Dr. Joseph Warren
You should visit Dr. Joseph Warren on October 22, 2016, at 10:00 A.M., at Forest Hills Cemetery. The Freemasons will be dedicating a new monument to his memory at his family plot.
Here is a brief history of Dr. Warren.
He was born on June 11, 1741 and killed by a shot through the head during the last seconds of the Battle of Bunker Hill. His body was further abused with British bayonets to make recognition near impossible except for his eloquent clothing that was immediately removed as souvenirs. Dr. Warren graduated Harvard at age18 and a doctor by 22. Dr. Warren orchestrated the rides of April 18th, 1775, by Paul Revere and William Dawes, alerting the countryside that “The Regulars are coming out”. As a Colonial surgeon of Boston, none was more meticulous, clean and handsome or more eloquent in his writings and speeches on independence. Dr. Warren penned articles under the name of “True patriot”, in 1767, in protest of the “Townshend Acts.” Our Boston Massacre Tour describes in detail the five “Townshend Acts” that led to occupation of Boston by the British and the inevitable Boston Massacre. Further information is available here; http://www.walkbostonhistory.com/the-boston-massacre-tour.html
[Joseph Warren, 1765, by John Singleton Copley courtesy of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. [John Singleton Copley and his half-brother Henry Pelham, became Tories and eventually returned to England; Copley in particular felt his talent would be best served in Europe. This may not have been the case].
Three years before he died at the Battle of Bunker Hill, his wife died leaving him with four children.
Dr. Warren was a devoted Freemason and became the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts befriending a fellow mason, Paul Revere. Here began an association of spies and the closest of friendships. A discussion of the spy network of Colonial Boston will be published soon.
Dr. Warren performed autopsies, including that of young Christopher Seider, in February 1770, days before the Boston Massacre. Christopher Seider’s death dramatically accelerated the hostilities between Colonist and British soldiers. This event is discussed at length during our Boston Massacre tour. http://www.walkbostonhistory.com/the-boston-massacre-tour.html
Days before the Battle of Bunker Hill Dr. Warren was appointed a Major General in the colonial militia. He was one of the few Sons of Liberty to remain in occupied Boston after the Battle of Lexington and Concord of April 19, 1775. His arrest seemed imminent. With Boston garrisoned by the British, he was the last of the High Sons of Liberty to slip out of Boston on June 16, 1775, and nearly last to die on Bunker Hill. He arrived as the battle was in progress, probably between the second and third frontal assault by the British. He grabbed musket, powder and shot from a retreating minuteman and fought to his death as a common soldier.
His corpse was visited by many British officers and soldiers including General William Howe (who led the British in a frontal assault through the entire battle) and General John Burgoyne (who watched the battle from Boston). They all needed to see for themselves that such a vital colonial patriot was lost to the cause.
Nine months after his crude burial on Bunker Hill (actually Breeds Hill), the colonial militia regained control of the Hill as the British occupation force sailed out of Boston Harbor. All known interments were excavated for proper burial. Paul Revere was asked to confirm Dr. Warren’s identity. The corpse was exposed to the elements and abused by the occupying British force. Paul Revere confirmed Dr. Warren’s remains by inspecting the false teeth he made and the unique silver wire adaptor implanted by him.
Dr. Warren’s remains, were relocated three more times. Secondly, from Breeds Hill to The Granary Burial Ground, to St. Paul's Church Burial Ground and finally resting at Forest Hills Cemetery in 1855. A picture of the family plot is embedded below. The large rock, referred to as pudding stones, is the accumulation of glacial dust many thousands of years in the making and was chosen by the Warren family. The family plot may show some age but a change is coming thanks to Dr. Warren’s Masonic brothers. On October 22, 2016, at 10:00, A.M., a new monument will be unveiled at Forest Hills. Dr. Warren’s likeness will be placed on top of the pudding rock in his family plot by the Sixth Masonic District, and will be dedicated in a ceremony by the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, M.W. Harvey J. Waugh. The trees half circling the family plot should give his new statue a stunning back-drop. A plot map is available on Forest Hills site or stop at the office. I’ll see you there.
P.S. Historical tours of Forest Hills Cemetery are routinely conducted Thursday evenings at 6:00, and Sunday at 2:00. Meet at the benches just past the office.
Also under draft by us is a post of the three most venerable cemeteries in Boston; Forest Hills, Mt. Auburn and the Granary Burial Ground.