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Minutemen of Lexington: John Brown

John Brown: Born August 12, 1751, killed on the Green on April 19, 1775

In honor of the upcoming Parker’s Prelude celebrations, the Lex250 Commission would like to shed light on the eight brave men who fought for American independence and died on April 19, 1774, at the Battle of Lexington. 

Brown was only 24 years old when he was killed by British forces. 

He was a member of Captain Parker’s company of Lexington militia and mustered on the Common on the morning of April, 19th. John’s first cousins, James, Solomon and Francis Brown, also responded to the alarm.

John was among the first to fall at the first sound of fire. 

While little is known about Brown, he was one of eleven children and had many family members in town. 

His body, along with others who had died in the Battle of Lexington, was disinterred in 1835 and placed in a tomb behind the Revolutionary War Monument on Lexington Common.

A plaque on the monument, written by Lexington minister Reverend Jonas Clarke, reads,

“Sacred to Liberty & the Rights of mankind!!!

The Freedom & Independence of America,

Sealed & defended with the blood of her sons.

This Monument is erected

By the inhabitants of Lexington

Under the patronage and at the expense of

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts,

To the memory of their Fellow Citizens,

Ensign ROBERT MUNROE, and Messrs. JONAS PARKER,

SAMUEL HADLEY, JONATHAN HARRINGTON, JR.,

ISAAC MUZZY, CALEB HARRINGTON AND JOHN BROWN,

Of Lexington and ASAHEL PORTER of Woburn,

Who fell on this field, the first victims to the

Sword of British Tyranny and Oppression

On the morning of the ever memorable

Nineteenth of April, An. Dom. 1775,

The Die was cast !!!

The Blood of these Martyrs

In the cause of their God and their Country

Was the Cement of the Union of these States, then

Colonies, and gave the spring to the Spirit, Firmness

And Resolution of their Fellow Citizens,

They rose as one man to Revenge their Brethren’s

Blood, and at the Point of the Sword, to Assert

And defend their Native Rights,

They Nobly dar’d to be Free!!

The contest was long, Bloody and Affecting.

Righteous Heaven Approved the Solemn Appeal

Victory crowned their Arms; and

The Peace, Liberty, and Independence of the United

States of America was their Glorious Reward.

Built in the year 1799.”

The Revolutionary War Monument in Lexington. (Bostonian13, Creative Commons)

A 1907 postcard of the Revolutionary Soldiers Monument. (Postcard Collection, Collections and Archives, Lexington Historical Society,)

References:

  1. Bostonian13. (2013). Revolutionary War Momument. Creative Commons.
  2. Inventory Form Continuation Sheet. Massachusetts Historical Commission. (2009, October). https://www.lexingtonma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3887/Revolutionary-War-Monument-PDF
  3. Poole, B. (n.d.). John Brown: A Brief Biography. Lexington Minute Men. http://www.lexingtonminutemen.com/uploads/1/6/2/4/16242256/johnbrown.pdf 
  4. Postcard of the Revolutionary Soldiers Monument, Postcard Collection, Collections and Archives, Lexington Historical Society, Lexington, MA.