Letter from Jonas Clarke's daughter Betty, who was 11 years old in 1775
Lexington, April 19, 1841
My dear niece Lucy Allen:
[T]his day ... is sixty six years since the war began on the Common which I now can see from this window as here I sit writing, and can see, in my mind, just as plain, all the British Troops marching off the Common to Concord, and the whole scene, how Aunt Hancock and Miss Dolly Quinsy [John Hancock's aunt and fiance, who were also staying with the Clarke family at the time of the battle], with their cloaks and bonnets on, Aunt Crying and ringing her hands and helping Mother Dress the children, Dolly going round with Father, to hide Money, watches and anything down in the potatoes and up Garrett, and then your Grandfather [Rev. Jonas] Clarke sent down men with carts, took your Mother [Betty's sister] and all the children but Jonas and me and Sally a Babe six months old... [I]n the afternoon, Father, Mother with me and the Baby went to the Meeting House, there was eight men that was killed, seven of them my Father's parishioners, one from Woburn, all in Boxes made of four large Boards Nailed up and, after Pa had prayed, they were put into two horse carts and took into the grave yard where your Grandfather and some of the Neighbors had made a large trench, as near the Woods as possible and there we followed the bodies of those first slain, Father, Mother, I and the Baby, there I stood and there I saw them let down into the ground, it was a little rainy but we waited to see them Covered up with the Clods and then for fear the British should find them, my Father thought some of the men had best Cut some pine or oak bows and spread them on their place of burial so that it looked like a heap of Brush....
From the collections of the Lexington Historical Society.