Short Biography of Paul Revere
Known to have warned others in the famous cry, “The British are coming!” Paul Revere became an iconic member of American patriots whose role in politics and the war efforts helped to bridge a gap between social working classes and intellectuals. His pristine and often sought-after works in metallurgy made him famous in his own day and allowed him to gain important appointments that eventually helped America in its War for Independence.
Born to a French father who had immigrated to America at the age of 13 to work as a silversmith, Paul Revere learned his trade at an early age. His father, then named De Revoire, changed his name to Revere so that others would think he was Anglican. Young Paul, who had eleven other siblings, eventually had eight of his own children when he married Sarah Orne at the age of 22.
Some seven years later, Paul Revere began experimenting with copper and the art of engraving. He was eventually commissioned to engrave seals for wealthy buyers and political families. With his business flourishing, he began using his metalworking abilities to make dental prostheses, which also garnished him lucrative profits.
Revere had always been interested in helping fight for American Independence and despised British control. He became a member of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety and attempted to tell surrounding battalions, store owners, and towns of possible British onslaughts. He also set up signals that townspeople should look for should an attack become imminent. One of these was to hang two lanterns in a church bell tower for all to see, giving militia men, dubbed Minute Men, substantial time to take preventative measures against the British.
On April 18, 1775, the Committee of Safety found out the British were going to march on Concord. He hurriedly obtained a horse and rode hard for Lexington, where he awoke John Hancock and Samuel Adams from their sleep. Captured on his return by the British, the troops were forced to let him go as he threatened that they were surrounded by troops ready for battle. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dedicated his famed poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” to the patriot who helped foil British plans for a surprise attack.