In honor of the 240th anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution – which began on this day, April 19, 1775 at the Battles of Lexington and Concord – we present a newspaper article that appeared in the Essex (Massachusetts) Gazette of 25 April 1775 – a compendium made by the Gazette’s editor of the events that took place on that day.
It might seem strange that our organization, which is dedicated to the overthrow of the US capitalist class of 2015 (many of whom have ancestors who fought and died in the American Revolution) would celebrate the victory of the then-emerging US capitalist class over the British royalists. But we recognize that the American Revolution was a major step forward on the road to the emancipation of the working class internationally. Even though the US revolution was led by a coalition of rather conservative mercantile capitalists and slave-owning aristocrats, the principles that were promulgated by the US revolutionaries broke new legal and philosophical ground that would lead inevitably to the development of the theory of the class struggle and the socialist ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. In other words, the socialist movement owes a great debt to the revolutionary thinkers – and actors – of the US revolution – men and women like John Parker, Prince Estabrook, Mercy Otis Warren, Thomas Paine, Deborah Sampson, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and the thousands of unsung heroic brave working men and women. They risked their lives and their fortunes in what, at the time, seemed as impossible a struggle against what was then the world’s most powerful military as does our fight today to topple the ruling class of the USA, whose military juggernaut frightens the most cowardly among us. In fact, it is the audacity and the boldness of the American revolutionaries of 1775 who we look to for proof that “for brave men and women, there is always a remedy for oppression”. No military, no King, no ruling class is too powerful to be brought down by the united power of the working class! The British found this out in 1775; time and again the modern US capitalist class has been forced to submit to the strength of the insurrectionary working class as they took on the most powerful military in the world – that of the United States – and won. In the USSR, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, the United States was unable to prevail against the united forces of the workers and peasants of countries who no one believed could ever win against the military might of the USA. The US working class, too, will someday prove the naysayers wrong, following the trail blazed by the heroes of 1776, 1789, 1871, 1917, 1949, 1953, 1959 and 1975.
Today’s US capitalist class, by re-legalizing torture and legalizing the assassination of U.S. citizens, has forever and irrevocably forfeited its “right” to rule over the working class of the USA. It is the duty of every decent member of the US working class to dedicate their lives and fortunes to the overthrow of this savage ruling class, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of our sister and brother workers all across the globe and the continuing torture and murder of our brothers and sisters right here in the US via the US national security police state and its prison-industrial system.
As in the US Revolution, where the Sons of Liberty, the Committees of Correspondence and the Provincial Congresses constituted the leading vanguard of the revolution in their day, today we need to create political parties capable of taking power from the ruling class and of taking the responsibility of running this country in the interests of the working class. A Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard workers party is the modern-day equivalent – for the workers – that the Sons of Liberty and the Montagnards were for the emerging bourgeoisie. Without a revolutionary socialist vanguard party to lead the working class in struggle, there can be no victory for the workers. EVERY successful revolution, from 1776 to today, has been led by a vanguard party of some kind. Those activists who oppose the formation of revolutionary vanguard parties are not revolutionaries but mere reformists, who seek to saddle the workers to the political dead-end of begging our “rightful rulers” to toss us a few crumbs from time to time to keep us happy. This form of struggle that relegates itself to “speaking truth to power” does not believe that it can prevail against the “oh so powerful” ruling capitalist class – so it settles for the position of “disloyal opposition”. By doing so, rather than putting a final end to capitalism, which is a system by which a tiny minority of wealthy people exploit the working class of the whole world, ends up keeping this decrepit system on life support. We say: PULL THE PLUG ON CAPITALISM NOW! We don’t want to SAVE it; we do not wish to prolong its existence for another minute!: we want to DESTROY it! In its place we will build an egalitarian, democratic workers government where the exploitation of man by man will cease to exist. It’s up to todays workers to make the new American Workers Revolution happen! Join us!
Workers of the World, Unite!
Independent Workers Party of Chicago
[Editor’s Note: The article below was transcribed by us from the copy of the newspaper available on line at the Massachusetts Historical Society. We have kept the original spellings and punctuation as well as the original newspaper column format of the text; we have for ease of reading replaced the “f”s used in place of “s”s. – IWPCHI]
Essex (Massachusetts) Gazette, 25 April, 1775
Page 3, Column 2
SALEM, April 25.
Last Wednesday, the 19th of April, the Troops
of his Brittanick Majesty commenced Hostilities
upon the People of this Province, attended with
Circumstances of Cruelty not less brutal than
what our venerable Ancestors received from the
vilest Savages of the Wilderness. The Particu-
lars relative to this interesting Event, by which
we are involved in all the Horrors of a civil War,
we have endeavoured to collect as well as the pre-
sent confused State of Affairs will admit.
On Tuesday Evening a Detachment from the
Army, consisting, it is said, of 8 or 900 Men,
commanded by Lieut. Col. Smith, embarked at
the Bottom of the Common in Boston, on board
a Number of Boats, and landed at Phips’s Farm,
a little Way up Charles River, from whence they
proceeded with Silence and Expedition, on their
Way to Concord, about 18 Miles from Boston.
The People were soon alarmed, and began to as-
semble, in several Towns, before Day-Light, in
order to watch the Motion of the Troops. At
Lexington, 6 Miles below Concord, a Company
of Militia, of about 100 Men, mustered near the
Meeting House ; the Troops came in Sight of
them just before Sun-rise ; and running within
few Rods of them, the Commanding Officer ac-
costed the Militia in Words to this Effect :——
“Disperse you Rebels—-Damn you, throw down your
Arms and disperse :” Upon which the Troops
huzza’d, and immediately one or two Officers dis-
charged their Pistols, which were instantaneously
followed by the Firing of 4 or 5 of the Soldiers,
and then there 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 destroyed se-
veral Carriages, Carriage Wheels, and about 20
Barrels of Flour, all belonging to the Province.
Here about 150 Men going towards a Bridge, of
which the Enemy were in Possession, the latter
fired, and killed 2 of our Men, who then returned
the Fire, and obliged the Enemy to retreat back to
Lexington, where they met Lord Percy, with a
large Reinforcement, with two Pieces of Can-
non. The Enemy now having a Body of about
1800 Men, made a Halt, picked up many of their
Dead, and took Care of their Wounded. At
Menotomy, a few of our Men attacked a Party of
twelve of the Enemy, (carrying Stores and Pro-
visions to the Troops) killed one of them,
wounded several, made the Rest Prisoners, and
took Possession of all their Arms, Stores, Provi-
sions, &c. without any Loss on our Side.—–The
Enemy having halted one or two Hours at Lex-
ington, found it necessary to make a second Re-
treat, carrying with them many of their Dead
and Wounded, who they put into Chaises and
on Horses that they found standing in the Road.
They continued their Retreat from Lexington to
Charlestown with great Precipitation ; and not-
withstanding their Field Pieces, our People con-
tinued the Pursuit, firing at them till they got to
Charlestown Neck, (which they reached a little
after Sunset) over which the Enemy passed, pro-
ceeded up Bunker’s Hill, and soon afterwards
went into the Town, under the Protection of the
Somerset Man of War of 64 Guns.
In Lexington the Enemy set Fire to Deacon
Joseph Loring’s House and Barn, Mrs. Mulliken’s
House and Shop, and Mr. Joshua Bond’s House
and Shop, which were all consumed. They also
set Fire to several other Houses, but our People
extinguished the Flames. They pillaged almost
every House they passed by, breaking and destroy-
ing Doors, Windows, Glasses, &c. and carrying
off Cloathing and other valuable Effects. It ap-
peared to be their Design to burn and destroy all
before them ; and nothing but our vigorous Pur-
suit prevented their infernal Purposes from being
put in Execution. But the savage Barbarity
exercised upon the Bodies of our unfortunate
Brethren who fell, is 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
We have the Pleasure to say, that notwith-
standing 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.”
The Consternation of the People of Charles-
town, when our Enemies were entering the
Town, is inexpressible ; the Troops however be-
haved tolerably civil, and the People have since
nearly all left the Town.
The following is a List of the Provincials who
were killed and wounded.
KILLED. Messirs. *Robert Munroe, *Jonas
Parker, *Samuel Hadley, *Jonathan Harrington,
*Caleb Harrington, *Isaac Muzzy, *John Brown,
John Raymond, Nathaniel Wyman, and Jedidiah
Munroe, of Lexington.—-Messirs. Jason Russell,
Jabez Wyman, and Jason Winship, of Menotomy.
—-Deacon Haynes, and Mr.—— Reed, of Sud-
bury.—-Capt. James Miles of Concord.—-Captain
Jonathan Willson, of Bedford.—-Capt. Davis, Mr.
——- Horsmer, and Mr. James Howard, of Acton.
—-* Mr. Azael Porter, and Mr. Daniel Thompson,
of Woborn.—-Mr. James Miller, and Capt. Wil-
liam Barber’s Son, aged 14, of Charlestown.—Isaac
Gardner, Esq of Brookline.—-Mr John Hicks, of
Cambridge.—-Mr. Henry Putnam of Medford.—-
Messrs. Abednego Ramsdell, Daniel Townsend, Wil-
liam Flint, and Thomas Hadley, of Lynn.—-Messrs.
Henry Jacobs, Samuel Cook, Ebenezer Goldthwait,
George Southwick, Benjamin Daland, jun. Jotham
Webb, and Perley Putnam, of Danvers.—-Mr. Ben-
jamin Peirce, of Salem.
WOUNDED. Messirs. John Robbins, John Tidd,
Solomon Peirce, Thomas Winship, Nathaniel Farmer,
and Prince Easterbrooks (a Negro-Man) of Lex-
ington.—-Mr.——– Hemmenway, of Framingham.
—-Mr. John Lane, of Bedford.—-Mr. George Reed,
and Mr. Jacob Bacon, of Woborn.—-Mr. William
Polly, of Medford.—-Mr. Joshua Felt, and Mr.
Timothy Munroe, of Lynn.—-Mr. Nathan Putnam,
and Mr. Dennis Wallis, of Danvers.—-Mr. Na-
thaniel Cleaves,of Beverly.
MISSING. Mr. Samuel Frost, and Mr. Seth
Russell of Menotomy.
Those distinguished with this Mark [*]were killed by the first
Fire of the Enemy.
We have seen an Account of the Loss of the
Enemy, said to have come from an Officer of one
of the Men of War ; by which it appears that
63 of the Regulars, and 49 Marines were killed,
and 103 of both wounded : in all 215. Lieut.
Gould of the 4th Regiment, who is wounded, and
Lieut. Potter of the Marines, and about twelve
Soldiers, are Prisoners.
Mr. James Howard and one of the Regulars
discharged their Pieces at the same Instant, and
each killed the other.
Our late Brethren of Danvers, who fell fight-
ing for their Country, were interred, with great
Solemnity and Respect, on Friday last.
The Public most sincerely sympathize with
the Friends and Relations of our deceased Bre-
thren, who gloriously sacrificed their Lives in
fighting for the Liberties of their Country. By
their noble, intrepid Conduct, in helping to de-
feat the Forces of an ungrateful Tyrant, they
have endeared their Memories to the present Ge-
neration, who will transmit their Names to Pos-
terity with the highest Honour.
We suppose a circumstantial Account will be prepared and pub-
lished by Authority. The above is the best we have been able
to obtain. We can only add, that the Town of Boston is now
invested by a vast Army of our brave Countrymen, who have
flown to our Assistance from all Quarters. GOD grant them
Assistance in the Extirpation of our cruel and unnatural Enemies.
Marblehead Harbour is now blocked up by the Lively Man of War.
[END – IWPCHI]