February 10, 2021

Leslie’s Retreat – Attn:“reg’lars”, Revelers & Recruits!

by joeyphoenix

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Mark your Calendars!   Join the Ranks!  Get Ready to Assemble!

The 5th Annual Leslie’s Retreat Celebrations Will Look A Little Different This COVID 19 Year.

Please RSVP with this ZOOM link https://masshist.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hONSJBKdTbSPY2NgIInRcQ

The Leslie’s Retreat Salem Resistance Steering Committee is pleased to announce that on the afternoon of Sunday, February 21, 2021, we will be presenting “Revolutionary Congeniality while Socially Distancing” event programming with both an interactive, and a virtual component to celebrate and mark the 246th Anniversary of Leslie’s Retreat. 

The afternoon will kick-off at 2:30 pm with “A Citywide Bell Ringing Call to Assemble”.  At 3:00 pm individuals seeking historical and contemporary congeniality and conversation are cordially invited to join scholar historians, Robert Allison, Peter Charles Hoffer, and Chernoh Sesay Jr. for “Bridging the Divide: Conflict, Violence and Negotiation in 1775 & Today”, a Zoom discussion moderated by Salem’s own public history actor and theater maker, Diana Dunlap, and presented in cooperative concert by The Leslie’s Retreat Salem Resistance Steering Committee and Revolution 250.  


Follow the event public rollout on our Social Media pages!  Share LRSR Facebook and Instagram posts with friends, followers and fellow rebels and revelers!

2:30 pm – Citywide Bell Ringing Call to Assemble: 

CHURCH BELL RINGING has historical significance here in Salem, and specifically with reference to Leslie’s Retreat. Salem’s church bells regularly rang to summon people to prayer, and on February 26, 1775 the town’s church bells loudly rang to warn town folk that the British were approaching from Marblehead. All local churches are invited to participate in this community wide event. Churches will be ringing their bells for approximately 15 minutes. Families are encouraged to participate at home with flags & noisemakers. If you would like more information, please contact Becky Putnam, becky.putnamproductions@gmail.com or 978-601-8725, or Irene Axelrod, iva1910@aol.com or 781-592-1663

3:00 pm – Bridging the Divide: Conflict, Violence, and Negotiation in 1775 & Today – Free & Open to the Public:

A CURATED CONVERSATION with Robert Allison, Suffolk University; Peter Charles Hoffer, University of Georgia; Cheroh Sesay, Jr, DePaul University, and moderated by Diana Dunlap.  Q&A following. 

The Panelists:

Robert J. Allison is a professor of History at Suffolk University and at the Harvard Extension School where he is regularly acknowledged for his excellence in teaching. Professor Allison is the lecturer in two series on the Great Courses, a 24-lecture series on the life of Benjamin Franklin and a 36-lecture course on Colonial America, entitled Before 1776; Life in the American Colonies. His books include The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim World 1776-1820Stephen Decatur: American Naval Hero 1779-1820A Short History of Boston; short volumes on Cape Cod, the Boston Massacre, and the American Revolution. He has also edited an edition of The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. He is president of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and of the American Antiquarian Society, and an honorary member of the Society of the Cincinnati. He is on the USS Constitution Museum’s board of trustees. He is currently writing a book about the USS Constitution’s 1840s world cruise and is chair of Revolution 250, a consortium of organizations working to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution. Professor Allison is also the host of the Revolution 250 podcast.

Peter C. Hoffer is the Distinguished Research Professor of History at the University of Georgia where he has taught since 1978. He is the author of Prelude to the Revolution: The Salem Gunpowder Raid of 1775 which was published in 2013, and is the most comprehensive study of Leslie’s Retreat. Professor Hoffer received his PhD at Harvard University in 1970 where he studied under Bernard Bailyn. He taught at Ohio State, Notre Dame and UGA.  Most recent books are a new edition of my Brave New World, a History of Early America, and works on Franklin, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster, all with some connection to Massachusetts.   

Chernoh M. Sesay, Jr. is an historian of the Black Atlantic and of colonial North American and antebellum United States history whose research focuses on the intersection of religion, black political thought, identity, and community formation. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Black Boston and the Making of African-American Freemasonry: Leadership, Religion, and Community in Early America. In this study, the early development of black Freemasonry, from its founder, Prince Hall, to its prominent antebellum member, David Walker, becomes a prism through which to consider various relationships between religion, gender, community, and interracial and black politics. He is also exploring how different forms of nineteenth and twentieth-century African American historicism were comprised of aligned and competing theological and secular concerns. He has published a book chapter in addition to articles in the New England Quarterly, the Journal of African American Studies, and the Forum for European Contributions to African American Studies. In addition to book reviews written for the Massachusetts Historical ReviewH-Net Law, the Journal of the Early Republic, and the Journal of American History, Dr. Sesay has also written for Black Perspectives, the scholarly blog of the African American Intellectual History Society.

Please RSVP with this ZOOM link https://masshist.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hONSJBKdTbSPY2NgIInRcQ .  If you would like more information, please visit our Website: or contact LRSR Co-Chairs Becky Putnam, 978-601-8725, or becky.putnamproductions@gmail.com, Diana Dunlap, or Stacia Kraft.

The Leslie’s Retreat Salem Resistance Steering Committee:

Co-Chairs: Diana Dunlap, Stacia Kraft & Becky Putnam

Committee Members: Irene Axelrod, Beth Bower, Jonathan Lane, Lisa Spence, Jonathan Streff & Robin Woodman

The LRSRSC is an initiative of civic-minded individuals with historical interests who have come together to present the 2021 Leslie’s Retreat Community Celebration in this COVID 19 challenged year, and we look forward to welcoming, and working in collaboration with others going forward into the future.

Revolution 250:

Revolution 250 is a consortium of over 60 organizations working together to commemorate the 250th anniversaries of the events that led to American Revolution. 

Leslie’s Retreat the 1775 Historical Event:

This 5th Annual Leslie’s Retreat Community Celebration commemorates Col. Alexander Leslie’s tense stand-off with local militiamen at the bridge over Salem’s North River on February 26, 1775. Now known as “Leslie’s Retreat,” this failed attempt by British redcoats to seize control of a local weapons stockpile places Salem firmly in the midst of Massachusetts’s unrest just before Lexington and Concord.  

Want to read more about this historical event?  Visit our website’s history page, https://www.leslies-retreat.org/history,  read Gordon Harris’ article, Leslie’s Retreat, or how the Revolutionary War almost began in Salem, February 26, 1775 https://historicipswich.org/2019/02/13/leslies-retreat-or-how-the-revolutionary-war-almost-began-in-salem/, and enjoy Donna Seger’s “Streets of Salem” blog article, Reports of Leslie’s Retreat https://streetsofsalem.com/2019/02/22/reports-of-leslies-retreat/.

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