The Salem Resistance Ball
Leslie’s Retreat/Resistance Ball
Salem, MA March 8, 2017 Hamilton Hall, an Assembly Hall since 1805 in the heart of historic downtown Salem.
The Leslie’s Retreat Committee and Hamilton Hall are pleased to host the First Annual Salem Resistance Ball on Saturday, April 8 at 8:30 pm. There will be Fiddlers, Dancing, Victuals & Libations to celebrate the anniversary of the early resistance efforts in Salem, MA beginning with Leslie’s Retreat in 1775. Formal or Creative Revolutionary Attire is suggested. Tickets for this event are $50 in advance and $60 at the door with a cash bar. Tickets are now on sale at www.hamiltonhall.org.
We will mark our city’s historic prelude to the events that followed in Lexington & Concord, which are celebrated each year in April every year. The Ball will mark the culmination of several events celebrating the anniversary of Leslie’s Retreat. Details of those events can be explored here: lesliesretreat.org.
The story of Leslie’s Retreat is one of the great American stories of the early revolution. It is the story of ordinary citizens joining together to resist the authority of the British militia.
On February 26, 1775, the first armed resistance by the colonies to British authority occurred at North Bridge in Salem. When reports that cannons and ammunition had been hidden in North Fields (now North Salem), British General Gage sent Colonel Leslie and approximately 250 British soldiers from Boston to Marblehead by ship.
The citizens of Salem, who had been forewarned of the approaching British forces gathered at the North Bridge and raised the draw. What might have been the first battle of the Revolutionary War was averted because of a compromise that was brokered by Reverend Thomas Barnard of The North Church with Colonel Leslie. It was determined that the draw be lowered and Colonel Leslie and his men would march a short distance beyond the bridge, and then turn and head back to Marblehead. It was reported on April 17, 1775, in The Gentleman’s Magazine of London: “By a ship just arrived at Bristol from America, it is reported that the Americans have hoisted their standard of liberty at Salem.”
Many names that we recognize today are associated with the event: Captain Jonathan Felt, Captain Joshua Ward, Captain Foster, Colonel Timothy Pickering, Colonel David Mason and his family, Mr. Derby, Mr. Barr, Mr. Northey, and nurse, Sarah Tarrant.
This is a fundraising event to support the ongoing preservation of Hamilton Hall, an assembly hall since 1805.
Hamilton Hall is served by a dedicated volunteer Board of professionals. The organization’s mission is to preserve Hamilton Hall for the assembly of the greater community and as a significant historic building and institution. Hamilton Hall is a proud member of the Historic Buildings of Massachusetts, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The company’s website at www.hamiltonhall.org contains additional information.