Concord-Massachusetts

Bicentennial Beginnings

As part of the inauguration of American’s Bicentennial celebration President Ford visited two Revolutionary War sites in Massachusetts on April 19, 1975.

He first attended the 200th commemorative ceremony for the Minute Men’s battle at the North Bridge in Concord. Afterwards he spoke at a Patriot’s Day ceremony on Lexington Green, where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in April 1775.

“I thank all of you in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for inaugurating our Bicentennial in such a wonderful way,” President Ford said at Lexington. “We have inherited a great tradition, but it is our job – older and younger people joining together – to see to it that when our ancestors meet here 100 years from now, they can say that what was done here on this date was the kick-off for a new century of unity, and progress, at home as well as abroad.“

Read President Ford’s full remarks delivered at Concord and Lexington.

Image: President Ford delivers remarks in front of the Minute Man Statue on Lexington Green,  Lexington, Massachusetts, 4/19/1975.

These are known as the Pitcairn/Putnam pistols. According to family tradition, during the fighting on April 19, 1775, Major Pitcairn lost control of his horse which bolted with his saddle bags and a fine pair of pistols. The horse was recovered and the pistols were given to Major Israel Putnam. In 1879 they were donated to the town of Lexington.

It’s highly unlikely that these pistols actually belonged to Pitcairn though. For one thing the heraldic crest on the pistols belong to the Crosbie family, and Captain William Crosbie was listed among the wounded that day. 

Lots of stories got attached to Pitcairn because he was in command of the men on Lexington that day, so he was someone that New Englanders loved to hate. 

They’re still a beautiful pair of pistols with important historical importance because of their connection to the fighting on April 19, 1775, to Israel Putnam, and to the Revolutionary War.

3

Spirit of Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ lives on at state park
Thoreau is perhaps best known for his book “Walden,” which was inspired by the two years he spent living simply in a self-built cabin along the shore of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.
 
This beautiful slice of nature still exists today in the form of a Walden Pond State Reservation. Often considered the birthplace of the conservation movement, this protected 335-acre park features hiking trails, a replica of Thoreau’s cabin and the 102-foot-deep kettle-hole pond, which is a popular swimming destination in the summer.

We John Hoar, John Whithead, Abrah. Garfield, Benjamin Munroe Isaac Parks, William Hosmer, John Adams, Gregory Stone, all of Lincoln in the County of Middlesex Mass Bay, all of lawfull age, do testify and say, that on Wednesday last, we were assembled at Concord in the morning of said Day in Consequence of information received, that a Brigade of Regular Troops, were on their march to the said Town of Concord, who had killed six men at the Town of Lexington;  About an hour afterward we saw them approaching to the number as we apprehended of about Twelve hundred on which we retreated to a hill about Eighty Rods back and the said Troops then took Possession of the Hill where we were first Posted, presently after this we saw the Troops moving towards the North Bridge, about one mile from the said Concord Meeting House, we then immediately went before them and passed the Bridge just before a party of them, to the number of about two hundred arived [sic]; they there left about one half of their two hundred at the Bridge and proceeded with the rest towards Col. Barretts about two miles from the said Bridge;  we then seeing several fires in the Town, thought the Houses in Concord were in danger & Marched towards the said Bridge, and the Troops that were stationed there observing our approach marched back over the Bridge & then took up some of the Plank, we then hastened our March towards the Bridge, and when we had got over the Bridge they fired on our men, first three Guns one after the other, & then a Considerable Number more, and then & not before, (having orders from our Commanding Officer not to fire till we were fired upon) we fired upon the Regulars and they Retreated on their Retreat through the Town Lexington to Charlestown they ravaged & destroyed private property burnt three Houses, one Barn & one Shop.
— 

Deposition #14 by John Hoar et al. Regarding the Events of April 18 and 19, 1775 at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 4/23/1775

Immediately after the incidents at Lexington and Concord, MA, of April 19th, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress lead by Dr. Joseph Warren, ordered that depositions be collected from eyewitnesses to the battles. These would be sent to Colony Agent Benjamin Franklin in England in order to garner popular support for the colonials, and they were also sent to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. These are preserved today among the Papers of the Continental Congress at the National Archives.  

This and other accounts of the battles at Lexington and Concord are available and transcribed in the National Archives Catalog.

More eyewitness accounts for the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord!

flickr

Find Your Eternity in Each Moment by Peter Lee

…on the Evening of the Eighteenth of April Instant being on the Road between Concord & Lexington and All of us mounted on Horses we were about ten of the Clock suddenly surprized by Nine Persons whom we took to be Regular Officers who Rode up to us Mounted and Armed each having a Pistol in His Hand, and after Putting, Pistols to our Breasts and seizing the Bridles of Our Horses, they swore that if we Stirred another Step We should be all Dead Men…
— 

Deposition #1 of Solomon Brown, Jonathan Loring and Elijah Saunderson of Lexington, Massachusetts Regarding the Events of April 18 and 19, 1775 at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 4/25/1775

Immediately after the incidents at Lexington and Concord, MA, of April 19th, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress lead by Dr. Joseph Warren, ordered that depositions be collected from eyewitnesses to the battles. These would be sent to Colony Agent Benjamin Franklin in England in order to garner popular support for the colonials, and they were also sent to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. These are preserved today among the Papers of the Continental Congress at the National Archives.  

This and other accounts of the battles at Lexington and Concord are available and transcribed in the National Archives Catalog.

Watch for more eyewitness accounts on the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord!

This is a unique and historically important item. This was the drum that called the Lexington militia together on the morning of April 19, 1775. The drummer that morning was 16 year old William Diamond. The drum is currently held by the Concord Museum which will be having a special exhibit of Lexington & Concord artifacts running from April 18, 2014 to September 21, 2014.

I Edward Thoroton Gould of his Majesty’s own Regiment of Foot being of lawful age, do testify and declare that on the evening of the 10th Instant under the orders of Genl Gage I embarked with the LIght Infantry & Grenadiers of the Line commanded by Col Smith & landed on the Marshes of Cambridge from whence we proceeded to Lexington; on our arrival at that place we saw a body of provincial troops armed to the number of about sixty or seventy men, on our approach they dispersed and soon after firing began, but which party fired first I cannot exactly say, as our Troops rush’d on shouting, huzzaing previous to the firing, which was continued by our Troops so long as any of the provincials were to be seen.  From thence we marched to Concord on a Hill near the Entrance of the Town.  We saw another Body of provincials assembled, the light Infantry Companies were ordered up the Hill, to disperse them on our approach they retreated towards Concord.  The Grenadiers continued the road under the Hill toward the Town.  Six Companies of light Ingantry were ordered down to take possession of the Bridge, which the provincials retreated over; the company I commanded was one, three companies of the above detachment were forward about two miles, in the mean time the provincial Troops returned to the number of about three or four hundred. We drew up on the Concord side of the Bridge, the provincials came down upon us, upon which we engaged and gave them first fire: This was the first Engagement after the one at Lexington; a continued firing from both parties lasted thro’ the whole day; I myself was wounded at the attached of the bridge, I am now treated with the greatest humanity and taken all possible care of by the provincials at Medford.

Medford, April 25th 1775.

Edwd Thoroton Gould
Lieut Kings own Regt

— 

Deposition #20 by Edward Thoroton Gould of His Majesty’s Own Regiment of Foot Regarding the Events of April 18 and 19, 1775 at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 4/25/1775

Immediately after the incidents at Lexington and Concord, MA, of April 19th, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress lead by Dr. Joseph Warren, ordered that depositions be collected from eyewitnesses to the battles, including prisoner of war British Lt. Edward Thoroton Gould. These would be sent to Colony Agent Benjamin Franklin in England in order to garner popular support for the colonials, and they were also sent to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. These are preserved today among the Papers of the Continental Congress at the National Archives.  

This and other accounts of the battles at Lexington and Concord are available and transcribed in the National Archives Catalog.

Watch for more eyewitness accounts on the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord!

youtube

I don’t know why I’m just now seeing this, but the fact that Chris Evans is the kind of guy who likes and appreciates museums makes me love him even more!

When high school soccer star Tom left his home in England to attend a Massachusetts boarding school, his mind was far from true love. He was enjoying life in a new country, with a wide circle of American friends—including Amy, a local day student. After graduation, Tom and Amy parted ways to attend college and eventually lost touch. But destiny led them back together again nearly a decade later in London. A friendly reunion led to a whirlwind relationship and, finally, a spontaneous yet intimate proposal in Tom’s London flat.  

When it came to choosing a wedding venue, there was no question for Tom and Amy. They would be married at Amy’s childhood home in Concord, Massachusetts, the quaint town where they first met. Although the wedding was in the States, the couple wanted to incorporate elements from both of their backgrounds. The end result was a stunning outdoor wedding that celebrated their American and British roots for an entire weekend.  

Read more about this real-life celebration in Tiffany Weddings