A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere

By Jayne E. Triber | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER THREE
THE POLITICAL AWAKENING OF PAUL REVERE

THE FUTURE looked promising for Paul Revere in 1763. The previous year he had made an astounding £294 worth of silver objects for North End artisans, ship's captains, and wealthy merchants and distillers. The business relationships he established in the early 1760s with Samuel Barrett, Captain Caleb Hopkins, Deacon Thomas Hill, a distiller, and Zacariah Johonnot, the merchant/distiller, contributed to Revere's ability to survive the economic hardships of the 1760s and 1770s. He formed another long-term business relationship with the artist John Singleton Copley, an ideal customer who paid promptly in cash for gold and silver picture frames, gold picture cases, and gold bracelets. Starting with a view of the North Battery (c. 1762), he expanded his business to include copperplate engraving. Although Revere's skill as an engraver never approached the artistic heights of his silver work, it provided an additional means to support his family and later brought him to the attention of Boston's Revolutionary leaders, who relied on his political cartoons as an important means of enlightening the community. He was also gaining respect and increasing status among his Masonic brethren, who elected him Junior Deacon of St. Andrew's Lodge in December 1761 and Junior Warden in November 1763. The young master goldsmith, engraver, husband, and father of three children must have felt secure about the future, with a strong sense of his place in the community.1

In May 1763 Bostonians received the news that the Seven Years' War was finally over. All Englishmen could take pride in their victory. By the terms of the Peace of Paris, signed on February 10, 1763, Great Britain was now the greatest maritime and colonial power in the world. France lost Minorca in the western Mediterranean and any influence in India, along with all its colonies in mainland North

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