Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Minutemen & Thoreau

We spent Monday afternoon exploring the neighborhood while our friend Erica did some errands, and in this case it meant the Minute Man National Historical Park, site of the battle that began the War for Independence and Thoreau’s Walden Pond. We began, of course, with the obelisk, the North Bridge and the overlook onto the battlefield. In this case that meant the Concord commons and what interested me was the limited scope of the battle. This was 2,500 British regulars detailed from Boston to seize rebel munitions and a roughly equal number of local militia men come out to defend their homes and families. So the result is that you can envision the battle taking place in a discrete space in a way that you cannot when larger armies maneuvered around one another over larger expanses. And, of course, this is hallowed ground. Where the experiment in self-government began to be realized.

The old North Bridge, standing there I could imagine the British troops, most of them mere boys, ranged facing the massed militias or Concord and the surrounding countryside

A small monument to the fallen Brits

Of greater interest to Sharon, was the house next door, which is known to us as The Old Manse, built next door just a few years before the battle by The Reverand William Emerson, grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the center of American literary history for another century. Sadly, as so often the case on this trip, it was not yet open for the season, se we were not able to get the full story.

The boathouse

The Manse

From there a quick stroll through Concord and we headed off to Walden Pond where that great curmudgeon and gadfly Henry David Thoreau went off into the woods, as one young girl we overheard on the trail put it, “to do whatever the f*ck he wanted.”
Rosa comes to call on Mr. Thoreau

No comments: