Paul Revere was a silversmith in the time of the American Revolution. He is remembered as a patriot due to his actions and involvement in that revolution.
1. A messenger
Paul Revere is famous for his role as a messenger in the battles of Lexington and Concord. He was a man who helped to organize an intelligence and alarm system that was designed to keep watch over the British forces and warn Americans of threats.
During his lifetime, Revere was known for his trade as a craftsman. He was quite prominent and well-off. He was respected as a talented man in his trade. He made engravings for some very important historical sites including one for the Boston Massacre.
3. Manufacturing potential
After the war, Revere returned to his work as a craftsman and eventually was responsible for recognizing the potential that existed for manufacturing metal on a large scale.
4. Prior war experience
The revolutionary war was not Revere’s first experience with war. He actually fought briefly in the Seven Years War. There he served as a lieutenant in an artillery regiment.
5. Involvement with the Sons of Liberty
Through Revere’s trade he got to know a great number of political figures. Due to this introduction to political circles, Revere’s silversmith skills were commissioned to create a number of political engravings. This political involvement caused him to be very much involved with the actions of the Sons of Liberty.
6. Committee of Public Safety
Following the Boston Tea Party, Revere started working for the Committee of Public Safety. He would ride messages that contained specific news related to political unrest that was occurring in the city of New York (he rode these messages to Philadelphia).
7. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
The famous “Midnight Ride” occurred on the night of April 18/April 19, 1775, when Revere and two fellow messengers were instructed to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the movements of the British Army. Revere warned patriots along his route, many of whom set out on horseback to deliver warnings of their own. By the end of the night there were probably as many as forty riders delivering the same message as Revere. This ride was different than many others Revere had taken because of the magnitude of the messenger involvement and the nature of the message.
8. Sorting myth from reality
There is no evidence to support that Revere actually yelled out the words, “The British are coming.” This is because Revere’s role as a messenger depended a great deal on secrecy as there were British loyalist all throughout the countryside. Historians actually associate Reveres ride with such words as mundane, as in their minds the historical significance of the one ride was not hugely significant to the Revolution.
9. Revere’s Ride Ramifications
Following Revere’s ride that night he was detained and questioned by British loyalists and then escorted at gunpoint by three British officers back toward Lexington. He got free from their custody when they were distracted by gunfire and took Revere’s horse with them to investigate. Revere escaped on foot. Revere’s involvement with the Committee of Public Safety was risky especially if here were to be tried by the British.
10. Fame after Death
Revere was not really recognized during his life. It was not until over forty years after his death that the ride he took became the subject of any written work. The poem that was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has become one of the best known poems in American history.
Paul Revere appears on the $5,000 Series EE Savings Bond issued by the United States Government. His original silverware, engravings, and other works can be found on display at historical museums including one in Boston.
Learn more with these Paul Revere websites.