FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEStand with the Resistance or March with the Redcoats at the Annual Leslie’s Retreat Community Re-enactment on Sunday, February 24
February 8, 2019 (Salem, MA) – The third annual Leslie’s Retreat community re-enactment 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. As Massachusetts begins to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, reenacting Leslie’s Retreat offers Salem an important opportunity to place itself on the Revolutionary map. Started in 2017 through the efforts of the Leslie’s Retreat Committee, a network of local organizations and motivated citizens, as a community-focused event to engage locals in a largely underappreciated moment in Salem history, the Leslie’s Retreat Community Re-enactment is uniquely audience-interactive and allows locals to portray British redcoats and local Patriots alongside dedicated re-enactors and professional interpreters.
For those interested in joining with the British redcoats, meet at Hamilton Hall at 11:15am to march to Leslie’s Retreat Park on the North River. For those who choose to stand with the colonists, gather at First Church at 11:30am at the conclusion of the regular service (all are welcome!) and march to stop the redcoats at the North River. Homemade costumes and musical instruments welcome. In the event of foul weather, redcoats will still march, but the re-enactment will take place inside The First Church in Salem, 316 Essex Street. Sponsored by the Salem Historical Society and Historic Salem, Inc.
At the conclusion of the re-enactment at 12:00pm, an informal reception will take place inside The First Church in Salem, 316 Essex Street. Other events commemorating Leslie’s Retreat include a staged reading at the Pickering House by local historian, actor, and writer Keith Trickett at 3:00pm (https://pickeringhouse.org/events/special-leslies-retreat-performance/), and “Toast the Salem Resistance and Colonel Leslie’s Retreat” with a traditional music session at O’Neill’s pub from 4:00pm-7:00pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/311775129451681/). On Saturday, April 6, join the Leslie’s Retreat Committee and Hamilton Hall for the annual Salem Resistance Ball (https://www.hamiltonhall.org/full-event-calendar/2019/2/1/resistance-ball).
What: Leslie’s Retreat: The Salem Resistance
When: Sunday, February 24 from 11:15am-12:00pm (informal reception to follow at the conclusion of the re-enactment)
Where: First Church in Salem, 316 Essex Street (gathering point for colonists, re-enactment, and reception); Hamilton Hall, 9 Chestnut Street (meeting point for redcoats at 11:15am)
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Diana Dunlap, Trustee, Salem Historical Society /firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: The British redcoats line up outside of Hamilton Hall to march to meet the colonial resistance at the First Church in Salem on February 25, 2018. Photo by Flora Tonthat.
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