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. Gage summoned his council, but only to meet new discomfitures. Its members dared not show themselves at Salem, and he consented to their violating the act of parliament by meeting in Boston. Hutchinson, the son of the former governor, withdrew from the council. The few who retained their places advised unanimously to send no troops into the interior, but so to reinforce the army as to constitute Boston a place of safe retreat. Far different was the spirit displayed on that day at Concord by the county convention, in which every town and district of Middlesex was represented. We must now exert ourselves, said they, or all those efforts which for ten years past have brightened the annals of this country, will be totally frustrated. Life and death, or what is more, freedom and slavery, are now before us. In behalf, therefore, of themselves and of future generations, they enumerated the violations of their rights by late acts of parliament, which they avowed their purpose to
y the fifth of October at the court house in Salem. After waiting two days for the governor, they passed judgment on his unconstitutional proclamation against their meeting, and resolving themselves into a provincial congress, they adjourned to Concord. There, on Tuesday the eleventh, about two hundred and sixty members took their seats, and elected John Hancock their president. On the fourteenth they sent a message to the governor, that for want of a general assembly they had convened in disputes between the mother country and the colonies might terminate like lovers' quarrels; but he did not conceal his belief that its proceedings would heighten the anger of the king. To the provincial congress, which had again adjourned from Concord to Cambridge, Gage made answer by recriminations. They on their part were surrounded by difficulties. They wished to remove the people of Boston into the country, but found it impracticable. A committee appointed on the twentyfourth of Octobe
t that could be interpreted as a commencement of hostilities; but they resolved unanimously that the militia might act on the defensive. If the forces of the colony should be called out, the members of the congress agreed to repair instantly to Concord. Then, on the fifteenth of April, they adjourned, expecting a long and desperate war with the mighty power of Great Britain, yet with no treasury but the good — will of the people; not a soldier in actual service; hardly ammunition enough for ale, that can organize and guide. Gage, who himself had about three thousand effective men, learned through his spies the state of the country and the ludicrously scanty amount of stores, collected by the provincial committees at Worcester and Concord. The report increased his confidence as well as the insolence of his officers; and as soon as the members of the congress had gone to their homes, he resolved on striking a blow, as the Chap. XXVI.} 1775. April. 10. king desired. On the t
, after wading through wet marshes, that are now covered by a stately town, they took the road through West Cambridge to Concord. They will miss their aim, said one of a party who observed their departure. What aim? asked Lord Percy, who overheard the remark. Why, the cannon at Concord, was the answer. Percy hastened to Gage, who instantly directed that no one should be suffered to leave the town. But Warren had already, at ten o'clock, despatched William Dawes through Roxbury to Lexin once the object of the expedition. Revere, therefore, and Dawes, joined by Samuel Prescott, a high son of liberty from Concord, rode forward, calling up the inhabitants as they passed along, till in Lincoln they fell upon a party of British officeed and taken back to Lexington, where they were released; but Prescott leaped over a low stone wall, and galloped on for Concord. There at about two in the morning, a peal from the belfry of the meeting-house brought hastily together the inhabita
eighty rods further north, then across the Concord river by the North bridge, till just beyond it, ll party was sent to the South bridge over Concord river; and of six companies under Captain Laurieolder's son. Near the base of the hill, Concord river flows languidly in a winding channel, and smoke, seemed to have been set on fire. In Concord itself, Pitcairn had fretted and fumed with omechanics who then stood on the hillock by Concord river, were called on to act, and their action wnew era on mankind. The humble trainbands at Concord acted, and God was with them. I never heard head, and by his side Major John Buttrick, of Concord, with John Robinson, of Westford, lieutenant bridge. This is the world renowned battle of Concord; more eventful than Agincourt or Blenheim. during the rest of the day. In the town of Concord, Smith, for half an hour, showed by marches aid Warren. This month, so William Emerson of Concord, who had been chaplain to the provincial cong
clivities of the surrounding country were crowded with spectators, to watch the battle which was to take place, in full sight on a con-17. spicuous eminence, and which, as the English thought, was to assure the integrity of the British empire, as the Americans believed, was to influence the freedom and happiness of mankind. As soon as Prescott perceived that the enemy were in motion, he commanded Robinson, his lieutenant colonel, the same who conducted himself so bravely in the fight at Concord, and Henry Woods, his major, famed in the villages of Middlesex for ability and patriotism, with separate detachments to flank the enemy; and they executed his orders with prudence and daring. He then went through the works to encourage and animate his inexperienced soldiers. The redcoats will never reach the redoubt, such were his words, as he himself used to narrate them, if you will but withhold your fire till I give the order, and be careful not to shoot over their heads. After this