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Old April 2nd, 2017, 09:38 AM   #1
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One if by land, two if by sea


I just tried looking this up. Who held the lanterns in the church to indicate the British were coming by sea?
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 08:00 AM   #2

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I think it was John Pulling, Jr., and Thomas Bernard.

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Old April 3rd, 2017, 08:56 AM   #3
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How historically reliable is this tale? I've heard it has more to do with the Longfellow poem than with anything that actually happened that night in 1775. Supposedly the British had been gathering up boats in Boston harbor for several days, and everyone knew they would move by sea. The Americans didn't need lanterns to figure that out. There may have been lanterns in the church steeple, but I suspect the message was only 'The British are moving tonight,' not the old 'one if by land, two if by sea.'

The same goes for the fame of Paul Revere. Three men rode through the countryside that night, but Prescott and Dawes are forgotten because their names don't fit the rhyming scheme of the poem.

Last edited by Chlodio; April 3rd, 2017 at 08:58 AM.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 10:23 AM   #4

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Plus, most of the people in that area were staunch Loyalists. Running around in the middle of the night screaming, "THE BRITISH ARE COMING!!" would be a really dumb move if you're trying to warn anti-Loyalists of British movement.

I read somewhere that the poem was actually written closer to the Civil War to bolster the morale and patriotism of the Union men and women who were going to have to fight their brothers in the South.
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