The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

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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 te...

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...ion. Without the sacrifices of Revere, Dawes, and Prescott that night, the British might have captured or killed Adams and Hancock, and seized vital military supplies making the War for Independence lost before it even began.

Works Cited

Caes, Charles J. 2004. “MIDNIGHT RIDERS.” American History, December 2004, 34-41. (accessed October 27, 2009).

Henretta, James A. and David Brody. America: A Concise History, Volume I: To 1877. 4th ed. Boston:

Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." The National Center for Public Policy Research.'sRide.html (accessed October 26, 2009).

Paul Revere Memorial Association. “The Midnight Ride.” The Paul Revere House. (accessed October 26, 2009).

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