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Boston Historians Back Palin’s Paul Revere Claim

June 6, 2011 by  

Boston Historians Back Palin’s Paul Revere Claim

Sarah Palin caused a media controversy on Thursday when she claimed American folk hero Paul Revere “warned the British” during his famous 1775 midnight ride. However, several Bostonian historical experts have stepped forward to defend Palin’s account.

“Basically when Paul Revere was stopped by the British, he did say to them, ‘Look, there is a mobilization going on that you’ll be confronting,’ and the British are aware as they’re marching down the countryside, they hear church bells ringing — she was right about that — and warning shots being fired. That’s accurate,” Boston University History professor Brendan McConville told the Boston Herald.

The newspaper also quoted Revere himself, who, in a 1798 letter, mentioned telling the British officers who captured him that “there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time for I had alarmed the Country all the way up.”

“Patrick Leehey of the Paul Revere House said Revere was probably bluffing his British captors, but reluctantly conceded that it could be construed as Revere warning the British,” the article read.

“I suppose you could say that,” Leehey told the Herald.

William Jacobson, a law professor at New York’s Cornell University, has also been loud in his support of Palin in his blog.

“It seems to be a historical fact that this happened,” Jacobson said in a blog post. “A lot of the criticism is unfair and made by people who are themselves ignorant of history.”

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  • arpjoe

    After Paul Revere left Lexington to go on to Concord and continue the alarm that started at 10:30PM April 18, 1775, he and two others were confronted by a British Army patol early the morning of April 19, 1775. The other two riders with him escaped but Paul Revere was captured. He did not betray the Colonists since it was evident by that time that the British Regular Troops were being opposed by Colonist Militia to prevent General Gage’s plan of the British Army marching to capture Colonist arms at Concord. Paul Revere was just yanking the chain of the Regulars Patrol officer that did not know what General Gages plan was.

    “Paul Revere’s Ride” by David Hackett Fisher has a very interesting, detailed account of April 19, 1775 which is considered the start of the Revolutionary War. But the Revolutionary War was won in the hearts and minds of the Colonists before the first shot was fired.

  • jopa

    Wow! Sarah gets my vote.She knows stuff that wasn’t even taught in school and it sounds like she was tutored by Boston historians.You go girl!!Wanna buy a bridge?

  • Alex Hamilton

    I believe I read about this in a Reader’s Digest article back in the Seventies. Maybe Governor Palin read the same. William Dawes was also involved in warning the Colonist, but Revere got the credit. The way I read it, Paul Revere was one of the first to take advantage of good press.

    Of course most people wouldn’t be aware of this, they didn’t have Facebook back then where they can crap on people using limited facts.

  • THe Right man

    I think warning the British would be Treason. I general one who communicates or makes available military or scientific information or any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document of a military or scientific character to the enemy is considered a traitor.

  • OCMichael

    The Right man says:
    “I think warning the British would be Treason…”

    Uh, there is a not-so-subtle distinction between the concepts of AIDING the Enemy…and telling them in effect:

    “Leave NOW and we’ll let you LIVE.”

    I suppose that subtlety is just lost on some people.

    “If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.”
    –Sun Tzu

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