Restricted Literary Concord, Massachusetts

James N.

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I've never been to the area but I now have another place to put on my list. Glorious area and wonderful photos!

Battle Road.jpg
Thank you for the comment; I'll add that the Alcott's and Hawthorne's Hillside/Wayside is now maintained by the National Park Service as a unit of Minuteman National Historical Park which stretches from Lexington to Concord and includes many of the sites pertaining to the battles of April 19, 1775. Elizabeth Lutyens adds the following about the house and next-door Orchard House:

After [ Hawthorne's ] death in 1864, The Wayside was later acquired by Harriet Lothrop, who, under the pen name Margaret Sidney, wrote The Five Little Peppers series. When her publisher husband died in 1892, she devoted herself to the preservation of The Wayside, and then to Orchard House as well. She also bought and restored "Grapevine Cottage," the birthplace of Ephraim Bull's famous Concord Grape.
 
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unionblue

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By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled;
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard 'round the world!


- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

The town of Concord, Massachusetts, is probably best known as the site of what may be called the first actual battle of the American Revolution, April 19, 1775, but it was also home to the group of literary intelligentsia known as Transcendentalists whose collective writings did much to foster Abolitionism and thereby bring on the Civil War. Unlike the way visiting a battlefield can help us to understand the course of events there, it's difficult to picture thoughts or ideas; but seeing places where these ideas originated can similarly put us in touch with those who thought and wrote about them.

Today, Concord is an exclusive suburb of nearby Boston, but remains far enough removed and protected by zoning restrictions by those fortunate enough to live there to retain quite a bit of its Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century charm. One of the most visited spots is Minuteman National Historical Park at Old North Bridge where the shooting began that April day. The famous statue of the Minuteman there was sculpted by a young Daniel Chester French whose later masterwork is the seated figure of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington, D. C. The statue was cast by the Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Mass., manufacturers of bronze cannon, swords, and sabers for both the Mexican War and Civil War. It was dedicated at the Centennial Celebration in 1875 by the leader of the Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose Concord Hymn quoted above is reproduced on the base.

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Subsequent posts will detail Emerson and his associates, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the family of Alcotts who also made their homes here, and are buried here as well.

James N.,

When I was assigned to Ft. Devens, MA, for AIT, our entire US Army Student Battalion marched across this bridge during a celebration of 'The shot heard 'round the world.' Over 300 strong and stomping our left boots down when marching over the bridge, we sounded AWESOME!

Thanks for the memory,
Unionblue
 

James N.

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Battle Road 004.jpg

Since today is in New England Patriot's Day and the anniversary of the twin battles of Lexington and Concord which inspired the generation fighting our Civil War, here's a *BUMP* for this thread about Concord and its literary heritage. These photos were taken in Minuteman National Historical Park between the two towns and show a stretch of the historic road as it appeared when the British marched unhindered to Concord and back fighting all the way!

Battle Road 005.jpg
 

James N.

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I thought I'd *BUMP* this thread, on the occasion of the current showing of the joint BBC/PBS latest version of Louisia May Alcott's Civil War-era classic Little Women, set of course in Concord and written by her at Orchard House. The first hour-long episode aired last night on my local PBS station and was very good, though not perfect. Here's another link to a review of her memoir Hospital Sketches about working as a nurse in a Union hospital in Alexandria, Virginia: https://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/hospital-sketches-by-louisia-may-alcott.135220/
 

General Casey

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I used to be a tour guide at The Old Manse. It does have an interesting history for the Civil War - John Brown once stayed there as one of his Secret Six members was from Concord. The woman who lived there during the war, Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, her son was a Lieutenant in the 29th Massachusetts. He died of disease just after Vicksburg while a neighbor, George Lincoln Prescott was Colonel of the 32nd Massachusetts and was KIA at Petersburg.
 

General Casey

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Other sites of interest in Concord would be Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Beside the graves of Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and the Alcotts, you have the grave of Daniel Chester French - sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial; Franklin Sanborn, member of the Secret Six; and the Melvin Brothers, three Brothers who all died during the war.

In fact, a fourth brother who survived, raised money and had a memorial sculpted - also done by French - for his three departed brothers.IMG_5183.JPG
 

JPK Huson 1863

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James N posted a link to this thread, in the current thread on Alcott. It's awfully absorbing, gee whiz. Not very distant Mass ' roots ', two great x 4 grandfathers marched on Lexington. Home of both was in Longmeadow, a few relatives still there. That's not ' look at my ancestor ', genealogical pride, it's just astonishing to me how close is the past. When I was a child their names were familiar to elderly relatives, is the thing. They weren't ancestors, just people who were remembered by their elderly relatives. Chills. The good kind.

I'm not being at all argumentative- why is it in the moderated forum, please? It's pretty delightful, a word we can't frequently use for the contentious threads. :angel:
 
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