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History of Newburyport Church in the Revolution

newburyport church weathervaneSEACOAST BOOKS

The Historical Committee of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, released Where We Stood: A New England Church and the American Revolution, 1764-1783. This 96-page illustrated history examines the decisions made during that period by the Society’s parishioners, their friends, and their neighbors.  (Continued below)

Surprisingly, the members of the Committee discovered that much of the population was willing to risk their lives, the lives of their families, and their often-large fortunes by actively supporting the opposition to escalating British audacity--  despite the fact that their disobedience might be considered an act of treason, punishable by death. Newburyport’s decision to support revolution ultimately led to the destruction of its extensive mercantile trade.

Where We Stood, new book on history of Newburyport,  MA in the Revolutionary War For several years, the Historical Committee has been examining the diverse political, economic and social issues that the First Religious Society has struggled with since its beginnings as the Third Parish of Newbury  in 1725. This book covers the period immediately preceding and during the Revolution. Committee members contributed essays reflecting their particular interests, including Newburyport’s patterns of trade, how the British viewed America, and essays on music, education and a variety of personalities of the time. The meaning of the Committees of Correspondence and Safety are clarified.

The Committee considers itself, and Newburyport, fortunate to have maritime historian and professor Benjamin Woods Labaree as advisor to the Committee; he also wrote the book’s introduction.

Local residents will be interested in the list of then-politically active church members, most of whose surnames will be very familiar, and the ways in which these individuals served town and country during this frightening time.

The book includes more than thirty-five black and white illustrations and photographs from private and public collections.

The Historical Committee has previously examined the early years of Newbury and the divergence of agricultural and maritime interests which led first to the formation of the Third Parish of Newbury and then to the establishment of Newburyport.

For more information, please contact Marise Fraser, Editor, at (603) 394-7894.

Copies of the book may be obtained at Jabberwocky, The Book Rack, the Historical Society of Old Newbury, the Customs House Maritime Museum, and at the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist, 26 Pleasant Street, Newburyport, MA, 01950, (978) 465 0602.



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