Lincoln, Massachusetts

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Lincoln is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 8,056 at the 2000 census, including residents of Hanscom Air Force Base that live within town limits. Without the base, which is largely self-contained, Lincoln is home to 5,152 people, according to the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Lincoln was settled in 1654 as part of neighboring Concord. It was incorporated as a separate town in 1754. Due to their "difficulties and inconveniences by reason of their distance from the places of Public Worship in their respective Towns," local inhabitants petitioned the General Court to be set apart as a separate town. Comprising parts "nipped" off from the adjacent towns of Concord, Weston and Lexington, it was sometimes referred to as "Niptown."

Chambers Russell, a Representative in the Court in Boston, was influential in the town's creation. In gratitude, Russell was asked to name the new town. He chose Lincoln, after his family home in Lincolnshire, England. His homestead in Lincoln was the Codman House property, which was occupied after his death by his relatives, the Coodman family.

Lincoln is reportedly the only town in America named after Lincoln, England (and not President Abraham Lincoln)[citation needed], although Lincoln, New Hampshire was named for the 9th Earl of Lincoln, an English nobleman and founded long before Abraham Lincoln's birth.

Paul Revere was captured by British soldiers in Lincoln on the night of April 18, 1775. Minutemen from Lincoln were that first to arrive to reinforce the colonists protecting American stores in Concord. Col Abijah Pierce of Lincoln led his troops armed with a cane. He upgraded his weapon to a British musket after the battle. Several British soldiers who fell in Lincoln are buried in the town cemetery.

Reverend Charles Stearns (1753–1826), a Harvard-trained minister, served the Congregational Church in Lincoln from late 1781 until his death. Only a handful of his sermons were printed, most in the early 19th century. In addition, Stearns was principal of the Liberal School, a relatively progressive and coeducational institution that opened in early 1793. While at the school, Stearns wrote and published a number of education-related works, including Dramatic Dialogues for Use in Schools (1798), a collection of 30 original plays that were performed by the students. After the school closed in 1808, Stearns continued to tutor students privately. Among his pupils were Nathan Brooks, a Concord lawyer, and George Russell, a Lincoln physician. Stearns' published works can be accessed at Early American Imprints, a microform and digital collection produced by the American Antiquarian Society. A summary article that looks at Stearns as a producer of children's drama is The Dramatic Dialogues of Charles Stearns: An Appreciation by Jonathan Levy, in Spotlight on the Child: Studies in the History of American Children’s Theatre, ed. Roger L. Bedard and C. John Tolch (New York: Greenwood, 1989): 5-24.

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