Washington, there was hoisted the flag that by its stripes of alternate hues proclaimed the cementing of the thirteen American colonies in a common bond against British oppression. This record,’ Mayor Glines declared, ‘belongs to the sublimest page in the history of the hill.’ I quote, also, from the speech of Governor Bates, who said: ‘So it came to pass that while redcoats filled the town of Boston, while British warships thundered in the harbor and on the river, while the red-coated soldiers flung their defiance from yonder Bunker Hill, upon this mount patriots plied the shovel, minutemen tramped the redoubt, and Lee, and Greene, and Sullivan, and Putnam’ (some reversal of the order of the names needed) ‘planned bulwarks of revolution, and Washington raised the thirteen stripes of Union, and all the time, sheltered behind the citadel of the hill, a liberty-loving, dependent people were becoming a liberty-demanding, independent nation.’ And Lieutenant-Governor Guild said: ‘The first flag to fly from the redoubt on Prospect Hill was not that of Massachusetts. Putnam had built the works, and Putnam, though a son of Massachusetts, hoisted on July 18, 1775, the flag, not of his native state, but of his adopted state, the flag of the state which, except Massachusetts, contributed most to the Revolution. It was Connecticut's flag, with its “Qui transtulit sustinet,” and the motto of all the Revolutionists, “An Appeal to Heaven.” ’ And Mr. Guild added: ‘Colonel Stephen Moylan, of Moylan's Dragoons, a witty Corkonian in the American army, gives a comic picture of “Old put,” the only thing, he says, that did not thaw during that sloppy winter. “With solemn mien,” says Moylan, “‘Old Put’ tramped amongst his men, answering every question with ‘Powder! Powder! Ye gods, give us powder!’” ’ Mr. Guild seems to connect this story with ‘these slopes’ of Prospect Hill as a ‘vivid picture of the scene,’ but Colonel S. A. Drake, in his ‘Old Landmarks of Middlesex,’ with somewhat more probability or truth transfers it to Lechmere Point in East Cambridge at a time in the dead of winter, 1775–‘76, when Putnam was there constructing works of defense, and when, owing to the ‘heavy fire’ of the British and to ‘the frozen condition of
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Literary men and women of Somerville .
Charlestown School in the 17th century.
Historical Sketch of the old Middlesex Canal .
The Prospect Hill Park Celebration.
Israel Putnam and Prospect Hill .
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