Paul Revere is a man that anyone who knows American history will have heard of. Paul Revere chose a course of action at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War that has gone down in history as a legend.
While his actions were not long winded and protracted, his short but decisive decision has been hailed by many as brave and patriotic. The story is that when the British landed prior to the battles of Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere rode through the night to warn the militia troops of the impending attack of the British.
This is truly an interesting story that has become legendary in America; today you will get to find out about Paul Revere and his story.
A Young Paul Revere
Paul Revere was born in Boston on the 21st December in the year 1734. He was the son of a French Huguenot who came to American and over time married a Boston lady from a fairly wealthy family. After arriving from France Revere’s father was taken under the wing of a local silversmith where he learned and mastered the silversmith trade.
As Paul reached the age of 13 he left school and became an apprentice to his father learning the silversmith trade for himself. Through his work as a silversmith Revere was able to make friends and acquaintance of a broad range of Boston society, something that would serve him well throughout his life.
When Revere’s father passed away in 1754 Paul was unable to assume control of the family business because he was classed as too young to do so. Because of this and the economic downturn at the time Revere joined the provincial army where he served for a short period before returning of age to take control of the family business.
The silver trade was a good source of income for Revere in the short term because he had skills that many local silversmiths could not master so he became well known in the Boston area. Times changed for Revere and his family from 1765 as the economy started to flounder as a result of a British recession and then was hit hard by the many acts forced upon them by the British, such as the Stamp Act of 1765.
Revere started becoming more political because of the impact financially on his family; this saw a lot of politically motivated engravings on his work. Over time Revere also started joining the anti-British actions of local Boston folk.
In 1773 when the British merchant ship called Dartmouth arrived in the Boston harbour Revere joined the watch on the ship taking his guard where required. The people of Boston did not want the ship to unload its cargo of tea so kept watch to ensure it did not do so. On December the 16th Revere was a main leader in what was to happen, an action that went down in history called the Boston Tea Party where hundreds of crates of tea were dumped into the sea.
After the Boston Tea Party Revere started watching British movements and riding to New York and Philadelphia to give information on the British and the unrest within Boston.
The Famous Midnight Ride
While Revere’s previous actions are well documented, it is one fateful night where he became truly famous and his name went down in American history.
In April 1775 the British Army looked set to start their attack on the American militia as a way to quell the colonial rebellious actions. Initially Revere was sent by Dr. Joseph Warren to tell the people of Concord that the British may move, this was a message that prompted the people of Concord to move their military weapons and ammunition to a different area.
On the 18th April 1775 word came about that the British were setting sail on small boats from Boston to Cambridge before embarking on the road to Lexington and Concord. The time was around 10pm in the evening when Revere set out on his horse to ride out and warn of the British attack.
Riding through places such as Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, Revere let everyone know of the impending attack. This move set off a chain of events with others riding out in different directions to get the word out, it is said that up to 40 riders in total were advising of the British attack by the nights end.
It was midnight when Revere arrived in Lexington and was able to advise of the British attack, after leaving Lexington Revere set off for Concord up the road but was captured at a road block enroute. The British asked him what was going on with guns pointing at him; Revere told them about the British leaving Boston and a mass of militia waiting to attack the British, the British still decided to march on Lexington with their prisoners in tow (including Revere).
When the British neared Lexington they heard gun shots and asked Revere what they were and Revere said it was a way to alarm the country of the British presence. This stopped the current British armed forces from marching any further on Lexington.
After some indecision the British freed all their prisoners and started marching back towards their commanders leaving Lexington alone. Revere was now free again but had his horse taken by the British in the process thus leaving him to walk.
Revere walked to a reverends house and joined two other men there, these three then took three horses and started riding out to dozens of villages and towns using the old “alarm and muster” method of drums, guns and bells to get the message out of the British attacks. This was pivotal and important in raising the local militia to act on the British attack.