Ride of Paul Revere - Video

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Paul Revere is best known as a horseback messenger alerting the colonists just before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Paul Revere became a symbol of the American Revolution for his famous "Midnight Ride" warning patriots that the British Army was coming. Although Paul Revere's ride was made famous by a Longfellow poem. This poem is not historically accurate.

The British troops in Boston had orders to arrest Hancock and Adams, and to capture and destroy weapons stores in Concord. The patriots knew the British would be coming, but they didn't know the exact details. A horseback messenger system had been set up to send messages from Boston to Lexington and Concord. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were spending the night at the Hancock-Clarke House in Lexington. On the evening of April 18, 1775, Dr. Warren sent the messenger Paul Revere across the Charles River to Charlestown where he began his ride to Lexington. Dr. Warren also sent William Dawes on a longer land route to Lexington. They were joined by Samuel Prescott who would ride to Concord to alert the colonists. Along the route, they warned patriots that the British Army was coming. Many of these patriots then began riding to warn other patriots.

Revere had also instructed Robert Newman, the sexton of the Old North Church, to send a signal by lantern to alert colonists in Charlestown once the Army's route was known. One lantern in the steeple would signal the army was coming by land. Two lanterns would signal they were coming across the Charles River. This would ensure that patriots in Charlestown would get the message if both Revere and Dawes were captured. As Revere began his ride, Newman held two lanterns in the Old North Church indicating the army was crossing the Charles River by boat.

Revere, Dawes and Prescott were stopped by British troops at a road block in Lincoln. Prescott jumped his horse over a wall and escaped into the woods. Dawes managed to escape on his horse, but broke his leg jumping a wall and was unable to complete his ride. Revere was questioned and taken to Lexington. In Lexington, the British troops heard shots and left Paul Revere free while they went to investigate. Revere walked to where Hancock and Adams were staying, and helped John Hancock and his family escape.

Prescott reached Concord to warn the patriots. The militia gathered to successfully stop the British troops in Concord. The warnings by Revere, Dawes and Prescott also led to the gathering of militia along the road back to Boston. Many British soldiers died on the retreat back to Boston.

Check out these videos to learn more about the Ride of Paul Revere.























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