Paul Revere’s famous ride began tonight, April 18, 1775. The “Two if by Sea” lanterns confirmed what he had already learned: that the British troops would cross the Charles River in boats, landing in Cambridge and marching to Concord the next day. Revere crossed the river and road his horse towards Lexington. At the same time, William Dawes road another horse “by land”, via Watertown, to Lexington and Concord. On the following day – the 19th – Patriots and British soldiers clashed at both Lexington and at Concord.
This group portrait shows 3 giants of Boston publishing. William Ticknor (right) and James T. Fields (left) operated the Ticknor & Fields publishing company at the Old Corner Bookstore at the corner of School and Washington Streets, Boston. Nathaniel Hawthorne (center) was one of their talented authors. His “Scarlet Letter” was published by T&F. Such hats, such coats! Photo by J.W. Black, whose photo studio was nearby.
It has always been hard to imagine what the Old Corner Bookstore was like in the 1820s, when publisher Ticknor & Fields flourished here. Now you can see it on your iPad, with augmented reality overlays from “Look Again”, promoted by Historic Boston, Inc. Details here: http://www.historicboston.org/ar/
Archeologists have opened one of the tombs in the crypt under Old North Church. Skulls and bones in piles. Many caskets were pushed into these crypts, then moved, then more pushed in. Boston Globe article.
On August 19, 1812, the frigate USS Constitution engaged the British ship HMS Guerriere in a sea battle off Halifax, NS. Constitution overpowered Guerriere in a decisive victory. This is where the “Old Ironsides” nickname was born.
While the colonial forces did not really “win” the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17, 1775; they bashed the King’s soldiers, caused substantial casualties, and gained a popular victory. This painting by John Trumbull was made decades later. Trumbull was in the Continental army that day, and saw the battle from a distance.
Boston & Lexington juggle their dates to make Patriot’s Day a monday, starting with the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington Green at dawn. The actual battles were on April 19, 1775. These re-enactors are near the Hartwell Tavern, on Battle Road, where British troops retreated under heavy fire from local militia in the woods.
Evacuation Day in Boston marks the departure of the British on March 17, 1776, ending the 11-month “Siege of Boston.” This engraving by Paul Revere shows the Landing of these British troops in 1768. The “Evacuation” took troops and Tory citizens to Halifax, NS.