A Lexington Birthday

Elsa Moody, guest writer


“Jesse! Can you get me some water from the well?” asked Caroline as she chopped the freshly picked carrots for the soup.

“Of course,” responded Jesse as he grabbed the pot and headed out the door.

“Do not play with that!” scolded Mrs. Hall as she grabbed the needle and thread from Eliza’s hands.

“Where’s Papa?” asked James.

“Workin’, James. You know that. Now go clean up, you have dirt from head to foot.” demanded Caroline.

Sixteen year old Caroline Grace Hall was born to Amos and Rebekah Hall on April 18, 1758, and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts. They live in a house on the east side of town just down the street from the town square. Caroline’s best friend, Emeline, and her family live just next door. Caroline’s father, a proud patriot, earns his living as a blacksmith out of the shop behind the house. Seventeen-year-old Jesse works at his side. Eight-year-old James, five-year-old Eliza, the garden and the house, provide work for Mrs. Hall and Caroline.

“Papa! What is wrong with you,” exclaimed Caroline as he stumbled in through the back door grabbing anything he could for support.

“Oh don’t worry darling. My old leg is just worked up again.”

“Mama! Boil that water for papa!

Mr. Hall was young when the French and Indian War broke out. He, along with his father and brothers fought for their land. Although, the Indian’s sly movements and swift arrows were extremely hard to miss. Mr. Hall was shot in the leg and has never been the same.


“Caroline! Caroline,” yelled a familiar voice running up the wooden steps to the front door.


“Caroline! Mother and I need your help! We have special guests!”

“Well, who are they?”

“I haven’t a clue, mother sent me right over for your help in the house! Mrs. Hall, is it alright if Caroline comes to help?”

“Yes, I’m sure I can make it on my own. Run along, it sounds urgent.”

The two girls ran side by side down the steps holding their dresses so they would not trip. They cut across the yard and hopped over the small picket fence that separated the two properties. Emeline quietly opened the front door with Caroline right behind her. Tripping over each other, they walked quickly down the hall, and peeked around the open door of the parlor. There sat Samuel Adams and John Hancock with their “tailored waist coats, knee breeches and top boots” (St. Germain). Caroline, Emeline, and her mother swept and dusted the rooms then swept and dusted some more. They wanted to please the two men sitting in the front parlor. Samuel Adams was considered “the mastermind” of the patriot rebellion. John Hancock stood as the “face of the patriot movement,” for he was head of the Committee of Safety (Philbrick). They both had come to live outside of Boston, for the British power was getting stronger, and it was no longer safe for them.

A couple of weeks had passed when there was a soft knock at the front door of the Hall’s home.

“Who could that be?” Caroline asked, puzzled.

“Welcome, Captain Parker. What can I do for you?” Mr. Hall said as he took the man’s hat and coat.

“Well, Amos, I have come to ask you and your son, Jesse, a favor.” He spoke in a hushed voice as if he did not want others to hear.

“Yes? Here, have a seat,” Mr. Hall said as he secretly motioned the children out of the room.

Caroline stood just around the corner focusing on every sound trying to make out some words.

“As you know, the British are thought to make their move at anytime. We must be prepared.”

“What can we do, sir?”

“Well, you are one of the best blacksmiths around, and you have a fine helper also. I need more muskets and musket balls for the Minutemen.”

“We can do that, sir. How many do you need?”

“As many as you can make.”

“We will get started right away,” Mr. Hall said as he handed the captain his coat and hat.

“Thank you! You are doing a great service for your country,” Captain Parker responded, walking down the front steps.


A few weeks later it was a beautiful April morning. Caroline, realizing it was the eighteenth, her birthday, pulled on her dress, tied her long, brown hair into a ribbon that matched the periwinkle on her dress and waltzed down the stairs into the kitchen. Her family greeted her with birthday wishes and hugs. Emeline came over and gave her a beautiful locket necklace. Her father bought her a whole basket of her favorite food, oranges; she almost ate them all in one day. Jesse made her a small wooden box to keep her locket in. The end of the day came and tree frogs sang outside in the darkness as her head hit her pillow.

Suddenly, a galloping horse and someone yelling could be heard on the street. Caroline grabbed a candle, lit it, and ran to the window facing the street. Now the rider was closer and she could understand what he was shouting.

“Wake up! Wake up! The British are coming!”

The rider dismounted while the horse was still moving and he ran to Emeline’s house next door. Caroline dashed down the stairs and found Jesse stumbling while he pulled on his pants, her father grabbing the muskets from above the fireplace, and her mother frantically telling them to be careful.

“Papa, what’s happening?”

“That’s our call for the militia to form ranks. Stay here, I don’t want you getting hurt.”

“But papa!”

“No Caroline,” Mr. Hall demanded as he and Jesse rushed out the door.

As soon as they were out of sight, Caroline ran next door. She knocked softly on the door and then walked in to see the two guests in heated conversation with the rider.

“Mr. Hancock, you must leave! The British are on the move as we speak,” pleaded Paul Revere as he stood in front of the men who were still in their night clothes.

“I will not leave without a fight,” Mr. Hancock exclaimed.

“It is not our business, John. We belong to the cabinet,” reminded Sam Adams.

“If I had my musket, I would never turn my back on these troops” (Philbrick).

Finally, John Hancock was convinced and they were on their way out of the town. Caroline and Emeline scurried down the street into the town square. They hid as the British troops formed ranks in front of the Lexington militia.

“You think there will be a fight, Emeline?”

“Nah, they are just trying to scare us. See, Captain Parker just told the militia to disperse.”


“Caroline! What was that?”

“A gun shot!”

“Who was it?”

“I don’t know! Hurry lets get back, they are all opening fire! Run!”

When gunshots could no longer be heard, Caroline and Emeline hurried down to the square. Near the edge of the square Jesse was lying in the grass with Mr. Hall sitting over him. Caroline ran to her brother and found that a bullet had only ripped his pants and grazed the skin of his leg. They rushed back to the house, for everyone in the town was afraid that the British troops would search the town, but to their relief the troops left the field and the small scare of war was over.

Works Cited

Philbrick, Nathaniel. Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution. New York: Penguin Group.                         2013. Print.

St. Germain, Edward. “The Revolution and the New Republic.” AmericanRevolution.org. The                  JDH Group, LLC, 1996. Web. 2015.


“Battles of Lexington and Concord.” history.com. A&E Television Networks, LLC, 2016. Web.               28 Mar. 2016.

Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere’s Ride. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1994.                         Print.

“John Parker.” The Library of Congress. n.p. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.

“Pre-Revolution Timeline-The 1770s.” Americasbesthistory.com n.p. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.