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Timeline and Biography of Paul Revere

Timeline and Biography of Paul Revere

Paul Revere was an American patriot, who made significant contribution to the American Revolution. He was silversmith and a military officer.
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Revere was born in the December of 1734, in Boston, which was then a British colony. The exact date of his birth, is sometimes debated to be 1st January, 1735. His mother Deborah Hichborn, was a member of a Boston family, and his father, Apollos Rivoire, was a French Huguenot. Paul's father later anglicized his name Rivoire to Revere. Paul learned the arts of craftsmanship from his father, who was a silversmith.

Paul's father died in 1754. At this time, he was not old enough to legally handle the family business. Hence, for a few years, the establishment was run by his mother, while Revere and one of his brothers worked as craftsmen.

Paul fought for a short time in the Seven Years War. He held the rank of a second lieutenant of the artillery. He left the army to return to Boston, and continued his work as a silversmith. Upon his return, he assumed the ownership of his late father's establishment. It must also be noted that Paul was a Freemason and actively participated in the activities of the organization. As his father had been a French Huguenot, Paul received the best training of silver craftsmanship (the French Huguenots were expert craftsmen). As a craftsman and a patriot, he made some highly reputed political engravings. Some of his most famous works were crafted in the 1760s. His most famous engraving is about the Boston Massacre, that took place on 5th March, 1770. The engraving, in fact, was made by Revere in the wake of the massacre.

In the court, during the trial of the British officers who were responsible for the Boston Massacre, Revere came up with an excellent map, showing the exact locations of the bodies of the deceased and the site where the soldiers actually stood during the massacre. The map was used by the court during the trials. It is still not known whether Revere was actually present during the shootings. However, the accuracy of the map is not questionable.

It is also said that Revere participated in the Boston Tea Party. He was also an active member of the organization 'Sons of Liberty'.

Revere is remembered the most for his famous 'Midnight Ride', when acted as a messenger before the battles of Lexington and Concord. On the night of 18th April, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, a patriot, instructed Revere and William Dawes to ride from Boston to Lexington, to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams about the movement of the British regular troops towards Lexington. The British troops were on their way to probably arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams, and seize the arsenal of the Sons of Liberty at Concord.

The movement of the troops had been anticipated by the Sons of Liberty. Hence, a signal system had been developed to warn the town of Charlestown in Boston. Robert Newman was the sexton of the Old North Church. He would put a lantern in the steeple, indicating that the British were coming by the land route. If the British followed the waterway of the Charles River, then he would put up two lanterns. This plan was the backup plan, in case the messengers (William Dawes and Revere) were captured.

In their ride through the towns, like Somerville, Medford and Arlington, Revere and William Dawes warned the members of the Sons of Liberty, and the other American Revolutionaries about the advancement of the British troops. When Revere and Dawes arrived in Lexington, they delivered the news about the troop movements to Adams and Hancock. They then accompanied Dr. Samuel Prescott to Concord, where the arsenal was hidden.

However, at Lincoln, they were ambushed by the British troops. In the skirmish that followed Dr. Samuel Prescott and Dawes, managed to escape. The three soldiers who had captured Revere, started marching him towards Lexington. In the meantime, Prescott who had escaped, managed to reach Concord. As the militia at Concord geared up to welcome the British troops, the militia at Lexington, had already engaged the British in combat.

Dawn broke as Revere and his captors reached Lexington. His captors heard the gunfire of the Battle of Lexington. They panicked and abandoned Revere, after confiscating his horse. Revere made his way to Rev. Clarke's home where Adams and Hancock, were staying. He helped Hancock and his family escape. The militia at Concord ambushed the British troops who were on their way towards the town. The successful delivery of messages, enabled the militia of the colonies, to win the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

The observations of Revere, and the intelligence information collected by him about the British troops proved to be of great importance during the American Revolution.

In 1776, he was promoted to the post of a major of infantry and later, he became lieutenant colonel of artillery. Revere, in his later years, participated in the battle of Rhode Island, and the Penobscot Expedition. Revere was blamed for the failure of the latter, and had to face a court-martial. Though he was acquitted, he never returned to the army and started a hardware store and workshop. By 1788, Revere had made so many advancements in metalwork that he started an iron and brass foundry in Boston. The organization started by him, is today known as the Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.

Paul Revere died on 10th May, 1818 at the age of 83.

A famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, reads,
"Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year