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REVERE, Paul, patriot, born in
Boston, Massachusetts, 1 January, 173; died there, 10 May, 1818. His
grandfather, a Huguenot, emigrated from Sainte-Foy France, to the island of
Guernsey, whence his, father removed to Boston, and there learned the trade of a
goldsmith. The son was trained in this business, and became skilful in drawing
and engraving designs on silver plate, lie took part in the expedition of 1756
to capture Crown Point from the French, being appointed a lieutenant of
artillery, and stationed at Fort Edward, near Lake George.
On his return to Boston he married, and began business for himself as a
goldsmith. He also practiced cop-per-plate engraving, in which he was
self-taught, and produced a portrait of Reverend Dr. Jonathan Mayhew, followed
in 1766 by a picture emblematical of the repeal of the stamp-act, and next by a
caricature entitled "A Warm Place --Hell," in which are
represented the seventeen members of the house of representatives who voted for
rescinding the circular of 1768 to the provincial legislatures. In 1770 he
published a print representing the Boston
massacre, and in 1774 one representing the landing of British troops in
Boston. He was one of the grand jurors that refused to serve in 1774 in
consequence of the act; of parliament that made the supreme court judges
independent of the legislature in regard to their salaries.
In 1775 he engraved the plates for the paper-money that had been ordered by
the Provincial congress of Massachusetts, made the press, and printed the bills.
He was sent to Philadelphia to learn the process of making gunpowder, and the
proprietor of the mill there would only consent to show him the works in
operation, but not to let him take memoranda or drawings. Nevertheless, on his
return, he constructed a mill, which was soon put into successful operation. He
was one of the prime movers of the "tea-party"
that destroyed the tea in Boston harbor. In the autumn of 1774 he and about
thirty other young men, chiefly mechanics, formed a secret society for the
purpose of watching the movements of the British soldiers and detecting the
designs of the Tortes, which they reported only to John
Hancock, Dr. Charles Warren, Samuel Adams, and
two or three others, one of whom was the traitor, Dr. Benjamin Church, who
communicated the transactions of the society to General
Thomas Gage. They took turns in patrolling the streets, and several days
before the, battle of Lexington they observed suspicious preparations in the
British barracks and on the ships in the harbor.
On the evening of 18 April they apprised the Whigs that the troops had begun
to move. Dr. Warren, sending for Revere, desired
him to set out at once for Lexington in order to warn Hancock and Adams in time.
Crossing to Charlestown by boat, he procured a horse, and rode through Medford,
rousing the minute-men on the way, and, after barely escaping capture by some
British officers, reached Lexington and delivered his message. With Dr. Samuel
Prescott and William Dawes he pushed on for the purpose of rousing the people of
Concord and securing the military stores there. They awakened the minutemen on
the route, but at Lincoln they were stopped by a party of British officers,
excepting Prescott, who escaped capture by leaping a wall, and rode on to
Concord, where he alarmed the inhabitants, while Revere and Dawes were taken by
their captors back to Lexington, and there released.
Henry W. Longfellow has made the midnight
ride of Paul Revere the subject of a narrative poem. Revere was the messenger
that was usually employed on difficult business by the committee of safety, of
which Joseph Warren was president. He repaired the cannon in Fort Independence,
which the British, on leaving Boston, had sought to render useless by breaking
the trunnions, but which he made serviceable by devising a new kind of carriage.
After the evacuation a regiment of artillery was raised in Boston, of which he
was made major, and afterward lieutenant-colonel. He took part in the
unsuccessful Penobscot expedition of 1779.
After the war he resumed the business of a gold and silver-smith, and
subsequently erected a foundry for casting church-bells and bronze cannon. When
copper bolts and spikes began to be used, instead of iron, for fastening the
timbers of vessels, he experimented on the manufacture of these articles, and
when he was able to make them to his satisfaction he built in 1801 large works
at Canton, Massachusetts, for rolling copper, which are still carried on by the
Revere copper company. He was the first in this country to smelt copper ore and
to refine and roll copper into bolts and sheets.
As grand-master of the masonic fraternity he
laid the corner-stone of the Boston state-house in 1795. In that year he aided
in the establishment of the Massachusetts charitable mechanic association, of
which he was the first president. He was a munificent contributor to enterprises
of benevolence, and at the time of his death was connected with numerous
--His grandson, Joseph Warren Revere,
soldier, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 17 May, 1812; died in Hoboken, New
Jersey, 20 April, 1880. He was made a midshipman in the United States navy. 1
April, 1828, became a passed midshipman on 4 June, 1834, and lieutenant on 25
February, 1841, took part in the Mexican war, and resigned from the navy on 20
September, 1850. He then entered the Mexican service. For saving the lives of
several Spaniards he was knighted by Queen Isabella of Spain. He was made
colonel of the 7th regiment of New Jersey volunteers on 31 August, 1861, and
promoted brigadier-general of United States volunteers on 25 October. 1862. He
led a brigade at Fredericksburg, was then transferred to the command of the
Excelsior brigade in the 2d division, fought with it at Chancellorsville, and
after the engagement fell under the censure of his superior officer.
In May, 1863, he was tried by court-martial, and dismissed from
the military service of the United States. He defended his conduct with great
earnestness, and on 10 September, 1864, his dismissal from the army was revoked
by President Lincoln, and his resignation was
accepted. His "Keel and Saddle" (Boston, 1872) relates many of his
--Another grandson, Edward Hutchinson Robbins, physician, born
in Boston, Massachusetts, 23 July, 1827; died near Sharpsburg, Maryland, 17
September, 1862, entered Harvard, but left in 1846, pursued the course in the
medical school, and received his diploma in 1849. He practiced in Boston, and on
14 September, 1861, was appointed assistant surgeon of the 20th Massachusetts
volunteers. At Bali's Bluff he was captured by the enemy's cavalry, and was kept
as a prisoner at Leesburg, and afterward at Richmond, Virginia, till 22
February. 1862, when he was released on parole. He was exchanged in April, 1862,
and served with his regiment through the peninsular campaign and General John
Pope's campaign on the Rappahannock, was present at Chantilly, and was
killed at the battle of Antietam.
--A brother of Edward H. R., Paul Joseph, soldier, born in
Boston, Massachusetts, 10 September, 1832" died in Westminster, Maryland, 4
July, 1863, was graduated at Harvard in 1852, and at the beginning of the civil
war entered the National army as major of the 20th Massachusetts volunteers. At
Bali's Bluff he was wounded in the leg and taken prisoner, and he was confined
in Libby prison until he and six other officers were selected as hostages to
answer with their lives for the safety of Confederate privateers men who had
been convicted of piracy in the United States court. They were transferred to
the Henrico county prison, and confined for three months in a felon's cell.
Major Revere was paroled on 22 February, 1862, and in the beginning of the
following May was exchanged. He was engaged in the peninsular campaign until he
was taken sick in July. On 4 September, 1862, he was made a lieutenant-colonel,
and served as assistant inspector-general on the staff of General Edwin V.
Sumner. At Antietam, where he displayed great gallantry, he received a wound
that compelled him to retire to his home. On his recovery he was appointed
colonel of his old regiment, 14 April, 1863, and returned to the field in May.
He was brevetted brigadier-general of volunteers for bravery at Gettysburg,
where he received a fatal wound in the second day's battle.
The Paul Revere
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