Westborough Public Library

Records of Westborough’s Involvement in the American Revolution, the Massachusetts Militia, and the Continental Army, 1774-1792

In response to a call for towns to form a militia in 1774, the Town of Westborough established a militia unit and elected Captain Edmund Brigham (1733-1806) as its commanding officer. The British attack at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 prompted forty-six Minutemen from Westborough to march to Lexington and on to Charlestown that same night.

The militia unit would continue to fight throughout the American Revolutionary War, and Westborough soldiers saw action at Bunker Hill, Dorchester Heights, Bennington, Saratoga, White Plains, Philadelphia, Monmouth, Newport, and other places. In addition to supplying men to the Continental Army, Westborough also contributed money, clothing, shoes, cattle, grain, and other supplies to the cause, and blankets woven by Westborough women were sent to the soldiers stationed at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777.

These records document the Town of Westborough's role in forming, arming, and supplying the Westborough unit of the Massachusetts Militia and the Continental Army through the American Revolutionary War, and they demonstrate the sacrifices the town made to support the war effort. The collection mixes muster rolls, military orders, and personnel records of the Militia Unit with town records related to supporting the general cause of the American Revolution, including meeting minutes, reports, financial accounts, bills and receipts, and interactions with the State of Massachusetts. Documents of note include the Proclamation of Independence by the General Court of MA Bay on January 23, 1776 and a 1774 Tax Bill to the towns signed by Samuel Adams.

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