Originally published in 1926. British Fusilier in Revolutionary Boston- Diary of Lieutenant FREDERICK. MACKENZIE by ALLEN FRENCH. Text extracted from opening pages of book: INTRODUCTION: IN much of the re-writing of American History which has been so general in the past few years, the main effort has been to penetrate the tradition which so heavily overlays it and by the use of con temporary documents to reach the actual facts. That this effort is wholesome, few will deny, nor can any harm come from knowing the truth about ...
Originally published in 1926. British Fusilier in Revolutionary Boston- Diary of Lieutenant FREDERICK. MACKENZIE by ALLEN FRENCH. Text extracted from opening pages of book: INTRODUCTION: IN much of the re-writing of American History which has been so general in the past few years, the main effort has been to penetrate the tradition which so heavily overlays it and by the use of con temporary documents to reach the actual facts. That this effort is wholesome, few will deny, nor can any harm come from knowing the truth about our ancestors. This would be reason enough for publishing any Revolutionary diary, but the one herewith presented, written in Boston in 1775 by Lieutenant Frederick Mackenzie, a British officer, has its own intrinsic value. Until now the only portion of it printed was a part of the narra tive of a single day, which has long been the standard account of Lord Percys expedition to Lexington on the eigth of April, 1775. No writer upon that first day of our Revolution but has drawn heavily upon this narrative. Yet, buried in the Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society ( for March, 1896), it has not been easily accessible to the general reader, nor in convenient form for one assembling a library of Revolutionary Americana. In writing my Day of Lexington and Concord two or more years ago, I depended greatly upon this narrative, and finding it of the highest value, wished to discover the remainder. The extract had been communicated to the Massachusetts Historical Society by Mrs. Frances Rose-Troup, an American married in England, but when at length I managed to get word from her, I found that she had lost track of the original diary and believed it de stroyed. As it was my plan to visit England in the summer of I wrote in advance to the Literary Supplement of the London Times, stating the object of my search. By good fortune a copy containing my letter came under the eyes of a descendant of the original writer, and on landing in England I was greeted by a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Mackenzie saying that the ancestral diary was in his possession and at my service. Of his kindness and interest in my work then and ever since I can speak only in terms of gratitude and appreciation. I had hoped that the diary would contain accounts of events of the siege of Boston, and particularly of the Battle of Bunker Hill, equal in value to the section which describes the events of the iyth of April. Unluckily the volume containing this information has been lost. A family memorandum of the year 1858 mentions the journals as covering the period from 1748 to ijgi. All have hen lost but eight volumes, including all those previous to 1775. Our volume begins with January of that year and ends with thejOth of April following. The next volume begins with the campaign which culminated in the capture of New York in 1776, so that almost the whole period of the siege of Boston is lacking. There is no record or memory of when the lost volumes left the Mackenzie family, and one can only hope that they will some day be found. Fortunately there still exists a single letter from the writer of the diary, written to his parents in 1773, describing his voyage to America in a troop ship. That letter, with the Boston section of the diary, is incor porated in the present volume. The general facts in regard to Frederick Mackenzie, the diarist, and his family, compiled from the Army Lists and from informa tion communicated to me by his great-grandson, are as follows.
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