MUSINGS 2019 The 4th of July Week #3 William Dawes

July 3, 2019

Our unsung Patriot hero today is William Dawes who, like Paul Revere, rode through villages and towns from Boston to Lexington and Concord during the same evening of April 18, 1775 (known as the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere).   These men rode to alert many communities that, “The British enemy are Coming.”   A map of the routes taken by each man is shown below. What is unknown is why 41-year old Paul Revere became famous and 30-year old William Dawes did not. Revere was arrested shortly after his ride ended. Dawes escaped to Lexington and a third rider, Dr. Samuel Prescott escaped to Concord. (Dr. Prescott met Revere and Dawes at Lexington.) The National Park Service map is shown here:

Perhaps the answer is found in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride” when he, in the first stanza, wrote, “Hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day or year.”  https://poets.org/poem/paul-reveres-ride

It’s been reported that Paul Revere was a father of 16 children and William Dawes was a father to seven children. Perhaps this information was important to Poet Longfellow. Eighty-five years after the Midnight Ride, Longfellow used his imagination and literary flair as he wrote his poem in 1860. It was published in the January 1861 edition of The Atlantic Monthly.

Trying to locate more information about Paul Revere last evening, I located a timeline of his noteworthy military accomplishments. https://historyofmassachusetts.org/paul-revere-timeline/   One year after his Midnight Ride he was commissioned a Major of Infantry in the Massachusetts militia. It’s no wonder a Sons of Liberty patriot, Paul Revere, was revered by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.    Enjoy your Holiday tomorrow as you Choose Who You Want to be Know As.

“Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive Coach
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Notes:
https://mentalfloss.com/article/60919/11-ordinary-people-who-did-extraordinary-things-aid-american-revolutions
https://www.history.com/news/the-midnight-ride-of-william-dawes

https://poets.org/poem/paul-reveres-ride

Paul Revere Timeline

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