Paul Revere

Paul Revere

(1735-1818)

America’s most famous messenger was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Appollos Revoire (a Huguenot who had escaped persecution in France) and Deborah Hitchbourne. Paul Revere (the name was changed to accommodate English-American culture) received a basic education in Boston schools and then worked in his father’s silversmith trade.

He saw his first military service in 1756, when he joined an expedition against Fort Crown Point in New York during the French and Indian War.He set up his silversmith shop, became a Freemason, and came to associate with prominent Bostonians such as John Adams, Samuel Adams (see no. 94), and Joseph Warren. It is not certain when he became a confirmed patriot.

However, in 1770, he did an engraving of the Boston Massacre, a picture that clearly showed his sympathies toward the growing cause of freedom for the colonies. After becoming a leader of the Boston Sons of Liberty, he participated in the Boston Tea Party and became a dispatch rider for the Boston Committee of Safety.

During 1774, Revere rode to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Portsmouth, New Hampshire on a number of important missions for the Committee of Safety. His most famous service, however, took place during the night hours of April 18-19, 1775. Having learned that British General Thomas Gage was sending troops out of Boston to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, as well as to confiscate the patriot stores of ammunition at Concord, revere was sent by the Committee to warn of the British plan.

After being rowed across the Charles River to Charlestown, he rode to Concord, possibly crying out, “The British are coming!” to homes along his route. Revere never made it to concord.

He was detained by British patrols after he left Lexington. Dr. Samuel Prescott was the dispatch rider who reached and alerted the town of Concord. Nevertheless, Reveres ride was commemorated in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem in 1863, and became an important part of the mystique of the American Revolution.

Revere went back to silversmithing, designed the Massachusetts state seal, and molded much of the hard ware for the frigate USS Constitution.

A Federalist in his politics, he wore the clothing typical of the Revolutionary era until his death; it had gone out of style 20 years earlier. He was buried in the Granary Burial Ground in Boston.