The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere

1226 words - 5 pages

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 the reasons for not mentioning them, American’s would have forgotten about their sacrifices that night if not for this classic children’s poem. Historical fact remains that the Midnight Ride made by Revere, Dawes, and Prescott played an important role in pre-Revolutionary Boston. The true events of what happened on April 18, 1775 will forever be etched in the pages of American History.
After a decade of political and social disputes between the American colonies and the British government, war seemed inevitable. The Continental Congress tried to reach a political compromise but British taxes along with a growing presence of British regulars (soldiers) in the colonies, were fueling colonists talks of rebellion and the greater need for Independence. Deteriorating relations between the two came to a head on the evening of December 16, 1773, when sixty men disguised as Indians boarded three ships in the Boston harbor and proceeded to destroy and toss overboard more than 300 chests of British tea. The Boston Tea Party, as it became to be called, angered Parliament who then took action against the colonists by closing the Boston harbor until the tea was paid for. 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...

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