LEXINGTON AND CONCORD. Bloody Butchery by the British Troops, or, The Runaway Fight of the Regulars. Being the Particulars of the Victorious Battle fought at and near Concord ... between Two Thousand Regular Troops, belonging to His Britannick Majesty, and a few Hundred Provincial Troops.... Salem, N.E.: Printed and Sold by E[zekiel] Russell., [May 1775].
Lot 56
LEXINGTON AND CONCORD.
Bloody Butchery by the British Troops, or, The Runaway Fight of the Regulars. Being the Particulars of the Victorious Battle fought at and near Concord ... between Two Thousand Regular Troops, belonging to His Britannick Majesty, and a few Hundred Provincial Troops.... Salem, N.E.: Printed and Sold by E[zekiel] Russell., [May 1775].
Sold for US$ 118,750 inc. premium
Lot Details
LEXINGTON AND CONCORD.
Bloody Butchery by the British Troops, or, The Runaway Fight of the Regulars. Being the Particulars of the Victorious Battle fought at and near Concord ... between Two Thousand Regular Troops, belonging to His Britannick Majesty, and a few Hundred Provincial Troops.... Salem, N.E.: Printed and Sold by E[zekiel] Russell., [May 1775].
Printed broadside, 497 x 377 mm. Printed in three columns, woodcut mourning borders and rules, two rows of 40 woodcut coffins (each captioned with the name of an American casualty) at head, at foot is the "Funeral Elegy, to the Imortal Memory of those Worthies who were Slain in the Battle of Concord," in 6 short columns. Some old faint staining, toning, and light spotting, some separation at centerfold with loss of a few letters and small marginal losses but the entire document expertly repaired, the verso reinforced with rice paper, tipped to mat at head of verso. Framed.

"BLOODY BUTCHERY": ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL PIECES OF ANTI-BRITISH PROPAGANDA OF THE ERA. The printer, Ezekiel Russell, was a devoted patriot and was evidently inspired by the shocking events of the past week. He united the written reports of the battles of Lexington and Concord (from Russell's own Salem Gazette) with the continued reporting of the Salem Essex Gazette, a report of the casualty list and funerals, and an anonymous verse elegy. The elegy and the lists specify which towns saw the heaviest casualties. As Russell himself heads the broadside: "These particulars are now published in this cheap form at the request of the friends of the deceased worthies who died gloriously fighting in the cause of Liberty and their Country; and it is their desire that every Householder in America, who are sincere well-wishers to the American Colonies, may be possessed of the same, either to frame and glass, or otherwise to preserve in their Houses...as a perpetual Memorial of that important event, on which, perhaps, may depend the future Freedom and greatness of the Common-wealth in America...."
The broadside was so popular that at least two editions and three issues are distinguishable even among the small number of surviving copies. Priority is unclear, but Streeter's "first edition" has no imprint, lacks the initial capital in column one and has a nine-line heading paragraph. The present copy seems to be the second issue of the first edition, with the initial capital, a six-line heading paragraph and a two-line imprint. The stated second edition features a five-line imprint and shows two additional coffins (representing two Americans who had succumbed to wounds since the last printing). RARE. Evans 13839; Ford Massachusetts Broadsides 1792; Lowance and Bumgardner 16; Streeter, American Beginnings 41; Streeter sale 758; Winslow American Broadside Verse 28.
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