The Sparck Of Rebellion

Badly disguised as Indians, a rowdy group of patriotic vandals kicked a revolution into motion

On the evening of December 16, 1773, in Boston, several score Americans, some badly disguised as Mohawk Indians, their faces smudged with blacksmith’s coal dust, ran down to Griffin’s Wharf, where they boarded three British vessels. Within three hours, the men—members of the Sons of Liberty, an intercolonial association bent on resisting British law—had cracked open more than 300 crates of English tea with hatchets and clubs, then poured the contents into Boston Harbor. Read more »

Lexington And Concord

Sixth in a series of paintings for AMERICAN HERITAGE

The first and most unusual battle of the American Revution began in earnest when the seven hundred British regulars under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith left Concord and started back for Boston on the afternoon of April 19, 1775. For sixteen bloody miles the king’s troops got their first taste of a kind of fighting in which all their famous discipline and the terrible rolling volleys that could break armies in the formal patterns of continental warfare would avail them not at all. Read more »

‘Twas The Nineteenth Of April In (18)75 — And The Centennial Was Coming Unstuck

On a new bridge that arched the flood Their toes by April freezes curled, There the embattled committee stood, Beset, it seemed, by half the world.

Captain John Parker’s company of minutemen stood in formation, some seventy strong, waiting on Lexington Green in the dim light of early dawn. They had gathered during the night in response to Paul Revere’s warning that the British were coming. Read more »

What Was That, A Shot?

Sir,—In obedience to your Excellency’s commands, I marched on the evening of the 18th inst. with the corps of grenadiers and light infantry for Concord, to execute your Excellency’s orders with respect to destroying all ammunition, artillery, tents, &c, collected there.... Read more »

Harold Murdock’s “The Nineteenth Of April 1775”

Forty years ago a Boston banker suggested that the Battle of Lexington had become a myth, and later evidence proves him right

Few episodes in American history lend themselves more easily to romanticizing than the stand of the embattled patriots on Lexington Common. It has all the necessary ingredients: good American farmers shot down, virtually on their doorsteps, by bloodthirsty British troops outnumbering them fourteen to one; farrnhouses burned; a civilian population involved. For six generations our desire to think well of ourselves worked on the episode, softening the hard outlines of fact with the haze of romance.