Shot Heard 'Round the World


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mac66
February 4, 2013, 03:52 PM
I thought this forum may be interested in a little history

Note, I wrote the following as a brief lesson in what happened 238 years ago to create this country. It has probably been a long time since you heard it. Some may have not heard this version or some of the facts here in. It has been on a couple other gun forums recently as some folks find it interesting enough to pass it around. I hope it will inspire some to remember the sacrifices of our forefathers to create this country and our form of government. They fought and died so we don't have to. All we need to do is become involved in the process they created.

Full disclosure, I am the RWVA History Program Coordinator for my state and an Appleseed instructor. It you want more information about the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (a non-profit, non-political, all volunteer national org) and the Appleseed Project got to www.rwva.org. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Part 1-Powder Raids

In September of 1774, a company of British troops crossed the Charles River by boat from Boston to Cambridge in the middle of night. By early morning they had arrived at the Massachusetts Provisional Powder house. The powder house was a stone silo type structure used as a powder magazine to house the black powder used by the surrounding communities. They were let in by the local sheriff and subsequently confiscated 250 half barrels of powder belonging to the Massachusetts colony.

The redcoats marched back through Cambridge drawing the attention of the locals who spread the word "the powder raids have begun!" The locals were so outraged at this raid that nearly four thousand assembled. They took the sheriff hostage and made him write notice that he would never help the red coats again. They rampaged through the Tory/loyalist section of town and ran the most prominent of them out of town, never to return. It was only the intervention of local patriot leaders who kept the mob from marching to Boston and confronting the army stationed there.

This raid did two things. It confirmed the fear of the colonists that "the Regulars" (what they called the army) could and would raid and confiscate arms. The second thing it did was motivate colonial leaders such as Paul Revere and Dr. Joseph Warren to set up a network of citizens to keep an eye on the troops in Boston for any indication of them mobilizing for future raids.

The early warning system and subsequent alert notification system developed by Revere and Warren would be tested in the coming months.

To be continued...

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mac66
February 4, 2013, 03:56 PM
Part 2-Intollerable Acts

In 1773 as a result of the Boston Tea Party, the Parliament had passed a series of laws to bring the colonies under control. These laws were called "The Coercive Acts" and did exactly what they meant, to coerce the colonies into submission.The colonists didn't hear about the Coercive Act until 1774 and by then started referring to them as the "Intolerable Acts".

The Coercive Acts banned free speech. Troops raided newspapers and smashed or confiscated printing presses.They did away with local control of towns, cities, counties and colonies. It removed local judges. A person could now be held without warrant and sent back to England to be judged for any crime the crown could think up.

Under the Coercive Acts, militias were banned as was military type training. Importation of black powder and muskets was stopped.

In December of 1774, General Thomas Gage, commander of all British forces in north America and military governor of Massachusetts ordered another raid. This time the plan was to send a ship load of troops up to New Hampshire to secure the powder and weapons stored at an outpost called Fort William and Mary. The fort was manned by an officer and a small number of regulars.

Paul Revere's intelligence network, called "The Mechanics" because the were all tradesmen, notified him and he made the long ride to the fort in a snowstorm. He contacted the local militia, which was now outlawed and they gathered 250 men and stormed the fort. Shots were fired, people were wounded but no one was killed. The fort was taken and the militia relieved the fort of powder, muskets and small artillery pieces. The militia melted back into the country side.

The governor of New Hampshire was outraged. He sent a message to Gen. Gage telling him of the armed insurrection. The ship load of soldiers had been delayed because of a snow squall and didn't make it for another day. To add insult to injury the ship was run aground (some say intentionally) by the harbor pilot.

The score was now the Regulars 1, Colonists 1. The next raid wouldn't be tried for another couple months.

to be continued...

mac66
February 4, 2013, 04:01 PM
Part 3- Setting The Stage

The conflict between the crown and colonists didn't happen over night. In fact it was a decade long escalation of push and push back. By 1764, England was on the edge of a fiscal cliff. They had just finished the "7 years war" with France around the globe. In north America it was known as the French and Indian war because that's who they were fighting.

To pay for the wars the crown turned to the American colonies. Britain like most of the major powers generated wealth by exploiting the natural resources of the regions they conquered or settled and then created a market in those locations to sell finished products back to. The American colonies had the most resources and were their biggest market. They enjoyed the highest standard of living of all of Britain's colonies including that of the home island. It is always the way to go after the rich, they can afford it. So the crown imposed new taxes on the colonies. First it was for sugar and then they devalued the money basically creating run away inflation.

The colonists had always considered themselves lucky to be "free Englishmen" protected by one of the first codified statement of human rights from centuries before, the Magna Carta. They were also somewhat autonomous from the direct government involvement. They were a long way from Parliament and as such had developed their own style of local government and justice system over a period of decades. The colonists had pushed back the frontier with their own hands. They had fought the French, Spanish, pirates, Indians and marauders of all kinds. They had cleared the land with their own hands. The had bore and buried their children on it. They developed a system that worked and they highly resented the crown taking what they considered to be theirs.

The new taxes shocked and angered them. They formed groups to protest the new taxes. One group that was particularly vocal was The Sons of Liberty. Men like Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, Dr. Joseph Warren, John Hancock and others became leaders. They were able to successfully argue down new taxes only to have them replaced with others.

The more the crown pushed, the more the colonists resisted and pushed back. This caused the crown to send more troops to enforce the regulations and protect the tax collectors and government officials. Of course this escalated the tension between the two sides and increased the odds of a confrontation. With the passing of the Stamp Act (taxing every commercial piece of paper such as newspapers, contracts, letters etc) the resistance intensified.

Samuel Adams one of the major agitators and was in charge of the Boston Mob. Not an organized crime mob but laborers and tradesmen whom he could get on short notice to start a demonstration or antagonize the soldiers in Boston. This came to a head in March of 1770 when soldiers taunted by the mob and pelted with snowballs opened fired on the crowd, the infamous Boston Massacre. The British sent more troops into the city in a show of force and of course the Boston Massacre became galvanizing event for the resistance.

The crown backed off for a time and for several years an uneasy peace reigned with only minor conflicts. However, with the passing of the Tea Tax in 1773, colonial passions were again flamed which resulted in the Boston Tea Party. As everyone knows, Sons of Liberty dressed as Indians went aboard ship and dumped the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of tea into the harbor. While the Indian garb may have been to disguise those involved, it was actually used because Indians were considered the symbol of a free people.

The crown was outraged and sent more troops. They created more restrictions such as the Townsend Acts which implemented financial sanctions and import, export regulations. These were met with more resistance. By 1774, the American colonies were under martial law and Boston was occupied by thousands of troops sent in to enforce the mandates of the Coercive/Intolerable Acts.

Stay tuned...

mac66
February 4, 2013, 04:39 PM
Let me know if you want me to keep going

Teachu2
February 4, 2013, 05:03 PM
Please, go on!

sanman513
February 4, 2013, 05:21 PM
Continue!:):beer:

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

minuteman1970
February 4, 2013, 05:29 PM
Nice job, please do continue!

Valor35
February 4, 2013, 07:22 PM
Keep it coming -- it is very well done!

Dorin62
February 4, 2013, 07:31 PM
Very good, never was interested in history in school, now I find it fascinating. Tells us more.

LevelHead
February 4, 2013, 07:36 PM
I'm loving this! You write well. A lot of history in small, easy to digest chunks.

footballboy3
February 4, 2013, 07:46 PM
another vote to continue!

mac66
February 4, 2013, 08:26 PM
Part 4-More Trouble

By 1774, the colonists were not only resisting but actively planning for the inevitable. Because the crown banned public meetings and militias the colonists set up "Committees of Correspondence". Paul Revere became the chief messenger and director of communications between the various groups spread throughout the colonies. He often made long dangerous rides carrying dispatches from the leaders in Boston to New York, Philadelphia and the other colonies.

Banning the militias only heightened their activities. What was for years a rag tag group of farmers and shop keepers were now openly arming and training out in the towns and villages. Colonies had also formed provisional governments and holding meetings in open defiance of the law. John Hancock was the president of Massachusetts colonial congress and worked side by side with his chief mentor and aide Sam Adams.

General Gage of course knew all of this. Most of the people in the colonies were not for a revolution. Many did not support the movement and were loyal to the king. As loyalists they felt obligated to keep the Gage's forces apprized of what was going on out in the countryside. Even many of leaders of the resistance were not openly for revolution but belonged to stand up for their rights as free Englishmen thinking that the crown would eventually come to their senses.

In February of 1775, Gen. Gage received information of more stock piling of weapons in Salem, Massachusetts. With good intelligence at hand he sent a ship load of soldiers to Salem. The orders were to arrive early Sunday morning, stand off until daybreak and then make their way to town while everyone was still sleeping or at church. The prize was a local forge where they had information that ship's cannons were being converted to field pieces.

The troops came ashore and quietly made their way to town only to be observed by a local. He ran back to the village and raised the alarm. The villagers turned out led by the local minister. When the regulars (what they were called by the locals) reached town they were greeted by a raised draw bridge and a angry crowd on the other side. The officer in charge demanded the bridge be lowered while the minister engaged him in conversation and negotiation. Upon reaching and agreement the bridge was lowered and the troops were allowed to pass. Reaching the foundry the soldiers found it had been stripped clean while the minister stalled them at the bridge. They returned to Boston empty handed, angry and embarrassed.

Stay tuned..

mac66
February 4, 2013, 08:44 PM
Part 5-Tensions Rise

In March of 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, a prominent Boston physician and head of the intelligence gathering operation in Boston gave a rousing oration on the 5 year anniversary of the Boston Massacre. In attendance at the church that day were numerous British officers who hissed and booed so loudly that they were run out into the street. Troops were summoned to quell the near riot.

By now, Revere, Warren and the mechanics were patrolling the streets every night looking for any signs of mobilization. In early April Warren received letters off a packet ship from England that another raid was imminent. Reports started coming in that British officers in plain clothes were seen out surveying the roads west of Boston and watching militia units. They were identified in the taverns and way stations by the fact they were carrying pistols under their cloaks. No one carried pistols but army officers.

The concern became so great that during the second week of April Paul Revere rode the 18 miles west to Concord to warn John Hancock, Sam Adams and Dr. Benjamen Church. Church, another Boston physician, was head of the security committee. He and the others were in Concord conducting meetings of the provisional congress.

Back in Boston, orders for Gen. Gage had arrived on the same ship from which Dr. Warren received his letters. Gages' orders were clear. He was to make all efforts to quash the insurrection and arrest the leaders, particularly Hancock, Adams and Revere. Gage had his own intelligence organization in place. He knew of the meeting in Concord. He also knew that large stores of military goods were in Concord and he exactly who had them and where they were. He knew the strength and size of the militia units along the way. He knew the conditions of the roads. He also knew that his army was being closely watched.

Gen. Thomas Gage had up to this point been roundly criticized in London for not cracking down on the rebels earlier or more harshly. Some of his junior officers referred to him behind his back as "Old Lady Gage" for not rounding up and hanging the leaders. He chose however to use a softer hand knowing that harsh treatment would only further inflame the passions of the colonists.

His actions were also tempered by the fact that he had lived in the colonies since the 1740s and because his wife, Margaret Kimble Gage was the American born daughter of rich family in New Jersey. She was heiress to the family fortune. She and Gage held large estates in New Jersey and large plantations in the West Indies. He also loved his wife and had a lot to lose if a revolution started.

Margaret was the top rung of society being married to the most powerful man in north America. She was sometimes called the Queen of America but she was sympathetic to the cause of liberty.

Gen. Gage formulated his plan. On April 18th, under cover of darkness, he would send a column of troops under the command of Col. Francis Smith. Their sealed orders, only opened after they left Boston, would be to go to Concord and confiscate or destroy all military stores hidden there. They were to arrest Hancock and Adams and any other rebel leader the ran across and return to Boston by noon of the next day. Hours before their departure, he would send out 20 officers in advance to spread out along the roads to pick up any messengers coming out of Boston.

In order to keep the plan a secret, he would tell only three people. They were Col. Smith who would lead the brigade of 700 men, his second in command, Gen. Hugh Earl Percy, and his wife Margaret.

On April 18th, Revere and Dr. Warren were kept busy by reports of a mobilization. Boats were being lowered from all the war ships in the harbors. Army officers were telling stable boys to get their horses ready. Troops had been confined to quarters or being called back into garrison. As the day wore on and the soldiers retreated back into their quarters Boston became quiet. Tension hung in the air. Something was up and everybody knew it.

continued...

beeenbag
February 4, 2013, 09:42 PM
shew, now I have to subscribe to the thread to read the rest.

Akita1
February 4, 2013, 09:45 PM
mac - excellent work; eat this stuff up!

JTJones
February 4, 2013, 10:34 PM
Mac thank you for taking the time to write that. It make me wonder if present day Americans posses the fortitude and courage of that our founding fathers had. It seems history is in away repeating it self lately.

blarby
February 4, 2013, 10:56 PM
Well written.

Ryanxia
February 4, 2013, 11:05 PM
There was a THR thread a week or so ago that had a link to an article on all this info, excellent stuff. Reminds us why this is America and not Russia or England.

Newcatwalt
February 4, 2013, 11:07 PM
Please keep it going....

blarby
February 4, 2013, 11:20 PM
Please keep it going....

Yes.

ArcherandShooter
February 4, 2013, 11:35 PM
The biography of John Adams by David McCullouch covers this and much more as it tells the life story of a patriot, our second President and an honorable man. Very well-written to be an easy read, I highly recommend it.

McCullouch's other work, "1776" tells the story of that pivotal year in equally vivid language.

If I ever realize my dream of teaching U.S. history after I retire, those are two of the books I will use.

Bobson
February 5, 2013, 01:48 AM
I'm really looking forward to the next parts of this. Many thanks for taking the time to write this all out.

mac66
February 5, 2013, 09:44 AM
Part 6-It Begins

By evening, troops were being moved to the south end of Boston near the back bay. It was still unknown which direction the army would move. Would they take the short route by boat across the Charles river or would the march out by the long road?

In those days, Boston was only connected to land by a narrow strip of land called Boston Neck. The road in and out was controlled by a gate. If the army marched south they would have to swing south around the back bay then back up to Cambridge to get to the road west to Concord. If they took the shorter route across the river they would essentially land in a swamp and make their way west to pick up the road from Charlestown to Cambridge. The water route was shorter but would take more logistics to move 700 men across.

Learning of the troop movements Dr. Warren called upon his one intelligence source high up in Gen. Gage's command. He was able to get details of the plans of the column.

Immediately Warren called on Revere and another man named William Dawes. Their plan was put into place. Revere would cross by boat to Charlestown and proceed west to put out the alarm. Dawes would try to get out the south end of Boston and spread the word as well with the idea the one of the two of them might get through. The penalty if caught was likely the hangman's noose.

With the troops still massing at the south end, it was still unknown which way they would go. Another part of Revere's and Warren's communication plan was implemented. As soon as troops started moving observers would spread the word to a pair of men in the north end. Those men, vicars in the North Church would then post lanterns in the steeple. One light if the troops went out Boston neck and two lanterns if they went across the bay in boats.

Paul Revere made his way to the water's edge on the north side of Boston. He was met by two men who began rowing him across the bay. The moon was full and laying in it's mooring out in the bay directly in their path was the British ship of the line, HMS Somerset.

more later...
____________

mac66
February 5, 2013, 10:02 AM
As the state history program coordinator, I do history presentations of this story, along with the rest of what happened on April 19th to school groups, civic groups, home schools, boy scouts, tea party groups, senior citizen centers, libraries, and any one else who wants to to hear the real story. If you have an organization, group, class, gun club, or any group, doesn't matter their affiliation and you would like them to hear it, let me know and I will try and find someone in your area to come and speak. Presentations are free. PM me for more info.

Now back to the story...

mac66
February 5, 2013, 10:06 AM
Part 7-The Ride

While Paul Revere was being rowed across the bay to Charlestown, William Dawes had to make his way through the gate blocking entry to the city on Boston neck. He then had to take the long southern road around and then up to Cambridge then west on the road to Lexington. The guards at the gate were ordered not to let anyone in or out but Dawes had developed a relationship with the guards. He may have slipped them a drink, a coin or just a good word and was allowed to pass.

Paul Revere's boat was quietly rowed and was able to skirt the HMS Somerset by staying in it's moon shadow. Reaching the far shore he was met by his contacts and given a horse named Brown Beauty. The horse chosen because of it's speed and endurance. Looking back toward Boston, Revere and his contacts noticed two lanterns in the North Church steeple. The army was coming by the short route over the river, he needed to hurry.

Revere's ride was to take him through Charlestown down the Charlestown neck and south into open country where he would pick up the west road north of Cambridge. Clearing Charlestown he swung south and noticed a pair of riders in the road ahead. He slowed and upon realizing they were British Officers, wheeled his horse around and took off across the fields. The officers immediately gave chase. One was eventually bogged down in mud and Revere was able to outrun the other. The choice of Brown Beauty had been a good one.

The chase had pushed Revere north and fearing other riders he chose to take the north road up to Medford a detour of 5 or 6 miles out of the way. This did however afford him the opportunity to contact local leaders who in turn sent out other rides to spread the word.

Unlike popular myth, Revere did not ride through the countryside shouting "the British are coming". He and everyone else considered themselves British so it didn't much sense to call them what they themselves were. He also didn't shout out, instead he had a well established fan out notification system in place. He would wake the local leader who in turn would send out more riders. By this method by the end of the night some 80 riders had spread the word to a distance of 100 miles away.

After Medford, Revere swung south back down to Menotomy (now modern day Arlington) and notified his contacts there. After a short rest he turned west on the road to Lexington. Revere reached Lexington around midnight.

More....

Trent
February 5, 2013, 10:08 AM
If you stop now I swear I will drive to Michigan and force you to sit back at your keyboard again.

Kansan
February 5, 2013, 12:09 PM
he had a well established fan out notification system in place. He would wake the local leader who in turn would send out more riders. By this method by the end of the night some 80 riders had spread the word to a distance of 100 miles away.

Just imagine how easy his job would have been with Facebook and Twitter ;)

Akita1
February 5, 2013, 12:23 PM
If you stop now I swear I will drive to Michigan and force you to sit back at your keyboard again.
+1 Trent!

6.5x55swedish
February 5, 2013, 12:34 PM
I believe that the phrase "The shot heard around the world" actually started with the capture of Ft Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. The Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Alan caught the fort and in celebration of capturing the cannons and powder stores they filled one of the guns to the end of it's bore with powder and set it off. That was "The shot heard around the world". As we all know those cannons were used to drive the Brits out of Boston.

JRH6856
February 5, 2013, 01:01 PM
I believe that the phrase "The shot heard around the world" actually started with the capture of Ft Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. The Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Alan caught the fort and in celebration of capturing the cannons and powder stores they filled one of the guns to the end of it's bore with powder and set it off. That was "The shot heard around the world". As we all know those cannons were used to drive the Brits out of Boston.

Do you have a citation of this origin? It's the first I've heard of it.

OTOH, it has long been acknowledged that the first recorded use of the phrase was in the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn" (1837), and clearly referred to Lexington and Concord.

The phrase was later used in reference to the shot that killed Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and set off The First World War.

mac66
February 5, 2013, 01:40 PM
According to wikipedia...

"The "shot heard 'round the world" is a phrase that has come to represent several historical incidents. The line is originally from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn" (1837), and referred to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War in the battles of Lexington and Concord. This armed conflict started a chain of events which subsequently led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Thirteen Colonies achieving independence from Britain."

The "shot" is symbolic of the most significant event in terms of the revolutionary idea that people are free to govern themselves.

Just an aside.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's grandfather was a minister in Concord and lived within sight of the North Bridge. He advised the militia, gave them spiritual comfort before the battle and turned his front yard into a makeshift hospital for the wounded. Rev. William Emerson would later write after the battle at the North Bridge...."We we not yet at war, nor were we at peace". At that point the colonists were still only firing when fired upon, all defensive action. The first offensive action would happen a little bit later.

How's about we get back to the story?

mac66
February 5, 2013, 01:46 PM
Part 8-Smith's Column

While Revere was riding west to Lexington, Col. Smith's column was assembling at the water's edge on the south end of Boston. The officers who were present did not know the mission and were only told to get their companies in line but things were not going well. By 10 pm the units that were supposed to being ferried across were still being formed and no progress was being made. Large wooden skiffs were present but there was not enough of them to carry the 700 men across. Col. Smith was not in attendance and arguments broke out among the officers as to who should go first.

The troops had been issued the standard combat load of 36 rounds of ammo for their .75 cal smooth bore Brown Bess, flint lock muskets. They also carried the requisite 18" triangular bayonet, cartridge box and haversack for food and personal items.

Col. Smith arrived near midnight and found his troops still on the eastern shore of the Charles River. He quickly got his officers in order and the troops began moving across. The troops were packed shoulder to shoulder in the low skiffs with water all the way up to the gunnels. They were set ashore at a place called Lechmire Point in a marsh at high tide. Many had to wade ashore in waist deep water.

Once ashore it was learned that food rations had not been issued. A call was put out to the navy to bring rations. The navy responded by clearing out their spoiled and rotten supplies which once issued, the soldiers promptly threw them away.

Long after Paul Revere had reached Lexington and the militia turned out, the troops were finally ashore and assembled. The orders were given to march west.

to be continued...

mac66
February 5, 2013, 01:51 PM
Part 9-Lexington

Upon reaching Lexington Paul Revere immediately went to the house of Reverend Jonas Clark. He knew that John Hancock and Sam Adams when warned out of Concord a few days before had retreated to Rev. Clark's house. This house was chosen because Hancock's grandfather had built the church and rectory and served as it's minister for many years before Clark took over. Hancock was well known in the town having spent a great deal of time there with his grandfather.

Revere was surprised to be stopped by armed militia men as he approached the house. He was told that earlier in the day 8 men on horses identified as army officers had come through town. John Parker the militia captain had ordered the same number of his men to protect Hancock and Adams.

Revere, Hancock, Adams and Parker met to discuss what to do. Hancock wanted to stay and fight but Adams and Revere talked him out of it. Parker decided he would call out his militia and send scouts east toward Boston to try and locate the column. As they talked, William Dawes, the other rider out of Boston showed up.

After some rest and food, Adams and Hancock were to leave town as soon as possible while Revere and Dawes would continue their ride to Concord.

On the road out of town, Revere and Dawes ran into Dr. Samuel Prescott from Concord. Prescott had been in Lexington visiting his fiance' Lydia Mulligan. Prescott informed Revere that he was "a true son of liberty" and would help spread the word. Since he was doctor he knew most of people in Concord and surrounding areas.

As the trio rode west they noticed a couple riders along the road ahead in the moonlight. Moving forward two more riders appeared from the shadows under the trees. Four more riders suddenly appeared behind them and they realized these men were British officers. Faced with 8 armed men with pistols and nowhere to run Revere and his companions were forced to surrender. The officers, a combination of lieutenants and sergeants forced the men off the road into a stone walled coral. A quick glance among the trio was exchanged and all three spurred their horses forward. Prescott and Dawes managed to clear the wall and escape while Revere's reins were seized by the nearest officer. Revere was caught and ready to pay the price.

continued...

beeenbag
February 5, 2013, 05:17 PM
man, I hate commercial breaks. Just kiddin, I have never read the story this way, very interesting. Great job.

mac66
February 5, 2013, 05:42 PM
Hey, cut me some slack, I'm making this up as I go. Just kidding. :D

vagunmonkey
February 5, 2013, 05:47 PM
If you are enjoying Mac66's summary (which I am) you may also want to read "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fischer. I believe this is the book used by the RWVA to form the basis of the history portion of their great program.

Also, if youre not familiar with the organization, check out http://appleseedinfo.org/ well worth the time even for experienced shooters!!!

mac66
February 5, 2013, 05:48 PM
Part 10- The Alarm

Sixteen year old William Diamond lay asleep in his house with his family. He was warm and comfortable under the quilts and blankets huddled together with his brothers and sisters. There was no central heat just a fireplace that had burned down leaving the house cold in the mid April night.

Suddenly he was shaken awake by his mother. "Billy get up, there is trouble in the village, take your drum." He was still groggy when he and his father started the walk through town. He was also cold in the chilly New England air. He noticed that the same full moon that guided Paul Revere across the river earlier in the night was now high in the sky. He could hear the meeting house bell ringing in the distance.

As he and his father walked he noticed other people in the houses moving about in the flickering candle light. He noticed other men and boys moving silently along, the bright dots of candle lanterns swaying as they walked.

One of those boys he saw was Jonathon Harrington. Jonathon was walking with his father and cousin Caleb Harrington. As they reached the town square, known as Lexington Green, his family met at his uncle and namesake's house at the north end of the green.

Prince Esterbrook was already awake in his shack behind the main house when there was a knock on his door. "You don't have to go" his master said. Prince knew the value of freedom by not having any. As a slave he thought maybe these white men might appreciate what they had if it was in danger of being taken away. He had already decided. He would go. "I am ready," he said as he stood.

Captain John Parker was 40ish. He was a veteran of the French Indian War. He had been in Roger's Rangers an elite company for it's time and the forerunner of today's Army Rangers. Parker had been elected captain of the Lexington Militia by his friends and neighbors because of his steady hand, resolute demeanor and experience. He watched the men file by singly or in small groups onto the green. When he saw Billy Diamond and the young Jonathon Harrington he walked over to them. He put a hand on each of their shoulders and said, "I need you boys to stay close to me. Billy, beat assembly to call the men in. When they are formed, Jonathon play something on your fife while we wait for the others."

Diamond the company drummer and Harrington the company fifer did as they were told. Both were only five years old when the trouble started. From the time they could remember all they heard from their elders was about how their liberty was being taken away. They had grown up under the shadow of government oppression and they were both eager to stand up against it no mater what the cost.

As the men and boys formed that day they had no idea what to expect in the coming hours. Standing in armed defiance to the crown was treason. There was no health insurance or life insurance to help their families if wounded or killed. There was no social security or welfare. The death or disablement of the bread winner in the family meant destitution for the whole family. The was no emergency medical service to respond if wounded. There were no anesthetics to dull the pain. There were no antibiotics to prevent infection.

The choice was not simple and it's consequence this day was likely the hot lead of a musket ball, the cold steel of the bayonet or the hangman's noose.

Yet, despite the dangers the women of the town sent their sons and husbands, brothers, fathers and grandfathers. They were as young as 15 years and old as 70. The fathers stood with their sons, nine pairs on the green that morning. Nearly everyone on the green were related either by blood or marriage.

They stood together as one in defense of liberty.

to be continued.

mac66
February 5, 2013, 05:59 PM
vagunmonkey
Member

Paul Revere's Ride
If you are enjoying Mac66's summary (which I am) you may also want to read "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fischer. I believe this is the book used by the RWVA to form the basis of the history portion of their great program.

Also, if youre not familiar with the organization, check out http://appleseedinfo.org/ well worth the time even for experienced shooters!!!

Thanks for the bump, vagunmonkey. I was going to share the source at the end. The Fischer book is the main source and I have added some stuff from other sources that I find interesting.

As I said before, if you like the story come to an Appleseed to hear the rest and to get some great rifle marksmanship instruction. If you think that everyone needs to hear the story, particularly in day and age, contact Appleseed (and/or me) and have them come and do a presentation for your group. We think it is a story everybody in America needs to hear and we need to get the word out.

Trent
February 5, 2013, 08:22 PM
Man this is good stuff.

I've never read the history as personal or vivid as this.

Keep going man!

vagunmonkey
February 5, 2013, 08:30 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean to be a spoiler... I think it's a great book, a very timely story that needs to be retold, and a great program.

mac66
February 5, 2013, 09:17 PM
Part 11- The Advance

Paul Revere stood in the darkness with 8 officers of the kings army surrounding him. A cocked pistol was pressed to his head and the officer demanded his name.

"I am Paul Revere" he replied. Surprised, the men all looked at each other as if to ask "Paul Revere? THE Paul Revere?"

"Do not lie to us sir, who are you and what are you doing about this eve?" Asked the leader.

"I AM Paul Revere and I beg your pardon." He said disgustedly. "I am taking a message to Concord about the column of troops going there to deprive our countrymen of their rights and arms."

The Lieutenant was startled by this. While he knew a a column was out, he had no knowledge of the mission of Smith's column. His orders were simply to patrol the roads and stop any messengers that might be out. As he pressed Revere for more information Revere readily obliged.

Back in Lexington, Captain Parker had briefed his men on the green. He had sent scouts east to find the column. As the night wore on the men standing in the cool spring air became tired and restless. The initial surge of adrenaline had worn off and many fought to keep their eyes open. No word had yet come back from the scouts about the location of troops.

Out on the road Revere was being pressed for more information. He thought that his only chance was to tell the truth but maybe enhance it a little. He began to tell his captors that they had been watching the troops assemble in Boston and knew from the outset the mission. He explained that by now all the supplies they were after in Concord had been removed and hidden. He told them that he had 500 men in Lexington waiting for Smith, the mission would be a disaster.

Back in Lexington Captain Parker surveyed his men. With no real idea of what was happening he decided to have the men stand down. "Men," he said. "Stand down but stay in town and within the sound of the drum." Many of the men including the Harringtons retreated to Uncle Jonathon Harrington's house on the edge of the green. Others who had come into town from the surrounding countryside were grateful that the proprietors of the Buckman Tavern on the south edge of the green opened its doors to provide food and a chance to warm up. As those men gathered to enter the tavern they unloaded their muskets by firing a volley into the air. The cool damp air worked it's way into the black powder if given a chance. The only way to ensure proper operation was fire the muskets and then reload when the time came to go back out.

Back on the road, Paul Revere was raising the anxiety of his captors with each telling of the massing of the militia. Suddenly as if on cue, a volley if musket fire came from the direction of Lexington. The startled officers suddenly had to make a decision. Do they execute the prisoner, take him with them or ride quickly back to warn Smith of the ambush? An extra horse would be useful if they chose to warn the column and surely they would be forgiven for not bringing the famous Paul Revere if it meant saving their fellow troops.

The decision was made. Revere was left on foot as the officers took his horse and raced east hoping to meet Smith before he got to Lexington.

more later...

barnbwt
February 5, 2013, 09:18 PM
I'm on the edge of my seat! (funny, considering this happened 200+ years ago) What happened next?

...

Oh, yeah. Right :O

I'm sure Mac66 will render the tale more richly than the textbook summary in my noodle :D . I'm particularly enjoying learning which events happened during the day/night; a detail many summaries of important events leave out all too often (except when it's as dramatic as Revere's ride--which is highly dramaticized in modern depictions, as you mentioned). It often helps explain why events happened the way they did if you know the time of day.

Ready-to-go lines of communication seems like the key strength of the patriots. We may think the task is easier today with the Internet and phones, but as was seen so painfully in the Arab world, those paths of communication are easily severed and intercepted. But a network of trusted persons who know exactly where to spread the message when needed is invaluable.

As has been my suspicion all along in my cursory studies of the Revolution, the Brits were lazy and simply waited too long to clamp down on the Americans. IIRC, not 30 years before revolt, the Americans were delighted to live under the crown, but decades of neglect and unnecessarily arbitrary treatment produced a populace that had deep resentment toward the crown, and more importantly had already learned to govern itself (more or less).

The "Salutary Neglect" (I think that was the name) period preceding the war gave the colonists time to form governing structures ahead of the conflict; and I'm convinced that is why the revolt didn't spawn the horrific kind of tyrranical government typically formed out of "people's revolts" that "eats its children."

Had the colonists not been heavily involved in local governance (to the point of really being the ones who ran day-to-day business), the hastily-assembled revolutionaries would have doubtless put some war-lord up as either a king or dictator, who would have had them promptly disarmed and dissolved to cement his authority. Luckily, the type of government had been roughly hashed-out ahead of time by those running the action, and it was to be representative. It never ceases to amaze me how well our revolution turned out, compared to any other popular revolution before or since (especially sucessful ones).

Keep up the good work!

TCB

CSC_Saint
February 5, 2013, 09:31 PM
AAARGH! I hate commercial breaks just when it gets REALLY good. More please?

xxjumbojimboxx
February 5, 2013, 10:04 PM
"As the men and boys formed that day they had no idea what to expect in the coming hours. Standing in armed defiance to the crown was treason. There was no health insurance or life insurance to help their families if wounded or killed. There was no social security or welfare. The death or disablement of the bread winner in the family meant destitution for the whole family. The was no emergency medical service to respond if wounded. There were no anesthetics to dull the pain. There were no antibiotics to prevent infection.

The choice was not simple and it's consequence this day was likely the hot lead of a musket ball, the cold steel of the bayonet or the hangman's noose.

Yet, despite the dangers the women of the town sent their sons and husbands, brothers, fathers and grandfathers. They were as young as 15 years and old as 70. The fathers stood with their sons, nine pairs on the green that morning. Nearly everyone on the green were related either by blood or marriage.

They stood together as one in defense of liberty."


Cringe... You've really put things in prospective here...


This story makes me proud to be from massachusetts! Its a solid reminded of the heritage and history that comes out fo that place... When you grow up there you dont think much of it. You'd never know it now a days though...

OilyPablo
February 5, 2013, 10:24 PM
I got chill just getting into this.

How about the gun grabbers read this!!??

Bobson
February 6, 2013, 01:39 AM
I got chill just getting into this.

How about the gun grabbers read this!!??
The typical "gun grabber" isn't interested in educating himself. He isn't interested in holding on to the freedom that was won for him, and has no respect for those who fought so he wouldn't have to. He's willing to be a slave if it means he'll have a master who will feed, clothe, and house him. He wants protection from the evil he fears and misunderstands. He's the dog who chooses to stay inside the kennel, because his master will bring him another bowl of dry food in the morning.

umadcuzimstylin
February 6, 2013, 03:48 AM
^Too much truth!

ccsniper
February 6, 2013, 04:38 AM
I have to sub this!

santanzchild
February 6, 2013, 05:14 AM
I always live a bit of unmolested history.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727

xXxplosive
February 6, 2013, 08:40 AM
And by the time the British columns started their retreat back to Boston from Concord, they found themselves surrounded at times by militia cos. from through out Mass. and being fired upon.. the Alarms went out and our "Minute Men" responded...at the hight of it, 4,000 militia troops had the British military held at bay in Boston.

mac66
February 6, 2013, 09:04 AM
Part 12-The Challenge

Col. Smith's troops had reached Menotomy (modern day Arlington) just a few miles from Lexington when 8 of his officers rode up. Smith called a halt while he listened to them explain that they had caught Paul Revere and that there was 500 militia in town. No, they hadn't seen them themselves because they had taken a wide berth around Lexington to avoid detection but they had heard the musket fire and the bell ringing the alarm.

Smith's troops themselves had heard bells in each town they passed through. They had heard shots off in the distance alerting the country side as they marched. He knew that there presence was known but was sure the colonists didn't know the purpose.

Turning to Major Pitcairn, his second in command, Smith ordered his royal marines to the head of the column. Pitcairn's marines, essentially light infantry, were to proceed as fast as they could in advance of the main body to Concord and carry out the mission.

As the marines advanced on Lexington, Capt. Parker was suddenly made aware of one of his scouts returning to town. The scout reported that he had been trapped behind the column in Cambridge and only managed to get around them when they stopped in Menotomy. He reported that they were only a mile or so out and moving fast. Parker immediately ordered young Diamond to beat assembly. The men filed out of their houses and the Buckman Tavern and formed up again at the west end of the green.

About this time Paul Revere walked into town from his ordeal on the road. Talking to Capt. Parker he was shocked to learn that Hancock and Adams were still in town. Revere immediately ran to Rev. Clark's house and confronted the reluctant Hancock who wanted to stay and fight. Revere explained that if he was killed or captured it would be devastating blow to the cause. He must leave, NOW!

Hancock finally agreed to go. Urged on by Sam Adams they packed up and headed north out of town. Revere stayed behind and learned from Hancock's male secretary that all the papers from the provincial congress were in a trunk and still in his room at the Buckman Tavern. If those papers fell into the hands of the army, the cause and many people associated with it would suffer terribly. Revere determined to save the trunk.

Lexington Green is a triangular shaped space about 100 yards long and 50 yards wide at it's north west end. The narrow point is toward the east where the meeting hall stood. The road from Boston split at the meeting hall. The right fork going past Buckman Tavern across the street from the hall and continuing at a north west angle skirting the green. The left fork swung straight west to Concord.

Parker's men in the meantime were formed at the wide end of the green. They were nervous and uneasy, not knowing what to expect. A few grumbled about how it wasn't worth it and talked about leaving. Parker said, "the first man to leave will be shot dead." These were his own friends and family standing with him. Most of them knew he meant it. The fear of Parker humiliating them and perhaps shooting them in front of their families was worse than the fear of the redcoats. They remained steadfast.

As the dawn broke the sounds of many men on the road to the east became apparent. Revere and Hancock's secretary had reached Buckman Tavern and were wrestling with the heavy trunk. Jonathon Harrington's cousin Caleb, John Simmons and another man were on the second floor of the meeting house watching as the royal marines came into view on the road to the east.

Major Pitcairn had put one of his firebrand lieutenants at the head of his column. Lt. Jesse Adair rode ahead and noticed men at the far end of the green in the early morning light. His mission was to go to Concord but he was itching for a fight and wanted to teach these insolent farmers a lesson. As his men reached the fork in the road he made a fateful decision to confront the men on the green. He lead his two hundred men onto the right fork and then onto the green. He immediately formed them into battle lines.

Paul Revere had seen the approach of the marines. He and Hancock's secretary barely got out the back door of the tavern when the marines spilled past them intent on forming on the green. Staying behind the tavern, he made his way behind the buildings skirting the road to the treeline as the troops formed their ranks.

Seeing the ranks of soldiers spilling onto the green, the 70-80 man militia heavily outnumbered, took an involuntary step backward. Capt. Parker shouted to his men, "Stand your ground men. Do not fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"

to be continued...

Trent
February 6, 2013, 10:22 AM
Dude I don't have any fingernails left.

Bobson
February 6, 2013, 10:37 AM
Man this is intense. Beats any historical movie I've ever seen.

xXxplosive
February 6, 2013, 11:09 AM
In the words of a historian deeply infused with a sense of the significance of this move stated "They stood there, not merely as soldiers but as citizens, nay, almost as statesmen, having the destiny of the country in their hands"...

from...The Lexington-Concord Rattle Road.
Hour-by-Hour Account of Events
Proceeding and on the History-Making Day
April 19th 1775

mikeasb
February 6, 2013, 12:24 PM
Waiting....

mac66
February 6, 2013, 12:41 PM
Part 13-The Fight

Capt. Parker's men watched the redcoats form into battle formation some 70 yards away, their bayonets glinting in the early morning light.

Major Pitcairn riding up from the column and swinging his pistol rode half the distance to the militia. He shouted at them "lay down your weapons, ye villains, ye rebels, lay down your arms and disperse!"

Capt. Parker had made his point. Vastly outnumbered he turned to his men and told them to disperse. At the same time a shot rang out. Paul Revere would later testify that it sounded like a pistol shot as he retreated with the trunk of papers. Others reported it came from the side of the green from behind a wall. A loud sharp sound in an open space surrounded by buildings often bounces around making it hard to pinpoint. No one knows who fired that first shot but it is clear who fired the first shots. Without orders, the front line of the regulars opened up in an ragged volley. The second line advanced and poured a full volley into the militia as they scrambled away.

Most of the men wounded were shot in the back. Jonas Parker, Capt. Parker's uncle took off his hat, threw it on the ground with his flint and ball. He defiantly stood his ground yelling "I shall not run". He was immediately knocked down by a musket ball. Prince Esterbrook was also knocked down latter to be helped off the field.

The troops with their blood up ignored orders and charged the militia with the bayonet. Jonas Parker was bayoneted to death as he lay on the ground trying to reload his musket. They continued after all those who ran.

Jonathon Harrington the fifer's uncle and namesake was shot in the back as he retreated. He rose back to his feet and collapsed again. Crawling on his hands and knees he made his way to the edge off the green. Falling into the arms of his horrified wife on their doorstep, he died as his children watched from the doorway.

At the other end of the green, Caleb Harrington, the fifer's cousin and John Simmons were caught in the meeting hall as the redcoats swarmed on to the green. When the troops charged they attempted to make a run for it. They were seen by soldiers who fired upon them. Caleb was shot down and killed as he ran. Simmons was forced back into the meeting hall where he barricaded the door. The soldiers who fired upon him pounded on the door trying to gain entry. Simmons knew that if they entered they were likely to find the town's black powder supply stored on the second floor. He ran up the stairs as the troops broke down the front door and started searching for him. Picking up his musket, he thrust the muzzle into one of the barrels of powder. "They will pay a heavy price for the powder today" he said to himself as he cocked the hammer and said a prayer.

The soldiers on the green still out of control were hunting down anyone they could find. Col. Smith back in the main column rode to the sound of the fighting and was shocked to see his troops rampaging through the town ignoring their officers. He quickly grabbed a drummer and had him beat to assembly. The men, more out of conditioning than duty began to respond.

Back in the meeting house the soldiers reached the bottom of the stairs. John Simmons closed his eyes and began to squeeze the trigger. As they began to climb the stairs they heard the beat of the drum. Conditioned to react to the drum and without further thought, the soldiers wheeled around and exited the meeting house angry that the rebel they had chased into it would slip through their fingers.

It took some time for the troops to reassemble. Their blood lust was up and they were reluctant to stop. Col. Smith finally got them into order and calling upon his officers told them the mission.

Many of the officers realized that they had just fired without orders. They knew that their men had gone out of control and they would be held responsible for the deaths. There would be courts-martial and trials. The countryside would be up in arms over this atrocity. They had another 8 miles further west to travel and another 18 miles back to Boston though hostile territory. To continue would be folly.

Col. Smith looked past the officers to the men. He and they were still charged up for the fight. He listened to the arguments of his officers and clearly stated that the mission would continue. Turning back to the men, he ordered three HUZZAHS and a volley of musket fire to celebrate the victory. Forming back into column they began the march west to Concord.

Continued....

Akita1
February 6, 2013, 12:41 PM
Waiting....
+1 Mike

JellyJar
February 6, 2013, 01:08 PM
I love history and have read accounts of this many times yet now I am learning new things I never knew before.

I hate waiting for the next installment! :banghead:

mikeasb
February 6, 2013, 01:25 PM
Jelly, Same here, I love American History but its the little details such as these that really bring it alive. Well told Mac66, thank you so much for taking the time...

xxjumbojimboxx
February 6, 2013, 01:27 PM
"The soldiers who fired upon him pounded on the door trying to gain entry. Simmons knew that if they entered they were likely to find the town's black powder supply stored on the second floor. He ran up the stairs as the troops broke down the front door and started searching for him. Picking up his musket, he thrust the muzzle into one of the barrels of powder. "They will pay a heavy price for the powder today" he said to himself as he cocked the hammer and said a prayer."


Forget TNT, Mac66 knows drama.

mac66
February 6, 2013, 01:59 PM
Part 14- The Aftermath

Capt. Parker stood looking at the dead and wounded. He looked past the green to the houses and the heard the lament of the women and families who lost loved ones. He saw the women scurrying about taking anything of value and burying it in their gardens. They knew that the column had continued west and would come back through Lexington. They knew there would be reprisals against the town for standing up to the king's troops. They knew there would be pillaging and plundering.

Parker also knew that if he didn't hide the bodies of those who were slain, the army would dig them up, and hang them out of spite as a warning. His men would take the dead to the edge of the burial grown and dig a ditch. They would bury the dead including his uncle Jonas in the ditch and then cover the grave with leaves, branches and brush to hide it. He knew that the fight wasn't over and he began to prepare to avenge the attack on his town.

Young Jonathon Harrington couldn't stop crying. He had lost his uncle and his cousin. He had seen his friends and neighbors shot down. Of the 9 sets of fathers and sons on the green, 5 were separated by death.

The day had just begun. No one knew what would transpire that day or how it would end. They did know that by standing up for their liberty the spark of revolution had been lit.

continued...

DDeegs
February 6, 2013, 02:05 PM
Awesome ! Thank you

Dan

mac66
February 6, 2013, 02:08 PM
Epilog

We all know the story doesn't end in Lexington. In fact it was just beginning. At Appleseed we tell the story in three parts. The other two stories are as intriguing as this one if not more so. I've told these stories dozens of times and I wrote this one based on memory. It took a bit of effort to condense the events down into a story form so I am not going to do the other two parts.

Sorry, you'll have to go to an Appleseed to hear the rest or contact Appleseed or me to come to your group and tell you the story. It is well worth it.

I did want to throw out some interesting tidbits about what happened to some of the people in the story I just told.

If you recall, Dr. Joseph Warren found out the details of the raid on Concord through someone high up in Gen. Gage's command. That person is thought to have been Gage's wife. Margaret Kimble Gage was American born and her high status in society put her in contact with many people including Dr. Warren. It was pretty evident who gave Warren the information and she paid a heavy price. After the battle, Gen. Gage put her on a ship ferrying wounded back to England. They reportedly never lived under the same roof again.

Dr. Warren was a widower with 4 young children yet he spent most of his time working for the cause. While the British were fighting their way back from Concord, he rode out and connected with the militia near Lexington. Despite have no military experience he distinguished himself in such close contact with the enemy that he was offered a Generalship after the battle. At one point a musket ball cut a hair lock (ribbon that held back his long hair) on his head.

Warren refused the rank saying he hadn't earned it. In June of that year he was fighting as a private but in command of a delaying action on Bunker Hill. They were holding off the British advance until the militia could retreat. He was killed on the last charge up the hill by the British. Sadly Dr. Warren who is relatively unknown today, would likely have gone down in history of one of our great founding fathers, perhaps even a president had he lived.

Major Pitcairn, the officer who led his marines on Lexington Green was dismounted from his house on the way back to Boston later in the day. His horse and horse pistols were captured by the militia and used by a Colonial general the rest of the war. Pitcairn also fought on Bunker Hill in June. He was wounded in the last charge that took the hill and killed Dr. Warren. Pitcairn died in the arms of his son who was a Lieutenant in the royal marines.

Fifer Jonathon Harrington survived Lexington and went on to enlist in the Colonial Army. He fought in many battles and survived the war. He lived to a ripe old age.

William Diamond, the Lexington drummer also survived the battle. He also enlisted and survived the war. He became a prominent citizen. Ten thousand people came to his funeral when he died.

Capt. John Parker was sick from tuberculosis when he stood his ground at Lexington on April 19th. Later in the day he would lead his militia west and get his revenge against Col. Smith. He died in August of that year from the disease.

Col. Francis Smith was wounded later in the day. He was eventually shipped back to England.

Dr. Samuel Prescott rode to Concord after he escaped from the officers on the road. He warned the town and they sent out other riders to spread the word. His brother Able was one of the riders.and was killed later in the day at the south bridge while trying to return to town. Samuel Prescott never married his fiance'. He enlisted as a ship's surgeon and was captured. He died of disease aboard a filthy prison barge up in Canada two years later. Without a word from him or about him Lydia Mulligan waited 7 years for him to return.

William Dawes, the other rider out of Boston never made it to Concord. Upon escaping outside of Lexington, he rode until he was thrown from his horse losing his pocket watch in the process. Battered, bruised and frightened, he decided he had had enough. He turned around and limped back to Boston. He later went back and found his watch.

Prince Esterbrook was wounded but survived the Lexington battle. He signed on for a number of short term militia enlistments and then in the Continental Army. He and hundreds of other slaves served in the first integrated army and the last until the Korean war. Esterbrook survived the war and was freed for serving as were many others. Their service in the revolution was the seed that grew into the abolitionist movement in the New England states after the war.

Dr. Benjamin Church was a prominent physician in Boston and in charge of the security committee for the Massachusetts provincial congress. He was in charge of the colonial secrets and security of John Hancock and Sam Adams. He was also a spy for Gen. Thomas Gage. It was Church who compiled a list of the guns and powder/supplies stored in Concord and the whereabouts of Hancock and Adams. It wasn't ideology that made him give secrets to the British general it was greed. Church had a wife and also kept a mistress. He spent his money poorly and was always in debt.

On April 20th, the day after the events at Lexington and Concord Church was seen easily passing through the gate into Boston. Boston was now besieged by 14,000 militia and the British army was holding the city. Church was contacted by Paul Reveres' wife who gave him a note and 200 pounds (a huge sum of money) to give to Paul who needed money to live on outside the city. Paul never got the money and the note was found in Gen. Gage's papers after the war.

People became suspicious of how Church could pass in and out of the city so easily. After the British evacuated Boston, Church was arrested and imprisoned. He was later banished from the colonies. The ship he got on to go to England never reached it's destination and was never seen again.

Paul Revere served throughout the war as an artillery officer. He was overlooked several times for higher rank and didn’t see much action which frustrated him. He went on to do his metal work and eventually started a foundry that made bells and became very successful. His greatest fame and what he is most remembered for came after his death as a result of Longfellow’s poem, ’The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’.

General Thomas Gage continued to command the British army until relieved about a year later. He went back to England to wait out the war but never returned.

Jesse 8
February 6, 2013, 02:15 PM
Thank you for sharing this

iamkris
February 6, 2013, 03:01 PM
And just think...this is just the FIRST STRIKE. There's 2 more plus a bunch of other stories of choices, decisions and sacrifices of the actors that day!

You all should come out to an Appleseed to hear this and many other other tales of our common American heritage!

(mac -- this is SteelThunder)

PGT
February 6, 2013, 03:06 PM
gread read, thanks for sharing.

krupparms
February 6, 2013, 03:28 PM
As a history reader I know these stories well. I didn't know that passing them along was part of the Appleseed program. I will be getting in touch ASAP. Thank you very much for telling the story so well! You have the gift of being a true story teller. Thank you . :)

iamkris
February 6, 2013, 03:30 PM
krupparms

We in Appleseed pride ourselves in working to wake up Americans to their rich heritage. We always say that the shooting is the hook but the real message is in the history.

Bobson
February 6, 2013, 03:50 PM
I wonder how the version taught in England's schools compares to the version we're taught. I expect there are some noteworthy differences.

xXxplosive
February 6, 2013, 04:18 PM
Let us all hope History does not have to repeat it'self............

mac66
February 6, 2013, 04:24 PM
Some final words...

These were real people who faced tough decisions with far reaching consequences. They built this country with their own hands. They cleared the fields and had an intimate relationship with it's well being. People today don't have that sense of being an American. They don't have a sense of why we are the way we are or how we came to be that way. Americans tend to be lazy, ignorant and apathetic particularly about our history. We owe those people in the story a debt we can never repay but at least what we can remember and respect what they did.

So if you liked this story, spread it around (give Appleseed the credit www.appleseedinfo.org) Tell friends and family. Come to an Appleseed to hear more and support us getting the story back out to every American. Ask someone from Appleseed to come and make a free presentation, most libraries will give you a room. There is no agenda and we are not political. We are just trying to rekindle the flame of liberty that burned so brightly in the breasts of those people, on that day, April 19th, 1775.

feel free to contact me about a presentation, I will try and hook you up.

SSN Vet
February 6, 2013, 04:38 PM
Fort William and Mary

Ahem.... Fort Constitution if you would please :)

it's still there... right next to the coast guard station.... free for the visiting.

mac66
February 6, 2013, 04:44 PM
It was called Fort William and Mary when the militia raided it. Fort Constitution was later built on the same site.

http://www.nhstateparks.com/fortconstitution.html

hammerklavier
February 6, 2013, 04:46 PM
Paul Revere also produced many of the brass fittings for a ship we know today as "Old Ironsides," the USS Constitution.

sanman513
February 6, 2013, 05:16 PM
Thank you! You should do an American history thread! :):beer:

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

xXxplosive
February 6, 2013, 05:54 PM
Summary:

The opening day of Battle of the American Revolution....
The British Losses were 73 Killed, 174 Wounded, 26 Missing, a total of 273 casualties while the Americans had 49 fatalities, 41 wounded and five missing, a total causalty list of 95.


From:
The Lexington-Concord Battle Road
Hour-by Hour Account of Events
Preceding and on the History-Making Day
April 19th 1775

JRH6856
February 6, 2013, 06:27 PM
So if you liked this story, spread it around (give Appleseed the credit www.appleseedinfo.com)

That link should be www.appleseedinfo.org (http://www.appleseedinfo.org)

Bentonville
February 6, 2013, 06:50 PM
Thank you very much for taking the time to share this amazing story which I learned of in school back in the 1950s. With all of the tests kids have to take now to get promoted to the next grade, teachers don't take the time to teach these important aspects of our heritage. They teach to the tests which don't include these important aspects of our national history. Students know next to nothing about American history when they graduate from high school. This is only one of the many subtle ways our nation and our freedom have been undermined. Knowledge of our common heritage results in pride. Pride in our heritage results in a love of our common freedom or patriotism.

xXxplosive
February 6, 2013, 06:53 PM
FYI................The Participating Militia Cos.......

-Capt. Johmn Parker's Co. On Lexington Common and the First Company in the Contest.
-Capt. David Brown's Co. Concord, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Charles Mile's Co. Concord, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. George Minot's Co. Concord, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Nathan Barrett's Co. Concord, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Isaac Davis's Co. Acton, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Simon Hunt's Co. Acton, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Joseph Robin's Co. Acton, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. John Moore's Co. Belford, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Jonathan Wilson's Co. Bedford, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. William Smith's Co. Lincoln, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Oliver Crosby's Co. Billerica, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Edward farmer's Co. Billerica, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Jonathan Stickney's Co. Billerica, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Oliver Barron's Co. Chelmsford, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Moses Parker's Co. Chelmsford, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt Simon Edget's Co. Framingham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Jesse Emes's Co. Framingham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Micajah Gleason's Co. Framingham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. John Bacheller's Co. Reading, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Thomas Eaton's Co.Reading, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. John Flint's Co. Reading, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. John Walton's Co. Reading, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Nathaniel Cudworth's Co. Sudbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt Aaron Haynes's Co. Sudbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Isaac Locker's Co. Sudbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. John Nixon's Co. Sudbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Joseph Smiths Co. Sudbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Moses Stone's Co. Sudbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Samuel Belknap's Co. Woburn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Jonathan Fox's Co. Woburn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt. Joshua Walker's Co. Woburn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Concord.
-Capt William Whitcom's Co. Stow, Mass. Did not reach Concord in time to enter the engagement but persued the British so closely as to deserve special mention.
-Capt Oliver Bate's Co. Westford, Mass. Did not reach Concord in time to enter the engagement but persued the British so closely as to deserve special mention.
-Capt Jonathan Minot's Co. Westford, Mass. Did not reach Concord in time to enter the engagement but persued the British so closely as to deserve special mention.
-Capt Joshua Parker's Co. Westford, Mass. Did not reach Concord in time to enter the engagement but persued the British so closely as to deserve special mention.
-Capt Peter Coburn's Co. Dracut, Mass. Did not reach Concord in time to enter the engagement but persued the British so closely as to deserve special mention.
-Capt Stephen Russell's Co. Dracut, Mass. Did not reach Concord in time to enter the engagement but persued the British so closely as to deserve special mention.
-Capt. Samuel Thather's Co. Cambridge, Mass. Entered the Contest at Lincoln.
-Capt. Phinehas Cook's Co. Newton, Mass. Entered the Contest at Lexington.
-Capt. Amariah Fuller's Co. Newton, Mass. Entered the Contest at Lexington.
-Capt. Jeremiah Wiswall's Co. Newton, Mass. Entered the Contest at lexington.
-Capt. Thomas White's Co. Brookline, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Thomas Aspinwall's Co. Brookline, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Major Isaac Gardner's Co. Brookline, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Samuel Barnerds Co. Watertown, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Isaac Hall's Co. Medford, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Benjamin Blaney's Co. Malden, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Lemuel Childs Co. Roxbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. William Draper's Co. Roxbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Moses Whiting's Co. Roxbury, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Eben Battle's Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. William Bullards Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Daniel Draper's Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. William Ellis's Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. David Fairbanks Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt Aaron Fuller's Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt George Gould's Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Joseph Gould's Co. Dedham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Aaron Smith's Co. Needham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Robert Smith's Co. Needham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Caleb Kingdbery's Co. Needham, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Nathaniel Bancroft's Co. Lynn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. William Farrington's Co. Lynn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Rufus Mansfield's Co. Lynn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Ezra Newhall's Co. Lynn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. David Parker's Co. Lynn, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. David Dodge's Co. Beverly, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Larkin Thorndike's Co. Beverly, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Peter Shaw's Co. Beverly, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Samuel Epe's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Samuel Flint's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Isreal Hutchinson's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. David Lowe's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Jeremiah Page's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Asa Prince's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Edward Putnam's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. John Putnam's Co. Danvers, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.
-Capt. Benjamin Locke's Co. Arlington, Mass. Entered the Contest at Arlington.

From:
Muster Rolls of the Participating Companies of American Militia and Minute-Men in The Battle of April 19, 1775.



Average size Co. consisted of 50 men plus officers.....it is absolutely amazing what was waiting for the British along Battle Road as they retreated back to Boston.

Larry Ashcraft
February 6, 2013, 07:51 PM
Thanks for a well written, riveting bit of history.

His greatest fame and what he is most remembered for came after his death as a result of Longfellow’s poem, ’The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’.
Kind of off topic, but Paul Revere was a silversmith and engraver, and "Revere Bowls" are used to this day as awards and tableware.

OptimusPrime
February 6, 2013, 07:56 PM
Excellently done Mac66!
All this reading was hard; is there a movie I could watch instead? :neener:

NY'er
February 6, 2013, 08:54 PM
I'm with you Optimus, this had me at the edge of my seat like watching the original Nightstalker series unfold~

Someone needs to put this in front of Tom Hanks!

JRH6856
February 6, 2013, 08:58 PM
April Morning is a fairly decent dramatization of the events. It is available from Netflix (streaming)

xxjumbojimboxx
February 6, 2013, 10:05 PM
If you ever go camping let me know!

I imagine this story told around a campfire with beer, and other worldly pleasures!

You told this story better than any I've ever heard...

xXxplosive
February 6, 2013, 10:25 PM
Do yourself a favor and visit the Concord Bridge, The Lexington Green, Buckman's Tavern and the Minuteman Statue in Lexington Mass....take The Battle Road Tour...see for yourself where freedom was born....you won't be sorry you did..

mac66
February 6, 2013, 10:40 PM
Glad you all liked it. I am telling this to class of 5th graders in a couple weeks and at a couple of group meetings next month. Seriously, go to an Appleseed to hear it told. We have people all over the country who can tell it as well as I can.

OptimusPrime
February 6, 2013, 10:49 PM
Glad you all liked it. I am telling this to class of 5th graders in a couple weeks and at a couple of group meetings next month. Seriously, go to an Appleseed to hear it told. We have people all over the country who can tell it as well as I can.
Mac, let us know if any of the 5th graders prefer Glocks over CZs would ya?

Bobson
February 6, 2013, 10:54 PM
A number of months ago, I heard a negative review from someone who attended an Appleseed. His complaint was based on his opinion that "it was more storytelling and not much shooting." When I read that, I didn't expect that the "story" he had heard was so gripping. After reading this, that guy had to be out of his mind.

230RN
February 6, 2013, 11:07 PM
Beautifully done!

However, it may take a couple of hours for the line in my butt from the chair edge to go away .

Terry, 230RN

twofifty
February 7, 2013, 12:13 AM
Thanks for telling of the motives behind the story.

Amazing what folk will do when they become convinced that enough is enough.

Trent
February 7, 2013, 08:36 AM
Mac, if you ever take the time to write up a followup on Concord, you'd have an avid audience here. :)

The one part which really resonated with your storytelling, was when you mentioned the father/sons. Of the 9 pairs on the green, 5 were separated.

With the last time I read the story of Lexington and Concord, being probably 25 years ago, I have to admit I did NOT remember the militia "getting our behinds handed to us" in that initial skirmish. In fact.. I need to ask my boys to bring home their history books to see how it's presented nowadays. I grabbed my younger son's US history book a couple weeks ago to see how much of the Powder Alarm they mentioned in the prelude to war. I was surprised, it actually got a single sentence, and his book didn't ONCE mention banning of importation or confiscation of arms, and only gave brief mention to Intolerable Acts, without describing them. But oh boy did they talk about TEA!

My kids, today, are learning a very different story than I learned when I was young.

The JR. High US Constitution test, when it got to the Bill of Rights, consisted of a sheet with the Bill of Rights printed in a random order, and they had to affix the "number" next to each one. That's it. No understanding. Just what ORDER are they in.

It's .. well, let's not dirty this great threat with a rant about modern education any further. Suffice it to say, your story is very welcome. As a father, I'll try to memorize this, and pass this along the next time we gather at a campfire out back.

mac66
February 7, 2013, 09:30 AM
Thanks for kind words. Every place we tell the story we hear the same thing, "wow, I had forgotten that" or "they don't teach that in the schools anymore" or "everybody needs to hear this". That's exactly why the Revolutionary War Veterans Association was started, to sow the seeds of our heritage through the Appleseed Project.

I mentioned earlier about doing presentations to groups, schools, libraries etc. We also teach darn good marksmanship. If you belong to a range, shooting or sportsman's club we can bring the two day rifle clinic to your club at no cost. We supply the line, targets, instructors and the history. Ranges/clubs typically charge a range fee over the cost of the Appleseed fee.

If interested let me know and I will hook you up with your state coordinator and he or one of his guys will come to the club, talk to the board and set it up.

statelineblues
February 7, 2013, 10:33 AM
Mac66, Thanks for this wonderful narrative!

Being born and raised 20 miles northeast of Lexington and Concord, plus having ancestors that fought in the Revolution, it always surprises me the lack of knowledge about the seeds of our countries' founding. It was as much about economics as politics and as much about how we were treated as subjects of the crown. I've read many accounts from the time period and the attitude of "only true Englishmen live in England" was how the goverment thought of it's colonial populations, no matter where they lived.

JRH6856
February 7, 2013, 11:24 AM
Do yourself a favor and visit the Concord Bridge, The Lexington Green, Buckman's Tavern and the Minuteman Statue in Lexington Mass....take The Battle Road Tour...see for yourself where freedom was born....you won't be sorry you did..

I had the honor of doing just that on a September weekend in 2001, while explaining the events to a friend from the Netherlands. It was an experience that became even more meaningful the following Tuesday (9/11).

Lateck
February 7, 2013, 11:41 AM
Mac66, again another hart felt, Thank You.
I too had forgotten most of my history from school.
We do need to remember and teach, so our children are not enslaved.

Lateck,

xXxplosive
February 7, 2013, 11:43 AM
It is truly, IMO.... a beautiful place and the Concord Bridge is just unreal....standing under the Minute-Man Monument is a moving experience.

SSN Vet
February 7, 2013, 09:28 PM
I jut read this entire story to my 8th grade daughter and she really enjoyed it!

Thanks for sharing

J-Bar
February 7, 2013, 10:13 PM
I am 68 years old and hated studying history when I was a kid in school.

It makes me sick to my stomach that this history is not taught to our children in such a moving way as Mac66 has done.

Thank you, sir for your service.

With your permission, I will forward widely.

mac66
February 8, 2013, 09:01 AM
Anyone may cut and paste this and spread it around. The only thing I ask is that you give proper credit and that you mention Appleseed as the source and give the link. www.appleseedinfo.org or www.rwva.org

I've been asked by some higher ups in Appleseed to write out the rest of the story. We get most of what we talk about from the book Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer, great book and highly recommended.

Apparently though, nobody has ever condensed it down and wrote it as an adventure story. It has always struck me as such having heroes and villains, near escapes, love and betrayal, action, drama etc. Every time I hear it or give it at an Appleseed or other presentation it strikes me as being something that should be a mini series like Band of Brothers. So that's how I tried to write it. Heck, I was writing it and couldn't wait to find out what happened next.:)

I thought it came out pretty good since it was off the top of my head for a gun forum and really just a first draft. My daughter, who has her degree in creative writing looked at it and cringed, :scrutiny: That volunteered her to edit it when I finish it and when she gets a chance. We hope to have a complete version out eventually, maybe a month or so.

I should add that if you are interested in this history become involved in Appleseed and we will teach you not only great history but how to teach that history to others. We will teach you not only great rifle marksmanship skills but how to teach those skills to others. We need help to spread these skills and history back to America.

Another way to spread the story is by setting up a presentation in your town, city, group school etc. If you can get a group to listen, we can get somebody there to tell the story. This stuff is even better in person. We don't charge for presentations. PM me it you have any questions and thank you for you interest.

TheDaywalkersDad
February 9, 2013, 10:07 AM
Great job.

mac66
February 10, 2013, 08:49 AM
Here are a few more details of some of the people involved that day...

John Hancock was raised by his aunt and uncle. His uncle was a wealthy businessman who owned ships and ran an import/export business. This put young John in the upper ranks of Boston society. When his uncle died, John took the reigns of the business under the watchful eye of his Aunt Lydia. He was not as good as running the business as his uncle. John was known to have done some smuggling after the blockage shut down Boston harbor.

When Paul Revere showed up that the Rev. Clark's house early on the morning of the 19th, he was staying there with his Aunt, his fiancee' Dorthy Quincy, and of course Samuel Adams. When Paul Revere returned to town after being caught on the road he was able to convince Hancock to leave town. Hancock, his aunt and fiancee' took their carriage north to the town of Woburn when Revere late caught up to them after rescuing the trunk of papers.

Hancock was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and is famous for his large signature.

Rugg_Ed
February 10, 2013, 01:00 PM
Great Work Mac :)
I hope everyone gets this message to the elected officials, after all they are to Work for the People who elected them, not corrupt foreign entities.

Trent
February 10, 2013, 10:52 PM
You know, it sounds like the founding fathers were a bunch of misfit rabble-rouser scoundrel types at first.

Meeting in taverns, smuggling, stealing weapons, etc.

Reminds me of the scene in the Patriot where Mel Gibson goes in to the bar and ... I won't spoil it other than to say "these are EXACTLY the kind of people we need!"

I mean, let's face it. The upstanding law-abiding citizens aren't the ones who start revolutions. The law abiding, truly honest folk bend to the will and obey the law, even if they don't agree with it.

It takes a little special something to say "screw you!", and even MORE of a little special something to shoulder a firearm in place of a middle finger and peaceful protests.

Maybe I'm reading something in to it that isn't there.

Mac, you got any other insights in to the MINDSET of those that were there when it all started? Did any of them later record their thoughts on what was running through their head when they crossed that line in the dirt to pick up and USE their arms?

I mean, we can read about it happening, and how it happened, and chronologically order it, and infer things, but are there any surviving original writings about what they were feeling at the time?

What about the mindset of the general populace? How were these initial incidents received by the masses? Were people aghast that people would resort to violence? Were they sympathetic? Mixed?

clocker
February 10, 2013, 11:11 PM
On the other hand I think that you'll find that many of the founding fathers were successful business men, doctors and scholars.

Here is a video of Dr Benjamin Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast. http://youtu.be/PFb6NU1giRA
@ 12:25 for the specific message.

JRH6856
February 11, 2013, 01:35 AM
From Wikipedia: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loyalist_%28American_Revolution%29#Loyalists_in_the_Thirteen_Colonies)

Historian Robert Calhoon wrote in 2000, concerning the proportion of Loyalists to Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies:

Historians' best estimates put the proportion of adult white male loyalists somewhere between 15 and 20 percent. Approximately half the colonists of European ancestry tried to avoid involvement in the struggle — some of them deliberate pacifists, others recent immigrants, and many more simple apolitical folk. The patriots received active support from perhaps 40 to 45 percent of the white populace, and at most no more than a bare majority.

Whatever the public mindset was during the war, after it's conclusion, the mindset was pretty clear, and many if not most of the Loyalists emigrated to Canada after the Revolution. As near as I can tell, I have Patriot but no Loyalist ancestors. My wife has both.

michaelbsc
February 11, 2013, 02:59 AM
Whatever the public mindset was during the war, after it's conclusion, the mindset was pretty clear, and many if not most of the Loyalists emigrated to Canada after the Revolution. As near as I can tell, I have Patriot but no Loyalist ancestors. My wife has both.


I think this Wikipedia description sums up my family reasonably. The property originally came as a grant from King George II, and you don't really want to bite the hand that feeds you.

But by then Geo.2 was gone and Geo.3 was not the same man. My family appears to have taken the position of "keep your head down" whenever they could.

But once the die was cast we weren't leaving. After all, home is home. We're still here. We may not have a big fine plantation like the museums at the historic landmarks, but the fields have been planted every year since the 18th century.

And yes, we're the poor backwards hicks clinging to the guns and bibles. Come take them.

JRH6856
February 11, 2013, 11:30 AM
^^^ The portion you quoted is not a "Wikipedia description", it's mine.

mac66
February 11, 2013, 11:43 AM
Trent,

Most of the people in the colonies wanted to just get along. While many felt that what the king/parliament was doing was wrong they weren't willing to do anything about it. The thing that started the problem was not so much the taxes being imposed but the "taxation without representation" thing. The arrogant reaction of the king/parliament, "how dare you question us" caused more dissension. The colonists had a very deep sense of what right and wrong was based in part by the Calvinist religious values of the day. They had a very deep sense of freedom and liberty based on having cleared and settled the land with their own two hands.

It should be noted that only about 10% of the population was actively involved in the war for independence. Only a small percentage actually fought for it. Another 10% were for it but did nothing to support it. The rest of the colonists were neutral or actively supporting the crown. There were as many colonists who fought with the crown as who fought against it.

It is an interesting to note that the people in the large cities usually supported the king. Those out in the countryside away from the centers of government, tended to be against the king. Point being, the less dependent one is on the government, the less likely one is to support it. Kind of brings out the insidiousness of government intrusion and control.

Trent
February 11, 2013, 01:00 PM
Trent,

Most of the people in the colonies wanted to just get along. While many felt that what the king/parliament was doing was wrong they weren't willing to do anything about it. The thing that started the problem was not so much the taxes being imposed but the "taxation without representation" thing. The arrogant reaction of the king/parliament, "how dare you question us" caused more dissension. The colonists had a very deep sense of what right and wrong was based in part by the Calvinist religious values of the day. They had a very deep sense of freedom and liberty based on having cleared and settled the land with their own two hands.

It should be noted that only about 10% of the population was actively involved in the war for independence. Only a small percentage actually fought for it. Another 10% were for it but did nothing to support it. The rest of the colonists were neutral or actively supporting the crown. There were as many colonists who fought with the crown as who fought against it.

It is an interesting to note that the people in the large cities usually supported the king. Those out in the countryside away from the centers of government, tended to be against the king. Point being, the less dependent one is on the government, the less likely one is to support it. Kind of brings out the insidiousness of government intrusion and control.

Interesting parallel how closely things are still situated along these lines, and in this fashion.

I believe in a large degree of "living history". People tend to look at history as something static, and dead, and over.

But choices made by individuals a couple of hundred years ago still affect our daily lives today. And sometimes, in interesting new ways. In truth, history isn't dead, it's still alive, and influencing things to this very day.

Whether we KNOW about it, or not.

Thanks for the education.

98C5
February 11, 2013, 02:19 PM
Great write-up. I watched the series 'Revolutionary War' on the Military channel last night. I loved that part of history. Interestingly enough, I personally find many parallels to todays events. Hmmmm, makes you wonder.... ;)

michaelbsc
February 11, 2013, 02:22 PM
^^^ The portion you quoted is not a "Wikipedia description", it's mine.

Yes, I know. I worked for quite a while trying to get that URL link to display correctly in the quote, and I finally gave up.

Beaten by the technology monkey again.

Akita1
February 11, 2013, 03:07 PM
+1 98C5; my favorite part is the "cause and effect" nature of the events versus just the people, places, dates. It is OUR early history that began the new era of the formation of democratic republics…yes, there's that whole Greek & Rome thing but likely a topic for another thread given the ultimate failure/each's descent. Or, perhaps that is an appropriate thread for our times as you suggest...

Mac did an excellent job of telling a riveting story of how the events unfolded, how all the moving parts intertwined and how the actions of a seemingly few patriots sparked the ensuing Revolution. Wish I had a few more history teachers like him when I was in school.

Trent
February 11, 2013, 03:11 PM
We should ask ourselves...

"What would Paul Revere do?"

(today)

:)

mac66
February 11, 2013, 05:54 PM
You could also ask...

What would Isaac Davis do? Or John Parker? Or Prince Esterbrook? What would Dr. Joseph Warren do?

JTHunter
February 11, 2013, 06:09 PM
Trent - I'm afraid that I disagree with your statement:I mean, let's face it. The upstanding law-abiding citizens aren't the ones who start revolutions. The law abiding, truly honest folk bend to the will and obey the law, even if they don't agree with it.

It's not that the people are "law-abiding" but that they are afraid. They are afraid for themselves, their families, afraid of what might happen if they lose. But I believe that pushed hard enough, long enough, even the most "law-abiding" will get fed up with their losses and will become the body and soul of the "resistance". Some may even become "leaders".

The question is - will they do so in time to stop the destruction of America?

mac66
February 11, 2013, 06:37 PM
There won't be any more "law abiding citizens" when the government makes everything illegal. The step from being dependent on the government for your safety, welfare, job, pension, food, gasoline to being dependent on them for their benevolence in allowing you to exist is not very big.

Ky Larry
February 11, 2013, 06:57 PM
The cause of the American revolution was a lot more complex than a few taxes. The roots go back to the French-Indian War and are interlocked with a continuing world power struggle between France and England. If you wish to know what really set off the revolution in America, I recommend "A Struggle For Power, The American Revolution" by Theodore Draper, published by Times Books, 1996. This book shows how the struggle for control of trade in the Caribbean, India,S.E.Asia, North America, South America and Europe clashed with domestic and forgien trade policies, pride, egoes, and a hundred other factors to create the U.S.A. As with most history, the truth is far more facinating tha anything Hollywood can create.

Trent
February 11, 2013, 08:09 PM
Trent - I'm afraid that I disagree with your statement:


Don't be afraid to disagree with me, I encourage it among all peers, my employees, and even my five children! (But - my children and employees - had BETTER present a very well thought out disagreement or suffer the consequences of a lengthy ovation and lecture.)


It's not that the people are "law-abiding" but that they are afraid. They are afraid for themselves, their families, afraid of what might happen if they lose. But I believe that pushed hard enough, long enough, even the most "law-abiding" will get fed up with their losses and will become the body and soul of the "resistance". Some may even become "leaders".

The question is - will they do so in time to stop the destruction of America?


Well, there's a lot of truth in that.

If a law-abiding, honest, hard working man is pushed, and pushed, and pushed... there comes a point in time a man has to say "Enough is Enough!" (to coin the anti-gun slogan, and put it to good use.)

Just as there were 200 and some odd years ago, there are a lot of factors setting America to boil today, but it's beyond the scope of the thread. I'll let my (current) signature speak the remainder of my thoughts.

barnbwt
February 11, 2013, 11:05 PM
Interesting parallel how closely things are still situated along these lines, and in this fashion.

The populations in cities tend to support the consolidation of power; the cities themselves being a byproduct/catalyst of that centralized authority. Kind of a chicken/egg thing, but urban areas and government tend to have a strong (and dangerous) symbiosis that leads to the accumulation of wealth and power in the cities far beyond what their superior numbers would suggest. Usually under the guise of redistribution, but the nation's treasures end up piled high in the seats of power.

Interestingly, some of the most repressive governments (namely Iran and Russia) are said to function opposite this, where those ignorant/complicit to tyranny in the hinterlands are overly represented/benefitted at the expense of the more cosmopolitan cities. The mechanics are the same though, the government secures enough popular support by subjugating* a portion of its citizens with the treasury, that it can run rough-shod over the remaining dissidents. Many of these terrible governments were immediately preceded by systems of the former city-dominated type. Endless tug of war, I suppose...

*the act or process of bringing somebody, especially a people, nation, or state, under the control of another (by force or entitlement dependancy)

TCB

Trent
February 11, 2013, 11:45 PM
The part about the road to Revolution, that I find particularly fascinating, is that ALL of those factors combined didn't have people doing anything more than protests, really. (Boston tea party, etc.)

But when they came marching for the weapons, the colonists drew the line.

They had MANY complaints against the government.

But they didn't take action until the Government came after their sole means of disposing of said Government.

Makes a guy wonder what would have happened if they hadn't rallied that day?

What would the world be like today if they'd given in and handed over their powder and arms stockpiles without a fight?

The founding fathers were not stupid, by any measure; they knew when they drafted the Bill of Rights that there were certain cornerstones of liberty that would ensure (or help to ensure) that a repeat of their situation never happened again.

First, the ability for men to gather, speak freely, distribute literature, and address grievances with their government. (Something we do daily here, albeit virtually).

Second, the ability for men to keep and bear arms for personal and common defense. (Without this, nothing else can really be protected)

Third, protection from quartering of troops. (This is an extension of the English bill of rights which protected citizens from a standing army in peacetime). Our government is getting pretty ... liberal, with it's idea of a standing army (Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, etc). At the time of the Revolution the British occupation was a MAJOR factor in colonial discontent.

Fourth, protection from search and seizure. This interlocks with the Second amendment, to ensure arms and other materials of war, cannot be confiscated, among other things. Basically it tells the government to "butt-out of private affairs." From the eyes of the Revolutionaries drafting a new framework, this was critical to ensure that the Government couldn't just barge in and search you for stuff. Lexington and Concord and the other early events that sparked the revolution were surely still fresh on their minds when they drafted this one.

Fifth, due process, imminent domain, double jeopardy, etc. This makes sure innocent men remain innocent, protects us against the government grabbing your property without "just and fair" compensation, and also interlocks with the second amendment to make sure those with "revolutionary" ideals aren't locked away for expressing them, unjustly. This amendment, from the eyes of the recent revolutionaries, would be a critical one and was VERY broad in scope (it actually lays out a LOT of rights, all rolled in to one amendment), intentionally limiting the powers of government and ensuring any man charged with a crime gets a fair shake.

Sixth provides wide protection against a tyrannical government when you're in court, and helps to ensure that hearsay, etc isn't admissible. The Sixth amendment is probably one of THE most important amendments, in my opinion, as it ensures that every man receives a fair trial of his peers, in public, and can face his accuser. It ensures the government cannot railroad you, that you have a right to be tried by your PEERS, and not the government officials.

Seventh concerns civil affairs.

Eight puts limits on tyranny with excessive bail and unusual punishments. I'm sure the founding fathers had many examples to draw from, particularly going back through their European roots, where Governments fined citizens excessively or tortured them.

Ninth, the catch all, that does nothing and everything all at once. It references back to the constitution, and to paraphrase, says "The constitution doesn't specify ALL rights, and any that it doesn't specifically limit, are still retained by the people." Not exactly sure how to draw a line back to the founders intent, because I'm not even close to 100% clear on the meaning of the 9th amendment.

Then the 10th, state rights.

Am I off base on any of these, and how they grew from revolution to codification after victory?

I mean, these guys just finished spilling blood, and having their blood spilled, and now they're sitting down together, tired of war, tired of fighting, determined "never again!"

Tell me those men who fought and were involved didn't put their very best foot forward here, trying to codify a structure of a new Rule of Law, of a limited but central government, that would prevent people from ever NEEDING to question the Government (because they just framed up the least-intrusive Government they could possibly construct)?

What would those men say, if they saw the sheer size of the Government we have today? Could they even fathom the size it has grown to? Could they comprehend it?

Would they be appalled, and feel revulsion?

Or proud, and satisfied of their legacy?

THOSE are the sorts of questions I am interested about, when learning about history.

shafter
February 12, 2013, 09:57 AM
This story makes me proud to be from massachusetts! Its a solid reminded of the heritage and history that comes out fo that place... When you grow up there you dont think much of it. You'd never know it now a days though...

It makes me disgusted to see how far we've come.

I know the story very well having lived and worked in the same communities as those in the story. Even with my in depth knowledge of the story I found myself on the edge of my seat while reading it again. Mac did an exceptional job of narrating the story and I give him a hearty BOOOOO for not sharing the rest of the story!

People need to hear these stories!!!

shafter
February 12, 2013, 10:05 AM
Trent: The American Revolution was for the most part a very unpopular war. The King had a small impact on the comfortable lives of people living on farms and small towns thousands of miles away. It didn't make sense to them that people would pick a fight with the strongest army in the world at the time. Not to mention many had family living in England and serving in the British army. In addition many of them fought as redcoats during the French and Indian war.

This is partly to explain why George Washington's army suffered so much deprivation in the land of plenty. People simply didn't want to get involved even if they were secretly sympathetic.

mac66
February 13, 2013, 10:04 AM
The founding fathers had a sense of what they were doing and what they intended. They knew it was great thing if we had the sense to keep it.

John Adams rode out the day after April 19th on battle road to what had happened. He later wrote a letter to his wife in which he said....

"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the current generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it." -John Adams

Tag
February 13, 2013, 08:14 PM
Fantastic Mac. Someone seriously needs to make this into a mini-series. Epic storytelling man.

Powder burn
February 13, 2013, 08:15 PM
I had joined the RWVA for a 5 year membership last month. I came across this thread and really enjoyed the retelling of the events leading up to the beginning of the war. My 14 year old goes to a small private school and the principal is a history major. I related my experience with the RWVA and how they do presentations and he expressed interest in having a special assembly for the RWVA to do their presentation. I contacted the NC chapter and they would be more than happy to come to Lee Christian School and instill some American pride into the students.
Long story short... I am really happy that this thread was posted and I'm sure the students will enjoy the presentation as much as I did. I am still looking forward to camping out and taking the riflemans course through Project Appleseed. A Garand is in my future as well thru CMP. What a great organization.

Akita1
February 13, 2013, 10:00 PM
Don't be afraid to disagree with me, I encourage it among all peers, my employees, and even my five children! (But - my children and employees - had BETTER present a very well thought out disagreement or suffer the consequences of a lengthy ovation and lecture.)



Well, there's a lot of truth in that.

If a law-abiding, honest, hard working man is pushed, and pushed, and pushed... there comes a point in time a man has to say "Enough is Enough!" (to coin the anti-gun slogan, and put it to good use.)

Just as there were 200 and some odd years ago, there are a lot of factors setting America to boil today, but it's beyond the scope of the thread. I'll let my (current) signature speak the remainder of my thoughts.
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

Someone on this forum has some Samuel Adams quotes as their sig line (apologies could not locate who in time for this post); seems appropriate here...

mac66
February 14, 2013, 09:56 AM
Tag, thanks for the kind words. I am in the process of writing out the rest in adventure story form. I've had other instructors ask for it as well. I agree that this story would make a great mini-series.

Powderburn: Thanks for stepping up and pushing the story out. All Americans need to hear it.

To everyone else, If you are wondering what you can do to make a difference during these uncertain times, spreading the word about Appleseed is a good place to start. This is a grass roots effort whose sole purpose is to retell the story to as many Americans as we can in order to reawaken our heritage.

If you like what you heard here, check out the RWVA and Appleseed. Then tell others.

Book a free presentation for your school, group, club etc. We are really trying to push the presentations this year around April 19th, the 238th anniversary of the Shot Heard 'Round the World. Most libraries will give you a room for free if you have a library card or are a resident or are a tax free org like us. If you set it up, the RWVA will send someone to do a presentation.

Akita1
February 14, 2013, 11:24 AM
mac - joined RWVA and hope I can take part!

mac66
February 14, 2013, 07:45 PM
Awesome Akita1 :D

mac66
February 20, 2013, 10:09 AM
A little more about Isaac Davis, the Captain of the Acton Militia

You may recall that in the story Davis left his wife and children that morning in charge of his company of Action militia men. He turned to her and said, "Take good care of the children".

Not very many people I tell the story to remember Isaac Davis by name, but most people have seen his likeness. The statue that stands in Concord is of Isaac Davis and was erected in 1875, the 100 year anniversary of the battle at the concord bridge. The statue features him with one hand on his musket and one hand on the plow. The sculptor studied his descendents for the image and used his actual plow as the model.

The Reverend William Emerson who comforted the men before and after the battle and treated the wounded on his front lawn had a famous grandson, the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1837 Emerson would write the famous Concord Hymm,

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to Aprils’ breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the world”

The image of the minute man statue, the iconic "citizen soldier" was adopted as the symbol of the Army National Guard which is where most people have recognize it. From now on when you see it remember Issac Davis

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v489/mac66/IsaacDavis1_zps6e95d1af.jpg

mac66
April 24, 2013, 05:31 PM
BTW, we now have website devoted to the history presentations which we call "LibertySeeds"

www.libertyseed.org

medalguy
April 24, 2013, 06:37 PM
Mac, a fascinating read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. About twenty years ago I spent several weeks in the Boston area and had ample opportunities to see most of the historical sights there. I can still recall the trip from North Boston out to Lexington and Concord, the statue and bridge there.

It's facscinating to read the story of those tumultuous times after having walked across Lexington Green and crossed the bridge. Thank you.

Piratesailor
April 24, 2013, 07:40 PM
Mac, just catching to this thread. Thank you for the writing. My daughter and I read it together and we will explore some of the websites, books and organizations you mentioned.

I think our history and the legacy imparted by our founders are so truly important in these modern times. I think a number of our elect, elite ruling class, should read our history again.

tjs45d
April 24, 2013, 08:32 PM
Thanks, Mac66, this was one of the most interesting posts on our history that I have ever read..! I will forward all the information on the Appleseed organization to all my contacts..!

Thanks again..!!!

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