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Posts Tagged ‘lexington’

Battlefield Archeology Lecture in Lexington, 11 Nov. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Minute Man National Historical Park and the Friends of Minute Man are proceeding with a big project to clear and interpret the portion of the park that became known as “Parker’s Revenge.”

Based on testimony from veterans of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and local traditions, that area is thought to be where the Lexington militia under Capt. John Parker rejoined the fighting in the afternoon of 19 Apr 1775.

As part of that project, battlefield archeologist Douglas D. Scott is coming to town to advise. On Tuesday, 11 November, he’ll speak on “Shot and Shell Tell the Tale: ...

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Daigler Speaks on Intelligence at Minute Man Park, 15 Oct. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Wednesday, 15 October, Kenneth Daigler will speak on the topic of his book Spies, Patriots and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War at the Minute Man National Historical Park’s Visitor Center in Lexington. This event will start at 7:00 P.M. and end with a book signing.

Daigler is a retired career C.I.A. operations officer who has degrees in history from Centre College of Kentucky and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. C-SPAN recorded one of his earlier talks.

One of our early first-hand sources on Revolutionary War espionage is a letter that Paul Revere wrote ...

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Today at Minute Man Park (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Today the Minute Man National Historical Park is hosting a “Battle Road Open House” from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Visitors can stop in on some of the restored colonial houses in the park, known as “witness houses” since they were already present during the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Among those houses is the William Smith House in Lincoln, home to the captain of the Lincoln Minute Men and his family. Today’s reenactor Lincoln Minute Men have helped to refurbish and refurnish that house with what a typical eighteenth-century farmhouse held:
the walking wheel, for spinning wool; the infant's ...

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Samuel Adams’s Petition to the Legislature (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I mentioned a New England Historical and Genealogical Register obituary for Samuel “Rat-trap” Adams after his death in 1855. After giving some details about his parents it said:
At the time of the Revolution he was old enough to perform services in that cause, which he did, on the patriot side. About five years ago he applied to the General Court for remuneration for some losses which he sustained in the service. There were those in that body disposed to slight his application, but the Hon. J. T. Buckingham [a state senator from Suffolk County in 1850-51] effectually brought ...

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“Battle after the Battle” at Buckman’s in Lexington, 4 May (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Alongside the Concord Museum’s “Shot Heard Round the World” exhibit (described yesterday), the Lexington Historical Society is reopening its Buckman Tavern site on Sunday, 4 May.

As I wrote yesterday, New England is largely organized around independent towns. Lexington and Concord, forever yoked in U.S. history, competed fiercely in the nineteenth century over which deserved the honor of being called the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War. Both sides produced pamphlets, orations, and monuments. When the President came to Massachusetts in 1875, the rivalry grew even worse.

The Lexington tavern will examine that competition with ...

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Viewing the “Shot Heard” Exhibit at the Concord Museum (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last week I took in the Concord Museum’s new “Shot Heard Round the World” exhibit about the events of 18-19 Apr 1775. It was quite an impressive gathering of artifacts related to one historic day.

This is definitely a military-based show. I counted six powder horns (one pierced by a musket ball), five swords, and four muskets, versus two looking-glasses and one clockface. Some of the items are already famous, such as one of the lanterns said to have hung in the Old North Church and William Diamond’s drum.

Other objects I’d never seen before in person or photograph. ...

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Where Did Jonathan Harrington, Jr., Die? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

In 1775 this house facing Lexington common, shown courtesy of the Along the King’s Highway blog, was the home of Jonathan Harrington. There were three Jonathan Harringtons among the Lexington militiamen who turned out on 19 Apr 1775, and this is the one who was shot dead.

The plaque on the right side of the house façade explains the standard story of Harrington’s death: “Wounded on the common April 19 1775 [he] dragged himself to the door and died at his wife’s feet.” That story played a role in the discussion over preserving the house, as James M. Lindgren’s ...

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A Lincoln Lecture and Some Links (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Tonight the Lincoln Minute Men will host an illustrated lecture by Concord Museum Curator David Wood and Skinner militaria expert Joel Bohy on the museum’s new exhibit about 19 Apr 1775. I understand the talk will be organized around the theme of how the artifacts on display, some for the first time in years, illuminate the timeline of that day. That event starts at 7:30 P.M. in Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Lincoln, and is free and open to the public.

Alas, I have to miss that talk because of a prior commitment. If you’re in the same boat, ...

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Sgt. Monroe on Capt. Parker (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I quoted the Rev. Theodore Parker telling the story of his grandfather John Parker’s words to his Lexington militia company on 19 Apr 1775: “If they want [or mean] to have a war, let it begin here.”

In 1858 Parker told the historian George Bancroft his sources for that quotation:
They were kept as the family tradition of the day, and when the battle was re-enacted in 1820 (or thereabout), his orderly sergeant took the Captain’s place, and repeated the words, adding, “For them is the very words Captain Parker said.”
We know from other sources that the ...

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Sgt. Monroe on Capt. Parker (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Yesterday I quoted the Rev. Theodore Parker telling the story of his grandfather John Parker’s words to his Lexington militia company on 19 Apr 1775: “If they want [or mean] to have a war, let it begin here.”

In 1858 Parker told the historian George Bancroft his sources for that quotation:
They were kept as the family tradition of the day, and when the battle was re-enacted in 1820 (or thereabout), his orderly sergeant took the Captain’s place, and repeated the words, adding, “For them is the very words Captain Parker said.”
We know from other sources that the ...

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Capt. John Parker’s Words on Lexington Green (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

A few weeks back, tour guide and author Ben Edwards asked me about the words ascribed to John Parker on Lexington common as the British regulars approached.

Did Parker say, “if they want to have a war, let it begin here,” or, “if they mean to have a war…”? Some authors quote the first version, others (and a carved boulder on the green) quote the second.

It appears that our first printed source for either quote dates from 1855, or a full eighty years after the event. The Rev. Theodore Parker was then on trial in Boston for resisting the ...

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The “No King But Jesus” Myth (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Here’s a myth about the fighting at Lexington in April 1775 that’s become popular on the American far right over the last thirty years.

What might be the earliest telling comes from Charles A. Jennings, a Christian Identity speaker who operated the ironically named “Truth in History” website and wrote:
On April 18, 1775 John Adams and John Hancock were at the home of Rev. Jonas Clarke, a Lexington pastor and militia leader. That same night Paul Revere arrived to warn them of the approaching Redcoats. The next morning British Major Pitcairn shouted to an assembled regiment ...

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William Dawes Tells a Good Story (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On 17 June 1875, Harriet Newcomb Holland wrote down the stories she’d heard about her grandfather, William Dawes (shown here in a portrait by John Johnson).

Holland had heard those tales from her mother, Dawes having died ten years before she was born. Her recounting was published by her son Henry Ware Holland in a book printed in limited numbers for members of the family—in other words, not a critical audience.

Holland’s description of William Dawes’s ride on the night of 18-19 Apr 1775 was brief though, she said, “specific”:
I do not remember ever hearing that he was ...

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Patriots Day Week Begins (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Saturday, 12 April, seems to be the start of this year’s commemoration of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. I know of four events that day.

10:30 A.M.
Bedford Parade and Pole Capping
Wilson Park, Bedford
Minutemen from throughout New England will convene on Bedford town common and march with fife and drum down the Great Road to Wilson Park to watch the official pole-capping tradition. A minuteman will proclaim freedom by shinnying up a 25-foot pole and placing a red cap atop it.

1:00 P.M.
Meriam’s Corner Exercise
Meriam’s Corner, Lexington Road, Concord
The town of Concord, joined ...

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Talks All Mapped Out in Lexington This Spring (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Scottish Rite Museum and Library in Lexington, also known as the National Heritage Museum, or formerly the Museum of Our National Heritage, has some intriguing talks mapped out for the spring.

In particular, this Saturday there will be a talk on Col. Percy’s personal map of New England and what it might tell us about the British army officer corps’ knowledge of the region.

Saturday, 15 March, 12:00 noon
Journeys and Discoveries: The Stories Maps Tell
Polly Kienle, Public Programs Coordinator
In anticipation of the lecture at 2:00 P.M., this gallery talk will focus on Revolutionary War-era ...

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The Bottom Line on the Pitcairn Painting? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I’ve been discussing this small watercolor painting whose label says it shows Maj. John Pitcairn and was created by Paul Revere. That picture appears to have been first reported in Art in America in December 1922. At that time it was paired with another, also credited to Revere and labeled “A View of South Bridge, Lexington.”

Now I didn’t know Lexington had a significant or picturesque south bridge in the early republic. For someone unaware of local Revolutionary history but playing off the buzzwords of the late-1800s Colonial Revival, “the South Bridge at Lexington” might make a nice bookend ...

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Footnotes on “Reporting the Battle of Lexington” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Last night’s talk at the Lexington Historical Society was fun, and I learned new stuff while preparing it.

For instance, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston owns this John Smibert portrait of Samuel Pemberton painted in 1734 when he was eleven years old. Not too young to shave his head and wear a wig, however. In 1770, Pemberton was on the committee with James Bowdoin and Dr. Joseph Warren to prepare Boston’s official report on the Boston Massacre.

The main thesis of my talk was that the Massachusetts Patriots, and Warren in particular, learned from that episode ...

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When Did London Learn of the Boston Massacre? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Another aspect of my talk at the Lexington Depot tonight is how long it typically took for news to travel from Boston to London.

We can measure that time by looking at the spread of news of the Boston Massacre, which took place on the evening of 5 Mar 1770. According to the 21 June 1770 Boston News-Letter, the first word about the shooting on King Street had reached London on 22 April. Government ministers met to discuss the situation the next day. So if a ship had sailed out of Boston harbor on 6 March, it needed ...

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“Undoubted intelligence of hostilities being begun at Boston” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The 28 Apr 1775 Pennsylvania Mercury newspaper contained several letters about the fighting in Massachusetts nine days before. One that had just arrived in Philadelphia the previous evening began:
Hartford, April 23, 1775.

Dear Sir,

These are to inform you, that we have undoubted intelligence of hostilities being begun at Boston by the regular troops; the truth of which we are assured divers ways, and especially by Mr. Adams the post [rider]; the particulars of which, as nigh as I can recollect, are as follow:

General [Thomas] Gage, last Tuesday night, draughted out about 1000 or 1200 ...

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“Reporting the Battle of Lexington” Lecture, 7 Feb. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Friday, 7 February, I’ll speak to the Lexington Historical Society about how the start of the Revolutionary War was reported.

The society’s events page says this talk “discusses Reporting the Revolution, a new publication showcasing newspaper reporting of the Revolution in real time.” It’s more accurate to say my talk will be inspired by one of my articles in Reporting the Revolutionary War, the volume that Todd Andrlik edited in 2012. But since those chapters are too short to fill an hour, I’ll go into more detail about some stories that didn’t get into the newspapers.

The ...

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Reenactment of the Lexington Tea-Burning, 14 Dec. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

As I’ve mentioned before, Old South Meeting House and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum will host their annual reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on Monday, 16 December. That’s the 240th anniversary of the event. Tickets are still available.

Two days before then, on Saturday the 14th, the Lexington Historical Society will host its second annnual “Burning of the Tea” reenactment. That event actually occurred on 13 Dec 1773, and three days later the radical Massachusetts Spy reported:
We are positively informed that the patriotic inhabitants of Lexington, at a late meeting, unanimously resolved against the ...

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Colonial Music in Lexington, 1 Nov. (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

On Friday, 1 November, the Lexington Historical Society will present the musical ensemble Seven Times Salt performing “From Plimoth to Yorktown: Music of Colonial America.” Using period instruments, the quartet will play music that dates from the arrival of British settlers in the early 1600s through the early republic.

The announcement says:
Performing refined English consorts, Dutch ballads, early shapenote hymns, and even George and Martha Washington’s favorite dance tunes, Seven Times Salt are Karen Burciaga on baroque violin, Daniel Meyers on recorder, flute, and fife, in company with Josh Schreiber Shalem on bass viol and Matthew Wright strumming ...

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Top Ten Turning-Points? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

All Things Liberty recently featured new co-editor Don Hagist’s list of “Top 10 Battles of the Revolutionary War.” The only certainty about that sort of list is that it won’t please everybody, and indeed I was among commenters asking about other “turning-point” battles that didn’t make the cut.

In a lot of those Revolutionary War lists, I’ve observed, most of the turning-points turn one way—usually for the Americans. But surely the Crown forces enjoyed some turning-points as well. Otherwise, the Americans wouldn’t have needed to turn anything. Don’s list does include some British triumphs, though not a couple that ...

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Top Ten Turning-Points? (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

All Things Liberty recently featured new co-editor Don Hagist’s list of “Top 10 Battles of the Revolutionary War.” The only certainty about that sort of list is that it won’t please everybody, and indeed I was among commenters asking about other “turning-point” battles that didn’t make the cut.

In a lot of those Revolutionary War lists, I’ve observed, most of the turning-points turn one way—usually for the Americans. But surely the Crown forces enjoyed some turning-points as well. Otherwise, the Americans wouldn’t have needed to turn anything. Don’s list does include some British triumphs, though not a couple that ...

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