Monday, July 07, 2014

”The Rev. Mr. Payson . . . at the head of a party of his own parish . . . he has taken up arms in defence of those rights, civil and religious, which cost their forefathers so dearly...

 The following has just been added, (among quite a few other recent associated  discoveries), on the Biblical Quotes on Arms and Defense page.

April 19. [1775]

[Pg. 65]

…During this time an express was sent to General Gage, who despatched a reinforcement under the command of Earl Percy, with two field-pieces. Upon the arrival of this reinforcement at Lexington, just as the retreating party had reached there, they made a stand, picking up their dead, took all the carriages they could find, and put their wounded thereon. Others of them–to their eternal disgrace be it spoken–were robbing and setting houses on fire, and discharging their cannon at the meeting house.

[Pg. 66]

   While this was transacting a party of the militia at Menotomy, [1] attacked a party of twelve of the enemy, who were carrying stores and provisions, killed one of them and took possession of their arms and stores, without any loss.

[1] This party was led by the Rev. Phillips Payson, D.D.,* to whom the following extract refers:–”The Rev. Mr. Payson, of Chelsea, in Massachusetts Bay, a mild, thoughtful, sensible man, at the head of a party of his own parish, attacked a party of the regulars, killed some and took the rest prisoners. This gentleman has been hitherto on the side of government, but oppression having got to that pitch beyond which even a wise man cannot bear, he has taken up arms in defence of those rights, civil and religious, which cost their forefathers so dearly. The cruelty of the King’s troops, in some instances, I wish to disbelieve. They entered one house in Lexington where were two old men, one a deacon of the church, who was bed-ridden, and another not able to walk, who was sitting in his chair; both these they stabbed and killed on the spot, as well as an innocent child running out of the house.”–Pennsylvania Journal, August 2.

* Dr. Payson was born at Walpole, Massachusetts, on the 18th of January, 1736. He graduated at Harvard College in 1754 and from the time of his ordination (three years after) until his death, he was constantly and jealously engaged in the service of the church. During the Revolution, he boldly advocated the cause of the Colonists. He died January 11, 1801.

[Diary of the American Revolution. From Newspapers and Original Documents. By Frank Moore. Vol. I. New York: Charles Scribner, Grand Street. London: Sampson Low, Son & Company. MDCCCLX.]

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