Paul Revere was born in December 1734 in Boston's North End to Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot immigrant and Deborah Hichborn (Hitchbourn). Rivoire had changed his name to Paul Revere some time after his arrival in America. The elder Revere was a goldsmith and soon headed a household with at least nine and possibly as many as twelve children. The younger Paul was the second oldest child and the eldest surviving son. He was educated at the North Writing School and apprenticed under his father, learning gold and silversmithing. In 1754 when Paul was nineteen, his father died and Paul took over the family business.
In 1756, Revere volunteered to fight the French in the Crown Point expedition at Lake George, New York and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the colonial artillery. On August 17, 1757, he married Sarah Orne, with whom he had eight children. In 1758, his firth child Deborah is born and in 1760, his first son, Paul Jr. is born (see Timeline for birthdates of all of his children). Revere also added engraving, political cartoons, seals, bookplates, coats-of arms and dental devices to his silversmithing.
His engraving of the Boston Massacre has become famous. On May 3, 1773, Sarah died and on October 10, 1773, he married Rachel Walker. As a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrews and the head of the mechanic class, Revere came in contact with John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Dr. Joseph Warren. He helped organize the Boston Tea Party and participated as one of the "Indians." He brought then word of the Boston Tea Party to New York and Philadelphia. In the Spring of 1774, he rode to New York City and Philadelphia again telling of the Boston Port Bill, then covered the Suffolk Resolves to Philadelphia. In 1774, he gathered intelligence by watching the movements of the British troops. He also served as courier for the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence, even carrying dispatches to the Continental Congress.
The Midnight Ride: April 1775
On Sunday April 16, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren sent Revere to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were the leaders of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, of the possibility that troops would soon be sent to arrest them. They were staying in Lexington, which was along the route from Boston to Concord. He also warned the Patriots in Concord to removed the powder stored there.Revere then returned to Boston. He stopped in Charlestown and arranged with Colonel Conant of the Charlestown Committee of Safety a signal that one lantern in the North Church steeple of the British went by land over Boston Neck or two lanterns if they went by "sea" over the Charles River.
On the evening of April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren sent for both Paul Revere and William Dawes. They were to alarm Concord of the impending expedition. Dawes departed first at about 9:30 P.M, sent by way of Boston Neck. Revere then arrived and received his orders, leaving about 10:00 P.M.. Warren wanted him to go to Lexington and warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams. He stopped at the North Church and arranged for the signal to be given for Colonel Conant. He then got two of his friends to act as oarsmen. They muffled the oars and crossed the Charles River downstream from where the British expedition was gathering following its crossing.
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