April 19th Memories from Lexington

Leading up to the anniversary of April 19, 1775, we will be sharing some short remembrances from a few people who are from Lexington and Concord. This installment is by Rich Gillespie, a native of Lexington, Massachusetts.

If you live in Lexington, Massachusetts, the beginning of the American Revolution is an essential piece of life. The Minuteman statue dominates the center of town, the village green where the Alarm List stood to face the Regulars is much as it once was, the Town Seal seen on your friendly snowplow quotes Sam Adams’ comment to John Hancock upon hearing the firing—“Oh, What a glorious morning for America!”, and the high school’s team is predictably the Minutemen.  The British marched to and from Concord within 150 yards of my 4th grade classroom, and the spring field trip was to the key sites of Lexington and Concord.  My first job (as was my sister’s) was guiding visitors on Lexington Green.

Hip-hip Huzzah-Haughty British troops leave Lexington
(author collection)

Continue reading “April 19th Memories from Lexington”

Inspired By the Americans

RevWarWednesdays-header

On December 16, 1773, in Boston, Massachusetts harbor, American colonists belonging to the Sons of Liberty stole aboard trade vessels anchored in the water. In protest to recently passed British legislation, the Native American dressed Sons of Liberty dumped 342 chests of tea into the water.

The Boston Tea Party became a prominent and well-known defiant act by the Americans on the road to the American Revolution.

Unbeknownst to the Adams, Warrens, and Hancock’s of the American Revolution, this particular form of protest–attacking the purse strings of the governing power–would resonate 75 years later, 3,284 miles, and one continent away. Continue reading “Inspired By the Americans”

“Remember the Ladies”

RevWarWednesdays-header

 

March is Women’s History Month, a time to reflect on the many contributions women have contributed in our country. At George Washington Birthplace National Monument, our social media policy for the month has been to highlight important women to the history of the National Park Service and/or to George Washington’s life.

By writing the history text and developing what images to use for these posts, I thought I would take this example and expand it to include two other women that played integral parts in the American Revolutionary movement.

Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren. Continue reading ““Remember the Ladies””

Lexington Part II – “Our troops advanced towards them, without any intention of injuring them.” Who Fired First at Lexington?

RevWarWednesdays-header

 

Battle of Lexington, Engraved 1874
Battle of Lexington, Engraved 1874

The above words were written by Lt. Col. Francis Smith in his official report to General Thomas Gage. Smith, in command of the British expedition to Concord recently returned from what would be the opening salvo of rebellion. Smith wanted to be clear that he never intended to start bloodshed. In the days afterwards, the Massachusetts militia made it clear that they intended to lay the blame at the “regulars.” As soon as the British returned to Boston, the war of words began on who fired the first shot to begin a worldwide war. The British column that was led by Smith was sent from Boston to capture supplies reportedly stored at nearby Concord.  To get to Concord, the British would have to march through Lexington.  Due to a complex warning system, the local militia in Lexington were mustered and called to arms.  Captain John  Parker and his minutemen were lined up on the Lexington green in two rows, facing the road to Cambridge and the Lexington meetinghouse. The road south of the green headed to Concord, and Parker had his mean assembled on the northern portion of the green, away from the Concord road.

Continue reading “Lexington Part II – “Our troops advanced towards them, without any intention of injuring them.” Who Fired First at Lexington?”