Paul Revere’s Ride


Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are known as the first of man kind to land on the moon on the Apollo 11 mission. If you were to ask anyone who were the first men on the moon. Most People would Answer Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, but if you were to ask who was the third man on the Apollo 11 mission most people would have no clue. The third member of the Apollo mission is Michael Collins. Michael Collins is over shadowed by the other two astronauts. Michael Collins was an important member of the Apollo mission but he does not get any credit.

The same case goes for Samuel Prescott. He was the only one of the Three Riders who made it to Concord and he gets no Credit. Paul Revere over shadowed Prescott. Prescott is the most important member of the Midnight ride. Prescott did a lot for our country in that one night. Samuel Prescott should be remembered as a hero for his actions, and had a major effect on the defense against the British during the Revolution. Samuel Prescott was born on August 19, 1751, in Concord, Massachusetts. Samuel Prescott the son of Dr. Abel and Abigail Prescott(“Samuel Prescott”). Samuel Prescott was the third generation physician in his family.

Both his father Dr. Abel Prescott and grandfather Jonathan Prescott were Physicians. Samuel Prescott also claimed to be a member of the Sons of Liberty(Ryan). The Sons of Liberty were the group of colonists that started the revolution. These colonists were tired of taking abuse from Britain. It was the Sons of Liberty that carried out the Boston Tea Party. Samuel Prescott truly made his mark on history on April 18, 1775, what is known today as the Midnight Ride.

When People think of the Midnight Ride they think of Paul Revere riding on his horse yelling out the “The British are coming, the British are coming. In reality Paul Revere said “The red coats are coming. ” Not only do Americans have this historical fact wrong they don’t understand that there is much more to this ride then just Paul Revere. This is the fault of Paul Revere himself. Paul Revere was known for being a very successful messenger. His true goal was to gain a military commission(Caes). This desire lead him to try to make himself seem more capable and heroic. In Paul Revere’s account of the “Midnight Ride” he spends very little time talking about William Dawes or Samuel Prescott(Miller).

He made himself seem heroic in his capture even though he could have given up valuable information when he answered the questions asked by the British officers. Paul Revere puts him self in the lime light when truly the most important midnight rider was Samuel Prescott. The “Midnight Ride” was to warn militias in Concord and Lexington of an incoming British attack. There was much more to it then just Paul Revere screaming the British were coming like most Americans think. On April 18, Dr. Joseph Warren called for two messengers to warn of British General Gage and his men. These two messengers were William Dawes Jr. and Paul Revere.

They were sent to deliver the message to Roxbury, Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Concord. The two men split up to spread the news and to ensure the message would get to Lexington incase one of them were captured. Revere made it first to Lexington to warn John Hancock and John Adams. Revere was worried that Dawes Might have been Captured but was relieved when he showed only a half hour after avoiding capture by riding alongside of British officers making conversation into Lexington. It was now time for the most important part of their ride. They rested and Prepared them selves to head off to Concord to warn its militias(Caes).

As Revere and Dawes were on their way to Concord they were met by Samuel Prescott(Miller). Samuel Prescott gained the trust of Paul Revere and William Dawes with his personality and his knowledge on the Sons of Liberty, he also claimed to be a member of the Sons of Liberty. Samuel Prescott was not a messenger sent by Dr. Warren, but when he heard of the mission he was eager to help warn the people in his home town of Concord(Caes). The three messengers continued on their ride to Concord, Revere rode about 200 yards in front of Dawes and Prescott to prevent any attempt to capture them(Miller).

The strategy worked in their favor when they found them selves riding rite towards a British Patrol. Dawes immediately turned back for Lexington while Prescott and Revere galloped towards the British officers. They soon found them selves stuck between a rock and a hard place. The British soldiers had their swords or guns drawn ready to put the two men down. Revere was taken prisoner by the officers(Miller). Prescott on the other hand turned abruptly and jumped his horse over a stone wall.

Prescott being an expert horseman and familiar with the area maneuvered through thick woods and lead the two officers chasing him into a swamp. The British officers were stopped there in fear of getting stuck, or attacked. Prescott made it through the woods and found him self at the house of a fellow minuteman, Sergeant Samuel Hartwell(Caes). Prescott knocked on Hartwell’s door, when Hartwell answered he recognized Prescott and asked why he was there. Prescott informed him of the incoming British troops(Caes). Samuel Prescott was the only one of the three riders who made it to Concord(“Samuel Prescott”).

This information that Prescott delivered dramatically effected the battle of Concord. This intelligence brought to Hartwell bought the colonists precious time. Several minuteman were ready for the British attack(Emerson). Samuel Prescott acted bravely against great odds. He aided Revere and Dawes without being asked to. Without Samuel Prescott the Midnight Ride would not have been successful. Prescott’s excellent horse riding skills and knowledge of the area made the Midnight Ride successful, thus making Prescott the most important rider of the Midnight Riders.

Americans should know about Samuel Prescott due to his major effect on the defense against the British during the revolution by joining the Midnight Ride. What these men did is absolutely incredible. Revere, Prescott, and Dawes narrowly escaped capture on several accounts. The Battle of Concord was a crucial part of American history. It was a turning point of the war and the revolutionaries gained support from the colonists. If the militias were not warned of the British attack they would not of had the chance to retreat back to fend off the British from a better angle(Emerson).

The result of the Battle of Concord and even the war could have been dramatically different if the Midnight Ride had been a failure. If Lexington and Concord were not warned the British would not have even had to put up a fight. This would have absolutely killed the moral of the rebels and stopped the revolution in its path. If Samuel Prescott had not warned Sergeant Samuel Hartwell. The British would have hit them out of no were. It would be much like the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11. In both cases people felt lost and helpless. This would have had the same effect on the colonists.

If Samuel Prescott did not aid in the defense against the British we would still be part of Britain. The Ride itself would have been a failure if it was not for Samuel Prescott. Paul Revere and William Dawes did not have what it took to get past those British Officers standing between them and Concord. It takes a lot of guts to charge at a group of British soldiers mounted on horse back. Even William Dawes turned around and rode the other way. Paul Revere made a good attempt to avoid capture but he was unsuccessful. If Samuel Prescott did not join the ride the message would not have gotten to Concord.

The message only got to Concord because Samuel Prescott ridding with Paul Revere and William Dawes. Samuel Prescott grew up in Concord and knew the area quite well(Caes). Prescott was also a very experienced horse rider. If it wasn’t for these two attributes no one would have made it to Concord. If Samuel Prescott had failed we would all be drinking tea and warm beer. Americans should remember Samuel Prescott for all he did in the fight against Britain. History is filled with influential people that never get recognition. Many people leave their mark on history, but we never even learn their names.

All of these people have become over shadowed by other events or other people. All of this is caused by perspective. Who and what people find important is sometimes trivial compared to these forgotten historical events. For example Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest of Abraham Lincoln’s four children was never recognized for his achievements(Brinkley). Robert Lincoln did a lot for our country as the secretary of war(Brinkley). Samuel Prescott is one of these people. Samuel Prescott should be considered a hero for his actions. His impact on American history can never be removed.

Americans should know about Samuel Prescott due to his major effect on the defense against the British during the revolution by joining the midnight ride.