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Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Madness -- April 19, 1775 -- Diary of Dea. Joseph Seccombe

My ancestor, Joseph Seccombe, made entries in his "Text Book" and they can be seen in the publication, directly below. When I first discovered this, I made copies of the book pages, then saved them to read in Lexington. It was a Sunday afternoon, and I couldn't wait to begin. Although Joseph Seccombe wasn't in Lexington on the 19th, clearly he read about it, took action regarding his family and wrote about it.


Seccombe, Joseph Dea., Extracts From 'Text Books' of Joseph Seccombe. Essex Institute Historical Collections, Vol. XXXIV, (Salem, MA: 1898). Vol. 34: 23-39.

(Names in green are my direct lines, and I only copied names that were in his family.)

Page 24
Nov. 23d 1760 -- This daya (Mrs. Ruth Brooks that was) and I was out bride and bridegroom.
Dec. 7th 1760 -- This day I am 24 years old.
Feb. 14, 1762 -- This day I Joseph Seccomb and Ruth my wife openly renewed our baptismal covenant and were received into the first church of Christ in Danvers.
March 28th 1762 -- This day my child was baptized Rebecca by Mr. Clark.
Aug. 7, 1763 -- My child baptized Ruth.
Aug. 26, 1764 -- I put up this day a note for the death of my sister Mehitable, who died yesterday was a week ye 18 instant.


Page 25
Dec. 30, 1764 -- I at home. not able to go out : my child carried out and baptized Mehetable. Mr. Benjamin Deland held her up to be baptized.
Nov. 29, 1767 -- Sister Rebeccah Hall, died last Monday morning ye 23d. Note: Sister of wife.
Jan. 14, 1770 -- Daughter [born] ye 11th Instant Baptized this Day Mary.


Page 26
Aug 29, 1771 -- [my] son [born] last Thursday ye 24th Instant. Baptizd this Day Thomas.

Page 29
April 18, 1773 -- Mr. Thomas Seccombe [Medford] Died last Thursday Night ye 15th Instant of a Complication of disorders Aged 62 years.


Page 30
Sept. 12, 1773 -- Had a note up for ye Death of our youngest Child John who Died last Fryday.

Pgs. 35-36 Narrative of April 19, 1775


"Wednesday April 19, 1775. The Troops of his Brittannick Magesty commenced Hostilities upon the People of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay a Detachment from the Regular Army at Boston went out on ye Evening of ye 18th and marchd for Concord and in their way thro Lexington which they reachd before sunrise, on ye 19th they met with a Company of Militia of about 100 men mustered near the Meeting House : upon their coming up to our men they ordered them to disperse and; throw down their Arms, calling them Rebels; upon which the Troops huzzad and immediately one or two Officers discharged their Pistols which were instantaneously followed by the Firing of 4 or 5 of the Soldiers and then their seemed to be a general Discharge from the whole Body. Eight of our men were killed and nine wounded. In a few minutes after this action the Enemy renewed their march for Concord at which place they destroyd some of the Province Stores, here they killed two of our Men, but our People obligd them to retreat back to Lexington where they met with Lord Percy with a large Reinforcement, however after halting a while they retreated again and kept on firing upon our men, Pillaging almost every House they Passed by breaking and destroying Doors, Windows, Glass and carrying off Clothing and other valuable Effects : Burnt some houses. It appeared to be their Design to burn and destroy all before them and nothing but our vigorous Pursuit (under Providence) prevented their infernal Purposes from being put in Execution. But the savage Barbarity exercisd upon the Bodies of our unfortunate Brethren who fell, was almost incredible. Not content with shooting down the unarmed aged and infirm they disregarded the Cries of the wounded, killing them without mercy and mangling their Bodies in the most shocking manner as they Retreated back to Charlestown. We had 7 men belonging to Danvers killed and; a Number belong, to other Towns but ye Number of the Regulars was far greater. We have the Pleasure to say that notwithstanding the highest Provocations given by the Enemy not one Instance of Cruelty that we have heard of, was committed by our victorious Militia; but listening to the Merciful Dictates of the Christian Religion they breathed higher Sentiments of Humanity (Essex Gazette April 25, 1775).


After this Tragical event we had frequest Alarms, were threatned with haveing our Sea Port Towns burnt down by the King's Ships. The Towns of Marblehead & Salem, moveing out into the Country all in confusion and; distress. On the First of May I removed with part of my family, part being gone before and; part of my goods to New Salem in Hampshire to my Mother's where we remained untill the 21st of September when we returnd again to Danvers leaving some of our goods at Salem."

Page 36
Sept. 24, 1775 -- This Day we had a Note up for the Death of Brother Ebenezer Brooks.


Page 38
May 26, 1776 -- [My] son [born] on Tuesday the 14th Instant, Baptizd this Day Caleb Brooks.

6 comments:

Sanjay Maharaj said...

Somne great history recorded here and nicely detailed. You are so lucky to have this in your possession

Michelle Goodrum said...

Wow! It's incredibly interesting to read an account from someone who was actually there and aware of the events of the day. You are so fortunate to have this!

Heather Rojo said...

I love it! It is amazing how news traveled to Danvers so quickly. I'm sure that the people of Danvers knew exactly what was happening that day, since several Danvers men were killed and wounded in the Battle. Imagine the news traveling back and forth those thirty or forty miles, without telephone, telegraph, email or texting! Even the Londonderry men marched on Lexington, but arrived too late.

Barbara said...

Thank you Sanjay, Michelle and Heather for your comments.

Kathy said...

Barb,
This is really interesting. How did you happen to have it/find it? It is interesting to hear his perspective.
Kathy

Barbara said...

It is in a series of books at several local libraries. Essex County is near Boston. I was very thrilled, as you can imagine.