The Midnight Ride
It’s American history time at Whit’s End. When Marsha reads Longfellow’s famous poem about Paul Revere’s midnight ride, Whit tells her the whole story of Revere’s ride, the Boston Tea Party, America’s quest for independence...and “the shot heard ‘round the world.”
Facts learned: Did you know that after dumping the tea into Boston Harbor, the “Indians” swept up the boat? Or that Revere and company tried to row more quietly by wrapping petticoats around the oars? Or that Paul Revere was actually there for “the shot heard ‘round the world”?
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Why did the American colonists throw tea into Boston Harbor?
- Why was it important for America to gain its independence from England?
- What made Paul Revere’s ride so important?
- After the "shot heard 'round the world," Major John Pitcairn is heard ordering his men to fire. Historically we know that Major Pitcairn rode among his men ordering them not to fire and they disobeyed his orders.
- This episode was made to correct the mistakes in the 1860 Longfellow poem. However, Whit insists that the lights were hung in Christ Church, not North Church. In fact, both are names for the same place!
- While it is likely true that Paul Revere said "The British are coming!" it is also possible that he said "The Regulars are coming!" instead.
Paul Revere: You must both leave for safety at once!
John Hancock: Safety? Not while there's a breath left in my body! Bring me my sword!
Sam Adams: Hancock, we've been over this a thousand times! You cannot go into battle! You're too valuable to us elsewhere!
John Hancock: I shall go into battle and none shall say me nay! Where's my gun and my boots?
Marsha (b): Wow! Paul Revere was there from the start!
John Whittaker: He was! He witnessed the shot heard around the world, a shot that rang out for liberty!
Marsha (b): What a brave man!
John Whittaker: Yes he was, because he lived in a time of bravery. But you know, his time really wasn't so unlike ours, and he wasn't any more brave than we are. He simply had a task to do, and he did it. Our task is to make sure Paul Revere's midnight ride is remembered, and that what he rode for, liberty, is preserved.