Paul Revere – The Multifaceted Man Of American Revolution

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Paul Revere is an interesting character in the history of America. Born on January 1, 1735, he grew up into a silversmith under the guidance of his father Apollos Rivoire who was an artisan by occupation. He was only 19 when he lost his father, took over the business and maintained the family consisting of his mother and younger siblings. Later he married twice and had sixteen children, eight with each wife. Revere was a talented artisan and his products had a high demand among the upper class customers.

Association with revolution                                   

From 1765 onwards, British economy entered a phase of recession following the Seven Years’ War and the Stamp Act of 1795. This affected Revere’s business adversely and made him aware that unless British policies were effectively countered, livelihood of many like him would in danger. He came in contact with the Local Nine, the group which organized protests against the Stamp Act. Later he became a member of Sons of Liberty and made several engravings with rebel political undertone. In 1773, Tea Act was passed by the British Government, authorizing British East India Company to ship tea directly to the colonies. As the Tea Act ignored the interests of the local merchants, it evoked prompt protest from the. The first shipment of tea was carried by the merchant ship called Dartmouth and Revere, as a member of the rebel group North End Caucus, arranged a watch over the ship to prevent unloading of tea. Later, he became a ringleader and dumped tea in to the harbour. This fierce act of defiance later came to be known as the Boston Tea Party.

The “Midnight Ride”

However, Revere’s ride on April 18, 1775 carved a permanent niche for Revere in the history of American Revolution. That night, British troops were supposed to embark in boats with the objective of capturing Adams and Hancock. Revere was sent to alert them and the colonial militia. Before April 18, Revere had invented a novel way of sending signal by lantern to make the colonists in Charlestown aware of the movements of the British troops. The instruction later became famous by the phrase “one if by land” and “two if by sea”. One lantern in the tower would signal the army’s choice of the land route while two would signal the river route. On April 18, Revere crossed the Charles River by boat, avoiding the anchored British warship HMS Somerset and safely reached Charlestown. From there he took a ride to Lexington, cunningly avoiding a British patrol and warning all the patriots along the entire route. It triggered off the battle at Lexington that led to American Revolution.

Post war activities

After the war, Revere concentrated on diversifying to iron foundry, manufacturing cast iron items on a large scale to cater to the cross-section of Boston population. From the production of customized goods, he shifted to the production of standardized goods, making the production cheaper. His new business prospered, taking full advantage of the technological advancement in America.

Revere was the first industrialist to open North America’s first copper mill where rolled copper was produced. His new venture grew at a fast pace and he formed the famous corporation Revere Copper and Brass.

Revere introduced a worker-friendly system to organize industrial workers who demanded flexible working hour and wages commensurate with their skill. As Revere started his career as an artisan himself, he understood their problems better than other employers.

Paul Revere remained politically active even after his retirement in 1811 and made charitable contributions for the cause of the artisans of Boston. This multifaceted man died on May 10, 1818 in his beloved home city of Boston.

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