A True Republican: The Life of Paul Revere

By Jayne E. Triber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
PAUL REVERE, ESQ.

WITH A LARGE FAMILY to support, Paul Revere could not afford to wait for peace or a court-martial to clear his name before resuming business. On February 6, 1779, he engraved "sundrys" for Robert Pope for fifteen shillings "hard money," and in August 1780 he made "two child's shoe clasps," four silver cups, a thimble, and other items for Epes Sargent; a pair of stone buttons, a silver shoe buckle, and six teaspoons for Dr. Phillip Godfrid Kast; and a silver watch for Stephen Metcalf. In October 1781 Revere wrote Cousin Mathias Rivoire that he was "in middling circumstances and very well off for a Tradesman," but the resumption of the goldsmith's trade was not part of his original plan: "I did intend to have gone wholly into trade, but the principal part of my Interest, I lent to Government, which I have not been able to draw out, so must content myself, till I can do better."1

By 1780 Revere was taking steps to exchange the artisan's workbench for the merchant's account books by accepting payment for his silver in imported merchandise. In August he sent cocoa to Phillip Marett to be sold in Spain in exchange for "such articles" as Marett thought "will answer your ends." In October Epes Sargent paid for his order with indigo, silk handkerchiefs, plated spoons, and a "chest of English goods sold Captain John Hinckley," and in June 1781 Captain Mungo Mackay paid by cash and "Freight on some goods from France."2

Busy as he was reestablishing his silver business and going "into trade," Revere found time to renew his correspondence with his cousin John Rivoire in Guernsey and begin a new correspondence with a second cousin, Mathias Rivoire of Sainte Foye, France. He and Mathias traded genealogical information on the French and American branches of their family, while he and cousin John waged a spirited

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