Common Colors
By R. D. Flavin


Warning:  racially derogatory and inflammatory language and images are used in this column.



Broadside about Bobalition Day–a satire against the Masonic African Society of Boston.

     Today is July, 14, 2007.  Fifty-two weeks shy of a couple of hundred years ago the day was celebrated in Boston, MA as Bobalition Day, the date was usually printed in newspaper accounts and broadsides as “Uly 14,” both being examples of Slave (Black) American English dialect or printed speech usage which ...characterized an appreciation for grammar, yet had some unique and sometimes problematic components (Stewart 1975).  “Bobalition” was for (the) ‘Abolition’ (of slavery), however ...there was much more to the celebrations (see below).  Today, with other forms of slavery extant, oppressive government policies still in place, unfair laws and creepy cultural indecencies par for the miniature golf course, Boston appears not to have changed that much.  Oh, there’ve been many positive steps taken and the common colors we admire are still a palette by which we express life and liberty, though ...I let loose a deep sigh in realization that years and years may pass before injustice is no more.  I admit it’s the journey and not where you start or finish.  Still, some roads before us must be taken and there’s no time like now.

     The British outlawed the trading of slaves in 1807, after the example of other countries (Japan, Portugal, Romania [general slavery, but not the Roma until 1855]), Canada, Haiti and France [briefly, who then reverted, then changed again]), and African Americans argued that if Britain could do it, and it's all about ‘independence’ and ‘freedom’ (wasn’t it?), then there was no good reason that the newly formed United States of America shouldn’t outlaw slavery and the trading of slaves as well.  Let's go over some high and low points regarding slavery and
celebrations in Boston.

    
Native Americans (or American Indians) were here first, perhaps as early as 10,000 BCE, with various tribes (or “Nations”) inhabiting the region we now refer to as Massachusetts (Wampanoag [Algonquian-Wakashan] “near the Great Hill”).  The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME hosts a wonderful online exhibit entitled “The Cartographic Creation of New England.”  A dozen years after the 1607 (“first”) founding of Jamestown in Virginia, a patent was issued to John Peirce and associates to construct a fishing station and housing with a sizable allowance made for the education of Native children (quickly abandoned, though with an option for the London mayor to ship off orphans to the New World as at Jamestown in 1619; Neill 1876, p. 414).  The patent enabled an undertaking by a mixed group of workers, indentured servants and some Calvinist Puritan Separatists, who sailed far north of Virginia aboard the Mayflower and landed in 1620 on Cape Cod and then at Plymouth.  A settlement at Weymouth was attempted in 1622, but had a tragic end due to a murderous betrayal by the nearby Plymouth Colony.  Another attempt at Weymouth was made in 1623 with eventual success, though because of a lack of funding in 1624, many abandoned the community in 1624 and 1625, notable among them an independent thinking Church of England minister, Rev. William Blaxton (var. Blaston, Blakiston, Blackstone), who decided to settle by himself just up the coast in Trimountaine (var. Tra Mount & Treamount), an area near the mouth of the south bank of the Charles River dominated by three hills.  It’s commonly believed that Blaxton either named the peninsula he settled after Trimontium, an ancient Roman town near Melrose, Scotland (Ernst 1888; Corbetts 1911) or perhaps that colonists in Charlestown used the term, tramontane (Italian “a stranger from over the mountains”) to describe the home of Blaxton, the “Hermit of Beacon Hill.”  The exact etymology remains uncertain, as the name could have appeared on a yet to be identified map used by Blaxton and given by late sixteenth century French beaver fur trappers from Canada, as beaver fur (Buffington 1917) was the second major commodity (after fish; e.g. Lydon 1981) developed by the Plymouth Colony with crops used for local sustenance, or the name could have been taken from an early seventeenth century Italian map of the North Atlantic which contained tramontane as a regionally descriptive term for “a cold north wind.”

     A colony at Nantasket (Hull) was established in 1624, the same year that construction of a fish-curing station was started on Cape Ann.  In 1625, the year that Weymouth was partially abandoned and Blaxton moved north, an attempt was made to further work at Cape Ann, but Plymouth Colony actively discouraged it (Putnam's 1857, p. 120).  The decisions of Plymouth Colony resulted in many unexpected arrivals at Plymouth, the consumption of too much food, and a new settlement in 1625 called Mount Wollaston (later, Ma-re Mount, Mare or Merry Mounte, now part of Quincy).  After the difficulties at Cape Ann, another settlement was begun in 1626 which was named “Salem” or the “City of Peace” in 1628.  Also, in 1628, there was further action by Plymouth Colony as they took offense to the construction of a Maypole at Merrymount, an episode of early American Colonial history still debated (Hawthorne 1837; Orians 1938.; Vickery 1957; Zuckerman 1977).


Recent photograph of a sign commemorating the 1634 founding of the Boston Common.

     In advance of much planned for investments in the region and toward the establishment of an independent land enterprise to be called the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Thomas Graves founded Charlestown in 1629 on the north bank of the Charles River using hired laborers from Salem.  With presumed knowledge of possible interventions by Plymouth Colony,
John Winthrop in 1630 guided a fleet of settlers toward Charlestown with every intention of avoiding the prior militaristic and bullying decisions from the plantation.  As adventure goes, Winthrop considered "Cape Anne" for emergency supplies after a difficult voyage from England, learned from a passing ship that the fish-curing station remained uninhabited, and he continued on to Salem, where ...matters immediately became unfortunate.  The struggling colonists of Salem had no food, water or medicine for hundreds of unannounced immigrants, nor did the residents of Lynn, settled the previous year..  Many died between Salem and Charlestown.  When the Rev. Blaxton heard of the deaths and continued suffering from across the Charles River, he offered the use of a cool and clear fresh water spring on his property.  Blaxton correctly reasoned that healthful potable water was the very least he could do for the immigrants.  They appreciated the water so much that a legal purchase agreement was drafted and the Massachusetts Bay Company bought Blaxton’s spring and almost all of the land around it.  Though Rev. Blaxton had made the immigrants aware of the local name (Algonquin Shawmut or "he [they] go there by water"), the bill of sale on Sept. 17, 1630 declared: “It is ordered, that the Trimountaine shalbe called Boston; Mattapan, and Dorchester; & the towne vpon Charles Ryuer, Waterton.”  The name “Boston” was chosen in memory of the English village which Thomas Dudley and other Puritans had left behind (with Boston being a contracted form of “St. Botolph’s Town”).  Afterwards, Blaxton remained in the area for around four years before becoming weary of Puritan radical fundamentalist Christian ethics and laws and sold the last of his land and moved far away.  With Boston immediately replacing Charlestown as the government seat and capitol of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, construction of homes and industries began, thousands of immigrants (many of them Puritans) arrived, and soon the investments began to pay off, for the “investors” at least, ...not so much for others, like the African known as “Mr Mavericks Negro woman” who was attacked and raped outside of a private home in 1638 on Noddle's Island (Josselyn 1674; Warren 2007; Shea 2007).

 
1770 hand-colored print by Revere and today's Old State House.

     After years of economic tyranny, the American Revolution began on March 5, 1770 with the Boston Massacre.  As the tale is told, sometime in the evening a young barber’s apprentice asked after his fee from a British soldier who ignored his pleas and refused to pay, though it was later said he’d paid earlier in the day and was intent on showing contempt for commoners.  The
apprentice may have been drunk at the time, as lads after work are wont to become, and called out to other apprentices in the street to join him.  They pestered and followed the soldier for an hour until other soldiers got involved.  A fist to the head of the barber's apprentice by a guard outside of Boston’s Customs House briefly ended the confrontation, however despite a public rebuke of the guard’s action by his commanding sergeant, the lad and the other apprentices were soon joined by passers by and scuffling ensued with snowballs, street debris and sticks being hurled at the soldiers.  An officer with a dozen privates arrived to support the soldiers at the Customs House and began aggressively pushing and threatening the crowd.  A mob (i.e. an angry crowd) formed near the State House.  Word of the scuffling passed to the docks a few blocks away and workers marched to the scene carrying large faggots of firewood.  Four more British soldiers appeared as the workers and the mob pressed the soldiers to correct the injustice of an unpaid haircut and the mistreatment of the crowd.  A mass of ice then struck one of the British soldiers and the soldiers fired their muskets, immediately killing three men (two more would die afterwards from their wounds), shouted out threats of more action and retreated from the State House and the Boston streets.  A somewhat different account was published in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal on Monday, March 12, 1770, available online here.]


The resting place of Crispus Attucks and victims of the Boston Massacre at the Granary Burial Ground (a few feet from Sam Adams, patriot and brewer).

     One of those killed was a mixed-race dock worker from Framingham (Natick) named Crispus Attucks.  Accounts disagree as to whether his death was murder and that he was positioned leaning upon a stick for support while he attempted to quite the mob or that it was a homicide as the result of behaving menacingly by yelling and the waving of a stick at a soldier.   Attucks is thought to have been European, African and Native American and is often referred to as a “mulatto.”   Early depictions portray him with Caucasian features (e.g. Pelham & Revere), though commoners regarded him as African, celebrated March 5th as “Crispus Attucks Day," an informal holiday popular in Boston’s African community for many years.  Eight soldiers were soon tried for murder at a British Admiralty Court and with legal defense by John Adams (later, the 2nd President of the United States), two were judged guilty of manslaughter and received brief jail sentences and the branding of the letter “M” on the backs of their hands.  The manipulation of racial identity for political gain by Paul Revere with Attucks is thought to be related to his membership in the “Sons of Liberty," a group partially inspired by the “Sons of Saint Tammany,” a fraternal society of pseudo-Native American enthusiasts formed from the Schuylkill Fishing Company after 1732 (MacGregor 1983; Walsh 1997) and the farcical Mohawk garb worn at the Boston Tea Party in 1773. [Note: Under “Quinnipiac,” the Wikipedia entry states that the Sons of Liberty became the Sons of St. Tammany in Boston, but I suspect this is incorrect.]
 


A derisive drawing, c. 1820, "A Splendid Procession of Free Masons" by D. C. Johnson.

     Organizations which promoted the abolition of slavery began to form during and directly following the American Revolution.  Pennsylvania was first in 1774, followed by New York in 1785, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey in 1792, and then Massachusetts in 1808.  Most of the abolitionists were European Americans, but the movement in Boston was begun by African Americans, many who had served in the Revolutionary War with distinction, though some fought for America and others may have served with the British Army.  On March 6, 1775, fifteen African Americans became
Freemasons at the Military Lodge No. 441, Irish Constitution (i.e. under the Grand Lodge of Ireland), attached to the 38th Regiment of Foot (1st Battalion South Staffordshires) of the British Army, commanded at the time by Gen. (Gov.) Thomas Gage, at Castle Williams on Castle Island in Boston Harbor just scant weeks before the beginning of the Siege of Boston (April 19, 1775 – March 17, 1776) and the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.  Sometime shortly before the British abandoned Boston on March 17, 1776, the African Americans were granted rights from the British to form a lodge, parade on St. John's Day (June 24th, Midsummer’s Day), bury their dead as Masons, but forbidden to confer degrees on others or advanced degrees on themselves.  After the war, the leading African American Freemason, Prince Hall, spent several years petitioning the Grand Lodge of England for a formal charter with all privileges, which was granted on September 20, 1784.  African Lodge No. 459 was established and began work as a regular Masonic body on May 6, 1787 and on June 24, 1791 elected Prince Hall its first Grand Master.

     Before Prince Hall acquired a building on Water Street (functioning as the “
Golden Fleece” leather shop during the day and Masonic meeting house after-hours), the African Americans met as Masons at the home of George Middleton at No. 5 Pinckney Street on Boston’s Beacon Hill, who had joined Masonry apart from Hall, as had a small number of other local African Americans.  These African Americans were successful at their various trades and professions and soon began to share their good fortunes with their community – they assisted in the 1806 building of the African Meeting House, a church which also functioned as a school (education for African American children was previously offered at Middleton’s home with Prince Hall teaching; White 1973).  Middleton’s home and the African Meeting House were located in a neighborhood (between Pinckney & Cambridge and Belknap or Joy & Charles Streets) “politely” called the North Slope of Beacon Hill, but commonly known as “Nigger Hill.”  It’s written that many who lived there walked daily over Beacon Hill to work at the homes of those who dwelt on the South Slope of Beacon Hill facing the Boston Common.  The Masons of the African Lodge were among those who began and championed the Abolition movement in Boston and, alongside other groups of petitioners, convinced the General Court of Massachusetts on March 26, 1788 to make the seizure and export through sale or trade of slaves illegal within the Commonwealth.  They also created the African Society in 1796.  And, as it follows, they started Bobalition Day in 1808.


Print satirizing Bobalition Day in Philadelphia.

      Though the Puritans of early Boston discouraged celebrating the holidays of Christmas, New Years ("Gaudy Day") Shrove Tuesday and Easter, they did become slightly festive with St. Valentine's Day, Fast Day (April 19th), Thanksgiving and occasionly the King’s birthday (Crawford 1914, pp. 472-493).  There was another Maypole incident in Charlestown in 1687 (Sewall 1878, p. 178), the anti-Catholic observances, Guy Fawkes or "Powder Plot" Day (“Pope Night”) gained in popularity, “Forefather’s Day” was a fad for awhile, ...and there was Election Day.  In late Colonial and Revolutionary times there were two “Election Day” celebrations, that is, General Election Day when the Governor appeared on the Boston Common and Artillery Election Day, also on the Common, when officers were chosen for the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.  General Election Day was also called “Nigger ‘Lection,” as African Americans were allowed on the Common, contra Artillery Election Day when lads were encouraged to remove African Americans from the Boston Common (De Wolfe 1921, p. 53; Wade 1981).

“These May weeks included two holidays popularly known, one as " Nigger 'lection," and the other, as now, as " Artillery Election," the latter being the day of the annual ceremonies of the artillery company. The phrase "Nigger'lection" was applied to the last Wednesday in May, because on that day, when the State Legislature assembled for its spring session, our colored brethren were permitted to take part in the high festivities on Boston Common. Then the Tremont- street Mall was occupied by three lines of tents and booths, in which were sold all sorts of heavy and unwholesome food to be washed down with egg-nog and rum-punch. Games of all sorts, from props and pitch-coppers to black-joke and raffling, with a plenty of miscellaneous rough-and-tumble and churlish savagery in which whites and blacks freely mingled, made the day uproarious with revelry.  A boisterous Saturnalia was it, during which his Excellency the Governor with full suite, and with senators and representatives annexed, all under the escort of the Boston Cadets, marched from the State House down Park Street to the Old South, there to be sermonized into their political duties (Oliver 1880, p. 75).”

     From it’s earliest colonial settlements, almost all sizable New England towns and communities had “Training Day” or "Muster Day" to prepare local militia to defend against Native Americans, then the possibility of an attack from the French Army and Native Americans, and eventually to defend against the British Army.  Often, at least in Massachusetts, these military drills were combined with Election Day to facilitate participation, resulting in “Negro Training Day” being held some years in the last week of May, scheduled around the other election, court readings and rulings, and General Training Day, which also discouraged the presence of any African Americans on the Boston Common.  In other years, especially after the introduction of Bobalition Day in 1808, “Negro Training Day” was held in either June or July.  Both of these summer months would also serve to host various African American parades and festivals, some with direct African cultural traditions combined with the quasi-election of the best speaker (var. least intoxicated), sometimes designated as a “Governor” or a “King” (
Aimes 1905; Piersen 1988; White 1994).

     In Lynn, just north of Boston, there was a manumitted slave known as King Pompey who lived in the woods near the Saugus River and would speak about his younger days on the Gambia River in Africa to those who would visit and bring him flowers during the summer.  The “Governor” elections among African Americans in other New England states continued until after the Civil War, with Connecticut keeping the tradition alive the longest.


Broadside mocking Bobalition Day, c. 1819.

     The “Antebellum” period in Boston was, of course, less severe for African Americans than in the southern United States, though it was anything but easy and there were individuals and groups who worked tirelessly against their civil liberties.  Publishing has always been important in the Massachusetts, from the 1661-1663 first edition of the Holy Bible printed in North America (Native American Algonquin in Cambridge, MA) to1827's "Tamerlane and Other Poems By a Bostonian" and beyond, the Bay State has been concerned with printing.  As African Americans sought better lives, some Bostonians cruelly ridiculed those pursuits with racist pamphlets, broadsides and other printed ephemera.

     The broadsides advertising Bobalition Day aren't for its honorable intentions, but against them.  Illustrators and writers joined with printers and distribution agents to publically attack the character and efforts made by African Americans.  Follow the money...  From a diary of a young girl, we read: “Boston had two election days. On Artillery Election the Ancient and Honorable Artillery had a dress parade on the Common. The new officers were chosen and received their new commissions from the new Governor. No negroes were then allowed on the Common. The other day was called "Nigger Lection," because the blacks were permitted to throng the Common and buy gingerbread and drink beer, as did their betters at Artillery Election (Winslow 1894).”  Betters?  And, the Honorable Artillery paid lads in the street to roust and clear the Common of African Americans?  That doesn't read like 'better' behavior.

     While Colonial and Revolutionary experiences with alcohol have been touched upon in a rather offhand manner with further investigations certain, notice should be afforded to a common association in discussions of “Nigger ‘Lection” with “‘Lection beer,” which reportedly was brewed from selected strips of bark and herbs gathered away from Boston and sold by Native Americans (“old squaws”) to African Americans and others planning in advance for the celebration on the Common.  Stalls and booths are described as selling “‘Lection beer” along the Governor’s inaugural route down Park St., with the walk continuing across Common St. ("Tremont St."), and up Boylston St. to the Old South Church (Earle 1893).  Did the unique recipe for “‘Lection beer” require ‘rare’ ingredients to fulfill either a continued tradition of European or African home-brewing or were the ingredients actually the most affordable components to make an alcoholic drink available (with “beer,” instead of “wine” or “spirits,”  here used as a synonym for any low-proof beverage)?  A seldom enforced Massachusetts law at the time forbad the sale of alcohol by Whites directly to Blacks, though African Americans could apparently sell to European Americans, Native Americans, an occasional foreigner and to their own, as at Marblehead’s Black Joe's Tavern.   So, what was “‘Lection beer”?

     We may, for discussion purposes, recognize three methods for alcohol production – fermenting, brewing and distilling.  Controlled fermentation began, perhaps, with a soaking technology used with peas, beans and legumes in France (c. 9000 BCE) and next emerged with the beginnings of farming and grain agriculture in Asia Minor (c. 7000-5000 BCE) and the manufacture of beer and bread.  Simple fermentation was common globally in ancient times with wine and related drinks attested in China, India, Africa and among Native Americans.  The English translation, “strong drink,” of the Holy Bible was certainly beer (Homan 2004), and though the ancient Greeks and Romans knew the distillation process and used it for perfumes and extracts, it wasn’t until the early Medieval period that Islamic scientists (likely, Al-Razi 865-925 CE) first produced and named 'alcohol' (Arabic al-goul, var. al-kuhl), our "hard drink," with distillation technology diffusing to Europe afterwards allowing friars and monks something to produce besides jams and jellies.

     Two of the early contact period episodes which most clearly typify the subtleties of the relationship between Native Americans and American colonists concern Native Americans asking for beer.  We read in Mourt's Relation of an encounter on Feb. 16, 1621 with Samoset, who welcomed the Puritan colonists in English ...and asked for some beer:

“He saluted us in England, and bade us welcome, for he had learned some broken English among the Englishmen that came to fish at Monchiggon, and knew by name the most of the captains, commanders, and masters that usually came. He was a man free in speech, so far as he could express his mind, and of a seemly carriage. We questioned him of many things; he was the fist savage we could meet withal. He said he was not of these parts, but of Morattiggon, and one of the sagamores or lords thereof, and had been eight months in these parts, it lying hence a day's sail with a great wind, and five days by land. He discoursed of the whole country, and of every province, and of their sagamores, and their number of men, and strength. The wind being to rise a little, we cast a horseman's coat about him, for he was stark naked, only a leather about his waist, with a fringe about a span long, or little more; he had a bow and two arrows, the one headed, and the other unheaded. He was a tall straight man, the hair of his head black, long behind, only short before, none on his face at all; he asked some beer, but we gave him strong water and biscuit, and butter, and cheese, and pudding, and a piece of mallard, all which he liked well, and had been acquainted with such amongst the English.”

     After the “Great Treaty” of 1683, Sachem Tamanen (var. Tammany, Tammanend & Tamanend) of the
Lenni-Lenape, returned to William Penn the following year to ammend the treaty with a request for additional food and tools ...and asked for more beer.  The negotiated terms between the Native Americans and the Quaker colonists included some thirty-three line-items with amounts of twenty or more, five gallons of molasses, with the only single amount items being a skittle of salt and a barrel of beer (Weems 1824, pp. 155, 156). 

     John Hathorne (infamous Salem Witchcraft Trials judge and ancestor of American writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne) is believed to have: “...responded to Lynn’s liberal licensing policies by selling beer to Indians.  When neighbors complained that their Indian servants and their Indian farmworkers were passing out in the fields, Hathorne dismissed them with the simple retort that ‘the [Indians’] money was as good as others (McWilliams 1998, p. 555).’”

     When attendance slacked at the various militia training days (“Training Day” in May or June with individual companies and “Muster Day” in an autumn month with all companies assembled), the drills began to offer more than stipends of fifty cents or so to the participants and started to provide dinner ...and beer.  Well, some have suggested that free beer supported the early militias of Massachusetts, though terminology and poor records make exactitude difficult.  Alcohol was offered at the attendee dinners and also for sale by vendors surrounding the various training fields, though mentions of “root-beer” in many Training Day accounts require clarification (Mook 1938, p. 681).  A Philadelphian drugstore owner, Charles E. Hires, is credited with the 1866 invention and marketing of a brewed soft-drink he called “root tea,” soon changed to “root beer,” a tonic beverage which is still popular today.  Before Hires, “root-beer” was a mildly alcoholic drink made from assorted roots and barks and commonplace in early New England homes and sold in taverns.  It seems the “‘Lection beer” consumed on the Boston Commons was probably not what we would describe as a traditional beer or ale, but rather a concoction with a proof of around 2-3% alcohol which through sincere consumption may have enabled some interesting celebrations.  “Hard drink” was, as with nearly all Massachusetts festivals and events after c. 1700, to some degree available for purchase to those who could afford it, most often covertly in a tent containing a "striped pig" or other “critter” ruse or by assorted under-the-table transfer methods (ibid, p. 688).  The drinking of any "beer" or other alcoholic drink aside, for now, the congress between Native Americans and African Americans such as with “old squaws” selling ingredients for “‘Lection beer” are in need of better understanding.

     I wonder if any Native Americans lived outside of the "Red Puritan" plantations (Salisbury 1974; Brenner 1980) and “Praying Villages” set aside by the Massachusetts General Court (Kawashima 1969; Van Lonkhuyzen 1990), other than as servants in private homes, while African American’s lived on “Nigger Hill.”  Did Native Americans live alongside of African Americans as, perhaps, at Natick (see Crispus Attucks above)?  They were certainly united in death with both Native and African Americans being buried in the same cemeteries.  The 1772 grave of one of Connecticut’s “Black Governors,” Boston Trowtrow (var. Trow Trow; see trow), is in the Old Norwichtown Burying Ground, the historic cemetery Sachem Uncas insisted always remain sacred and which the Mohegan tribe has recently renovated (from the backyard of a local Mason temple) with gifts of $1 million to the city, and after paying another million to tear down the temple, gave yet another million to the Masons for their troubles (Christoffersen 2007).

     Last fall, I was skirting the Tremont and Boylston Sts. corner of the Boston Common and an extremely large Native American young man asked me for a cigarette.  He looked to be in his late twenties, said he was a
Mi'kmaq from Maine in Boston to clear up some legal trouble he’d gotten into, removed a half-gallon of vodka from a bag at his side and I joined him for a smoke and we chatted.  I had my laptop computer with me and while failing to bum unprotected WiFi and get online to check my e-mail, he became interested in the laptop as a portable entertainment center, and I chose to explain to him that it was just a writer’s tool, a damn fine one, but still just a means to an end.  The explanation went nowhere, I managed a weak WiFi connection for a couple of minutes before losing the signal and ...entertained him for a bit with some of Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong.  I haven’t seen any Native Americans on the Common since, I’m sure that they’re there, and it’s because I haven't spent any actual time looking for Native Americans on the Boston Common that I haven’t seen any.

     Usually, however, the colors of the Common are as varied as the seasons, days of the week, times of the day or of different areas of the Common as it is.  That vague assessment includes people, plants, places and things.  During the summer there’s always lots of green (literally and metaphorically) or what I’ve called the “Color of Life.”  With today’s Beantown more diverse than ever before, the Hub contains any number of hues, shades, tones or other classifications of color one would like to employ, and all of them are to be found enjoying Boston’s premier public park (though not all are employed equally).    


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  Online here.
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  1: 27-54.
Sewall, Samuel.  1878.  “The Diary of Samuel Sewall.”  Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society.  Vol. 5 (Fifth Series).  Online here.
Shea, Christopher.  2007.  “Missing Passage: a young scholar pushes the boundaries of history to re-create the life of a slave in Puritan New England.”
  The Boston Globe.  March 31; online here.
Stewart, William A.  1975.  “Continuity and Change in American Negro Dialect.”  In Perspectives on Black English (Contributions to the Sociology of
  Language, 4)
; pp. 233-247.  Edited by Joey Lee Dillard.  New York: Gruyter.  For a discussion of grammatical traits concerning “zero copula,” “zero
  possessive,” and “undifferentiated pronouns,” see p. 234.  See also: Levy, Andrew.  1990.  “Dialect and Convention: Harriet A. Jacobs's Incidents in the
  Life of a Slave Girl.”  Nineteenth-Century Literature.  45, 2: 206-219.

Van Lonkhuyzen, Harold.  1990.  “A Reappraisal of the Praying Indians: Acculturation, Conversion, and Identity at Natick, Massachusetts, 1646-1730.”
  The New England Quarterly.  63, 3: 396-428
.
Vickery, John B.  1957.  “The Golden Bough at Merry Mount.”  Nineteenth-Century Fiction.  12, 3: 203-214.
Wade, Melvin.  1981.  “‘Shining in Borrowed Plumage’: Affirmation of Community in the Black Coronation Festivals of New England (c. 1750-c. 1850).”
  Western Folklore.  40, 3: 211-231.
Walsh, Martin W.  1997.  “May Games and Noble Savages: The Native American in Early Celebrations of the Tammany Society.”  Folklore.  108: 83-91.
Warren, Wendy Anne.  2007.  "The Cause of Her Grief": The Rape of a Slave in Early New England.”  The Journal of American History.  93, 4:
  1031-1049.  PDF online here.
Weems, M. L.  1829  The Life of William Penn.  Philadelphia, PA: Uriah Hunt.  Online here; 1859 edition online here.
White, Arthur O.  1973.  “The Black Leadership Class and Education in Antebellum Boston.”  The Journal of Negro Education.  42, 4: 504-515.
White, Shane.  1994.  “‘It Was a Proud Day’: African Americans, Festivals, and Parades in the North, 1741-1834.”  The Journal of American History.
  81, 1: 13-50.
Winslow, Anna Green.  1894.  Diary of Anna Green Winslow: A Boston School Girl of 1771.  Edited by Alice Morse Earle.  Boston, MA: Houghton,
  Mifflin and Co.  Online here.
Zuckerman, Michael.  1977.  “Pilgrims in the Wilderness: Community, Modernity, and the Maypole at Merry Mount.”  The New England Quarterly.  50,
  2: 255-277.


Recommended:
J. L. Bell’s 1775 blog: http://boston1775.blogspot.com/.   
Crew, Louie.  1974.  “Wrenched Black Tongues: Democratizing English.”  College Composition and Communication.  25, 1: 42-45.
Davis, Ossie.  1969.  "The Language of Racism: The English Language is my Enemy."  Language in America.  Edited by N. Postman, C. Weingartner,
  and T. P. Moran. New York: Pegasus.  See pp. 73-81.  Reprints original 1967 article from American Teacher.
Flavin's Corner:
#237  10-6-06  Common Hope.
Joyce, Joyce A.  1981.  “Semantic Development of the word Black: A History from Indo-European to the Present.”  Journal of Black Studies.  11, 3:
  307-312.


Still getting used to bifocals,
Rick
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