Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Zachariah Brown and Thomas Davis Jr.

May 11, 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 #21 was given by Zachariah Brown and Thomas Davis Jr. who disputed rumors of atrocities committed against British troops at the Battle of Concord.

Lexington and Concord, Depositions

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

Deposition No. 21

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

Testimony of Zachariah Brown and Thomas Davis Jr. About the Battle of Concord

Concord, May 11, 1775.

We, the subscribers, of lawful age, testify and say, that we buried the dead bodies of the King’s Troops that were killed at the North Bridge in Concord, on the nineteenth day of April, 1775, where the action first began, and that neither of those persons were scalped, nor their ears cut off, as has been represented.

Zachariah Brown
Thomas Davis, Jr.

Witnesses to the Testimony

Zachariah Brown and Thomas Davis, Jr, personally appeared before me, and made oath to the above declaration.

Duncan Ingraham, Justice of the Peace

Interesting Facts About the Deposition of Zachariah Brown and Thomas Davis Jr.

  • 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.
  • In the aftermath of the day’s events, there were rumors that British soldiers had been mutilated near the North Bridge during the Battle of Concord.
  • Brown and Davis testified they buried the bodies of the British troops killed near the North Bridge and that the bodies were not mutilated.
  • 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

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Zachariah Brown and Thomas Davis Jr.
  • Date May 11, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Battles of Lexington and Concord, Deposition No. 21, Zachariah Brown, Thomas Davis Jr.
  • 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