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Paul Revere

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Essay title: Paul Revere

In the minds of most Americans, the name of Paul Revere forever conjures up the image of the lone patriotic rider shrouded in the darkness of the New England night. His mission: to inform the countryside that the Regulars are coming. On this night, the fate of the natural rights of all men in the new world seemed to rest on his shoulders. As terrifically romantic as this thought may be, it is far from the truth. Revere’s midnight ride was anything but the heroics of just one man; rather, it can be much better summarized as the collective effort and doings of all New England Whigs. (ANB)

The day was April 18, 1775. Revere, in Boston at the time, had just been informed by Joseph Warren that General Thomas Gage had dispatched a group of Regulars to capture Sam Adams and John Hancock, in Lexington, and burn the military stores in Concord. (Fischer 95-97) Revere acted quickly and moved to the Christ Church, the tallest building in the North End at the time. He had been told to light a lantern visible from Charlestown to warn a group of Charlestown Whigs of the moving Redcoats. Here, three of Revere’s friends and fellow Whigs came to his aid. The most prominent of the three was Robert Newman, a sexton in the church. The three managed to evade the Redcoat guards and were able to light the lantern and send the message. Revere, promptly, went back to his house to prepare for his journey. (Forbes 254-257)

At about 10:15 P.M. Revere got into his boat to cross the Charles River to Charlestown. Again, he was not alone; Joshua Bentley and Thomas Richardson, two shipbuilders, provided Revere with a boat and escorted him across the river. As they crossed the river, they ran into the HMS Somerset, a large armed ship that was specifically positioned there to prevent nocturnal movement. On any other night, Revere probably would have been spotted, but there was a lunar anomaly in which the moon was lower than usual. Instead of shedding light on Revere’s boat, the moon now put a shadow on the boat and made it nearly invisible. Even God, it seemed, had had a hand in helping Revere that night. Revere’s boat passed the HMS Somerset safely and landed in Charlestown. There awaiting Revere were a group of Whigs and Brown Beauty, a mare that had been provided by John Larkin. Even the animal seemed to help Revere as the strength speed and determination of Brown Beauty was a huge factor in the success of Revere’s ride. (Ford 7-9)

Revere set off across the neck of Charlestown and on to the road to Lexington. As he rode, Revere entered into a state of calming and serene euphoria; he and his horse seemed to form one creature in perfect synchronization. Suddenly, Brown Beauty started to jerk and run out of rhythm; the horse had just helped Revere again and had informed him that there were two Redcoats ahead. Revere was forced to take a detour to the small village of Mystic. Again, fate seemed to have assisted Revere because if he had continued on his original path, he would have run into a group of Gage’s Redcoats. As Prince Otto Von Bismarck once said, “There is a special Providence for children, fools, drunkards-and the United States of America!” Revere rode down the Mystic Road and went through North Cambridge, present day Arlington, and the King’s Highway. Revere then turned west to Lexington and at the Buckman tavern, turned west to the Bedford Road. Revere finally had arrived at Jonas Clarke’s house, where Adams and Hancock were hiding. Revere was told by a guard to not make noise as all were sleeping in the house. To this Revere responded,

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