One If By Land, Two If By Sea
2023 marks the 300th anniversary of the Old North Church built in 1723 where lanterns were famously hung to warn the colonial patriots of the imminent arrival of the British in 1775. This year also marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party in 1773.
The Revere Family & Battery Wharf
Battery Wharf was built in 1646 to defend the mouth of the Charles River through the tactical use of artillery and fortifications. It remained a critical defense position through the American Revolutionary War, after which it passed through many owners and construction projects. In 1831 Joseph Warren Revere, a son of Paul Revere, acquired all rights to Battery Wharf. By 1852, Revere had then expanded the wharf and an adjacent property, creating the North Battery and Battery Wharf.
In 2001 the crumbling wharf was revitalized with the construction of Battery Wharf Hotel Boston Waterfront. In addition to 150 luxury rooms and suites with all the amenities one would expect from a boutique hotel, the rehabilitation of the wharf also bridged an existing gap in the Boston Harborwalk.
Celebrating the American Revolution
Patriots Day, April 18, is celebrated on the third Monday in April, and commemorates the sacrifices of Paul Revere and his compatriots in the fight for American independence. The Boston Marathon is run on Patriots Day. Other states that celebrate Patriots Day are Connecticut, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, and informally, Florida.
The events leading up to the ”Shot Heard Round The World” have immortalized Paul Revere, thanks in part to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s retelling of the story in “Paul Revere’s Ride.” In reality, Revere was only one of several American rebels to undertake such a ride. People of a certain age may know the story through Saturday morning cartoons.
More than just a midnight rider
One of 12 children, Revere was born in 1735 to a French immigrant and his wife, whose family was well-established in Boston. He learned the silversmith trade from his father and took over the business after the elder Revere passed on.
Revere was a political activist and dissident during British colonial rule. Crushing taxation led the local economy to falter, leading to sometimes violent rebellions. Although he didn’t actively participate in earlier rebel activities like the Boston Tea Party, he was closely associated with those who were: the Sons of Liberty. Revere is known to have visited the Green Dragon Tavern where the Sons of Liberty, including John Hancock and Samuel Adams, plotted and conspired against King George.
In 1770 he purchased the house at 19 North Square for his growing family. Built in 1680 on the former site of a church parsonage occupied by two generations of the Mather family, the original structure was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1676. Even as Revere was becoming a legend in American history, he lived upon already-historic ground.
An industrialist, innovator, and entrepreneur, Paul Revere’s accomplishments reached well beyond his role as an equestrian: he was an engraver, performed military service before and after the Revolutionary War, and rode as an express courier to New York and Philadelphia to report on Boston’s political unrest. He learned dentistry and was able to identify the body of his friend Dr. Joseph Warren by a false tooth he had implanted some time earlier.
An economic recession set in after the war prompting Revere to expand his business ventures into iron and copperwork. His mill was the first in North America to manufacture thin sheets of copper. His foundries fabricated cannons as well as common household and industrial items.
“Paul Revere also produced many of the copper, brass, and composition metal fittings for …“Old Ironsides”... Revere’s copper mill also supplied the copper sheets when USS Constitution was re-coppered for the first time in 1803. Beginning in 1807, the Revere mill began supplying heavy copper sheets used by Robert Fulton of New York City for the boilers in many of his steamboats.”
In 1792 Revere began forging bells in his North End foundry where he produced nearly 400 bells. One of his largest still rings in the North End’s Kings Chapel, at the the corner of Lynn and Foster Streets. His bells were widely used, including one gifted to a Singapore church by Revere’s daughter, whose husband was the first American Consul to Singapore.
Revere died at the age of 83 in 1818 and is interred at the Granary Burying Ground in Boston.
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