Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
With those words, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized Paul Revere, his midnight ride and the Old North Church.
has heard those immortal words, but few people know the whole story.
The story is at the heart of America’s battle for freedom from the
British Crown. Many today attribute our desire for freedom from the
British was all about taxes, and up to a point, this is true, however,
there is more to the story.
many months before Paul Revere’s famous ride, tensions had been
mounting between the colonists and the British Cavalry. Due to the
increased taxes and many other issues, the colonists call for separation
from the British crown continued to increase.
Royal Government became increasingly concerned they would be unable to
control the colonists in case of a rebellion. Hence orders came down to
confiscate all the weapons and ammunition the colonists had been storing
in various locations throughout the countryside.
From this particular point in time, our right to bear arms arose, the right protects our ability to protect ourselves from tyrants, not so we can hunt game.
times in the past, British troops had been dispatched to confiscate
weapons in Salem and New Hampshire. Each time Paul Revere and other
riders who were members of the Sons of Liberty were able to alert the
people of the movement of troops , thus the munitions were always
hidden and the elitist British troops were unable to find them and were
General Gage, Commander of the British forces, a parishioner of Old
North Church devised a plan to seize the weapons at Lexington and
Concord. He didn’t want to be humiliated again ,so he planned to attach
at night, while most slept.
the dark evening of April 18th, 1775, he decided to cross the Charles
River and march under the cover of darkness , seize the weapons and
return to camp before the colonists could awaken and organize a
someone found out about this plan. Some say it was General Gage’s maid,
others think it may have even been his wife who informed the sons of
Liberty that the troops were on the way by the shorter water route.
Revere and the Sons of Liberty had prepared for this troop movement and
had a plan to warn the Americans when the Redcoats were on their way.
Although not a member, Paul Revere knew Old North Church well. He knew a
lantern placed in the steeple window could be seen for miles ,so he
instructed Robert Newman to climb the stairs and hang a lantern or two
in the window when instructed to do so. The signal would be one if by
land and two if by sea, Paul Revere would then ride to warn the
colonists to hide the munitions and Robert Newman would serve as a
backup in case Paul Revere was captured or unable to ride.
about 10PM Newman entered the church and began the long climb up the
stairs. Reaching the top , he hung two lanterns in the window, thus
signaling the British were coming by sea.
he only hung the lanterns for about a minute, they were seen by the
British, thus Newman barely escaped capture as he fled out a side window
near the altar, now known as Newman’s window in his honor.
So here, from General Thomas Gage’s own church, the King’s own church, the lanterns which ignited the American Revolution, were shone ever so brightly, and the union was born.
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