The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere Essay

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In 1860, less than one hundred years after the event in which it is based on, the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere was immortalized in a children’s poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem became an instant classic and is mostly remembered by the opening line, “Listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” Written at a time when the United States was on the brink of a Civil War, it made some accurate accounts of what happened that night however, it was a children’s poem therefore a lot of the events were distorted and dramatized. The most important being, Paul Revere was not alone on his “Midnight Ride” as the poem says. William Dawes Jr. and Dr. Samuel Prescott also rode with him that night. Whatever …show more content…
England made any town meeting, except authorized by the governor illegal, and housed British soldiers in select public buildings. In Massachusetts the British military governor, General Gage, ordered his 3,500 British soldiers in Boston to seize armories and storehouses in Charlestown and Cambridge. After the seizure, 20,000 colonial militiamen mobilized to protect other military supply depots and in the town of Concord the famous defensive force, the Minutemen, were organized.2 With these acts Parliament declared that Massachusetts was in open rebellion. British Secretary of State, Lord Dartmouth, quickly ordered Gage to send his soldiers on a search and destroy mission to capture colonial leaders, and military supplies in Concord. “At the same time Gage would attempt to find, capture, or kill John Hancock and Samuel Adams.”3 The stage was set for the first major engagements of the American Revolution. Early in the evening on April 18, 1775 Dr. Joseph Warren, a prominent leader of the Sons of Liberty, became aware that Gage’s soldiers were marching to Boston common.4 Warren knew the warning had to get out so he summoned William Dawes, a local tanner and active Boston militiaman, for the important mission. Dawes instructions, the land route, were to ride to Lexington and Concord and report on the British movements and to notify colonial leaders along his routes. Dawes immediately rode

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