Paul Revere: An American Hero
by Mrs. McNamara
Famous Son of Liberty and Midnight Rider
Paul Revere is a Patriot who lived in Colonial Boston. He believed that the British taxes were wrong and he joined the Sons of Liberty to fight the taxes being imposed on the Colonists. He is most famous for his Midnight Ride, when he rode on horseback to alert Colonists and Patriots that the British soldiers were coming. His warning led important Revolutionary leaders to hide weapons and gave Colonists time to organize themselves in case of battle.
Taxation Without Representation!
In the 1760's, King George III of Great Britain started imposing taxes on the American Colonies. Many colonists, Paul Revere included, were furious because they did not have a say in approving the taxes. No one was representing the Colonies in British Parliament, so the colonists felt the taxes were unfair. They chanted "Taxation Without Representation!" It was the taxes that led Revere to join the Sons of Liberty. Each time a new tax was imposed, he would work towards having it repealed, help find ways to boycott the tax, or ride to other Colonies with important news. He lived many years of his adult life trying to overcome obstacles that the British government put in his path, and though it took a long time, Revere helped America gain Independence.
The Midnight Ride: Fact vs. Fiction
When we think about Paul Revere, typically we think of a single man riding on horse back yelling out "The British are coming!" But there are several things you should know to better understand what really happened on April 18, 1775. Let's separate the fact from the fiction. Revere's plan was to hang lanterns in the Old North Church to warn people of how the British were coming. Perhaps you've heard of the saying "One if by land, Two if by sea." But while this was Revere's clever plan, he was not actually the person who hung the two lanterns in the church steeple. He had friends help him with this task! Then Revere rode to Lexington by horse, but the words he actually yelled were "The Regulars are coming!" Many colonists were of British descent, so to yell that "The British are coming!" probably would have been confusing to people who considered themselves British! Also, did you know that Paul Revere was actually caught by the British soldiers on his Midnight Ride? He was not taken prisoner, so he went back to Lexington and heard the first shots of the war as they were fired. In addition, were you aware that he was not the only rider? There were actually two other men who rode out that night with warnings that the British were coming. However, Paul Revere is the most famous because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a poet, wrote a poem called "Paul Revere's Ride" in 1861. Paul Revere never read the poem, unfortunately, because it was published long after he died, but it helps his name to live on as an American legend!
To hear a retelling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" watch the video below:
Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
Family Man and Business Man
Paul Revere may be best known for his Midnight Ride, but he was actually a really devoted husband and father. Revere was married twice and had 16 children! Though he frequently went on trips to other colonies with important news to spread as part of the Revolutionary cause, he always wanted his family to be safe. He dreamed of a free country for his children to live in. Revere was also a successful businessman. He started as an apprentice to his father, a silversmith, and fully took over the business at the age of 19. Some of his pieces are in museums to this day. But after the Revolutionary War, Revere wanted a change so he started a foundry, which is a factory that produces metal. He also learned how to make bells, some of which still ring in Boston today. Then, in the early 1800's, Revere started a copper mill factory. It produced copper that was used to build ships like the U.S.S. Constitution. Clearly, Paul Revere proved to be successful at whatever he set his mind to!
Revere the Risk Taker
The greatest lesson that I have learned from Paul Revere is that it is important to take risks in life regardless of what the outcome might be. Throughout Revere's entire life, he took chances. He risked his life when riding as a messenger for the Revolutionary Cause and when he fought in the War. But even when the war ended, he took chances in his personal life when he started several business ventures. I learned from Revere that taking risks can help you achieve your dreams and that you should always go after your dreams.