Paul Revere Heritage Project


Frequently Asked Questions about Paul Revere

On what night of the week did Paul Revere make his ride?

Paul Revere’s started his historic midnight ride to Lexington at 10pm on Tuesday, April 18, 1775 and arrived to Lexington shortly after midnight on Wednesday, April 19, 1775. It is important to note that Revere also made a trip to Concord just two days before on April 16 to warn residents that British troops are preparing to seize the patriots’ munitions.

The ride occurred 23 years after New England colonies switched to the New Style (Gregorian) calendar and there is no ambiguity about the exact date of the ride. The day of the week can be easily confirmed using an online calendar or converter.

The battle of Lexington and Concord that symbolized the start of the American Revolution started on April 19, 1775.

When was Paul Revere born?

The exact date when Revere was born remains a small historical mystery because there is no document or credible account to confirm the specific date. After having done some research on this subject we believe that Paul revere was probably born on December 21, 1734 (Old Style) / January 1, 1735 (New Style). Additionally the date of Revere’s baptism was December 22, 1734 (O.S.) / January 2, 1735 (N.S.) as documented in the Church records.

Who else rode with Paul Revere?

There were two other men helping Revere with his Midnight Ride. One was a young shoemaker, William Dawes who also started from Boston but took a different route through Roxbury, Brookline and Cambridge. He successfully arrived to Lexington and met Revere in the home of Jonas Clark. The other person was Dr. Samuel Prescott, a resident of Concord. He started from Lexington after the meeting with Revere and was the only messenger who completed the mission all the way to Concord. You can see the routes of each of the three men on this map.

Who told the riders in the midnight ride of Paul Revere that the British were coming?

It was Dr. Joseph Warren, the leader of the Committee of Correspondence, the patriot organization in Boston who told Revere that the British will advance across the Charles River and sent him to Concord to warn the patriots. Warren himself participated in the Battle of Lexington and Concord the day after the Midnight Ride.

What was the exact timeline of Paul Revere’s ride?

Below is the approximate timeline of the journey from Boston to Lexington.

April 16 - Revere rides to Concord to warn the Patriots about possible march by the British army. This was not yet the historic Midnight Ride.

April 18 @ 10:00 P.M. - Revere begins his 'Midnight Ride' to Lexington.

April 18 @ 11:00 P.M. – Arrival across the river in Charlestown

April 19 @ 12:00 A.M. - Arrival at Reverend Josiah Clarke's house in Lexington.

April 19 @ 1:00 A.M. - Paul Revere, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott are intercepted by British officers. Dawes and Prescott escape.

April 19 @ 2:00 A.M. - Revere is released.

April 19 @ 3:00 A.M. – Arrival back at Reverend Clarke's house in Lexington.

April 19 @ 5:00 A.M. - Revere is on the outskirts of Lexington when the first shots was fired starting the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Did Paul Revere ride to Lexington or Concord?

British troops planned to attack Concord where the patriots’ military supplies were stored. Therefore the purpose of Revere’s trip was to warn the residents of Concord about the threat. During his midnight ride Revere only made it to Lexington where he stopped to warn patriot’s leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Revere then set off to ride another 7 miles further to Concord but on his was he was captured by British patrol. He soon managed to escape. Another messenger Dr. Samuel Prescott who stared with Revere from Lexington managed to make it to Concord to warn the residents. Revere himself did not Ride to Concord because the battle between the colonists’ militia and British regulars has already started.

In what Church was Paul Revere baptized?

Revere was baptized in "New Brick" Congregational Church in Boston, also known as the Cockerel Church.

Why did Paul Revere and William Dawes make the journey?

Revere, Dr. Warren and other members of the Correspondence Committee knew well that despite of the precautions a ride from Boston to Concord would be dangerous. In 1775 the situation in Boston was very tense and British soldiers patrolled streets constantly. Therefore it was decided to send two messengers by two different routes. Getting out of Boston was the most difficult part. Revere’s route began with crossing Charles River to Charlestown by boat. William Dawes on the other hand rode around via Brookline and Cambridge. Yet another precaution was the famous ‘One if by Land, Two if by Sea’ lantern signal. It was meant for the patriots waiting in Charlestown in case if Revere was captured when trying to leave Boston.

Out of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott who didn't complete the midnight ride of Paul Revere?

William Dawes arrived to Lexington with Paul Revere, where they warned Samuel Adams and John Hancock. From there the two men were joined by Samuel Prescott and three of them continued to Concord. Shortly they were stopped and captured by a British patrol. Only Prescott managed to escape and managed to reach Concord.

What kind of clothing did Paul Revere use on the Midnight Ride?

The average temperature in April in Boston is 47 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature at night can be much colder. Such low temperatures combined with gusty winds form the Atlantic make us believe that Revere had to wear something warm during his ride. Clothing common for men in those times, such as breeches, waistcoat and of course the tri-cornered colonial hat were probably part of his attire. One more detail that is shown in many depictions of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere’s is a heavy cloak that helped him to stay warm while riding through the night.

Who is the author of the poem the midnight ride of Paul Revere?

The poem Paul Revere’s Ride was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 95 years after the historic event. Revere’s act of bravery was not particularly known before this and the poem was intended to remind Americans about patriotism during the pre-Civil war times.