Description[Revolutionary War]. Joseph Warren Military Appointment Signed "Jos Warren" as president pro tem of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. One partially-printed page, 12" x 7.25", n. p. [Boston], May 19, 1775, appointing "Zebediah Sasins to be Lieutenant of the Foot Company in the Regiment of Foot whereof John Paterson Esq. is Colonel raised by the Congress aforesaid, for the Defence of the Colony." Countersigned by Samuel Freemen as secretary pro tem. Warren's signature is fading slightly. Overall toning is uneven. Weakened folds are separating in places, but have been repaired on the verso. One large hole near the upper edge has also been expertly repaired.
As Boston's conflict with the British government came to a head in 1773-75, Dr. Joseph Warren (1741-1775) was appointed to the Suffolk Committee of Correspondence. These committees were organized by the local governments of the original thirteen colonies for the purpose of coordinating written communication outside of the colony. They served an important role by disseminating the colonial interpretation of British actions to foreign governments by rallying opposition on common causes and by establishing plans for collective action against British rule. These committees were the beginnings of a formal political union among the colonies. While serving as Chairman of the Suffolk County Committee of Correspondence, Warren drafted the Suffolk Resolves which denounced the Intolerable Acts, or Coercive Acts, that had recently been passed by the British Parliament. Warren's well-received proclamation specifically resolved to boycott British imports, curtail exports, and refuse to use British products; to pay "no obedience" to the Massachusetts Government Act or the Boston Port Bill; to demand resignations from those appointed to positions under the Massachusetts Government Act; to refuse payment of taxes until the Massachusetts Government Act was repealed; to support a colonial government in Massachusetts free of royal authority until the Intolerable Acts were repealed; and to urge the colonies to raise militias of their own people. With the success of the Suffolk Resolves, Warren was appointed president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, the highest position in the revolutionary government.
On April 18, 1775, after receiving intelligence about British troop movements, Warren sent William Dawes and Paul Revere on their famous "Midnight Rides" to warn Hancock and Adams in Lexington about the approaching troops. Warren slipped out of Boston early the following morning, and during that day's Battle at Lexington and Concord, he coordinated and led militia into the fight. During this fierce battle Warren was nearly killed, a musket ball striking part of his wig.
Less than two months after signing this appointment, Warren took part in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He had been appointed a major general by the Provincial Congress, but his commission had not yet taken effect. Never willing to let others do his own fighting, Warren served as a volunteer private against the wishes of General Israel Putnam and Colonel William Prescott, who requested that he serve as their commander. Taunting the British, Warren reportedly declared: "These fellows say we won't fight! By Heaven, I hope I shall die up to my knees in blood!" Warren fought valiantly, remaining until the British made their third and final assault on the hill, when he was killed instantly by a musket shot to the head, fired by British Captain Walter Laurie, who later claimed that he "stuffed the scoundrel with another rebel into one hole, and there he and his seditious principles may remain."
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