In tribute to a lost martyr of the American Revolution, the Dr. Joseph Warren Foundation has been formed to honor the memory of Dr. Joseph Warren, killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill, who contributed so much to the birth of a new nation, the United States of America.

The foundation will focus on the achievements of Warren, which will be highlighted over the next five years as the nation approaches the 250th anniversaries of the Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, The Coercive Acts and other significant events in the birth of a nation.

“Warren’s legacy has faded in the last 200 years”, said Christian DiSpigna, who heads the initiative. “Names like Adams and Revere have taken more prominent places on the center stage in our revolutionary drama,” he noted. The foundation will rebuild that legacy, he stressed, and put Dr. Warren in perspective as Founding Grandfather to those we call Founding Fathers who brought many of Dr. Warren’s efforts to build a new nation to fruition.

Foundation outreach

In addition to public programs, symposiums will be scheduled by the foundation for scholars and historians to further probe service and achievements which form the base of Warren’s legacy. Scholarships will be available for high school seniors anxious for a career of writing history who might be seeking financial aid.

Other funds will be donated to children who lost a parent in combat, which was the case of Warren’s children, orphaned by his death at Bunker Hill. They were brought to Foxboro to be raised by Warren’s brother, Ebenezer, and his family in their stately home on Central Street (since demolished).

Founding Grandfather

Drawing upon his twenty years of researching the Warren family, Christian DiSpigna wrote a biography of Joseph Warren titled Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero. DiSpigna notes that memories of Dr. Warren are most often focused on a single afternoon when he lost his life at Bunker Hill. In reality, he was involved in virtually every rebellious effort pushing for the revolution. Hearing of the British move to Concord to make arrests, Warren dispatched Paul Revere and William Dawes on their famous Midnight Ride and was on the battlefield there himself. He wrote the Suffolk Resolves and again turned to Paul Revere to get a copy to fellow patriots in Philadelphia, becoming the blueprint for the Declaration of Independence.

Local ties

The Warrens were familiar with this place which would become Foxborough. Vast acreage owned by the Dorchester Proprietors leased out, the income used to establish the first public school in the Colonies. Their grandmother was Matron of the farm, married to Robert Calef, who signed the lease in 1710.

The Warren children were frequent visitors to the area, visiting their grandmother. The farm was dissolved in 1772 and many Warren family members obtained lots throughout the town.

Ebenezer Warren moved to Foxborough just one year after incorporation and built a home on Central Street. He became a major land owner, local town official, judge and state representative. There is a street named Judge Warren Drive in his honor on Central Street, just beside Lyons Greenhouse (opposite Spring Street). It leads to Foxborough Boulevard, the location of Foxborough Lodge, built upon part of the Warren estate as noted in the historic marker on the site. Warrens family members have been contributing members of the Foxborough community since that time.

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Copies of Christian DiSpigna’s book, Founding Martyr, are for sale at Memorial Hall, open every Wednesday night, 7 to 9 p.m. and the second Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

The Dr. Joseph Warren Foundation can be reached at 611 Fern Meadows Loop #101, Midlothian, VA 23114, 434-426-1335, www.djwf.org