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Encyclopedia > Isaac Davis

Isaac Davis (1745 - April 19, 1775) // Events May 11 - War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy - At Fontenoy, French forces defeat an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army including the Black Watch June 4 – Frederick the Great destroys Austrian army at Hohenfriedberg August 19 - Beginning of the 45 Jacobite Rising at Glenfinnan September 12 - Francis I is elected... April 19 is the 109th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (110th in leap years). ... ...

Isaac Davis led the first attack on the British Regular army during the American revolutionary war, and was the first to die in that battle. Combatants American Revolutionaries, France, Dutch Republic, Spain, American Indians Great Britain, German mercenaries, Loyalists, American Indians Commanders George Washington, Comte de Rochambeau, Nathanael Greene, Bernardo de Gálvez Sir William Howe, Sir Henry Clinton, Lord Cornwallis (more commanders) The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War...

He was captain of the Acton Minutemen, and his men were possibly the best trained and equipped militia in New England. A gunsmith, he provided every man with a cartridge box to aid in rapid fire and a bayonet for hand-to-hand combat. His company assembled twice weekly for drills and marksmanship. Lexington Minuteman representing John Parker Minutemen is a name given to members of the militia of the American Colonies, who vowed to be ready for battle in a minutes notice. ...

Davis was convinced that he would die if forced into battle. Several days before the battle a large owl, a symbol of death, had flown into his home and perched on his favorite gun and remained for several days. On the day of his death, the last words he spoke to his wife were “take good care of the children,” all four of which were ill.[1]

On the morning of April 19th 1775, the town of Acton was roused by a rider from Boston, possibly [Dr. Prescott]. The Minutemen gathered at Davis's home, which still stands on Hayward Street. He is reported to have said "I have a right to go to Concord on the King's highway and I will go to Concord" before marching his men. On the border of Concord, he gave all of his men a chance to turn back, but none did. They encountered but avoided some Regulars destroying militia supplies on Colonel James Barrett's farm and continued to the North Bridge.

Upon reaching the area of the North Bridge, history has lost exactly what transpired. What is known is that Davis, a junior officer, led his men to the rightmost (and first to face battle) position, which is the place of the senior officer. Some historians believe he was given this position, others claim it was an accident or hubris, while others think the lead position was offered to another officer who declined before it was offered to Davis.

Also lost is what exactly he said as he led his men, and why. Quotes include "I have not a man that is afraid to go," "I haven't a man that is afraid to go" or that he was questioned if he was afraid to go and answered "No, I am not and I haven't a man that is!"

What is known is that he did not survive the battle as he was shot in the first or third volley, and was the first to die in battle fighting the Regulars. This is not to be confused with the first to die in the struggle for independence, nor the first rebel to die that day. Also mortally wounded in that battle was Abner Hosmer of Acton.

In 1851 his body was reburied at the war monument in the center of Acton, along with Abner Hosmer and James Hayward, who died in Lexington later that April day.

The route of the Acton Minutemen is retraced every Partriots' Day in April by citizens and visitors. A monument also stands in Concord where the Minutemen stood. It was designed by Daniel Chester French in the image of some of Davis's decedents who were said to look like him, as no images of Isaac Davis survives. This statue of a Minuteman in uniform with a musket in one hand and the other resting on a plowshare remains an iconic symbol, and can be found on everything from the Massachusetts state quarter to official seals to corporate logos. On the base of the statue in inscribed the first stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Concord Hymn which was written for the statue's dedication. It reads: Daniel Chester French Signature, Daniel Chester French (April 20, 1850 – October 7, 1931) was an American sculptor. ... A farmer in Germany working the land in the traditional way, with horse and plow. ... Obverse of redesigned quarter The 50 State Quarters program is the release of a series of commemorative coins by the United States Mint. ... Ralph Waldo Emerson Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American author, poet, and philosopher. ...

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.

External links

  • [1][1] American Revolutionary War: Minuteman Isaac Davis was Shot During the Battle of Concord
  • [2]Acton Minutemen Website
  • [3] Concord Magazine "The Concord Fight and a Fearless Isaac Davis

  Results from FactBites:
History of English Bible Revision (11109 words)
It had been customary to elect officers and managers before the public services; but before this could be done Rev.
Isaac Westcott moved: 'That this Society, in the issues and circulation of the English Scriptures, be restricted to the commonly received version, without note or comment;' and further moved that, as probably all minds were made up on the question, the vote should be taken without debate.
Determined resistance to this summary process secured the postponement of the question to the afternoon, and other business was attended to.
Franklin Pierce (6407 words)
In January, 1840, he spoke upon the Indian war in Florida, defending the secretary of war from the attacks of his political opponents.
In December of the same year he advocated and carried through the senate a bill granting a pension to an aged woman whose husband, Isaac Davis, had been among the first to fall at Concord bridge on 19 April, 1775.
In July, 1841, he spoke against the fiscal bank bill, and in favor of an amendment prohibiting members of congress from borrowing money of the bank.
  More results at FactBites »



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