• On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott rode through Middlesex County, Massachusetts, warning of the approach of British troops.
    Many myths exist about Revere’s “midnight ride.” One myth is that Revere alone delivered news of the approaching troops. In fact, Revere was joined by Dawes, Prescott, and dozens of other unnamed American revolutionaries.
    Another myth is that Revere and his fellow riders were alerting the local population. In fact, their mission depended on some amount of secrecy. The riders were going from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn revolutionary leaders John Adams and John Hancock that British troops were coming to arrest them. 
    A popular myth is that lantern signals in Boston’s Old North Church alerted Revere to British troops’ arrival. In fact, the signals (“one if by land and two if by sea”) were from Revere to other revolutionaries. The church’s two lit lamps let other Americans know that the British troops were arriving “by sea”—actually, across the Charles River.
    Finally, Revere, Dawes, and the other riders never said, “The British are coming!” Most Americans at that time considered themselves British. Instead, Revere most likely told Adams, Hancock, and others “The regulars [British military troops] are coming out!”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    alert Verb

    to warn and prepare to take action.

    approach Verb

    to come near.

    mission Noun

    important goal or purpose.

    myth Noun

    legend or traditional story.

    population Noun

    total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

    revolution Noun

    overthrow or total change of government.

    signal Verb

    to communicate using signs.

    troop Noun

    a soldier.