1) Paul Revere’s father, Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot, immigrated from France in 1715 at the age of 13. Desiring an anglicized name, he later changed his name to Paul Revere. It is evident that Paul Revere Jr. did not take pride in his French heritage. He never learned to read or write the French language, and he volunteered to fight against the French during the French and Indian War in 1756.
2) Paul Revere was a jack of many trades, one of which being crafting false teeth from animal tusks and teeth. In 1776, he identified the body of his friend, Joseph Warren (a revolutionary soldier who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill), by the wiring Revere used on Warren’s false tooth. This little known fact made Revere the first person to practice forensic dentistry.
|The Boston home of Paul Revere is open for tours today.|
3) Paul Revere did not ride alone during his famous midnight ride. British patrols had been set up along the roads so that if one messenger couldn’t make it through, another would be dispatched to carry on. On the night of April 18, 1775, Joseph Warren (who was mentioned in the previous fact) was tipped off that the British were coming to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock. He brought the news to William Dawes, instructing him to head to Lexington by way of Roxbury, Cambridge, and Menotomy (now Arlington). Next Warren instructed Revere to head to go to Lexington by way of the Charles River. The men would alert towns along the way of the impending threat. Revere arrived in Lexington about a half hour before Dawes.
Once in Lexington, it was determined that the British’s actual plan may have been to attack supplies at Concord, Dawes and Revere headed to alert Concord together. On their way to Concord, they met a doctor, Samuel Prescott, who offered his help in spreading the word of the British’s intentions.
4) Paul Revere, or either of the other riders, never shouted the famed phrased, “The British are Coming!” Firstly, the men’s mission was meant to be discreet as there were British soldiers hiding throughout the towns and countryside. Yelling any phrase would defeat their goal in remaining secretive. Secondly, before the Revolution, colonial Americans still considered themselves to be British. If the men said anything, it is more likely they quietly warned that Regulars - a term used for British soldiers - were coming.
5) Paul Revere’s first job was as a bell ringer at the Christ Church, more commonly referred to as the Old North Church. The Christ Church is Boston’s oldest church, and still holds Episcopalian services, the same as when it was first built in 1723. In 1749, Revere, along with a small group of his friends, entered into a formal contract with the church in which they would be responsible for ringing the church’s 8 massive bells. Years later, on the night of Revere’s midnight ride, a lantern was placed in the church’s steeple to warn townspeople of the impending British attack.
Another note of interest regarding the church: Paul Revere was not a member of it. His family believed in the Congregationalist religion, which derived from Puritanism.
|Statue Depiction of Paul Revere that stands in front of the Old North Church|
6) Paul Revere is known for producing beautiful copper plate engravings, his most famous being his depiction of the 1770 Boston Massacre. Apparently Revere was not confident in his skill as an engraver because his works were actually traced from paintings done by other artists. The famous Boston Massacre engraving was traced from a painting by Henry Pelham. Paul Revere’s engraving was already flooding the market before Pelham’s prints were made available for sale.