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The True Story of the Ride of Paul Revere

By Christopher Brand


Most of you are familiar with the famous patriot of the American Revolution, Paul Revere. He is remembered for his heroic midnight ride from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts in which he rode through the countryside warning American militia men along the way of the incoming British invasion. What most of you probably do not know is that Paul Revere had some help from some pretty amazing friends, most notably, his dog Sam. Our story begins on April 16th, 1775 in Boston, Massachusetts. Paul Revere is in his workshop crafting silverware. His best and most trusted friend, Sam, was sitting in the corner with his nose in book as usual. Sam loved to read. Any dog worth his salt in Boston did. He loved to read about science, art, history, poetry, and especially mathematics which he loved since he was a puppy. He was like most other dogs in that he loved to run. Sam was FAST! County Fair champion three years in a row. Suddenly there came a knock at the door. Sam lifted his head from his book and saw Paul open the door and greet his friend, William Dawes. Paul invited him in and they sat at his work table.


“Alright Paul, everything’s all set. Our spies tell us the British will be invading any day now. They surely will head straight for our weapons supply in Concord. They will also be looking for Samuel Adams and John Hancock. This information comes to us from the Reverend Clark.” Sam listened very closely “When the time comes look for the signal.” “What will the signal be?” asked Paul. Dawes replied. “Look to the North Church tower. If you see one lantern, the invasion will be by land. If you see two lanterns, the attack will be by sea. From there we must ride out as a fast as possible to warn the minutemen and get word to Mr. Adams and Mr. Hancock.” “Sam and I will be ready, William. You can count on us.” said Paul. “Sam, can you help figure out how much time and distance we’ll have to travel?” The distance from Boston to Concord is 16 miles. If the British Army attacks by land, they can be in Concord in 4 hours. If they attack by sea they can be in Concord in 3 ½ hours. Sam put his mind to work trying to calculate how long it would take him and Paul to complete their mission. From Boston, to Charleston is 1 mile. From Charleston to Medford is 5 miles. From Medford to Lexington is 10 miles and from Lexington to Concord is 5 miles. If Paul and Sam intend to beat the British to Concord then they have to make it 21 miles total, in no more


than 3 hours. How many miles per hour would they need to go to do this? Sam knew the best way to solve this problem is with division. 21 miles divided by 3 hours. Do you think you can help Sam figure this out? How many times will 3 go into 21? Answer found in back of book

“Well Sam” said Paul “That’s not bad at all. A good horse can run over 15 miles in an hour and an average dog can reach speeds up to 40 mph, but we have to make it a long distance. We’ve all seen what you can do from your racing at the fair.” Sam replied, “We can make the whole trip in about an hour and a half. We have to travel faster than 7 miles per hour.” That night Sam laid at the foot of the bed looking out the window. From here he could see the church tower perfectly. He told Paul to get some sleep and he would stay up and look for the signal. That night nothing happened. The next night, again, Sam sat on the end of the bed while Paul slept. He stared out the window at the church tower until the sun came up.


The third night, April 18th, 1775, Sam took his post at the foot of the bed. Three nights in a row watching the tower was too much and soon Sam was fast asleep… Sam was woken up around 9:30 pm to the sound of someone tapping at the window. It was Horton, the owl that lived in the church tower. He was flapping and fluttering, frantically pointing with his outstretched wing. Sam looked out to see what had Horton all in a bustle. There, in the church tower, two lanterns were showing. “Paul! Wake-up! Wake-up! Two if by sea!” yelped Sam. Paul shot up out of bed, grabbing his hat and cloak, and he and Sam ran down the stairs and out the door of the house. “Quick Sam, run ahead, down to the dock, and tell the men to have the boat ready. We have to get across the river and over to Lexington as quickly as possible.” Sam ran as quick as a whip through the streets, over fences, under carts, and down to the docks. Upon his arrival he ran up to the dock-masters house. Knowing that the British were nearby, Sam crept through the shadows and to the back window of the dock-masters house. “Hello. Hello. Is anyone there? Paul Revere has sent me.” Sam said in a whispering voice.


Thomas Richardson, the dock-master came to the window, “What’s all the commotion out there?” “Shhhh. Thomas it’s me, Sam. The time has come. The British are coming. Paul Revere has sent me to get the boat ready. He’s on his way now.” Still wearing his sleeping cap, Thomas ran from the house and down the stairs to the dock. Along the way he got the help of another worker named Joshua Bently. The two men and the dog had the boat in the water and ready to go by the time Paul arrived. It was nearly 10pm. Sam did the calculations in his head and figured that if it took the British 3 ½ hours to get to Concord that they would be there by 1:30 am. They had to get moving. Paul, Sam, Thomas, and Joshua set off across the Charles River from Boston to Lexington. When they reached the far shore there was a horse waiting them named Belle. She was fast, brave, fearless, and a friend of the patriots. “It’s about time you got here!” said Belle in an irritated voice. “We got here as fast as we could and we’re ready to go.” said Sam.


Belle looked at Sam with stern eye and said, “Sorry dog, this is as far as you go. I can only carry one man and I don’t have time to wait for you to keep up.” Sam gave a little smile. “Don’t worry about me. We’ll see who’s keeping up with whom. Now let’s go.” Paul climbed on the horse and waved goodbye to Thomas and Joshua, thanking them for all their help. Sam, Belle, and Paul were off like a bolt of lightning, running down the countryside towards Lexington. “We need to stop at the home of Isaac Hall in Medford. He’s the captain of the minutemen and he needs to be warned.” said Paul. The three patriots were making good time. Belle was impressed with the speed of Sam running next to her. They were 3 miles outside of Charleston and on their way to Medford when they rounded a corner and suddenly came face to face with four British patrolmen. “HALT!!” said the patrolman, pistols raised at them. “Who goes there?” “Just a local farmer out riding my horse and walking my dog.” said Paul “A likely story.” replied the second patrolman. “We don’t have time to escort these three back to the main army. We


have to find Adams and Hancock.” said the second patrolman to the first. “Let’s put them in that barn over there, we’ll come back and get them in the morning.” The patrol led Sam, Paul, and Belle to the nearby barn. Once inside they forced the three of them into one of the horse pens. They swung the large iron barred door closed on them and locked it. “There,” said the patrolman. “We can’t have you running around the countryside warning you rebel friends. Soon you’ll be joining them in a British prison.” The patrol walked out of the barn and closed the large wooden doors behind them. “Now what are we going to do?” said Belle. Sam began to look around the pen. Iron bars from the floor almost all the way to the ceiling. There is no way they could break the lock and even working together they could not break the bars. Looking out of the pen, Sam saw a large hook suspended by a rope from the ceiling. The rope was attached to a pulley which led to a large hay elevator on the opposite side of the barn. How could Sam use this information to get them out of there and fast? “Seems like you folks are in a pickle?” came a small voice from above. Sam looked up to see a large rat sitting on the rafter above them.


“Please sir, you must help us. The British are coming and my friends and I must get the word out as soon as possible.” “The British are coming here?!” squeaked the rat. “Well my friends and I will help you if we can, but what can we do?” “I’ve got an idea.” said Sam. “First you need to get that hook hanging from the ceiling and hook it to the top of the door. Then push the bales one by one onto the elevator until it is enough weight to lift the door from its hinges.” “How can rats move hay?” whimpered the rat Sam replied “You must work together. The average rat weighs 1 pound but they can move up to 3 pounds. If a hay bale weighs 60 pounds (lbs) and a rat can move 3 pounds, how many rats will it take to move one bale?” The rat thought about it and said, “Well 10 rats could move 30 lbs (10 x 3 = 30), and therefore 20 rats could move 60 lbs. So we need 20 rats to move each bale.” “Thanks right.” said Sam. “Now hurry, the Revolution depends on you.” barked Sam. The rat called out to all his friends. Rats came out from under every barrel, bucket, bale, and bench in the barn. They assembled outside of the cage and listened to Sam.


“Ok.” said Sam. “The cage door weighs 300 lbs. Each bale of hay weighs 60 lbs. How many bales of hay do we need to put on the elevator to lift the door?” Can you help Sam solve this problem? Answer in back of book.

“So you need to move five bales onto the elevator. Do you think you can do it?” said Sam “We’ll do our best.” said the rat. And off they went scrambling all over the barn. Some climbed down the rope and began to swing it back and forth while others moved to the hay bales in the top of the loft. With a clink and a clack the rats managed to get the hook secured to the top of the door. Meanwhile the rats in the loft had made a rat pyramid to push the bales. “1,2,3, GO!!” yelled the rats. They strained and struggled. They grunted and groaned. But finally the bale began to move. Inch by inch they managed to move the bale onto the elevator. “That’s it. You’re doing it!” yelled Belle By working together the rats were moving the bales quickly now. Two bales, three, bales, FOUR bales… almost there. Finally, with the fifth bale just about in place, Sam said, “Get ready and get back.”


With a final shove from the rats the fifth bale slid into place on the elevator. The rope was straining under the weight of the bales on one side and the door on the other. The door creaked and cracked and began to lift off the hinges. “There it goes.” said Paul And with one last rusty squeak the hinges gave way. WHOOMP!!! The door flew in the air, the elevator came crashing to the ground and hay and rats flew everywhere. “That’s it, we’re free! Thank you, thank you for all your help.” said Sam happily. The rat popped his head out from a small pile of hay. “No problem at all kind sir. Glad to help the cause. Now make haste, and warn the countryside. We’ll let some of the other animals nearby know that the British are coming and maybe we can help more before this night is through. Farewell.” Sam replied, “We won’t forget all you’ve done. Now we must be off. Farewell.” Paul opened the barn doors and the three of them ran outside. The coast was clear. The British were nowhere to be seen. “We lost a lot of time. It has to be after 11pm and we have only traveled 4 miles” said Paul. How far do you think the British have made it to this point Sam?”


“They are making straight for Concord, 16 miles from where they landed near Boston. A well trained army can march at 5 miles per hour (mph). So if they started at 10 pm and it’s now 11 pm then they traveled 5 miles in one hour. That means the British have 11 miles to go. “We can still make it.” said Sam Paul climbed back into the saddle on Belle, and off they went into the night. They had 2 more miles to go to reach Medford. They arrived at the home of Captain Isaac Hall in the town of Medford just after 11:30 pm. They awoke him from his sleep and told him of the evenings events. He wasted no time in grabbing his guns and readying his horse. “You’ve done a great and brave thing coming here.” said the Captain. “Your mission is not complete though. Ride on to Lexington, warn Adams and Hancock, and then ride on to Concord to warn the militia to secure the weapons. Without them we won’t be able to hold back the British forces. I’ll round up the local minutemen and meet you there. Now ride!” “Yes, SIR!” said Paul. “We won’t let you down.” From Medford the trio raced down the road as fast as they could. The road took them slightly southeast to another village named Menotomy, which is now modern day Arlington. It was


here that they saw a mile maker in the road which said “8 miles to Lexington.�


“At this pace we’ll be in Lexington just after midnight. I hope we find Mr. Adams and Mr. Hancock.” said Belle. Faster and faster they ran. Belle, galloping hard, and Sam keeping stride right next to her. Sam had never run so far so fast but tonight was the most important night of their lives. They reached Lexington just after midnight, as predicted. They quietly made their way through the streets to the home of Samuel Adams. Paul rapped on the door quickly and said in a loud whisper. “Hello? Hello. Mr. Adams. Wake up sir. I’ve been sent to warn you. The British are coming. Are you there?” Nothing, silence, no answer. “Perhaps he’s with Mr. Hancock.” said Sam. But when they arrived at John Hancock’s house they found it quiet as well. No one was home. “We were too late.” said Belle. “The British must have them.” “Wait.” Said Sam “Didn’t Mr. Dawes say that Reverend Clark told him about Mr. Adams and Mr. Hancock, and doesn’t the Reverend live here in Lexington? Let’s go see him.”


Just past the church they came to the home of Reverend Clark. Paul knocked on the door. Sam could see lights and movement though the windows on the porch. The door opened and there stood Rev. Clark. “Yes, yes, what is it? Who are you? And what are you doing at my home at this hour?” Paul replied, “Please sir, I beg your pardon, but we were sent from Boston to warn Mr. Adams and Mr. Hancock that they need to hide. The British have arrived by sea. The war has begun. Have you seen them? Have they already been captured?” “Captured? No. They are here at my home, right now. Come in quickly.” Sam followed Paul in while Belle waited outside keeping a look out. The Revered showed Paul and Sam to the study where Mr. Adams and Mr. Hancock were looking over maps by candlelight. “Samuel, John, this gentleman says he’s from Boston and comes with news for you.” said Rev. Clark Paul approached the men with urgent energy, “Gentlemen, the time has come. The British have arrived by sea near Boston and are making their way towards Concord. I have been sent to warn you that your lives are in danger. You must gather your families and leave Lexington immediately.”


Suddenly there were sounds of talking outside and then a knock at the door. The Reverend answered and it was William Dawes. Mr. Dawes spotted Paul and Sam and exclaimed, “Oh, Paul you made it. Word came to me from Alexander, a local opossum, that you’d been captured.” “We were.” Replied Paul “But thanks to Sam’s quick thinking and some very helpful rats we escaped.” “Well Sam, your quick thinking may come in handy yet again. I will help Samuel and John from here. You and Sam ride on to Concord and warn the militia. The British will be there within one hour and there are bound to be British patrols everywhere so be careful.” said Mr. Dawes. Sam, Belle, and Paul gathered outside. Paul said. “Ok you two, one last dash. I know you’re tired but we can make it. Are you ready?” “Ready as I’ll ever be.” said Belle “Me too. But we must go. It’s after 12:30 now.” said Sam Off they went again, under cover of night, speeding west towards Concord. They stayed off the roads and ran over rolling fields with the bright moonlight guiding them. With just three miles left to go they came upon a large wood just before the


town. The fastest way through would be the road. They knew it would be dangerous but they had to try.


As they approached the entrance to the woods, all was quiet and Sam began to sniff the air. Something was wrong. Something just didn’t smell right. What was it? It …smells…like…a… DOG! He tried to warn his friends but it was too late. Five large dogs jumped from behind the trees and surrounded them. The dogs were wearing British army collars. “Stop in the name of The Crown!” growled the lead dog. “Sergeant, let the men know we have them.” The dog next to the lead dog let out a loud howl. “AARROOOOOOO!” Soon, four mounted soldiers came out of the woods. “So, Mr. Revere” said one of the soldiers “you and your friends thought you could escape us? Well you won’t be getting away this time. You and your rebel band are coming with us. Our army is moving towards Concord and you’ll never get there to warn them. Get off of your horse and put your hands on your head.” Paul, seeing that they were surrounded and outnumbered, got down off his horse and looked at Sam. “Well old friend, it looks like this is it.” Sam looked around for any way out but saw nothing. Maybe this was the end for them. The people of Concord would not be warned in time and the British would continue their rule


over the colonies. Sam looked up at the full moon thinking that this would be the last time he saw it as a free dog. Just then something flew in front of the moon. It only caught his eye for a second but he knew what it was. He looked directly at Paul and Belle and said “Get ready to move.” “WOO! WOO! WOO!” Out of the sky flew Horton, the church owl, like a comet, bashing the lead soldier on the side of the head and knocking from his horse. The British were caught completely by surprise. Suddenly the air was full of owls and other birds diving and swooping at the British soldiers and dogs. Belle gave a strong kick with her back legs sending two dogs flying. Paul grabbed the rifle of a nearby soldier and yanked with all his might, driving the soldier off his horse and face first into the muddy ground. “WOO! WOO! WOO!” cried the owls. “YELP! YELP! YELP!” cried the dogs. At that moment all of the British were distracted. “Run Sam! RUN!” yelled Paul “We’ll hold them off. Get through the woods and warn Concord. GO!”


Sam knew this was his time. He summoned all of his remaining energy and ran past the horses and men, under the swooping owls, and into the entrance of the woods. Faster and faster his legs moved while his tongue dangled out of his mouth. He took a quick glance back to the fight to see three of the British dogs taking chase after him and they were fast. But Sam was faster. Sam got a good lead on them and then just as he was halfway through the woods he came upon a drawbridge. The bridge was up. How would Sam get across? He needed to work quickly because the British dogs would be there any second. He looked around and saw a sign near the gears to the bridge. It read; “The key to bringing this bridge down, comes from a key whose shape is not round. The number of sides to the key is more than one, or two, or three. A Hexagon is what you seek so choose from those at your feet.� Sam looked down below the lock to a box which contained keys of many shapes and sizes. Can you help Sam by identifying the key shaped like a Hexagon? Choose from the pictures. Answer in back of book

Now that Sam had the key in his mouth, he put it in the lock and turned it. The Bridge began to lower. Through the trees he could hear the barking dogs coming closer. With a large THUD! The bridge was down and Sam was back to sprinting down the


road. He looked back to see the other dogs crossing the bridge and now it was a flat out foot race to the town.


Sam exploded from the woods and barreled down the road to Concord with three angry dogs hot on his trail. With every ounce of energy he had, Sam ran as fast as he could. The other dogs were so close now he could hear their breathing. Sam remembered all Paul and Belle had done to help him escape and he wasn’t going to let them down now. He rounded the last corner and saw the Armory at the top of the hill. Sam ran into the village yelling as loud as he could. “The British are coming! The British are coming!” Doors and windows flew open, lanterns were lit, and the town minutemen sprang into action. Sam had done it. He had warned the people of Concord. He fell down at the foot of the Armory door, dog tired. Too exhausted to lift his head, he passed out. Sam came to a short time later to see Captain Hall standing over him. “Well done Sam, Well done. The militia has been assembled and the minutemen are ready for the British. They should be here any minute now and we’ll be ready for them. You’ve done a great service for your country.”


Sam should have felt pride in what he’d done but he didn’t. He felt sad. What happened to Paul and Belle? Were they captured, or worse yet killed? Sam hung his head and worried about them. The Captain was getting ready for the battle when he said, “Oh, one more thing. I came across an owl a while back that told me of a great fight in which a man, a horse and some owls beat back a patrol of British. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?” Sam looked up with joy and surprise, “Yes sir, they are my friends. What happened to them?” “The Captain replied, “Well it seems as if the British had them, when out of nowhere they were overtaken by a small band of rats and other woodland animals. Strangest thing I ever heard.” It was just at that moment that a tired looking man riding a tired looking horse came around the Armory wall. It was Paul and Belle. Sam jump with joy and ran up to his friends with his tail wagging. “You made it! You’re alive!” shouted Sam “Well of course we are.” said Belle. “It will take a more than a few Brits to stop me.” “Me too.” said Paul.


Sam felt proud in helping his friends and completing their mission. They had made it in time to warn the people of Concord and hopefully stop the advancing British army. Sam knew this was no time to rest. The British were coming and he and his friends needed to prepare for battle Concord was going to face. Paul stood up, looked at Sam and said “Well friend, this night isn’t over yet. We’ve out foxed these British more than once already. Are you ready for some more?” “I’m ready.” said Sam But the battle to come is a story for another day.


The End


Answer Key

#1) 21 miles divided by 3 hours = 7 miles per hour. #2) If a Rat can move up to 3 pounds, and a hay bale weighs 60 pounds, then divide 60 by 3 and the answer is that it takes 20 rats to move one bale. If each bale weighs 60 pounds and the door weighs 300 lbs. divide 300 by 60 = 300 / 60 = 5 bales

#3) B is the correct answer. In geometry, a hexagon is a polygon with six edges and six vertices


Social Studies: Concepts and themes Grade Level: 4

U.S History/ Colonial and Revolutionary period

Social Studies Concepts/Themes 4th grade History/ change, conflict, nationalism, interdependence

Standards_______ 1 US History

Geography/ Places and Regions Economics/ Needs and Wants CCG/ Nation-State, Citizenship, Political Systems

3 Geography 4 Economics 5 CCG

NY- New York State Core Curriculum (updated) Subject : Mathematics (Revised March 2005) Grade : Grade 4 Strand : Problem Solving Strand Standard : Students will build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving. Indicator : 4.PS.2 Understand that some ways of representing a problem are more helpful than others Indicator : 4.PS.3 Interpret information correctly, identify the problem, and generate possible solutions Strand : Connections Strand Standard : Students will understand how mathematical ideas interconnect and build on one another to produce a ... Indicator : 4.CN.5 Model situations with objects and representations and be able to make observations Strand : Algebra Strand Standard : Students will recognize, use, and represent algebraically patterns, relations, and functions. Indicator : Patterns, Relations,and Functions 4.A.4 Describe, extend, and make generalizations about numeric ( ... Strand : Geometry Strand Standard : Students will use visualization and spatial reasoning to analyze characteristics and properties of ... Indicator : Shapes 4.G.1 Identify and name polygons, recognizing that their names are related to the number of sides ... Strand : Measurement Strand Standard : Students will determine what can be measured and how, using appropriate methods and formulas. Indicator : Units of Measurement 4.M.1 Select tools and units (customary and metric) appropriate for the length ...


Work Cited http://americanrevwar.homestead.com/files/REVERE.HTM http://www.paulreverehouse.org/ride/virtual.shtml http://www.qa02.com/Recent/How-many-miles-did-Paul-Revere-ride.html http://www.paulreverehouse.org/ride/ http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1261.html http://www.nationalcenter.org/PaulRevere'sRide.html


The True Story of the Ride of Paul Revere