Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: As swiftly as could be imagined in an era of excruciatingly slow communication, the news began to spread, north to the rest of New England and south to the Carolinas, of the Concord Incursion and resulting running battle back along the road to Boston. Most of the dispatches were carried by horsemen who handed off the news to anxious communities who then sent the news on in stages to the middle and southern colonies. One read, “I request, for the good of Country, and the welfare of our lives and liberties, and fortunes, you will not lose a moment’s time.” Some of the accounts were wildly exaggerated, but in that apprehensive spring few who heard the news could conclude other than that a significant blow against colonial liberty had been struck. The fundamental reality: this meant war. Loyalists might long for a restoration of good relations, but most Americans could only echo the sentiments of Thomas Jefferson who saw the last “hope of reconciliation” slipping away and noted a “phrenzy of revenge” had seized the people who though craving more news from Boston, were determined to take action, to “strike back.”