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On this day in 1775 the American Revolution was one day old…
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On this day in 1775 the American Revolution was one day old…

Concord Hymn
BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837

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

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

April 19th 1775, The Day The American Revolution Began

General Thomas Gage, the British Governor of Massachusetts, had already decided that Lexington was full of rebellion, and ordered a contingent of British troops to march against the rebels who had formed a “shadow government.” He wanted to capture John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were thought to be in Lexington. He also had orders to seize a cache of arms and gunpowder believed to be in possession of the rebels. Yes, the American Revolution began when the British wanted to take our guns.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Casey Klahn April 20, 2020, 2:09 PM

    That’s the statue we revered as national guardsmen when I was in in the 70s and 80s. So very, very long ago.

    I fear the patriotic fervor of american riflemen gunned up against tyrants is a dim, low candlelight nowadays. The photo of the lady hanging out of the truck window in Denver, and the scrubs-wearing medical people blocking the protestor’s truck. It’s a fake, you know that, right? We don’t know who the scrubs’ were or where they worked. The photo feeds into the “keep our tyrants in power” platform. It’s pro Cuomo, Newsom, Northam and Whitmer. It feeds their narrative.

    Dangerous days exist.

  • captflee April 20, 2020, 4:22 PM

    Casey,

    I wonder if the Revolution even enters the mind of what constitutes the average American inhabitant, on say an annual basis. Located on the opposite coast we here probably get more visual clues; the last two churches I worshiped in (prior to schism) bore the scars of that war, one having been used as a stable for Tarleton when Cornwallis took offense at a sermon, the other with a solid shot still lodged in a wall from British shelling, but you have to be curious enough to SEE that kind of stuff, and to read what’s carved in stone instead of walking by, engrossed in yo’ sail fawn.

    I never had a chance. As you may be aware from your sojourn here, we Southrons can rival the heathen Chinee in our ancestor worship, and one of mine, a gent who came down the Great Valley Road after losing a wife to the aboriginals out on the Pennsylvania frontier, settled by the Rocky River in what was then Mecklenburg County, nursing a longstanding Jacobite grudge against the House of Hanover, which post Lexington and Concord he was able to put to very good use.

    A curious sports fan might wonder about the name of that Charlotte NBA team: another Revolutionary reference to the aforementioned Lord Cornwallis, having been booted out of town by the patriots, calling it a “hornet’s nest of rebellion”. The war on the frontier of the Carolinas was as much an intramural affair of militias as of regular armies, and you know how nasty those can turn. That, rather than the woefully misnamed conflict three generations later, was civil war. Even the women and kiddies get to play that game. Capt. A.M.’s wife once had to flee arrest by the Redcoats, liberate a fast horse, and ride miles away to prevent a patriot group being ambushed by said pommie bastards (and their Tory swine associates).

    Independence Day when I was growing up often included a pilgrimage to his old cabin, extant yet and on the National Register, where the clan gathered to revere and honor those gone before, mourn those recently lost, celebrate new additions through birth and marriage, and curse the government of the day. Wonder whose tales they’ll tell in the future. assuming the holiday is not reassigned to a representative of a racial grievance ethny to be designated later.

    Stay frosty, my friends.

  • Uncle Mikey April 20, 2020, 9:20 PM

    Emerson, by God. We’d get one by Adam Levine, autotuned

  • PA Cat April 20, 2020, 10:08 PM

    Yes, the American Revolution began when the British wanted to take our guns.

    New Haven, CT, still observes Powder House Day on a Saturday in April. It commemorates the events of April 22, 1775, when Benedict Arnold (yes, the later turncoat) led a company of the Governor’s Foot Guard (which was founded in 1771 and still exists) to demand the keys to the local powder house so that the guardsmen could arm themselves. The guardsmen had voted overwhelmingly to march to Massachusetts when news of the battle of Lexington reached New Haven on April 21.

    The present Foot Guard still reenacts Arnold’s demand for the keys to the powder house from the current mayor of New Haven. The reenactor playing Arnold uses Arnold’s exact words in demanding the keys: “You may tell the selectmen that if the keys are not coming within five minutes, my men will break into the supply-house and help themselves. None but the Almighty God shall prevent me from marching.”

    Here is a video of the 2016 reenactment:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhiGLHZY1a4&ab_channel=JustinM123

    FWIW, the Foot Guard’s original uniform was modeled on that of the Coldstream Guards, the personal bodyguards of Queen Charlotte, the colonists’ last queen. I am sure that captflee knows that Mecklenburg County was named for the small duchy in northern Germany ruled by the queen’s relatives.

  • ghostsniper April 21, 2020, 7:46 AM

    The stalwart sons of Jacobus, each in his far flung acres, busied the day at river landing, furrowed field, and turning mill. Daughters too, in their stone house comfort, bustled from daybreak ’till dark to provide family sustenance.

    It was some weeks later by river sloop the news came to Stoutenburgh. The family gathered to hear the word of the battle of Concord bridge and talked ’till the night was late.

    So now, who did they cheer and who did they curse and where did their loyalties lay?

    Let us take down then, from the topmost shelves, the dusty leather-bound annals wherein are written the records.

    Listen now, good Stoutenburgh. Listen now, as we call the muster rolls of two hundred years ago. Listen now, as we read your family names. These are the liberty loving ones that put down the plough and picked up the musket in defense of freedom for all.

    Tobias Stoutenburgh, Colonel
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    William Stoutenburgh
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    Jacobus Stoutenburgh, Jr.
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    John Stoutenburgh, Lieutenant
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    Peter Stoutenburgh, Captain
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    Luke Stoutenburgh, Captain
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    Abraham T. Stoutenburgh
    Second Regiment, Albany County Militia
    James W. Stoutenburgh
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    William W. Stoutenburgh
    Fourth Regiment, Dutchess County Militia
    From time to time in the history of man there comes a happening, an action takes place, a die is cast and the actual tide of events is changed, never again to be quite the same.

    So it was on that morning in Massachusetts — on that spring morning in Concord, Massachusetts — on that April morning on the Concord village green.

    You remember how they said it was, how deep in the slumbering stillness of the spring night came the distant sound of hurrying hoofs, muffled at first on the uneven country road, then of a sudden, pounding and persistent, a hurried pause at farmyard doorway, a cry of alarm, and rider is off in his pounding pace?

    It was well into an April day when an untidy line of buckskin minute militia faced trim scarlet jacketed British regulars.

    It was then that it happened. No one quite knows whether accidental or ordered. The silence that hung between the opposing lines was rent by a single musket shot. There followed a ragged confusion of fire felling both patriot and red coat on the village green.

    You remember how the poet spoke of it:

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

    Some miles to the west, in York state, atop the low fluff of the Hudson’s east shore, lies the hamlet, Stoutenburgh. Forty years it has been since Jacobus Stoutenburgh and his good wife Margaret Teller, with their family, sailed up river from Phillipsburgh to homestead and develop these fertile acres.

    Now, on this Concord morning, spring lay over Stoutenburgh in peaceful promise.

    Reading this has placed me back in time.

    Share your information.

    Hope you enjoyed the reading.

    Gail M. Hotaling
    Chairwoman Stoutenburgh-Teller Family Association

    https://www.stoutenburgh-teller.com/a-spring-morning-in-concord-massachusetts/

  • Sam L. April 21, 2020, 9:38 AM

    Thank you for posting this!

  • captflee April 21, 2020, 11:55 AM

    PA Cat,

    Yes indeed, as well as I recognize the irony of a Stuart relation dwelling in a county named after their successors. Thanks for the story, and the link!

    As a matter of fact, as master of a big gray vessel laden with trucks, tanks, trailers, Apaches and Chinooks I was even escorted through some Somali pirate hot spots and the Straits of Hormuz fifteen or so years back by FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. There was then, and I assume now, a brisk trade smuggling consumer goods from the UAE to Iran, which routes intersect the traffic lanes for the Straits so that ordinarily one is at certain hours beset by streams of small, fast open boats passing close aboard, utilizing the ship’s hull as a radar screen, the better to hide from the authorities. In more innocent days, their presence was merely aggravating, but in the post-USS Cole world, can one be sure that what is in those cartons is Samsung and not Semtex? So, the lads on our M-240s and M-2s get antsy, forefingers and thumbs caressing triggers. The Deutsche Marine have a cure for that… up goes the Sea Lynx, and anyone on an intercept course gets the treatment; the helo roars up in front of the speeding boat, flicks around so that the open door with the fellow on the heavy machine gun is training it on the boat’s coxswain, and tilts backwards just a little so a hurricane of salt spray blasts the boat first to a halt, then a retreat.

    They were a joy to behold, and very effective. Of the many and varied escorts we had for OEF/OIF, representing the navies of Japan, Italy, France, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Netherlands, US, and the UK (sorry about breaking Iron Duke passing Gibraltar, guys!), I liked them best. Oh, and the young ops officer with whom I coordinated efforts (in excellent colloquial English) was a bit of a history buff, quite conversant with the history of his people in the colonies, and he even allowed me to inflict a little of what I remembered of meine gymnasium Deutsch upon him.

    ghost;

    Bad news, I’m afraid. Seems the Stoutenburgh-Tellers will soon have to be cancelled. Doesn’t pay these days to openly admit ancestral possession of Africans, not without much grovelling, self abasement, and generous tithes to the Church of the Numinous. Being a kaaskop will be of little utility, so perhaps one can rely as a defense on being on the virtuous side of Charlie and Jeremiah’s line, below which reside all evils, and above which dwell only the saints.

  • ghostsniper April 21, 2020, 7:15 PM

    In the long history of the world it has been the white skinned, blue eyed, northern europeans that have been the most highly sought slaves for they were easily trained and very loyal, thus, they were always the most abundant. The least desirable slaves were the negro’s for they were difficult to train and lacked the foresight required for loyalty. They were the slaves of last resort as they provided the least profitability. When someone summons the idea of negro slavery (again) keep in mind they are uneducated and easily led and would make poor slaves themselves but would make very good fertilizer – for growing weeds on landfills.

  • captflee April 21, 2020, 8:35 PM

    Back in the days before 1619, even the best folk could be slaves, say, Cervantes, or perhaps more relevant, Captain John Smith before Jamestown.

    From my readings it would seem resistance to epidemic diseases was a paramount concern when one was investing the considerable capital that the purchase of another human for labor represented. I can recall reading a series of letters between brother planters, one coastal and one in the uplands, where the upland brother was often sympathizing with the lowland one’s travails, which sprang largely from having to purchase slaves from a highly disease resistant, but “lazy, thieving, and stupid” tribe, while the upland one’s were of apparently superior stock as regards producing and behaving stock, but too frail for the coast.

    The 5% of the westward tide out of Africa, that 400,000 turned forty million, which fetched up in what became the US has done pretty well for itself by comparison with those who didn’t, not too many of whom were able to continue their line at all, much less attain the economic and political power held by today’s African-Americans.