Paul Revere's Account of His Ride (1775)
PAUL REVERE'S ACCOUNT OF HIS RIDE (1775)
Like the Boston Massacre or Washington crossing the Delaware, the midnight ride of the Boston silversmith and printmaker Paul Revere (1734–1818) has become one of the most enduring and misrepresented images of the American Revolution. Asked by his friend, the political activist and fellow Mason Dr. Joseph Warren, to carry news of the British landing and advance toward Lexington, Massachusetts, Revere set out from Boston at around ten o'clock on 18 April 1775. He and his two companions, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, were detained by British troops just outside Lexington. Although all three eventually escaped, Revere was left without a mount and had to continue toward Concord afoot. Revere himself would compose several versions of the incident throughout his life, but it was not until 1861 and the publication of William Wordsworth Longfellow's commemorative poem in the Atlantic Monthly, that Revere's reputation expanded beyond the local. That poem made him a figure of lasting national prominence, a symbol of all things American, intrepid, and fleet.
See also Revere's Ride .
I, PAUL REVERE, of Boston, in the colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England; of lawful age, do testify and say; that I was sent for by Dr. Joseph Warren, of said Boston, on the evening of the 18th of April, about 10 o'clock; when he desired me, "to go to Lexington, and inform Mr. Samuel Adams, and the Hon. John Hancock Esq. that there was a number of soldiers, composed of light troops, and grenadiers, marching to the bottom of the common, where was a number of boats to receive them; it was supposed, that they were going to Lexington, by the way of Cambridge River, to take them, or go to Concord, to destroy the colony stores."
I proceeded immediately, and was put across Charles River and landed near Charlestown Battery; went in town, and there got a horse. While in Charlestown, I was informed by Richard Devens Esq. that he met that evening, after sunset, nine officers of the ministerial army [British regulars], mounted on good horses, and armed, going towards Concord.
I set off, it was then about 11 o'clock, the moon shone bright. I had got almost over Charlestown Common, towards Cambridge, when I saw two officers on horse-back, standing under the shade of a tree, in a narrow part of the road. I was near enough to see their holsters and cockades. One of them started his horse towards me, the other up the road, as I supposed, to head me, should I escape the first. I turned my horses short about, and rode upon a full gallop for Mistick Road, he followed me about 300 yards, and finding he could not catch me, returned. I proceeded to Lexington, through Mistick, and alarmed Mr. Adams and Col. Hancock.
After I had been there about half an hour Mr. Daws arrived, who came from Boston, over the Neck.
We set off for Concord, and were overtaken by a young gentleman named Prescot, who belonged to Concord, and was going home. When we had got about half way from Lexington to Concord, the other two stopped at a house to awake the man, I kept along. When I had got about 200 yards ahead of them, I saw two officers as before. I called to my company to come up, saying here was two of them, (for I had told them what Mr. Devens told me, and of my being stopped). In an instant I saw four of them, who rode up to me with their pistols in their bands, said "G––d d––n you, stop. If you go an inch further, you are a dead man." Immediately Mr. Prescot came up. We attempted to get through them, but they kept before us, and swore if we did not turn in to that pasture, they would blow our brains out, (they had placed themselves opposite to a pair of bars, and had taken the bars down). They forced us in. When we had got in, Mr. Prescot said "Put on!" He took to the left, I to the right towards a wood at the bottom of the pasture, intending, when I gained that, to jump my horse and run afoot. Just as I reached it, out started six officers, seized my bridle, put their pistols to my breast, ordered me to dismount, which I did. One of them, who appeared to have the command there, and much of a gentleman, asked me where I came from; I told him. He asked what time I left it. I told him, he seemed surprised, said "Sir, may I crave your name?" I answered "My name is Revere. "What" said he, "Paul Revere"? I answered "Yes." The others abused much; but he told me not to be afraid, no one should hurt me. I told him they would miss their aim. He said they should not, they were only waiting for some deserters they expected down the road. I told him I knew better, I knew what they were after; that I had alarmed the country all the way up, that their boats were caught aground, and I should have 500 men there soon. One of them said they had 1500 coming; he seemed surprised and rode off into the road, and informed them who took me, they came down immediately on a full gallop. One of them (whom I since learned was Major Mitchel of the 5th Reg.) clapped his pistol to my head, and said he was going to ask me some questions, and if I did not tell the truth, he would blow my brains out. I told him I esteemed myself a man of truth, that he had stopped me on the highway, and made me a prisoner, I knew not by what right; I would tell him the truth; I was not afraid. He then asked me the same questions that the other did, and many more, but was more particular; I gave him much the same answers. He then ordered me to mount my horse, they first searched me for pistols. When I was mounted, the Major took the reins out of my hand, and said "By G––d Sir, you are not to ride with reins I assure you;" and gave them to an officer on my right, to lead me. He then ordered 4 men out of the bushes, and to mount their horses; they were country men which they had stopped who were going home; then ordered us to march. He said to me, "We are now going towards your friends, and if you attempt to run, or we are insulted, we will blow your brains out." When we had got into the road they formed a circle, and ordered the prisoners in the center, and to lead me in the front. We rode towards Lexington at a quick pace; they very often insulted me calling me rebel, etc., etc. After we had got about a mile, I was given to the sergeant to lead, he was ordered to take out his pistol, (he rode with a hanger,) and if I ran, to execute the major's sentence.
When we got within about half a mile of the Meeting House we heard a gun fired. The Major asked me what it was for, I told him to alarm the country; he ordered the four prisoners to dismount, they did, then one of the officers dismounted and cut the bridles and saddles off the horses, and drove them away, and told the men they might go about their business. I asked the Major to dismiss me, he said he would carry me, let the consequence be what it will. He then ordered us to march.
When we got within sight of the Meeting House, we heard a volley of guns fired, as I supposed at the tavern, as an alarm; the Major ordered us to halt, he asked me how far it was to Cambridge, and many more questions, which I answered. He then asked the sergeant, if his horse was tired, he said yes; he ordered him to take my horse. I dismounted, and the sergeant mounted my horse; they cut the bridle and saddle of the sergeant's horse, and rode off down the road. I then went to the house were I left Messrs. Adams and Hancock, and told them what had happened; their friends advised them to go out of the way; I went with them, about two miles across road.
After resting myself, I set off with another man to go back to the tavern, to inquire the news; when we got there, we were told the troops were within two miles. We went into the tavern to get a trunk of papers belonging to Col. Hancock. Before we left the house, I saw the ministerial troops from the chamber window. We made haste, and had to pass through our militia, who were on a green behind the Meeting House, to the number as I supposed, about 50 or 60, I went through them; as I passed I heard the commanding officer speak to his men to this purpose; "Let the troops pass by, and don't molest them, without they begin first." I had to go across road; but had not got half gunshot off, when the ministerial troops appeared in sight, behind the Meeting House. They made a short halt, when one gun was fired. I heard the report, turned my head, and saw the smoke in front of the troops. They immediately gave a great shout, ran a few paces, and then the whole fired. I could first distinguish irregular firing, which I supposed was the advance guard, and then platoons; at this time I could not see our militia, for they were covered from me by a house at the bottom of the street. And further saith not.
"Paul Revere's Account of His Ride (1775)." Dictionary of American History. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401804717.html
"Paul Revere's Account of His Ride (1775)." Dictionary of American History. 2003. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401804717.html
Paul Revere Court-Martial: 1782
Paul Revere Court-Martial: 1782
Defendant: Paul Revere
Crimes Charged: Disobedience of an order; leaving the Penobscot River without orders from his commanding officer
Chief Defense Lawyer: No record
Presiding Officer: No Record
Chief Prosecutor: No Record
Court: No Record
Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Trial: February 1782
Verdict: Acquitted on both counts
SIGNIFICANCE: The reputation of Paul Revere as a patriotic hero of the American Revolution was tarnished by the accusations made against him after the disastrous Penobscot expedition in 1779. A court-martial was eventually held, at Revere's insistence, in 1782, and he was acquitted.
Paul Revere has become an icon in the mythology of the American Revolution largely as a result of the historically inaccurate account of his famous "midnight ride" given in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's popular poem. Revere was born in 1735, the son of a Boston silversmith. He took up his father's craft and excelled in it. His contributions to the design and manufacture of fine silverware justify his place in history perhaps as much as his patriotic and military exploits.
The Penobscot Expedition
The legendary night ride to warn the patriots of the advance of British troops took place in April 1775. Paul Revere was captured by the British, but released without his horse. As the Revolutionary War progressed he was given command of a garrison at Castle Island in Boston Harbor, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Then, in 1779 he was made commander of the land artillery on the Penobscot Expedition, notorious for turning into one of the worst naval disasters in American military history. The commander of the expedition was Dudley Saltonstall, commodore of the fleet; the purpose was to drive the British out of what is now Castine, Maine (then known as Maja Bagwaduce, with various alternate spellings), where they had begun the construction of a fort. The American expedition, which left Boston on July 19 and reached Penobscot Bay six days later, consisted of 900 men with 21 armed ships and 24 unarmed transport vessels. Construction of the British fort, in fact, had hardly begun, and it had only three guns, but Commodore Saltonstall refused to believe reports to this effect and did not attack. British land reinforcements arrived, but the Americans, though still having the advantage, did not attack. On August 14 four British warships arrived, and the American fleet fled up the Penobscot River, where the ships were trapped. The Americans burned at least 17 of their own fleet rather than let the British capture them, and they fled overland.
Initial Allegations Against Revere
The charges brought against Paul Revere were a consequence of the confusing events that ended this ignominious expedition. The major blame for the disaster lay clearly with Commodore Saltonstall, and he was court-martialled and dismissed from the service. Other factors at work, how-ever, resulted in the charges against Revere. There was bad feeling and rivalry between the different branches of the military forces—friction and argument between the naval command and the artillery and marines. In his diary Revere commented on the undisciplined nature of his forces—raw recruits, old men and boys, undisciplined and difficult to work with. There was also personal animosity between Revere and certain other officers with whom he had clashed while commanding the garrison at Castle Island.
As soon as he returned overland to Boston, Revere attempted to resume command of his garrison, but was asked to resign and await the results of an inquiry into the Penobscot expedition to be conducted by a committee of the Massachusetts General Court. Captain Thomas Jenners Carnes, who had commanded the marines on board the General Putnam, charged Revere with disobedience, unsoldierlike behavior, and cowardice. Revere was also criticized by General Peleg Wadsworth, particularly in regard to his refusal to give up a boat that he was using during the flight.
Revere conducted his own defense before the inquiry very vigorously, depicting the charges as motivated only by a desire for personal revenge, and bringing several officers to testify that he was a diligent officer. In support of this he introduced as part of his deposition sections of the diary he had kept throughout the operation. However, he had a relatively weak defense against the specific charges of insubordination.
The report of the inquiry came out on October 7. It found that the principal reason for the disaster was "the want of proper spirit and energy on the part of the Commodore;" the inquiry recommended a court-martial, and it was quickly done, resulting in his dismissal from the service on October 25. Revere, however, was extremely distressed to find that the report made no mention whatever of his activities or the charges made against him. Anxious to vindicate himself and insisting that it was unsatisfactory to be neither condemned nor acquitted, he asked for a court-martial under the direction of an artillery officer. He was to file six such petitions before getting his wish. In response to his petition, a second committee of inquiry met in November 1779, but Revere was even more dissatisfied with its report. The committee criticized his conduct, though in rather ambiguous terms, declaring him to have been blameworthy for "disputing the orders of Brigadier-General Wadsworth" and holding that his leaving the Penobscot River with his men without specific orders to do so was "not wholly justifiable."
Revere Court-Martialled at His Own Insistence
Several months after all hostilities in the Revolutionary War had ceased and only after several more petitions, Revere was reluctantly granted the courtmartial he wanted. By this time, all references to cowardice had disappeared from the charges, and the allegations had been reduced to two:
- "For his refusal to deliver a certain Boat to the order of General Wadsworth when upon the Retreat up Penobscot River, from Major Bagwaduce."
- "For his leaving Penobscot River without Orders from his Commanding Officer."
The court, consisting of one general and 12 captains, met in February 1782. Its ruling, though late and not entirely without qualification, provided Revere with the vindication of his character that he sought:
The Court finds the first charge against Lieu't Col Paul Revere to be supported (to wit) his refusing to deliver a certain Boat to the Order of General Wadsworth when upon the Retreat up Penobscot River from Major Bagwaduce: but the Court taking into consideration the suddenness of the refusal, and more especially that the same Boat was in fact employed by Lieu't Colo Paul Revere to effect the Purpose ordered by the General as appears by the General's Deposition, are of the Opinion that Lieu't Colo Paul Revere be acquitted of this Charge … On the second charge, the Court considers that the whole army was in great Confusion and so scattered and dispersed, that no regular Orders were or could be given, are of the Opinion, that Lieu't Colo Paul Revere, be acquitted with equal Honor as the other Officers in the same Expedition.
Revere accepted this as a vindication of his character, in spite of its ambiguous wording; some have thought there was a particular sting in its tail, since no officers seemed to have come away from Penobscot with much honor. Revere lived for almost 40 years after the war, becoming renowned as a craftsman. Pioneering in a number of areas, he designed and printed the first issue of Continental paper currency, cast cannons and bells in bronze, and built the first copper-rolling mill in America. Ironically, he even engaged in a successful trading venture with Dudley Saltonstall. While his conduct as a military officer was perhaps less than exemplary, the circumstances were unusual and neither he nor his forces were professional military men.
—David l. Petts
Suggestions for Further Reading
Flood, Charles Bracelen. Rise, and Fight Again. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1976.
Forbes, Esther. Paul Revere and the World He Lived In. Boston: Houghton Miflin, 1942.
Triber, Jayne E. A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere. Amherst, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.
Petts, David. "Paul Revere Court-Martial: 1782." Great American Trials. 2002. Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3498200034.html
Petts, David. "Paul Revere Court-Martial: 1782." Great American Trials. 2002. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3498200034.html
Paul Revere (1735-1818), American patriot, silver smith, and engraver, is remembered for his ride before the Revolutionary War to warn American patriots of a planned British attack. His silverware was among the finest produced in America in his day.
Paul Revere was born on Jan. 1, 1735, in Boston, Mass., the son of Apollos De Revoire, a French Huguenot who had come to Boston at the age of 13 to apprentice in the shop of a silversmith. Once Revoire had established his own business, he Anglicized his name. Paul, the third of 12 children, learned silversmithing from his father. On Aug. 17, 1757, he married Sarah Orne and eventually became the father of eight children.
As early as 1765, Revere began to experiment with engraving on copper and produced several portraits and a songbook. He was popular as a source for engraved seals, coats of arms, and bookplates, and he began to execute engravings which were anti-British. In 1768 Revere undertook dentistry and produced dental devices. The same year he made one of the most famous pieces of American colonial silver—the bowl commissioned by the Fifteen Sons of Liberty. It is engraved to honor the "glorious Ninety-two Members of the Honorable House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, who, undaunted by the insolent Menores of Villains in Power … Voted not to rescind" a circular letter they had sent to the other colonies protesting the Townshend Acts. Revere's virtuosity as a craftsman extended to his carving picture frames for John Singleton Copley, who painted the famous portrait of Revere in shirt sleeves holding a silver teapot.
Paul Revere's Ride
Revere became a trusted messenger for the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. He foresaw an attempt by the British troops against the military stores which were centered in Concord, and he arranged a signal to warn the patriots in Charlestown. During the late evening of April 18, 1775, the chairman of the Committee of Safety told him that the British were going to march to Concord. Revere signaled by hanging two lanterns in the tower of the North Church (probably the present Christ Church). He crossed the river, borrowed a horse in Charlestown, and started for Concord. He arrived in Lexington at midnight and roused John Hancock and Samuel Adams from sleep; the two fled to safety. Revere was captured that night by the British, but he persuaded his captors that the whole countryside was aroused to fight, and they freed him. He returned to Lexington, where he saw the first shot fired on the green. It is this ride and series of events which have been immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem "Paul Revere's Ride."
In the same year, 1775, the Massachusetts provincial congress sent Revere to Philadelphia to study the only working powder mill in the Colonies. Although he was only allowed to walk through the mill and not to take any notes about it, he remembered enough to establish a mill in Canton. During the Revolutionary War, he continued to play an active role. He was eventually promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After the war Revere became a pioneer in the process of copper plating, and he made copper spikes for ships. In 1795, as grand master of the Masonic fraternity, he laid the cornerstone of the new statehouse in Boston. Throughout the remainder of his life, he continued to experiment with metallurgy and to take a keen interest in contemporary events. He died in Boston on May 10, 1818.
Revere is also remembered today as a craftsman. His work in silver spanned two major styles. His earliest work is in the rococo style, which is characterized by the use of asymmetric floral and scroll motifs and repoussé decoration; this was done before the Revolution. From this, he evolved a neoclassic style after the Revolution. This style, developed in England, was based on the straight lines and severe surfaces of Roman design. In 1792 Revere produced one of the acknowledged American masterpieces in this style—a complete tea set commissioned by John and Mehitabel Templeman of Boston. The type of ornamentation employed in this tea set was being used in Massachusetts architecture by Charles Bulfinch and Samuel Mclntire.
Revere's silver is marked with the initials "P R" in a block. This was the usual type of marking on American silver of the 18th century. Revere commanded a very distinguished Boston clientele and was called on to make a number of memorial and commemorative pieces. Like many silversmiths of the period, he also worked in brass.
Revere was also a master of engraving. An on-the-spot reporter, he recorded the events leading up to and during the Revolution with great accuracy. These engravings were advertised in Boston newspapers and were eagerly purchased by the public. In 1770 the Boston Gazette advertised for sale Revere's engraving A View of Part of the Town of Boston in New England and British Ships of War Landing Their Troops, 1768. Revere added to the print a description of the troops, who paraded "Drums beating, Fifes playing… Each Soldier having received 16 rounds of Powder and Ball." Today, all his silver and engravings are eagerly sought by collectors.
A full-length study of Revere is Esther Forbes, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In (1942). For information on his work see the publication of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Colonial Silversmiths: Masters and Apprentices, edited by Richard B. K. McLanathan (1956). □
"Paul Revere." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404705425.html
"Paul Revere." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404705425.html
Born: January 1, 1735
Died: May 10, 1818
American patriot, silversmith, and engraver
Paul Revere is remembered for his ride to warn fellow American patriots of a planned British attack before the Revolutionary War (1775–83), the war fought by Americans to gain independence from England. He was also a fine silversmith (a person who makes objects out of silver) and a master engraver (a person who cuts designs onto things such as metal or wood).
Learning a trade
Paul Revere was born on January 1, 1735, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of Apollos De Revoire, a French Huguenot (member of the Protestant faith) who had come to Boston at the age of thirteen to apprentice (a person who works for another to learn a trade) in the shop of a silversmith. Once Revoire had established his own business, he changed his name to the English spelling Revere.
Paul Revere was the third of twelve children and the oldest of his father's sons to survive into adulthood. As a young man, he studied at the North Writing School in Boston. As a teenager, he learned the art of gold and silversmithing from his father. With help from his mother, he began running the Revere family silver shop at age nineteen, after his father died. On August 17, 1757, he married Sarah Orne and eventually fathered eight children.
As early as 1765, Revere began to experiment with engraving on copper and produced several portraits and a songbook. He was popular as a source for engraved items such as bookplates, seals (stamps with raised designs that could make a print on another substance), and coats of arms (designs that indicated a family line).
Revere also began to fashion engravings that were anti-British. In 1768 he made one of the most famous pieces of silver of the American colonial era—a bowl created at the request of the fifteen Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty were organizations formed in order to protest the 1765 Stamp Act, a taxation on printed materials imposed by the British that the Americans considered unjust. The bowl that Revere created was engraved to honor the "glorious Ninety-two Members of the Honorable House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay" who had refused to withdraw a letter they had sent to the other colonies protesting the Townshend Acts (another measure imposed by the British). Revere's extraordinary skill also extended to his carving picture frames for the painter John Singleton Copley (1738–1815). Copley painted a famous portrait of Revere, shown in shirt sleeves and holding a silver teapot.
Revere became a trusted messenger for the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, an organization set up to resist the British. He foresaw an attack by the British troops against the location of military supplies in Concord, Massachusetts, and arranged a signal to warn the patriots in Charlestown, Massachusetts. During the late evening of April 18, 1775, the chairman of the Committee of Safety told him that the British were going to march to Concord. Revere signaled by hanging two lanterns in the tower of Boston's North Church. This showed that the British were approaching "by sea," that is, by way of the Charles River. He crossed the river, borrowed a horse in Charlestown, and started for Concord. Arriving in Lexington, Massachusetts, at midnight, he awakened American rebels John Hancock (1737–1793) and Samuel Adams (1722–1803), allowing the two men to flee to safety.
Revere was captured that night by the British, but he persuaded his captors that the whole countryside was aroused to fight, and they freed him. He returned to Lexington, where he saw the first shot fired in the first battle of the Revolutionary War (1776). This ride and series of events were made legendary by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) in the poem "Paul Revere's Ride."
A master craftsman
After the Revolutionary War Revere remained in Boston, where he created objects in silver for distinguished members of local society. He died in Boston on May 10, 1818. Today, he is still remembered as a craftsman in silver, as well as a master of engraving. An on-the-spot reporter, he recorded the events leading up to and during the revolution with great accuracy. He engraved what he saw on metal plates, which were then used to create prints on paper that were highly popular with the people of Boston.
For More Information
Forbes, Esther. Paul Revere and the World He Lived In. New York: American Past, 1983.
Lee, Martin. Paul Revere. New York: F. Watts, 1987.
Sullivan, George. Paul Revere. New York: Scholastic Reference, 1999.
Triber, Jayne E. A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998.
"Revere, Paul." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3437500651.html
"Revere, Paul." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2003. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3437500651.html
Paul Revere, 1735–1818, American silversmith and political leader in the American Revolution, b. Boston. In his father's smithy he learned to work gold and silver, and he became a leading silversmith of New England. He also turned to various other skills—designing, engraving, printing, bell founding, and dentistry. In the French and Indian War he was a soldier, and in the period of growing colonial discontent with British measures after the Stamp Act (1765), he was a fervent anti-British propagandist. He early joined the Sons of Liberty, took part in the Boston Tea Party, and was a courier (1774) for the Massachusetts committee of correspondence. Revere became a figure of popular history and legend, however, because of his ride on the night of Apr. 18, 1775, to warn the people of the Massachusetts countryside that British soldiers were being sent out in the expedition that, as it turned out, started the American Revolution (see Lexington and Concord, battles of). William Dawes and Samuel Prescott also rode forth with the news. Revere did not reach his destination at Concord but was captured by the British; nevertheless, it is Revere who is remembered as the midnight rider, chiefly because of the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He designed the first seal for the united colonies, designed and printed the first Continental bond issue, and established (1776) a powder mill at Canton, Mass. His military career was not distinguished. On the ill-fated expedition against Penobscot he was arrested for disobeying orders (though a court-martial later acquitted him of the charges), and in 1780 he returned to silversmithing. His shrewdness in other enterprises, particularly the establishment of a copper-rolling and brass-casting foundry at Canton, helped to make his later years very prosperous.
See biographies by E. G. Taylor (1930) and E. Forbes (1942, repr. 1962); D. H. Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride (1994); R. Martello, Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise (2010).
"Revere, Paul." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. 2016. Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Revere-P.html
"Revere, Paul." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Revere-P.html
"Revere, Paul." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-ReverePaul.html
"Revere, Paul." World Encyclopedia. 2005. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O142-ReverePaul.html
Paul Revere (1735–1818) is best known as an American patriot during the American Revolution (1775–1783). He is the man who helped carry news of the approach of British troops to Lexington, Massachusetts, in what became known as Paul Revere's midnight ride. When Revere wasn't fighting for American independence, he was a creative and successful silversmith.
Paul Revere was born January 1, 1735 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the third of twelve children born to Apollos De Revoire, a Frenchman. De Revoire changed the family name to Revere to make it easier for Americans to pronounce. Apollos De Revoire was a silversmith and he taught the trade to his son.
Paul Revere married Sarah Orne in 1756 after serving for a short time in the French and Indian War (1754–1763). At age twenty-one he began work in his father's silversmith business. Revere was a talented silversmith and an innovator in processing commercial-grade bronze and copper. His skills made him a success in his trade.
In his early years as a silversmith Revere developed an intense interest in the issue of American independence from England. He became involved in revolutionary activities and attracted wide public attention when he used his engraving skills to create a number of political cartoons aimed at the issue of independence.
Revere began to work closely with revolutionary leaders, such as Samuel Adams (1722–1803) and John Hancock (1737–1793). He also participated in the famous Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. He and other Boston protestors raided a British ship in Boston harbor and dumped the tea cargo into the ocean, dissenting against British taxes in the colonies. This protest was one of the crucial events leading up to the American Revolution (1775–1783).
In addition to his activities as a revolutionary, Revere directed his energies to a variety of areas. He pursued work on a wide-ranging field, from working with silver to the manufacture of gunpowder. In Massachusetts he created a mill that ground wheat and oats by using the swirling flow of river water to move grindstones. He designed and printed the first issue of U.S. paper money and was the first in the United States to discover the process of rolling sheet copper. In Canton, Massachusetts, he built the first copper-rolling mill in the country.
Revere was continually involved in the politics of his new nation. He served as an activist, a soldier, and a political thinker. He achieved great success as a silversmith and expanded his business efforts towards growing U.S. industries. Paul Revere was an entrepreneur and a patriot. He died in 1818.
Listen my children and you shall hear / Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, / On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; / Hardly a man is now alive / Who remembers that famous day and year. / He said to his friend, "If the British march / By land or sea from the town to-night, / Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch / Of the North Church tower as a signal light,— / One if by land, and two if by sea; / And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm / Through every Middlesex village and farm, / For the country folk to be up and to arm."
henry wadsworth longfellow, paul revere's ride
See also: American Revolution, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party
American Antiquarian Society. Paul Revere's Engravings, by Clarence S. Brigham. Worcester: American Antiquarian Society, 1954.
Encyclopedia of American Biography. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1996, s.v. "Paul Revere."
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"Revere, Paul." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. 2000. Retrieved June 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3406400808.html