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Paul Revere's Birthday



Paul Revere
Print Paul Revere Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.4

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    belfry, country-folk, smithing, to-night, undistinguished, foundry, vitality, sheeting, obituary, sorrow, goldsmith, eighteenth, politics, honorable, patriot, seldom
     content words:    Paul Revere, Indian Wars, Sarah Orne, Rachel Walker, Revolutionary War, Boston Tea Party, Continental Congress, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, North America
Paul Revere

By Mary L. Bushong
1     When you think of a patriot galloping through the night, who comes to mind? Perhaps another clue would help. He is incorrectly credited with the words, "The British are coming, the British are coming!" as he rode toward Concord, Massachusetts.
 
2     So who was this man making the midnight ride? His name was Paul Revere. He was born in Boston in 1734. His father was a French immigrant who learned the silversmith trade. His mother was from an English family. Paul learned the silversmith trade from his father. When he was about 19, his father died suddenly. Young Paul was left in charge of the family.
 
3     He stayed for two years until he volunteered to fight in the French and Indian Wars. A year later, in August 1757, he married Sarah Orne. Together they had eight children. When she died in 1773, he married Rachel Walker with whom he had eight more children.
 
4     When Revere returned to the family business, he did so in a big way. Not only did he produce some of the finest examples of American silversmithing, he did other work as well. He engraved copper plates for illustrations in books, business cards, and even menus. When that work was slow, he also did dental work, carving teeth out of walrus tusks and wiring together false teeth.
 
5     Paul Revere slowly became involved in politics through contacts in business and through friends. Before the Revolutionary War, he gathered information on the movements of British troops. He even took part in the Boston Tea Party, although he never spoke of it. He also rode as a courier and carried information to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
 
6     Late in the evening of April 18, 1775, Revere was given instructions to go to Lexington. He was to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British soldiers were coming to arrest them. He delivered his message and then continued his ride to Concord, Massachusetts, to warn the people of the soldiers' approach. In those days, the colonists still considered themselves British, so Revere would not have shouted, "The British are coming!" His words were probably closer to, "The British regulars (or soldiers) are marching!" He never did make it to Concord. He was stopped by British soldiers and held for a short time. When he was released, he walked home because they kept his horse.
 
7     After an undistinguished career in the army during the Revolutionary War, he returned home again. He began expanding the family business. He opened a foundry that made brass fittings for the shipyards of Boston. He even produced bells of many sizes.
 
8     In 1801, he opened the first copper rolling mill in North America. His mill produced the copper sheeting that covered the hull of the USS Constitution.
 
9     When he retired at the age of 76, Paul Revere left his thriving copper business in the hands of his sons and grandsons. The deaths of his wife Rachel and son Paul two years later caused him great sorrow, but he retained his health and vitality.
 
10     Revere died of natural causes on May 10, 1818, at the age of 83. Born the son of an immigrant artisan, he had a hand in the shaping of his country. An obituary in the Boston newspaper said, "Seldom has the tomb closed upon a life so honorable and useful." His grave can be found in Boston's Granary Burying Ground.
 
11     "Paul Revere's Ride" (the first two stanzas)
 
12     By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -- 1860
 
13     Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Paragraphs 14 to 26:
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