Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” so famous that most Americans can recite by heart the opening stanza that begins, “Listen my children and you shall hear…” The popularity of the poem has led most people to assume that it is a factual account of the events of the night of April 18, 1775. What is not well known is that many of the details chronicled in the poem are myths, figments of Longfellow’s imagination and instances of poetic license, adopted for dramatic effect, but bearing little resemblance to the facts.
Carl Zellner’s has researched Charlestown History for over 30 years and has determined what really happened according to Revere himself as reported in his hand written documents, supplemented by the reports of other eye-witnesses to the happenings of that night. The talk also will provide context for the ride through an examination of the events leading up to the world-changing outcome that lay at its end: the opening shots of the American Revolution.
The results of Mr. Zellner’s research have been published in the Revere House Gazette and other publications. He is a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and, serves as Historian of the Charlestown Historical Society, in charge of responding to public inquiries with answers based on his accumulation of knowledge, books and files on Charlestown history.
“Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride: Myth and Reality,” is the title of an illustrated talk to be given by Carl Zellner in the Bunker Hill Museum meeting room at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18. The entrance fee is $5:00 for the public and free for members of the Charlestown Historical Society.