"Listen my children and you shall hear." With those lines, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow began his epic poem about Paul Revere's ride April 18, 1775. When first published in 1861 the poem was an immediate sensation and it has remained popular ever since. Most people believe that the poem is an accurate recounting of an event that led to the American Revolution. Longfellow was a poet, however, not an historian and so he took some liberties. To appreciate fully the importance of this event we ought to know what really happened.
Dr. William M. Fowler Jr.
William Morgan Fowler, Jr. is a professor of history at Northeastern University, Boston and an author. He served as Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1998 through 2005.
William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War; Silas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co author America and The Sea; William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty; Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution; Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815; Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan; Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763.
Dr. William M. Fowler, Jr., professor of history at Northeastern University, describes the lead up to the battles at Lexington and Concord and how messenger Paul Revere and the Old North Church warned patriots of the approaching British army.