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Rev William Emerson
Cenotaph

Photo added by Eric Thomsen

Rev William Emerson

  • Birth 31 May 1743 Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 20 Oct 1776 Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont, USA
  • Cenotaph Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 7398328

Revolutionary War Figure. He was the minister in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, from 1765 to 1776. In 1770, near the soon-to-be-famous North Bridge in that town he built his home, which would later become known as the "Old Manse." From his pulpit he preached resistance to oppression by the English Parliament. On April 19, 1775, the first day of the American Revolution, he pleaded with the leaders of the American militia to launch an immediate attack on the British regulars instead of waiting for reinforcements. His demands were ignored, but when the fighting did begin, Emerson anxiously watched the battle unfold from his own land. In August of 1776, he left the Manse to serve as chaplain of the American army at Fort Ticonderoga. It was there he caught dysentery, which lead him to resign his commission to return home. He was able to make it as far as Rutland, Vermont, before becoming too ill to travel. It was there he died and was buried in an unmarked grave. The citizens of Concord erected this monument to him in 1826. He is the grandfather of the author Ralph Waldo Emerson as well.

Bio by: Eric Thomsen


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Eric Thomsen
  • Added: 29 Apr 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7398328
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev William Emerson (31 May 1743–20 Oct 1776), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7398328, citing Old Hill Burying Ground, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .