James Barrett (1710 - 1779)

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Birthplace: Concord, Middlesex, MA
Death: Died in Concord, Middlesex, MA
Managed by: Doug Robinson
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About James Barrett

James Barrett was Colonel of the Concord, Massachusetts Militia during the Battles of Lexington and Concord that began the American Revolutionary War.

On April 19, 1775, during the Battle of Concord, Colonel Barrett was the highest-ranking officer in the field. His farm was the storage site of all the town of Concord's Militia gunpowder, weapons and two pair of prized bronze cannon, according to secret British intelligence.

On the morning of April 19, 1775, the British Regulars were ordered by General Thomas Gage to march from Boston to the town of Concord, about 20 miles inland, and seize the cannon and raid the arsenal at the provincial farm. The British met resistance at both Lexington, Massachusetts and Concord. Before the Brithish arrived and searched, Barrett removed the hidden stores; the British never found them.




American Revolutionary War Soldier. He was the commander of the militia of the area around and including Concord, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, the first day of the American Revolution. Upon seeing a bonfire in the town, he sent a column of men to march across the North Bridge to ensure that the British forces were not burning the town down. It was at the North Bridge where they engaged the British regulars and forced them to retreat with "the shot heard 'round the world."


HERE rests in hope ye Body of Col. James Barrett who departed this Life April 11th 1779 in the 69th year of his age. Sudden the summons came, & quick the flight! We trust to be with Christ in realms of light. In public & privet life, he was courteous, benevolent & charitable. His fidelity, uprightness and ability in various offices & employments justly procured him esteem. For many years he represented this Town in General Court. He early stept forward in ye contest with Britan, & destinguished himself in ye cause of America. His warm attachment to, & careful practice of ye religion of Christ compleated his worthy character, & with his other virtues will preserve his memory & rank it with that of the just which is blessed. O reader, from this pale monument learn Wisdom for Eternity, wisdom for Thyself, and be reminded of thy fate, Which hastens on the swiftest wings of time! Death steals upon you like a midnight thief! His step is secret, but yet sure, and may Be near and unexpected!

[From "The Heraldic Journal; Recording the Armorial Bearings and Genealogies of American Families. Volume III," published by Wiggin & Lunt, Boston, 1867, and kindly provided by Samuel Andrew Barrett-Bettcher.]

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Colonel James Barrett (Colonial Militia)'s Timeline

July 31, 1710
Concord, Middlesex, MA
April 11, 1779
Age 68
Concord, Middlesex, MA