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April 1975

Samuel Prescott: Physician-Patriot

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1975;110(4):375-376. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1975.01360100017003

It was not Longfellow's legendary Paul Revere, but a young physician who roused his countrymen from Lexington to Concord, 200 years ago.

It is time to underscore a small footnote in the history of this country's revolution. The image of Paul Revere has remained untarnished since 1860, when Longfellow's Wayside landlord told of the midnight ride.1 Yet the truth is that Revere was taken prisoner by the British outside Lexington, and it was a young physician, Samuel Prescott, who actually carried the alarm to Concord.

CONCORD PREPARATIONS  As an early spring of 1775 approached, the patriotic citizenry of Concord was well aware that Crown-Colony relations were reaching a breaking point. By order of the First Provincial Congress, their little town had become a virtual arsenal; cannon, powder, musket balls, and the sundry provisions of war were deposited in private houses and barns.One of the many concerned citizens was the