Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Revolutionary War: Blood shed before Lexington

" First blood shed in our Revolution," has been commonly supposed to have been shed at Lexington, April 19th, 1775; but Westminster, Vermont, files a prior claim in favor of one William French, who, it is asserted, was killed on the night of March 13th, 1775, at the King's Court House, in what is now
Westminster. At that time Vermont was a part of New York, and the King's Court officers, together with a body of troops, were sent on to Westminster to hold the usual session of the court. The people, however, were exasperated, and assembled in the court house to resist. A little before midnight the troops of George the Third advanced and fired indiscriminately upon the crowd, instantly killing William French, whose head was pierced by a musket ball. He was buried in the church yard and a stone erected to his memory, with this quaint inscription :

" In memory of William French, who was shot at Westminster, March ye twelfth, 1775, by the hand of the cruel ministerial tools of George ye 3rd at the Court House at 11 o'clock at night, in the 22nd year of his age."

Here William French his Body lies,
 For Murder his Blood for Vengeance Cries,
 King George the Third his Tory Crew
 Tha with a bawl his head shot threw,
 For Liberty and his Country's good
He lost his life his Dearest blood."

source:  Susan Powell Cottman. "The First Blood Shed In Our Revolution" The American Monthly Magazine, Volume II,  June 1863:67.

No comments:

Post a Comment