On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere made history with his midnight ride to warn colonists that the British were coming. The Trivia Today team has put together these five shocking facts you probably didn't know about Paul Revere and his midnight ride!
Revere Was Captured Before He Completed His Ride
Although Paul Revere did ride to warn colonists the British were coming, he wasn’t the only one warning colonists. Nor did he ride alone. Revere was accompanied by Samuel Prescott and William Dawes, and they split up later, going in different directions. Around halfway through their ride, Revere was captured by a British patrol, and Dawes lost his horse, but Prescott made it to Concord in time to spread the news that the British were on their way.
He Had to Borrow a Horse to Make His Ride
After Revere crossed the Charles River under cover of darkness, he needed a worthy steed to carry him the 20 or so miles to Concord. He borrowed one from John Larkin, a Charlestown patriot, who got it from his father, Deacon John Larkin. The horse, a mare named Brown Beauty, was captured and Larkin would never see Brown Beauty again. Revere did, however, refer to the beast as "a very good horse."
Revere Never Said, "The British Are Coming!" Though it certainly makes the story more exciting, the statement would have made no sense in 1775 considering the fact that colonialists were...well...all British. That'd be a bit like running through Massachusetts today saying, "Americans are coming this way!" Actual accounts of Revere's midnight ride reveal he and his riding pals actually said: "The Regulars are coming out." Admittedly, that's a lot less catchy than "The British are coming," but people are rarely considering how they'll sound in the history books.
However, He Did Introduce the Famous Phrase "One If by Land, Two If by Sea." Fearing he may not even make it across the Charles River without getting caught by British troops, Revere made a "Plan B." He coordinated a signal with Christ's Church in Boston's North End (which is right on the river) to notify colonists in Charlestown when the British troops were coming. One lantern in the bell tower meant troops were coming by land, two in the tower indicated a naval attack.
He Went on to Become a Successful Businessman. After the American Revolution, Revere opened a hardware store, a foundry and eventually the first rolling copper mill in the United States. He provided materials for the historic frigate USS Constitution, which played an important role in the War of 1812 and is the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel. He also produced more than 900 church bells, one of which still rings every Sunday in Boston’s King’s Chapel. Revere Copper Products, Inc., is still in operation today.