From: Gary Hunt at the Outpost of Freedom

R E L I A N C E

May 4, 1997

On October 20, 1774, the First Continental Congress approved their "Resolves", and began their journeys home. They had agreed that each of the colonies, would refuse to purchase goods imported from England or Ireland. The Reliance was on each and every colony to abide by the agreement. Massachusetts, especially Boston, had been the instigators of this act. Most other colonies had much less to lose by importing British, and much more to lose by resistance to the importation.

Just six months later, John Hancock and Samuel Adams were settled in Lexington, after the previous day's convention at Concord. Those at Concord had relied on the good will of the surrounding community to assist them in the protection of cannon, arms and powder that had been stored there by the Committee of Safety. The morning of April 19, 1775 would test the reliability of those who had, at this point in time, offered their word, only.

William Dawes and Paul Revere spread the warning the evening before. Adams and Hancock were within earshot of the first volley as Capt. John Parker proved to the world that the men of Lexington could be relied upon during a time of need. From around the countryside, Menetomy, Sudbury, Acton, Bedford, Woburn, Charlestown, Brookline, Cambridge, Medford, Danvers and Lynn, they came. They were willing to give their lives to prove that they could be relied upon, in time of need. But, then, these were all men from the local countryside, and, of course, it is easier to hold to your promise to those that you know. But, those in Lexington and Concord found that they could rely on those from the surrounding area.

Further away, from Salem and Marblehead militia companies, more well trained than those in the Concord area, began their journey to Boston. Just one-half hour after the British return to the city, via Boston Neck, these two militia arrived. Had they been just an hour sooner, over half of the British contingent in Massachusetts would have been cut off from supplies, and, perhaps, defeated. Boston found that she could rely on the rest of Massachusetts.

James Warren, at the direction of the Boston Committee of Safety, put out a plea to the other colonies. Although the common defense was not a part of the Convention, the idea of standing together in one effort, surely could not deny support to those who had come under fire as a result of their defense of the whole. Warrens plea brought over twenty thousand men, within just a few days, to risk their lives in defense of a cause. Massachusetts found that they could rely on their fellow Americans. That reliance was not conditioned on whether those who stood on Lexington Green were doing something that the others agreed with, or not. It was based solely on the reliability of those who could assist, when others were in need.

Probably, however, the most significant reliance of all, these first few days of the American War of Independence, was the reliance that all could have on Captain John Parker and his seventy-six fellow Americans (the FIRST Americans) as they stood in the face of the British Army, refusing to rely on any but themselves for how can anyone rely on others, if he is not capable of reliability, himself.


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