The next several weeks will be a short break from the usual content featured at Journal of the American Revolution, so we wanted to take this opportunity to give you a preview of what’s planned.
Next week (June 8-12) will be our sixth group interview. Five days of Q&A with multiple historians. Spoiler alert: The questions relate to artifacts, learned lessons, listening, global influences and cities. And our participating experts this time around include John Ferling, James Kirby Martin, Jim Piecuch, Thomas Fleming, Ray Raphael, Jack Kelly, John L. Smith, Jr., Kim Burdick, Gary Shattuck, J. L. Bell, Gene Procknow, Steven Paul Mark, Christian M. McBurney and Daniel J. Tortora. All readers are encouraged to chime in with their opinions and answers, so be sure to check in each day next week and leave your comments.
Following the group interview, the balance of June will be dedicated to Revolution-era primary sources. The editors are compiling several fascinating, rarely-seen documents that will give readers a chance to more intimately engage with the history of our nation’s founding.
Then, after Independence Day, we will resume our traditional editorial coverage with scores of new articles from our contributors.
Cheers to summer breezes, good books, long road trips and lemonade stands!
I am an avid follower of your site and need some historical expertise. I teach in a 4th grade ” Livng History” American Revolution program and I portray a real person who lived n CT in 1775. Whenever I discuss protesting British Acts or boycotting British goods,and the fact that we must all agree to do this or face punishment, the kids (gleefully) chime in “Tar and Feathering.” Even, some of the teachers say it. I tell them No, we did not do this in our town. I know this is portrayed in the history books, but how often did it actually occur? I thought it was fairly rare, and that even people like John Adams spoke against it.
Take a look at this link, beginning on pg. 97.
It does not talk about tarring and feathering per se, but refers to New York City rebels giving “Toory rides” in a very rough manner (riding the rails!) What is of interest is footnote 4 in which the Congress, while seeming to condemn the practice, gives a winking eye to the miscreants. I would agree with Todd that these kinds of actions were indeed frequent, if not the tarring, then certainly the very rough handling taking place during numerous riots taking place in various locations.
Thanks for the references, Todd and Gary. I will find the book, and I just read the articles mentioned. I knew of the Boston incidents, but the practice was older and more common than I thought. My town fined people and there were some confrontations ,but I found no record of tar and feathering.
I will be ordering the 2015 JAR book this week. I was so happy to discover your site, and I look forward to more great articles and discussions.
Hi Jane! I believe there are a few dozen documented instances in the 1760s and 1770s, most occurring in New England. For the most reliable information on tarring and feathering, I’ll direct you to two great sources:
Benjamin H. Irvin, “Tar, Feathers, and the Enemies of American Liberties, 1768-1776,” New England Quarterly, 76 (2003).
J. L. Bell, “5 Myths of Tarring and Feathering,” Journal of the American Revolution (December 13, 2013).
Born on November 11th, don’t usually get angry , but some months ago the grave marker of a Revolutionary war figure whom I am related to ,Brig. General Nathaniel Woodhull, of the Queens and Suffolk militia, was desecrated,broken into pieces, and was in a closed cemetery of family plots,along with one of the signers of the declaration of Independence ,William Floyd,his brother in law, and it seems to me the respects I gave by placing a wreathe for the Memorial Day services many years ago still doesn’t deserve the non-respect given a leader who gave his life to a personal saber blow,after he had surrendered, during the battle of Long Island in 1776