Dear History Lover,
As blazing heat broils continents around the globe, we can safely enjoy the summer months. Whether that be by staying indoors and binge watching favorite films,
documentaries, and living history programs, or by cooling off near the water, we find ways to make history while also maintaining safety. We are pleased to offer events that facilitate the enjoyment of the dog days of summer and also offer the educational escapism for which History At Play™, LLC (HAP) is known. The ability to pivot one's business to provide the best services is essential. It is also a skill that many companies have sought to perfect recently. Massachusetts, and specifically Boston, has a rich history of mercantile ingenuity, excelling in numerous
industries for nearly 400 years, since the Puritans arrived on the Arabella in 1630. Some of these industries are to be revered, while others are to be denounced.
Massachusetts was a mercantile town during the 17th and 18th centuries, through its incorporation as a city in 1822, and continuing to the present day. Fortuitously located on Shawmut Peninsula, it was a hub of transatlantic trade and a hotbed for
revolutionary fervor. Amidst all of it, there were larger systems and philosophies at play.
A map of Boston, drawn by King George III's military cartographers, depicts Shawmut Peninsula in 1775. The map shows the 1.5 square mile land mass-- ranging from the western border with the unfilled Back, while on the east, Long Wharf, constructed in 1711, stretches beyond the barricados (a barricade in the inner harbor preventing an enemy from
sailing a burning vessel into the city). On the north, the Mill Pond, now the filled-in West End, abuts the Charles River, while the Island of North Boston-- now the North End-- peaks out like a turtle's head. On the south side, the Boston Neck is the only land route out of Boston and leads to Roxbury and the southeast border called the South Cove (Chinatown) opens up to Boston Harbor. Source: Wikimedia.
When referring to Boston as a mercantilist hub, many do not consider the term “mercantilist” outside of a broad idea of trade. However, mercantilism was not only synonymous for trade, it was the dominant economic philosophy in Europe from the 1500s through the 19th-Century.
While the term wasn’t regularly used until the late 18th Century, the broad guiding principles impacted the world for hundreds of years. Mercantilist nations strove to export more than was imported, as a means to accrue wealth in precious metals such as gold and silver. By hoarding as much wealth as possible internally, a nation could become supremely powerful at the expense of other nations around the world.
This type of philosophy made colonies, such as the thirteen American Colonies of Great Britain, very valuable. Even King Charles I, who granted the Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter
to the Puritan émigrés, knew that one condition of the charter would include unrestricted access to raw materials found within the newly settled land. Raw materials could be refined, traded, or used by imperialist nations. The endgame of the colonial mission was always to service the mother country. By law, the American Colonies were required to use their resources to strengthen Great Britain, even at American colonists' own expense.
Great Britain acted on
this in tangible manners, as with the passage of the Navigation Act of 1660, whereby trade within the British Empire must be fulfilled via British ships and seamen. This enforced the subservient status of American traders and merchants. The land they called "home" was, in reality, a boon from which England could profit, no matter the impact
on British-American subjects. Further tensions arose in the late 1600s, as the largely independent Massachusetts Bay Colony experienced Britain's tightening grip. Their charter was revoked in 1684, and in 1686, Britain appointed the first Royal Governor to rule over the colonists. Under the New Dominion of New England, public land was claimed for Anglican use (much to the consternation of the Puritans), and new laws and taxes were enforced without colonists’ input.
After a British coup saw William of Orange take the
throne in the peaceful, Glorious Revolution, the restrictions loosened and Boston found itself freed of many of its qualms. However, in the 1700s, many merchants in Boston saw Parliament as unduly restrictive; stymying their economic growth. Boston’s economy did grow, yet colonial traders, merchants, and even townspeople felt that England was choking her American Colonies into submission.
This is the landscape into which Peter Faneuil was born-- a mercantilist colony growing more resentful of her mother country. Faneuil found himself in a land where, in response to laws restricting movement, along with the taxation of heavily-traded goods, Bostonians preferred the evasion of import duties rather than
adherence to the law. And with a landscape like that, the 18th Century would invariably be a century of remarkable change.
learn more about Peter Faneuil and the 18th Century Mercantile Revolution, HAP is offering an exclusive,
one-time only guided walking tour on Sunday August 14, at 3pm ET. The tour strays off the beaten path of Boston's Freedom Trail and embarks on a new journey that explores Downtown Boston and the picturesque Waterfront. This tour is limited in size and is offered in correlation with History Camp! It is open to the public and led by HAP Founder and Artistic Director J. Kalaora, who is a 17-year veteran tour guide, portraying Massachusetts' Official Heroine Deborah Sampson. Sunday's weather in Boston is predicted to be comfortable and the walk rambles along to the
ocean. Sign up now! Reserve your spot before this one-time only tour sells out!
J. Kalaora as Deborah Sampson guiding a walking tour in Boston. Photo by Goodnight Scholars.
And if you're looking to stay inside a temperature-controlled environment whilst enjoying living history, we invite you to the Living History Virtual Presenters' Showcase tomorrow (Tuesday) August 9, at 3pm ET. You must register for this showcase, presented by Historic Voices. If you are a Program Coordinator or Activities Director seeking new, history-centric lecturers/presenters, then registering for this Showcase is a must!
If you are not able to attend tomorrow's livestream, fear not. A
recording will be made available to all registered participants. Whether we see you online or off the beaten path, promise to Make HISTORY!
Judith "Jude" Kalaora
Founder | Artistic Director
With support from Collin Robert Smith, Social Media Coordinator.
For playbill information, click the photo associated with each event.
TUESDAY August 9, 2022
3:00 pm ET
Perfect for Activities Directors!
A recording will be made available to registered
Register before 3:00pm ET today to receive access to the livestream and the
SATURDAY August 13, 2022
10:45 am ET
120 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
This event is SOLD OUT!
SUNDAY August 14, 2022
ET (2 Hour Walking Tour)
Meet outside Government Center MBTA stop.
1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA
Look for Deborah Sampson!
J. Kalaora guiding as tour as Deborah Sampson. Photo: Goodnight Scholars Program.
THURSDAY September 8, 2022
28 Pearl Street, Gardner, MA
J. Kalaora as Hedy Lamarr. Photo: Chris
WEDNESDAY September 14, 2022
5pm Cocktails, 6pm Dinner, 7pm Performance
28 Depot Street, Palmer, MA
Registration coming soon!
J. Kalaora as Hedy Lamarr. Photo: Chris
September 21, 2022
12pm Luncheon, 1pm Performance
80 Haven Street, Dedham, MA
SUNDAY September 25, 2022
82 Primrose St, Katonah, NY
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