Monday, May 3, 2010

Reverend Eliab Stone, Minitman 1775

During the American Revolution era, the alarm sounded to stir the inhabitants of North Parish into action. It was then that Reverend Eliab Stone put on his white ministerial wig, grabbed his gun and marched with the Minit Men.

An educated guess suggests that he marched into Salem, MA during the event known as Leslie’s Retreat. On a cold New England Sunday morning in 1775, British Colonel Alexander Leslie had come to capture the rebel cannon. Leslie left Castle William by ship and landed his troops at Homan’s Cove on Marblehead Neck. Alarm quickly spread. The soldiers marched toward Salem. They got as far as the draw bridge called North Bridge in Salem when they were halted by the bridge drawn up on the opposite bank. A standoff occurred, escalating into what could have begun the war. Leslie restored order and realized the futility to retrieve the cannon. He agreed to leave if allowed to fulfill his orders by searching on the north side of the bridge. He was given permission to march his soldiers fifty rods past the bridge if he agreed to immediately return to his ship. This location is currently identified along the North River on Commercial Street in Salem, MA

In the Diary of William Bentley 1811-1819, Reverend Stone’s wig is said to reside in the Museum of the Essex Institute (Now known as the Peabody Essex Museum, located in Salem, MA.)