Sep 27, 2018 - Sale 2486

Sale 2486 - Lot 198

Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(AMERICAN REVOLUTION--1775.) Issue of the Cambridge Chronicle, describing war crimes at Lexington and Concord by both sides. Volume XIII, #660. 4 pages, 18 3/4 x 13 inches, on one folding sheet; inked revenue stamp in lower left corner, minor soiling along fore-edge, minor wear along fold. Cambridge, England, 17 June 1775

Additional Details

This British newspaper prints two very different accounts of the battles at Lexington and Concord which opened the war. On the front page is General Gage's account, describing an unruly mob of colonists: "On the return of the troops from Concord, they were very much annoyed, and had several men killed and wounded, by the rebels firing from behind walls, ditches, trees, and other ambushes . . . and kept up in that manner a scattering fire during the whole of their march of fifteen miles . . . and such was the cruelty and barbarity of the rebels, that they scalped and cut off the ears of some of the wounded men who fell into their hands."
Readers who worked up a sense of outrage against the rebels were then given whiplash by a report sent from Roxbury on page 2, describing more war crimes--by the British troops: "In the late engagement near Boston, there was scarcely a single provisional found alive. The mercenaries having, with a brutality highly disgraceful to the character of British soldiers, killed all the Americans that were first wounded. At Lexington . . . a poor sick old man was run thro' the body with a bayonet, and two other sick old persons shot through their heads." This report also describes the escape of Samuel Adams and John Hancock.