Middlesex county. This pleasant town lies 10 miles N.W. from Boston, and 7 E. from Concord. Incorporated, 1712. Population, 1837, 1,622. There are some excellent farms in this town, large tracts of meadow on some of the branches of the Shawsheen, which rises here, and some valuable woodland. The manufactures consist of boots, shoes, caps, clocks, cabinet ware, and calico printing; annual value, about $100,000.
Lexington will ever be an interesting place, as here the first blood was shed in the cause of American Independence. "A detachment of British soldiers were sent at daylight on the morning of the 19th of April, 1775, to take or destroy a quantity of military stores collected at Concord. They were under the command of Col. Smith and Maj. Pitcairn. On reaching this place, a militia company were exercising on the common. A British officer rode up and ordered them to disperse, but not being instantly obeyed, he discharged his pistol and ordered his men to fire, which they did, and eight of the Americans fell dead on the spot! The militia retreated, and the British proceeded to Concord, and in part succeeded in destroying the stores, but were so harassed on their return, that they would inevitably have been cut off, had they not been met at this place by a strong detachment of artillery under Lord Percy. The party suffered extremely by the fire of the Americans, aimed with deadly effect from the buildings, trees, and fences; and left 65 killed, and had 180 wounded. The Americans had 50 killed and 34 wounded. There is a monument on the spot where the first victims fell, to perpetuate the memory of the slain, and of this event."