TOWNSEND -- The Townsend Historical Society is proud to present re-enactor Neil Gustafson as Isaiah Thomas, patriot printer, on Saturday, May 31, 2 p.m. at the Harbor Church, 80 Main St. in Townsend.

The program is part of the events of the Patriot's Encampment that weekend at the Reed Homestead, open to the public and free of charge.

Thomas played a significant role in the events leading up to the American Revolution. Born in 1749 to a poor family, he was indentured at the age of 6, working as a printer's apprentice until 16.

In 1770, he launched a newspaper called "The Massachusetts Spy," reporting on the injustices inflicted by the British government on the colonists. It inflamed the British officials and Tories to such an extent he had to close his shop, operating his printing presses out of his home.

There, many radical patriots would meet. By 1775, he was forced to move to Worcester with his printing presses, for his own safety. Thomas stayed in Worcester, where he created a uniquely American literature after the war. He is known for founding the American Antiquarian Society.

Gustafson is a professional actor, authentically costumed, who becomes Isaiah Thomas on the stage. Thomas tells his life story and shares his role in the history of our nation's founding.

All are welcome! The program is made possible through the sponsorship of Freedom's Way National Heritage Association and the American Antiquarian Society.

For information, call the Townsend Historical Society, 978-597-2106.