It is undoubtedly true that in all countries, myths and legends become infused into history. The United States is no exception.

There is a reason that this happens.

Legends are part of a cultural heritage which binds a group of people together. While it is important to ultimately know the difference between historical fact and quasi-historical legend, the stories play a role in national cultural cohesiveness. Legends when part of folk literature, have no known author. Though Paul Revere has become a folk hero--a national cultural icon-- his fame has been enhanced in the American mind by Henry Wadworth Longfellow's inspiring poem written in 1860 at the start of the Civil War. Longfellow was writing a patriotic piece in support of the Union cause as well as slavery abolition, but took great liberties with the facts of the American Reveolution as far as they were known.

Paul Revere was , in fact, a passionate supporter of the American rebellion against England. He played a significant role, especially in the years leading up to the start of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).

It seems unfair, however, that Paul should get all the credit when at least two others who shared his mission, (William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott) have gotten little recognition. This is ironic because both Dawes and Prescott remained on the midnight ride much longer than Revere. It is believed, that Dawes might have fallen off his horse at one point leaving Dr. Prescott the rider who arrived at Concord which was the target of the advancing troops. It is guessed that perhaps as many as 40 people were riding the alarm that night but this has never been verified. The actual facts of the event are hazy in many respects.

Helen Moore corrected the rider omissions in her 1896 sequel to Longfellow's poem, but only for William Dawes. Dr. Prescott remained largely unrecgonized by the general American public.

That is why I wrote the sequel to Helen Moore's sequel. If more becomes known of any others who took part in this event, another sequel would be in order.

Though I take a serious view of history, I enjoy humor, especially when it is satirical or even sardonic. My sequel , THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF DAWES, REVERE AND PRESCOTT, is in no way intending to be disrespectful of American history in general, and the Midnight Ride in particular.It is merely an attempt to add some levity and, of course, fairness into historical reflection; additionally, to imply the point that there are frailties in all aspect of human life, in history, and even in our heroes. The facts of my sequel might have some holes to which I honesty admit.

With regard to the American Revolution specifically, we should not see the Patriots as all good, and the "British" all bad. There was right and wrong on both sides. As we engage in hero worship, we should not forget the many American colonists with loyalist leanings who found it necessary to abandon their property, relatives and neighbors when escaping to Canada for their lives. It is also important to remember that the colonists considered themselves British, and were reluctant to declare independence, even after
the Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19,1775) and the Battle of Bunker Hill (acutally fought on Breeds Hill in June, 1775).

To Rhymes for All Ages