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Paul Revere

The American Revolution began in 1775 at Lexington and Concord, when the Minutemen fired upon a British expeditionary force that had set out from Boston to capture the military stores and the leaders of the radicals.

A Patriot known as Paul Revere forewarned the Minutemen so says Longfellow in the famous poem on Paul Revere's ride. True, Revere did set out to warn the countryside that the British were coming, but it did not quite happen as the Longfellow poem says. We shall look at this Patriot and see the beginnings of a legend of the American Revolution.

The Man

Revere was born on Jan. 1, 1735, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the third child of a silversmith, Apollos De Revoire. Apollos was a French Huguenot who had come to Boston as a boy. Later he changed his name to the simpler Revere.

Young Revere became an excellent craftsman in fine metals. In 1757, he married Sarah Orne. When she died in 1773, Revere married Rachel Walker. He had eight children by each wife, but five of the children died in infancy. Revere was an early member of the Sons of Liberty, and he was one of the leaders of the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

The Ride

When Revere set out on his famous Midnight Ride to alert his countrymen, the redcoats were on the march primarily in search of Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were in Lexington. Another British objective was to seize the store of patriot arms at Concord.

Because of Revere's warnings, the Lexington minutemen were ready the next morning for the arrival of the British.

During the war, Revere engraved the printing plates for Massachusetts' first currency, set up a powder mill, and served in the local militia. In 1792 he opened a foundry to cast cannon and bells. He found a way to alloy copper and make brass. At 65, he learned how to roll sheet copper. He was the first man in the United States to do this. The ship builders used his copper sheets to re-sheath the bottom of the Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). Revere died in Boston on May 10, 1818.

Web Resources

Look at these Web sites to learn more about this Patriot.

  1. Paul Revere and the true story of his Ride 
    This is the true account of Paul Revere's ride to warn the countryside that the British were coming.
  2. Paul Revere House 
    Today you can visit Paul Revere's home in Boston. This site gives you information on the Paul Revere house Museum.
  3. Longfellow's Poem 
    Read about Revere's famous ride in Longfellow's famous poem. One should note that Longfellow took poetic license when he wrote this.
  4. Statue of Paul Revere - Boston 
    Located on the freedom trail tour of Boston you can look at this is an image of the statue of Paul Revere in Boston.
  5. 12 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere
    History.com gives readers insight about Paul Revere by listing 12 things that you may not know about this American Patriot.
  6. Paul Revere Heritage Project
    This website is entirely devoted to Paul Revere.  Here you will find tons of information about the man, his life and involvement in American history.
  7. Paul Revere: From Creating Dentures to His Midnight Ride
    This is a short article about Paul Revere and his many enterprises. It includes links to other resources about the man.