Paul Revere is a name you might recognize, but even if you don’t, you’ll definitely recognize his most famous quote. He was a silversmith and industrialist who is well-known for playing a key role in the American revolution. He became immortalized in the poem Paul Revere’s Ride, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Revere was a well-known silversmith and played a big part in helping in the conflict against the British. Based in Boston, he came up with an intelligence system to keep watch on the British military.
His finest hour came in April 1775, when Revere made his now famous ride at midnight to alert American forces that the British were approaching just before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. He went on to become a militia officer during the American Revolution, as well as expanding his silversmith trade. Here are some great facts that help paint a full picture of the story of this great American.
He wasn’t just a silversmith
Most people who have heard of Revere know him as predominantly a silversmith, not to mention his service in the military. But, it’s clear that he did a lot of other things as well. Following the success of his silversmith business, he was able to go into iron casting, and he became the first-ever American to roll copper sheeting for the Navy. But, he also spent some time working as an amateur dentist, and he identified the body of a friend during the Battle of Bunker Hill, by recognizing the wiring in his teeth.
He was a spy
As we mentioned earlier, Revere played a big role in the American Revolution, and one of the important roles he played was as a spy. In fact, it is well-know that he led a spy ring based in Boston, and known as ‘the mechanics.’ The CIA actually classes them as the first proper patriot intelligence network. The role of the ‘mechanics’ was to find out as much as they could about the British forces and what their plans were. Spying on British soldiers, and feeding information back to the Americans proved instrumental in helping the US gain its eventual freedom.
The poem is wrong
We know that Revere was immortalized in his own poem, but, what many people don’t know is that the poem is actually wrong. Revere was not alone on his mission to warn John Hancock about the British. He rode with Samuel Prescott and William Dawes, and, during their ride, more riders joined them until there were around 40 men spreading the word. Revere also never made it to Concord (as he does in the poem), and was, instead, caught and detained by the British at Lexington. He’s very lucky they didn’t kill him!
What’s the most famous misquote of all time? You could argue it’s “Luke, I am your father.” Or, you might suggest it’s “Play it again Sam.” Both strong contenders, but we have to go with Rever’s “The British are coming!” See, you know the quote; we ALL know the quote. The problem is he never said it. For one thing, this was a clandestine operation, furthermore, many Americans still considered themselves British.
We hope this provides you with an insight into the life and story of Paul Revere, and that you understand why he is held in such high regard. There were so many different people involved in the American Revolution, but Revere must hold a special place because of the essential role he played, coupled with his spy network.