Highlights from the History of Needham in 100 objects
Title:
Lexington Memorial Banner
Date:
1875
Material:
Silk, metallic fringe, gold paint
Description:
Banner commemorating the Battle of Lexington and Concord

Notes:
The Lexington Banner was made by the town for the 1875 Centennial of the battles that began the American Revolution on April 19, 1775. It honors the five members of the Needham militia who died fighting that day - Lt. John Bacon, Sgt. Elisha Mills, and Privates Jonathan Parker, Nathanial Chamberlain, and Amos Mills.

The Needham militia heard the Lexington alarm in the morning, and in an hour were on the road. On their way, they met the retreating British near Jason Russell's farm in Menotomy (now Arlington). The British were angry and frustrated over their losses at Concord, a battle they thought would be an easy victory for them and a hard lesson for the Colonists. The Colonists, stationed along the road to harass the retreating British, were nervous and eager. Although less famous than Lexington and Concord, Menotomy was the bloodiest battle of the day, with thirteen casualties.

On April 19, 1875 President Grant attended the ceremonies in Concord that commemorated the battles. Approximately 50,000 people attended. Needham sent three delegates to represent the town and carry this silk banner in memory of their fallen militia men. They were accompanied by some three hundred other Needham citizens.

One of the delegates, Warren Dewing, wore this delegate's ribbon, which was subsequently donated to the Needham History Center and Museum by the Dewing Family.

Provenance:
Banner: Gift of Myra Greenwood, 1914.
Delegate's ribbon: Gift of the Dewing Family, 1991.
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Lexington BannerLexington Banner
Delegate's ribbonDelegate's ribbon