In the journals cataloged to the right, readers
will find firsthand accounts on the ride of Paul Revere. Readers may
find it helpful to review the historical facts of this event before
exploring the primary documents.
In Boston, in 1775, King George the III told General Thomas Gage to
keep the colonists in order. Following the Boston Tea Party, 5,000
British soldiers were sent to Boston, and the Boston Harbor was closed.
Colonists in Boston began to prepare for war. They began to stockpile
munitions in Concord.
Thomas Gage ordered Lt. Colonel Francis Smith to go to
Concord along with 700 other men to destroy the supplies the colonists
had in Concord, and arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams for treason.
On the night of April 18th Lt. Colonel Francis Smith told his men of
the secret stockpile and their plans to raid Concord.
Joseph Warren, a Patriot leader, learned of the plan and told
Paul Revere and William Dawes to
go to Lexington and warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the
Regulars were coming.
They arranged a signal to be shown from the steeple of
the North Church. The signal was, one lantern if the British were
coming by land, and two lanterns if the British were coming by sea.
Revere left Boston on horseback at 10:00 p.m. and arrived in Lexington
at midnight. At 1:00 a.m. William Dawes, Paul Revere, and Dr. Samuel
Prescott left again for Concord. To their surprise, a British
found them and captured Paul Revere. The other two escaped. Only
Prescott made his way to Concord.
After the British freed Paul Revere he returned to
Lexington. There he joined Samuel Adams and
John Hancock. On April 19th the British arrived and were suprised
minutemen waiting for them. The Revolutionary War had begun.