Paul Revere Heritage Project


Pre-Revolution Activities

In 1757 Paul Revere came back from the French Indian War were he served as a second lieutenant. After the war he resumed his normal life, married Sarah Orne, had children and continued working as silversmith.

Revere was an independent businessman who later became an active political leader and fought for independence from the British. He was a versatile businessman and artisan who adapted to economic difficulties by innovating and applying his silversmith talent to new demands. He was known for his work with silver, however as economic times pressed he even advertised as a dentist, published music and drew political cartoons. Later he would use this talent to shape anti British public opinion.

In 1765 the British imposed an internal direct tax on its colonies, the Stamp Act of 1765. This tax was never collected and was intended to cover the cost of the British troops after the French Indian War (1756-1763). The reaction of the colony was abrupt and immediate; they resented taxation without parliamentary representation. The general population including artisans, traders, and lawyers became part of Whig groups who took part in riots which often turned violent to intimidate tax collectors. These riots unified the opposition movement. Nobody exactly knows the extent of Revere’s participation in the Stamp Act riots but certainly triggered his interest in the movement of American liberty.

Paul Revere became an active political leader as member of various Whig groups, such as the Sons of Liberty, the North End Caucus, and the Long Room Club. Also, Revere was well connected as a member of the Masonic Lodge of St. Andrews. He became acquainted with James Otis, Joseph Warren, John Hancock and Samuel Adams.

In 1770 Revere became a rider for the Whig Patriots. He served as a mounted messenger for the Boston's Committee of Safety, often riding to New York, Philadelphia and various locations in New England.

When the Boston Massacre took place in 1770, he published a famous drawing of the scene. Revere's historic engraving was political propaganda meant to provoke anti-British public opinion. The Massacre was a pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the anger against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Act.

In 1773 Revere played and important role as messenger, citizen and artisan in the Boston Tea Party protest. As a messenger for the Boston Committee of Safety he rode out alerting local communities not to allow ships land their cargos. As a citizen he joined 50 others and participated as an “Indian” protesting British taxation in the colony. As an artisan he received lots of attention from political cartoon he drew.
After the Boston Tea Party protest Revere took another duty as a rider for the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence. He was also the creator of the group known as the “mechanics” which the CIA credits as the first intelligence network. The “mechanics” gathered information by observing the movement of British troops and vessels stationed in the Charles River.

On April 1775 the “mechanics” observed that the British troops were moving towards Concord. And on April 18, 1775 Paul set out on his most famous horseback ride, “The Midnight Ride”, to alert Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were approaching to capture them.

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