The son of a silversmith, Revere was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 1, 1735. While still a young man, he began to make elegant silverware. Revere also made artificial teeth, surgical instruments, and engraved printing plates.
HELPING THE AMERICAN COLONISTS
Revere’s work brought him into close contact with such patriots as John Hancock and Samuel Adams, and he used his talents as a craftsman to support the colonial struggle against Britain.
He also became a leader, along with Adams, of the Sons of Liberty, a secret patriotic organization formed in 1765 to oppose the Stamp Act. After the Boston Massacre in 1770, Revere engraved, printed, and sold a picture depicting the incident. The engraving helped stir the American colonists’ anger.
In 1773 Revere participated in the Boston Tea Party, when American colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest a British tax.
During this period, Revere became a courier for the revolutionary cause. He rode horseback to deliver information to northern colonies such as Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. In 1774 the Massachusetts assembly designated Revere an official courier to the Continental Congress.
On April 18, 1775, Revere and two other men rode from Boston to warn patriots that the British army was marching. Revere was able to avoid British troops and reached Lexington, but he was captured before he could get to Concord. However, one of the other couriers got through to the patriots in time. Because of the warnings, the patriots were prepared when the British attacked them the next day. The battles of Lexington and Concord became the first battles of the American Revolution.
Paul Revere's most famous quote, "The British are coming" likely was never said. Since everyone in the colonies were British citizens. It is more probable that he shouted either, "The soldiers are coming! The soldiers are coming!" or "The redcoats are coming! The redcoats are coming!" If Paul Revere shouted, "The British are coming", then the colonist would not have known who Paul Revere was warming them about.
HELPING OUT DURING THE WAR
During the war, Revere established a gunpowder mill in Canton, Massachusetts. He also designed the first issue of Continental currency, the first official seal of the 13 colonies, and the Massachusetts seal still used today. In 1776 he was appointed a major in the Massachusetts Militia.
LIFE AFTER THE WAR
After the war, Revere returned to business and continued his successful trade as a silversmith. He also learned how to roll sheets of copper and built the first mill in the United States that made copper sheets, which were used for boats and buildings. Revere died in Boston on May 10, 1818.