Historians Say Sarah Palin Is Wrong On Paul Revere
Historians agree: Paul Revere did not warn the British with bells and warning shots. Period. Weighing in on Palin’s persistent gaffe, The Many Rides of Paul Revere author James Giblin notes that Revere “wasn’t really warning the British when he was a captive.” “He was just, in a way, boasting about the capabilities of Americans” in what Boston University’s Brendan McConville called “an effort to intimidate” the British. Regarding Palin, McConville stated that “it was an extremely complicated situation which she sort of regurgitated in a garbled way.” But one thing is clear. “He didn’t warn the British,” states Giblin. “That’s her most obvious blooper.”
Chris Wallace of FAUX NOOZ interviewed Palin on Sunday and asked her about her mangling the history of Paul Revere's ride:
CHRIS WALLACE: I gotta ask you about that real quickly, though. You realize that you messed up about Paul Revere, don’t you?
PALIN: You know what? I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere. Here’s what Paul Revere did. He warned the Americans that “the British were coming, the British were coming.” And they were going to try to take our arms so got to make sure that, uh, we were protecting ourselves and, uhm, shoring up all of our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take them.
But remember that the British had already been there — many soldiers — for seven years in that area. And part of Paul Revere’s ride… And it wasn’t just one ride. He was a courier. He was a messenger. Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that, “Hey. You’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not gonna beat our own well-armed, uh, persons, uh, individual private militia that we have. He did warn the British.
And in a shout-out, gotcha type of question that was asked of me, I answered candidly. And I know my American history."
Not quite Mrs. Palin. When asked about the ride this was your exact answer:
“He who warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
"If Palin knows her American history, this latest bit of jujitsu shows no evidence of it. The purpose of Revere’s ride was to inform John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and other colonial American patriots that the British Army was marching from Boston to Lexington. As such, secrecy and stealth were essential. So contrary to Palin’s claim that Revere warned the British they would not succeed, Revere attempted to avoid all contact with British troops or British loyalists already living in the colonies. The entire point of Revere’s mission was to inform the patriots of the British movements without the British knowing they were being informed.
At one point in the night, Revere was temporarily detained and interrogated by British soldiers at a roadblock. He intentionally provided them a falsely inflated description of the colonial militia’s strength, though only in the most strained metaphorical reading could this be considered a “warning.”
Furthermore — again due to the need for secrecy and stealth — Revere used no bells or warning shots, and delivered his message in face-to-face contacts throughout the night. (Palin seems to simply forget her creative inclusion of the bells and warning shots in her initial recounting.)
Why is this an issue? Because she's toying with the media and the American people by pretending she is, or maybe she is not, running for president. Any candidate running for the highest office in the land should know the basics of our American heritage. One of those basics is that Paul Revere rode out on the night of April 18, 1775, to warn that the regulars were coming and to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that they were in danger of being arrested. That's all she had to say. She never mentioned the lantern in the Old North Church tower, which is an integral part of the story. All she had to say was that a signal had been arranged beforehand to tell Revere how the British would arrive in Boston--one if by land, two if by sea--and that he rode toward Lexington and Concord to deliver this information.
That's it. Revere never rang any bells or shot off any guns during his ride. If bell ringing and shooting occured, it occured after the countryside was alerted. Revere had nothing to do with that.
BTW, Mrs. Palin, that was no "gotcha" question. Any grammar school child could have answered it.
That question was hardly as difficult as asking you what newspapers you read.