Joseph Warren


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Warren, JOSEPH, physician; born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, June 11, 1741; killed in battle, June 17, 1775; graduated at Harvard College in 1759; studied medicine; began practice in 1764 in Boston, and by his successful treatment of small-pox patients acquired a high reputation among the faculty. In politics he was in advance of public opinion in general, holding the doctrine that the British Parliament had no right to levy a tax of any kind upon the colonies. When, in 1772, Samuel Adams declined to deliver the annual oration on the anniversary of the Boston massacre, Dr. Warren took his place, and exhibited great ability. He again delivered the anniversary oration in 1775 in the midst of the danger caused by the presence of British troops and the exasperation of the citizens. He had been made a member of the Boston committee replied Warren, " but where's the man who does not think it glorious and delightful to die for his country?" Just before the battle began he went to the redoubt on Breed's Hill with a musket in his hand, and was offered the command by Colonel Prescott and General Putnam, but declined, and fought as a volunteer in the ranks. He was one of the last to leave the redoubt. As he moved away towards Bunker Hill an officer of the British army who knew him called out to him by name to surrender, at the same time commanding his men to cease firing. As Warren turned, attracted by the voice, a bullet penetrated his brain and he fell dead. The Continental Congress voted him a monument, and resolved to educate his infant son at the public expense. The monument was never erected by the government, but the Bunker Hill monument was unveiled on the famous hill, June 17, 1857. A masonic lodge in Charlestown erected a monument in 1794 on the spot where he fell. It was composed of a brick pedestal 8 feet square, rising 10 feet from the ground, and supporting a Tuscan column of wood 18 feet in height. This was surmounted by a gilt cross, bearing the inscription " J. W., aged 35," entwined with masonic emblems. Upon the pedestal was an appropriate inscription. The monument stood thus forty years, when it gave way to the Bunker Hill monument. A beautiful model of Warren's monument stands within the base of the huge granite obelisk.

Joseph Warren at Bunker Hill

Joseph Warren in the Battle of Bunker Hill, where he was killed



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