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Fine account of the Battle of Bunker Hill, in a Boston newspaper...

Item # 642526

October 16, 1775

THE BOSTON GAZETTE & COUNTRY JOURNAL, Watertown, Massachusetts, Oct. 16, 1775 

* Battle of Bunker Hill
* Revolutionary War
* In a Boston title

The woodcut in the masthead was engraved by the famed Paul Revere, showing the Liberty figure setting the bird of peace free from its cage with the Boston skyline in the background--a strong political statement. Also noteworthy is that this "Boston" newspaper was printed in "Watertown" at the time (see masthead). Due to the stresses of the Revolutionary War the publisher, Benjamin Edes, removed the newspaper from Boston & went to Watertown with the issue of June 5, 1775. He then returned the newspaper to Boston in early November, 1776, ending a 17 month existence in exile. As for the significance of this title the famed Isaiah Thomas, a contemporary newspaper printer, founder of the American Antiquarian Society, and author of "The History of  Printing in America" stated: "No publisher of a newspaper felt a greater interest in the establishment of  the  independence of the United States than Benjamin Edes; and no newspaper was more instrumental in bringing forward this important event than the Boston Gazette".
By far the most notable content is the terrific letter on page 2, headed: "Extract of a Genuine Letter from an Officer on Board one of the King's Ships at Boston, to his Friend in London, dated  June 23, 1775." The body of the letter is a great account of this historic Battle of  Bunker Hill fought on the 17th, just 6 days prior to the date of  this letter. The full report is shown in the photos, with a few bits including: "On the evening of the 16th we were informed that the Provincials were erecting a battery on the Heights near Charles Town and that they intended from thence to bombard the town of Boston; early on the 17th we were alarmed with an account that they had been at work upon it all night...we were immediately ordered to land some battalions...Nothing could exceed the panic and apparent dislike of most of the King's troops to enter into this engagement...The Provincials poured down like a torrent & fought like men who had no care for their persons; they disputed every inch of ground...The engagement lasted upwards of four hours...The flower of our army are killed or wounded...The Americans are ot those poltroons I myself was once taught to believe them to be; they are men of liberal and noble sentiments, their very characteristic is the love of liberty..." and more (see). Terrific to have this report in a Boston newspaper, and interesting that it is from a British officer who was impressed with the American valor, his report ending with: "...I tacitly admire their resolution and perseverance against the present oppressive measures of the British Government."
As if this was not sufficient, there is much other fine content in this issue. Most of the front page is taken up with a terrific eulogy on the life of Major-General Warren, the military leader who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Inside has a report beginning: "By an express from Ticonderoga...we have certain intelligence that our people are in possession of Montreal...". More on this on page 3 from a letter from General Schuyler (see). Another item: "It is whispered that government has ordered Gen. Gage to offer 5000 pounds to any person or persons who will bring him Gen. Putnam's head...".
Other war-related items as well, too much to mention here but can be seen in the photos.
Complete in four pages, never bound nor trimmed. Archivally rejoined at the spine with an archival repair across the central horizontal fold on pages 2 & 3. Generally in very nice, clean condition. Due to the reflection of light, the archival mends in the photos look more pronounced than they actually are.

Category: American

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