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dairies which supply milk to the Boston market. The engraving beneath shows the far famed spot where the first blood was shed at the opening of the drama of the revolution. On the monument represented on the preceding page, is the following inscription:
“Sacred to the Liberty and the Rights of Mankind !—The Freedom and Independence of America, Sealed and defended with the blood of her sons. This monument is erected—By the Inhabitants of Lexington—Under the patronage, and at the expense of—The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, To the memory of their Fellow Citizens—Ensign Robert Munroe, Messrs. Jonas Parker, Samuel Hadley, Jonathan Harrington, Jr.,—Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harrington, and John Brown—Of Lexington, and Asabel Porter, of Woburn—Who fell on this field, the first victims to the-Sword of British Tyranny and Oppression—On the morning of the ever memorable—Nineteenth of April, An. Dom. 1775.—The Die was Cast !—The Blood of these Martyrs—In the cause of God and their Country,—Was the Cement of the Union of these States, then-Colonies, and gave the spring to the Spirit, Firmness—And Resolution of their Fellow Citizens—They rose as one man to revenge their brethren's—Blood, and at the point of the sword to assist and—Defend their native Rights.—They nobly dared to be free!
—The contest was long, bloody and affecting,—Righteous Heaven approved the solemn appeal;—Victory crowned their arms;—And the Peace, Liberty, and Independence, of the United—States of America, was their glorious Reward.— Built in the year 1799.”
Lexington Meeting House, etc., from a drawing taken in 1775. Buckman's tavern (still standing) is seen on the left; the meeting-house in the central part; the two fig. ures designate the spot ou which the American militia stood when fired on by the British troops.
A considerable quantity of military stores having been collecter by the Americans at Concord, Gen. Gage in order to destroy them, on the night preceding the 19th of April, 1775, detached Col. Smith and Major Pitcairn with 800 men from Boston, who commenced a silent and expeditious march for Concord. They were however discovered, and the alarm given by church bells, signal guns, and volleys. The following account is from Holmes' Annals.
On the arrival of the British troops at Lexington, toward five in the morning, about 70 men, belonging to the minute company of that town, were found on the parade, under arms. Major Pitcairn, who led the van, galloping up to them, called out, "Disperse, disperse, you rebels; throw down your arms
a barrel, “ This is my flour. I am a miller, sir. Yonder stands my motor market in the
and disperse.” The sturdy yeomenry not instantly obeying the order, he advanced nearer, fired his pistol, flourished his sword, and ordered his soldiers to fire. A discharge of arms from the British troops, with a huzza, immediately succeeded; several of the provincials fell, and the rest dispersed. The firing continued after the dispersion, and the fugitives stopped and returned the fire. Eight Americans were killed, three are four of them at the first fire of the British; the others after they had left the parade. Several were also wounded.
The British detachment proceeded to Concord. The inhabitants of that town, having received the alarm, drew up in order for defense; but observing the number of the regulars to be too great for them to encounter, they retired over the north bridge at some distance beyond the town, and waited for reinforcements. A party of British light infantry followed them, and took possession of the bridge, while the main body entered the town, and proceeded to execute their commission. They disabled two 24 pounders, threw 500 pounds of ball into the river, and wells, and broke in pieces about 60 barrels of flour. The militia being reinforced, Maj. Buttrick, of Concord, who had gallantly offered to command them, advanced toward the bridge; but, not knowing of the transaction at Lexington, ordered the men not to give the first fire, that the provincials might not be the aggressors. As he advanced, the light infantry retired to the Concord side of the river, and began to pull up the bridge; and, on his nearer approach, they fired, and killed a captain † and one of the privates. The provincials returned the fire; a skirmish ensued; and the regulars were forced to retreat with some loss. I They were soon joined by the main body; and the whole detachment retreated with precipitancy. All the people of the adjacent country were by this time in arms; and they attacked the retreating troops in every direction. Some fired from behind stone walls and other coverts; others pressed on their rear; and, thus harassed, they made good their retreat six miles back to Lexington. Here they were joined by Lord Piercy, who most opportunely for them, had arrived with a detachment of 900 men and two pieces of cannon.ll The enemy, now amounting to about 1800 men, having halted an hour or two at Lexington, recommenced their march; but the attack from the provincials
* The shrewd and successful address of Capt. Timothy Wheeler on this occasion deserves notice. He had the charge of a large quantity of provincial flour, which, together with some casks of his own, was stored in his barn. A British officer demanding entrance, he readily took his key and gave him admission. The officer expressed his pleasure at the discovery; but Capt. Wheeler, with much affected simplicity, said to him, putting his hand on
I got my living by it. In the winter I grind a great deal of grain, and get it ready spring. This,” pointing to one barrel, “is the flour of wheat; this,” pointing to another, «t is the flour of corn; this is the flour of rye ; this,” putting his hand on his own casks, " is my flour; this is my wheat; this is my rye; this is mine.” “Well," said the officer, “we do not injure private property ;” and withdrew, leaving this inportant depository untouched.
† Capt. Isaac Davis, of Acton, who, with a company of minute men, composed the front.
$ The conduct of Maj. Buttrick was the subject of high applause at Concord. He ani. mated his men to descend from the eminence, where they had been posted, to the west end of the bridge, where they would be exposed to the direct fire of the British troops ; and yet until they should receive their fire might not discharge a single gun. The effect of individual example in such a moment is incalculable. Maj. Buttrick afterward received a colonel's commission, and passed worthily through the revolutionary war.
|| Lord Piercy formed his detachment into a square, in which he inclosed Col. Smith's party,“ who were so much 'exhausted with fatigue that they were obliged to lie down for rest on the ground, their tongues hanging out of their mouths, like those of dogs after a chase."
was renewed at the same time; and an irregular yet very galling fire was kept up on each flank, as well as in the front and rear. The close firing from bchind stone walls by good marksmen put them in no small confusion; but they kept up a brisk retreating fire on the militia and minute men. A little after sunset the regulars reached Bunker Hill, where, exhausted with excessive fatigue, they remained during the night, under the protection of the Somerset man-of-war, and the next morning went into Boston.*
Main Street, Worcester. The view is taken at the south-western entrance of Main-st., in Worcester. The old South Church and the Town House, are seen on the right. The court house and Antiquarian Hall are situated near the northern extremity of the street.
WORCESTER is one of the largest and most flourishing inland cities in New England. Its central situation, both in regard to the county and state, the fertility of its soil, and that of the surrounding country and the industry, intelligence, and wealth of the inhabitants, entitle it to the name which it has long borne, the “ Heart of the Commonwealth.” By the construction of railroads in various directions, it has become a central point for the surrounding country. Distance from Boston by railroad, 44 miles, to Springfield, 54, to Albany, N. Y., 156, to Providence, R. I., 43, to Norwich, Conn., 59 miles. There are 16 houses for public worship. Population about 25,000.
Worcester is in a valley, surrounded by hills of gentle acclivity. There are many handsome streets in the city, but the most important is Main street, which is about a mile in length, wide, well shaded, having on each side tasteful and noble buildings. Worcester has long been the residence of gentlemen of wealth, and its access from any part of the country is rendered so easy by railroads, as to have be
* In this excursion, 65 of the regulars were killed, 180 wounded, and 28 made prisoners ; total, 273. Of the provincials, 50 were killed, 34 wounded, and four missing; total, 88.
come a favorite place of resort. The accommodations for travelers, or for those who wish to make Worcester a temporary resort, are of the best kind.
The State Lunatic Hospital, established at Worcester in 1832, is a noble and flourishing institution. The building is beautifully situated, and its plans and arrangements are such as to render it a model for similar institutions in other states. The College of the Holy Cross, a Catholic institution, has been established here, and is rapidly regaining the position it had acquired just before it was burnt in July, 1852. In 1844, the first college was finished and opened to the admission of students, under the direction of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus.
The American Antiquarian Society was founded in 1812. By the liberality of Isaiah Thomas, one of its first benefactors, a spacious hall was erected in 1820, for the reception of its large and valuable cabinet of antiquities, and of its library of about 12,000 volumes of American publications, particularly of all works pertaining to American history. The society has recently erected a new and commodious edifice in the main street next the court house. Mr. Thomas was a father of New England printers. He published the first newspaper here in 1775, and a few years after, the first Bible in America. He was a gentleman of great patriotism and liberality. He was born in Boston, in 1749, and died in Worcester, April 4, 1831.
During the first movements of the revolution, Worcester was the central point whence the animating influences in favor of American freedom were diffused over the surrounding country. In March, 1775, the company of minute-men in this place, were directed to train half a day in each week. This company had met almost daily for months, and, under the instruction of Capt. Bigelow, they attained great proficiency in military science.
“Their services were soon to be required for the defense of the country. Before noon, on the 19th of April, an express came to the town, shouting, as he passed through the street at full speed, "To arms! to arms! the war is begun!' His white horse, bloody with spurring and dripping with sweat, fell exhausted by the church. Another was instantly procured, and the tidings went on. of the messenger of war, mounted on his white steed, and gathering the population to battle, made vivid impression on memory. The tradition of his
appearance is preserved in many of our villages. In the animated description of the aged, it seems like the representation of death on the pale horse, careering through the land with his terrific summons to the grave. The bell rang out the alarm, cannon were fired, and messengers sent to every part of the town to collect the soldiery. As the news spread, the implements of husbandry were thrown by in the field, and the citizens left their homes with no longer delay than to seize their arms. short time the minute-men were paraded on the green, under Capt. Timothy Bigelow; after fervent prayer, by the Rev. Mr. Maccarty, they took up the line of march. They were soon followed by as many of the train bands as could be gathered, under Capt. Benjamin Flagg. On that day, 110 men marched from the town of Worcester for Concord. Intelligence of the retreat of the enemy met them after they had advanced, and they turned toward Boston. When Capt. Bigelow reached the ancient Howe tavern, in Sudbury, he halted to rest his men. Capt. Benjamin Flagg, who had commenced his march an hour or two later, came up, and insisting on pushing forward without loss of time, both officers moved on to Cambridge."
The following occurrences took place in this town, during Shays'
rebellion, the account of which is derived from Lincoln's History of Worcester:
“Although warning of danger had been given, confiding in the loyalty of the people, their love of order, and respect for the laws, the officers of government had made no preparations to support the court, to be held in Worcester, in September, 1786. On Monday night, of the first week in that month, a body of 80 armed men, under Capt. Adam Wheeler, of Hubbardston, entered the town, and took possession of the court house. Early the next morning, their numbers were augmented to nearly 100, and as many more collected without fire-arms. The judges of the common pleas had assembled at the house of the Hon. Joseph Allen. At the usual hour, with the justices of the sessions and the members of the bar, attended by the clerk and sheriff
, they moved toward the court house. Chief Justice Arte. mas Ward, a general of the revolution, united intrepid firmness with prudent moderation. His resolute and manly bearing on that day of difficulty and embarrassment, sustained the dignity of the office he bore, and commanded the respect even of his opponents. On him devolved the responsibility of an occasion affecting deeply the future peace of the community; and it was supported well and ably.
On the verge of the crowd thronging the hill, a sentinel was pacing on his round, who challenged the procession as it approached his post. Gen. Ward sternly ordered the soldier, formerly a subaltern of his own particular regiment, to recover his leveled musket. The man, awed by the voice he had been accustomed to obey, instantly complied, and presented his piece in military salute to his old commander. The court, having received the honors of war from him who was planted to oppose their advance, went on. The multitude, receding from the right and left, made way in sullen silence, until the judicial officers reached the court house. On the steps was stationed a file of men with fixed bayonets; on the front stood Capt. Wheeler, with his drawn sword. The crier was directed to open the doors, and permitted to throw them back, displaying a party of infantry with their guns leveled, as if ready to fire. Judge Ward then advanced, and the bayonets were turned against his breast. He demanded, repeatedly, who commanded the people there; by what authority, and for what purpose, they had met in hostile array. Wheeler at length replied. After disclaiming the rank of leader, he stated, that they had come to relieve the distresses of the country, by preventing the sittings of courts until they could obtain redress of grievances. The chief justice answered, that he would satisfy them their complaints were without just foundation. He was told by Capt. Smith, of Barre, that any communication he had to make must be reduced to writing. Judge Ward indignantly refused to do this: he said 'he did not value their bayonets; they might plunge them to his heart; but while that heart beat he would do his duty; when opposed to it, his life was of little consequence: if they would take away their bayonets and give him some position where he could be heard by his fellow-citizens, and not by the leaders alone, who had deceived and deluded them, he would speak, but not otherwise.' The insurgent officers, fearful of the effect of his determined manner on the minds of their followers, interrupted. They did not come there, they said, to listen to long speeches, but to resist oppression: they had the power to compel submission; and they demanded an adjournment without day. Judge Ward peremptorily refused to answer any proposition, unless it was accompanied by the name of him by whom it was made. They then desired him to fall back; the drum was beat, and the guard ordered to charge. The soldiers advanced, until the points of their bayonets pressed hard upon the breast of the chief justice, who stood as immovable as a stutue, without stirring a limb or yielding an inch, although the steel in the hands of desperate men penetrated his dress. Struck with admiration by his intrepidity, and shrinking from the sacrifice of life, the guns were removed, and Judge Ward, ascending the steps, addressed the assembly. In a style of clear and forcible argument, he examined their supposed grievances; exposed their fal. lacy; explained the dangerous tendency of their rash measures; admonished them that they were placing in peril the liberty acquired by the efforts and sufferings of years, plunging the country in civil war, and involving themselves and their