We were apprehensive about the amount of traffic we would encounter as we left Cape Cod and the rain and fog didn’t help. Thankfully the traffic wasn’t bad and the worst of the rain ended before we pulled out of the campground.
Our next destination was Brookline, New Hampshire about an hour from Boston. We were grateful for an easy travel day as we pulled into our new campground.
With so much to see in this area, we headed out Monday to explore Concord, site of “the shot heard round the world”. Concord is a really lovely little town with beautiful churches and a patriotic feel.
Our first stop was the Minute Man National Historic Park. There are two Visitors Centers in the park and we wanted to visit both of them. We stopped first at the North Bridge Visitors Center where we saw a short film. We walked a quarter mile down to the North Bridge where “the shot heard round the world” was fired. It is a little confusing because the first shot was actually fired in Lexington by the British at the minutemen, but the minutemen did not fire back. Eight minutemen were killed and ten wounded. Because the minutemen did not fire back, this was not considered the start of the war. In Concord at the North Bridge, both sides fired upon each other and thus this is the place where the war began with the shot heard around the world. There seems to be some disagreement between Lexington and Concord as to where the war began. What do you think?
We also learned that the correct term to use for the British is “regulars” not redcoats. They were regular members of the King’s army. In all our years of reading history, we had never heard them called regulars. Have you?
At the North Bridge is a nice Minute Man Statue and a tall Minute Man Monument commemorating the events at this location. There are also the graves of British soldiers, the first British to die.
As we traveled through the 20 miles of road with so much history, we stopped at the site of Paul Revere’s capture. Did you know he was captured as he made his midnight ride spreading the alarm? Revere and fellow patriot William Dawes had ridden to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock and to rouse the militia. They were on their way to Concord and were joined by a young patriot doctor by the name of Samuel Prescott. Revere was stopped and captured by a British patrol. Dawes managed to escape but lost his horse and had to walk back to Lexington. Prescott escaped and rode to Concord to continue to spread the alarm. Paul Revere was held for an hour or two until the British were distracted when they heard the guns of the Minutemen as they approached Lexington.
On the way to the second Visitors Center we stopped at two homes. The first, The Wayside, was where Louisa May Alcott lived as a child and was also once the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne (“The Scarlet Letter”, “The House of the Seven Gables”, etc). We also saw The Orchard House where Louisa May
Alcott lived as an adult and wrote “Little Women”. There was more to see in Concord than we had time for. We didn’t have time to visit the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Our last stop was at the second Visitors Center where we watched the award winning presentation of “The Road to Revolution”. It was quite different in that it was a multimedia presentation with Revolutionary War props and sets located in the auditorium with us.
In the next blog we will write about our visit to Quincy, Massachusetts to learn about John Adams and John Quincy Adams. We will also tell you about our visit to the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.