Why Is Paul Revere Famous?
Paul Revere (1734-1818) is famous for his ride on horseback during the American Revolution to warn Massachusetts colonists of the approach of British troops. Paul Revere’s father, a Huguenot refugee, who had settled in Boston, Massachusetts, taught his son the art of silversmith(ing). Revere became a great artist in silver but, in his need to support his family he also sold spectacles, replaced missing teeth and made surgical instruments.
He was a fervent patriot, cut many copper plates for anti British propaganda and was leader of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when a group of citizens disguised as Indians threw a cargo of tea into the sea as a protest against the British tax on it. In 1775, when the American Revolution broke out, Revere constructed a powder mill to supply the colonial troops. He enlisted in the army and in 1776 was a lieutenant-colonel, in command of Castle William, at Boston.
But his most famous exploit took place the year before when, as principal express rider for Boston’s Committee of Safety, he warned Middlesex County, on April 18, that British troops were leaving Boston to seize military stores at Lexington and Concord. His exploit has been immortalized in the poem Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).
Revere later served as a Massachusetts militia officer, though his service culminated after the Penobscot Expedition, one of the most disastrous campaigns of the American Revolutionary War, for which he was absolved of blame.
Following the war, Revere returned to his silversmith trade and used the profits from his expanding business to finance his work in iron casting, bronze bell and cannon casting, and the forging of copper bolts and spikes. After the colonists’ victory, Revere set up a rolling mill for the manufacture of sheet copper in Massachusetts, and became rich. Finally in 1800 he became the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets for use as sheathing on naval vessels.