05 May 2009

Where It All Started

And speaking of folks who grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts, tireless children's book blogger Jen Robinson describes herself as "a native of Lexington, MA (where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought)."

But the fictional Alvin Ho would differ with that. He says that the "American Revolutionary War" started in Concord, which happens to be where he lives. Partisans of the two towns have been debating that point for nearly two centuries.

What's more, Thérèse, the narrator of Gail Gauthier's The Hero of Ticonderoga, tells us the Americans didn't win at either Lexington or Concord. As a native of Vermont, she counts the first American victory of the war as the Green Mountain Boys' takeover of Fort Ticonderoga across Lake Champlain in New York. Though, to be fair, the provincial militiamen certainly didn't lose on 19 Apr 1775.

My take on the start of the Revolutionary War? December 1774 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. And I'm not even from New Hampshire.


Jen Robinson said...

Well, I had my entire childhood to be indoctrinated about this (I was in Lexington for the Bicentennial when I was a kid), and I say that the first battle was fought in Lexington. I will concede that we didn't win that one, though...

Funny, I don't remember learning about Portsmouth, NH at all.

So much for my plans of reading Alvin Ho. (kidding, kidding)

Charlotte said...

Nope, it started with the burning of the Gaspee in RI (where I just happen to live) in 1772.

J. L. Bell said...

The Gaspee wasn’t even the first British government ship that Rhode Islanders burned! That was the Liberty in 1769.

(I point to Portsmouth because that was the first time the opposing forces met in organized military units—New Hampshire militia against the small Crown force in Fort William & Mary. It was the first time each side deployed potentially lethal weapons against the other. And the prize they fought over was undoubtedly military: control of the ordnance in that fort.)