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Paul Revere

November 13, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Paul Revere was a colonial Boston silversmith, industrialist, propagandist and patriot immortalized in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem describing Revere’s midnight ride to warn the colonists about a British attack. He gave the local militia a key advantage during the Battles of Lexington and Concord, sparking the Revolutionary War and eventual American independence.

Who Was Paul Revere?

Paul Revere was born in Boston’s North End at the end of 1734 (the exact date is unknown) to a French Huguenot father who ran a silversmith shop and a mother from a local family.

The young Revere was educated in reading and writing in school before completing his training as an apprentice to his silversmith father. At age 19, Revere inherited the business upon is father’s death. But he would leave the business briefly and show his political tendencies as he enlisted in a provincial army in 1756 during the French and Indian War.


Revere returned to Boston after a failed military expedition and started to build his family life and business. He wed Sarah Orne in 1765, and they would have eight children before she died nearly two decades later.

The silversmith was resourceful and dabbled in a range of work, taking on apprentices and workers who created specialty flatware, silver bowls, tea sets and even casting the first bell in Boston in his foundry. He turned to dentistry to augment his income when the colonial economy faltered during a recession.

Revere’s network was also expanding to include local activists angered by British rule. In the mid-1760s, as tensions were rising between the colonists and the British, he joined the rebellious Sons of Liberty.

Revere took part in the Stamp Act protests in 1765, which eventually led the Crown to repeal a tax that ignited the colonists’ hatred of taxation without representation.

Boston Massacre

With British troops in Boston and a rebellion stewing, Revere became a master propagandist, using his artisan skills to craft engravings that incited the colonists to join in the rebellion.

The growing unrest boiled over on March 5, 1770, when British troops and a crowd of colonists faced off on Boston’s King …read more


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