Remember Minuteman Isaac Davis

The famous Minuteman statue based on Isaac Davis

by Bob Johnson

isaac davis
This famous statue of a Minuteman is based on Isaac Davis.


Today, April 19, 2012 is the 237th anniversary of the first shots fired in the American Revolution. Isaac Davis was a husband and father of four who took a musket ball to the heart on that fateful day in Massachusetts in 1775.

Isaac was a Minuteman from Concord, Massachusetts. On April 19, 1775 he received word to form-up with his troop, of which he was its captain, as the government/British troops were on their way to confiscate their guns and ammunition. His wife wrote in her diary, “Isaac Davis was my husband. He was then thirty years of age. We had four children; the youngest about fifteen months old. They were all unwell when he left me, in the morning; some of them with the canker-rash.

“The alarm was given early in the morning, and my husband lost no time in making ready to go to Concord with his company. My husband said but little that morning. He seemed serious and thoughtful; but never seemed to hesitate. He only said, ‘Take good care of the children,’ and was soon out of sight.

“In the afternoon they brought him home a corpse. He was placed in my bedroom till the funeral.”

This powerful diary entry shows us without question that Isaac Davis was an example for all people who value freedom and liberty. Isaac taught us that to be free and to have a free society for your children you must pay a very high price. Not only did Isaac pay the price, but his wife and children did, too.

He also shows us that being a revolutionary and a patriot are compatible. In Isaac’s day most people living in America considered themselves British subjects. By being willing to recognize that his government was wrong and also being willing to break with that corrupt government in order to form a new type of government based on the rights of the people instead of the rights of a chosen few, he has given us an example of doing what is right in spite of what your government demands of you. We owe him and all of the American revolutionaries more than we know.

One of America’s founders and a Deist, Thomas Paine, wrote in his important book on God, Deism, religion, etc., The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, that the success of the American Revolution made it possible for us to have a revolution in religion. Paine believed we should have a revolution in religion based on our God-given reason and Deism. This will lead to a fundamental change in the lives of people and in society. It will overthrow the current corrupt system from within. Such a revolution would encourage people to rely more on their gift from God of reason which in turn would make it much more difficult for the government to lie to the people and to get away with the crimes they’re currently getting away with.

If it wasn’t for the profound sacrifices of Isaac Davis and his fellow revolutionaries we would still be ordered to go to the government approved church and the hope of a revolution in religion would not be possible.


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Bob Johnson is a freelance writer in the Tampa area of Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after a stint in Marine Corps infantry and reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists, and in 1996 he launched the first website devoted to Deism. He is the author of God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion, Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. He has also written the introduction to Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and Principles of Nature by Elihu Palmer.