Bunker Hill

“Cambridge, June 4, 1775. May it please your Honours: We beg leave to represent to you the peculiar distresses of this Colony, being assured that you will, as the wise guardians of the lives, liberties, and properties of the whole of this extensive Continent, attend to the several circumstances of all who, under God, look […]

[John Hancock to Joseph Warren] “My Dear Sir, Sunday Morng. 18 June 1775. Philada. I intended writing you a long Letter, but am prevented, by my Attention to the orders of Congress in Dispatching an Express & writing to Govr Trumbull on matters of infinite Importance, in short from my Situation in Congress I have […]

Watertown June 19th 1775 My dearest Friend I thank you for the line you sent me this morning it was a cordial indeed; I had a very anxious night of it, but I committed you to the care of a kind and good God, who has answered you: blessed be his name for this Instance […]

Hannah Storer Green to Abigail Adams             “Westfield [Massachusetts] August 18th. 1775 My Dear Friend ‘To certain Trouble we are born Hope to rejoice but sure to mourn.’ A serious truth this, which daily observation teaches, and experience convinces us of; for at the very moment that our hopes are at their height, trouble comes […]

Commentary: In the previous entry, I expounded on Mr. Frederic C “Rick” Detwiller’s assertion that controversial patriot James Swan appears as a key, and heretofore unidentified, figure in John Trumbull’s iconic painting Bunker’s Hill. The shirtless and shoe-less blonde young man in the painting bravely wards off an aggressive bayonet thrust by a menacing British […]

Source: Yale University Art Gallery, Study for Death of General Joseph Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill, by John Trumbull, September 1785, catalog 1993.79.1.  In: Peter Hawes, A Great Panorama Celebrating Twenty-five Years of American Art at Yale, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1998), 52, ill.   It has not […]

Source: Yale University Art Gallery, Study for Death of General Joseph Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill, by John Trumbull, 1785-1786.  Catalog 2005.7.1.   It has never been publicly displayed. Commentary:  John Trumbull (1756-1843) was an American painter who devoted his career to historical genre paintings and portraits depicting American Revolutionary era events and […]

Author:  [Anonymous] Date:  July 29, 1775 “A gentleman is arrived in town, who was present at the action on the 17th of June, at Charles Town, between the Provincials and the Regulars;  he says, that nothing could exceed the intrepidity of the Americans; that the King’s forces have intrenched themselves at Charles-Town, which was little […]

Date: July 13, 1776 Author: [Anonymous] “A report having prevailed, that Dr. Warren was not killed, I think it necessary to contradict it, as I saw a soldier, after the doctor was wounded, and lying in the trenches, going to run him through the body with his bayonet, on which the Doctor desired he would […]

Date:  September 5, 1775 Author:  [Anonymous] “The Provincials, covered by a small orchard, near the lines of the Boston Neck fortification, often picked out a centinel with their rifle-men; and at the periods of relieving guard in the night, they usually wound or kill some.  In retaliation, an Irish soldier is posted in a small […]