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General Joseph Warren’s Legacy in the Adirondacks

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Warren County Named after American Revolutionary War Hero

The Legacy of General Joseph Warren

General Joseph WarrenWarren County is the prominent tourist area where people that want to get a feel of the Adirondack State Park visit surrounding towns like Lake George, Diamond Point, Lake Luzerne, Gore Mountain, Queensbury and Glens Falls. An interesting fact that most don’t know is that the county is named after General Joseph Warren, an American Revolutionary War hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Although Warren never ventured in the region nor did he have any connection or family ties to the Adirondacks, he served in the American Revolution for the state of Massachusetts as Major General. Because he died so early on in the war, June 17, 1775, people didn’t want his memory to be forgotten as a distinguished doctor and, more importantly, as a patriot. When the Revolutionary War was over, towns, counties, streets and organizations were named after General Joseph Warren.

“A fiery, vehement, daring spirit was this Joseph Warren, who was a doctor thirteen years, a major-general three days, and a soldier three hours,” wrote James Parton in the article “The Men Behind the American Revolution: General Joseph Warren.”

Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts on June 11, 1741, Warren grew-up and lived on a farm with his family. His father raised produce and vegetables for the Boston market; but a tragedy occurred in October during apple-picking season when Warren was just 14 years old. His father stood on a ladder, gathering apples from a tall tree and fell. He died instantly from a broken neck. That same year, Warren entered Harvard College, “a vigorous, handsome lad of fourteen,” Parton wrote, “noted even then for his spirit, courage and resolution.”

He graduated five years later and taught at Roxbury Grammar School as head master before he was admitted to practice and pursued his medical studies as a doctor in Boston. Warren would have advanced in his profession even more rapidly if it weren’t for the Stamp Act that had been passed, which eventually led to the rebellion that caused the colonies to break free from England.

A Boston Tory doctor summed up Warren’s character according to Parton by saying,” If Warren were not a Whig, he might soon be independent and ride in his chariot.”

Ride on his chariot he did when the colonies joined forces and stood united against England. Warren wrote The Suffolk Resolves, a document which stated the concerns of the colonists, explaining how though they might be loyal to the king, if he took away their rights, their loyalty would dissipate. The document went on to say that the people would take up arms if need be to defend themselves.

“Along with these proclamations, Warren declared that all illegal laws and taxes should be ignored by patriotic Americans,” the Forest Hills Educational Trust website states.

Warren was the first American to proclaim our independence as a country from England. The Suffolk Resolves were sent to King George III while Dr. Warren organized Massachusetts as the leader of the movement and set America on its long and arduous road to freedom. He organized men to keep watch on British army activity in Boston.

As history reveals, the Continental Army was formed, led by George Washington forcing the British to flee Boston.

“Wherever the danger was greatest there was Warren, now a soldier joining in the fight, now a surgeon binding up wounds, now a citizen cheering on his fellows,” Parton wrote. “From this day he made up his mind to perform his part in the coming contest as a soldier, not as a physician, nor in any civil capacity; and accordingly on the fourteenth of June, 1775, the Massachusetts legislature elected him ‘second Major General of the Massachusetts army.’”

Paul Revere, a good friend of Warren, went to the site where he died in order to find his body and the bodies of others who died. Revere led the search and identified Warren’s remains, verified by two false teeth that were wired to his mouth.

Warren’s body was sent to Boston with full honors, buried in the Minot family tomb in the old Granary Burial Ground in 1776.

Diana Denner is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

Short URL: http://thefreegeorge.com/thefreegeorge/?p=18223

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