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Concord, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
The Old Manse, home to Ralph Waldo Emerson and later Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°27′37″N 71°20′58″W / 42.46028°N 71.34944°W / 42.46028; -71.34944
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1635
Incorporated 1635
 - Type Open town meeting
 - Total 25.9 sq mi (67.4 km2)
 - Land 24.9 sq mi (64.5 km2)
 - Water 1.0 sq mi (2.5 km2)
Elevation 141 ft (43 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 16,840
 Density 676.3/sq mi (261.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01742
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-15060
GNIS feature ID 0619398

Concord is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2000 Census, the town population was about 17,000. Although a small town, Concord is noted for its leading roles in American history and literature. Concord also has two state prisons within its borders (medium security and minimum security).



The area which became the Town of Concord was originally known as "Musketaquid", situated at the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet rivers.[1] Native Americans had cultivated corn crops there; the rivers were rich with fish and the land was lush and arable.[2] However, the area was largely depopulated by the smallpox plague that swept across the Americas after the arrival of Europeans.[3] In 1635, a group of British settlers led by Rev. Peter Bulkley and Simon Willard negotiated a land purchase with the remnants of the local tribe; that six-square-mile purchase formed the basis of the new town, which was called "Concord" in appreciation of the peaceful acquisition.[1]

The Battle of Lexington and Concord was the initial conflict in the American Revolutionary War. On April 19, 1775, a force of British Army regulars marched from Boston to Concord (after an early-morning skirmish at Lexington) to capture a cache of arms that was reportedly stored in the town. Forewarned of the British troop movements by Paul Revere, colonists from Concord and surrounding towns repulsed a British detachment at the Old North Bridge and forced the British troops to retreat.[4] The battle was initially publicized by the colonists as an example of British brutality and aggression: one colonial broadside decried the "Bloody Butchery of the British Troops".[5] A century later, however, the conflict was remembered proudly by Americans, taking on a patriotic, almost mythical status in works like the "Concord Hymn" and "Paul Revere's Ride".[6] In April 1975, the town hosted a bicentennial celebration of the battle, featuring an address at the Old North Bridge by President Gerald Ford.[7]

Concord has a remarkably rich literary history centered in the mid-nineteenth century around Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), who moved to the town in 1835 and quickly became its most prominent citizen.[8] Emerson, a successful lecturer and philosopher, had deep roots in the town: his father Rev. William Emerson (1769–1811) grew up in Concord before becoming an eminent Boston minister, and his grandfather, William Emerson Sr., witnessed the battle at the North Bridge from his house, and later became a chaplain in the Continental Army.[9] Emerson was at the center of a group of like-minded Transcendentalists living in Concord.[10] Among them were the author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) and the philosopher Bronson Alcott (1799–1888), the father of Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888). A native Concordian, Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), was another notable member of Emerson's circle. This substantial collection of literary talent in one small town led Henry James to dub Concord "the biggest little place in America."[11]

Among the products of this intellectually stimulating environment were Emerson's many essays, including Self-Reliance (1841), Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women (1868), and Hawthorne's story collection Mosses from an Old Manse (1846).[12] Thoreau famously lived in a small cabin near Walden Pond, where he wrote Walden (1854).[13] After being imprisoned in the Concord jail for refusing to pay taxes in political protest, Thoreau penned the influential essay "Resistance to Civil Government", popularly known as Civil Disobedience (1849).[14]

The Wayside house, located on Lexington Road, has been home to a number of authors.[15] It was occupied by scientist John Winthrop (1714–1779) when Harvard College was temporarily moved to Concord during the Revolutionary War.[16] The Wayside was later the home of the Alcott family (who referred to it as "Hillside"); the Alcotts sold it to Hawthorne in 1852, and the family moved into the adjacent Orchard House in 1858. Hawthorne dubbed the house "The Wayside" and lived there until his death. The house was purchased in 1883 by Boston publisher Daniel Lothrop and his wife, Harriett, who wrote the Five Little Peppers series and other children's books under the pen name Margaret Sidney.[17] Today, The Wayside and the Orchard House are both museums. Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, and the Alcotts are buried on Authors' Ridge in Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.[18]

Ephraim Bull developed the now-ubiquitous Concord grape at his home on Lexington Road, where the original vine still grows.[19] Welch's, the first company to sell grape juice, maintains a small headquarters in Concord.[20]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.9 square miles (67 km2), of which, 24.9 square miles (64 km2) of it is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) of it (3.75%) is water.

Nearest Cities

Massachusetts state routes 2, 2A, 62, 126, 119, 111, and 117 pass through Concord.

Concord borders the towns of Carlisle, Bedford, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland and Acton.


Main Street from Monument Square, Concord, MA.

As of the census[21] of 2000, there were 16,993 people, 5,948 households, and 4,437 families residing in the town. The population density was 682.0 people per square mile (263.3/km²). There were 6,153 housing units at an average density of 246.9/sq mi (95.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.64% White, 2.24% African American, 0.09% Native American, 2.90% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.12% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.80% of the population.

There were 13,090 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 4.2% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 100.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $115,897, and the median income for a family was $135,839. Males had a median income of $92,374 versus $67,739 for females. The per capita income for the town was $51,477. About 2.1% of families and 3.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.7% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.


The town's name is correctly pronounced kŏng′·kərd, /ˈkɒŋkərd/, in a manner indistinguishable from the American pronunciation of the word "conquered."[22]

Sister cities

Points of interest



Notable residents and natives

See also


  1. ^ a b ""Concord"". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  2. ^ ""Peter Bulkeley: Settlement in Concord"". New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  3. ^ Shattuck, Lemuel (1835). ""History of the Town of Concord, Mass"". RootsWeb. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  4. ^ ""Today In History: April 19th"". The Library of Congress. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  5. ^ Randolph, Ryan. "Paul Revere and the Minutemen of the American Revolution". The Rosen Publishing Group via Google Books.,M1. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  6. ^ Gioia, Dana. ""On "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow"". Retrieved April 2, 2007. 
  7. ^ ""Featured Resource: Photograph Collection 374"". The State Library of Massachusetts. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  8. ^ ""Emerson in Concord"". Concord Public Library - Special Collections. Retrieved April 18, 2007. 
  9. ^ ""Emerson's Concord Heritage"". Concord Public Library - Special Collections. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  10. ^ ""Henry David Thoreau"". Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  11. ^ Kehe, Marjorie. ""Scenes from an American Eden"". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved March 6, 2007. 
  12. ^ Perry, Bliss. ""The American Spirit in Literature: The Transcendentalists"". (public domain). Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  13. ^ ""Thoreau's Walden, Present at the Creation"". National Public Radio. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  14. ^ McElroy, Wendy. ""Henry David Thoreau and 'Civil Disobedience'"". The Future of Freedom Foundation. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  15. ^ ""The Wayside"". National Park Service. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  16. ^ ""The Wayside: History"". National Park Service. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  17. ^ ""The Wayside Authors"". National Park Service. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  18. ^ Lipman, Lisa. ""Writers rest in Sleepy Hollow"". The Globe & Mail. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  19. ^ ""The Concord Grape"". National Grape Cooperative. Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  20. ^ ""All About Welch's: General Company Information"". Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  22. ^ ""Concord"". The American Heritage Dictionary. Retrieved April 10, 2007. 
  23. ^ "United States Olympic Committee - Baker, Laurie". Retrieved August 13, 2007. 
  24. ^ Holloway, Diane. ""Steve Carell's a Virgin, 42 and the worst boss ever"". Retrieved August 3, 2007. 
  25. ^ Cornwell, Patricia. ""Crime pays quite well for Patricia Cornwell"". Retrieved 2008. 
  26. ^ ""Garnett"". Boston Herald. Retrieved October 22, 2007. 
  27. ^ ""Hal Gill"". Retrieved April 9, 2007. 
  28. ^ ""Tom Glavine"". Retrieved August 2, 2007. 
  29. ^ Lamb, Brian. ""Booknotes: No Ordinary Time"". Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ ""Gregory Maguire"". Retrieved August 13, 2007. 
  32. ^ Kifner, John. ""He Said He Had a Pistol; Then He Flashed a Knife"". New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2007. 
  33. ^ English, Bella. ""She's home, for the long run"". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 25, 2007. 
  34. ^ ""SONICS: Presti Named Sonics General Manger"". Retrieved December 24, 2007. 
  35. ^ ""Providence College: 2007 Honorary Degree Citations"". Retrieved August 30, 2007. 

Further reading

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CONCORD, a township of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 20 M. N.W. of Boston. Pop. (1900) 5652; (1905, state census) 5421. Area 25 sq. m. It is traversed by the Boston & Maine railway. Where the Sudbury and Assabet unite to form the beautiful little Concord river, celebrated by Thoreau, is the village of Concord, straggling, placid and beautiful, full of associations with the opening of the War of Independence and with American literature. Of particular interest is the " Old Manse," built in 1765 for Rev. William Emerson, in which his grandson R. W. Emerson wrote Nature, and Hawthorne his Mosses from an Old Manse, containing a charming description of the building and its associations. At Concord there is a state reformatory, whose inmates, about Boo in number, are employed in manufacturing various articles, but otherwise the town has only minor business and industrial interests. The introduction of the " Concord " grape, first produced here by Ephraim Bull in 1853, is said to have marked the beginning of the profitable commercial cultivation of table grapes in the United States. Concord was settled and incorporated as a township in 1635, and was (with Dedham) the first settlement in Massachusetts back from the sea-coast. A county convention at Concord village in August 1774 recommended the calling of the first Provincial Congress of Massachusetts - one of the first independent legislatures of America - which assembled here on the 11th of October 1774, and again in March and April 1775. The village became thereafter a storehouse of provisions and munitions of war, and hence became the objective of the British expedition that on the 19th of April 1775 opened with the armed conflict at Lexington the American War of Independence. As the British proceeded to Concord the whole country was rising, and at Concord about 500 minute-men confronted the British regulars who were holding the village and searching for arms and stores. Volleys were exchanged, the British retreated, the minute-men hung on their flanks and from the hillsides shot them down, driving their columns on Lexington. A granite obelisk, erected in 1837, when Emerson wrote his ode on the battle, marks the spot where the first British soldiers fell; while across the stream a fine bronze Minute-Man " (1875) by D. C. French (a native of Concord) marks the spot where once " the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world " (Emerson). Concord was long one of the shire-townships of Middlesex county, losing this honour in 1867. The village is famous as the home of R. W. Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry D. Thoreau, Louisa M. Alcott and her father, A. Bronson Alcott, who maintained here from 1879 to 1888 (in a building still standing) the Concord school of philosophy, which counted Benjamin Peirce, W. T. Harris, Mrs J. W. Howe, T. W. Higginson, Professor William James and Emerson among its lecturers. Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau and the Alcotts are buried here in the beautiful Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Of the various orations (among others one by Edward Everett in 1825) that have been delivered at Concord anniversaries perhaps the finest is that of George William Curtis, delivered in 1875.

See A. S. Hudson, The History of Concord, vol. i. (Concord, 1904); G. B. Bartlett, Concord: Historic, Literary and Picturesque (Boston, 1885); and Mrs J. L. Swayne, Story of Concord (Boston, 1907).

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