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Barrow Bookstore Presents: Concord Trivia


Questions 1-2: The year is 1639. You are one of the first settlers in Concord and have lived here now for four years. How do you react in the below scenarios?

1 In the mid-morning sunshine, you are walking down the road when you meet the wife of Simon Willard, one of Concord’s founders and most prominent men. The most correct way to greet her is: a) Good morrow, Mistress Willard b) Good morrow, Goody Willard c) Good noon, Madame Willard d) Top of the morning, neighbor

2 After greeting Willard’s wife, you see the wife of farmer Jones from Sudbury approaching. She is accompanied by her 12-year-old housemaid, Anna. You should greet them by saying: a) Good morrow, Mistress Jones and Goody Anna b) Good morrow, Goody Jones and Anna c) Remain quiet. The town of Sudbury has just been founded and you don’t know yet if you like people from Sudbury.


3 In 1638, the General Court of Massachusetts fined the Town of Concord five shillings for failing to have: a) A church b) A schoolhouse c) A working gristmill d) A pair of stocks

4 Which of these Concord residents was superintendent of Concord schools from 1859—1864? a) Amos Bronson Alcott b) Ralph Waldo Emerson c) Nathaniel Hawthorne d) Henry David Thoreau

5 Described by Walt Whitman as “a fighter, up in arms, a devotee, a revolutionary crusader, hot in the collar, quick on the trigger, noble, [and] optimistic,” this nineteenth-century Concord resident started a primary school in Concord whose pupils included Louisa May Alcott and her sisters. Today, a current Concord school is named after this person. This person was: a) John Brown b) Thomas Carlisle c) Franklin B. Sanborn d) Elizabeth Peabody e) Amos Bronson Alcott

6 In 1884, Louisa May Alcott sold Orchard House, the home in which she had written Little Women. The house was later vacant for many years. In 1904, Orchard House came up for sale. The Boston chapter of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union attempted to buy the house to make it a: a) Museum b) Country retreat and residential studio for female artists c) Home for sightless women who needed means of self-support d) Culinary school specializing in apple dishes

7 You've somehow time-traveled and ended up in Victorian era Concord working as a maid in a grand house. You know that slipping through time is no excuse to let down your dental hygiene, but you have no money to buy tooth powder or dental paste (which have both been created by this period). As an alternative, which one of the following might you use? a) Hemlock bark b) Fresh kettle hole water from Walden Pond c) Dried horse dung d) Soot e) Sawdust

8 Match the witches with their Concord creators. Witches: Norna, Old Mother Rigby, Hila, Elphaba. Creators: Louisa May Alcott, Gregory Maguire, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

9 True or False: Concord writers Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson were each directly descended from different Salem witch trial judges.

10 True or False: The 1989 American Civil War movie Glory was about the real-life Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment, one of the Union Army’s first African American regiments. The movie starred well-known actors such Matthew Broderick as Col. Robert Gould Shaw, and Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes as fictional members of the regiment. True or False: Although his name went unrecognized for years, George Washington Dugan, a real-life Concord resident, was the town’s only member of the 54th Regiment.


1. A. Good morrow, Mistress Willard. The title “mistress” was used for women of high status and wealth. Good morrow meant “good rest of the morning.”

2. B. Good morrow, Goody Jones and Anna. Short for “good wife,” Goody was used for women of lower social status. Servants were addressed by their first names.

3. D. A pair of stocks. Although many colonists left England behind for a reason, they still brought some of England's ideas with them. In addition to building a town church, most towns also built a pair of stocks. Placed on town greens, wood or metal stocks were used to punish and humiliate people. For as long as their punishment dictated, the offending person would be seated with their legs, and sometimes arms, sandwiched between two interlocking boards, unable to move and at the mercy of taunts or rotten vegetables tossed at them by members of their community. This is not recommended today for community bonding.

4. A. Amos Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May Alcott. Alcott School is named after him.

Amos Bronson Alcott

Amos Bronson Alcott

Commons.wikimedia.org/public domain

5. C. Franklin Sanborn. Sanborn’s co-educational school was located on Sudbury Road. The Sanborn Middle School is named after him. Sanborn was also a member of abolitionist John Brown’s “Secret Six.” To read more about this, check out Discover Concord’s free online archives and Richard Smith’s article, “Invested in Treason: Concord and John Brown’s Secret Six,” found here: issuu.com/discoverconcordma/docs/dcsummer21book/s/12842308.

6. C. A home for sightless women who needed means of self-support. Although Orchard House was, instead, purchased by the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association (and opened to the public as a museum in 1912), Louisa had a connection to helping the blind. Louisa May Alcott’s maternal great-uncle Samuel May was a trustee and founding member of the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. Following the success of her 1868 novel Little Women, Louisa wrote a short story, Blind Lark, to help raise funds for the Perkins School to start a kindergarten.

7. D. Soot. While you’re cleaning fireplaces in the house, take a moment to apply the soot to a damp rag and scrub your teeth. For more helpful advice on how to adjust to your new Victorian life, we recommend you read Ruth Goodman’s 2014 book, How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life.

8. Norna: Louisa May Alcott (from “Norna: Or the Witch’s Curse”) Old Mother Rigby: Nathaniel Hawthorne (from “Feathertop: A Moralized Legend”) Hilda: Louisa May Alcott (from “Bianca: An Operatic Tragedy”) Elphaba: Gregory Maguire (from Wicked) Although he wrote a lot, we’re not aware of Emerson creating fictional witches.



Commons.wikimedia.org/Arthur Carvalho Braga

9. False, yet partially true. Louisa May Alcott was the third-great-granddaughter of Salem witch trial judge Samuel Sewall and Nathaniel Hawthorne was the secondgreat-grandson of witch trial judge John Hathorne. Ralph Waldo Emerson was the fourth-great-grandson of convicted Salem witch Mary Perkins Bradbury. Although sentenced to hang, Mary somehow escaped her death sentence, resulting in future scholars learning how to spell transcendentalism.

10. True. To learn more about George Washington Dugan and the current effort to help honor him, please see Beth van Duzer’s article “Preserving and Updating Concord’s Civil War Monument” in this issue of Discover Concord.


Shattuck, L. (1835) History of Concord, Russel, Odiorne, and Company, Boston, MA Massachusetts Birth Index 1700 – 1800, accessed via ancestry.com

Lady of New York (1843) Etiquette for Ladies: A Manuel of the Most Approved Rules of Conduct in Polished Society, for Married and Unmarried Ladies, J.L. Gihon, New York, NY

Earle, A.M. (1896) Curious Punishments of Bygone Days, Herbert S. Stone & Company, New York, N.Y.

Hawthorne, N. (1846) Mosses from an Old Manse, Wiley and Putnam, New York, NY

Alcott, L.M. (1893) Comic Tragedies, Roberts Brothers, Boston, MA

Hale, Jen. “Louisa May Alcott and the Perkins Kindergarten.” Perkins Archives Blog, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown MA, March 23, 2022.

Wineapple, B. (2003): Hawthorne: A Life, Random House, New York, NY

“A Brief History of the Town of Sudbury,” retrieved July 2022 at http://www. sudbury01776.org