“Act Worthy of Yourselves” an Alternate Ending

I wrote the short story “Act Worthy of Yourselves” that asks the question “What if Dr. Joseph Warren had survived Bunker Hill?” as part of the Historical Writers Forum anthology “Alternate Endings” because frankly, Dr. Joseph Warren is the love of my American Revolution life.

This young and largely forgotten patriot is an important character in the first book of my historical fantasy series, Angels and Patriots Book One: Sons of Liberty, Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill. I’ve also have published non-fiction works about Warren including a short piece titled America’s First Martyr in the Military Writers Society of America’s 2021 anthology Untold Stories, numerous blog posts, and three audio clips for a website called Hear About Hear that provides audio clips for historic places. The three audio clips can be heard at Old South Meeting House in Boston, Massachusetts, Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and King’s Chapel in Boston where Warren delivered two Boston Massacre Orations (1772 & 1775), was killed at age 34 at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, and the chapel where his funeral was held, respectively.

Dr. Joseph Warren

Warren was a Boston physician, Son of Liberty, politician, orator, masonic Grand Master, president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and a major general. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty, a group of political dissidents formed in Boston to protest King George III and Parliament’s taxation and control of colonial authority. Their protests against the Mother country’s sudden subjugation after more than a century of autonomy, proliferated in the America colonies in the 1760s. Some of their famous members were Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams. John Adams, a Massachusetts lawyer and politician was not a Son of Liberty, but he was a sympathizer.

It was Joseph Warren who sent Paul Revere, along with William Dawes, on that ride to warn the countryside that the British regulars were out of Boston and on the march looking for rebel munitions on the night of April 18, 1775. He was holding the rebellion together in Massachusetts during the spring of 1775 while Samuel Adams and John Hancock were hiding in Lexington for fear of being hanged by the British for treason.

Through the committees of the Provincial Congress, he tirelessly wrote letters to leaders of other colonies, rallying for the cause, asking for help, and pressing them for their responsibilities in the rebellion against Britain. He gathered militia, supplies, and directed the provincial army who conducted the siege of Boston on the British in that town after the first shots of the war were fired in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts on April 19, 1775.

His death at the Battle of Bunker Hill was widely lamented by his friends and patients such as Abigail Adams, John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, patriots who fought alongside Warren on that fateful day and as far reaching as Philadelphia and the southern colonies. His death, early in the war, served to leave him in obscurity. He deserves to be known for everything he did in the infancy of the American Revolution to promote freedom and liberty. So the questions is “what if Joseph Warren had survived Bunker Hill?” Where would he have stood among the American Founding Fathers, many of whom were his fellows long before the rest of the world had heard their names.

One last very important comment. 

Under the tutelage and permission of the Dr. Joseph Warren Foundation and their operations director J Hart (with whom I will be doing further work), I’m thrilled to announce that the foundation is producing a docudrama about Joseph Warren with a target release date of 2025. This is the trailer narrated by Christian di Spigna author of the biography Founding Martyr.

 You can help preserve the legacy of Joseph Warren by supporting the Foundation, giving to the cause, and spreading the word. Huzzah!

www.djwf.org/the-trailer

My share of royalties will go to the Dr. Joseph Warren Foundation an organization dedicated to educating the public about his life & contributions to the American Revolution. 


I hope you enjoy my short story “Act Worthy of Yourselves” in our anthology as much as I enjoyed writing it! Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. Click the cover to get your copy!

Authors:

Virginia Crow
Cathie Dunn
Sharon Bennett Connolly
Karen Heenan
Samantha Wilcoxson
Michael Ross
Salina B Baker
Elizabeth Corbett


 

10 Favorite Sons of Liberty

#10. Dr. Thomas Young. Family physician of John Adams. He was an active organizer of the Boston Tea Party and participated in the Continental Congress.

Dr. Thomas Young

#9. Isaiah Thomas. Printed a radical rebel newspaper in Boston, the Massachusetts Spy and founded The American Antiquarian Society.

Isaiah Thomas

 #8. Benjamin Edes published the antagonist Boston Gazette, a newspaper which financed the Boston Tea Party and printed anti-British propaganda. There is no known likeness of Edes.

#7. Dr. Benjamin Church. Was a trusted Son of Liberty who became a spy for General Thomas Gage and first Surgeon General of the Continental Army . Church is an antagonist in the video game Assassin’s Creed III.

Dr. Benjamin Church

#6. General Benedict Arnold, along with Ethan Allen and his boys, won control of Ft. Ticonderoga for its aging artillery. In 178o, Arnold gave $500 to General Joseph Warren’s orphaned children. Eventually, Arnold would become a traitor to the cause of the American Revolution by defecting to the British Army.

General Benedict Arnold

#5. William Dawes. April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren dispatched Dawes (along with Paul Revere, to Lexington, MA to warn John Hancock, Samuel Adams, & the militias, of British movement.

William Dawes

#4. Paul Revere. A silversmith and jack of all trades. On April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren dispatched Revere along with William Dawes to Lexington, MA to warn John Hancock, Samuel Adams, & the militias, of British movement. Revere, Warren, and Hancock were brother masons.

Paul Revere

#3. John Hancock used his wealth to support the colonial cause. Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and Hancock were the ultimate triumvirate for liberty.

John Hancock

#2. Samuel Adams. “Father of the American Revolution” because of his early stand against the tyranny of Great Britain. Failed in business and pecuniary matters.

Samuel Adams

#1. Dr. Joseph Warren. Handsome idolized leader of the colonial rebellion April – June 1775. Major General, killed at Bunker Hill at age 34, America’s first martyr.

Dr. Joseph Warren

Dr. Joseph Warren is an important character in my award winning novel Angels & Patriots Book One: Sons of Liberty, Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill. Buy it today on Amazon in paperback or Kindle eBook.

Angels & Patriots Book One

The Man Who Finished The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes

Paul Revere and William Dawes didn’t make it to Concord, Massachusetts on the night of April 19, 1775 to sound the alarm that the British regulars were out of Boston and on the march in the countryside. Patriot leader Dr. Joseph Warren sent the two Sons of Liberty to warn fugitive rebels, John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were hiding in Lexington, Massachusetts, and then Revere and Dawes were to ride on to Concord where rebel munitions were stored. That ride was completed by twenty-three-year old Dr. Samuel Prescott. 

Dr. Samuel Prescott went on to serve as a doctor in the Continental army. He died at the age of 25 (or 26). Legend has it that he died in a prison in Nova Scotia. There are no known likenesses of him. A great deal of myth has been built around Prescott like other little known but important early American patriots. 

prescott

Imagine you are witness to the events that ended Revere’s and Dawes’ ride:

Samuel Adams joined John Hancock and Reverend Clarke in the living room while Paul Revere delivered Dr. Joseph Warren’s warning. William Dawes arrived as Paul was finishing. Paul and William could not linger in Lexington, and they left immediately to ride west toward Concord to spread the alarm.

On the road, Paul and William encountered Dr. Samuel Prescott, who was returning from an evening in Lexington with his fiancé Lydia Mulliken. The three men knocked on doors and spread the word through the countryside. Midway between Lexington and Concord, Paul scouted the road ahead for British patrols while William and Samuel stopped to warn a family who lived on a large farm.

The bright moonlight shadowed the woods on either side of the road, and Paul was surprised by two British officers who rode out from the shelter of the trees.

“We have been seen!” Paul shouted to William and Samuel.

Two more heavily armed regulars emerged from the shadows. The unarmed patriots’ only choice was to flee. Samuel Prescott urged his horse over a stone wall and escaped into the darkness of the woods.

William, who was mounted on the slowest horse, rode in the opposite direction until he found the shelter of an abandoned farmhouse.

Paul attempted to outrun the British, but six more regulars blocked his path. He was taken prisoner along with three other rebels who had been captured earlier in the morning. An officer ordered Paul to dismount, and then asked him where he had come from and when.

“I have ridden from Boston just hours ago,” Paul said with a surly attitude.

The officer raised an eyebrow in surprise that someone like this man had slipped out of Boston and had ridden this far. “What is your name?”

“Paul Revere,” Paul said boldly.

The officer nodded and said, “You are known.”

“Well you will not find what you are after whether that is men or arms,” Paul sneered. “I’ve warned the countryside all the way from Charlestown, and soon you will be facing five hundred men.”

Another officer rode at Paul at a gallop. The officer identified himself as Major Edward Mitchell. He then held a pistol to Paul’s head and said, “You will answer my questions or I will blow your brains out.”

After more detailed questioning, Major Mitchell ordered Paul to mount his horse. A regular took the reins, and Paul and the other captive rebels were led eastward. As they neared Lexington, the boom of a signal gun reverberated through the cold dawn air. Mitchell questioned Paul about the signal. Paul shrugged and repeated what he had already said twice before.

Soon after, the bell at the meetinghouse on Lexington Green began to ring. At this point, Major Mitchell and his regulars forced the rebels to dismount. One soldier drew his sword and cut the horses’ bridles and saddles off, and drove the horses away. Major Mitchell’s patrol kept Paul Revere’s horse.

Paul Revere and the other rebels were forced to walk back to Lexington.

In the meantime, Dr. Samuel Prescott had ridden to Concord and sounded the alarm to arms along the way.


Resources:

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Bunker Hill A City, A Siege, A Revolution New York: Penguin Books, 2013. Print.

Borneman, Walter R. American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2014. Print.

Miller, Joel J. The Revolutionary Paul Revere. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc 2010


Angels and Patriots Book One

Dr. Joseph Warren is an important character in my award-winning historical fantasy novel Angels & Patriots Book One. Sons of Liberty, Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill Available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle eBook. Angels & Patriots Book One