In this portrait by john Singleton Copley (circa 1765) Paul Revere holds an unfinished silver teapot

Paul Revere

Silversmith, Revolutionary War Patriot



"Noise? You'll have noise enough before long, The regulars are coming out!"

-Paul Revere

Born in Boston's North End in December, 1734, Paul Revere was the son of Apollos Rivoire, a French Huguenot (Protestant) immigrant, and Deborah Hichborn, daughter of a local artisan family. Rivoire, who changed his name to Paul Revere some time after immigrating, was a goldsmith and eventually the head of a large household. Paul Revere was the second of at least 9, possibly as many as 12 children and the eldest surviving son.

Paul was educated at the North Writing School and learned the art of gold and silversmithing from his father. When Paul was nineteen (and nearly finished with his apprenticeship) his father died, leaving Paul as the family's main source of income. Two years later, in 1756, Revere volunteered to fight the French at Lake George, New York, where he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the colonial artillery.

In August, 1757, Revere married Sarah Orne. Together, they had eight children. Soon after Sarah's death in 1773, Revere married Rachel Walker with whom he had eight children.

Paul Revere 's most famous occupation was that of silversmith. He was the master craftsman in his shop, and he trained many apprentices and journeyman. His work ranged from simple spoons to magnificent tea sets. His silver work was famous during his lifetime and he is still famous today as one of the best silversmiths in America. In addition to silversmithing, he sometimes worked as an copper engraver, producing the copper "plates" used to print books, magazines and bills of fare for taverns. He also served as a dentist for seven years! He cleaned people's teeth and put in their false teeth. (It is a myth that he put in George Washington's dentures.)

Revere got involved in politics some time before the American Revolution. As a member of the business community, he was friendly with activists like James Otis and Dr. Joseph Warren. In the year before the Revolution, Revere gathered intelligence information by "watching the Movements of British Soldiers," as he wrote in an account of his ride. He was a courier for the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, riding express to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. He also spread the word of the Boston Tea Party to New York and Philadelphia.

Of course, his most famous act was the midnight ride he made from Boston to Lexington and Concord, along with William Dawes on April 18, 1775, to warn the Sam Adams and John Hancock of the approach of the British troops.

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