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Paul Revere

(1735-1818)

Paul Revere (1735-1818), French American craftsman, hero of the American War for Independence, and early American industrialist. Paul was the eldest surviving son of Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot refugee who had immigrated to Boston and anglicized his name to "Revere". The young Paul was apprenticed to a gold- and silversmith, and became very skilled in these professions. During the French and Indian War of 1756-1763, the young man served as a junior officer in the artillery, gaining his first combat experience. However, he was never an outstanding military leader, his chief strength lying in organizational ability and logistics.
A prominent and prosperous Boston citizen, as well as civic leader, he would have his portrait painted by Copley sometime in the years 1768-70.
In the years before the war, Revere would take up the art of engraving, creating numerous works criticizing British treatment of the American colonists. He would also play a prominent role in the Boston Tea party.
On the night of April 18-19, 1775, Revere along with William Dawes and Samuel Prescott famously rode from Charlestown to Lexington to warn the American militia there that the British were advancing.
Later that year, he would be tasked with building a gunpowder mill -- there was only one in the colonies -- which he successfully accomplished. In April 1776, as the need for manpower became greater, he became a major in the infantry, later promoted to lieutenant colonel. In 1779, he participated in the disastrous Penobscot Expedition, in the aftermath of which he was court-martialed for disobedience, but acquitted.
After the war, Revere turned to manufacturing, becoming one of America's first industrialists. From gold and silver, which he had worked with before the war, he expanded to copper, brass and cast iron products, notably church bells. By the 1800s, he had grown extremely wealthy, operating a copper and brass works in Rome, New York. In fact, his family was known to hide Copley's portrait of him because in it, Revere was shown working with his hands.
See: John Singleton Copley. Portrait of Paul Revere.
 
 

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