View of the South Part of Lexington Plate IV

Ralph Earl (1751-1801)
Date: 1775
Engraver: Amos Doolittle (1754-1832)
Printer: Amos Doolittle (1754-1832)
Medium: Hand-colored etching and engraving on laid paper
Dimensions: 14 7/8 H x 19 1/2 W (sheet)

Printed top center margin: Plate IV. A View of the South Part of Lexington.; printed lower right margin: A. Doolittle Sculpt.; printed lower center margin: 1. Colonel Smith's Brigade retreating before the Provincials. / 2. Earl Percy's Brigade meeting them. / 3. & 4. Earl Percy & Col. Smith. 5. Provincials. / 6. & 7. The Flanck-guards of Percy's Brigade. / 8. A Fieldpiece pointed at the Lexington Meetinghouse. / The Burning of the Houses in Lexington.

Credit: Gift of Dr. Bela J. Ward and H. Judd Ward
Accession Number: 1920.2.4

This hand-colored line engraving on copper is one of four by Amos Doolittle at the Albany Institute. They have immense historic value because they show contemporary views of the battles at Lexington and Concord. Doolittle, a member of the New Haven Company of Guards, visited the sites just after the battles and interviewed some of the participants, then made the engravings. This plate shows Lt. Col. Smith, commanding 700 or so British troops, meeting the commander of long-awaited reinforcements at Lexington. In the middle ground, the two leaders meet on horseback. In the foreground, Minutemen are firing at British troops. And columns of smoke rise from the burning houses of three Lexington residents. The Battle of Lexington refuted the British assumption that the colonists would not fight, and proved pivotal for the upcoming War of Independence.