Sidney Coe Howard.

Lexington, a pageant drama of the American freedom, founded upon great sayings, to be acted in dumb show online

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American Freedom

— — —— 1— t m I I ■ I ■ ! ■ ■ II ■«! I ■ ii i i-i II ■ ■ ■

^y Sidney Howard






Second Presentation

of the

Historical Pageant Drama


Commemorating the 150TH Anniversary

of the
Battle of Lexington

Enacted Every Ten Years

by the

Citizens of Lexington



Every Evening, Week of June 15TH


Copyright, 1924

The Lexington Historical Society

All rights reserved

Printed in U. S. A.

±he production staged

and under the personal

direction of

Samuel J. Hume

special [SQghts

June 15 — President's Night
In Honor of the President of the United States.

June 16 — Governors' Night
In Honor of the Governors of the Thirteen Original States.

June 17 — Bunker Hill Night
In Memory of the Patriots who fought at Bunker Hill.

June 18 — College Night
In Honor of the visiting Alumni of the New England Colleges.

June 19 — Historical Night
In Honor of the Historical Societies of America.

June 20 — Military Night
In Memory of the sons of Lexington who have fallen in the
service of their country.


^11 S ''Pageant of Lexington' 1925

Edward C. Stone, President

Waldo F. G lid den, Vice-President

Edward W. Kimball, Vice-President

Edwin B. Worthen, Treasurer

Daniel B. Lewis, Auditor

Fletcher W. Taft
Director of Publicity

WiLLARD D. Brown
Chairman of Construction

Sheldon A. Robinson
Chairman^ Grounds Committee

David Hennessy
Superintendent Amphitheatre


'' Pexingtori'

(Citizens' (Committee of One Hundred

Edwin B. Worthen, Chairman

Harry M. Aldrich

William H. Ballard

S. Lewis Barbour

Dr. William L. Barnes

Edwin A. Bayley

Hallie C. Blake

Arthur L. Blodgett

George E. Briggs

Fred K. Brown

Leroy S. Brown

WiLLARD D. Brown

Albert H. Burnham

John Calder

Lyon Carter

William E. Chamberlain

Calvin W. Childs

Edmund S. Childs

Robert P. Clapp

Joseph H. Cody

Theodore A. Custance

Francis S. Dane

Charles B. Davis

Frederick L. Emery
Richard Engstrom
Robert J. Fawcett
Harry F. Fay
Robert W. Fernald
Edwin F. Fobes
Frederick R. Galloupe
George H. Gibson
George L. Gilmore
Waldo F. Glidden
C. Edward Glynn
Wm. Roger Greeley
Charles Elliott Hadley
George D. Harrington
Alton H. Hathaway


David Hennessy
Charles E. Holt
Robert H. Holt
Randall B. Houghton
William Hunt
J. Chester Hutchinson


Edward W. Kimball
Harold B. Lamont
Daniel B. Lewis
Harry W. Litchfield
Arthur N. Maddison
Edward H. Mara
Hugh D. McLellan
Edward P. Merriam
Charles H. Miles
Fred W. Miller
Fred H. Moultok
John E. A. Mulliken
Hermann Dudley Murphy
George W. Norton
Charles P. Nunn
Timothy H. O'Connor
Alfred Pierce
Frank D. Pierce
Dr. Fred S. Piper
Elwyn G. Preston
William W. Reed
Walter W. Rowse
Robert L. Ryder
Edward H. Sargent
Edward D. Sawyer
O. Gilbert Seeley
Julius Seltzer

Clarence Shannon
Frank R. Shepard
William H. Shurtleff
Franklin P. Simonds
Clarence E. Sprague
Lester E. Smith
James Stuart Smith
James W. Smith
William L. S.vhth
Edwin C. Stevens
Edward C. Stone
Albert B. Tenney
Rockwell C. Tenney
Dr. J. Odin Tilton
John F. Turner
Dr. Winsor M. Tyler
Dr. Henry C. Valentine
Henry L. Wadsworth
James J. Walsh
HoLLis Webster
Herbert L. Wellington
Harry A. Wheeler
Harvey C. Wheeler
Harvey F. Winlock
Edward Wood
Frederick O. Woodruff
Sydney R. Wrightington


Executive Qommittee

Robert P. Clapp, Chairman
J. WiLLARD Hayden, Jr., Executive Director
Hallie C. Blake Edward P. Merriam

George E. Briggs Charles W. Ryder

Sydney R. Wrightington

Finance Qommittee

Edward P. Merriam, Chairman

Lyon Carter H. B. Lamont

Richard Engstrom Arthur N. Maddison

George L. Gilmore Fred H. Moulton

Alton H. Hathaway Elwyn G. Preston

J. Chester Hutchinson F. R. Shepard
James Stuart Smith

^Advisory Qommittee

Hallie C. Blake,
Theodore A. Custance
Frederick L. Emery
W. Roger Greeley
Robert H. Holt


Charles H. Miles
Edward H. Sargent
William L. Smith
Edwin C. Stevens
Harry A. Wheeler

Qommittee on ^ook

James P. Munroe, Chairman
Miss Maud E. Adlington Dr. Fred S. Piper

Miss Marian P. Kirkland Hollis Webster


Qommittee on Production

Waldo F. Glidden, Chairman

American Legion — Stanley Hill Post No. 38
Eugene J. Viano Charles M. Blake

American Legion — Auxiliary No. ^8

Mrs. Clayton G. Locke Miss Lillian Viano

Board of Trade

C. E. Hadley W. E. Mulliken

BucKMAN Tavern Community Association

Mrs. S. Randolph Kelley Mrs. E. W. Kimball

Catholic Club (Ladies')

Mrs. Nancy M. Sealey Miss Julia O'Leary

Catholic Club (Men's)

Geo. H. Gibson John J. Garrity

Catholic Daughters of America

Mrs. Helen R. Fitzgerald Mrs. Mary F. Buckley

Daughters of American Revolution — Lexington Chapter

Miss Amy E. Taylor Mrs. Edward L. Child Mrs. Alice Fay Stickel

East Lexington Civic Association
Edgar Harrod Albert Ross

First Parish Men's Club (Unitarian)
Louis L. Crone Ralph H. Elvedt

FoLLEN Church Men's Club — East Lexington
Jos. W. Cotton James M. Nickerson

Girl Scouts Drum Corps

Miss Hazel Whiting Mrs. Dorothy G. Hall

Grand Army of the Republic — Geo. G. Meade Post No. 119
John N. Morse Everett S. Locke

Hancock Church Men's Club

Henry L. Wadsworth William H. Shurtleff

Hancock School

Miss Harriet S. French Miss Margaret Noyes

Knights of Columbus — Lexington Council No. 94
James J. McKearney John J. McCormack

Lafayette Club

Miss Mary Manley Miss Anne Moakley

Lend-A-Hand (Senior)

Mrs. A. B. Tenney Mrs. Clarence E. Sprague

Lexington Boy Scouts

Philip E. Perry Peter Robertson

Lexington Council of Girl Scouts

Mrs. Everett S. Emery Mrs. J. Chester Hutchinson


Lexington Drum Corps

Chester Doe Dana Greeley

Lexington Golf Club

Edmund S. Childs Robert Whitney

Lexington Grange No. 13^

Lawrence G. Mitchell Matthew Stevenson

Lexington Historical Society

Mrs. William Hunt Mrs. Hermann Dudley Murphy

Lexington Home and School Association

Mrs. Walter C. Ballard Miss Grace P. French

Lexington Minute Men

Ezra F. Breed Bion C. Merry

Lexington Public Health Association
Miss Ellen Tower S. Lewis Barbour

Lexington Teachers' Club

Miss Anne L. Forsyth Miss Bertha V. Hayward

Liberty Heights Improvement Association
G. W. Nary James Guthrie

Lieut. Col. John W. Hudson Auxiliary No. ii
Mrs. E, Esther Burnham Miss Ethel L. Burk

Men's Club — Church of our Redeemer
J. Fox Capt. Wm. Young

Old Belfry Club

Jasper A. Lane Mrs. Harold B. Lamont

Order of Eastern Star

Mrs. Guyetta G. Broderic Mrs. Helen H. Smith

Outlook Club

Miss Marguerite Nichols Miss Clara Wadleigh

Parker School

Miss Sadie I. Burgess Miss Ruth Morrison

School Department — Lexington

Miss Mary C. Lusk Miss Anne L. Forsyth

Simon W. Robinson Lodge, A. F. & A. M.
George E. Smith Robert M. Stone

Sons of Veterans — Lieut. Col. John W. Hudson Camp No. 105
Geo. E. Foster Alfred Haynes

Unity Lend-A-Hand

Mrs. Lyon Carter Mrs. Robert W. Fernald

Unitarian Laymen's League

Arthur B. Howe Robert S. Sturtevant

Women's Relief Corps No. 97

Mrs. Edward L. Child Mrs. Robert W. Britton


'' J^xington'

A Pageant Drama o/M^ American Freedom

Founded upon Great Sayings
To be A cted in 'Dumb Show


Sidney Howard

For the Celebration of the

One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary

of the Battle of Lexington

April igth, 1775

Stage f^anager
Waldo F. Glidden

irector oj Qhorus
Clarence E. Briggs

To My Wife

''The world will little note
nor long remember what
we say here^ but it can
never forget what they
did here — "

A. Lincoln


f XHE aim of this play is to represent the impulse
I and the progress of civil liberty in this country
since the commencement of the War for Indepen-
dence. The intention is never literal. In spite of a certain
actuality in the presentation of the incidents of "The
Glorious Morning" at Lexington, the play must always
be considered and produced as an abstraction of the
events with which it is concerned.

The events themselves are marked by the great say-
ings of our prophets of liberty and of sundry other minds
of genius, all quite arbitrarily selected. Great sayings,
through their immense significance to the popular imag-
ination, become symbols of the periods which occa-
sioned them. Great activities may, in the same sense,
be looked upon as abstractions of the periods and move-
ments which required them and made them possible.

The great activities of the story of American civil lib-
erty are here treated in a kind of processional dumb
show which amplifies the quotationsplaced in the mouths
of the two Spokesmen, the Choir of speakers and the
characters in the play. When the dumb show is not exe-
cuted in procession, it devolves upon groups which act
collectively as a single individual and, on certain occa-
sions, speak in unison.

Comment upon the action is suppUed by a few lines
which have been written for the roles of the Chronicler
and Freedom and for the Chorus of singers.


The play demands an almost continual musical ac-
companiment. This should be composed upon the
foundation of period songs, particularly those which are
indicated in the text. Also, the various speeches of the
Spokesmen will be enhanced if the composer musically
emphasizes their rhythms with some sort of accompani-
ment. In the opinion of the author, the score will be
most effectively scored for brass and wind instruments.
The chorus must be a male chorus. The play will suffer,
always, for the introduction of any woman's voice except
as indicated in the text.

The action is continuous; its changes of locale and
atmosphere being indicated only by shifting emphases
in the lighting.

The acting presents no difficulty beyond that of se-
curing actors with good voices who have troubled to
learn how to speak the English language.


Qharacters in the Play

The Chronicler.
The Two Spokesmen.

Parson Clark of Lexington.

Captain John Parker of the Lexington Company.

Sergeant Munroe of the Lexington Company.

William Diamond of the Lexington Company (drummer).

Jonathan Harrington of the Lexington Company (fifer).

Major Pitcairn.

Two British Lieutenants.

John Munroe of the Lexington Company.

Ebenezer Munroe of the Lexington Company.

George Washington
Edmund Pendleton.
Patrick Henry.
The President of Congress.

General Howe.
Major Andre.

Alexander Hamilton.

John Brown.
Abraham Lincoln.
General Grant.
General Lee.


(groups in the Play

The Citizens of Lexington. (Men, women and children.)

The Lexington Company. (Men.)

Two Regiments of British Infantry. (Men.)

The Continental Army. (Men.)

The People of the United States. (Men, women and children.)

The Citizens of Philadelphia. (Men and women.)

The Pioneers. (Men, women and children.)

The Slaves. (Men.)

The Executioners of John Brown. (Men.)

The Army of the Union. (Men.)

The Army of the Confederacy. (Men.)

The Railroad Builders. (Men.)

The Steel Workers. (Men.)

The Coal Miners. (Men.)

The Farmers. (Men.)

The Builders. (Men.)

The Factory Hands. (Women and children.)

The Meek Men. (Men.)

Wealth. (Men.)

Labor. (Men.)

Government. (Men.)

Unrest. (Men.)

The Past. (Men.)

A Choir of Speakers.
A Chorus of Singers.
Buglers and Drummers.



/^ f hink of the place in which the play is to be pro-
\^ I ducedy just as it has been adapted from the natural
^^ forest. Think of the curving sleeve of water which
lies along the lowermost edge of the scene^ of the rising
slopes and levels which surmount one another so spa-
ciously^ of the trees which close in back and sides,

Then^ into the face of the slope immediately above the
water s edge and directly in the center^ set a simple low
throne and put a conventional lectern before it. Flank this
with two lower seats^ even more simple. Build this whole
group as gracefully and as lightly as the best taste of the
best Georgian period dictates and paint it the purest white.

This done, go to the extreme limits of the front of the
scene and^ just at the edge of the trees y erect two pedestals.
These, in height, must a little more than top a man s
stature. In style and decoration they are as chaste as the
central group. Probably they are finished with an exquisite
cornice and adorned with garlands in low relief, just
brushed with gold. Upon each one of them set a solid, sim-
ple throne, quite like the one you have already put in the

The Chronicler sits on the central throne. He is already
in his place when the doors of the auditorium are opened
to admit the first spectator. So are the two Drummers who
occupy the low seats on either side of him. So are the two
Spokesmen who sit atop the two pedestals.

For the Chronicler s role an actor of fine Anglo-Saxon
type must be engaged, one able to speak English with beau-
tiful and natural precision. The same is true of the roles
of the two Spokesmen.

The Chronicler wears buff breeches, a white shirt and a
blue coat which hangs nobly from his shoulders and spreads
over the arms of his seat. His hair, of a natural brown, is
pulled back from his brow and tied with a black velvet


ribbon. The lectern before him supports a great book. At
the commencement of the play he opens this book and, at
the end, he closes it. From time to time, during the action,
he writes in it, using a large and snowy -white quill pen.

The 'Drummers who sit on either side of him are dressed
in scarlet and as alike as two peas, in costume, make up
and cut of hair. Neither one of them has ever any occasion
to speak. Each one of them must devote his attention wholly
to playing upon a great kettledrum which will be provided
for this purpose. The two drums are tuned a diminished
third apart.

The two Spokesmen will wear the scarlet robes and white
wigs of British justices. They never move during the entire

All of these five persons, it must be repeated, will be in
their places when the auditorium opens. None of them can
be allowed to move until the auditorium has emptied. They
must think of themselves as parts of the fixed scene.

Behind them, the slope flattens slightly and this area
will, hereinafter, be described as the '' Forestage.'* Behind
that, again, comes a second, slighter rise and that is suc-
ceeded by a much more considerable level place. This second
level will hereinafter be spoken of as the ^' Stage. ^*

The stage is set to represent the Common of Lexington
in the year 1775. The road from Cambridge and Boston
enters at the back center and divides, passing the Meeting
House on either side. The Meeting House is erected, full
size, just at the back of the stage and directly in the center,
thus masking this road. A little down on the right {in
these stage directions right and left refer to the hands of
the audience) stands the Old Belfry. Further over to the
right, half buried in the trees, are the old horse sheds. Fur-
ther down stage on the right stands the Marrett-Munroe
House, also half buried in foliage, and the Concord Road
leaves the Common as far down stage on the right as the
planting permits. On the left, just a little below the posi-
tion occupied on the right by the horse sheds, stands the
Buckman Tavern. Then, all the way down stage left
stands the Parsonage of the Rev. Jonas Clark. This


should be set a little apart from the Common to suggest its
remoteness. A road leads past this in the direction of

These entrances will hereinafter he referred to as the
Boston y Concord and Bedford Roads respectively . Other
village paths may be supposed to lead on to the Common
at any convenient points.

When the first member of the audience enters^ it is twi-
light. He finds the life of the village going on with full real-
ism of detail except that it is in no wise audible. He is
looking at a soundless vision of the eighteenth day of
April y one hundred and fifty years ago. Villagers are chat-
ting about the doorway of the Buckman Tavern. They
come in and go out. They wear long coats and smoke long
pipes and drink long drinks. Some of them discuss a news-
paper excitedly. What they are saying cannot be heard^for
they play entirely in dumb show. A century and a half is
too great a time to be bridged easily by sound.

Silent as the rest a boy guards a flock of a few sheep in
the center of the Common. Young girls ^ going about plea-
sure or business and quite free from any preoccupation with
the serious matters which engross the tavern s patrons ^ stop
to chat with him.

Presently a young farmer drives his cows in from pas-
ture. Presently other farmers return from the fields ^ carry-
ing the crude agricultural implements of their day. Presently
another farmer drives his emptied truck wagon home from

Presently a traveler on a jaded mare comes up the
Boston Road and halts by the Buckman Tavern. The citizojs
gather about him greedily. Greedy ^ it would seem, for news.
And he gives them news before he has finished his ale and
ridden on down the Bedford Road.

As the play' s commencement draws near^ an old man
comes out of the Meeting House. The children^ playing
about the Belfry ^ run into him and he admonishes them.
Then he rings the bell. At first one cannot be quite sure of
the bell. Then the spell becomes stronger and it does clang
dimly through.


Tart One

"The (glorious ^yifCorning^

[The Chronicler opens his book and begins to

In the far distance^ a bugler blows '' Assembly ^
For the first time, the Chronicler lifts his head
and looks at the audience.
Just a little nearer than the bugle some horns
play ''Yankee Doodled

In the darkUizg tavern faint voices of men take
up the chorus.

A very little light shines upon the Chronicler s
figure. He rises and lifts his right hand.
The Drummers play a long roll.
Then the Chronicler speaks.]

The Chronicler
{Directly into the audience.)
In the Book of American Freedom it has been written
that the Town of Lexington, in the County of Middle-
sex, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, shall be
designated as "The Birthplace of American Liberty."
This, says the book, is a fitting designation because the
events which had their scene in Lexington on the glo-
rious morning of the nineteenth of April one hundred
and fifty years ago this year did forever mark and set
aside the town to be a symbol of liberty to all free
nations and all free peoples.

[The Drummers play another roll on their drums
and the Chronicler sits.

Off stage, to a noble tune which gradually in-
creases in volume, the Chorus sings two verses
from Drayton s " To the Virginian Voyage.*']

The Chorus
You brave, heroic minds.

Worthy your country's name.

That honor still pursue;

Go and subdue!
Whilst loitering hinds

Lurk here at home with shame.

And in regions far.

Such heroes bring ye forth

As those from whom we came;

And plant our name
Under that star

Not known unto our north.

[Js the singing diminishes^ the light grows upon
the thrones of the two Spokesmen and they begin.
They speak eagerly^ almost in a monotone^ fol-
lowing no rhythm but the inevitable throb of Car-
lyle's prose. The bell, too, follows this throb,
sounding ever louder and more insistently
through their words.]

The First Spokesman
The world is all so changed; so much that seemed vigor-
ous has sunk decrepit, so much that was not is begin-
ning to be!

The Second Spokesman
{Swinging arttiphonally into tone and tempo.)
Borne over the Atlantic what sounds are these; muffled-
ominous, new in our centuries?

The First Spokesman
Boston Harbor is black with unexpected Tea!

The Second Spokesman
Behold a Pennsylvanian Congress gather!

The First Spokesman
And ere long, on Bunker Hill . . .


The Second Spokesman
Democracy . . .

The First Spokesman
Announcing in rifle-volleys, death winged . . .

The Second Spokesman
Under her Star Banner . . .

The First Spokesman
To the tune of Yankee-Doodle-Doo . . .
The Second Spokesman
That she is born . . .

The First Spokesman
And whirlwind-like . . .

The Second Spokesman
Will envelope the whole world!

[The drums roll out. The lights die down on the
Spokesmen, In the meanwhile^ answering the
summons of the bell ringer^ the people of Lexing-
ton have come out of street and tavern in the twi-
light and gathered about the Meeting House

Jonas Clark has gone to them to stand upon the
steps facing them. He is now in his forty -fifth
year, a vigorous, lean, eager man with a spirit
of pipping and convincing sincerity.
At the conclusion of the words of the Spokesmen,
all of the villagers are gathered together about their
pastor, save one girl. She is distinguished from
her sisters of the village, less by her dress {which is
commonplace enough) than by a strange and
wild loveliness and by a deep absorption in her
own thoughts. She is tall and very beautiful and
a prophetic intensity possesses her.
Led by their pastor, the people about the Meeting
House lift their voices in the fifty -ninth Psalm,]


Parson Clark
Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God : set me on
high from those that rise up against me. Deliver me
from the workers of iniquity, and save me from the
blood-thirsty men.

The People
For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul; the mighty gather
themselves together against me : not for my transgres-
sion, nor for my sin, O Lord; they run and prepare
themselves without my fault.

Parson Clark
For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips,
let them even be taken in their pride, and for cursing
and lying which they speak.

The People
Yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning,
for thou hast been my high tower, and a refuge in the
day of my distress.

Parson Clark
Unto thee, O my Strength, will I sing praises, for God
is my high tower, the God of my mercy.

[Then the people fall silent and do not move.
But the great words that they have spoken to-
gether have very deeply stirred this single girl
who has stood apart and listened. With the last
word of the Psalm^ she seems of a sudden to grow
taller. A smile like light itself spreads over her
face. Light seems to grow out of her. She lifts
her two arms in a wild abandonment to exalta-
tion and cries out.]


The Girl

[The Chronicler looks up in amazement at this
sudden shout.


The girl takes a few tense steps down toward him
and the light about her grows ever in whiteness.]

The Girl
Write more, write more, you Chronicler!
Write how the roots
Stir in the ground!
Write how the sap
Stirs in the trees!
Write how the thaw
Gives breath of Hfe!
And write how God
Peers through the firmament
Upon the continents; for this day is glory!

The Chronicler

Who are you, Girl?

The Girl

Men call me different names. God calls me Freedom!
[Upon thisy a gigantic roll of the drums.
The girly Freedom, turns her back slowly upon
the audience as Parson Clark begins to address
his congregation. She goes up y tensely and superb-
ly , face to face with him.]

Parson Clark
It has come now to our turn, Americans, to see what
we can do. The indignant spirit of self-government
which inspired our ancestors is now pronounced by the
Lords and Commons of England to be a spirit of rebel-
lion. The colonies hesitate not a moment, but unite and
greatly dare to be free. God who sitteth upon the throne
of his holiness, the governor among nations, will know
our cause and uphold our right to freedom. Let us pray.
[The people kneel. Only the girl. Freedom ,
stands upright. The Parson prays, the people
repeating his prayer with him in unison. She
walks rigidly up the slope to the edge of the crowd
to the Parson s side. At the end of the prayer she
is standing beside him. This is the prayer:]



O Lord, when dangers surround us and oppressors
threaten our rights and enemies invade our homes, we,
thy people, look to thee, O Lord, for our refuge and,
committing our cause to thy wisdom and justice, we do
humbly expect, O Lord, that light will arise in darkness,
that the power of the oppressor may be broken, that
our enemies will not prevail against us, that our God
will maintain our right. Amen.

[yf J Freedom entered the crowd y the light about

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Online LibrarySidney Coe HowardLexington, a pageant drama of the American freedom, founded upon great sayings, to be acted in dumb show → online text (page 1 of 5)