Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Levi Mead and Levi Harrington

April 25, 1775

In the aftermath of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress ordered depositions to be taken from eyewitnesses. The Congress was trying to prove the British fired first at Lexington. Deposition #10 was given by Levi Mead and Levi Harrington, who testified the British fired first at the Battle of Lexington.

Lexington and Concord, Depositions

The Battle of Lexington by William Barnes Wollen (1910). Image Source: Wikimedia.

Deposition No. 10

Please note that section headings and spacing have been added to make the text easier to scan and comprehend.

Testimony of Levi Mead and Levi Harrington About the Battle of Lexington

We Levi Mead and Levi Harrington both of Lexington in the County of Middlesex and Colony of the Massachussetts Bay in New England and of lawfull age do Testify and Declare that on the morning of the Nineteenth of April being on Lexington Common as spectators we saw a Large body of Regular Troops marching up towards the Lexington Company and some of the Regulars on Horses Whom we took to be officers Fired a Pistol or two on the Lexington Company which was then dispersing 

These were the First Guns that were Fired and they were immediately followed by several volleys from the Regulars by which Eight men belonging to said Company were Killed and several wounded

Levi Harrington and Levi Mead

Lexington April ye 25, 1775 

Witnesses to the Testimony

Middlesex ss, April 25, 1775

Levi Harrington and Levi Mead above named being duly Cautioned to Testify the Whole truth made solemn oath to the truth of the above Deposition by them Subscribed

Coram

Wm Reed
Josiah Johnson
Wm. Stickney

{ Justices of the Peace

Certification of the Testimony

Province of Massachusetts Bay, Charlestown

I Nathaniel Gorham Notary & Tabellion Publick duly admitted & sworn do Certify all whom it doth or may concern that Wm Read Josiah Johnson & Wm Stickney Esqs are three of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of Middlesex and that full Faith and credit is to be given to their Transactions as such in Witness Where of I have hereunto affixed my Name & Seal this Twenty Sixth day of April Anno Domini one Thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy five

Nathaniel Gorham, Noty Puby 

the foregoing instruments are true copies in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my name & seal 

Interesting Facts About the Deposition of Levi Mead and Levi Harrington

  • Joseph Warren of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress wanted the depositions gathered as quickly as possible, so he could send them to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and Benjamin Franklin in London.
  • Franklin was the Agent for Massachusetts and acted as its representative. Warren wanted Franklin to have eyewitness accounts that could be used to help gain sympathy for the Patriot Cause.
  • Levi Mead and Levi Harrington both lived in Lexington.
  • Mead and Harrington were eyewitnesses to the Battle of Lexington.
  • They said they saw British officers fire their pistols at the Lexington Militia, which was dispersing from Lexington Green.
  • After the pistols were fired, the British Regulars opened fire on the militia at the Battle of Lexington.
  • The notary public, Nathaniel Gorham, went on to serve as the 8th President of the Continental Congress (June 6, 1786–February 2, 1787).

Citation Information

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  • Article Title Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Levi Mead and Levi Harrington
  • Date April 25, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Battles of Lexington and Concord, Deposition No. 10, Levi Mead, Levi Harrington, Battle of Lexington eyewitness
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date April 18, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 12, 2024

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