Five Things You Might Not Know About Paul Revere Day
You May Ask, "Should We Still Celebrate Paul Revere Day?" on April 17th?
"Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere..."
Children for centuries now have been mis-remembering history by reciting the poem, "The Landlord's Tale: Paul Revere's Ride". Some mis-remember even further by calling this poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere", but it is officially titled the Landlord's Tale. In it, Longfellow describes the exciting journey taken by Paul Revere on the night of April 17, 1775, into the town of Concord, to warn the citizens that, "The British Are Coming!"
But Paul Revere never actually made it into Concord. It is true that on April 17, 1775, Revere, along with a doctor named Samuel Prescott, and a cobbler named William Dawes, rode into Lexington, on their way to carry the message to Concord. But they were spotted by British patrol troops. Revere was captured and detained. Dawes rode back to Lexington, and only Dr. Prescott was able to make his way to Concord and inform the citizens that the "Regulars" were coming.
Even the phrase "The British Are Coming" is an artistic take. During this time, the British troops were known as "the regular troops" so the call to arms that night would actually have been, "The Regulars are coming! The Regulars are coming!" That in mind, it is understandable why Longfellow would take that artistic leap. "The British are coming!" sounds so much more dangerous!
So what happened to Paul Revere?
So What Happened To Paul Revere After His Capture?
Paul Revere was captured and detained until April 18th. Even then, he did not ride into Concord on a horse, because the British Troops kept his horse, too. He went on foot to Lexington, and was finally able to let everyone there know that "The regulars were coming!"
This doesn't diminish the fact that his intention was definitely to warn the people of Concord. He was on his way to do so when captured-- and could have faced severe consequences, so he is still a hero in that way. For some reason, Longellow, in his poem that has become a piece of American Folklore, chose to focus on the silversmith as the hero. Perhaps Revere was easier to rhyme than Prescott.
Now That You Know This Information....
Should We Still Celebrate Paul Revere Day?