Posted by: Schuyler R. Thorpe | June 19, 2011

How Palin Got Paul Revere All Wrong

Palin’s Wrong on Revere Despite ‘Repudiation’ in His Own Diary

The debate over whether Sarah Palin was right or wrong about Paul Revere’s midnight ride is getting laughable. Every notable media outlet says she was wrong when Palin said Revere “warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells.”

Conservatives are crying foul, saying Revere’s diary and statements he made years later sheds light on the subject. Revere stated himself he told a British officer, “I knew what they were after; that I had alarmed the country all the way up, that their boats were caught aground, and I should have 500 men there soon.”

Revere’s journal, as published to, should be read in full and not taken out of context. Revere informed the British what he had done but only after it was too late. The towns between Boston and Lexington were warned the British were indeed coming. Their mission was to burn an armory, but the militia had already gotten there first to get their ammunition and defend the place.

Revere’s mission was to inform Samuel Adams and John Hancock they were after the munitions. At the time, he was a simple craftsman who had taken over the family business. He wasn’t a “radical” such as Adams or Hancock. He was simply a messenger.

For his trouble, Revere was involved in a military campaign that ended horribly. The History Channel states he was acquitted of any wrongdoing and went back into business for himself during the Revolution.

Palin defended herself on Fox News a day after her Friday remarks, saying part of Revere’s mission was to warn the British. According to his own diary, Revere was to “inform Mr. Samuel Adams and the Hon. John Hancock Esq. that there was a number of soldiers, composed of light troops, and grenadiers, marching to the bottom of the common, where there was a number of boats to receive them; it was supposed they were going to Lexington … to destroy the colony stores.”

Palin was right in one respect — Revere did indeed tell the British, upon his capture, of his mission. However, he had already delivered his message and by the time the Redcoats found out, they couldn’t do anything about it.

What’s more distressing is Palin sounded like she was quoting her tour guide or trying to act like one. Perhaps the staff at the Old North Church needs to read Revere’s diary. Maybe they are the ones not telling the entire story. While it’s true Revere did reveal his mission to the British, they couldn’t do anything about it because the minutemen were prepared for the soldiers.


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