b. The battle started when a group of colonial militiamen met British troops on Lexington’s town green on April 19, 1775.
c. The British were marching from Boston to look for military supplies reportedly stored in Concord by members of local militias.
d. Other American colonists had given the militiamen advance notice of the British troops’ march toward Lexington and Concord.
Battle of Lexington PowerPoint.
a. Painting/Slide 1: Title slide. The battle was a chaotic event, and there are many conflicting accounts of what took place. One of the most contested questions about the Battle of Lexington continues to be “Who fired the first shot?”
b. Painting/Slide 2: Central Historical Question. Today we are going to be exploring a series of documents in order to answer these questions: What happened at the Battle of Lexington? And, who fired the first shot?
Pair Share out. Students may note the following for first painting:
i. Participants: The British soldiers are wearing matching red coats and are standing in neat lines. In contrast, the American colonists don’t have uniforms and seem to be less organized than the British.
ii. Location: The battle appears to be taking place on a green near a town.
There are buildings in the background.
iii. Actions of the colonists: The colonists look angry and defiant. There is a
colonist with a fist raised toward the British. They seem to be standing up to
iv. Casualties: There are several colonists lying on the ground. It doesn’t look
like any of the British soldiers have been wounded.
v. First shot: Although there is smoke surrounding the British soldiers, it is not clear who fired the first shot.
Share out. Students may note the following for seconding painting:
i. Participants: The British soldiers are once again wearing matching red coats and standing in neat lines. And the American colonists once again seem to be less organized than the British and don’t have matching uniforms.
ii. Location: The location seems to be the same as Image 1. The buildings seem to be the same. Although the British soldiers and colonists once again are on the town green, it is brown rather than green.
iii. Actions of the colonists: Instead of defiantly fighting the British, the colonists
appear to be fleeing.
iv. Actions of the British troops: It looks like the British are firing at the fleeing colonists
v. Casualties: There are many colonists who appear to have been killed or wounded.
vi. First shot: Although there is smoke surrounding the British soldiers, it is not clear who fired the first shot.
1. The gap in time between when the battle took place and when Sandham made his painting may lead to questions about the painting’s accuracy.
2. The Lexington Historical Society paid Sandham to make his painting. This may have influenced how he chose to represent the battle.
3. By 1886, Sandham may have had access to more accounts of the battle than Doolittle had. If we knew about the research Sandham did before making his painting, we could use that information to help evaluate the painting’s
4. Doolittle spoke to participants of the battle and created his engraving soon afterwards, which might make his account more reliable.
5. On the other hand, Doolittle was a member of a militia, and he may have been trying to portray the British in a negativelight.