Biography of Joseph Warren
Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1741, and educated at Harvard, Warren was a prominent Boston physician. Despite his comfortable lifestyle, Warren began criticizing British rule in 1767, when he authored a series of essays published in the Boston Gazette.
Joseph Warren was one of the first members selected to the Boston Committee of Correspondence in 1772, and he was well known among Bostonians for orations he delivered in commemoration of the Boston Massacre in 1772 and 1775. When Parliament enacted the Coercive Acts in 1774, Warren authored the Suffolk Resolves, a stinging response that was passed by a unanimous vote of the extralegal Massachusetts Provincial Congress, and also endorsed by the First Continental Congress.
Warren actively participated in the Battle of Concord on April 19, 1775. On June 14, 1775 Massachusetts Provincial Congress commissioned Joseph Warren as second general in command of Massachusetts forces. Despite his commission, Warren volunteered to serve on the front line during the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he was mortally wounded on June 17. His untimely death was a significant loss to the American independence movement.
This painting by John Trumbull depicts the death of Joseph Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Image Source: Wikipedia.
Joseph Warren — Quick Facts
- Warren was born on June 11, 1741, in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
- He graduated from Harvard College at the age of 18, in 1759
- He began to practice as a doctor in Boston in 1764.
- In 1767, he wrote pro-colonial essays under the pen name “A True Patriot” in the Boston Gazette.
- Warren was an active member of the Sons of Liberty and became close friends with Samuel Adams.
- In 1772, he was one of the first members selected to the Boston Committee of Correspondence.
- Warren gave speeches to commemorate the Boston Massacre in 1772 and 1775.
- He wrote the Suffolk Resolves in 1774, which were approved and distributed by the First Continental Congress.
- He was president pro tem of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1774.
- Warren was an active member of Boston’s Committee of Public Safety.
- On the night of April 18, 1775, he sent Paul Revere and William Dawes to warn colonists in the countryside of the British plans to march on Concord.
- Warren exposed himself to enemy fire repeatedly in order to reach and treat the wounded during the fighting that occurred as the British retreated from Concord to Boston on April 19, 1775.
- The Massachusetts Provincial Congress commissioned Joseph Warren as second general in command of the Massachusetts forces on June 14, 1775.
- Despite being a staff officer, Joseph Warren chose to fight in the line as a volunteer at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
- One of the last soldiers to evacuate the American fortification on Breed’s Hill, Joseph Warren was killed during the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.