Eyewitness Accounts

Eyewitness accounts of an event help others understand what happened. Each person has their own perspective or viewpoint. View the videoclips of the Militia Man and British Soldier and listen to their versions of the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. Use the How Does it Read Guide to help you analyze their written statements. Compare their accounts with Adam Cooper's in April Morning.

Click on Image to View Movie
Bob Cairns Portrays Sylvanus Wood
Click on Image to View Movie
Tom Pieper Portrays Major John Pitcairn


Courtesy of Cornell University Library
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 1850
Read Jona. Harrington's Letter
"He played the fife when the minute men were marshaled on the Green upon that memorable April morning."

We would like to thank Bob Cairns and Tom Pieper for volunteering their time and expertise in portraying these individuals and presenting these accounts of the Battle of Lexington. We would also like to thank the production team from WVIZ, Tim Swartz and Toivo Motter who arranged, filmed, edited, and produced the movies. Filming was done at the Zoar Village State Memorial, Ohio Historical Society.

Writing a Viewpoint

After reading and listening to the accounts of the events that happened on April 19, 1775, at Lexington Common, write a first person narrative about that day for a newspaper or broadside from the viewpoint of one of the following:

A young man from Lexington A young woman from Lexington
A farmer who was Loyalist A farmer who was a Patriot
A female child A male child
A father A mother
A sister A brother
A wife A teacher
A Minuteman A British soldier
The owner of Buckman's Tavern

Viewpoints Today

Think about different viewpoints when you read newspapers, magazines, or listen to broadcast radio and television. Write about one of these viewpoints to share in class.

Updated March 5, 2017
© 2002 Rita Bigham, Linda C. Joseph, and Linda D. Resch
All Rights Reserved

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