Paul Revere and the American Revolution

Paul Revere was an American silversmith and a patriot in the American Revolution. He is most famous for alerting Colonial militia of British invasion before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Revere was a prosperous and prominent Boston silversmith who helped organize an intelligence and alarm system to keep watch on the British military. Revere later served as an officer in the Penobscot Expedition, one of the most disastrous campaigns of the American Revolutionary War, for which he was absolved of blame. In the 1770s Revere immersed himself in the movement toward political independence from Great Britain. As the acknowledged leader of Boston’s mechanic class, he proved an invaluable link between artisan and intellectual. In 1773 he donned Indian garb and joined 50 other patriots in the Boston Tea Party protest against parliamentary taxation without representation. On April 16, 1775, he rode to nearby Concord to urge the patriots to move their military stores endangered by pending British troop movements. Finally, two days later, he set out on his most famous journey to alert his countrymen that the redcoats were on the march, particularly in search of Revolutionary leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Because of Paul Revere’s Ride, the Minutemen were ready the next morning on Lexington green for the historic battle that launched the War of Independence. With the outbreak of hostilities, Revere turned industrialist and constructed a much-needed powder mill to supply colonial arms. In 1776, he was put in command of Boston Harbor’s principal defense at Castle William, but his war record as a lieutenant colonel was largely undistinguished. He resumed his stride as a successful industrialist after the war, however, and set up a rolling mill for the manufacture of sheet copper at Canton, Massachusetts. From this factory came sheathing for many U.S. ships, including the USS Constitution, and the dome of the Massachusetts statehouse. Even after his military and political career ended he continued to discuss the issues of the day, and in 1814 he circulated a petition offering the government the services of Boston’s artisans in protecting Boston during the War of 1812. Revere died on May 10, 1818, at the age of 83, at his home on Charter Street in Boston. He is buried in the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street.