Skip and Marge Motes are awarding winning authors. They have concentrated on Newburyport’s maritime history since moving here in 1995. They are now writing a new book, a two volume biography of William Bartlet titled A Man of Iron Frame and Iron Nerve: A Biography of William Bartlet, Esq., 1748 – 1841.
In his ninety-three year lifetime, Bartlet rose from shoemaker to one of Newburyport’s leading citizens and its wealthiest maritime merchant. Volume I, covering Bartlet’s early maritime career and the important history of his fine Georgian brick mansion on lower Federal Street, is the subject of Skip’s presentation.
Century-old biographical essays covering Bartlet’s early maritime career are wrong; the 1798 date for his fine Georgian mansion is wrong. Skip presents their work as if this were a century-old “cold case” trial, each error disproven by their primary source “evidence,” ending with a surprise “fact witness,” a future president of the United States.
“What an absolutely splendid project:” Benjamin Labaree, author of Patriot and Partisans, The Merchants of Newburyport, 1764-1815.