|Birth Day:||January 1, 1735|
|Death Date:||May 10, 1818 (age 83)|
|Birth Place:||Boston, United States|
As per our current Database, Paul Revere died on May 10, 1818 (age 83).
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He ran his family's silver shop during the 1750s.
Revere's father died in 1754, when Paul was legally too young to officially be the master of the family silver shop. In February 1756, during the French and Indian War (the North American theater of the Seven Years' War), he enlisted in the provincial army. Possibly he made this decision because of the weak economy, since army service promised consistent pay. Commissioned a second lieutenant in a provincial artillery regiment, he spent the summer at Fort William Henry at the southern end of Lake George in New York as part of an abortive plan for the capture of Fort St. Frédéric. He did not stay long in the army, but returned to Boston and assumed control of the silver shop in his own name. On August 4, 1757, he married Sarah Orne (1736–1773); their first child was born eight months later. He and Sarah had eight children, but two died young, and only one, Mary, survived her father.
Revere's business began to suffer when the British economy entered a recession in the years following the Seven Years' War, and declined further when the Stamp Act of 1765 resulted in a further downturn in the Massachusetts economy. Business was so poor that an attempt was made to seize his property in late 1765. To help make ends meet he even took up dentistry, a skill set he was taught by a practicing surgeon who lodged at a friend's house. One client was Doctor Joseph Warren, a local physician and political opposition leader with whom Revere formed a close friendship. Revere and Warren, in addition to having common political views, were also both active in the same local Masonic lodges.
Although Revere was not one of the "Loyal Nine"—organizers of the earliest protests against the Stamp Act—he was well connected with its members, who were laborers and artisans. Revere did not participate in some of the more raucous protests, such as the attack on the home of Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson. In 1765, a group of militants who would become known as the Sons of Liberty formed, of which Revere was a member. From 1765 on, in support of the dissident cause, he produced engravings and other artifacts with political themes. Among these engravings are a depiction of the arrival of British troops in 1768 (which he termed "an insolent parade") and a famous depiction of the March 1770 Boston Massacre (see illustration). Although the latter was engraved by Revere and he included the inscription, "Engraved, Printed, & Sold by Paul Revere Boston", it was modeled on a drawing by Henry Pelham, and Revere's engraving of the drawing was colored by a third man and printed by a fourth. Revere also produced a bowl commemorating the Massachusetts assembly's refusal to retract the Massachusetts Circular Letter. (This letter, adopted in response to the 1767 Townshend Acts, called for united colonial action against the acts. King George III had issued a demand for its retraction.)
In 1770 Revere purchased a house on North Square in Boston's North End. Now a museum, the house provided space for his growing family while he continued to maintain his shop at nearby Clark's Wharf. Sarah died in 1773, and on October 10 of that year, Revere married Rachel Walker (1745–1813). They had eight children, three of whom died young.
In November 1773 the merchant ship Dartmouth arrived in Boston harbor carrying the first shipment of tea made under the terms of the Tea Act. This act authorized the British East India Company to ship tea (of which it had huge surpluses due to colonial boycotts organized in response to the Townshend Acts) directly to the colonies, bypassing colonial merchants. Passage of the act prompted calls for renewed protests against the tea shipments, on which Townshend duties were still levied. Revere and Warren, as members of the informal North End Caucus, organized a watch over the Dartmouth to prevent the unloading of the tea. Revere took his turns on guard duty, and was one of the ringleaders in the Boston Tea Party of December 16, when colonists dumped tea from the Dartmouth and two other ships into the harbor.
From December 1773 to November 1775, Revere served as a courier for the Boston Committee of Public Safety, traveling to New York and Philadelphia to report on the political unrest in Boston. Research has documented 18 such rides. Notice of some of them was published in Massachusetts newspapers, and British authorities received further intelligence of them from Loyalist Americans. In 1774, his cousin John on the island of Guernsey wrote to Paul that John had seen reports of Paul's role as an "express" (courier) in London newspapers.
In 1774, the military governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, dissolved the provincial assembly on orders from Great Britain. Governor Gage also closed the port of Boston and all over the city forced private citizens to quarter (provide lodging for) soldiers in their homes.
He rode to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in December 1774 upon rumors of an impending landing of British troops there, a journey known in history as the Portsmouth Alarm. Although the rumors were false, his ride sparked a rebel success by provoking locals to raid Fort William and Mary, defended by just six soldiers, for its gunpowder supply.
Since there was a desperate shortage of gunpowder, the provincial congress decided in November 1775 to send him to Philadelphia to study the working of the only powder mill in the colonies, in the hopes that he might be able to build a second one in Massachusetts. Revere called on the mill's owner, Oswald Eve, armed with a letter from Continental Congressmen Robert Morris and John Dickinson asking Eve to "Chearfully & from Public Spirited Motives give Mr. Revere such information as will inable him to Conduct the business on his return home." Eve showed Revere around the mill, but refused to give him detailed drawings unless he was first paid a substantial bribe. Despite this chilly reception, Revere was able to discern useful information from the visit. He also acquired, through the work of Samuel Adams, plans for another powder mill. This information enabled Revere to set up a powder mill at Stoughton (present-day Canton). The mill produced tons of gunpowder for the Patriot cause.
Revere's friend and compatriot Joseph Warren was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Because soldiers killed in battle were often buried in mass graves without ceremony, Warren's grave was unmarked. On March 21, 1776, several days after the British army left Boston, Revere, Warren's brothers, and a few friends went to the battlefield and found a grave containing two bodies. After being buried for nine months, Warren's face was unrecognizable, but Revere was able to identify Warren's body because he had placed a false tooth in Warren's mouth, and recognized the wire he had used for fastening it. Warren was given a proper funeral and reburied in a marked grave.
Upon returning to Boston in 1776, Revere was commissioned a major of infantry in the Massachusetts militia in that April, and transferred to the artillery a month later. In November he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and was stationed at Castle William, defending Boston harbor. He was generally second or third in the chain of command, and on several occasions he was given command of the fort. He applied his engineering skills to maintaining the fort's armaments, even designing and building a caliper to accurately measure cannonballs and cannon bore holes. The service at Castle William was relatively isolated, and personality friction prompted some men to file complaints against Revere. The boredom was alleviated in late August 1777 when Revere was sent with a troop of soldiers to escort prisoners taken in the Battle of Bennington to Boston, where they were confined on board prison ships, and again in September when he was briefly deployed to Rhode Island.
In August 1778 Revere's regiment served in a combined Franco-American expedition whose objective was to capture the British base at Newport, Rhode Island. His regiment was responsible for erecting and maintaining artillery batteries on Aquidneck Island. The attempt was abandoned by the French when their fleet was scattered in a storm, and Revere's regiment returned to Boston before the British sortied from Newport to force the Battle of Rhode Island.
The British in June 1779 established a new base on Penobscot Bay in present-day Maine (which was then part of Massachusetts). Massachusetts authorities called out the militia, pressed into service available shipping, and organized a major expedition to dislodge the British. The expedition was a complete fiasco: its land and naval commanders squabbled over control of the expedition, and could not agree on strategy or tactics. The arrival of British reinforcements led to the destruction of the entire Massachusetts fleet. Revere commanded the artillery units for the expedition, and was responsible for organizing the artillery train. He participated in the taking of Bank's Island, from which artillery batteries could reach the British ships anchored before Fort George. He next oversaw the transport of the guns from Bank's Island to a new position on the heights of the Bagaduce Peninsula that commanded the fort. Although Revere was in favor of storming the fort, Brigadier General Solomon Lovell opted for a siege instead. After further disagreements on how to proceed between Lovell and fleet commander Dudley Saltonstall, Lovell decided to return to the transports on August 12, a decision supported by Revere.
Late the next day British sails were spotted. A mad scramble ensued, and on the 14th the fleet was in retreat heading up the Penobscot River. Revere and his men were put ashore with their stores, and their transports destroyed. At one point Brigadier General Peleg Wadsworth ordered Revere to send his barge in an attempt to recover a ship drifting toward the enemy position. Revere at first resisted, but eventually complied, and Wadsworth told him to expect formal charges over the affair. The incident separated Revere from his men. Moving overland, he eventually managed to regroup most of his troops, and returned to Boston on August 26. A variety of charges were made against Revere, some of which were exaggerated assignments of blame made by enemies he had made in his command at Castle William. The initial hearings on the matter in September 1779 were inconclusive, but he was asked to resign his post. He repeatedly sought a full court-martial to clear his name, but it was not until February 1782 that a court martial heard the issue, exonerating him.
After mastering the iron casting process and realizing substantial profits from this new product line, Revere identified a burgeoning market for church bells in the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening that followed the war. Beginning in 1792 he became one of America's best-known bell casters, working with sons Paul Jr. and Joseph Warren Revere in the firm Paul Revere & Sons. This firm cast the first bell made in Boston and ultimately produced hundreds of bells, a number of which remain in operation to this day.
In 1794, Revere decided to take the next step in the evolution of his business, expanding his bronze casting work by learning to cast cannon for the federal government, state governments, and private clients. Although the government often had trouble paying him on time, its large orders inspired him to deepen his contracting and seek additional product lines of interest to the military.
By 1795, a growing percentage of his foundry's business came from a new product, copper bolts, spikes, and other fittings that he sold to merchants and the Boston naval yard for ship construction. In 1801, Revere became a pioneer in the production of rolled copper, opening North America's first copper mill south of Boston in Canton. Copper from the Revere Copper Company was used to cover the original wooden dome of the Massachusetts State House in 1802. His copper and brass works eventually grew, through sale and corporate merger, into a large corporation, Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.
He subsequently became the Grand Master of the Freemasons of Massachusetts when a box containing an assemblage of commemorative items was deposited under the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House on 4 July 1795 by Governor Samuel Adams, assisted by Grand Master Revere and Deputy Grand Master, Colonel William Scollay.
After Revere's death, the family business was taken over by his oldest surviving son, Joseph Warren Revere. The copper works founded in 1801 continues today as the Revere Copper Company, with manufacturing divisions in Rome, New York and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Revere remained politically active throughout his life. His business plans in the late 1780s were often stymied by a shortage of adequate money in circulation. Alexander Hamilton's national policies regarding banks and industrialization exactly matched his dreams, and he became an ardent Federalist committed to building a robust economy and a powerful nation. Of particular interest to Revere was the question of protective tariffs; he and his son sent a petition to Congress in 1808 asking for protection for his sheet copper business. He continued to participate in local discussions of political issues even after his retirement in 1811, and in 1814 circulated a petition offering the government the services of Boston's artisans in protecting Boston during the War of 1812. Revere died on May 10, 1818, at the age of 83, at his home on Charter Street in Boston. He is buried in the Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street.
Revere's original silverware, engravings, and other works are highly regarded today, and can be found on display in museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Revere Bell, presented in 1843 to the Church of St. Andrew in Singapore by his daughter, Mrs. Maria Revere Balestier, wife of American consul Joseph Balestier, is now displayed in the National Museum of Singapore. This is the only bell cast by the Revere foundry that is outside the United States. For a time, it was displayed behind velvet ropes in the foyer of the United States Embassy in Singapore.
A 25-cent 1958 U.S. postage stamp in the Liberty Series honors Paul Revere, featuring the portrait by Gilbert Stuart. He also appears on the $5,000 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond. Ryan Reynolds releases a Mint Moble comcercial that features Avery Revere, a direct descent of Paul Revere.
Revere appears in the 2012 video game Assassin's Creed III and is portrayed by Bruce Dinsmore. It is fictitiously depicted as the game's protagonist Ratonhnaké:ton and Revere rode to alert the colonial militia.
Currently, Paul Revere is 286 years, 8 months and 19 days old. Paul Revere will celebrate 287th birthday on a Saturday 1st of January 2022.
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