Tag: Paul Revere

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Dr. Warren’s Crucial Informant

On April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren, leader of the Patriots still inside Boston, gathered information about a possible British army march from many sources. Nineteenth-century accounts spoke of hints coming in from a groom in the governor’s stable, a boy who held horses for redcoat officers, a woman who employed a soldier’s wife as […]

by J. L. Bell
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The Perfidious Benjamin Church and Paul Revere

For many years Paul Revere was not prominent in the history of the Revolutionary War. Extremely versatile, he was a Massachusetts militia officer and artillery commander, a skilled artist and engraver, a caster of bells, an esteemed silversmith, and an industrialized coppersmith.[1] He also was a prosthodontist and at one point a forensic dentist.[2] Revere […]

by Louis Arthur Norton
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A Painter Abroad: John Singleton Copley Writes to His Wife

It may have been Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s patriotic paean that belatedly canonized a heroic horseman as a key figure of the American Revolution, but it was John Singleton Copley who provided posterity with the definitive visual representation of the famous midnight rider. Seven years before Paul Revere spread the alarm through every Middlesex village and farm—and […]

by Justin Ross Muchnick
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The Penobscot Expedition of 1779

For much of the Revolutionary War, the relative obscurity and isolation of the three Massachusetts counties of York, Cumberland, and Lincoln along the coast of present day Maine protected the inhabitants from British threats. This changed in June 1779, when Gen. Francis McLean and 700 British troops, escorted by a handful of British warships and […]

by Michael Cecere
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Did Paul Revere’s Ride Really Matter?

The biggest myth of Paul Revere’s ride may not be that Revere watched for the lantern signal from the North Church spire, as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem described. Nor that he was a lone rider carrying Dr. Joseph Warren’s warning all the way from Boston to Concord. Nor even that Revere yelled, “The British are […]

by J. L. Bell
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Paul Revere’s Other Rides

Myth: “The fate of a nation was riding that night,” ­Longfellow wrote. Fortunately, a heroic rider from Boston woke up the sleepy-eyed farmers just in time. Thanks to Revere, the farmers grabbed their muskets and the American Revolution was underway: “And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight, / Kindled the land […]

by Ray Raphael
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Dissecting the Timeline of Paul Revere’s Ride

I’m a scientist by training. I received my master’s degree from MIT, which is incidentally where I fell in love with Boston’s revolutionary history. So, when I first began researching my forthcoming book on Revolutionary Boston, I approached the research very scientifically, considering things like moonlight phases, sunsets,[1] horse gaits and their associated speeds,[2] and […]

by Derek W. Beck
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Dr. Joseph Warren’s Informant

With April 19 nearing, marking the anniversary of the start of the American Revolutionary War (the official regional holiday of Patriot’s Day in New England), it seems only fitting to delve into the popular tale of the secret informant of Dr. Joseph Warren. As the story often goes, Dr. Joseph Warren, the de facto revolutionary […]

by Derek W. Beck
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Paul Revere’s Other Riders

Myth: “Alerted by signal lanterns, express riders Paul Revere and William Dawes eluded British patrols and spurred their horses toward Lexington along separate routes to warn Hancock and Adams.” – Created Equal: A History of the United States, a 2009 college textbook[1] “When Revere and fellow patriot William Dawes saw two lights shine, they set […]

by Ray Raphael
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Hyping the Boston Massacre

Dear Readers:  For this month’s Mr. History, I offer a recent e-mail exchange between a friend and me.  Maybe this is why not a lot of friends send me e-mails. From: Tina O’Rourke To: Michael “Mr. History” Schellhammer Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:12 AM Subject: RE: Boston Massacre Hi Mike.  I recently took the […]

by Michael Schellhammer
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Most Overrated Revolutionary?

John Paul Jones. A good ship captain and tenacious fighter but an abysmally bad squadron commander and a tireless self-promoter and schemer, who was deservedly disliked by subordinates and peers and who certainly does not warrant the title “Father of the United States Navy.” –Dennis M. Conrad   Tough question—most of the characters are forgotten, […]

by Editors
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Second Coming of a Revolutionary War Patriot

Except outside of historical circles, Revolutionary War figures are not widely known, and are even more rarely celebrated. There are the ones you would expect, like George Washington, Nathanael Greene or (on the British side) Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. More obscure characters usually remain that way – obscure.  They certainly don’t gain fame centuries later […]

by Scott Syfert