Timothy Bigelow (soldier)

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Timothy Bigelow (August 2, 1739 in Worcester, Massachusetts – March 31, 1790 in Worcester) fought as a Patriot in the American revolution.

Worcester's Revolutionary Patriot, Col. Timothy Bigelow


Timothy Bigelow was born on 2 August 1739 in a part of Worcester known as Pakachoag or College Hill, located in Worcester County, Massachusetts, US. Son of Daniel Bigelow and Elizabeth Whitney. Timothy Bigelow's father was a farmer, the owner of 100 acres of land on "Little Packachoag Hill". Timothy and his brothers grew up in the ways and manners of the times: chores, assisting their father, and in "off hours" the boys enjoyed swimming and fishing in the summertime, ice-fishing in the winter, because a stream, called the French River, divided the northerly section of the farm.

He was early apprenticed to the blacksmith trade, and carried on that occupation most of his life. He was self-educated, and as a young man was widely-read, became a fluent speaker, and accumulated a little library. Future President John Adams was Timothy's teacher.[1] He was known locally for his prowess at debating. In the rear of the Andrews home Tim Bigelow had a blacksmith's shop where he blew the bellows, heated and hammered the iron, and shod the horses and oxen and mended the plows and chains for the farmers of the country about him. As described in the history books, Tim was as bright as a button, more than six feet high, straight and handsome, and walked upon the earth with a natural air and grace that was quite captivating. Up to that time that Timothy Bigelow forsook the anvil and forge for the musket and sword, his life had been tinged with romance, – a bright background for the dark shadows that were to gather and culminate in tragedy at twoscore years and ten. He fell in love with pretty Anna Andrews, an heiress, whose guardian refused consent to her marriage with a humble blacksmith. Then it was that the spirit later to burst forth into full flame, when fanned by the winds of the Revolution, inspired young Bigelow; and, engaging the fleetest horses obtainable, he and his betrothed dashed to Hampton, New Hampshire, where they were married. They returned Mr & Mrs Timothy Bigelow and eventually had 6 children together. In the house built by his father-in-law, Samuel Andrews, at the corner of Main Street and Lincoln Square, which stood until 1824, Timothy Bigelow gathered an extensive library, and when not engaged at his forge, took every opportunity to perfect his oratorical gifts that during the Revolution served him so well. It was there he lived when he became one of the Patriot leaders in Worcester, one of the chief promoters of the Sons of Liberty, the organizer of the American Political Society, a member of the Committee of Correspondence, and a delegate to Provincial Congress, It was also where he lived when news of the Boston tea party reached him; and, dropping his hammer, he hastened to his house, where he took from his closet a canister of tea, and burned both container and contents in the fireplace, and afterward covered the remains with red-hot coals. With no explanation to his family he then returned to his forge.

If it were not for the fact the Benjamin Thomas Hill has with great care preserved and photographed the fragment of wall paper whereon is depicted what is supposed to be the Bigelow House, nothing would remain to show just how it looked when the brave officer made his home there.

This painting of Col. Timothy Bigelow's house was discovered on a panel board above the fireplace in the parlor of the Theophilus Wheeler house when the paint was scraped off. It must have been depicted before the close of the Revolution as determined by the street-scape of the time.
Boston Tea Party Currier colored

He early espoused the anti-British sentiment, both writing & speaking a break with the mother country. At the opening of the conflict between the colonies and England, in Mar 1773, Timothy was a member of the Committee of Correspondence. In December following he organized the "Political Society," the meetings of which were held in his home, and by means of which the power of the Tory party was broken in Worcester. In 1774 the citizens formed the Sons of Liberty through the influence and support of Bigelow. He was a member of Boston's Whig Club, and associated with Warren and Otis, and other leading colonial advocates. He was a delegate to the Provincial Congress in its first two sessions. It was Timothy Bigelow who, with General Joseph Warren, persuaded Isaiah Thomas to establish himself in Worcester, and with their aid the printer was able to move his press here a few days before the outbreak of the Revolution.

Timothy Bigelow plays an important part in the well-known story concerning the visit of the two British spies at the tavern of "Tory" Jones which once stood on Main Street, opposite Chatham in Worcester. It seems that British General Gage, about a month before the battles of Lexington and Concord, concluded that it would be a fine plan to march from Concord to Worcester, and thus more easily quell the revolution that he knew was brewing. With this idea in view, he dispatched two of his officers, Captain Brown and Ensign de Bernicre, to make a thorough examination of the roads and bridges and to bring back a full report of conditions generally in Worcester. The two young men arrived in March, 1775, at "Tory" Jones Tavern, where on account of their civilian dress they felt they would not be recognized; but the innkeeper, though favoring the British cause, had a garrulous tongue, and it was not long before it was noised abroad that two strangers were staying at the tavern. A delegation of citizens came to call; but the spies, being wary, told their host that they were simple sailor-folk, who were not dressed sufficiently well to receive strangers. At which the landlord may have said: "We know why you are here. I and my friends who await you are loyal to the king, and we would assist you in any way that lies in our power."

The spies remained in seclusion over Sunday; and early Monday morning, having asked for some roast beef and brandy, they proceeded on their way back to Boston, feeling fairly sure that their presence in the town was generally unknown. They had, however, not reckoned on the vigilance of Colonel Timothy Bigelow, of the public safety committee, and others, who knew the exact time of arrival and departure, this accurate knowledge concerning strangers – especially strangers who walked with a military gait – being a part of their duties as members of the vigilant committee. the spies left the town by a route different from that by which they had entered it. They were dismayed to find that a tall, erect horseman was riding after them.[2] As told by one of the British soldiers in disguise:

" At two o'clock it ceased snowing a little, and we resolved to set off for Marlborough which was about sixteen miles off. We fund the roads very bad, every step up to our ancles [sic]; we passed through Sudbury*, a large village near a mile long; the causeway lies over a great swamp, or overflowing of Sudbury river, and it is commanded by high ground on the opposite side. Nobody took the least notice of us, till we arrived within three miles of Marlborough (it was snowing very hard all the while) when a horseman overtook us, and asked us form whence we came – we said from Weston; he asked us if we lived there – we said no; he then asked where we resided, and, as we found there was no evading his questions, we told him we lived in Boston. He then asked us where we were going; we told him to Marlborough, to see a friend; (as we intended to go to Mr. Barnes, a gentleman to whom we were recommended and a friend to the government:) he then asked us, if we were in the army; we said no, but were a good deal alarmed at his asking us that question; he asked several rather impertinent questions, and then rode on to Marlborough, as we suppose. to give them intelligence of our coming – for on our arrival the people came out of their houses (though it snowed and blew very hard) to look at us; in particular, a baker asked Capt. Brown. ' Where are you going Master?' He answered, to see Mr. Barnes."

With the town of Marlborough aware of the possibility of British Spies being within their midst, thanks to the warning of Tim Bigelow who had ridden in terrible weather for 18 miles in the snow, several folks queried Mr. Barnes who feigned that they were relatives of his wife from Penobscot and were going to Lancaster. That gave him enough time to send the soldiers off through a snowy back road around 9pm (they were planning to rest and leave at 12am) until the Committee of Correspondence showed up at his Mr. Barnes house and searched it for top to bottom claiming if they had found the soldiers, they would have taken the house down around his ears. They had sent horsemen on every road to find them, but with the weather being so bad, they could not as the soldiers had ridden as fast as they could without stopping until just outside Boston as they feared for their lives. Shortly after, Mr. Barnes was run out of Marlborough by a violent mob – without his possessions – and eventually died banished in London in 1808.[clarification needed]clar[3]

  • The soldiers may have been referring to Shrewsbury and the causeway as Sudbury is further and past Marlboro from Worcester?
Lexington Concord-5c

In the formation of the Minute Men in Worcester, Timothy Bigelow was chosen its commander unanimously. He drilled the men so thoroughly that when Gen. George Washington reviewed the company, he said, "This is discipline, indeed!" The gallant Patriot, who, with the little company of minute-men that he had carefully drilled, answered the call of the rider who on a foaming horse dashed through Worcester early in the morning of the memorable 19 April 1775, calling: " To arms! To arms! War is begun!" The minute-men with their commander gathered on the Worcester Common; and there, with cannon booming and bells ringing, they received their instructions, and with bowed heads listened to the benediction of the Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty, minister of the Old South Church, before they began their march to what would be known as the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Soon after, he was commissioned a major. In September following he volunteered for the expedition to Quebec under Benedict Arnold going by way of the Kennebec river through the wilderness of Maine. On this expedition Maj. Bigelow was ordered by Gen. Arnold to ascend a mountain near the headwaters of the Kennebec, with a small party of men, for the purpose of reconnaissance. This mountain was later named for him and is now known as Mount Bigelow.

While on the march to Quebec, he wrote the following to his wife:

October 26, 1775 "On that part of the Kennybeck called the Dead river, 95 miles above Norridgewock Dear Wife. I am at this time well, but in a dangerous situation, as is the whole detachment of the Continental Army with me. We are in a wilderness nearly one hundred miles from any inhabitants, either French or English, and but about five days provisions on an average for the whole. We are this day sending back the most feeble and some that are sick. If the French are our enemies it will go hard with us, for we have no retreat left. In that case there will be no alternative between the sword and famine. May God in his infinite mercy protect you, my more than ever dear wife, and my dear children, "Adieu, and ever believe me to be your most affectionate husband, "Timo. Bigelow."

Bigelow proceeded on the march to Quebec, and on 31 December was taken prisoner by the British, and kept prisoner until the following August. He, with other prisoners, was taken to New York, and then exchanged. He promptly reentered the service as lieutenant-colonel under General Gates, and in 1777 was commissioned a full colonel, the highest rank of any Bigelow during the Revolutionary War. He was at Quebec, Monmouth, Saratoga, Verplanck's Point, Peekskill, Valley Forge, Yorktown, West Point, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and the surrender of Burgoyne. (There is a plaque on a Monument at Valley Forge).

After the War he came home ill and was unable to resume his occupation as a blacksmith. It was then he went to West Point for some time, and was appointed commander of the arsenal at Springfield. When his health broke he returned to Worcester, after eight years in the army and found his property and business seriously diminished and encumbered in debt. Congress, realizing how much back pay was due him for his eight years of service, granted him 23,040 acres of land in Vermont, in lieu of money (dated 21 October 1780), on which was founded the town of Montpelier, Vermont. He never saw the grant. His son Andrew's death from consumption in 1787, and the pressure to pay off his indebtedness caused his health to decline. With his finances depleted, he eventually resumed his occupation of blacksmith, but with the post-war inflation, his own distaste for business, and the pressure of friends who had lent him money, he was thrown into debtors' prison. He died in debtors' prison after 6 weeks on March 31, 1790, at the age of 51. One of the saddest entries made in any record of the city of Worcester is the note on March 31, 1790, in the old jail book, of the discharge of Colonel Timothy Bigelow, – "By Deth." His record reads in whole:

Timothy Bigelow, Worcester, Esquire, Time of commitment, February 15, 1790 by Execution By authority of Levi Lincoln, Esq. Description: Six feet, Dark Complexion. Discharged April 1, 1790 by Death.

His friend, Isaac Thomas, placed a single line in the Massachusetts Spy announcing his obituary. His widow Anna died on July 9, 1809 in Groton, MA.

In his lifetime, Col. Bigelow was a delegate to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, participated in the Committee of Correspondence, fought in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and served as colonel of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army.[4] He accompanied Benedict Arnold in his expedition to Quebec in 1775, and was captured there, remaining a prisoner until 1776. He was made colonel on February 8, 1777, and, when in command of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment, assisted at the capture of John Burgoyne. He was also at Valley Forge, West Point, Monmouth, and Yorktown. After the war Bigelow had charge of the Springfield Arsenal. He was a benefactor of the academy at Leicester, Massachusetts.


As relayed in Worcester history books: In the rear if the Andrews home Tim Bigelow had a blacksmith's shop where he blew the bellows, heated and hammered the iron, and shod the horses and oxen and mended the plows and chains for the farmers of the country about him, Now Tim was as bright as a button, more than six feet high, straight and handsome, and walked upon the earth with a natural air and grace that was quite captivating. Now Tim saw Anna, and Anna saw Tim, and they were well satisfied with each other; but as he was then 'nothing but Tim Bigelow, the blacksmith,' the lady's friends, whose ward she was, would not give their consent to a marriage. So, watching an opportunity, the lovers mounted fleeting horses and rode a hundred miles, to Hampton, in New Hampshire, which lies on the coast, between Newburyport and Portsmouth, and was at that time the 'Gretna Green' for all young men and maidens for whom true love did not run a smooth course in Massachusetts. They came back to Worcester as Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Bigelow.[5]

On July 7, 1762, he married Anna Andrews. They had six children:

  • Nancy b. 2 Jan 1765; d. 29 Apr 1839 in Worcester; m. 7 Jan 1784 Abraham Lincoln; res Worcester.
  • Timothy b. 30 April 1767; d. 18 May 1821 at Medford, MA; m. 30 Sep 1791 Lucy Prescott; res Medford 10 children. Served in the Revolutionary War with his Father, and was a well known Lawyer & Politician
  • Andrew b 30 Mar 1769; d. of consumption on Nov 1787.
  • Rufus b. 7 July 1772; d 21 December 1813 Baltimore, MD; unmarried.
  • Lucy b. 13 May 1774; m. (1) 19 June 1805 Luther Lawrence, who died 1839; and (2) his brother William Lawrence; res Groton. 5 children.
  • Clarissa b. 29 December 1781; d. 1846; m. 26 Nov 1806 Tyler Bigelow – (c 1692); res Watertown. 8 children.[6]

Military records

Bigelow, Timothy, Worcester. Captain, Col. Artemas Ward's regt., which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service, 5 days; reported enlisted into the army; also, Major; list of officers of the main guard taken May 8, 1775; also, list of officers of the main guard, dated Cambridge, May 11, 1775; also, lists of officers of the picket guard, dated Cambridge, May 15, May 21 and May 22, 1775; also, list of officers on fatigue duty, dated Cambridge, May 25, 1775; also, 2d Major, Gen, Ward's regt.; commissioned May 25, 1775; also, Col. Jonathan Ward's regt.; muster roll made up to Aug. 1, 1775, dated Dorchester; enlisted April 19, 1775; service, 3 most 20 days; also, company return dated Dorchester, Oct. 7, 1775, reported on command to Quebec; also, Col. Ward's regt.; Maj. Gen. Thomas's division; list of field officers of the Continental Army in 1776; also, Col. Artemus Ward's (Worcester Co.) regt.; list of field officers [year not given]; also, Colonel, 15th Mass. regt.; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1 1777, to Dec. 31, 1779; also, muster roll for Jan. – Sept., 1777, dated Van Schaick's Island; appointed Jan. 1, 1777; reported on command at Worcester; also, pay abstracts for Nov. and December., 1778, dated Providence; also, muster roll for March and April, 1779, dated Providence; reported on furlough; also, muster roll for Aug, 1779, dated Lower Salem; reported sick at Ridgefield; also, list of settlements of rank of Continental officers made at West Point by a board held for the purpose and confirmed by Congress, Sept. 6, 1779; commissioned Feb 8, 1777; also, Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1780, to Dec. 31, 1780; also, muster roll for Jan.– June, 1780, dated Robinson's Farms; also, muster roll for November and December., 1780, dated Garrison at West Point; reported absent at Fishkill; also, pay abstract for October–December., 1780, dated Boston; reported deranged Jan. 1, 1781.[7]

Bigelow, Timothy. Lieutenant Colonel, 15th Mass. regt.; official record of a ballot by the House of Representatives, dated Feb. 6, 1777; appointment concurred in by Council, Feb. 6, 1777


It is said that he was of fine personal appearance, over six feet in height, with military bearing. In addition to his vigorous mind, he had a warm and generous heart. In addition to several chapters of patriotic organizations named in his honor, there are a number of memorials to Col. Timothy Bigelow:

Mount Bigelow (Maine) is named after Major Timothy Bigelow who climbed the rugged summit in late October 1775 "for the purpose of observation." Major Bigelow was one of Colonel Benedict Arnold's four division commanders during the 1775 Invasion of Canada. The expeditionary force passed along the Dead River on the northern edge of the Bigelow Range, now dammed into Flagstaff Lake.[8]

Timothy Bigelow was at the surrender of Burgoyne. There is a plaque on a Monument at Valley Forge.

Surrender of General Burgoyne

With others, Timothy Bigelow obtained a grant for 23,040 acres (dated 21 October 1780), on which was founded the town of Montpelier, VT.[9] It was named by him.

April 19, 1861 Dedication Ceremony of Col. Timothy Bigelow's Memorial on the Worcester Common. The very same common where he drilled his minutemen and prepared them for the Revolutionary War.

In 1861, Bigelow's grandson erected a monument to his memory in Worcester, Massachusetts.[10][11]

City of Worcester, Whereas, by a resolve of the City Council, passed Dec. 23, A. D., 1859, leave was granted to Timothy Bigelow Lawrence to erect a Monument over the remains of Colonel Timothy Bigelow; and, by said resolve, the Mayor was empowered to designate a suitable lot for that purpose, where said remains now lie, – the same not to include the remains of persons of any other family; and it was further resolved, that said lot be forever appropriated and devoted to said purpose —

Now, in pursuance of the authority in me so vested, I, Alexander H. Bullock, Mayor of the city of Worcester, have designated, and do hereby designate, for the purpose aforesaid, the following-described lot, being twenty feet square, and being section number four of the second division, as laid down on the plan of the cemetery on the Common, dated October, 1853, made by Gill Valentine. Said section has a stone monument at its south-east corner, and contains grave number seven, being the grave of Timothy Bigelow, but does not include the remains of any other person.

And I hereby forever dedicate and appropriate said lot to the purpose aforesaid.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the seal of the city of Worcester, this thirtieth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine.

A. H. BULLOCK, Mayor.

The monument is inscribed:

TIMOTHY BIGELOW. On the right face, in sunken letters, — Born Aug. 12, 1739. Died March 31, 1790.

On the rear, —

In memory of The Colonel of the I5th Massachusetts Regiment Of the Continental Army In the War of Independence, ______________________________

This monument Is erected by his great-grandson, Timothy Bigelow Lawrence, Anno Domini 1861.

The monument was designed and superintended by George Snell, Esq., architect, of Boston. The granite work was executed by the Granite Railway Company; and the marble, imported from Tuscany, was chiseled by Messrs. Wentworth and Co., Boston. The original grave of Colonel Bigelow was within the area allotted to the monument. It was necessary during construction to exhume the casket and move it to its current location beneath the base of the monument. The Colonel's remains were found to be incased in a metallic casket. They were remarkably well preserved after 71 years of interment. His hair was said to be abundant and of singular freshness. His frame indicated a robust man taller than the average man. This corresponds with earlier descriptions of Colonel Bigelow being six feet two inches tall.

A week before the city celebration dedicating the monument a private formal ceremony took place and a time capsule of selected items and documents were placed into boxes made of tin and copper and placed within the cavity. They were firmly soldered against the elements of time.

The Bigelow Monument on the Common marks the grave of that great patriot, Col. Timothy Bigelow. He was the captain of the minuteman and left that same field on April 19, 1775 for Boston upon the Lexington Alarm. This imposing monument was erected by the great grandson, Col. Timothy Bigelow Lawrence of Boston and was dedicated on the 86th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1861.

The procession was formed at eleven o'clock, adjacent to the Central Park. Pausing at the mansion of Mayor Davis for review by the invited guests and other distinguished citizens there assembled, In the first carriage were seated Mayor Davis, Colonel Lawrence, Tyler Bigelow, Esq., of Watertown, (nephew and son-in-law of Col. Timothy Bigelow), George Tyler Bigelow, Jr., son of the Chief Justice. They were followed by a carriage containing Ex-Governor Lincoln, Rev. Dr. Bigelow, and Hon. John P. Bigelow, Ex-Mayor of Boston. The past Mayors of Worcester, and guests of the city, occupied the remaining carriages. The procession was arranged as follows:

National Band. Past and exempt Members of the Worcester Light Infantry, bearing the Colors of the Company; D. Waldo Lincoln, Captain. Highland Cadets. Committee of Arrangements. City Government. Invited Guests. Joslyn's Band. Assistant Marshal. Chief-Engineer Fire department. Yankee Engine-Company, No. 5. Ocean Hose-company, No, 2. Father Mathew Temperance Society. German Turners. Citizens.

Advancing through the central street, the route was in the following order: through Main, Highland, Harvard, Chestnut, Elm, West, Pleasant Streets, to the head of Main Street again, and on to the Old Common. At twelve o'clock, a salute of thirty-four guns was fired. The procession forming in a square around the stand, General George H. Ward, Chief-Marshal, announced Mayor Davis as President of the day. Among the notables on the platform, besides the gentlemen elsewhere named, were the Hon. Rejoice Newton, Stephen Salisbury, Esq., Hon. Dwight Foster, Hon. George F. Hoar, Major-General Hobbs, Colonel Stoddard, Charles Hersey, Esq., Walter Bigelow, Esq., Abbott Lawrence, Esq., with others. After a music by Joslyn's Coronet Band, a prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Hill.

The following song, written for the occasion by C. Jillson, Esq., was sung by the Glee Club, under the direction of the music's composer Albert S. Allen.

We come to day, with solemn tread, To consecrate an earthly shrine, And raise this column o'er the head Of hero, patriot, and divine, A hero in his country's cause; A patriot on the lists of fame; Divine, because an honest man Can justly own no other name.

A thousand other men have died, Who toiled for fame, and sought renown; But no one knows their resting-place, On hill, in valley, or the town. But here the humblest of them all Beneath this beauteous column lies; His dust has unto dust returned; His spirit, to the upper skies.

Here, ages hence, when Spring-time comes With laughing footstep o'er the hills; When Nature lifts her wintry hand From all the valleys and the rills, Shall generations yet unborn Beside this marble column stand. And mingle with the dust their tears For one who loved his native land.

Colonel Timothy Bigelow Lawrence was then introduced and spoke, followed by Mayor Davis. Then Ex-Governor Lincoln was next introduced. At the close of Governor Lincoln's address, the chairman called for a speech from the Rev. Andrew Bigelow, D.D., of Boston, grandson of Colonel Timothy Bigelow. The Hon. John P. Bigelow, Ex-Mayor of Boston, another grandson of Colonel Timothy Bigelow, was next called up. He declined making a speech. Hon. Benjamin F. Thomas was introduced as a grandson of the political associate, contemporary, and friend of Colonel Timothy Bigelow, Isaiah Thomas, Sr.

"How sleep the brave, who sink to rest With all their country's wishes blest!"

Tyler Bigelow, Esq., of Watertown. nephew of the Revolutionary colonel was presented last. At eighty three years of age he stood, firm and erect, as if he were a younger man. His remarks were few and were delivered with great energy. He wished to relate an interesting reminiscence of his late uncle. " When the news of the destruction of the tea in Boston Harbor reached Colonel Bigelow, he was at work in his blacksmith's shop, near the spot now called Lincoln Square. He immediately laid aside his tools, proceeded directly to his house, opened the closet, and took from it a canister of tea, went to the fireplace, and poured the contents thereof into the flames. As if feeling that every thing which had come in contact with British legislative tyranny should be purified by fire, the canister followed the tea; and then he covered both with coals. So well known and determined were his opinions on the great questions of the day, he returned to his labors without deigning a word of explanation or apology to any one."

Music by the band ended the presentations by guest speakers. A benediction by the Rev. Dr. Hill, concluded the public ceremonies of the day.

After the close of the ceremonies the invited speakers at the dedication of the Monument were entertained at an elegant banquet given by Governor Lincoln.

On Sept. 27 of the same year, Mayor Davis states that " the Monument has attracted great attention, and thousands, and tens of thousands, have visited it," and "that it has excited in numerous minds a noble spirit of patriotism, and has induced many to volunteer in sustaining the Constitution and the Union. Since the Monument was erected on our Central Park, more than five thousand men have left that Park in defense of the glorious institutions, which Colonel Timothy Bigelow and his brave compeers fought to establish."

Type written summary account found with the Official Ceremonies Booklet in the Worcester Historical Museum. The original document was the "CEREMONIES at the DEDICATION of the BIGELOW MONUMENT, Worcester, Massachusetts, April 19, 1861. Printed by John Wilson and Son 22, School Street – 1861–" which contains detailed accounts of that dedication and the actual text of the speeches.

The monument has been restored at least twice, once after being blown down by the hurricane of 1938 and again in 2006, in a joint effort by Preservation Worcester, the Timothy Bigelow Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and others.

Opening of the Monument January 7, 1977 The following is an account of a request to open the Monument. Articles are from the PEOPLE FORM in the Local Worcester Telegram Newspaper. January 7, 1977 Scion of Hero Seeks Opening of Monument by Mary Wessling Encased in the Timothy Bigelow Monument that stands in the center of Worcester Common are historical treasures. Those treasures, sealed in a box in 1861 when the monument was erected to honor a Worcester Revolutionary War hero., have a personal meaning to lawrence G. Brooks of West Medford. Col. Timothy Bigelow, a blacksmith turned patriot, was his great grandfather. Brooks. a retired judge, woulf like to see the box of 19th century memorabilia opened before the contents are lost due to the deteriorating effects of time. And on the topic of the passage of time and his own accompanying birthdays, Brooks says with a trace of a smile. "I've been getting more interested (in Genealogy) as I get nearer my end" Brooks once presiding justice in the appellate division of the state didtric court's Northern district, will be 96 years old next month. It is no idle wish to Brooks to have the papers removed from the 25 foot monument. He has talked with local history buffs who favor the opening and has corresponded with the city manager concerning opening the monument for the cache of history. City manager Francis J. McGrath said yesterday the request has been made before. "I had some professionals look at this. Engineers told him the type of stone involved might disintegrate if such work was done, he said, "and I asked if anybody would take the responsibility for it. I don't feel I want to take responsibility for any damage". Authorization would have to come from City Council, McGrath added. With the manager's refusal based on the engineers'warning, Brooks went to the monument manufacture himself for an opinion, and said he received a different one. "He didn't seem to think there'd be serious risk," Brooks said, adding he understood why the manager would have to be more careful than an out-of-town person. Insurance Considered Brooks, a judge for 42 years, has even begun investigating the possibility of an insurance specialist like Lloyd's of London insuring against the possibility of damage, and he has wondered about individuals putting up money as insurance against damage. "I still have hopes that sometimes within five years, that some group or individual will be able to put a little money into it as a fund to take the burden off the city manager," he said. Brooks, a former lawyer who was also chief justice of the First District Court of Eastern Middlesex in Malden, speaks of Bigelow and his Revolutionary War experiences with a feeling of kinship. Old Timothy Wouldn't Mind From the Telegraph 12/77


  1. ^ http://www.massdar.org/chapters.html
  2. ^ Some Historic Houses of Worcester: Worcester bank & trust Company, 1919 p. 6
  3. ^ The loyalists of Massachusetts and the other side of the American Revolution James Henry Stark – January 1, 1907
  4. ^ Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, v. 27. 1905; p. 889.
  5. ^ Industrial Worcester, Charles G. Washburn 1917
  6. ^ http://bigelowsociety.com/Col_Tim.html
  7. ^ Massachusetts Soldiers & Sailors of Rev War, Vol II
  8. ^ The Story of Worcester, Massachusetts By Thomas Francis OF̓lynn 1910
  9. ^ http://bigelowsociety.com/Col_Tim.html
  10. ^ "Worcester & Worcester Common". City of Worcester. 
  11. ^ Timothy Bigelow at Find a Grave

External links

  • http://www.massdar.org/bigelowmonument.html for the full Col Timothy Bigelow Memorial Dedication Ceremony Program.
  • https://www.gutenberg.org/files/24634/24634-h/24634-h.htm for descriptions of Col. Bigelow and the battles he fought.
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