Concord, Massachusetts

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Concord is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2000 Census, the town population was about 17,000. Although a small town, Concord is noted for its leading roles in American history and literature.



The area which became the Town of Concord was originally known as "Musketaquid", situated at the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet rivers.[1] Native Americans had cultivated corn crops there; the rivers were rich with fish and the land was lush and arable.[2] However, the area was largely depopulated by the smallpox plague that swept across the Americas after the arrival of Europeans.[3] In 1635, a group of British settlers led by Rev. Peter Bulkley and Simon Willard negotiated a land purchase with the remnants of the local tribe; that six-square-mile purchase formed the basis of the new town, which was called "Concord" in appreciation of the peaceful acquisition.[1]

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was the initial conflict in the American Revolutionary War. On April 19, 1775, a force of British Army regulars marched from Boston to Concord (pausing for an early-morning skirmish at Lexington, where the first shots of the Battle were fired) to capture a cache of arms that was reportedly stored in the town. Forewarned of the British troop movements, colonists from Concord and surrounding towns repulsed a British detachment at the Old North Bridge and forced the British troops to retreat.[4] The battle was initially publicized by the colonists as an example of British brutality and aggression: one colonial broadside decried the "Bloody Butchery of the British Troops".[5] A century later, however, the conflict was remembered proudly by Americans, taking on a patriotic, almost mythic status in works like the "Concord Hymn" and "Paul Revere's Ride".[6] In April 1975, the town hosted a bicentennial celebration of the battle, featuring an address at the Old North Bridge by President Gerald Ford.[7]

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