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Little prospect of a union little. Eastern educational radio network prospect a union of the American Revolutionary period and a series of readings from the letters of the second president of the United States as wife Abigail.
Part 6 the battles of my kingdom I'm conquered. Braintree the third of February 1775. My dear Mrs. Warren the die is cast. Yesterday brought to such a speech from the throne as will stain with everlasting infamy the reign of George the Third. Determine to carry into execution quote the acts passed by the great parliament and to maintain the authority of the legislature for all his dominions unquote. The reply of the House of Commons in the House of Lords. Show us the most wicked and hostile measures will be pursued against us. Even without giving us an opportunity to be heard in our defense. Infatuated Britain. Poor distressed America. Heaven only knows what is next to take place. But it seems to me the sword is now our only Yet dreadful alternative and the fate of Rome where we renew it in Britain. The friends of liberty are one option still elect. And when Robert Hughes no doubt to
die the last British free man that battle the first of British slaves. Indeed by February of 1775 there were only two alternatives left. Although the desire of the people to restore harmonious relations with Great Britain was to out run even the battles of Lexington and Concord. The moderate position fell rapidly away after the first Continental Congress had adopted a non importation non consumption non exportation Association against Great Britain and the West Indies in choosing whether or not to join the association or cooperate with the committee set up to enforce it. Americans were in effect choosing sides for the on coming war. The association was effective but subsequent protests from British merchants whose business had been hurt did not change the course of crown policy. In February Massachusetts was declared in rebellion. But what would it
be an astute policy of confining the conflict to Massachusetts was not pursued. The Fisheries Bureau cutting off the people of New England from their northern fishing grounds was passed by the British parliament and quickly extended to apply to all of the colonies except New York and Georgia who had not joined the association. At the same time clashes of arms were no longer confined to Massachusetts. In May Fort Ticonderoga in New York was captured and a few days later for the crown. Preceding these in gauge ment on April 19th where the battles of Lexington and Concord general gauges purpose for this expedition was to capture stories of powder that the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts had treasonable he set about collecting the British hopes of success were both stirred by their general conviction that the rebels were the most absolute cowards on the face of the earth. One account of the fear of these expectations was this letter of
John Adams too with their own. People 19th 1775 yesterday produced a scene the most shocking New England ever beheld. Last Saturday PM orders were sent to the several regiments quoted here not to let their going to do as only light infantry do any duty till further orders upon which the inhabitants conjectured that some secret expedition was on foot and being on the lookout they observed those bodies upon the move. Between ten and eleven o'clock in the evening before last observing a perfect silence in their march towards a point opposite Phipps farm where boats were in waiting that conveyed them over. The man appointed to alarm the country upon such occasions got over by stealth as early as they could and took their different routes. The first advice we had was about eight o'clock in the morning when it was reported that the troops had fired upon and killed five men in Lexington. Previous to which an officer came express to his excellence a governor
gauge when between eight and nine o'clock a brigade marched out under the command of Earl Percy consisting of the Marines the Welsh Fusiliers the 4th Regiment the forty seventh and two field pieces. About twelve o'clock it was give out by the generals I decamps that no person was killed and not a single gun had been fired which report was variously believed. But between one and two certain accounts came that eight were killed outright and fourteen wounded of the inhabitants of Lexington who had about forty men drawn out early in the morning in the meeting house to exercise. The party of the light infantry and granted IAS to the number of about eight hundred came up to them and ordered them to disperse. The commander of them replied that they were only innocently amusing themselves with exercise that they had not any ammunition with them and therefore they should not molest or disturb them. Which answer not satisfying. The troops fired upon and killed three or four the others took to
their heels and the troops continued to fire. A few took refuge in the meeting when the soldiers shoved up the windows and pointed their guns in and killed three there. That's March's best account I can learn of the beginnings of this fatal day. You must naturally suppose that such a piece would rouse the country allow the report to be true. The troops continue their march to Concord entered the town and refresh themselves in the meeting and town house in the latter place they found some ammunition and stores belonging to the country which they found they could not bring away by reason that the country people had occupied all the posts around them. They therefore set fire to the house which the people extinguished they set fire a second time which brought on a general engagement at about eleven o'clock. The troops took two pieces of cannon from the peasants but their numbers increasing They soon regained them and the troops were obliged to retreat towards town. How about known. They were joined by the other brigade under Earl Percy one another very warm and Gage much came on at Lexington which the
troops could not stand. Therefore were obliged to continue their retreat which they did with the bravery becoming British soldiers. But a country where in a manner desperate not regarding their cannon any more in the least and followed them till seven in the evening. By which time they got into Charles Town. When they left off the pursuit lest they might injure the inhabitants. I stood upon the hills in town and saw the engagement very plain. It was very bloody for seven hours. It's conjectured that one half the soldiers at least were killed. The last brigade was sent over the ferry in the evening to secure their retreat where they are this morning and trenching themselves upon Bunkers hill to get a safe retreat to the town. It's impossible to learn any particulars as that communication between town and country is at present broken off. They were till ten o'clock last night bringing over their wounded several of which are since dead. Two officers in particular. When I reflect. And consider that the fight was between those whose parents but a
few generations ago were brothers I shudder at the thought. And there is no knowing where our calamities will end. General Gage retreated into Boston and fortified the Isthmus leading into town. The British were to remain there for 12 months under siege. Although a formal declaration of war was not signed until autumn. The Adams clearly considered that the battles of Lexington and Concord were of greater significance than a number of minor engagements they discussed in their letters. That terrible 19th of April was the only identification they ever needed to give just how terrible these battles were. Was naturally exaggerated by the Patriots. Gen. Gage was likened to her Nando curtail his. Vast plains all white with human bones that bleaching and asks a poker will study. And let your rocks and let your hills proclaim
that Gage and Cortez errand is the same. Abigail Adams letter to her husband's London book dealer was in its phraseology a good example of the war propaganda that signaled the end of any real attempt at conciliation. America New England May 22nd 1775. Sir. Mr. Adams directed me to write to you by the first conveyance and return you his acknowledgments. But as for the letter and books which were very acceptable to him as I've never been able to obtain those you mentioned as having sent in the ship captain Gorton. I need not tell you sir. That the distressed state of this province calls for every exertion of every member of society. I cannot of those members who have forfeited every right and privilege by traitorously betraying their country the State of the inhabitants of the town of Boston and their
distresses. No language can paint. We have lamented the infatuation of Britain. And have wished an honorable reconciliation with her. Till she has plunged his sword in trouble isms and laid forty of our brethren in the dust. Tyranny oppression and murder have been the reward of all the affection that generation and the loyalty which is here to part to sting wished Americans. But there we will ever love and revere those one of these who have constantly been indicated our cause and to clear their parlance of such wicked cruel and oppressive measures. But for whose sake alone the name of Britain can be endured. We have received in the course of the last three months. Every indignity that it was possible for human nature to endure. The troops of Britain once the pride and glory of Europe have descended to become a mob. Those troops who it was pretended came here to quell mobs and riots and bring this province to good order and decency. Have themselves assembled with the colonel at their head.
Nesbitt by name. And taken up her. Armed countryman. Whom they had first coaxed into trading with them. Tarred and feathered him. And with all the drums and fifes of the regiment paraded with guns and bayonets through the streets of the town of Boston our market people were out beat and abuse daily as they passed in and out of town. No doubt their resentments were high and they in their turn retaliated upon the soldiers for that they complained to the officers they were sure of having insult added to abuse. In this state of things soldiers would frequently march out of town and level fences playing every person's property carbon and committing all manner of outrages. To the terrible 19th of April. When they premeditatedly went forth and secretly fell upon our people and like Savage furious she their breasts with steel. Instead of the gay landscapes beauty is dye to the stained steel salutes our weeping eyes. And the green turf with all the mournful blades
drenched in the stream absorbed their dewy heads. Towards the tall oak and quivering Willow bends to make a cupboard for their countries friends the night a grave. A bit the hardy in Siena routed armies scouring or the plain. I wish sir to send you an authentic account of this engagement I have been trying to curate. But there's been so much to be done. With regard to for the army that I've not been able to. I fear if I neglect this opportunity of sending I shall not obtain another soon. The spirit that prevails among men of all degrees all ages and sexes is the spirit of liberty. But this they are determined to risk all their property and their lives not shrink under a Prada tie and face but meet this larding insolence with scorn. Every peasant wears his arms and flies to them with the utmost eagerness upon every alarm. Besides a standing army of
thirty thousand men which are stationed near Boston. Just thought we must now bid a final adieu to Britain. Nothing will now appease the exasperated Americans but the heads of those traitors hoops of virtue the Constitution. For the blood of our brethren cries to us from the ground. What is next to take place. God only knows. But we think if you love us. If you feel for us. You cannot any longer support a spirit of blindness and attach you ation to delude you. These are times when words alone will not save either Great Britain or America. If Britain still continues and elected she we shall soon see reluctant freedom waver last adieu. And devastations sweeps of that holy land. Massachusetts was ahead of the rest of the colonies not only in their acceptance of the inevitability of war and independence but in the practical establishment of a revolutionary government.
The Massachusetts provincial assembly had been sitting since the autumn of 74 were had reduced militia and had authorized the collection of taxes to this assembly the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia acquired her advice on setting up civil government. John Adams was a delegate to Philadelphia as he had been the previous year to the First Continental Congress on his way to the Congress. He reported to Abigail the success of the Patriots in holding the colonies together in support of Massachusetts. The support was by no means a foregone conclusion. After Lexington and Concord which had demonstrated to perhaps wavering moderates that Massachusetts was indeed at war. Hotrod April 30th 1775. New York has appointed an ample representation in our Congress and have appointed a Provincial Congress. The people of the city have seized the city arms and ammunition
out of the hands of the mayor who is a creature of the governor. Lord North will certainly be disappointed in his expectation of seducing New York. That Tories there durst not show their heads. The jerseys are aroused and greatly assist the friends of liberty in New York North Carolina has done bravely chosen the oldest delegates in Provincial Congress and then confronted the choice in General Assembly in opposition to all that Governor Martin could do. The assembly of this colony is now sitting at Hartford. We are treated with great tenderness sympathy friendship and respect. Everything is doing by this colony that can be done by men both for New York and Boston. Keep your spirits composed and calm and don't suffer yourself to be disturbed by idle reports and frivolous alarms. We shall see better times yet. Lord North is ensuring us success. Wounded to the heart with the news this moment told me of J quinces death.
Hartford May 2nd 1775. My dear. Mr. Elliott of Fairfield is this moment arrived in his way to Boston. He read us a letter from a doctor his father dated yesterday said that being Sunday the doctor's description of the melancholy of the town is enough to melt a stone. The trials of that unhappy and devoted people are likely to be severe indeed. God grant that the furnace of affliction may refine them. God grant that they may be relieved from their present distress. It is arrogance and presumption in human sagacity to pretend to penetrate far into the designs of heaven the most perfect reverence and resignation becomes us. But I can't help depending upon this that the present dreadful calamity of that beloved town is intended to bind the colonies together in more indissoluble bombs and to animate their exertions. At this great crisis in the affairs of mankind. It has this effect in a most remarkable degree. As far as I have yet seen or heard it will plead with all America with more irresistible
persuasion than angel's trumpet tongued. And a cause which interests the whole globe at a time when my friends and country are in such pain distress. I am scarcely ever interrupted in the least degree by apprehensions for my personal safety. I am often concerned for you and our dear babes surrounded as you are by people who are too timorous and too much susceptible of alarms. Many fears and jealousies and imaginary dangers will be suggested to you but I hope you will not be impressed by them. In case of real danger of which you cannot fail to have previous intimations fly to the wards with our children. Give my tenderest love to them and to all. The 24th of May Braintree 1775. Suppose you have had a formidable account of the alarm we had last Sunday morning. When I rose about six o'clock I was told that the drums had been some time beating and that three alarm guns were fired that Weymouth Bell had been ringing and Mr. Wells was then
ringing. I immediately sent off an express to know the location and found the whole town in confusion. Three soups and one cutter had come out and dropped anchor just below great hill. It was difficult to tell their design. Some suppose they were coming to German town others to Weymouth. People women children from the Iron Works flocking down this way. Every woman and child above are from below my father's. My father's family flying to doctors in great distress as you may well imagine for my aunt had a bed thrown into a cart into which she got herself and ordered the boy to drive off to Bridgewater which he did. The report was to them that three hundred had landed and were upon their march into town. The alarm flew like lightning and men from all parts came flocking down till two thousand were collected. But it seems our expedition was to great island for Levitt's hey there it was impossible to reach them for want of boats but the sight of so many persons on the firing at them prevented their getting more than three ton of hay they carted much more out of the
water. At last they mustered a lighter and a sloop from him which had six port holes. Our band eagerly jumped on board and put off for the island as soon as they perceived that they'd kept. Our people landed upon the island and in an instant set fire to the hay which with the band was soon concealed about 8am to said we expect soon to be in continual alarms to something decisive takes place. We wait with longing expectation in hopes to hear the best accounts from you with regard to union and harmony. We rejoice greatly on the arrival of Dr. Franklin as he must certainly be able to inform you very particularly of the situation of affairs in England. I wish you would write if you can get time. Be as particular as you may when you write. Everybody here comes about to me to hear what accounts I have. I was so unlucky as not to get the letter you wrote at New York. Captain Beals forgot it and left it behind. We have a flying report here with regard to New York but cannot
give any credit to it as yet. That they had been engaged with the ships which gauge set there and take them with great losses on both sides. Yesterday we have an account of three ships coming into Boston. I believe it is true as there was a salute from the other ships that I've not been able to learn from whence they come. Suppose you've had an account of the fire which did much damage to the warehouses and added greatly to the distress of the inhabitants whilst it continued the bad conduct of General Gage who was the means of its doing so much damage. To the fine growing season having lately had a charming rain. Which was much ranted as we had none before for a fortnight. Your medal was almost fit to move. I said talks of leaving you and going into the army. I believe you will. Mr. Rice as a prospect of an adjutant place in the army. I believe you are not a very hearty soldier. He's been sick of a fever about this week and has not been out of his chamber. He's upon the recovery now. Our house has been upon the Salaam of the
same scene of confusion that it was upon the first soldiers coming in for lodging for breakfast for supper for drink etc.. Sometimes refugees from Boston tired of the tea seeking asylum for a day or night or a week. You could hardly imagine how we live. Yet to the houseless child of rant our doors are open still. And though our portions up at scant we give them with good will. I want to know how you do. How are your eyes not the weather very hot where you are. My best wishes attend you both for your health and happiness and that you may be directed into the wisest and best measures for our safety and the security of our posterity. I wish you were nearer to us. We no doubt prata day will bring forth not what distressed one hour may throw us into. Heretofore I've been able to maintain a calmness and presence of mind and. Hope I shall. Let the exigency of the time
be what they will. Philadelphia May 29 1775 my dear. Our amiable friend Hancock who by the way is our president is to send his servant tomorrow for Cambridge. I'm to send a few lines by him if his man should come to you to deliver this letter treat him very kindly because he is a kind humane clever fellow. My friend Joseph bass very cleverly caught the small pox in two days after we arrived here by inoculation and has walked about the streets every day since and has got quite over it and quite well. He had about a dozen pimples upon the whole lot his father and friends know this. We are distressed here for want of intelligence and information from you and from Boston Cambridge inciter etc.. We have no regular advices. I received one kind letter from you and one from Colonel Warren. An excellent letter I had from him. It has done him great honor and me much good. My duty and love to all I have had miserable health and blind eyes almost
ever since I left you but I found Dr. Young here who after scolding at me contemns affected for not taking his advice has pilled and elect me into pretty good order. My eyes are better my head is better and so are my spirits. Private. That Congress will support the Massachusetts there is a good spirit here but we have an amazing field of business before us. When I shall have the joy of meeting you and our little ones I know not. The military spirit which runs through the continent is truly amazing. This city turns out two thousand men every day. Mr. Dickinson is a colonel. Mr. Reed a lieutenant colonel Mr. Mifflin a major. He ought to have been a general for he has been the animating soul of the whole. Colonel Washington appears at Congress in his uniform and by his great experience and abilities in military matters is of much service to us or that I was a soldier. I will be. I am reading military books. Everybody must and will and shall be a soldier. John Adams. June 17th.
I can now inform you that the Congress have made choice of the modest and virtuous The amiable generous and brave George Washington Esquire to be the general of the American army and that he is to repair as soon as possible to the camp before Boston. This appointment will have a great effect in cementing and securing the union of these Colonies. The continent is really in earnest in defending the country. They have voted ten companies of rifle men to be sent from Pennsylvania Maryland and Virginia to join the Army before Boston. They are an excellent species of light infantry. They use a peculiar kind of musket called a rifle. It has a circular or spiral grooves within the barrel and carries a bar with great exactness to great distances. They are the most accurate marksman in the world. I hope the people of our province who treat the General with all that confidence and affection that politeness and respect which is due to one of the most important characters in the world the liberties of America depend upon
him in a great degree. I have found this Congress like the last when we first came together I found a strong jealousy of us from New England and the Massachusetts in particular. Suspicions were entertained of designs of independency an American republic Presbyterian principles and twenty other things. Our sentiments were heard in Congress with great caution and seemed to make but little impression. But the longer we sat the more clearly they saw the necessity of personal vigorous measures. It has been so now every day we sit. The more we are convinced that the designs against us are hostile and sanguinary and that nothing but fortitude vigor and perseverance can save us. But America is a great unwieldy body. Its progress must be slow. It is like a large fleet sailing under convoy the fleetest sailors must wait for the dullest and slowest. Like a coach and six the swiftest horses must be slackened and the slowest quickened. That all may keep an even
pace. We have appointed a continental fast. Millions will be upon their knees at once before their great creator employing his forgiveness and blessing his smiles on American councils and arms. At you. John Adams. Prospect of a union is produced and written by Elizabeth Spiro WFC adda for
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Prospect of a union
Battles of Lexington and Concord
Producing Organization
WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents dramatic readings from the correspondence between John and Abigail Adams.
Series Description
A first-hand account of the founding of the United States, described through the correspondence of John and Abigail Adams.
Media type
Narrator: Kaufman, Marjorie
Producing Organization: WFCR (Radio station : Amherst, Mass.)
Writer: Spiro, Elizabeth
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-6-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:01
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Chicago: “Prospect of a union; Battles of Lexington and Concord,” 1968-01-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 27, 2022,
MLA: “Prospect of a union; Battles of Lexington and Concord.” 1968-01-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 27, 2022. <>.
APA: Prospect of a union; Battles of Lexington and Concord. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from