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American Military History: Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere was a silversmith and watchmaker but he was engraved into American history for his role as a patriot in the American military. Born in Boston in December 1734, Revere took over his father’s silver shop, and he was a well-known for his engraving skills. As his work became more popular, he was commissioned to execute a number of political engravings. Soon, Revere became friendly with political agitators. He attended the Boston Tea Party and joined the Boston Committee of Correspondence as a messenger, travelling to various locations like New York and Philadelphia.

On April 18th 1775, Revere was sent to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington that the British army was in search of them to arrest them. Revere, along with two other people, rowed across the Charles River to Charlestown and then to Lexington. When he was crossing, he received a signal from across the river, indicating that the British were crossing the river that night in search of Adams and Hancock. While riding from Charlestown to Lexington, he warned as many patriots as possible about the impending arrival of the British troops so all the other patriots set out to warn the others.

Revere managed to reach Adams and Hancock, accomplishing his mission. They were later joined by Dawes who was also sent from Boston on a different route to warn the two. The four of them sat to discuss the course of action and Revere and Dawes decided to go to Concord, Massachusetts along with a Samuel Prescott, to collect weapons and supplies. However, they were detained on the way by the British. Prescott escaped immediately and managed to alert the patriots at Concord. Dawes managed to escape but he was caught a little while after.

Revere was detained and interrogated intensively. During this interrogation, Revere greatly exaggerated the number of the American troops and their preparation. When the British heard bells and gunshots, they panicked and decided to escape, freeing Revere in the process. Revere joined Hancock and retrieved valuable papers from their hideout, escaping with Hancock’s family. In this way, Revere helped the patriots fight the British troops successfully. Revere was recognized for his achievements post his death and his ride to Lexington became legendary. It came to be known as the “Midnight Ride”. Parts of the route he took have been marked as “Revere’s Ride”.

Follow these links to learn more about Paul Revere.

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