Thursday, September 1, 2011
Ten Things You Didnt Know About Paul Revere
Recently, I just finished a book called "The Revolutionary Paul Revere" (no it wasn't a coloring book). The author Joel J. Miller paints the landscape of the American revolution with the pace of a great novel and the intrigue of a recently released celebrity sex-tape. Like many who seek out biographies I found myself enthralled to absorb the events our most famous messenger went through. He in fact reminded me of an early American Forrest Gump if you will. I'm not saying he walked through life aimlessly, but he had a knack for showing up at significant times. So here I write, giving you some honest nuggets of information about a man, who tends to be famous for only one thing, yet has accomplishments that run the gambit of time and influence.
1. The Boston Massacre is best represented in Mr. Revere's engraved print, The Bloody Massacre. Paul specifically added the Butcher's hall sign over the Red Coats firing to add a potency and lethality to their aura.
2. Paul had sixteen children. The dude loved sex. Who doesn't? Anyway... He also had two wives. No he wasn't a Romney, his first wife Sarah died right before the war in 1773, and he quickly remarried that year to Rachel Walker. Only one child from the marriage to Sarah outlived Paul, who died in 1818.
3. Paul who was a silversmith made numerous chalices and goblets. He even made a silver chain for a friend's pet squirrel. I know... who the hell has a pet squirrel? Crazy bastards. But the alloy-loving man became the first American to sheathe copper to the bottom of American war ships as commissioned by President Jefferson. He also used it to create the Massachusetts State House dome.
4. Paul loved to socialize, especially with is fellow Masons. He hung out with the highs and lows in society. His favorite places were Salutation Tavern and The Green Dragon. The latter being a lodge and a den for Patriot causes. One time, Mr. Revere even got into a brawl with a distant family member. Times aren't so different are they? Thats right, he was drunk and threw punches. My man! He was released on bail and found guilty of disturbing the peace.
5. Paul took his eldest son, Paul Jr. with him to the Boston Tea Party. My dad took me to a monster truck rally. Anyway, Paul Jr. also ran the day to day operations during the war when Paul Sr. was comissioned into the Massachusetts militia as a Major and then Lieutenant Colonel. Paul Sr.'s military career was short, only having seen action once in the Maine territory at Panobscot. Paul was stationed on Castle Island for most of the war, where he no doubt probably drank and ate lobstaaaaaaa.
6. Speaking of military service, Paul also served as a young Lieutenant in the French and Indian war. His riding skills and good fortune had him as a messenger who narrowly escaped Fort William Henry before it was sacked and it's inhabitants eventually massacred. See "The Last of the Mohicans" if you're wondering what the fuck I'm talking about.
7. Paul's father Apollos Rivoire was a French immigrant who came to America because he was a protestant in predominately Catholic France. The persecution the family felt left Apollos' father to board him up and send him to the new land. "Getch yer shit on, yer leavin!", he said. While here, he changed his name and raised the family up as best he could. Paul took jobs as a bell ringer in an Anglican church (think state ordered church) and snuck off to watch the controversial Rev Jonathon Mayhew preach. Apollos was no happy camper. Paul eventually returned to his family's church shortly after his father's passing.
8. The night Paul Revere rode, he was not alone. Had William Dawes made it to warn the folks in Lexington first, we'd sing his praises, but coincidentally Revere was the faster rider. E for effort Bill. Anyway. When they both make it to warn them that the Brits are on the seas to Cambridge to land and march on the powder supply, Paul and Billiam sat down for a beer at Buckman Tavern. Drinking on the job, the American way.
9. The ride back was trickier. Revere was captured, beaten and then released. Dawes, bluffed his ass out of being captured by insinuating that there were more Patriots and that they killed two redcoats. Revere, fresh off a pistol-whipping went off to see John Adams and Hancock and warn them that their wanted for treason and that shit just got real!
10. He was a stand up dude and a romantic. Paul wrote poetry and riddles about his love for Rachel. It gets mushy and complex in parts, but the man had the makings of a true sap.