By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (April 18, 2024) – In this edition of Fun with Maps the wait is over the lamps were lit and the ride is recounted.


Around 11pm on April 18, 1775, Paul Revere began his horseback ride from Boston to Lexington, Massachusetts to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the approaching British troops. 

He had received the signal of two lanterns – indicating a sea approach, or more correctly a river crossing to Cambridge – from the North Church bell tower. 

What most people know about the “midnight ride” is courtesy of a very popular poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  It was frequently a memorization assignment back when students were called upon to recite poetry in class. While mainly correct, it is a bit embellished.

Things you potentially may not know:

Paul Revere borrowed a horse for the ride once he was on the Charlestown side of Boston Harbor.  When the British showed up and captured Revere, they confiscated his horse and he was forced to return home on foot, which put him in Lexington just in time to witness the battle on the green there.

Paul Revere did not cry “The British are coming!”. After all they were all British at that time. 

The soldiers were referred to as “Regulars”, the term for the low-ranking, red-coated foot soldiers.  His cry instead, “The regulars are coming out!”

Tomorrow – April 19th – is Patriot’s Day and a holiday in Massachusetts, commemorating the Sons of Liberty and especially Paul Revere.

This map of Boston by Colton from 1855 shows the city in the early days of the major engineering project to move soil from its hills to fill in the bays making more space to build housing and businesses.

Boston -Circa 1855 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.