Jefferson’s Blog-Hero Spotlight: Paul Revere
Hello Fellow Pen Pals and Adventurers! This month we celebrate Paul Revere. Like most people, you may know Paul Revere from the famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem made him a national folk hero for his famous ride to Lexington. On his ride to Lexington, he successfully warned two of America’s Founding Fathers, Samuel Adams and John Hancock, that British troops were coming to arrest them and take American troops by surprise . . . BUT here’s what you may not know about Paul Revere . . .
Paul Revere was born on January 1, 1735. Here are some interesting little fun facts for you to share with your friends and family . . . Paul Revere was born into a large family of at least nine children, maybe even more! Even more interesting is that Paul was married twice and had 16 children of his own. He and his first wife had eight children but sadly she died too young. Amazingly, Paul Revere remarried and had eight more children with his second wife!
Paul Revere was more than an American hero. He was a man of many talents. He was a goldsmith and a silversmith. He created some beautiful designs with gold and silver that are still considered to be some of the most outstanding pieces today. Paul also made pictures for books, magazines, cartoons and more. What surprises many people about Paul Revere, is the fact that he cleaned teeth and even made false teeth for people out of ivory or animal teeth. Now I’d say that’s really something!
After his historic midnight ride, Paul Revere had many interests. He became an importer of goods, ran a small hardware store and, at one point, made cannons and bells . . . and that’s not all! He opened the first copper rolling mill in North America and even provided the copper sheeting for the dome of the Massachusetts State House in 1803. His copper company was well known for “Revereware” pots and pans, which are still made today. His company is now owned by a company named Corning and the pots and pans are called “Revere Ware.” One of his companies also supplied the brass fittings for the U.S.S. Constitution, a very important and famous ship used to defeat British warships. Paul Revere was also a member of many different groups, including one that worked to improve working conditions for businessmen and skilled workers.
Paul Revere lived until the age of 83. He established himself as a family man, community activist, skilled craftsman, businessman, and patriot. One thing you can say about Paul Revere is that he lived a full life. He stands as a model of what a life should be-one of curiosity, exploration, honor and bravery! Such men should not only be remembered, but imitated by generations to come for the continued growth of America!
America’s Original Destination Pen Pal
Paul Revere by Gilbert Stuart
*For a fun, educational video for children to learn more about The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere:
*For a short biography video about Paul Revere:
Paul Revere’s Ride
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1860)
LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower, as a signal light, —
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”
Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade, —
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay, —
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and somber and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock,
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When be came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British regulars fired and fled, —
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm, —
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.
Jefferson Eagle, Blog Contributor
Jefferson Eagle is an America’s Destination Pen Pals blog contributor and Destination Pen Pal adventurer. He has become one of ADPP’s foremost experts on the culture and geography of the United States, The Constitution and America’s rich history. Jefferson Eagle currently travels the United States with his Pen Pal Buddies exploring America and teaching children about the traditions, history and culture which built this great nation.