The midnight ride of Paul Revere and some other guys
The midnight ride of Paul Revere and some other guys "Paul Revere waiting for the signal from the Old North Church Tower" (Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers collection/Wiki/Charles Bush, from the New York Public Library Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/midnight-ride-paul-revere-and-some-other-guys-180962866/#mB8lI8DpSLpoW5Bo.99 Give the gift of Smiths)
The midnight ride of Paul Revere and some other guys
Lexile: 1090L
Lexile

Assign to Google Classroom

A poem immortalized Paul Revere. According to the poem, there was nobody on his midnight ride but him and his horse.

But there are a few things Henry Wadsworth Longfellow glossed over. In particular, that Revere wasn’t alone on his famous ride when he warned American patriots that British troops were on the move. It was a night in 1775. A more accurate title would have been “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott.”

Revere was asked by patriot Joseph Warren to take news to Lexington that British troops were on the march. That's how the ride went, according to The Paul Revere House.

“According to Warren, these troops planned to arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock. They were staying at a house in Lexington. The troops would probably continue to the town of Concord. That was to capture or destroy military stores—gunpowder, ammunition and several cannon that had been stockpiled there.” Revere sneaked across the river and borrowed a horse in Charlestown. Then he headed to Lexington to let everyone know that, yes, the British were coming. But he never actually used that phrase. On the way to Lexington, he dodged British troops who were on horseback, according to Revere himself.

“In Lexington, as he approached the house where Adams and Hancock were staying, a sergeant Monroe, acting as a guard outside the house, requested that he not make so much noise,” the house museum writes. Revere’s response: “Noise! You’ll have noise enough before long! The regulars are coming out!”

In Lexington, while he was eating and drinking in preparation for another grueling ride through the dark to Concord, William Dawes showed up, carrying the same news.

Dawes had come over land, down the narrow spit that at that time connected Boston to the mainland. “Unlike Revere, who awoke town leaders and militia commanders along the way to share his news, Dawes apparently let them sleep, either because he was singularly focused on getting to Lexington as quickly as possible or because he wasn’t as well-connected with the patriots in the countryside,” writes Christopher Klein for History.com.

The two men set out together for Concord. On the road, they bumped into Samuel Prescott, a young doctor who was headed back home to Concord after a visit to his fiancée. Prescott offered to help carry the news.

It was dark and probably cold. The countryside was crawling with British troops who were looking to stop patriots from spreading news. Prescott and Dawes stopped to wake people up at a house along the way, while Revere pushed on. Revere saw two British officers and warned Prescott and Dawes, but was himself captured. 

Dawes used a trick to get away. Writes Klein:

“According to family lore, the quick-witted Dawes, knowing his horse was too tired to outrun the two British officers tailing him, cleverly staged a ruse. He pulled up in front of a vacant farmhouse and shouted as if there were patriots inside: “Halloo, boys, I’ve got two of ’em!” Fearing an ambush, the two Redcoats galloped away, while Dawes reared so quickly he was bucked off his horse. Forced to limp into the moonlit night, he receded into obscurity, and Dawes lost his horse, although he managed to scare the soldiers away.”

So of the three, only Prescott finished the midnight ride. The next day was the Battle of Lexington, widely viewed as the start of the American Revolution. Why does Revere get all the credit in a poem that schoolchildren were for years forced to memorize? According to historian Marie Basile McDaniel, it’s possible that Revere got sole billing in the poem because he was so politically active—already better known, when he set out, than either of the other men. Both Dawes and Prescott faded into obscurity, while Revere continued to be a well-known figure until his death at age 76.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/midnight-ride-paul-revere-and-some-other-guys/

Filed Under:  
Assigned 100 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do you think we are more familiar with Paul Revere than the other men who made the famous midnight ride?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (21)
  • EvanC-del
    4/22/2018 - 01:24 p.m.

    According to historian Marie Basile McDaniel, it’s possible that Revere got sole billing in the poem because he was so politically active. We thought of Paul Revere as more of the hero because the others were not so famous at all or known. Also both Dawes and Prescott faded into obscurity.

  • OlivierJ-del
    4/22/2018 - 01:46 p.m.

    Paul Revere was a very brave man to warn the minute man that the British were attacking . This is a cause that the US was ready to fight off the British and win the War.

  • ReesePratt-del
    4/22/2018 - 05:15 p.m.

    Paul was the first one who thought it was a good idea. He is more famous and is mentioned more .

  • ChloeT-del
    4/22/2018 - 06:42 p.m.

    I think we are more familiar with Paul Revere than the other men who made the famous midnight ride because Paul Revere was more well-known. He was well-known even before the midnight ride. He was mentioned a lot in history and played a big role.

  • ChloeR-del
    4/22/2018 - 08:52 p.m.

    We are more familiar with Paul Revere than the other two men who made the famous midnight ride. This might be because Revere was so politically active and already better known than the other men when he made the ride and he continue to be a well known figure until he died. It might also have to do with the fact that he was caught by the British and almost made the ultimate sacrifice to help his fellow Patriots.

  • JadeR-del
    4/22/2018 - 09:57 p.m.

    We are more familiar with Paul Revere than the other men who made the famous midnight ride because history has mainly mentioned Paul Revere when talking about the midnight ride. For example, some texts give false information that people believe unknowingly, that Paul Revere was alone on the midnight ride. It could be considered "fake news" but either way when not given the proper information a lot of false information settles in our minds.

  • RushB-del
    4/22/2018 - 11:58 p.m.

    The poem gives more focus to Paul Revere than the other two men who helped. This is because Paul Revere was much more politically active, he was better known so he was valued as more important in the story.

  • JaredI-del
    4/23/2018 - 05:10 p.m.

    We know Paul revere better because he was a bigger part in history

  • PedroM-del1
    4/24/2018 - 05:32 p.m.

    We think this probably becuase Paul Revere is more famous at the time two. He engraved the "Bloody Massacre"

  • MarianaG-del
    4/26/2018 - 04:10 p.m.

    Paul Revere was well known while the other people were not know

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT