Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The 1776 Probate Inventory Of Nathaniel Mulliken of Lexington

Lexington resident Nathaniel Mulliken Jr. was a member of Captain John Parker's Company and a participant of the Battle of Lexington.  Early 19th Century accounts of the Battle of Lexington suggest Mulliken, upon seeing the size of the approaching British column, uttered "There are so few of us! It is folly to stand here!"   A clock maker by trade, Mulliken's shop and the house were burned to the ground on April 17, 1775 by British troops while retreating back to Boston.

On April 25, 1775, Nathaniel along with thirty three other fellow militiamen submitted sworn depositions detailing the American version of the battle. After the battle, Nathaniel joined the Massachusetts army surrounding Boston.  In early 1776 he passed away of unknown causes.

The following is an inventory of Mulliken's estate.  The document is important because it provides a snapshot of the clothing and other items common to Lexington and Massachusetts residents in the early years of the American Revolution.

Historical Nerdery is working on transcribing the document.  Once we do, we'll post it on our blog.

Mulliken's probate inventory can be found at the Massachusetts Archives in Dorchester, Massachusetts.


  1. With a choice of nine jackets or coats before walking out the door, he was ready for any occasion.

  2. Would this be items that perished in the fire as well? It's my understanding that he likely left the day after the battle to go with the militias to fight in Boston. And didn't return? Confused.