Paul Revere, 1735-1818

Silversmith and Engraver whose enduring fame is mostly due to Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride" (1863). He was one of the leading artisans in Boston, and was a very highly skilled silversmith, ironically becoming especially well known for his teapots. He took over his fathers shop in 1754 and expanded out into a variety of areas, including engraving. Along with many others he became involved in active politics after the passage of the Stamp Act (1765). His skills as an engraver proved valuable to the revolutionary cause. He became one of the leaders of the Sons of Liberty, and took part in the Boston Tea Party (1773). His most important role was as a courier for the Massachusetts committee of correspondence. In October 1774 he rode to Congress with the Suffolk Resolves and a letter from the Boston committee asking for advice on how to react to the 'Intolerable Acts'.

His most famous exploit came on the night of 18-19 April 1775. He was one of two riders sent from Boston to rouse the militia between Boston and Concord with a warning that the British were coming. He successfully reached Lexington, raising the countryside as he passed, but was briefly captured by the British halfway to Concord. The message eventually reached Concord in the hands of Dr. Samuel Prescott, another Son of Liberty.

Although appointed a lieutenant colonel, and made commander of Castle William, commanding the defences of Boston Harbour (1776), his military career was undistinguished. His main role was as a manufacturer of gunpowder. After the war he founded the first copper rolling mill in the newly independent America. Rolled copper was an important element in the manufacture of warships, being used to sheath the bottom of the ship to increase its' speed.

War for America Black, Jeremy, War For America: The Fight for Independence 1775-1783. Provides a clear narrative of the war, taken year by year, with good chapters on some of the later years that are often skipped over. Also contains a good selection of quotes from participents in the conflict.
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The Glorious Cause Middlekauff, Robert, The Glorious Cause, The American Revolution 1763-1789. A very well researched book that is especially strong on the events that led up to the Revolution, which take up the first third of the book. Unlike many similar books it also covers the years immediately after the war and up to the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
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Books on the American War of Independence | Subject Index: American War of Independence

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (4 September 2003), Paul Revere, 1735-1818,

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