Sunday Lecture: Commemorating Salem 1774 and Pickering’s Plan
Sunday, March 3, 2024
Charlie Newhall and Bob Erbetta
What is a “well-regulated” militia? How did Salem and Timothy Pickering give it shape and point toward the Second Amendment? The story is now 250 years old! “I gladly embraced the opportunity which then presented, of applying to the service of my country the little knowledge & experience an office in the militia had led me to acquire, by writing the following plain rudiments of the military art.” Thus wrote Timothy Pickering to George Washington in 1775. That letter is preserved in the National Archives. His book “An Easy Plan of Discipline of a Militia” was conceived in the contested public discourse of Salem 1774 when the Massachusetts Provincial Government moved from Boston to Salem. Divided loyalties and need for a practical manual of arms for the militia to defend Salem led Pickering to simplify earlier regulations. With Washington and now as adjutant-general (later quartermaster-general), Pickering’s “Easy Plan” was adopted across Washington’s Army.
Join Charlie Newhall and Bob Erbetta to learn about this turning point of the politics of Salem in 1774, Pickering’s role in reshaping the Militia, and the coming of the American Revolution.
Newhall, an Early American historian and history teacher at St. John’s Prep, will present the Salem story and Erbetta, a co-founder of Marblehad’s Glover’s Regiment (in 1974) and a highly experienced reenactor, will walk us through the actual manual of arms and drill of soldiers.
Location:Pickering House: 18 Broad Street, Salem