Paul Revere

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Paul Revere
Birthday
BirthplaceNorth End, Boston, Massachusetts
Died
Occupation
silversmith, colonial militia officer

Revere, Paul,

1735–1818, American silversmith and political leader in the American RevolutionAmerican Revolution,
1775–83, struggle by which the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic seaboard of North America won independence from Great Britain and became the United States. It is also called the American War of Independence.
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, b. Boston. In his father's smithy he learned to work gold and silver, and he became a leading silversmith of New England, creating works for customers on both sides of the American Revolution. He also turned to various other skills—designing, engraving, printing, bell founding, and dentistry. In the French and Indian War he was a soldier, and in the period of growing colonial discontent with British measures after the Stamp Act (1765), he was a fervent anti-British propagandist. He early joined the Sons of LibertySons of Liberty,
secret organizations formed in the American colonies in protest against the Stamp Act (1765). They took their name from a phrase used by Isaac Barré in a speech against the Stamp Act in Parliament, and were organized by merchants, businessmen, lawyers,
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, took part in the Boston Tea PartyBoston Tea Party,
1773. In the contest between British Parliament and the American colonists before the Revolution, Parliament, when repealing the Townshend Acts, had retained the tea tax, partly as a symbol of its right to tax the colonies, partly to aid the financially
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 (which he also portrayed in an engraving), and was a courier (1774) for the Massachusetts committee of correspondence. Revere became a figure of popular history and legend, however, because of his ride on the night of Apr. 18, 1775, to warn the people of the Massachusetts countryside that British soldiers were being sent out in the expedition that, as it turned out, started the American Revolution (see Lexington and Concord, battles ofLexington and Concord, battles of,
opening engagements of the American Revolution, Apr. 19, 1775. After the passage (1774) of the Intolerable Acts by the British Parliament, unrest in the colonies increased. The British commander at Boston, Gen.
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). William DawesDawes, William,
1745–99, figure in the American Revolution, b. Boston, Mass. On the night of Apr. 18, 1775, Dawes rode from Boston, via Brighton Bridge, to Lexington, warning the countryside of the British advance.
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 and Samuel PrescottPrescott, Samuel
, 1751–c.1777, American Revolutionary figure, b. Concord, Mass. On the night of Apr. 18, 1775, he, Paul Revere, and William Dawes set out to warn the countryside of the British advance toward Concord.
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 also rode forth with the news. Revere did not reach his destination at Concord but was captured by the British; nevertheless, it is Revere who is remembered as an American icon, the midnight rider, chiefly because of the 1861 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He designed the first seal for the united colonies, designed and printed the first Continental bond issue, and established (1776) a powder mill at Canton, Mass. His military career was not distinguished. On the ill-fated expedition against Penobscot he was arrested for disobeying orders (though a court-martial later acquitted him of the charges), and in 1780 he returned to silversmithing. His shrewdness in other enterprises, particularly the establishment of an iron foundry, a brass-casting foundry, and a copper-rolling mill, helped to make his later years very prosperous.

Bibliography

See biographies by E. G. Taylor (1930) and E. Forbes (1942, repr. 1962); D. H. Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride (1994); R. Martello, Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise (2010).

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Revere, Paul

(1735–1818) warned colonials of British advance (1775). [Am. Hist.: 425–426]

Revere, Paul

(1735–1818) famous American patriot who warned, “The British are coming” (1775). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 425–426]
See: Warning
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Revere, Paul

(1735–1818) patriot, silversmith; born in Boston, Mass. He was an excellent silversmith and ardent patriot, but a mediocre military leader. A member of the Sons of Liberty, he became the primary express rider for the Boston Committee of Safety. His famous ride to Lexington in 1775 was only the best-known of the many courier services he performed. He later was court-martialed and acquitted for his leadership during the failed Penebscot Bay expedition of 1779. After the American Revolution, he continued his silversmith trade with great success. He provided materials for the U.S.S. Constitution and worked with Robert Fulton in developing copper boilers for steamboats.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.