Paul Revere and the Other Riders
It must have been a preconcerted scheme in them.
--British Colonel Francis Smith
April 22, 1775
The men appointed to alarm the country on such oc-
casions . . . took their different routes."
--American leader John Adams,
April 19, 1775
IN THE TIME THAT Paul Revere remained a prisoner, his message traveled rapidly across the countryside. To many Americans, the legend of the Lexington alarm conjures up the image of a solitary rider, galloping bravely in the darkness from one lonely farmstead to the next. This romantic idea is etched indelibly upon the national memory, but it is not what actually happened that night. Many other riders helped Paul Revere to carry the alarm. Their participation did not in any way diminish his role, but actually enlarged it. The more we learn about these messengers, the more interesting Paul Revere's part becomes--not merely as a solitary courier, but as an organizer and promoter of a common effort in the cause of freedom.
Earlier that evening, while Paul Revere was making ready for his own midnight ride, he and his Whig friends began the work of dispatching other couriers with news of the British march. While he was still in Charlestown, preparing to travel west to Lexington, arrangements were made for another "express" to gallop north with the news that he had brought from Boston. The identity of this other courier is not known. Many people heard him in the dark, but few actually saw him, and nobody recorded his name. He set out from Charlestown at about the same hour as Paul Revere