Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Nathaniel Mullikin, Philip Russell, et al

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 #7 was given by Nathaniel Mullikin, Philip Russell, and others, 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. 7

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

Testimony of Nathaniel Mullikin, Philip Russell, et al, About the Battle of Lexington

We Nathaniel Mullikin, Phillip Russell, Moses Harrington Jun, Thomas & Daniel Harrington, William Grimes, William Tidd, Isaac Hastings, Jonas Stone Junr, James Wyman, Thaddeus Harrington, John Chandler, Joshua Reed Junr, Joseph Simonds. Phineas Smith, John Chandler Junr. Reuben Lock, Joel Viles, Nathan Reed, Samuel Tidd, Benjamin Lock, Thomas Winship, Simeon Snow, John Smith, Moses Harrington ye 3d, Joshua Reed, Ebenezer Parker, John Harrington, Enock Willington, John Hormer, Isaac Green, Phineas Hearns, Isaac Durant & Thomas Headley Junr all of Lawful age and Inhabitants of Lexington in the County of Middlesex and Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England

do testify & declare that on the 19th of April instant about one or two o Clock in the morning being Informed that several officers of the Regulars had the evening before been riding up & down the Road and had detained & Insulted the Inhabitants passing the same and also understanding that a body of Regulars were marching from Boston towards Concord with intent (as it was Supposed) to take the stores belonging to the Colony in that Town. 

We were alarmed & having met at the place of our Company’s Parade, were dismissed by our Captain John Parker for the Present. with orders to be ready to attend at the beat of at the drum

— we further testify & declare that about five o’clock in the morning hearing our drum beat we proceeded towards the Parade and soon found that a Large body of troops were marching towards us 

Some of our Company were coming up the the Parade and others had reached it; at which time the Company began [entered above line] to disperse. 

whilst our backs were turned on the Troops we were fired on by them & a number of our men were Instantly killed & wounded

— not a Gun was Fired by any Person in our Company on the Regulars to our knowledge. before they Fired on us. and they Continued Firing untill we had all made our escape —

Nathaniel Mullikin
Philip Russell

Lexington April 25, 1775

Full List of Witnesses Giving Testimony

  • Moses Harrington Jun
  • Thomas Harrington
  • Daniel Harrington
  • William Grimes 
  • William Tidd 
  • Isaac Hastings 
  • Jonas Stone Jun 
  • James Wyman 
  • Thaddeus Harrington 
  • John Chandler 
  • Joshua Reed Junr 
  • Joseph Simonds  
  • Phinehas Smith 
  • John Chandler Jun 
  • Reuben Lock 
  • Joel Viles
  • Nathan Read
  • Samuel Tidd
  • Benjamin Lock
  • Thomas Winship
  • Simeon Snow
  • John Smith
  • Moses Harrington 4 [illegible superscript] 3d
  • Joshua Reed
  • Ebenezer Parker
  • John Harrington
  • Enoch Wellington
  • John Hosmen
  • Isaac Green
  • Phinehas Hearns
  • Isaac Durant
  • Thomas Hadley Jun
  • Nathaniel Mullikin 
  • Philip Russell 
  • Moses Harrington Jun 
  • Thomas Harrington 
  • Daniel Harrington 
  • William Grimes 
  • William Tidd
  • Isaac Hastings 
  • Jonas Stone Jun 
  • James Wyman 
  • Thaddeus Harrington 
  • John Chandler 
  • Joshua Reed Jun 
  • Joseph Simonds 
  • Phinehas Smith 
  • John Chandler Jun
  • Reuben Lock 
  • Joel Viles
  • Nathan Reed
  • Samuel Tidd
  • Benjamin Lock
  • Thomas Winship
  • Simeon Snow
  • John Smith
  • Moses Harrington 4 [illegible superscript] 3d
  • Joshua Reed
  • Ebenezer Parker
  • John Harrington
  • Enoch Wellington
  • John Hosmer
  • Isaac Green
  • Phineas Hearns
  • Isaac Durant
  • Thomas Hadley Junr

Witnesses to the Testimony

Middlesex ss April 25, 1775

above named being duly cautioned to Testify the whole Truth made solemn oath to the above deposition as containing nothing but the truth as subscribed by them

William Read
Jonoah Johnson
Wm Stickney

{ Justices of the Peace

Certification of the Testimony

Province of Massachusetts Bay. Charlestown ss

I Nathaniel Gorham Notary & Tubellion Publick by Lawful Authority duly admitted & sworn hereby Certify all whom is [inserted: doth or] may concern. that William Read. Josiah Johnson & Willm Stickney Esqrs are three of his Majestys Justices for the County of Middlesex & that full faith & Credit is to be Given to their Transactions as such in Witness whereof I have hereunto affixed my name & seal this Twenty Sixth day of April Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & seventy Five.

Nathaniel Gorham, Not. Pubk

the foregoing instruments are true copies

Interesting Facts About the Deposition of Nathaniel Mullikin, Philip Russell, et al

  • 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.
  • The witnesses in this deposition were members of the Lexington Militia, under the command of Captain John Parker.
  • Around 5:00 a.m., they heard the drumbeat and returned to Lexington Green.
  • When they arrived, they saw the British column approaching them.
  • The Lexington Militia started to disperse, but when their backs were turned, the British fired on them, starting 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

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

  • Article Title Lexington and Concord — Deposition of Nathaniel Mullikin, Philip Russell, et al
  • Date April 25, 1775
  • Author
  • Keywords Battles of Lexington and Concord, Deposition No. 7, Nathaniel Mullikin, Philip Russell, 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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