"Our Wills are Unbreakable"
June 20th, 1775
As you well know, I am employed at a printing press, and I would like to relate to you what exactly we have been printing in lieu of our regular Lexington, Massachusetts news. For, our ink has taken form in our paper in a most ‘revolutionary’ way, and our language, you may say, has taken quite a ‘treason-like’ turn.
Past times have seen a friendly relation between our thirteen colonies and the Crown of England. We have traded, paid taxes, fought side by side, kept traditions, and upheld allegiance with England. Yet, this monarchial style of living in the colonies did not hold a great favour amongst the people of this New Land. Our aims when we came from the great Mother Europe was to escape from her grip of tyranny, her strangling hand of taxes, her crushing foot of merciless judgments and her muffling cloak of religious persecution. We did not come to this new un-stained land to continue to accept the rule of those we fled from. We wanted freedom; and we will fight for it!
As the news from Boston concerning the massacre came to me and as I printed its headline in our largest typeset, I knew that this was not going to be the only event of the British being harassed and of bloodshed in our colonies; nay, our tempers were rising and near the peak of uncontrollable flame. More violence was going to occur.
Yeah, soon after, I received notice of the spilt tea in the Boston harbor. Boston was falling fast into rebellion, and fiery words were being spoken against the British crown. The taxation was unbearable, the ‘acts’ unacceptable, and the occupation of Boston unfathomable. Britain was and is treating the colonies as unlearned children. However, we do not need to be taken by the hand and shown how to discern right and wrong. Our minds are sharp and our wills are unbreakable. These taxations and ‘acts’ are like ‘punishments’ imposed on us, and we refuse to let them rule us. In defiance of these ‘punishments’ we have refused to purchase English tea or any English goods. We have gathered in secret, we have stored weapons away from English eyes, we have spoken from pulpits in churches in defiance against British rule, and, just recently, we have taken full arms against the Redcoats.
This news of the first firing was brought to me not by a news-gatherer, gossip, or local tale, it was passed on to me by my own ears and eyes and hands. I, William Parker, had taken up my own rifle, powder horn, bullets, and three-cornered hat, and gathered under John Riley Parker’s militia of only eighty men. I, worker of the press, drew my rifle up and waited until we were fired upon first. I, citizen of Lexington, Massachusetts, heard the shot that resounds in many hearts, as the first bullet took to the air on Lexington Green, April 19, 1775.
It was a skirmish, not a formal battle. Eight of our men were killed and ten were wounded. How strange it was to see the horror of battle on the green of our town where our children have played. It is on the very thresholds of our homes that this war is going to be fought, not on foreign soil. It will be our homes ravished, our crops torn, our livestock stolen, our children terrified, and our fingers on the trigger. These are the realities that came to heart for me that day, and never have I wrote a better article than I did on April 20, 1775 titled “The Patriot Stands”. It was my eyes that saw the skirmish and my hands that handled the rifle on the Green, and it was my hands that handled the ink and my hands that set the type.
Yes, cousin, our cause is maybe foolish in your eyes, but I tell you that the patriot is fierce for his freedom and we will fight for it, die for it, speak for it, and suffer for it. Our freedom is precious to us, for God gave us our freedom and what God gives we are to protect; for what God gives to us, no man has the right to take away. Believe in this or not, cousin, for our two countries are at war. I call our ‘colonies’ a country because we have gathered and mustered as one, and even as I write there are those who are drafting a declaration of our freedom and our rights as a free country. The patriot is strong, and it will take more than force to take us down.
I write this letter as your loving cousin and dear friend,