Revolution 250 Podcast

The Other Midnight Riders with Alan Foulds

October 03, 2023 Alan Foulds Season 4 Episode 40
Revolution 250 Podcast
The Other Midnight Riders with Alan Foulds
Show Notes Transcript

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow forever etched Paul Revere's name in the pantheon of Revolutionary heroes with his poem "Paul Revere's Ride."  William Dawes and Samuel Prescott have joined Revere as celebrated alarm riders of April 18, 1775.  However, even the addition of those two riders does not fully tell the story of the Lexington Alarm.  Alan Foulds tells us about others, including Martin Herrick of Reading, who spread the alarm on April 18 and 19 and the role of the communities of Lynn, Lynnfield & Reading in the American Revolution.

WEBVTT
 
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 Hello, everyone.
 
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 Welcome to the Revolution 250 podcast.
 
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 I'm Bob Allison.
 
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 I chair the Rev 250 Advisory Group.
 
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 We're a consortium of about 70 groups in Massachusetts working in ways to commemorate the beginnings of American independence.
 
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 And our guest today is Alan Foltz.
 
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 And Alan Foltz is a historian from Reading, Massachusetts.
 
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 Alan, welcome.
 
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 Welcome.
 
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 Thank you very much.
 
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 This is exciting.
 
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 Great.
 
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 And in addition to being for 27 years the moderator of the Reading Town Meeting, you also have written about
 
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 Boston Ballparks and Arenas, Linfield's Two Centuries.
 
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 You've written about the Masons in the Revolution and other things.
 
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 You also have a podcast.
 
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 It's also history tales and tidbits from Allen's archives.
 
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 And now you're producing a series called Lin and in the Revolution.
 
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 Right, right.
 
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 They're going to be two to five minute programs that are going to start running.
 
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 Well, we've got the introduction up now, but we're going to start running them in earnest this coming April of 24.
 
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 And we'll keep going all the way through to April 25, telling what was going on in Linan as the revolution was fomenting.
 
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 Great.
 
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 So how often will they run?
 
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 Roughly.
 
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 How many episodes will there be?
 
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 There'll be 25 altogether.
 
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 So they'll run roughly every two weeks.
 
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 That's terrific.
 
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 And now I think we're going to see one.
 
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 We're going to see the intro.
 
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 Linfield, or Lin-In as it was called, was involved in the American Revolution from day one, April 19, 1775.
 
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 Together with every Middlesex village and farm, as well as those here in Essex and Suffolk and Norfolk, our local militia members grabbed their muskets and headed off to fight the world's most powerful army.
 
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 In fact, by looking at town meeting records and diving into stories passed down to us, it's clear we were part of the movement long before that.
 
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 Linfield was a part of Lynn in those days, set off as the second precinct or parish, but residents here were heavily involved in all the decisions.
 
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 The Lynn Town meeting, led by South Linfield's Daniel Mansfield, made it clear we supported Boston in its protests.
 
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 The women of the town, in response to the Tea Act, stormed a bakery and shop and dumped the owner's tea supply out into the street.
 
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 Lynn End, under the leadership of Nathaniel Bancroft, formed its own militia company and took part in some of the heaviest fighting.
 
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 We had our own midnight rider, Martin Herrick,
 
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 who met Paul Revere and gave the alarm in another direction.
 
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 There was the dramatic return of the body of the fallen Daniel Townsend, an evening vigil that followed.
 
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 On a regular basis leading up to the 250th observance, the Linfield Historical Society will take a look at many of the events and characters that led to that fateful April morning.
 
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 The actions of the Lynn Ann militia and all of Eastern Massachusetts put us on the road to the creation of a new nation.
 
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 Well, thank you.
 
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 That's very dramatic.
 
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 Gives us a good introduction to what's happening in Lynn.
 
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 Reading was in part of Linfield?
 
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 No.
 
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 The reason that I'm involved with both is I grew up in Linfield and I lived in Reading for the past 43 years.
 
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 So I am involved in both the Linfield Historical Society, where my father was president for several years.
 
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 My mother was heavily involved.
 
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 And I've been involved in Reading since I moved here back in 1980.
 
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 Okay.
 
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 Okay.
 
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 Okay.
 
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 That makes sense.
 
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 I mean, we do all move around in
 
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 i i will point out there is a connection martin herrick the midnight rider came to both reading and linfield so it kind of works well yes okay it does so what can you tell us about martin harry
 
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 Well, that's really how I got involved in this.
 
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 I was a history nerd even as a little kid.
 
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 And I was fascinated by this marker that was in the old burying ground in Linfield.
 
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 It's a tall marker.
 
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 obelisk-like thing that lists all of the founders of the Second Parish Church and the members of the militia who went to the battle on April 19th.
 
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 But at the very bottom, there's a note that says, Martin Herrick met Paul Revere and gave the alarm in another direction.
 
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 So as a kid, I always thought, well, I know about Paul Revere and Dawes and Prescott.
 
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 Who's this fourth guy?
 
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 And why doesn't anybody know about him?
 
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 So I dug into him and found that he was a local doctor.
 
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 He actually had lived in North Reading before that.
 
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 but moved to Linfield when he became a doctor, and he was in town for 40, 50 years, married Sally Wright of Middleton and raised two daughters, and is the last person buried in the burial ground.
 
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 But beyond that, I didn't know a whole lot about him, except that there were references to him riding into town up to Gowings Tavern and telling of the British advance.
 
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 But then I got interested, thinking, well, if Linfield and Redding and Stoneham were notified by this guy, there must have been others.
 
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 So I started this 50-plus year digging into the other riders and have found riders all over eastern Massachusetts, which makes sense.
 
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 So many of these towns and villages made it to the battle.
 
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 Did Revere and Herrick know each other before this?
 
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 Not that I know of, but Revere, on his ride, did stop at the militia captain's house in Medford, who's Captain Isaac Hall.
 
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 He lived right next door to a doctor named Simon Tufts.
 
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 Tufts, before you ask, I think was the grandfather of the founder of Tufts University.
 
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 But he was a teaching doctor as well as being a doctor.
 
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 He had several apprentices, I guess you'd call them.
 
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 That wasn't the term they used.
 
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 And I think the three of them went off and became writers in different directions.
 
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 Revere did know a guy named John Brooks, who was originally from Medford.
 
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 He was part of the Brooks family, although he later moved to Reading to become the local doctor.
 
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 and the Minuteman captain.
 
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 At 22 years old, he was elected Minuteman captain.
 
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 He knew Revere, and he knew Herrick because they were schoolmates, effectively.
 
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 So when Herrick got the word from Revere, he rode up to John Brooks in Reading and then on to Linfield from there.
 
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 Okay.
 
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 And so what have you found out?
 
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 Who was Martin Herrick?
 
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 Have you found out more about who he was?
 
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 Like I said, he was mostly, after the battle, he joined the Navy, became a naval surgeon in the Continental Navy, was actually captured twice.
 
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 He was a POW twice, but eventually came home and moved to Linfield where he became the first local doctor.
 
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 He had a great reputation.
 
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 In fact, I found a quote from one of his former patients saying that now that he's gone, I don't expect I'll ever live through another disease.
 
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 But he lived a pretty quiet life after his role in the beginning.
 
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 That's interesting.
 
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 So how bad was he when all of this was happening in 1775?
 
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 How old was he?
 
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 He was 28.
 
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 He was a little older.
 
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 Now, surprisingly, John Brooks had graduated, so to speak, at the age of 20.
 
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 He moved to Reading and became the local doctor at age 20.
 
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 In fact, he didn't even own a house when he came here.
 
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 He rented it.
 
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 a room in the Samuel Damon house.
 
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 Although he did stay long enough to meet and marry the Damon's niece.
 
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 But at age 22, he was elected captain of the Minute Company.
 
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 Part of the reason that Brooks was elected was that he not only was a good doctor, but he had studied under Timothy Pickering, Colonel Pickering in Salem.
 
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 So he was an expert at war tactics.
 
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 So he was the one chosen.
 
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 And this is the Pickering who goes on to become Secretary of State in Washington, D.C.
 
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 The very one, yes.
 
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 And there's the Pickering House in Salem.
 
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 Right, right.
 
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 So you're surrounded by this history, and now you're really doing a great job of showcasing it and getting more people interested in it or knowing about what happened, aside from just Boulder of your met more inherently.
 
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 Right, right.
 
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 So in fact, as part of Rev 250, I'm involved with both the Linfield Historical Society and the Reading Antiquarian Society.
 
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 And we're hoping to, in some way, recreate Martin Herrick's ride.
 
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 It may be a staged ride where he comes into each individual town, but we can trace him through Stoneham to Reading to Linfield.
 
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 Wow.
 
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 About how long of a ride was this?
 
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 Probably 12 to 15 miles, maybe a little bit longer because we don't really know exactly the route he took.
 
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 But it's pretty obvious he went straight out of Medford by the home of Samuel Sprague, who was captain in Stoneham, and then somehow went up through what is now the Middletex Fells.
 
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 And so then the militia from these towns turned out and went down to Anseville Island.
 
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 That's right.
 
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 The Redding Group, now Redding was made up of what is today North Redding, Redding and Wakefield.
 
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 Those troops headed toward Concord.
 
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 They actually met the British Army at Merriam's Corner.
 
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 The Linfield Group, as well as the other pieces of Lin, went the other direction and met the British in monotony.
 
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 In fact, three of the members of the Linfield Company were killed at the Jason Russell House.
 
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 Wow.
 
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 Interesting.
 
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 Now, in your research, have you found that there was a, maybe they had a list of officers, or that Herrick knew who he was looking for, or did he?
 
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 Well, you know, of course, this was treason back then, so they didn't write a whole lot down.
 
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 Yeah, they're not saying, these are the key people.
 
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 Yeah.
 
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 But it looks as though he went to Sprague.
 
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 He may very well have gone through what is now Wakefield, but it's not absolutely clear on that.
 
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 But he did go to Redding.
 
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 In fact, when he got to the Damon House in Redding,
 
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 Brooks was supposedly attending to a patient at the Hartshorn house around the corner.
 
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 Well, Hartshorn was a member of the local committee of safety and also a member of the minute company.
 
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 So it's more likely they were there planning things.
 
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 Brooks had been in Boston the day before and had supposedly talked to Dr. Joseph Warren.
 
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 Yes, right, yeah.
 
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 So in my research, oh, go ahead, I'm sorry.
 
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 No, go on.
 
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 I was going to say, the research has taken me beyond just Herrick and Brooks.
 
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 I think there was a third writer who came out from Medford as well, although this is conjecture.
 
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 I'll say that right off the bat.
 
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 There was another student named John Sprague who was from Malden.
 
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 Now, we don't know that he went up to Malden, but somebody rode up the Medford Road into Malden with the word knocking on Kettle's Tavern before heading off to Saugus.
 
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 Now, after the war, Sprague bought Kettles Tavern.
 
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 So both his father and his brother were members of the militia company.
 
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 So it's a good bet that it was him, but we don't really know for sure.
 
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 Okay.
 
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 Now, speaking of taverns, you're also involved with the Friends of Parker's Tavern.
 
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 Can you tell us a bit about that?
 
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 Yes.
 
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 The Parker Tavern is owned by the Redding Antiquarian Society.
 
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 And it is effectively the town museum.
 
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 It's probably the oldest house in town, although there's some question about pieces of other houses that might be older.
 
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 But it's the oldest house in town that's...
 
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 still pretty much the way it was back then in place.
 
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 That actually has an interesting story a year after April 19th.
 
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 After the siege of Boston ended, after the evacuation took place, three transport ships came into the harbor.
 
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 Hadn't heard about the evacuation yet.
 
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 It was led by a guy named Archibald Campbell.
 
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 Well, they were all captured right away.
 
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 And Campbell himself was taken to the Parker Tavern and held there for a few months before eventually being shipped off to the Concord Jail.
 
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 So Campbell himself liked the tavern.
 
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 I guess he was treated pretty well here.
 
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 It was like a gentleman's agreement.
 
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 He was held in the tavern, which meant he couldn't go more than a mile from the tavern.
 
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 And they used to picnic up on a place that's today called Scotland Hill.
 
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 These are all Scottish soldiers.
 
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 Yes, all Scottish, right.
 
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 So he actually received two votes for Selectman and that didn't please the town fathers too much.
 
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 But he didn't decide to stay though.
 
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 No, no, but then he gets shipped to Concord and he didn't like the Concord jail at all.
 
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 It was more like a jail.
 
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 In fact, he made a plea to George Washington asking to be- Yeah, more like a jail than a tavern, yeah.
 
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 Yeah, right, right.
 
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 Wow.
 
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 But then he eventually was- Wow.
 
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 Where did he go?
 
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 It was a prisoner exchange for Ethan Allen.
 
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 And he eventually got back into the army and became the military general of Georgia.
 
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 And then later on, I believe he was the general, I mean, not the governor, excuse me, military governor of Georgia, and then later governor of Jamaica.
 
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 And then he's buried in Westminster Abbey now.
 
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 Wow.
 
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 Well, from Parker Tavern to Westminster Abbey.
 
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 Now, you also mentioned that Dr. Simon Tufts in Medford lived next door to Captain Isaac Hall.
 
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 Is he related to the Isaac Hall of the USS Constitution, or is this a different Isaac Hall?
 
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 Actually, you know, I think I was mixing that up.
 
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 I was thinking of Hall when I said it.
 
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 It's actually Isaac Hall.
 
 14:43.538 --> 14:46.219
 Hall, okay, that makes more sense.
 
 14:46.239 --> 14:48.640
 I probably said Hall because I thought Hall was from Connecticut.
 
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 Right, right.
 
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 Easy, easy, Eric.
 
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 I was going to say, again, Revere doesn't mention him by name.
 
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 He just mentions he stopped at the militia captain's house, which happened to be Isaac Hall.
 
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 But even years later, when he was giving his deposition to the Massachusetts Historical Society, Revere was still careful about not using people's names.
 
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 Right.
 
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 It's interesting.
 
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 He keeps that expression.
 
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 How do we know about him meeting Martin Herrick?
 
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 Where's that story documented?
 
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 Well, that's partly legend, but it's probably something to it.
 
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 Like I said, it's on the marker that he met Paul Revere.
 
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 And history books written in the 1890s, which are, of course, now about third hand.
 
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 But there, the author, Thomas Wellman, had spoken to the children of people who were there and talked about Martin Herrick breathlessly riding up to the Gowling Tavern and giving the word before heading back to home, which was North Reading at the time.
 
 15:52.830 --> 15:59.275
 So it's a little bit of hearsay, but they did get the word somehow, and it seems to make sense that it was him.
 
 15:59.295 --> 16:02.517
 Yeah, interesting.
 
 16:02.797 --> 16:08.681
 Now, you've also done a bit of work with looking at the history of the Masons in this period.
 
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 Can you tell us a little bit about how the Masons might have been involved?
 
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 Well, again, it's somewhat legend, but there's all kinds of rumors that there was a lot of talk among the Masons that were planning the revolution.
 
 16:23.404 --> 16:24.484
 Paul Revere, of course.
 
 16:25.385 --> 16:29.127
 John Hancock was, although more like an in-name only.
 
 16:29.167 --> 16:31.228
 He really wasn't as involved as Revere was.
 
 16:31.528 --> 16:37.351
 But Revere, through the Masons, had all sorts of connections with just about everybody in town, at least all the movers and shakers.
 
 16:38.311 --> 16:45.117
 And so there's something to that, whether it was an organized thing or not.
 
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 Is there a Masonic group in Redding, Linfield?
 
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 There is.
 
 16:52.063 --> 16:54.105
 I'm not asking you to betray any secrets.
 
 16:56.327 --> 16:58.809
 Yes, there is a Masonic hall in Redding.
 
 16:59.450 --> 17:03.053
 There's a Linfield Lodge, although they meet over in Wakefield.
 
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 But there is a Linfield Lodge as well, yeah.
 
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 And how big were these towns in 1775?
 
 17:10.542 --> 17:11.603
 They were pretty small.
 
 17:11.663 --> 17:14.466
 I mean, especially like Linfield wasn't even a separate town yet.
 
 17:14.486 --> 17:17.609
 It was still it was the second precinct or parish of Lynn.
 
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 And there were 38 people in the militia compared to like Saugus, which was the third parish that had, I think, 65.
 
 17:25.697 --> 17:28.319
 Although it's funny that Linfield lost three of its members.
 
 17:28.379 --> 17:30.281
 It really hit the hardest of the Lynn groups.
 
 17:31.727 --> 17:33.668
 But Reading was a little bit bigger.
 
 17:34.208 --> 17:36.528
 Although back then it had three precincts.
 
 17:36.568 --> 17:39.489
 It had North Reading and Wakefield as well as what is today Reading.
 
 17:40.590 --> 17:41.730
 So that was a little bit bigger.
 
 17:41.770 --> 17:43.711
 Linfield was really a tiny spot.
 
 17:46.551 --> 17:48.312
 Were they mainly farming towns?
 
 17:48.976 --> 17:49.676
 Yes, yeah.
 
 17:49.896 --> 17:52.797
 Well, Linfield, anyway, was mainly a farming town.
 
 17:52.857 --> 17:54.757
 It was really just sort of an extension of Lynn.
 
 17:54.777 --> 17:59.639
 Although it was so far from downtown Lynn, they kind of felt that they were separate.
 
 17:59.939 --> 18:02.719
 And by 1782, they were officially separated.
 
 18:03.360 --> 18:05.120
 But they built their own meeting house back in 1784.
 
 18:05.160 --> 18:06.360
 Yes, so it starts with becoming it.
 
 18:08.101 --> 18:08.321
 Wow.
 
 18:08.641 --> 18:09.061
 Interesting.
 
 18:12.406 --> 18:14.687
 Right.
 
 18:14.707 --> 18:16.547
 1712, it became a separate parish.
 
 18:16.687 --> 18:21.108
 They built their own meeting house in 1714 and then had the first minister in 1720.
 
 18:22.368 --> 18:24.549
 So it was a gradual process.
 
 18:25.049 --> 18:28.570
 But in 1775, it had its own militia company.
 
 18:28.670 --> 18:32.471
 And they really they were just nominally part of Lynn.
 
 18:32.951 --> 18:36.592
 But they did officially separate seven years after the revolution started.
 
 18:40.970 --> 18:44.652
 I believe the Mass Historical Society is going to have an exhibit on St.
 
 18:44.672 --> 18:46.533
 Andrew's Lodge and the Boston Tea Party.
 
 18:46.573 --> 18:52.436
 I think it's opening on the 5th of October, so that's something we want to know more about the role of the Masons in this.
 
 18:52.556 --> 18:55.398
 That would be a good place to start.
 
 18:56.318 --> 18:56.678
 Yeah, St.
 
 18:56.698 --> 18:59.259
 Andrew's Lodge is one of the two oldest in the country, I believe.
 
 18:59.319 --> 19:02.281
 Definitely the oldest here, but I think they're the two oldest in the country.
 
 19:04.246 --> 19:26.785
 yeah yeah so it's interesting so you have now do you have any letters or other things where are the town meeting are they talking about these issues in 1770 well yeah that that part of the story is near and dear to my heart being a moderator for a long time um yes there were there were a lot of mentions of
 
 19:27.964 --> 19:30.065
 the issues in the town meeting.
 
 19:30.125 --> 19:32.485
 It was Lynn's town meeting at the time, in Linfield anyway.
 
 19:33.446 --> 19:36.787
 But the regular moderator was a guy from Linfield.
 
 19:37.527 --> 19:42.609
 And there were constant mentions of the impending problems.
 
 19:42.629 --> 19:55.913
 In fact, on December 16, 1773, the day of the Tea Party, there was a resolution passed in Lynn supporting whatever Boston decides to do with the boycott of imported tea.
 
 19:57.074 --> 20:18.755
 and two or three days later they found out what had happened the women of the town stormed into a local bakery and shop tea shop and demanded that he get rid of all of his imported tea and when he wouldn't these women grabbed the tea and dumped it out in the street out front wow they had their own little tea party that was like limbs
 
 20:19.960 --> 20:21.041
 That's interesting.
 
 20:21.061 --> 20:22.541
 Now, are you going to be commemorating that?
 
 20:22.921 --> 20:23.281
 Oh, yes.
 
 20:23.441 --> 20:25.102
 Yeah, we'll have something.
 
 20:25.122 --> 20:28.523
 It won't be a big part of it, but we will definitely do something for that.
 
 20:30.184 --> 20:31.644
 Maybe we'll dump tea out in the summer.
 
 20:31.664 --> 20:33.965
 Yeah, right.
 
 20:34.525 --> 20:35.886
 That would be good.
 
 20:36.886 --> 20:37.266
 Yeah.
 
 20:38.127 --> 20:39.047
 That's fascinating.
 
 20:40.407 --> 20:41.888
 And so the town...
 
 20:42.452 --> 20:44.413
 So Linfield was still part of Lin.
 
 20:44.513 --> 20:45.554
 It was a Lin town meeting.
 
 20:47.415 --> 20:47.575
 Right.
 
 20:47.616 --> 20:49.637
 They were going to the Lin town meeting, yes.
 
 20:51.058 --> 20:51.238
 Yeah.
 
 20:52.239 --> 20:52.959
 Interesting.
 
 20:53.039 --> 21:01.485
 They had their own meeting house, and they had their own parish meetings, but the town meeting was in what was called the old tunnel meeting house on Lin Common.
 
 21:03.046 --> 21:03.847
 Does it still stand?
 
 21:05.047 --> 21:05.227
 No.
 
 21:05.568 --> 21:07.169
 The Linfield one does, but not the Lin one.
 
 21:07.229 --> 21:08.330
 The Lin one's long gone.
 
 21:09.210 --> 21:09.410
 Yeah.
 
 21:11.412 --> 21:11.792
 Fascinating.
 
 21:12.130 --> 21:28.449
 So this action, you know, a lot of times history presents this as being very Boston-centric, but what we're seeing is there's actually all of this action going on in Linfield, Lynn, Redding, Malden, Medford, these other towns north of Boston.
 
 21:30.851 --> 21:31.071
 Yes.
 
 21:31.332 --> 21:33.274
 In fact, there were other writers from that.
 
 21:33.835 --> 21:36.959
 When I was doing my research, I kind of lumped them into what I call hubs.
 
 21:37.660 --> 21:47.052
 They didn't call them that, but they were writers went out from places like Lincoln, Lincoln, which was very close to the action on that day.
 
 21:47.811 --> 21:50.052
 It had its own set of riders.
 
 21:50.092 --> 21:51.872
 Let's see if I can come up with some of the names.
 
 21:52.072 --> 21:58.474
 Josiah Nelson was actually assigned in Lincoln to head to Bedford with any news.
 
 21:59.455 --> 22:01.455
 And he must have known something was coming.
 
 22:01.696 --> 22:03.876
 He was awake in the middle of the night, waiting.
 
 22:04.476 --> 22:05.077
 And then he heard...
 
 22:07.530 --> 22:08.991
 the horses coming up the street.
 
 22:09.131 --> 22:10.131
 It was, of course, pitch dark.
 
 22:10.151 --> 22:11.851
 There's no street lights or anything back then.
 
 22:12.332 --> 22:17.313
 He looked out the window and he yelled to the riders saying, have you seen any of the British troops coming?
 
 22:17.673 --> 22:20.254
 Well, it was two members of the British troop on horseback.
 
 22:20.914 --> 22:25.436
 One of them came up to him and facetiously said, I'll let you know if I see any.
 
 22:25.456 --> 22:29.137
 He took his sword out and slashed poor Nelson across the forehead.
 
 22:29.857 --> 22:35.119
 But undaunted, Sire Nelson dressed his wound, headed off to Lincoln with the word.
 
 22:36.462 --> 22:44.988
 And then Samuel Prescott, who of course more or less finished Revere's ride, he stopped at Ephraim Hartwell's tavern.
 
 22:46.068 --> 22:50.031
 And then Hartwell sent word over to his son, who was a sergeant in the militia.
 
 22:50.531 --> 22:55.415
 And then Hartwell's wife, Mary Hartwell, hopped on her horse and rode over to Captain Smith.
 
 22:56.195 --> 22:58.677
 So a lot of things went out from Lincoln.
 
 22:59.877 --> 23:01.939
 And then, of course, Concord was another big hub.
 
 23:02.986 --> 23:07.489
 Benjamin Tidd and Nathan Monroe were jointly assigned also to go to Lincoln.
 
 23:07.509 --> 23:08.990
 So Lincoln was very well warned.
 
 23:09.870 --> 23:13.152
 But they not only went to Lincoln, they stopped at every house along the way.
 
 23:13.192 --> 23:16.193
 They actually gave a report later as to where they went.
 
 23:16.794 --> 23:20.216
 And then a guy named Reuben Brown was sent down to Hopkinton.
 
 23:20.776 --> 23:24.118
 William Parkman went to Sudbury, Captain Thomas Plimpton.
 
 23:24.658 --> 23:28.180
 And then Samuel Prescott's brother, Abel Prescott, was sent to Hopkinton.
 
 23:29.742 --> 23:35.506
 And somebody went from Concord to Acton and Stowe, but the name isn't recorded.
 
 23:35.606 --> 23:41.750
 But Hamilton Heard, in his history of Middlesex County, says that it was Samuel Prescott himself who continued on.
 
 23:41.770 --> 23:49.055
 And in fact, there is a marker, Stowe, marking the end of Prescott's ride.
 
 23:51.517 --> 23:58.362
 So the Provincial Congress might have set up some kind of a network of these guys, or
 
 23:59.380 --> 24:01.342
 So it's not just random.
 
 24:01.382 --> 24:03.504
 You find someone who happens to be awake with a voice.
 
 24:04.064 --> 24:04.505
 Exactly.
 
 24:04.785 --> 24:06.567
 It's not just random.
 
 24:06.707 --> 24:08.789
 It's loosely organized, but it was organized.
 
 24:09.810 --> 24:16.876
 Not only the Provincial Congress, but even Middlesex County had set up an alarm system even before that.
 
 24:18.137 --> 24:20.779
 In Cambridge, there was an early resolve that says...
 
 24:21.500 --> 24:23.301
 Let's see if I get the words right here exactly.
 
 24:23.801 --> 24:34.346
 They'd be appointed a select number of persons in each town of Middlesex who upon hearing any information concerning danger in any other town must spread the word and go help.
 
 24:34.986 --> 24:42.089
 The towns of the dispatch post each town to the next until notices be conveyed over the whole county if need be.
 
 24:43.793 --> 24:48.235
 And then in October of October 74, the provincial Congress did weigh in.
 
 24:48.255 --> 24:52.976
 It was after the so-called powder alarm where the troops had gone out to Powder Hill Square.
 
 24:53.637 --> 24:57.158
 The colonists were more or less caught unawares and they thought this isn't going to happen again.
 
 24:57.738 --> 24:59.639
 So they set up this alarm system.
 
 25:00.119 --> 25:05.741
 It wasn't exactly a system, but each town was told you have to appoint somebody to go here or there.
 
 25:06.912 --> 25:08.774
 Unfortunately, a lot of these names are lost.
 
 25:08.854 --> 25:15.559
 Some of them have been recorded or at least carried down through stories and legends, but some of them we just know there was a writer.
 
 25:17.541 --> 25:17.801
 Wow.
 
 25:18.962 --> 25:29.971
 And it's interesting to see this, not knowing what is going to happen, but planning to have this kind of way of connecting different communities.
 
 25:31.892 --> 25:32.493
 Right, right.
 
 25:33.689 --> 25:36.090
 It's, you know, everybody knows about Paul Revere.
 
 25:36.470 --> 25:43.071
 Every school child knows of Paul Revere and in history buffs like you would be and probably everybody watching knows about Dawes and Prescott.
 
 25:43.651 --> 25:45.972
 But these other careers are more or less forgotten.
 
 25:46.732 --> 25:47.132
 They are.
 
 25:47.212 --> 25:47.492
 Yeah.
 
 25:47.672 --> 25:48.432
 Yeah.
 
 25:48.452 --> 25:53.653
 Well, Revere, of course, he wrote, Jeremy Belknap asked him to write down what happened.
 
 25:53.753 --> 25:55.113
 And so he does do that.
 
 25:55.153 --> 25:56.814
 But also he has a deposition shortly after.
 
 25:56.834 --> 26:00.675
 And also we have in the Massachusetts archives the receipts he presented.
 
 26:00.775 --> 26:01.715
 That's true.
 
 26:01.815 --> 26:02.375
 That's true.
 
 26:02.475 --> 26:02.875
 He's right.
 
 26:06.272 --> 26:07.172
 safety or something.
 
 26:07.652 --> 26:12.174
 Henry Weir, of course, had the greatest publicity agent in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
 
 26:12.754 --> 26:14.434
 Yeah, like 80 years later.
 
 26:14.454 --> 26:22.117
 But there are these other stories of these other boats that are definitely worth thinking about.
 
 26:22.157 --> 26:25.078
 This whole network, it's a lot of people involved in it.
 
 26:26.218 --> 26:31.720
 As I said, what's interesting is they're forgotten on the big picture, but locally a lot of them are not forgotten.
 
 26:31.740 --> 26:36.041
 There's an interesting story in the town of Westford
 
 26:36.598 --> 26:46.483
 The Westford History, written back in the late 1800s sometime, it's almost poetic language, the way he talks about this mysterious mounted messenger.
 
 26:46.503 --> 26:50.526
 His silhouette was seen on Beaver Brook Bridge riding to Colonel Prescott.
 
 26:51.766 --> 26:56.509
 His words, his name is lost to history, but his words live on.
 
 26:57.049 --> 27:05.574
 But then over in Littleton, four miles away, they talk about Edward Weatherby riding over the Beaver Brook Bridge over to Westford.
 
 27:05.654 --> 27:05.834
 Yeah.
 
 27:07.080 --> 27:09.821
 Yeah, his name isn't lost to history in the next town.
 
 27:10.342 --> 27:10.882
 Right, right.
 
 27:13.203 --> 27:21.207
 And also, you know, there have been a system of communication set up with post riders, traveling traders, messengers, and so on.
 
 27:21.227 --> 27:23.448
 In fact, some of them advertised in the newspaper.
 
 27:23.488 --> 27:31.452
 So you're wondering how these guys were recruited to be, or women in some cases, to be the ones who will carry these particular message on April 18th and 19th.
 
 27:32.359 --> 27:32.599
 I know.
 
 27:32.699 --> 27:34.281
 First of all, you had to have a horse, I guess.
 
 27:34.681 --> 27:36.382
 Yeah, yeah, yeah.
 
 27:36.482 --> 27:37.963
 I do notice there's a pattern.
 
 27:38.184 --> 27:39.605
 An awful lot of them are doctors.
 
 27:39.925 --> 27:41.826
 Now, I don't know why that is.
 
 27:41.866 --> 27:45.129
 It could be that doctors would have traveled a lot to see their patients.
 
 27:45.589 --> 27:45.789
 Right.
 
 27:46.210 --> 27:48.151
 They had an excuse to be out in the middle of the night.
 
 27:48.431 --> 27:48.612
 Right.
 
 27:48.672 --> 27:49.292
 Yeah, yeah.
 
 27:49.512 --> 27:53.835
 And, of course, Joseph Warren may have built up a network himself.
 
 27:54.176 --> 27:54.536
 That's right.
 
 27:54.556 --> 27:55.197
 That's interesting.
 
 27:55.877 --> 28:01.081
 Think about this as the doctors involved in this, more than just being doctors, but as being messengers.
 
 28:03.277 --> 28:03.517
 Right.
 
 28:04.417 --> 28:09.998
 We know of Samuel Prescott, Herrick, and Brooks, and of course, Warren himself, and I think there were a couple more.
 
 28:10.038 --> 28:10.959
 And Simon Tufts.
 
 28:11.179 --> 28:12.419
 Simon Tufts, right, right.
 
 28:12.439 --> 28:12.659
 Yeah.
 
 28:13.739 --> 28:17.840
 And Tufts also had a connection, I know, with the Adams family down in Quincy.
 
 28:18.400 --> 28:19.240
 He did, yes.
 
 28:19.320 --> 28:21.461
 I don't know what that is, but I have heard that too, yeah.
 
 28:22.001 --> 28:23.021
 Yeah, yeah.
 
 28:23.121 --> 28:28.282
 I know there's a frequent correspondence of John and Abigail, but it's interesting to think about the way that
 
 28:28.749 --> 28:32.852
 Because I think maybe we give too much credit to the lawyers or the merchants.
 
 28:33.432 --> 28:39.477
 And I think about the role of the doctors in this is an interesting way of looking at it.
 
 28:39.497 --> 28:43.400
 Yeah.
 
 28:43.900 --> 28:52.206
 So now you've also been doing this great history podcast, these short takes on different things that come out of your research.
 
 28:52.246 --> 28:55.429
 It's also history, tales and tidbits from Allen's archive.
 
 28:55.449 --> 28:56.970
 So how did you decide to do that?
 
 28:58.075 --> 29:06.605
 Well, like I said, I've always been kind of a history nut right from my earliest memories and especially local history.
 
 29:06.765 --> 29:13.112
 I like to be able to go see the places things actually happened and kind of imagine what it was like 100 years ago, 200 years ago.
 
 29:14.654 --> 29:40.508
 so i've just sort of collected a lot of these smaller stories i wouldn't say smaller but stories you don't see in the history books you don't get taught in history class and i thought i could put together 10 to 15 minute stories on these maybe there isn't enough for a book or article even but something that people would be interested in some of the examples um recently i did one on the boston post cane which was of course a king given to the oldest resident in towns
 
 29:41.088 --> 29:50.794
 I did a story on the Pickwick Club disaster, a building that collapsed in 1925 and killed about half of the people who were in there at the time.
 
 29:51.034 --> 29:52.275
 It was actually the jitterbug.
 
 29:52.535 --> 29:53.655
 People were doing the jitterbug.
 
 29:53.675 --> 29:55.076
 Yeah, it was brought down by a song.
 
 29:55.657 --> 29:56.997
 Yes, brought down by a song.
 
 29:57.057 --> 29:57.618
 Right, right.
 
 29:58.178 --> 30:01.980
 And so stories like that, they're not necessarily revolution stories.
 
 30:02.040 --> 30:06.563
 They're just things that have happened in New England that, like I said, I think people are interested in.
 
 30:06.583 --> 30:07.403
 They are.
 
 30:07.704 --> 30:10.085
 Well, they're fascinating stories because there's histories.
 
 30:10.580 --> 30:15.967
 And it's not just the revolution, all kinds of other things have happened in these various communities.
 
 30:16.348 --> 30:23.797
 Now, your first one dealt with the famous 19th of April with Adams and Hancock, but also there's a cow involved.
 
 30:23.837 --> 30:25.660
 Do you want to tell us about that?
 
 30:25.720 --> 30:25.880
 Yes.
 
 30:29.821 --> 30:38.867
 Adams and Hancock were, of course, out in the Hancock-Clark House when word came to them, and they were convinced they needed to get out of there because they would be prime targets of the troops.
 
 30:39.688 --> 30:49.334
 So it was actually Paul Revere that helped them get their chest out of the building, which contained a lot of the provincial Congress records.
 
 30:50.135 --> 30:56.980
 So they went out into the woods at first while a battle was going on, but Hancock didn't want to be walking through the woods.
 
 30:57.020 --> 30:58.020
 He waited until his chest...
 
 31:00.641 --> 31:02.522
 His wagon showed up.
 
 31:03.362 --> 31:07.264
 They eventually, they got to a house in Woburn, which was now part of Burlington.
 
 31:07.284 --> 31:12.045
 In fact, the house probably would be out in the middle of the Burlington Mall parking lot right now if it still existed.
 
 31:12.625 --> 31:16.286
 And they had breakfast there before they moved on to Bill Ricker.
 
 31:17.207 --> 31:21.828
 And there was a woman, let's see if I get the story right here.
 
 31:21.888 --> 31:22.588
 There was a woman.
 
 31:27.205 --> 31:28.866
 I can't remember the exact story now.
 
 31:28.906 --> 31:30.807
 Sorry to put you on the spot.
 
 31:31.047 --> 31:32.308
 Now I've forgotten that.
 
 31:32.568 --> 31:34.209
 It was sort of an interesting little story.
 
 31:34.229 --> 31:39.372
 I want to give a link to the podcast so people can find out what happened.
 
 31:40.733 --> 31:42.333
 The cow actually got kind of famous.
 
 31:43.194 --> 31:45.115
 Yeah, yeah.
 
 31:45.215 --> 31:48.197
 There are few enough famous cows that I think we want to find one.
 
 31:51.933 --> 32:01.962
 We've been talking with Alan Boulds, who is an historian from Reading, also an historian of Linfield, and doing all kinds of work on these other vibes.
 
 32:02.022 --> 32:03.284
 Anything else we should talk about, Alan?
 
 32:03.304 --> 32:07.828
 I think we could go on all day telling stories about what was happening in these towns.
 
 32:08.695 --> 32:09.075
 Oh, I know.
 
 32:09.095 --> 32:11.317
 Each town, of course, has its own little story.
 
 32:11.438 --> 32:14.160
 And it was one, just a quick one.
 
 32:14.340 --> 32:23.068
 I know in Dedham, when a rider rode through, we don't know who the rider is, but he went through what is now Dedham and Needham and Norwood, which I think were all part of Dedham at the time.
 
 32:24.329 --> 32:28.893
 I don't know where the story comes from, but at the centennial in 1875, there was a speech given and
 
 32:31.442 --> 32:36.747
 He said that the local minister wanted them to stop and pray before they left.
 
 32:37.488 --> 32:40.891
 And he said, no, we have more urgent business at hand.
 
 32:41.071 --> 32:42.132
 And he left with his men.
 
 32:42.532 --> 32:49.238
 But even before that, he admonished someone, some croaker who said the alarm was false.
 
 32:49.799 --> 32:50.880
 So they shut him open.
 
 32:51.340 --> 32:51.480
 Yeah.
 
 32:52.782 --> 32:57.066
 I know in David Hackett Fisher's book, he has some areas that are blanked out of the
 
 33:02.788 --> 33:04.169
 was a false alarm.
 
 33:04.309 --> 33:06.129
 It could be, yeah.
 
 33:06.229 --> 33:08.110
 I actually ran into a similar problem.
 
 33:08.550 --> 33:15.413
 It seems like a lot of places were alarmed once, twice, three times even, and other places just seemed to get missed.
 
 33:15.853 --> 33:20.895
 It could be that history is just lost, or maybe it just wasn't that good a system.
 
 33:20.915 --> 33:27.337
 I mean, it was sort of an impromptu thing that happened, and maybe they just did get missed, or maybe it got to them too late.
 
 33:27.357 --> 33:28.878
 Yeah, yeah.
 
 33:29.118 --> 33:31.639
 Yeah, Jonathan reminds us that nothing happened in Wolfham.
 
 33:31.679 --> 33:32.039
 Nobody
 
 33:36.503 --> 33:41.466
 Do you know anything more about why Waltham or that lost to history?
 
 33:43.207 --> 33:43.627
 I don't know.
 
 33:43.687 --> 33:45.848
 I have never found anything about Waltham.
 
 33:45.868 --> 33:47.969
 Probably just like John.
 
 33:48.069 --> 33:50.611
 No one wrote down, boy, we thought it was a false alarm.
 
 33:51.371 --> 33:52.332
 Yeah, it could be.
 
 33:52.792 --> 33:53.192
 I'm sure.
 
 33:53.552 --> 33:55.353
 I'm sure there were people who thought it was a false alarm.
 
 33:55.373 --> 33:57.194
 There probably were alarms before that.
 
 33:57.815 --> 34:00.096
 Like back at the Leslie's retreat.
 
 34:00.532 --> 34:05.313
 It wasn't false, obviously, but I know the Redding group had gotten alarmed.
 
 34:05.433 --> 34:06.254
 I don't know who did it.
 
 34:06.734 --> 34:07.834
 Maybe it was Martin Erich.
 
 34:08.114 --> 34:11.815
 But they headed off to the battle, what they thought was going to be a battle.
 
 34:12.256 --> 34:17.297
 But somewhere in what is now Peabody, they met troops coming back saying, it's all over.
 
 34:17.537 --> 34:18.377
 Nothing happened.
 
 34:18.417 --> 34:19.518
 The British retreated.
 
 34:19.998 --> 34:20.258
 And then.
 
 34:21.337 --> 34:27.100
 Reading, in turn, met the Linfield crowd that was heading out and told them, turn around, it's over.
 
 34:27.381 --> 34:34.685
 There were some of these false starts that made people think, I'm busy with my story.
 
 34:34.845 --> 34:40.048
 We just went through a big hurricane warning and it missed us.
 
 34:40.068 --> 34:41.589
 It makes you complacent the next time.
 
 34:43.990 --> 34:50.594
 It's fascinating to think about this, not in terms of the stories we know, but about
 
 34:51.195 --> 34:55.378
 How will this interfere in the stories we don't know that you're helping to share?
 
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 Right.
 
 34:57.440 --> 35:00.663
 It's those side stories that have always fascinated me.
 
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 You know, when you think about it, obviously, there had to be several writers.
 
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 I mean, everybody knows about Power Review.
 
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 But obviously, if you just think about it for a minute, there was more than one person or three people writing around.
 
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 So there had to have been some sort of a network.
 
 35:13.813 --> 35:15.815
 And it's never really been fully explored.
 
 35:16.876 --> 35:17.016
 Yeah.
 
 35:17.702 --> 35:18.862
 And they're not there.
 
 35:18.902 --> 35:21.963
 They have to go in different directions because they're warning different towns.
 
 35:22.003 --> 35:24.063
 But then sometimes, as you said, there is an overlap.
 
 35:24.103 --> 35:26.024
 Some towns get warned a couple of times.
 
 35:27.324 --> 35:27.484
 Right.
 
 35:28.884 --> 35:34.745
 Even in Reading, there's talk about a rider coming through later on after the troops had already gone.
 
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 And a guy named Caleb Prentice, who was the minister of the South Parish, he went with some of the older men who were exempt from the service and decided, well,
 
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 Let's go.
 
 35:46.590 --> 35:48.050
 But that was a second rider came in.
 
 35:48.130 --> 35:49.191
 We don't know where that came from.
 
 35:49.231 --> 35:51.192
 It may have just been from the next door town.
 
 35:52.312 --> 35:52.593
 Wow.
 
 35:53.093 --> 35:53.593
 Interesting.
 
 35:54.674 --> 35:58.175
 Well, I want to thank you, Alan, for spending some time sharing this with us.
 
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 And we'll probably have to have you back to tell us more stories about what's happening in these towns.
 
 36:03.078 --> 36:04.899
 Anything else we should add before we let you go?
 
 36:06.311 --> 36:09.173
 No, like I said, the last thing is just sort of an epilogue.
 
 36:09.213 --> 36:16.559
 It is amazing that most of these poor guys have just been, you know, they went back to their regular lives and have just sort of disappeared into the woodwork.
 
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 It's an interesting thing.
 
 36:18.741 --> 36:22.884
 I mean, Martin Herrick, locally, most people in town don't know him.
 
 36:23.564 --> 36:26.607
 Of the few historians that do, he's kind of a local hero.
 
 36:26.687 --> 36:28.849
 But for the most part, he's just forgotten.
 
 36:28.869 --> 36:31.571
 And that's the way it is all over eastern Massachusetts.
 
 36:31.791 --> 36:31.931
 Yeah.
 
 36:32.641 --> 36:36.842
 But then again, he lives the rest of his life as the town doctor, which is not a small thing.
 
 36:37.222 --> 36:38.063
 That's right, right.
 
 36:39.443 --> 36:43.024
 And it is, as Emerson said, they died to leave their children free.
 
 36:43.104 --> 36:46.945
 So, you know, you don't need to constantly be doing things like that.
 
 36:46.985 --> 36:48.286
 So, yeah.
 
 36:48.446 --> 36:51.467
 Well, thank you so much, Alan, for joining us to share this.
 
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 And I want to thank Jonathan Lane, our producer, who's been feeding me questions and has been arranging these.
 
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 And thank you for the work you're doing, Alan, in keeping this history alive.
 
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 Madrid, and in Dracut, which is Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Bangkok, Thailand, Belmont, Bountiful, Utah, Bardello in Italy, and Lincoln, Illinois in one of these places.
 
 37:30.395 --> 37:36.917
 And if you have a question or you want to connect with us, send Jonathan Lane an email, jlane at revolution350.org.
 
 37:37.398 --> 37:41.399
 He'll send you one of our Revolution 350 refrigerator magnets or one of our other
 
 37:42.130 --> 37:51.570
 trustees and I look forward to having you all back with us again and maybe I'll unfold again at some point and now we will all be typed out on