Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monument: Lexington Minuteman, Lexington, MA

Growing up in the area, one would sometimes come away with a muddled understanding of local history. For a period of time as a young lad, I thought that the Battle of Lexington and Concord was actually a conflict between Lexington and Concord.

Later in life, I came to understand that there was some truth to that misunderstanding.

After the 1875 unveiling of the Concord Minuteman statute, it fell upon the leadership of Lexington to respond in kind. And so, in 1899, a statute was commissioned for the Lexington green.

Bold, hatless and Hollywood handsome, the Lexington Minuteman stands looking out in the direction of the advancing British column.

Of course, there is considerable doubt as to whether there were any Lexington minutemen as the historical record is devoid of any vote establishing a company of minutemen in Lexington. It was the Lexington militia that mustered on the green late on the 18th and early on the 19th of April.

Henry Hudson Kitson, a British-born subject, was the sculptor chosen for this task.

Kitson was known for bold, romantic statues. While the Concord sculptor went on to create the statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, Kitson created a statue of Jefferson Davis.

Kitson wasn't finished with this subject. He actually cast a second minuteman statue but added a hat and altered slightly the boots. This minuteman stands near Washington's Newburgh, New York, headquarters.

Kitson also designed a third minuteman statue that is in Framingham, MA. This latter piece was actually cast by his wife, Zelda Kitson.

The Lexington minuteman statue stands at the front of the Lexington Green. It is easily accessible by road and parking is readily available in the area.

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