Massachusetts Historical Society


The Social World of Revolutionary New England


Author: Nicole Breault, University of Texas, El Paso
Christopher Walton, Southern Methodist University
Comment: Mark Peterson, Yale University

This is an online event.

This panel highlights social institutions in eighteenth century New England. Nicole Breault’s research centers on Bostonian watchmen who walked the streets at night to monitor for signs of fire, distress, and disorder. Through night constables’ reports, orders governing watches, town records, acts of the General Court, and justice of the peace records, Breault’s paper examines local-level police training prior to the professionalization of law enforcement and more broadly, quotidian acquisitions of legal knowledge in early America. Christopher Walton’s work examines how Congregational clergy in the Connecticut Valley ministered to their communities through suffering during the American Revolution. As the religious community dealt with sickness and death locally, it learned to respond piously to loss at the battlefront. Through suffering, religion became personal as individuals took solace in religious truth and cultivated piety.

Join the conversation at the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.

Purchasing the $25 seminar subscription gives you advance access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. Subscribe at Subscribers for the current year may login to view currently available essays.

Register to attend online

Online Event

The virtual seminar begins at 5:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Upcoming Events

The Latest