a central & western massachusetts digital library project
Skip to content home : browse : advanced search : preferences : my favorites : about : help   
add to favorites : reference url back to results : previous : next
Pageant Exhibition Panel 17 - The arrival of bad news
TitlePageant Exhibition Panel 17 - The arrival of bad news
Full Size Image
SubjectUnited States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783; Minuteman (Militia)--Massachusetts--Lancaster; Lancaster (Mass.)--History--Drama; Fourth of July celebrations--Massachusetts--Lancaster; Library exhibits--Massachusetts--Lancaster; Horse-drawn vehicles--Pictorial works
DescriptionThe arrival of the news that the first shots of the American Revolutionary War reached farmers in Lancaster during Episode IV, The Minutemen, in the Lancaster, Massachusetts 1912 Fourth of July Pageant. The photograph shows a group of farmers talking to a minister and his daughter, who sit in a cart behind them, just before the messenger arrives. On the morning of April 19, 1775, the news that the British troops under General Thomas Gage had left Boston for Lexington and Concord, and that the first shots had been fired there in the American Revolutionary War reached Lancaster. The calls went out across the region, and men swarmed to the town common to join the American forces and come to the aid of Boston. In the end two hundred and fifty men set out from Lancaster. Most remained in Cambridge for only two weeks, but a third remained in service for the remaining months of 1775. The photograph is mounted on heavy cardboard and has text describing the activity and history depicted in the photograph. The text for this image has been transcribed.
TranscriptionPageant at Lancaster, Massachusetts, July 4, 1912. EPISODE IV MINUTE-MEN A group of farmers enters the peaceful scene, on their way to work in some distant fields, discussing local affairs. Their argument halts them for a time in the middle of the green, where they are presently joined by the minister and his daughter. The farmers ask him what news there may be from Boston, but he can give only vague and ominous rumors. He admits the situation is bad, and that he is greatly troubled. At this moment the postman on his horse arrives, and, seeing the minister, holds up a letter for him, - a letter from Boston, - and this brings the latest news to Lancaster. The minister reads the letter out loud to the keenly interested townsmen, who begin to talk over the situation with eagerness. The coming storm seems to be in the air, and it bursts when a breathless rider tears madly through the common, has heard news, and realizes his position amongst his fellow-townspeople. he goes to prepare for departure. "Abijah Willard had just passed his fiftieth year. He had won a captaincy before Louisburg when but twenty-one, and was promoted to colonelcy in active service against the French; was a thorough soldier, a gentleman of stately presence and dignified manners, and a skilful manager of affairs. He was the wealthiest citizen of Lancaster, kept six horses in his stables, and dispensed liberal hospitality. He was offered a colonel's commission in the British army; but refused to serve against his countrymen. He afterwards settled in New Brunswick, near St. John, where he died in 1789." Nours's Military Annals of Lancaster.
CreatorSears, Richard
ContributorsThayer Memorial Library
TypeImage, Text
SourceImage is the seventeenth photograph in the Lancaster Massachusetts 1912 Fourth of July Pageant Exhibition created by the Thayer Memorial Library.
RelationFrom the archives at the Thayer Memorial Library, Lancaster, Massachusetts.
add to favorites : reference url back to results : previous : next
powered by CONTENTdm ® | Contact: June Stokoe ~ Digital Initiatives ~ C/W MARS  ^ to top ^