Those of you who have read my blog know that I have zero love for Sarah Palin. In fact, I don’t like, or dislike her.
I AM fascinated by the mainstream media’s obsession with her, but that is not the point.
She has no, zero, nada, zilch, bearing or effect on my life. She will never hold national office, so what do I care about her or anything she says. Frankly, she’s an idiot.
However, I am more interested in the lambasting of her “Paul Revere” comments, by that same media.
Sorry to say but Sarah’s comments about warning the British not to disarm the Americans, and ringing bells and firing warning shots is correct.
The media’s apparent belief that it was Paul Revere who actually rode from Lexington to Concorde and put up some lanterns in the old North Church is from the Longfellow poem, NOT history. (There was a lantern put up in the church, but that was to signal across Boston Harbor to Charlestown).
So, for those who don’t know.
Revere was a silversmith by trade. And a fairly successful one at that. He also tried his hand at dentistry and a few other things, but the smithing business he got from his father.
He had been involved in the agitation against the British Army Regulars, the royal governor and the crown for some time. In fact, he frequently used his presses to help create the images that went on some of the pamphlets of the day.
He was a member, and leader, of a group known as the “Sons of Liberty”.
The Sons had established a warning system. Why?
Two of the most offensive policies to the Bay Colony’s residents in that time was the commonplace breaking in of their homes by the British regulars to “impress” American boys into the British army, and also to confiscate weapons, which the British knew could be used against them.
This is the VERY reason that the 2d and 4th amendments were added to the constitution (Right to bear arms in a militia, and the restraint against illegal search and seizures).
In the leadup to the ride, British General Gage had received instructions from the crown to DISARM the rebels and arrest their leaders, in particular, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.
Remember your history. Samuel Adams known as the “Father of the Revolution”.
Revere, along with William Dawes, was dispatched on two separate routes from Lexington to Concorde by Dr. Joseph Warren, to warn Hancock and Adams and to help them escape.
On the way, Revere was joined by Dr. Samuel Prescott, who was on his way back from seeing his fiancee.
Revere and Dawes were both captured by the British on the way back from Lexington. Apparently, Dawes was something of an actor and convinced the British to release him immediately, pretending to be a drunk, or some such thing.
Prescott continued on the ride to Concorde.
Along the route, both the orinal route ridden by Revere and Dawes, and later the route ridden by Prescott and at least a dozen, and as many as 40, other riders (we don’t know exactly how many) bells rang out and warning shots were fired to warn of the coming British Regulars.
Under questioning by the British, Revere warned them of the dire consequences that would be suffered if they tried to disarm the “Sons of Liberty” or the other Patriots, or if they detained Hancock and Adams.
As a note, two of the riders that we know of were a woman, and even more fascinating, because of the white washing of African American History, was a 9 year old African American rider named Abel Benson.
Now, if you don’t believe me, here’s a blurb from the History Channel (Discovery Networks) website:
“Paul Revere would be surprised that he receives sole credit for the midnight ride. In addition to Dawes and Prescott, dozens of other men helped spread the word that night. Still, some historians think Revere deserves the credit. Through his networking and leadership skills, he basically built the massive communications machine that made the night of April 18 a success. Revere started other express riders on their way before leaving Boston, and he also alerted others along his journey. They too began riding, or shot guns and rang church bells to alert the community. Revere covered 13 miles in less than two hours, but he was not working alone.”
So I ask you, who is a fool here? Sarah, or the people who think the history of the United States was written by a poet in days leading up to the Civil War, 80 years after the event?
If you want a moderately accurate accounting of the ride, go to the Paul Revere House’s website. Obviously, it will emphasize Revere’s role, but a more complete picture will be available.
Finally, this is in no way to minimize Revere. He was an incredible Patriot, the ride was largely from a system he designed, and he had to navigate his way through the British troops even to begin his ride. But should he be the only one who is remembered? No. And should Sarah be pilloried for getting it right?