The tale of William Smith, the brother of Abigail Adams, who led the town of Lincoln’s minutemen at the Battle of Lexington and Concord and then died in disgrace 12 years later, is told in a new book by retired Boston College faculty member Donald Hafner. In William Smith, Captain: Life and Death of a Soldier of the American Revolution, Hafner writes of Captain Smith’s role in battle at the North Bridge in Concord as well as at the Siege of Boston. Within 30 months, he would be a British prisoner of war, having been captured during an ill-fated venture as a privateer. He died in poverty, disgrace, and estrangement from his wife and family at the age of 40. Hafner, who taught at Boston College for more than four decades and served as vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs, is a Colonial reenactor and gives tours at the Captain William Smith House in Lincoln. More from the Boston Globe.
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