A Narrative, of the Excursion and Ravages of the King's Troops
This book, commissioned by the new Provincial Congress, was one of the first items printed in Worcester, Massachusetts, after printer Isaiah Thomas’s arrival in April 1775. As the title explains, it is A Narrative, of the Excursion and Ravages of the King’s Troops Under the Command of General Gage, on the Nineteenth of April, 1775.It includes “Depositions Taken by Order of Congress, To Support the truth of it,” as well as a list of casualties. This publication was the new Provincial Congress’s method of showing an official inquiry into what had occurred on the day of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. There were many depositions taken, all under oath, even one from a soldier “of His Majesty’s own regiment of foot” who declared that “we drew up on the Concord side of the bridge, the provincials came down upon us, upon which we engaged and gave the first fire.” This particular statement from one of King George’s own troops, along with statements from others who had seen the events of the day, were intended to prove that the British had instigated the conflict.
This Narrative was commissioned by the Provincial Congress on May 22, 1775, and Thomas had it ready for distribution in July. Copies were sent to King George III, the provincial governors, and other influential personages who may have been swayed by its “official” information. This was the only official printing Thomas completed for the new congress.