Dunlap and Claypoole’s American Advertiser/May 15, 1775
Affidavits and Depositions
Relative to the COMMENCEMENT of the LATE HOSTILITIES in the province of MASSACHUSETTS BAY; together with an ADDRESS from the PROVINCIAL CONVENTION of said province, to the INHABITANTS of GREAT BRITAIN, transmitted to the CONGRESS now sitting in this city, and published by their order.
Charles Thompson, Secretary
We, Solomon Brown, Jonathan Loring, and Elijah Sanderson, all of lawful age, and of Lexington, in the county of Middlesex, and Colony of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England, do testify and declare, that on the evening of the 18th of April instant, being on the road between Concord and Lexington, and all of us mounted on horses, we were about ten of the clock suddenly surprised by nine persons, whom we took to be Regular Officers, who rode up to us, mounted and armed, each having a pistol in his hand, and after putting pistols to our breasts, and seizing the bridles of our horses, they swore that if we stirred another step, we should be all dead men; upon which we surrendered ourselves. They detained us until two o’clock the next morning, in which time they searched about the magazine at Concord, whether any guards were posted there, and whether the bridges were up, and said four or five regiments of regulars would be in possession of the stores soon. They then brought us back to Lexington, cut the horses’ bridles and girts, turned them loose, and then left us.
Lexington, April 25, 1775
I, ELIJAH SANDERSON, above-named, do further testify and declare, that I was on Lexington Common the morning of the 19th of April aforesaid, having been dismissed by the Officers above mentioned, and saw a large body of regular troops advancing towards Lexington Company, many of whom were then dispersing. I heard one of the regulars, whom I took to be an Officer, say, “damn them, we will have them,” and immediately the regulars shouted aloud, run and fired on the Lexington Company, which did not fire a gun before the regulars discharged on them. Eight of the Lexington Company were killed, while they were dispersing, and at a considerable distance from each other, and many wounded, and although a spectator, I narrowly escaped with my life.
Lexington, April 23rd, 1775
I THOMAS RICE WILLARD, of lawful age, do testify and declare, that being in the house of Daniel Livingston, of said Lexington, on the nineteenth instant in the morning, and half an hour before sunrise, looked out at the window of said house, and saw (as I suppose) about four hundred regulars in one body, coming up the road and marched toward the North part of the common back of the meeting-house of said Lexington, and as soon as said regulars were against the east end of the meeting-house, the commanding officer said something, what I know not, but upon that the regulars ran till they came within about eight or nine rods of about a hundred of the militia of Lexington, who were collected on said common, at which time the militia of Lexington dispersed, then the officers made a huzza, and the private soldiers succeeded them, directly after this an officer rode before the regulars, to the other side of the body, and hallooed after the militia of said Lexington and said “Lay down your arms,” and that there was not a gun fired till the militia of Lexington were dispersed, and further saith not.
THOMAS RICE WILLARD
Lexington, 25th of April, 1775
SIMON WINSHIP, of Lexington, in the County of Middlesex, and Province of Massachusetts Bay, New England, being of lawful age testifieth and saith, that on the nineteenth of April instant, about four o’clock in the morning, as he was passing the public road in said Lexington, peaceably and unarmed, about two miles and a half distant from the meeting-house in said Lexington, he was met by a body of the King’s regular troops, and being stopped by some officers of said troops, was commanded to dismount, upon asking why he must dismount, he was obliged by force to quit his horse and ordered to march in the midst of the body, and being examined whether he had been warning the minute men, he answered no, but had been out and was then returning to his father’s. Said Winship further testifies, that he marched with said troops till he came within about half a quarter of a mile of said meeting-house, where an officer commanded the troops to halt, and then to prime and load, this being done the said troops marched on till they came within a few rods of Capt. Parker’s company, who were partly collected on the place of parade, when said Winship observed an officer at the head of said troops, flourishing his sword, and with a loud voice giving the word fire, fire, which is instantly followed by a discharge of arms from said regular troops, and said Winship is positive and in the most solemn manner declares that there was no discharge of arms on either side till the word fire was given by said officer as above.
Lexington, April 25, 1775
I JOHN PARKER, of lawful age, and Commander of the Militia in Lexington, do testify and declare, that on the 19th instant, in the morning, about one of the clock, being informed that there were a number of regular Officers riding up and down the road, stopping and insulting people as they passed the road; and also were on their march from Boston, in order to take the province stores at Concord, ordered our Militia to meet on the Common in said Lexington, to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said regular troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult or molest us; –and upon their sudden approach I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse and not to fire,–Immediately said troops made their appearance and rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party, without receiving any provocation therefor from us.