The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

Patriot Paul Revere
Paul Revere Born: January 1, 1735; Boston, Massachusetts
Died: May 10, 1818; Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's Ride, Lexington and Concord

Paul Revere's April 18, 1775 Report

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Poem

The Midnight Ride: April 1775
At around 11 o'clock, Paul Revere walked into Charlestown and met with Colonel Conant and Richard Devens, a member of the Committee of Safety. They had seen the signal lanterns and Devens had already sent a rider to Lexington. Revere borrowed a horse from Deacon John Larkin and set out under bright moonlight. He was not far past the intersection of the Cambridge and Medford roads, when he spotted two British officers in the shade of a tree. He turned and headed back to make for the Medford road. One officer attempted to cut across a field to intercept Revere, but got stuck in a pond. The second officer gave up as Revere's horse outdistanced his horse.

Revere now was taking the longer route that swung to the north around Cambridge. He stopped in Medford and warned the captain of the Medford minutemen. He returned to the main road to Lexington past Cambridge. Sometime just after midnight, he arrived at Reverend Jonas Clarke's house, which was where John Hancock and Samuel Adams were staying. He was intercepted by William Munroe, the sergeant of Lexington's minutemen. Munroe was standing guard over the house and did not recognize Revere. Revere was impatient and asked to see Hancock. He knocked on the door and Reverend Clarke appeared. Finally, Hancock appeared and invited Revere into the house. Revere delivered the written message from Dr. Warren. Dawes soon arrived and after a rest, they set out for Lexington. They were joined by Dr. Samuel Prescott, who was from Concord.

At around 1 A.M., outside of Lincoln, about halfway to Concord, Dawes and Dr. Prescott were warning a house, Revere spotted two British officers. He thought that they could arrest the two officers. He called to Dawes and Prescott and rode ahead. He quickly found himself surrounded by four British officers, as were Dawes and Prescott when they rode up. The three were directed into a field. Dr. Prescott told Revere that he was could to make a run for it. He then jumped a stone wall and escaped because he knew the terrain well. Revere also broke away, making for a wood where he could escape on foot, but instead ran into more officers. Dawes also escaped by galloping to a nearby farmhouse and hiding.

Revere, meanwhile, was questioned. He informed the British officers that the British plans for the evening were well-known and the whole countryside had been warned. He also said that five hundred men were on their way with fifteen hundred more to follow. He was then questioned again when another officer rode up and he gave the same answers. When they returned to the main road, Revere's party was joined by several other officers and four prisoners. The whole party now headed back toward Lexington. As they neared Lexington, they set the other four prisoners free after cutting their bridles.

At around 2 A.M., Deacon Larkin's horse is taken from Revere in exchange for a tired horse of one of the officers and then he is let go. He made for Reverend Clarke's house, arriving there at 3 A.M. to find it bustling. John Hancock wanted to stay and fight, while Samuel Adams and Reverend Clarke were pursuading him to leave, since he was the president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and as such, a high traitor. Revere left with Adams and Hancock, but then Hancock realized that he had left behind a trunk full of papers concerning the Provincial Congress. Revere went back with Hancock's secretary to Buckman's Tavern where the trunk was located. As the gunfire started at Lexington Green, Revere was preoccupied with lugging the trunk up the road outside of Lexington and didn't see who fired first.

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