NOTE: Weather permitting, the next meeting is Monday February 3rd, 7:00 pm at Tennent Church (Old Scots’ Hall) in Englishtown, NJ. Dan Sivilich, President of BRAVO and musket ball expert will give a presentation entitled: “Musket Balls from the Boston Massacre – Are They Authentic?”

The next BRAVO meeting is Monday, February 3rd , 7:00 pm. We will meet at Tennent Church (Old Scots’ Hall) in Englishtown, NJ. This will be a general meeting and will be open to the public. Note: Our membership is at capacity, so we are currently not accepting any new members. However, we will take applications and keep them on file in the event there is an opening.

Dan Sivilich, President of BRAVO and musket ball expert will give a presentation entitled: “Musket Balls from the Boston Massacre – Are They Authentic?” In 1940 a picture frame containing two musket balls and two notes handwritten in quill pen were donated to the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston by one W. F. Meredith.  They are reported to be the only remaining artifacts from the March 5, 1770 Boston Massacre. They are so iconic, that at one time they were loaned to the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in Iowa.  According to the notes, one went through the shutter of Edward Payne’s house and the other broke the small bone in his arm and lodged in a door post. He lived across the street from the Custom House where the British soldiers fired from and was a witness to the event. Payne testified during the subsequent trial of Captain Thomas Preston, the British officer who was present at the massacre.  But the question is – are they authentic? To date, there has not been a connection established between W. F. Meredith and the Payne family. The Massachusetts Historical Society granted the authors and a team of experts unprecedented access to these two artifacts. This paper will discuss the analyses that were conducted to attempt to answer that question.

Next tentative meeting dates are:

  • April 6th, 2020
  • June 1st, 2020

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BRAVO AT THE 2019 NJ STATE HISTORY FAIR

BRAVO’s participation in the 2019 NJ State History Fair at Monmouth Battlefield State Park on September 14th was a huge success. We demonstrated the basic concepts of battlefield archaeology to both children and parents.

BRAVO volunteers took the children to a designated area to find and recover “artifakes” which are musket balls that were actually fired, but by re-enactors in past years live round firelock competitions.

These bullets have been in the ground for many years, so they looked like real artifacts. After the artifake was recovered, BRAVO’s Surveyor General, Eric Sivilich, would measure its exact location using an RTK (super accurate GPS).

The participants were then directed to take their artifake back to the BRAVO booth to have them weighed to determine the original caliber and then, using the longitude and latitude coordinates from the RTK, each artifake position was plotted into a GIS (Geographic Information System) by Dana Linck (BRAVO VP and Professional Archaeologist), the participants and their parents could see exactly where their artifake was found in relation to other artifakes found that day. As the day went on, the mapped points increased thus showing the location of the mock battle.

Once the weighing and mapping was completed, each child received a Junior Archaeologist certificate:

Many thanks to all of the BRAVO volunteers for making this day possible. Photos by Ken Amann and Jeff Sayre.

BRAVO AT ITS BEST
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