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Paul Revere’s midnight ride happened 240 years ago

Paul Revere’s midnight ride happened 240 years ago

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere”

Tomorrow evening marks 240 years since Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride.

Made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, Revere’s ride has become an iconic piece of American revolutionary history. Longfellow’s poem was riddled with inaccuracies, but made for an entertaining rhyme.

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.
He said to his friend, ‘If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,—
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm…’

Revere was a Boston-based artisan, early propaganda artists, and original Tea Partier:

Watch this historically accurate re-enactment of the events that transpired 240 years ago and enjoy the bravery of regular citizens who paved the way for the greatest country God gave man.

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Infamous ???

I would not call Revere’s midnight ride “infamous” !!

Night of 18-19 April, not 17-18 April, you’re 24 hours early. Gage’s orders were just to confiscate and destroy the military stores at Concord, there was no mention of arresting Hancock or Adams.

    mariner in reply to Tyrconnell. | April 19, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Yes, there was. Patriots had a copy of Gage’s orders before Gage had them.

    He chose to disregard the part of his orders that dealt with arresting Hancock and Adams.

legacyrepublican | April 17, 2015 at 10:39 pm

If it happened today …

“Ya know, Mr.Revere, I have talked to Mr. Obama and he assures me that the British have no intention of destroying the weapons because he has negotiated an hour by hour agreement in which we will verify they are not moving on concord by land.

Now, if they don’t let us inspect their facilities by daybreak, we will withdraw our lifting of sanctions and get Europe to put pressure on them to stop their going to Concord and destroying our weapons.

It is the best we can do. Trust me, Mr. Kerry.

For the moment, I consider your ride to warn everyone to be treasonous to the side of the Colonists and you should henceforth keep your pony in your stable and let Mr. Obama’s plan work its magic.”.

“Chissen my liden and ye shall pear
of the ridmight mide of Paul pee hear…”

Must be Friday night. More than one *hickup* comment seems a bit, well … lol

NC Mountain Girl | April 18, 2015 at 3:39 am

There were two other men who accompanied Paul Revere that night.

Listen my children and forget you not
of the midnight ride of Samuel Prescott?


Sit down my children and take pause
Learn the deeds of William Dawes?

I don’t think so.

Thus for the sake of a catchy rhyming scheme Longfellow elevated Revere from a footnote in scholarly works to household name. That was ironic consdering it was was Longfellow’s grandfather, General Peleg Wadsworth, who brought charges against Revere for incompetence and cowardice for his behavior in command of the artillery force during 1779’s disastrous Penobscot Expedition. The all but forgotten engagement has been called the worst US naval disaster before Pearl Harbor.

Revere exonerated himself but was forgotten except as a noted and successful artisan until Longfellow’s poem. Peleg Wadsworth should not be forgotten as he was the one Patriot commander who kept his wits about him during the Penobscot expedition.


    I seem to recall hearing (about the time of the media pile-on of Sarah Palin over her Revere remarks) about a girl who also rode after Revere was arrested. Could you comment on that? did it happen or am I remembering a Disney movie?

      NC Mountain Girl in reply to platypus. | April 19, 2015 at 12:41 am

      Think of how a telephone tree is organized where the leader calls five or ten people, who each call five people themselves, who then each call five more people until the entire membership has the message. That’s what happened that night only it was via messengers on foot and horseback.

      Revere and Dawes were the trunk of the message tree, sent to wait across the river for the first signal and charged to carry the message to Lexington and Concord. Each person Revere and Dawes were ordered to contact would also have been charged to contact others and so on until all the members of the local militia companies were notified the regulars were coming.

      When Revere an Dawes saw the lanterns, they took off on planned routes and intended to meet up again down the road. Prescott was a local physicians they encountered on the road. It was Prescott who finished Revere’s route when he was stopped by the British.

      I am not aware of any female riders that night, gut I’ve seen an estimate that more than 20 people saddled up before the night was over so maybe there was one or more.

      There is a famous woman rider later in the war. In 1777 during the actions around Danbury CT the 16 year old daughter of the local militia commander, Sybil Ludington, rode 40 miles one night in order to notify all her father’s men to muster at their home.