LOWELL AND THE CIVIL WAR – FIRST BLOOD: THE LEXINGTON OF 1861
Exhibit and Reception
Monday, April 18, 2011 – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mogan Cultural Center – 40 French Street
Lowell, Massachusetts 01852
The country had come to the conclusion that Mr. Lincoln and his cabinet were mainly employed in packing their trunks to leave Washington, when the “venerable Edward Ruffin of Virginia” fired the first gun at Fort Sumter which brought all the Free States to their feet as one man. That shot is destined to be the most memorable one ever fired on this continent since the Concord fowling pieces said, ‘That bridge is ours, and we mean to go across it,’ eight-seven Aprils ago. As these began a conflict which gave us independence, so that began another which is to give us nationality.
James Russell Lowell, Summer 1861
Lowell Historical Society, Lowell National Historical Park, University of Massachusetts Lowell