Paul Revere, born 1734, played an important part of the start of the Revolutionary War. A supporter of Independence, Revere took part in many forms of protest against the British. He is most famous for his ride to warn colonists that the British were preparing an attack.
1. Two Paul Reveres!
Not many people know, but there are actually two Paul Reveres. Paul Revere had a son named Paul Revere Junior. His son also became a silversmith and produced many of the same types of things as his father. This articles refers only to Paul Revere Senior.
Paul’s day job was that of a silversmith. He was very good at his job! After the revolutionary war, he made his living as a silversmith. He even owned his own shop, and founded the first copper mill in the United States. Some of his pieces are still around today. Also around is his company, Revere Copper Products, Inc.
3. A Man of Many Hats
In addition to a prosperous silversmith career, Paul Revere also created copper plate engravings used in books. He also performed some light dentistry work. He was the first person to identify someone based on their dental records, recognizing a false tooth in a friend.
4. The Mechanics
In 1774, Revere founded ‘the mechanics,’ also known as the Liberty Boys. This was the first patriot intelligence agent, and was used to spy on British soldiers. It was like the CIA of its time, and helped win the war!
Paul Revere had a very large family. He was one of 12 children himself. He married Sarah Orne in 1757. Together they had 8 children. After Sarah died in 1773, he married Rachel Walker and together they had 8 more children, bringing his total to 16 children.
6. The Ride
Paul Revere is most famous for his midnight ride from Boston to Concord to warn the colonists that the British army was approaching on April 18th, 1775. He waited at the Old North Church in Boston for a signal. One lantern would show the British were coming by land, and two lanterns would indicate they were coming by sea. After seeing two lanterns, Revere rode to warn others the British were approaching by sea.
Although Paul Revere is the only one who is famous for the ride, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott also rode with him. In fact, by the end of the ride many more riders had joined in, totaling over 30 riders. Paul Revere never actually made it to Concord. He was detained by the British. Prescott was the only of the original three to complete the planned path.
8. “The British are Coming!”
This phrase is probably what you know Paul Revere for. It may surprise you to learn he never yelled it! The goal of the riders was to be as discrete as possible, so they actually didn’t yell anything. If they had, the British would have heard them, as they had troops in the countryside. Instead they went from town to town quietly warning key individuals who spread the word throughout that town.
9. The War
Paul Revere’s ride was the start of the Revolutionary War. He was very active prior to the war, joining the Sons of Liberty and participating in the Boston Tea Party. Once the war started, however, Paul Revere did not play a major role. Although he served in the army and fought, his major contribution was that of his ride.
There is a famous poem titled “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about his ride. However, Longfellow got many facts wrong. The poem indicates Paul Revere traveled alone and completed his journey, which you now know is false.