodies of the nineteen hanged Salem “witches” really treated?

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Marilynne K. Roach (mkr12y@yahoo.com, marilynnekroach.com) independent researcher, is the author of The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege, and Six Women of Salem, and is a member of the Gallows Hill Group that verified the site of the 1692 hangings.

Nineteenth century historian Charles Upham stated that the deceased were “undoubtedly all thrown into pits dug among the rocks” after the hangings. More recent popular accounts and all too many walking tours of Salem tend to enlarge on the more gruesome aspects of the 1692 witch trials tragedy with tales of bodies carelessly disposed of far from consecrated ground, but what really happened? Does contemporary evidence prove a different fate? Family lore strongly suggests that at least three of the dead were removed to home ground under cover of night for proper burial, but family lore isn’t always dependable. A closer examination of the court records may disprove the usual assumptions.


Re-Engraving Paul Revere: The Boston Massacre

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Andy Volpe (andyvolpe.com, avarthistory @gmail.com) is an artist, historical printer, and living history presenter.  Since 2010 he has worked with Gary Gregory at the Printing Office of Edes & Gill Boston, researching and replicating the engravings of Paul Revere using the same techniques he did. He is also active with the Museum of Printing in Haverhill as a presenter, researcher, and collections manager.  Andy is also well-known for his Roman Legionary presentations, which he has been doing since 2002 and is active with several living history groups spanning Rome, 1470s, 1630s, and 1860s.

In March of 2020, for the 250th commemoration, Andy painstakingly hand-engraved a full-size replica of Revere’s “Boston Massacre”, which was printed off the wooden rolling press at the Printing Office of Edes & Gill, doing everything that Revere did, by hand, with the same materials.  Andy’s replica is one of only three known replicas engraved entirely by hand since 1832.  Andy will talk about intaglio printmaking in 18th century Boston, about the copies of Revere and his copy of Pelham, the story of the printing plate, and how he went about researching and engraving the replica.


The Untold Story of Dorothy Good: A Tragic Life After the Salem Witch Trials

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Rachel Christ-Doane (FB @salemwitchmuseum, IG @salemwitchmuseum, TikTok @salemwitchmuseum, YouTube) is the Director of Education at the Salem Witch Museum. She holds a BA in History from Clark University and a MA in History and Museum Studies from Tufts University.

Perhaps the most devastating story from the Salem witchcraft trials is that of Dorothy Good, the youngest person to be arrested and jailed in 1692. At the age of four years old, Dorothy was accused of practicing witchcraft and confined to prison for nearly eight months. Historical accounts of the Salem witch trials always reference this tragic individual and conclude her story with reference to the reparation payment awarded to her father in 1712. Recent research conducted by the Salem Witch Museum has revealed new information about the adult life of Dorothy Good. Town records paint a tragic picture of her life after the witchcraft trials. This presentation will discuss this new discovery and ongoing research.


Revolution is Brewing: Immersive Role-Playing Games in History Education

Carina Ohlen is the Revolutionary Spaces’ Education Coordinator who has delivered educational programming to thousands of students visiting Boston’s Old State House & Old South Meeting House. Prior to her position at Revolutionary Spaces Carina earned her Bachelor of Arts in History from Emmanuel College in Boston, and recently completed her Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the University College Cork, Ireland, where she studied Community Identity in Local History Museums of the Atlantic Northeast.

In an effort to make history more engaging, museums across the country have been foregoing traditional interpretation methods like lectures and static exhibits for programs that help participants better understand complex points of view.

Revolutionary Spaces, stewards of Boston’s Old State House & Old South Meeting House, have joined the 21st century with a 40-player immersive game targeted at grades 8-12. Giving students roles and points-of-view to negotiate the colonial response to the Coercive Acts, participants are granted a rare opportunity to experience not just the conflicts and ideas of a historical period, but to exhibit agency if they were in situation, and an opportunity to reflect on how they might confront similar situations in their modern lives.

We will preview Revolutionary Spaces’ groundbreaking new history game, Revolution is Brewing, and hear about how other institutions can explore similar opportunities to immerse visitors.


To the Shores of Tripoli: How Did We Get There?

Kyle Jenks (Jaktar773@aol.com, Instagram: @madisonportrayer, http://facebook.com/PresidentMadison, https://leagueofmostinterestinggentlemen.com) is a native of upstate New York. The groundwork he laid for portraying James Madison was as a reenactor of the French and Indian War and American Revolution. In between, he produced an outdoor historical drama, wrote two other plays and collaborated on a third. Kyle moved to Philadelphia in 2017 to portray James Madison as a career and gives a tour in character as Congressman Madison in Philadelphia. He also works for Bow Tie Tours, conducts the Revolution and Founding Fathers Tour for Grim Philly, and is a tour guide aboard Battleship New Jersey. You can support his work at Patreon.com/PresidentMadison.

Ronald Duquette (ron.albertgallatin@gmail.com) 70, is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, and the lineal descendant of a Frenchman who was in “Upper Canada” in the 1640s.  He is a graduate of Middlebury College with a Bachelors in French Language and Literature, and received his Masters in Government from Campbell University.  He spent twenty years in the US Army on assignments and in schools in Arizona, Washington State, New Jersey, North Carolina, and then in Europe between Germany and England.

His theatrical experience includes interpreting several historic personages (Harry Truman, the Marquis de La Fayette). For the last eleven years he has presented Albert Gallatin. He resides in Lorton, VA.

The First Barbary War (consisting of the North African Muslim states along the Barbary Coast-1801-06) has as its elements extortion, Christian slavery, imprisonment of Americans, a “pacifist” president authorizing the war within weeks of being inaugurated, and a Cabinet split between those who think of it as a necessary action to permit safe mercantile activity (James Madison, Secretary of State) vs. those who feel it’s more expensive (and expansive) than we can afford (led by Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury).  In this session, Kyle Jenks, portraying James Madison, and Ron Duquette, portraying Albert Gallatin, have a discussion on the eve of the enactment of the Embargo Act of 1807.  How did their previous experience against the Barbary States inform their decisions for the upcoming Embargo?


The Last Civilian Royal Governors of Colonial Massachusetts

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Roberta DeCenzo, (rdecenzo.hprs@gmail.com) Historian of the royal governors of Massachusetts and former Education Associate at the Old State House Museum. While her main focus has been the royal governors and the transition of power in Massachusetts to first state governor, John Hancock, she has also been an active member of the living history community around Boston and the Hudson Valley for ten years.  Roberta most notably portrayed Catherine (Caty) Littlefield Greene, wife of Major General Nathanael Greene, second general to Washington in the American Revolution, for three years at the Nathanael Greene Homestead in Rhode Island. She is also known for her personal research on the life of Major John André, his role in Benedict Arnold’s defection at West Point, and André’s subsequent capture, trial, and execution.

The last civilian royal governors of Massachusetts and their relationship to the people played a key role in the events that would eventually become the American Revolution.  Since then, the royal governors have been painted as villains of an often more complicated past. Here you will be introduced to three royal governors whose administrations had a direct effect on our revolutionary past.  We will explore their lives, their work, their struggles, and pose the question, Are they truly the villains history makes them out to be?


400 Years of Innovation in 45 Minutes

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Scott Kirsner (kirsner@pobox.com) is the Innovation Economy columnist for the Boston Globe and author of the recent collection Innovation Economy: True Stories of Start-ups, Flame-outs, and Inventing the Future in New England.

Robert Krim (r.rkrim@comcast.net) is co-author of the recent book Boston Made: From Revolution to Robotics, Innovations That Changed the World and is a Professor of History and Innovation at Framingham State University

By its very definition, the world of invention and innovation is relentlessly focused on what’s next — the latest iPhone, the newest social app. But is there space in our crowded brains for innovation history? We’ll describe the ways that Boston, from the 1600s forward, created an ideal petri dish for inventors and innovators and tell some of the lost stories of how the city shaped the career of Thomas Edison, made it possible to do surgery without inflicting pain, and invented not just the telephone but the world’s most popular smartphone operating system. We’ll also touch on how a railroad car outfitted in Boston in 1916 led to the creation of the Wizard of Oz in 1939 and we’ll share an idea we are launching in 2022 for an Innovation Trail running from Downtown Boston to Kendall Square in Cambridge.


Strawberry Hill…forever?

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David Dalrymple (Fergusonschosenmen@gmail.com, Twitter- @fixswordslads, Instagram – @Fergusonschosenmen) is an award-winning author with a 39 year career in Emergency Services. He has a life long interest in the American War of Independence and has been intensively researching Major Patrick Ferguson’s various commands during the AWI, his staff activities, and his advanced weapons.

The first series of skirmishes and pitched battles for Captain Patrick Ferguson’s Experimental Corps of Riflemen was not in the Brandywine campaign but in New Jersey. New Jersey saw the first action of a military breechloading rifle and a military unit trained, equipped and deployed effectively with it’s use.
This session will discuss Captain Ferguson’s Riflemen activities, from their landing at Staten Island on May 26, 1777 to their departure for the Brandywine campaign in the early part of July 1777.

We will explore the Lord Howes feint into central NJ to lure General Washington’s army off the Watchung mountains and into open battle at the end of the Forage wars of the spring of 1777. This culminated with the battle of Short Hills. We will also delve into Ferguson’s advanced weapons, his military breechloading rifle and his light field piece. These weapons were the basis of his special military force.


Daniel Shays’s Honorable Rebellion – or – Governor Bowdoin’s Counter-Revolutionary Panic

Daniel Bullen (www.honorablerebellion.com, www.danielbullen.com) holds a Ph.D. in 19th-century American literature and the environment. Daniel Shays’s Honorable Rebellion was published by Westholme Press in 2021. Daniel has published two previous books, about artists’ unconventional relationships: The Love Lives of the Artists: Five Stories of Creative Intimacy and The Dangers of Passion: The Transcendental Friendship of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller.

You may have heard of “Shays’ Rebellion” as “the unrest that led to the Constitution,” but this narrative history tells the story of a sustained, nonviolent, and ultimately successful protest campaign in which thousands of farmers defied repressive government threats and won reforms to unjust economic policies in Massachusetts in 1786.

Far from the “drunken rabble-rousers” histories have described, these protestors were proud Revolutionary War veterans who refused to let Governor James Bowdoin’s crushing taxes push them off their farms, all to pay windfall profits to financiers. After five months of peaceful protests, they won reforms in an electoral landslide.

This story rekindles an essential moment from America’s proud legacy of nonviolent protest and illustrates the danger of powerful interests who use the media and propaganda to turn Americans against each other.


Shays’ Settlment in Vermont

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Steve Butz (http://www.shayssettlement.org, http://www.stephenbutz.com, https://www.facebook.com/TheShaysSettlementProject/ ) The Shays’ Settlement Project is led by Steve Butz, an educator and writer who is currently working on his PhD in archaeology at the University of Albany. Steve gained his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Cornell University and has also created a public education project about the settlement, which includes a summer archaeology field school at the site where students learn techniques in archaeological fieldwork, surveying, mapmaking, and digital imaging by taking part in the scientific study of the settlement.

The Shays’ Settlement Project is the first formal archaeological study of the ruins of a fortified 18th century settlement located in the mountains of Southern Vermont. The settlement was founded by Captain Daniel Shays and his fellow refugees who fled Massachusetts following the uprising he commanded there in 1787. This lost piece of American history lay hidden and untouched for over 200 years until its discovery in April 2013.
This lecture weaves together the tale of the present day archaeological investigation and the history of Daniel Shays’ Vermont settlement. The discovery of the settlement has revealed a lost piece of American history, and is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Vermont today.


Poor Richard’s Women: Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father

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Nancy Rubin Stuart (http://www.nancyrubinstuart.comhttps://www.facebook.com/NancyRubinStuarthttps://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyrubinstuart/) has written several acclaimed nonfiction books that focus upon women and social history. Beacon Press published POOR RICHARD’S WOMEN; Deborah Read Franklin and the Other Women Behind the Founding Father in March. Nancy, who directs the Cape Cod Writers Center, has written for the New York Times and national magazines.

Everyone knows Benjamin Franklin, the thrifty inventor-statesman of the Revolutionary era, but not about his love life. Poor Richard’s Women reveals the long-neglected voices of the women Ben loved and lost during his lifelong struggle between passion and prudence. Among them was his long suffering wife of 44 years; a Rhode Island beauty twenty five years his junior; his English “second” wife, a famous French musician and a free-spirited beauty who hosted a famous Parisian salon. You’ll discover new insights about the founding father as well as the surprising independence of women he loved.


General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution

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Salina B Baker (http://www.salinabbaker.com, http://www.salinabakerauthor.com, Twitter: @salinabbaker, Facebook: SalinaBakerAuthor, Instagram: @salinabbaker) is the author of a four book historical fantasy series of the American Revolution, Angels and Patriots. She is currently writing The Line of Splendor, A Novel of Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution.

Join this round table session as we talk about the life of General Nathanael Greene, a Quaker with little education or military experience who rose to become one of George Washington’s most trusted and capable major generals. Forced from field command and faced with the difficulties of quartermaster general that led to battles with the Continental Congress, his fortitude saved the Continental Army from starvation. Where other generals failed, he succeeded in commanding the Southern Army and drove the British from their outposts to their final surrender at Yorktown, Virginia. But there was an ultimate cost to this general from Rhode Island who once said, “I am determined to defend my rights and maintain my freedom, or sell my life in the attempt.” Discussion is open to everyone whether you are just learning about Nathanael Greene or you are already a Greene enthusiast.


James Otis and His Role in the Coming of the American Revolution

Gerald D Holland Jr (LinkedIn ; Twitter – @Capt_Dutch, TwoWheeledTimeTravellers.com) is a PhD student at Liberty University whose dissertation is on James Otis. He spent 20 years of active duty in the United States Coast Guard.

James Otis who has been described as the individual who “performed the opening scene of the American Revolution.”

This session focuses on the Enlightenment political theorists that influenced him and the development of his revolutionary position, beginning with his arguments against the writs of assistance in 1761 and continuing into his role as a leading figure of the Sons of Liberty in Boston as they protested against the Stamp Act and the Townshend Duties.


Iron in the River: How American Rebels Blocked British Control of the Hudson River

Kiersten Marcil (KierstenMarcil.com, NathansPapers.com) is the author of the historical fantasy series, The Enlightened Series. The first book, Witness to the Revolution, will be released by Champagne Book Group in Autumn 2022. Kiersten was the program moderator for the inaugural Authors of the American Revolution Congress in April of this year, co-hosted by Nathan’s Papers and Liberty & Co. in Buck’s County, PA. She will serve as the Program Chair for the 2023 East Coast Congress.

In this session we will explore the efforts of American patriots to blockade the Hudson River and prevent British supply runs from Quebec to New York City. We will delve into primary sources describing the construction of the Montgomery Chain in 1777, plus the Great Chain and its home at West Point in 1778. No such exploration would be complete without a glimpse into the people and politics of such a weighty endeavor.


Rendezvous with Rachel Revere™

Judith Kalaora (https://linktr.ee/HAPLLCManager, https://bit.ly/HAP-Rendezvous-RachelRevere, www.HistoryAtPlay.com, info@HistoryAtPlay.com, @HistoryAtPlay) is a professional educator, award-winning playwright, and living historian with thirty years of performance experience and a career as a professional living historian spanning nearly twenty years. Kalaora graduated from Syracuse University, completed the Globe Education Program at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre of London, England, and is the winner of the 2019 Dr. Bobby Gilmer Moss Lectureship Series Award presented by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the 2021 Women in the Arts Award presented by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She founded in History At Play™, LLC (HAP) in 2010 to chronicle the lives of influential and often forgotten figures.

“Rendezvous with Rachel Revere™” ushers viewers back to May 2, 1775. Rachel Revere has heard from her beloved husband Paul only once since his legendary midnight ride on the 18th of April. Still isolated from one another due to the Siege of Boston, Rachel desperately creates a plan to safely take her children, six stepchildren from Paul’s first marriage and a newborn baby of their own, from the reach of the British Regular Army besieging Boston. In this Immersive Living History Experience, the audience assists Rachel, as she carefully considers the dangers and demands of their escape. Find out if Rachel is successful in her perilous mission to unite her family, amidst the wake of an American Revolution.


The Disappearance of Dr. Parkman: Blood & Ivy at the Harvard Medical School

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Honorable Dennis J. Curran – Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court (ret.) (jdenniscurran@gmail.comwww.judgedenniscurran.com) served as a Massachusetts trial judge for 15 years. He received four statewide awards for his deep commitment and belief in the justice system and dedication to the law. For the past three years he has taught a well-acclaimed course entitled “Great Trials That Changed History: A Judge’s Perspective” at the Wellesley-Weston Lifetime Learning program. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Forum. He was recently featured on a history panel broadcast on C-SPAN 2.

This case is the most legally historic murder trial in the history of Massachusetts. In this 1849 case, a Harvard Medical School Professor and physician murders another Harvard Medical School Professor, dismembers the corpse and hides the body parts in his medical school office.This case has it all: a grisly murder, a dismembered corpse, a wealthy victim and a respected suspect. The case also established the legal principle of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” a requirement that has since been adopted by just about every state in the nation, and it all started in Boston with this case.


Ill-Fated Frontier: Peril and Possibilities in the Early American West

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Dr. Samuel A. Forman (sforman@hsph.harvard.edu, www.illfatedfrontier.com, @DrSamForman) is an independent historian of non-fiction, writing compelling stories of national import on a base of authoritative and new scholarship.

Ill-Fated Frontier is at once a pioneer adventure and a compelling narrative of the frictions that emerged among entrepreneurial pioneers and their sixty enslaved African Americans, Natives fighting to preserve their lands, and Spanish colonials with their own agenda. Here is a turbulent and visceral portrait of the wild American frontier in the Revolutionary era that begins with an optimistic plan and ends with the body of one of the expedition’s leaders returning East pickled in a barrel of rum.  North becomes South by choice of some, compulsion of others, over fierce Native resistance, and with the encouragement of Spanish colonials.


Gamifying History: Roleplaying the Revolution

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Mary Adams is Homeschool Program Developer at the New Hampshire Historical Society (nhhistory.org). A tour guide at age 18 who guided all over the world, she now trains tour guides.

The New Hampshire Historical Society has been very successful using a roleplaying format to guide students through New Hampshire’s role in the American Revolution. This model can be used by schools, clubs, organizations, museums, and public history sites, as well as in education at home.

In this session you will experience the beginning of revolution in New Hampshire by playing a character involved in one of the earliest acts of insurrection against the King. Will you support the king’s sheriff or will you side with the patriots?  You choose!


The Future of History Camp and The Pursuit of History

Lee Wright Creator of History Camp, Founder and President of The Pursuit of History, and
Carrie Lund, Founder and Executive Director of The Pursuit of History

We introduced the idea of forming a non-profit at History Camp Boston 2019, and the feedback was very encouraging. Since then, we’ve formed The Pursuit of History as a non-profit organization, expanded History Camp Boston, created America’s Summer Roadtrip, added a weekly discussion series with noted history authors, created a semiannual series of original art prints celebrating America’s great historic sites, and had our first online History Camp, History Camp America.

The feedback from all of these has been positive, and while we’re optimistic about the potential, there are some critical challenges we need to address, including raising awareness and generating a stable financial base on which to build. We’re eager to hear your feedback and ideas, and we hope you’ll join us

Presenter Signup

Would you like to present at History Camp Boston? Read more about it and sign up here.

Sunday Tours and Events

You’ll find the most recent information on our Sunday Tours and Events page.

2022 T-Shirt

History Camp Boston 2022

The History Camp Boston 2022 T-shirt features Faneuil Hall.

The Bell in Hand

Friday night

Historic Reception for Friends of History Camp

History Camp is a project of the non-profit organization The Pursuit of History. Our reception Friday evening is for donors at the Friends level and will take place at the Bell in Hand near Faneuil Hall. The Bell in Hand is the nation’s oldest tavern. Donors at the Friends level also receive a limited edition Faneuil Hall weathervane pin and their names on the History Camp Boston 2022 page, on a sign at History Camp Boston 2022, and in this year’s program.

Saturday night

Boston History Trivia Night

Includes evening appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages. Our friends at Learning Plunge are running the history trivia competition and have prizes for the winners. Play individually or in teams, or just come and watch the competition. Starts immediately after History Camp.

Image courtesy of Luciof (CC 2.0).