Massachusetts Historical Society
America's oldest historical society, founded 1791.

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In Congress, at Watertown, April 30, 1775

In Congress, at Watertown, April 30, 1775 Broadside

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"Defend Our Wives and Our Children"
Not until around 10 P.M. on the night of 19 April, twenty-four hours after they had first mustered for their march to Concord, are all the Regulars back in Boston, having been ferried from Charlestown on the last leg of their mission. Over the next few days, a force of approximately 20,000 provincials, intent on preventing Gage's troops from making any more forays into the countryside, lays siege to the town. In the ensuing weeks, as colonists drift back toward their homes, Joseph Warren, president pro tempore of the Provincial Congress then meeting at Watertown, urges his colleagues to act boldly and to do so immediately.

Questions to Consider

1. What does the Congress propose to do?

2. Describe the tone of this broadside. Support your description with words and phrases from the document.

Further Exploration

3. Imagine that you are a young person living in Massachusetts on 30 April. Write a brief essay describing your reaction to this announcement. Do you think it is a good idea? Are you excited? Nervous? Scared?