Paul Revere is best known for his midnight ride on Tuesday night, April 18, 1775, the night before the Battle of Lexington. He was born on January 1, 1735, in Boston, Massachusetts, of French ancestry. He was the oldest son of a silversmith; he learned his father’s trade well and made many copper engravings.
Revere married Sarah Orne in 1757; the couple became parents of eight children before Sarah passed away in 1773. He took a second wife, Rachael Walker, and this couple also became parents of eight children. Revere passed away on May 10, 1818, in Boston, Massachusetts.
After the Revolutionary War, Revere returned to his silversmith trade and expanded his business to include “iron casting, bronze bell and cannon casting, and the forging of copper bolts and spikes. Finally in 1800 he became the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets for use as sheathing on naval vessels.”
Revere passed away on May 10, 1818, in Boston. Massachusetts. After his death, his oldest surviving son, Joseph Warren Revere, took over the family business. “The copper works founded in 1801 continues today as the Revere Copper Company, with manufacturing divisions in Rome, New York, and New Bedford, Massachusetts.”
In 1861, more than 40 years after Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem entitled “Paul Revere’s Ride.” “Longfellow’s poem is not historically accurate, but the inaccuracies were deliberate. Longfellow had researched the historical event … but he manipulated the facts for poetic effect. The poem was one of a series in which he sought to create American legends; …. Longfellow was successful in creating a legend: Revere’s stature rose significantly in the years following the poem’s publication.
“Parts of the ride in Massachusetts are now posted with signs marked `Revere’s Ride”. The route follows Main Street in Charlestown, Broadway and Main Street in Somerville, Main Street and High Street in Medford, Medford Street to Arlington center, and Massachusetts Avenue the rest of the way through Lexington and into Lincoln. Revere’s ride is reenacted annually.”
The first two verses of the poem follow. For the rest of the long poem, click here.
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.”