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Boston's best known Revolutionary painter wasn't really a big fan of this America thing

The Harvard Gazette interviews Jane Kamensky, author of a new biography of John Singleton Copley (you know, as in the Square), who actually left Boston for England in 1774 and never returned. She discusses that famous painting of the kid who looks like he's about to be eaten by a shark:

Brook Watson had been a merchant’s boy, probably a cabin boy at first and then an Atlantic coastal merchant, spending time in the waters of Havana where this happened to him in the 1740s. He was swimming and was flayed and nearly drowned. The incident allowed Copley to paint something that was incredibly suspenseful and that was exhibited at an incredible moment of national suspense about the fate of Britain.

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Copley thought that North America would one day become a truly great and central part of Britain

Lesson of the day: Don't bet against the Patriots

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I saw an interview with the author in PBS's "Open Studio" a few nights ago. Very interesting. One doesn't usually think that during the period of the American Revolution that there were many "neutral" or "undecided" people who weren't particularly thrilled with the revolutionary uprising and not eager to see a war played out in their backyards, and any number of people who would have been happy to remain under British rule.

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About a third were Patriots, a third Tories, and the remaining third were stuck in the middle.

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Actually, that probably isn't true. John Adams is often cited with this breakdown of the political leanings, but he wasn't talking about OUR revolution. Rather, he was talking about America's support for the French Revolution.

Citation: https://allthingsliberty.com/2013/02/john-adamss-rule-of-thirds/

However, there were probably more people in the neutral zone than the other two. Many people were looking out for their business interests while others supported the King but hated what Parliament was doing to their rights as British subjects.

In 1776, about 1000 to 2000 people left with the British troops for Halifax. Many were from Boston specifically, but also hailed from Cambridge and other towns in the area. There were also probably many poor loyalists who did not sail away with the convoy.

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In 1776, about 1000 to 2000 people left with the British troops for Halifax. Many were from Boston specifically, but also hailed from Cambridge and other towns in the area. There were also probably many poor loyalists who did not sail away with the convoy.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/a9BlJ7Z.jpg)

bye bye loyalists

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Yeah I learned this last weekend when I was wondering if Copley was an immigrant, given the recent rally in his square. Apparently we don't know where he was born.

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He owned several acres across from the common which later became the State House and some of the mansions stretching down towards Charles Street. He sold the land years after leaving at distress sale prices and sent the deed from London.

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The call on the field is changed: John Hancock owned the land where they put the State House and Copley the land next to it on Beacon. After the sale he thought he was ripped off and sent his son to try to get more money, unsuccessfully. (My Bad).

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Plenty of self-haters here now

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