On Sat, 7 Oct 2017 01:14:05 -0700 (PDT), Dingbat
Post by Dingbat
Midnight ride of Paul Revere?
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere
Why did Longfellow turn Paul Revere into his solo hero?
Probably because Prescott wouldn't rhyme with hear.
There were three people: Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott.
"Paul Revere" has a better sound for poetic purposes. And in any case,
Prescott was not with Revere from the start. He joined him at a later
Post by Dingbat
Revere was one of an early warning company, not a solo rider. En route,
Revere was chided for making too much noise. He was arrested near
Lexington; I don't know whether he gave himself away by making noise.
Revere no longer being in the company when it reached its destination,
Samuel Prescott was the one who warned John Hancock about the British
According to the Wikepedia article I quote below, Revere and Dawes had
already met and warned John Hancock and Samuel Adams before they were
captured. It was after Revere and Dawes left Hancock and Adams that
Prescott joined them.
Post by Dingbat
I haven't checked the references, but this says:
Revere and Dawes were sent out to warn them and to alert colonial
militias in nearby towns.
Revere arrived in Lexington around midnight, with Dawes arriving
about a half-hour later. They met with Samuel Adams and John
Hancock, who were spending the night with Hancock's relatives (in
what is now called the Hancock–Clarke House), and they spent a great
deal of time discussing plans of action upon receiving the news.
The Lexington men dispatched riders to the surrounding towns, and
Revere and Dawes continued along the road to Concord accompanied by
Samuel Prescott, a doctor who happened to be in Lexington "returning
from a lady friend's house at the awkward hour of 1 a.m."
Revere, Dawes, and Prescott were detained by a British Army patrol
in Lincoln at a roadblock on the way to Concord. Prescott jumped his
horse over a wall and escaped into the woods; he eventually reached
Concord. Dawes also escaped, though he fell off his horse not long
after and did not complete the ride.
<the British Army patrol with captive Revere moved around>
The British soldiers gathered and decided not to press further
towards Lexington but instead to free the prisoners and head back to
warn their commanders. The British confiscated Revere's horse and
rode off to warn the approaching army column. Revere walked to Rev.
Jonas Clarke's house, where Hancock and Adams were staying. As the
battle on Lexington Green unfolded, Revere assisted Hancock and his
family in their escape from Lexington, helping to carry a trunk of
That article then explains that the ride of Revere, Dawes and Prescott
was part of a wider warning system:
The ride of the three men triggered a flexible system of "alarm and
muster" that had been carefully developed months before, in reaction
to the colonists' impotent response to the Powder Alarm of September
1774. This system was an improved version of an old network of
widespread notification and fast deployment of local militia forces
in times of emergency. The colonists had periodically used this
system all the way back to the early years of Indian wars in the
colony, before it fell into disuse in the French and Indian War. In
addition to other express riders delivering messages, bells, drums,
alarm guns, bonfires, and a trumpet were used for rapid
communication from town to town, notifying the rebels in dozens of
eastern Massachusetts villages that they should muster their
militias because the regulars in numbers greater than 500 were
leaving Boston with possible hostile intentions. This system was so
effective that people in towns 25 miles (40 km) from Boston were
aware of the army's movements while they were still unloading boats
in Cambridge. Unlike in the Powder Alarm, the alarm raised by the
three riders successfully allowed the militia to confront the
British troops in Concord, and then harry them all the way back to
Peter Duncanson, UK