Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero
Christian Di Spigna
A rich and illuminating biography of America’s forgotten Founding Father, the patriot physician and major general who fomented rebellion and died heroically at the battle of Bunker Hill on the brink of revolution.
Little has been known of one of the most important figures in early American history, Dr. Joseph Warren, an architect of the colonial rebellion, and a man who might have led the country as Washington or Jefferson did had he not been martyred at Bunker Hill in 1775. Warren was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston area for a decade, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party, and his incendiary writings included the famous Suffolk Resolves, which helped unite the colonies against Britain and inspired the Declaration of Independence. Yet after his death, his life and legend faded, leaving his contemporaries to rise to fame in his place and obscuring his essential role in bringing America to independence.
Christian Di Spigna’s definitive new biography of Warren is a loving work of historical excavation, the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed primary-source documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. Following Warren from his farming childhood and years at Harvard through his professional success and political radicalization to his role in sparking the rebellion, Di Spigna’s thoughtful, judicious retelling not only restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats, it deepens our understanding of the nation’s dramatic beginnings.
Christian Di Spigna is a writer based in New York City and Williamsburg, Virginia. He was born in New York City, where he graduated from Columbia University. A regular speaker and volunteer at Colonial Williamsburg, Di Spigna is an expert on the history of the era and educates a wide array of audiences. He spent 20 years researching and writing the book and was fortunate to uncover scores of new facts, documents, material culture pieces, and various artifacts that had previously been lost or unknown for centuries.