Myth: In April of 1775, Paul Revere rode through the streets from Boston to Lexington yelling "The British Are
Fact: First of all, it's not likely Paul Revere ever yelled out the words
"The British Are Coming" because the areas he rode through often had British army patrols and besides most of the
colonials of the time considered themselves British and were loyal to the crown. The purpose of the ride was to
warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams who were in Lexington at the time. He did inform others along the way but not by
yelling in the streets.
Also, Paul Revere was not the only rider to make the trip. William Dawes and Samuel Prescott
also made the ride and in fact Prescott was the only one of the three to make it to Concord (the location of their
weapons stores where they thought the British army was ultimately headed). Revere was caught and detained by a
British patrol and was left horseless to walk back to Lexington.
Revere was barely even known until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published his famous poem in
1863 (it was written in 1860). The poem was never meant to be a "history lesson" but it's what most Americans