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Posts Tagged ‘lexington’

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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If This Is Wednesday, We Must Be at Faneuil Hall (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I’m spending much of this week playing tour guide to dear friends from London. The twelve-year-old twins in that family will be studying the American Revolution for two semesters next year. That’s about two semesters more than I remember studying the English Civil War or Parliamentary reform, so I’m trying to help out by showing them the local Revolutionary sites.

Monday was Lexington and Concord. One twin took the photo above, though he was put off by the chest-banging aspects of the motto on the flagpole. Munroe Tavern’s presentation of the British soldiers’ experience was a good way to end ...

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“Battle Road” Workshop, 5-8 Aug (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

The Massachusetts Historical Society is offering this summer workshop for educators and the interested public.

Battle Road: Crisis, Choices, and Consequences
Monday, 5 August, to Thursday, 8 August
Using historical documents, landscapes, buildings and artifacts as investigative tools, participants will examine the concerns, conflicts, dilemmas, decisions, and dramatic confrontations of people along the road to revolution. Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society and partnering organizations, the workshop takes place in locations throughout Boston, Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord. An outstanding group of historians, educators, and site interpreters will work with the group over the course of the four ...

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Learning about the Jacob Whittemore House, 18 & 23 May (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Minute Man National Historical Park contains eleven buildings that stood during the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The only one within the bounds of Lexington (just barely tucked in) is the Jacob Whittemore House, built around 1717, bought by the government in 1961, and renovated in 2005.

The family that lived in that house during the battle wasn’t wealthy and suffered various misfortunes, which contributed to their memories not becoming part of the traditional narrative of how the Revolutionary War began.

The Mass Humanities Foundation provided the Friends of Minute Man with funds to hire Polly Kienle as a ...

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The Soldier Who Died in Buckman Tavern (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I was planning to start this entry by stating: “Because Pvt. John Bateman left a deposition on 23 Apr 1775, we know he hadn’t died from his wounds by that date. And that suggests he wasn’t the soldier buried near Buckman Tavern in Lexington, as memorialized by this stone.”

Except that last night Don Hagist kindly left a comment on yesterday’s posting to report that a British army muster roll says grenadier Bateman died on 21 April—two days before that deposition.

Now I believe the most likely explanation is that the muster roll is in error, based on information ...

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The Mysterious Prisoner of Ephraim Flint (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

To follow up yesterday’s deposition from Pvt. John Bateman of His Majesty’s 52nd Regiment of Foot, here’s another guest-blogger essay from Richard C. Wiggin.

Ephraim Flint “shouldered his musket” on April 19, 1775, “and as one of the results, captured a British Soldier at Lexington, and took him home with him, where he worked some time on the farm of his captor peacefully.” So we are told, at least, by Flint family lore.

The origin of the lore is somewhat obscure, and whatever details might once have filled out the story have long since been lost. The story survives ...

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Pvt. John Bateman Testifies and Declares (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

I’m going to break away from “King Hancock” for a while to highlight a document dated 23 Apr 1775.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress set out to collect testimony about who fired first in that fight, and about any other arguable examples of British army misbehavior. Here’s the text of one of the depositions that magistrates set down:
Lincoln, April 23d, 1775.

I, John Bateman, belonging to the fifty-second regiment, commanded by Colonel [Valentine] Jones, on Wednesday morning, on the nineteenth day of April instant, was in ...

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“Calling out, ‘King Hancock forever’!” (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

According to Lt. Frederick Mackenzie of His Majesty’s 23rd Regiment of Foot, as the British column made its way back to Boston on 19 Apr 1775:
During the whole of the march from Lexington the Rebels kept an incessant irregular fire from all points at the Column, which was the more galling as our flanking parties, which at first were placed at sufficient distances to cover the march of it, were at last, from the different obstructions they occasionally met with, obliged to keep almost close to it.

Our men had very few opportunities of getting good shots at the ...

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The Young British Fifer (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Besides Luther Blanchard, there’s another story of a wounded fifer on 19 Apr 1775, this one on the British side. But I’ve been unsuccessful in nailing down the details.

Abram English Brown wrote Beneath Old Roof Trees in 1896 based on historical accounts, family traditions, and some fictionalization—but it’s hard to know how much of each. Setting the scene as a yearly reunion of Revolutionary War veterans in Lexington, Brown quoted a “Lieutenant Munroe” about a “little fifer”:
“He was a bright little fellow, and had piped away for [Maj. John] Pitcairn as well as he could, in coming down ...

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The Aftermath (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

From William Diamond’s Drum, by Arthur Bernon Tourtellot:
Later on the morning of April nineteenth. Captain [John] Parker reassembled his Lexington minutemen, to march toward Concord. Some of the wounded, now bandaged, formed in awkward but determined lines. Among them was Jedediah Munroe, the old man who had fallen on the Common before he could shoot and who had brought along the old Scotch claymore as an extra weapon. William Diamond beat his drum again. The little company marched off toward Concord, the beat of the drum and the thin music of the fife echoing briefly after ...

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New Book Profiles the Embattled Farmers of Lincoln (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Lincoln is right between Lexington and Concord, and Lincoln militiamen were in the middle of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. But does the town get named in the battle? No! (Well, the battle’s name is plenty long already, and if we let Lincoln in, then Menotomy will want to be represented, too.)

The Lincoln Historical Society has just published Embattled Farmers, a comprehensive study of Lincoln’s Revolutionary War soldiers researched and written by local historian and reenactor Richard C. Wiggin.

Yesterday’s Boston Globe reported on Rick’s work:
In his research, Wiggin uncovered 55 new war heroes. ...

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The Myth of Jonas Davenport (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

Here’s a story of the battle on 19 Apr 1775 that doesn’t get told much anymore. It quotes an aged Revolutionary War veteran named Jonas Davenport:
I lived near Lexington. My house stood on the road. I joined the minute-men when I heard of the comin’ of the British troops, and left my wife and two children home, under the care of my father, then about sixty. I told ’em to keep as quiet as possible and they would be safe.

Well, as I said, I joined the minute-men, and, when the rascals retreated from Concord, followed ...

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The Patriots Day Season Has Begun (Boston 1775)

An interesting history-related post from Boston 1775:

This is a photo of the Paul Revere Capture Ceremony yesterday in Lincoln, an event produced by the Lincoln Minute Men. People portraying participants in the actual capture correct the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It’s one of the first events of Massachusetts’ Patriots Day season.

But only one. Also yesterday was the Merriam’s Corner Exercise in Concord and the Liberty Pole Capping in Bedford—the first a commemoration of another part of 19 Apr 1775, the second a more modern local tradition but honored nonetheless. Today at 2:00 Lexington folks practice for their reenactment of the skirmish on ...

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