Lexington, KY

Paul Revere's Midnight Ride-A Fictionalized Tale As Told From His Son's Point Of View


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Let me introduce myself. My name is Paul Revere, Jr.

No, I’m not the Paul Revere that rode to Lexington on April 18 last year. That was my father. Actually, my grandfather’s name was Paul Revere also. But he was born Apollos Rivoire, so I guess that’s why I’m a Junior, and not Paul the III.

I don’t mind talking about my dad, though. I admire him for his bravery and convictions even though he’s made plenty of mistakes.

I get asked about the night he and Will Dawes rode to warn everyone about the British invasion. I’ve heard some people think he said: “The British are coming!”

He didn’t really say that, because that would have been tipping off those who were still loyal to Britain. The actual message was: “The Regulars are about.” That night he also arranged to have the signal lit in the Old North Church to indicate if the British could be expected by land or sea.

My dad didn’t ride by himself that night, either. He had lots of friends who helped spread the word about independence from the British. Here are some other things you might not remember about my dad.

His parents, my grandfather Apollos and grandmother Deborah met in Boston. Apollos was a French Huguenot who came to America as a teenager and was a silversmith apprentice.

Grandfather’s last name was Rivoire, and he changed that name too, to Revere. Then he named dad after him. My dad, as the oldest living son, became a silversmith apprentice like his father, which gave him a lot of social opportunities in the community. My dad has always felt strongly about religion and politics (I think he got that from my grandpa) and disagreed with grandfather on more than one occasion. They even got so mad they had a fist fight one time!

My dad had 11 brothers and sisters, but he was only 20 when grandpa Paul died and he couldn’t legally take over the silver shop, so he enlisted in the army during the French and Indian War to have regular income.

As soon as he turned 21 though, he returned to Boston and took over the family business. Two years later, he married my mother, Sarah, and my oldest sister, Deborah, was born 8 months later.

My dad was very smart, so when the economy was in a recession, he learned dentistry to help pay the bills.

This skill came in handy later when one of his former patients who was a soldier (Dr. Joseph Warren) was in the Battle of Bunker Hill and buried in a mass grave. My dad’s friends found the mass grave and it was only by previous dental work that dad was able to identify Dr. Warren’s body so they could give him a proper burial.

In his 50’s my dad really got into his artisan work. He began engraving in silver and gold, and did work in bell casting (manufacturing) with me and my older brother Joseph Warren Revere, who took over the business when our father passed away at 83 years of age in 1818.

Like any son, I’m proud of my father. He had strong convictions and opinions and was not afraid to stand up for what he believed. I learned a lot from his example and like to think that I have made him proud by the way I have lived my life.

— signed Paul Revere Jr.

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Judy Derby has worked in the surrounding communities as a social worker and advocate. providing resources and information to help local families meet their basic needs. She's been writing about social issues and related topics for over 10 years.

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