J. L. Bell author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War and Boston 1775

Tales from Boston’s Pre-Revolutionary Newspaper Wars

In the decade that led to the Revolutionary War, Boston’s newspapers were a major political battleground. The town’s journalism scene–the oldest and most active in colonial America–was roiled by new arrivals and old rivalries. Writers assailed each other in anonymous articles as nasty as any flame war. With the boundaries of a free press still under debate, printers were attacked on the streets and hauled into court. Hear the stories of that time, and consider what lessons they might hold for our public discourse and news media today.

J. L. Bell is proprietor of the Boston1775.net website and author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War and numerous articles about Revolutionary New England. Living in Massachusetts, he has spoken at History Camp Boston every year since its inception. Bell has edited books, directed writing conferences, and administered a non-profit organization linked to a local historic site.