Maybe you have a crush on American history. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you know the story of Paul Revere. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you want to learn more. Maybe you don’t.
If you do NOT want to learn more about the ride of Paul Revere, stop right here and contact the following people while I’m in Boston:
- For questions about email or to hear a wicked pissah Boston accent go to Meg
- For questions about Creative Review or to talk to someone who is DGAF about the Red Sox go to Amanda
- For questions about Nike+ or to chat about ramen or back episodes of Car Talk go to Nicole
If you made it this far, yay you. Your reward is a little story about that fateful night the Redcoats stormed Bostontown and how Revere helped thwart their plans. Kind-of.
Here we go. It’s April of 1775 and we’re in Boston. It’s been a little over a year since the Sons of Liberty threw an entire shipment of tea into the Boston harbor to protest the King’s tea tax. Taxation without representation? "Hard pass," said the colonists. In response, King George shut down the harbor and demanded that the colonists pay for the tea. Which they didn’t. Obviously. No one puts Baby in a corner. This stalemate led to the British parliament declaring Massachusetts in a state of open rebellion.
I get it. You don’t mess with a British person’s tea. Jon knows Meg and I both used to live in Boston, and when he drinks tea he won’t let either of us come with 100 feet of him. Not that I’ve ever seen him drink tea, but I bet if he DID drink tea he wouldn’t leave it near people with ties to Boston. We can’t be trusted and EVERYBODY knows this.
But this story isn’t about Jon’s tea, it’s about Paul Revere. Thank you for reminding me. Legit.
In addition to being a silversmith and a recreational dentist, Paul Revere works as an express rider who carries around important messages by horse. Three jobs sounds like a lot, but the guy has 16 kids and that is NOT a cheap undertaking.
On April 18, 1775 Revere is told to make his way to Lexington to tell Sam Adams and John Hancock that British troops have an order out for their arrest (Side note: This intel ends up being completely bogus, but when someone threatens the founders of beer and signatures it’s a threat worth pursuing). From Lexington Revere is to continue on to Concord to hide the Sons of Liberty's guns and ammo before the British can find it.
First stop? Christ Church. Revere tells one of his many besties to hang two lanterns in the tower since the British troops are going to cross the Charles River to get to Cambridge (1 if by land and 2 if by sea).
Next Revere finds two friends to row him across the Charles River to Charleston. He almost gets caught on his way down to the river and then he actually passes a British ship or two during the boat ride, but it was dark (because 11PM) and they row very quietly, so he goes undetected. This is the part where you heave a small sigh of relief. Good. Moving on...When Revere finally makes it to Lexington he is rabbiting on like a mad man and a guard outside of the Hancock + Adams residence tells Revere to shut up because everyone inside is sleeping. Revere is like, "ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW? Soon there will be SO MUCH NOISE because the regulars are coming out. Yes, I said, “the regulars.” No one ever said "the British" are coming, because the Colonists still considered themselves British. Hancock hears Revere screaming at the guard, rises from his sleep, and tells the guard to let Revere in the house. At 12:30PM William Dawes arrives with the same message for Hancock and Adams via the land route. They all kick back a few beers, chow on some chips and guac, someone gives Revere a horse, and then he leaves with Dawes for Concord.
On the way to Concord the two midnight riders run into Samuel Prescott and add him to their squad, but shortly thereafter the British patrol intercepts all three. Prescott escapes left, eventually making it to Concord. Dawes flees right and falls off of his horse, putting an end to his mission. Revere gallops straight ahead, smack into a fleet of bushes allowing the British soldiers to capture him. Revere is held, questioned, and then let go, but not before the pesky Redcoats abscond with his borrowed horse. Revere walks back to Lexington and arrives just in time to catch the back half of the battle on Lexington Green.
Spoiler alert: America gains its independence from the Brits and Revere ends up outliving 11 of his kids and opening a hardware store.
If you have any questions come find me when I’m back in the office on Friday.