On a recent trip to Lexington and Concord, I photographed the Prince Estabrook memorial located in a prime spot near Buckman Tavern overlooking the Lexington Battle Green. The memorial was dedicated in April 2008 and pays tribute to a slave and soldier named Prince Estabrook who fought with Captain Parker’s militia in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. Estabrook was wounded in the battle. While visiting the memorial, I wondered how many teachers across the country were aware that an African American had fought for freedom in this historic battle even though he was still enslaved. If they knew that a slave had participated and displayed such bravery in the first battle of the American Revolution, I’m sure it would be something teachers would want to include in their curriculum.
Reporter Alice M. Hinkle was of a similar mindset in 1987 after she had the opportunity to interview Charles H. Price Jr., past commander of the Lexington Minute Men for a newspaper article. For more than 20 years, Price had played the role of Prince Estabrook during the annual Patriot’s Day battle reenactment. This interview with Charles H. Price Jr. served as an introduction to Prince Estabrook and made Alice M. Hinkle want to learn much more about a man who in her words had “slipped between the cracks of history”. In late 1994, she began a research journey that spanned nearly seven years and involved visiting sites, searching through archives and following numerous leads. In 2001, her hard effort was rewarded when Alice M. Hinkle’s outstanding book Prince Estabrook, Slave and Soldier was published. Copies can be purchased today from the Visitor Centers in both Lexington and Concord as well as other sites along Boston’s Freedom Trail.
Below is a video from the dedication ceremonies of the Prince Estabrook memorial in April 2008 with wonderful speeches by William Hinkle, husband of the late author Alice M. Hinkle, and Charles H. Price Jr.
The events that lead up to the American Revolution come to life in my children’s book One April in Boston. The book is written for students in grades 3-6. The audio book version narrated by Phil Rosenthal is 3 hours long. Readers of the Teach History blog receive exclusive access to download a 30-minute sample of this product – see link below. The chapters contained in this download cover the lantern signal from the Old North Church, Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride and the battle on Lexington Green.
One April in Boston is the story of several generations of an American family and a special gift that was passed down from one generation to the next. It revisits the life of 10-year-old Ben Edwards, my direct ancestor. We follow young Ben and his family, learn of their connection to the Sons of Liberty and Paul Revere and witness historic events through their eyes. We also learn about Ben’s goals, the process he sets in motion to help achieve them and the special spyglass he uses to glimpse the future.
The story passes through a timeline of American history, traveling from Revolutionary Boston to the present. On the journey, readers discover what happens to Ben’s spyglass and learn where it can be found today. They leave with a newfound appreciation for the choices and sacrifices made by patriotic Americans from the time of the American Revolution to the present day. The book teaches children about the value of goal setting in a creative and memorable fashion.
I hope you enjoy listening to the audio sample below. I offer author visits annually to schools located throughout New England. Presentations for grades 3-6 are highly praised by teachers, interactive, educational, inspirational and fun! I discuss One April in Boston and introduce students to Colonial Boston with the aid of photos, engravings, maps and original colonial newspapers from my personal collection. For more information, or to book a school visit, contact me (Ben Edwards) in Boston at 617-670-1888.