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Paul Revere was a patriot in the American Revolution. He is most famous for his ride and warning to the colonists that the British were coming.
Where did Paul grow up?
Paul Revere was born in December 1734 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father was a silversmith and Paul would grow up to be a silversmith as well.
The Sons of Liberty
Paul Revere soon became active in the Sons of Liberty, a political group of American Patriots who wanted liberty for the colonies. Other famous members included John Adams, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams.
He was involved in the Boston Tea Party and may have been at the Boston Massacre as well.
Paul Revere's Ride
In April of 1775 the British Army was stationed in Boston and rumor had it that they were about to make a move on the leaders of the Sons of Liberty and other American Patriots. The Sons of Liberty were watching the British closely so they could warn the colonists if they started to attack.
Two main riders were to set out and warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington. Paul Revere would go across the Charles River to Charlestown and then to Lexington. William Dawes would ride a longer, but different route. This way, hopefully one of them would make it there safely to warn Adams and Hancock. There also were other riders that Revere and Dawes would tell along the way. They would pass the warning on to other locations.
There was one other warning system that Paul Revere put in place just in case none of the riders made it. Robert Newman was to set lanterns in the steeple of the Old North Church to alert the colonists in Charleston. He would put one lantern if the British were coming by land and two if they were coming by sea. There is a famous phrase about this event "one if by land, two if by sea".
It was during the night on April 18-19 in 1775 when the British began to move. They were coming to Lexington by the Charles River, or "by sea". Dr. Joseph Warren told Revere and Dawes the news and the riders set out.
Revere was the first to arrive in Lexington. Dawes made it about half an hour later. There they warned John Hancock and Samuel Adams. They decided to ride toward Concord to warn the militia there. However, they were detained by British soldiers. They managed to escape and Paul Revere walked back to where John Hancock was staying so he could help Hancock and his family to escape Lexington.
Why was the ride important?
The warning given to the colonists and the militia by the riders enabled them to be prepared and fight off the British army's initial attack.
Paul would serve in the American Army during the revolution. After the war he went back to his silversmith business expanding to other areas. He died on May 10, 1818.
Fun Facts About Paul Revere
More on the Revolutionary War:
- He didn't yell "the British are coming!" as many stories say. He was trying to be quiet so he wouldn't get caught.
- He wasn't famous during his lifetime. It wasn't until 1861, when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem "Paul Revere's Ride", that his ride and life became famous.
- He had at least 13 children with two wives.
- The horse Revere rode during his famous ride was lent to him by a deacon of the Old North Church, John Larkin.
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