Worcester 1774

Drummers' Call at Old Sturbridge Village

Drummers’ Call at Old Sturbridge Village

Worcester County stands up for American independence again with countywide reenactments this spring and summer.

Lexington and Concord are trumpeted as the birthplace of the American Revolution, but the organizers of Worcester 1774 are out to set the population of Worcester County straight on their own towns’ pivotal role in American independence. Months before the first shots were fired, towns across Massachusetts peaceably and successfully usurped power from the British crown.

From mid‐August to mid‐September of 1774, the citizens of Berkshire, Springfield, and Worcester Counties, mostly farmers, ended British rule over themselves and on their countryside forever. With no real organization, no official leaders, no fixed institutions, and no bloodshed – they went up against the most powerful empire on earth and won. — The Worcester Revolution of 1774

The militia’s united front against the crown sent a shock wave through the colonies, and the organizers hope to have a similar effect on the telling of history.

Throughout 2014, Worcester County’s cultural and historical organizations are collaborating to provide dynamic programming designed to develop a sense of pride in Worcester’s role in the fight for American separation from British rule. The series includes workshops, lectures, city walks, and a County-wide community read of Ray Raphael’s book First American Revolution: Beyond Lexington and Concord. It will culminate in day long commemoration in Worcester, on September 7, 2014, in which all are invited to participate, including a reenactment of the September 7, 1774, ousting of British officials from the courts in Worcester; public discussions; and a historical play.

These activities mark the first public commemoration of Worcester’s contributions to our national independence.

The Worcester Historical Museum was awarded a $10,000 Project Grant responding to the Crisis, Community, & Civic Culture theme to re-enact the events of September, 1774, when the local British government was overthrown by weaponless militiamen. [Project Director: William D. Wallace; Date Awarded: 12/13/2013]

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