Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Medford Militia respond to the Alarm

Memorial dedicated to the
Medford Minute Men
Hillside Ave. and High St.
Medford, Mass. 02155

This memorial plaque on the corner of Hillside Ave. and High St. in Medford - in front of the Medford Library - has the following inscriptions and gives the muster roll of the Medford Minute Men who fought on April 19, 1775:

(The plaque lists the names in alphabetical order with last name first. I have taken the liberty of listing the names in the more familar style with the christian (given) name first, followed by the family name).

Roster of the first Company Of Minute Men Who Assembled in Medford at the call of Paul Revere and Engaged in the Battle of April 19, 1775

Jacob Bredin, William Binford, Andrew Blanchard Jr. , Aaron Blanchard Jr. , Andrew Bradshaw, Thomas Bradshaw, Lieut. Caleb Brooks, James Bucknam Jr. , John Bucknam, Abel Butterfield, John Callender, John Clark, Joseph Clefton, Richard Cole, Daniel Conery, Peter Conery, Isaac Cooch, Jonathon Davis, Paul Dexter, William Piper Farrington, Andrew Floyd, John Francis Jr. , Corp. Jonathan Greenleaf, David Hadley, Moses Hadley, Samuel Hadley Jr. , Francis Hall, Captain Isaac Hall, Sergeant Moses Hall, Ensign Stephen Hall 4th, Drummer Timothy Hall Jr. , John Kemp, Jonathan Lawrence, William Polly, Sergeant Thomas Pritchard, Eleazer Putnam, Abel Richardson, Benjamin Savels, Thomas Savels, John Smith, Corporal Gersham Teel, Jonathan Teel, Daniel Tufts, Ebenezer Tufts, James Tufts Jr. , Corporal John Tufts, Jonathan Tufts, Sergeant Isaac Tufts, Peter Tufts Jr. , Samuel Tufts, Samuel Tufts 3rd. , David Vinton, Thomas Wakefield, Isaac Watson

Henry Putnam - Aged 62 - Killed in Action


There are a number of things of interest in this muster roll. First of all, many members of this Minute Man Company were related to one another, which must have made it a tight knit group.

Secondly, the Minute Man Companies had been established to answer the call to arms on a "minutes notice", making them a kind of elite force (with known "revolutionary" leanings) within the Massachusetts militia. So it is interesting to notice how many members of this company were drawn from some of Medford's most prominent families, such as the Brooks and Tufts family's.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

George Washington Sworn in as First President

Geo. Washington

Almost 220 years ago, on April 30 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States. The oath of office was administered by Chancellor Robert R. Livingstone, a fellow Mason, at Federal Hall on a balcony off the Senate Chamber, overlooking Wall St. in New York city. (The Bible used in the ceremony belonged to the local Masons Lodge). The oath of office, as specified in Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution, reads as follows:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Washington's Farewell Address

President Washington

Coming to the end of his second term in office, in September of 1796 newspapers across America published what came to be known as President George Washington's "Farewell Address". Although it was written in the form of a speech it was never delivered in public.

In this final address before entering private life, Washington gives a noteworthy and memorable "speech". Among other things, he mentions the importance of maintaining the union, talks of the "insidious wiles of foreign influence", to beware the dangers of party politics and to "cherish public credit." Much of the speech was directed towards future presidential administrations and generations of Americans to come, but unfortunately, President Washington's wise and prophetic advice has been all too often ignored.