Rebellion in New England

Liberty triumphant; or the downfall of oppression, ca. 1774, by Henry Dawkins (-1786?), engraver. Library of Congress, lccn.loc.gov/2016648427.

The Pursuit of History: Rebellion in New England

Cambridge, Massachusetts — May 10–12, 2024

As the year 1774 began, the people of Massachusetts were worrying about how the royal government in London would react to the Boston Tea Party, which had taken place just a few weeks prior on December 16.

Twelve months later, Massachusetts had a new governor and a revised charter, but most of the province was in open rebellion, preparing for war.

The Pursuit of History: Rebellion in New England, taking place May 10–12 in Cambridge Massachusetts, is an unparalleled opportunity to learn about history where it happened with a small group of people who share your passion. This is a deep dive where you’ll learn not just what happened but why—and how the events of 1774 led directly to the outbreak of fighting in 1775 and to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

As J. L. Bell explains in the video above, over these two days we will meet and discuss in Washington’s Headquarters, walk through historic neighborhoods, go behind the scenes at the Harvard Archives, have lunch at the historic Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (1685), and gather for dinner and conversation, joined by presenters from that day.

Join us for the optional third day for a guided tour of the Early American Galleries at the Museum of Fine Arts. Your ticket includes admission to the entire museum for the day.

The Pursuit of History: Rebellion in New England is the first of a three-part series. We hope you will also join us in 2025 for a weekend focused on 1775 and in 2026 for a weekend focused on 1776.

Why understanding 1774 is critical

Speakers and topics

Author J.L. Bell, author and professor Robert J. Allison, author Dr. Sam Forman, author and professor Chris Beneke, author Brooke Barbier, Jim Hollister, Eric Hanson Plass, author Caitlin G. DeAngelis, and others will join us to discuss these topics:

  • Spillover: Local Ripples from the Boston Tea Party
  • The Crown Response to Unrest in Massachusetts
  • Liberty and Slavery in Colonial Massachusetts
  • A Neighborhood in an Empire Walking Tour
  • Church and Town in Cambridge Walking Tour
  • The Colonial Militia System
  • A Bigger Boycott: The Solemn League and Covenant
  • The People and the Provincial Courts
  • The County Conventions: Showing Resolves
  • The Spark of the Powder Alarm
  • “Being surrounded by about four thousand people” Walking Tour
  • Massachusetts at the First Continental Congress
  • John Hancock, Emerging Patriot Leader
  • The New England Arms Race

Read more about our speakers and browse the reading list at the bottom of our Speakers and Topics page.

Our program has been put together by J. L. Bell, author of book The Road to Concord and the daily Boston 1775. John is also a board member of The Pursuit of History and has been a presenter at every History Camp Boston we’ve held. Read more about John’s thoughts in putting together The Pursuit of History: Rebellion in New England.

What else is included?

Thursday evening, we will have an informal gathering for anyone who wishes to join us.

In addition to the talks at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters, we will take a walking tour of the area and get a behind-the-scenes tour of historical documents from the period in the Harvard Archives.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Our dinner Friday night will be in Nubar at the Sheraton Commander Hotel. Lunch Saturday will be in the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (1685).

All of these sites are within walking distance of each other.

And Sunday there is an optional tour of the extraordinary collection of period art and furnishings in the American Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts. (Your admission will include access to the entire museum for the day.)

History where it happened: Tory Row

Limited to 30 people

Register Now >

Updated April 14: There are 11 spots left. So far, we have individuals coming from New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Kansas, Connecticut, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

Limited to 30 people. There will be no increase, there are no plans to repeat Rebellion, and sessions will not be recorded.

Here’s what a few of the folks you will meet have said:

“I signed up for this May’s Pursuit of History weekend ‘Rebellion in New England’ as soon as it opened because I had such a great time last year at Valley Forge for ‘The Pursuit of History: Forging the Continental Army.’

“I’m particularly interested in history related to place, so attending the presentations and tours in such a historic location made it more impactful, and it was nice to be in small groups instead of a crowd. This year’s event is being held at Washington’s headquarters, so we’ll be talking about the events leading up to the rebellion 250 years ago in that actual building and including several walking tours of the area led by experts. I can’t wait!”

— Chandra, Massachusetts
“I’m a major fan of The Pursuit of History. I’m also a fan of J.L. Bell’s books and his extraordinary, information-packed website.
Rebellion in New England is such an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to learn from amazing presenters!”
— Nancy, Kansas

If you’re wondering what a Pursuit of History Weekend is like, scroll down this page for a short video of our first, The Pursuit of History: Forging the Continental Army.

Date and time

Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11
Rebellion in New England

We will start at 9 am. A light breakfast along with lunch and dinner are included. Our dinner Friday night will be in Nubar at the Sheraton Commander Hotel. Lunch Saturday will be in the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (1685).

Sunday, May 12, 2024 — Optional
Early American Galleries, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Join us Sunday for an optional guided tour of the Early American Galleries at the Museum of Fine Arts exclusively for our group. Your ticket includes admission to the entire museum for the day.

Cost

The fee for both days, including meals, is $795. Register here. (Important: Because we are roughly two months away from the event, there are no cancellations or refunds.)

Travel + Lodging

Lodging is not included, but there are a multitude of lodging choices in the area. The closest to where we’ll be meeting is the Sheraton Commander, and there are many others within just a few minutes by taxi/Uber.

Parking in the area around the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters is very limited. We recommend leaving your car at your hotel.

Organizer

The Pursuit of a History is the non-profit organization behind the groundbreaking History Camp and now Pursuit of History Weekends. Carefully curated for a small number of individuals, Pursuit of History Weekends are unlike any history event you’ve attended.

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The Pursuit of History is a registered educational nonprofit as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Rebellion in New England Sponsor—Thank You!

Americana Corner

Funded in part through a grant approved by the Americana Corner Preserving America Grant Program.

The Pursuit of History is a registered educational nonprofit as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Interested in becoming a Sponsor?

Contact us to learn more about how you can support the mission of The Pursuit of History, LLC, the non-profit organization behind The Pursuit of History Weekends, History Camp, History Camp Discussions, and America’s Summer Roadtrip whose online and in-person programs engage adults with history.