CONCORD250

Celebrating 250 years of American spirit

The 250th anniversary of the historic battles of Concord and Lexington is approaching on April 19, 2025. Concord250 commemorates the semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary of  the American Revolution, which began here in New England. Two hundred fifty years ago, the men and women of what is now Massachusetts secured their independence from Britain and created a new nation dedicated to the ideals of liberty, equality, natural and civil rights and responsible citizenship. Concord250 honors our first 250 years and inspires Americans to imagine our next 250. To mark this significant anniversary, residents, friends, and neighbors of Concord are invited to commemorate and celebrate this anniversary throughout the entire year.

 

Lantern, 1775. Concord Museum Collection, Gift of Cummings E. Davis, M400a1

To see the lantern that was hung in the North Church as a signal on the night of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, visit the Concord Museum!

 

Lantern

days left until
April 19, 2025

Interested in volunteering for Concord250?

At the heart of Concord250 are programs and events that will bring neighbors and communities together. United by a common vision, these will inspire us to explore the meaning and promise of Concord250.

Announcements

Get Involved in Concord250

At the heart of Concord250 are programs and events that will bring neighbors and communities together. United by a common vision, these will inspire us to explore the meaning and promise of Concord250.

Talk To Us Here

Ellen Garrison: Scenes from an Activist Life

Mark your calendar for June 8, 3pm!

Ellen Garrison: Scenes from an Activist Life

Where's Liberty Lantern?

Be on the lookout for Liberty Lantern around town as we shed light on the people and organizations of Concord!

Where is Liberty Lantern?

Memorial Day 2024

Memorial Day Celebration in Concord

Memorial Day Celebration in Concord

Concord250 Event: The Life of Benjamin Ralph Kimlau

Benjamin Ralph Kimlau (金勞少尉) (April 11, 1918 – March 5, 1944) was a Chinese American aviator and United States Air Force bomber pilot and native son of Concord.

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Concord250 Event: Half American: A Memorial Day Forum at Concord Museum

Join Dartmouth College Historian Matthew F. Delmont for a forum on his award-winning new book Half American: The Heroic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad.

Concord Pride Fest

Celebrate Concord Pride June 2024 Events happening all month long!

Concord Pride Fest

Ellen Garrison: Scenes from an Activist’s Life

The Umbrella Arts Center is proud to present the world premiere screening of the Half the History film, Ellen Garrison: Scenes from an Activist’s Life, filmed in Concord by Five Sisters Productions.

Ellen Garrison: Scenes from an Activist Life

Concord Stories Podcast

Listen to Concord Stories Podcasts!

Concord Stories

Concord250 Trees

In celebration of the 250th, Concord is planting 250 Trees! This living monument celebrates Concord's revolutionary past , as well as aspirations for the future.

Concord250 Trees

Call for Creative Programs

Extend the public conversation about freedom.

Call for Creative Programs

Middlesex Savings Bank Donation to Concord250

Middlesex Savings Bank donates $50,000 to Concord250

Middlesex Savings Bank Donation to Concord250

Concord250 Coins

Pick up your commemorative coin at The Visitor Center or Middlesex Savings Bank

Our Past Becomes Our Future

Part of commemorating Concord 250 is connecting to the past to inspire our future. Concord 250 is exploring the compelling, complex, and rich histories that make us who we are.

Concord Revolutionary War Sites

Wright Tavern

The Wright Tavern looks today as it did on the eve of the American Revolutionary War. This structure, built in 1747, is the location that the Committees of the Provincial Congress, and the Headquarters of the Minutemen the day before the “Shot heard around the world”!

On April 19, 1775, the day of the beginning of the war, this tavern changed hands and fell under British command. Located on Lexington Road in Concord, this is a must see location for American Revolutionary War enthusiasts.

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Old North Bridge

Concord’s North Bridge is the site of “the shot heard ‘round the world.” Here in this beautifully restored 19th century landscape, you will find the famous Minute Man statue by Daniel Chester French The North Bridge is part of the Minuteman National Historical Park

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Meriam’s Corner

The Meriam family lived at this corner, located within Minute Man National Historical Park, between 1663 and 1870. The Meriam House, a grey house at Meriam’s Corner, was built in 1705 and in 1775 was occupied by Nathan and Abigail Meriam and their eleven children. Josiah Meriam was a sergeant in a minute man company and his son, Josiah, Jr., was a private in the company.

After the fight at North Bridge on April 19, 1775, Meriam’s Corner was the next major engagement along Battle Road. At this location, thousands of militiamen from neighboring towns converged to bully the British back to Boston, thus beginning the Siege of Boston.

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Revolution 250

Revolution 250 is a proud organization encouraging residents to participate in various 250th commemorations in the Boston, MA area.

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Lexington 250

Celebrating 250 Years of Revolutionary History

Photography, articles & travel tips about Lexington and the Revolutionary War

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National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission (America 250) have partnered to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

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The Orchard House

Orchard House

Guided tours available. Learn more.

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Discover Concord Magazine

VISIT CONCORD MASSACHUSETTS AND DISCOVER REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY AND MORE!

Concord’s Only Visitor-Focused Magazine

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Concord Museum

 

Concord Museum

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The Robbins House

 

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The Umbrella Arts

 

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Concord Free Public Library

Concord Free Public Library

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Concord Art Association

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Arlington 250

ARLINGTON PREPARES TO COMMEMORATE ITS PLACE IN REVOLUTIONARY WAR HISTORY with a series of events and commemorations.

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Lincoln 250

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Freedom's Way

Freedoms' Way National Heritage Area

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The Old Manse

Old Manse

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The Concord Bridge

 

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Concord Chamber of Commerce

 

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Concord Anniversary Celebrations

Peace of Paris

The signing of the Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, formally ended the French and Indian War and marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe. Britain gained control of France’s claims in mainland North America east of the Mississippi. Although Britain doubled its colonies, its economy was nearly bankrupted by the cost of the war.

Proclamation of 1763

The Proclamation of 1763 “preserved to the said Indians” the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains, forbade white settlement, and restricted commerce with the American Indians. Power over westward expansion was now in the hands of British officials.

The Sugar Act

To maintain the army and repay war debts, Parliament imposed new duties on colonial trade. The Sugar Act taxed imported wines, coffee, textiles, and indigo and expanded the customs service. The Royal Navy patrolled the coast to search for smugglers, who were tried in special courts without a jury.

“No taxation without representation”

James Otis, in The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, carried his objection to a specific tax on sugar to a generalized argument in favor of natural rights and the consent of the governed. Otis, whose sister Mercy Otis Warren was also an American propagandist, is credited with coining the phrase “No taxation without representation.”

The Currency Act

The Currency Act prohibited colonial governments from issuing paper money and required that all taxes and debts to British merchants be paid in British currency.

The Stamp Act

Parliament passed the Stamp Act to help pay for British troops stationed in the colonies during the French and Indian War. The act required the colonists to pay a tax, represented by a stamp, on various forms of papers, documents, and playing cards.

Fall, 1765 – Stamp Act Response

  • Stamp Act required printed materials use embossed stamped paper on which a tax had been paid considered way to recoup costs of defending colonies in late War. Fiercely resisted as an unlawful tax – no taxation w/o rep – no reps in parliament.
  • Response  – “Braintree Instructions,” authored by John Adams as Braintree’s instructions to its representative in the General Court (Sept. 1765), and circulated around the countryside, which articulated the colony’s grievances. 
  • Other towns eventually adopted similar “resolves.” (Note time lag) usually as an instruction to the town’s representative to protest/resist the act in the General Court. Look for “resolves”
  • Stamp Act repealed March 1766 – may see references to great rejoicing, victory.

Patrick Henry accused of treason

Patrick Henry was accused of treason for denouncing the Stamp Act in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Legend has it that Henry declared, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”

Colonists react to the Stamp Act

Reaction to the Stamp Act ranged from boycotts of British goods to riots and attacks on tax collectors. In this letter, Archibald Hinshelwood, merchant and rising politician from Nova Scotia, describes his impressions of the Stamp Act and of the resulting colonial unrest.

Townshend Acts

Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend imposed new duties on imports of glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea in the colonies. Revenue paid the salaries of governors and judges, preventing colonial legislatures from exercising the power of the purse over those officials.

1767-8 Townsend Acts and Responses – Things Heat Up

  • Parliament passed a series of acts placing duties on imported paper, paint, lead, glass, and tea. 
  • Samuel Adams authored a “Circular Letter” from Boston to Mass. towns and to the other colonies. It laid out grievances and sought input from other assemblies.
  • Look for responses supporting the “Boston Letter” or resolves to encourage local manufacturing (to replace dutied items)

June-July 1768 British Response to Massachusetts Circular Letter – ultimatum to Mass. General Court: rescind letter or be dissolved. Ninety-two representatives (later to be honored as “the 92”) refused to rescind, and the assembly was forcibly dissolved. Huge backlash against bridging colonial right of assembly.

Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania

In his series entitled Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, John Dickinson called on colonists to resist the Townshend Duties. The letters, which were published in many colonial newspapers, helped turn opinion against the Townshend Acts.

British troops arrive in Boston

After Britain imposed the Townshend Duties in July of 1767, the colonists became even more restive. In 1768 two regiments of British troops arrived in Boston to quell the nascent rebellion.

1768 – Arrival of British Troops. Boston responded to the dissolution of the provincial assembly and Boston’s occupation by British troops by calling for “a convention of towns” to meet in order to devise a “speedy redress” of their grievances. Look for articles discussion whether to attend convention and voting on whom to send as representative.

1768 & 1769 – Non-Consumption Agreements – Samuel Adams called for a complete economic boycott of all British goods. Some towns ignored this, some mildly called to “Increase frugality and home manufactures,” others wholeheartedly embraced the boycott. Boston voted to promote local industry and home products and to curtail imports of the enumerated goods.

Receipt for land purchase from the Six Nations

The British authorities hoped to prevent further conflicts between white settlers and American Indians by forbidding the continued migration of settlers and by paying the Indians for lands they had already occupied. After giving up their land, the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy dispersed, with some staying in western New York and others traveling north to Canada and west to Wisconsin.

The Boston Massacre

By the beginning of 1770, there were 4,000 British soldiers in Boston, a city with 15,000 inhabitants, and tensions were running high. On the evening of March 5, crowds of day laborers, apprentices, and merchant sailors pelted British soldiers with snowballs and rocks. A shot rang out, and then several soldiers fired their weapons. When it was over, five civilians lay dead, including Crispus Attucks, an African American merchant sailor who had escaped from slavery more than twenty years earlier.

Phillis Wheatley on tyranny and slavery

Entitled “To the Right Honourable William, Earl of Dartmouth,” Wheatley’s famous poem reflects the colonists’ hopes that Dartmouth, the new secretary of state for the colonies, would be less tyrannical than his predecessor. Wheatley declares that her love of freedom comes from being a slave, comparing the colonies’ relationship with England to a slave’s relationship with a slave holder.

And can I then but pray
Others may never feel tyrannic sway

Late 1772/early 1773 – Boston Pamphlet – Sam Adams again attempted to rouse public resistance by publishing an account of a Boston Town Meeting in which the citizens

  •  laid out their rights,
  • chronicled the ways in which those rights had been violated
  • and called on other towns to form Committees of Communication to network

 

The Tea Act

To save the East India Company from bankruptcy, Parliament authorized the company to sell a tea surplus directly to the public without payment of duty. This effectively gave a monopoly to the East India Company. The move sparked protests ranging from boycotts by women to the famed Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773.

Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts)

Parliament enacted the Port Act as a reprisal for the Boston Tea Party. The first of the “Intolerable Acts,” the Port Act closed Boston harbor to all shipping until payment for the destroyed tea was made. In May, two additional Intolerable Acts forbade public meetings in Massachusetts unless sanctioned by the royal governor and transferred any trial of a British official accused of a capital offense to England or another colony.

Massachusetts Government Act

Passed by the Parliament of Great Britain effectively abrogating the 1691 charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay giving its royally-appointed governor wide-ranging powers. The colonists said that it altered, by parliamentary fiat, the basic structure of colonial government, vehemently opposed it, and would not let it operate. The act was a major step on the way to the start of the American Revolution in 1775.

Middlesex Convention

Took place in Concord. The delegates resolved to say that the recent acts of the British Parliament are tyrannical and go against any notion of jurisprudence. The delegates reiterated their loyalty to the Crown, however they maintained their duty to protect their rights that had been granted through the Massachusetts Charter.

Massachusetts Provincial Congress

Meets in Concord after Royal Governor Thomas Gage dissolves the provincial assembly.  With John Hancock as its president, this extralegal body became the de facto government of Massachusetts outside of Boston.  It assumed all powers to rule the province, collect taxes, buy supplies, and raise a militia. Hancock sent Paul Revere to the First Continental Congress with the news that Massachusetts had established the first autonomous government of the Thirteen Colonies.

First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress, called in response to the Intolerable Acts, met in Philadelphia. All thirteen colonies except Georgia were represented. They composed a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances,” which detailed “grievous acts and measures” imposed by the Crown to which “Americans cannot submit.”

By 1774 – 1775, you should be seeing notes in your town meeting records about

  • Establishing, equipping, training local militia and minute companies
  • Gathering/storing arms, ammunition, and medical supplies
  • Voting to send representatives to the extra-legal Provincial assemblies
  • Participating in actions to close courts
  • Establishing Committees of Correspondence & of Safety (local, extra-legal govt.)
  • Sending tax revenues to provincial collector Henry Gardner of Stow vs. royal agent
  • Sending goods to relieve Boston’s distress
  • Voting to erect a Liberty Pole

Harassing those suspected of Tory sympathies, requiring them to sign loyalty pledges

Slave trade halted

In late 1774 Congress halted the slave trade as part of anti-British protests. Historian James O. Horton notes that “the Revolution puts in sharp relief the difference between America’s ideals and rhetoric and America’s practice.”

  View the pay warrant for Sharp Liberty, an African American soldier who served in the Connecticut Line of the Continental Army.

The American Revolution began with the “shot heard ’round the world.” At the battles of Lexington and Concord, seventy-three British troops were killed and two hundred were wounded or missing in action. The patriot losses were forty-nine dead and forty-six wounded or missing.

Colonies declared in “open rebellion”

On July 5, 1775, one year before they would declare independence, the Second Continental Congress sent the Olive Branch Petition to England. The king refused to even look at it, and instead issued the Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition, declaring the colonies to be in “open and avowed rebellion.”

King George III’s address to Parliament

King George III addressed Parliament to declare that Great Britain would not give independence to the colonies: “The object is too important . . . to give up so many colonies which she has planted with great industry, nursed with great tenderness, encouraged with many commerical advantages, and protected and defended at much expence of blood and treasure.”

John Adams’s plan

In a letter to a fellow Continental Congress delegate, Adams described the basic structure of what would become the American government, including the separation of powers: “A Legislative, an Executive and a judicial Power, comprehend the whole of what is meant and understood by Government.” The ideas presented in this letter had a profound influence on the state constitutions of Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and ultimately, the federal Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence

On July 2, 1776, Congress declared independence from Great Britain and two days later adopted the Declaration of Independence. Copies of the Declaration were then sent out to the new “Free and Independent States” to print and distribute.

  Watch David Armitage on “The International Influence of the Declaration of Independence.”

Articles of Confederation

The Second Continental Congress named a committee to draft the Articles of Confederation to define the relationship between the thirteen new states. The members worked from June 1776 until November 1777, when they sent a draft to the states for ratification. On December 16, 1777, Virginia became the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. Maryland was the last, holding out until March 1, 1781.

Women and the Revolution

Women played many roles in the Revolution on both sides of the conflict. They boycotted tea, saved money and goods for the troops, and harbored fugitives. In a letter to her husband in 1777, Lucy Knox describes local unrest, including the arrest of Bostonians suspected of being Tories and the involvement of the local mob in Revolutionary politics. She also reports on the high cost of goods, noting that “the price of every thing is so exorbitant indeed it is difficult to get the necessarys of life here.”

Valley Forge

The American army claimed a major victory at Saratoga, New York, when Continental forces trapped British general John Burgoyne’s army in October 1777. But just months later, Washington made camp for the winter at Valley Forge where his army suffered incredible hardship through the winter, facing disease, cold, hunger, and lack of supplies. In this circular letter Washington pleads for aid from the states: “We had in Camp, on the 23rd Inst by a Field Return then taken, not less than 2898 men unfit for duty, by reason of their being barefoot and otherwise naked.

The Surrender at Yorktown

The last major battle of the American Revolution pitted American and French forces against Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. The war was essentially won, but it would take two years before peace negotiations were completed and the peace treaty was signed.

The Articles of Confederation Ratified

Newburgh Conspiracy

Continental officers who had long been waiting to receive pensions and back pay from Congress threatened to revolt against a “country that tramples on your rights.” Washington convinced military leaders to remain loyal.

  Learn more about Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy

Peace of 1783

The Treaty of Paris was signed by representatives of Great Britain and the United States. “For the British this was a profoundly traumatic event . . . they will never again achieve this kind of hegemony. . . . The Americans are now going to have to make their own way.” —Andrew Robertson

Washington lays down his sword

At the end of the war, George Washington returned his sword to Congress and said he wanted nothing more than to return to his farm. Upon hearing about this unprecedented refusal of power and profit by a victorious general, King George III remarked, “If that’s true, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Treaty of Paris Ratified

The official end of the Revolutionary War takes place when Congress ratifies the Treaty of Paris.

Constitution Convention Opens in Philadelphia

Constitution Ratified

The first presidential election

The first Congress under the Constitution convenes in New York City

George Washington Elected First President

Historic Videos of Patriot Days

Patriots Day 1925

Patriots Day 1950

1976 200th Celebration

200 Years & One Day, Part 1 – Town of Concord Archives Digital Repository

200 Years & One Day, Part 2 – Town of Concord Archives Digital Repository

Concord 250 Stories

Concord Stories

Listen to some local Concord stories!  

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Concord Pride

ConcordPride is being celebrated for the  first time in Concord, MA  with joy and excitement and the intention of lifting  up the LGBTQIA community. Concord Pride demonstrates the town’s explicit…

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Where is Liberty Lantern?

We know the significance of the “One if by land, and two if by sea” lantern in 1775…. but did you know the lantern symbol will play an important role…

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