Paul Revere (1735-1818) was a silversmith and colonial activist in Boston who played a key role in mobilizing the colonial activism that led to the Revolution. Revere was a veteran of the French and Indian War and led anti-British agitation after the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765. He was an early member of the Sons of Liberty and took part in the Boston Tea Party. Then, in April 1775, Revere won his role in history and legend by making his midnight ride to Lexington and Concord to warn the Patriots there of the British advance from Boston.
In 1770, Revere engraved a propagandized and widely circulated account of the Boston Massacre, an exaggerated version of the story that nonetheless proved influential on the colonists' impressions of the British and the incident. During his famous midnight ride on the night of 18 April 1775, Revere was captured by the British in Lexington before he could reach Concord. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow later immortalized Revere by focusing on him—instead of fellow riders William Dawes and Samuel Prescott—in his popular poem depicting the event. Revere went on to design the first seal for the united colonies and the first Continental bonds. His military career during the Revolution was not nearly as distinguished (he was arrested and later acquitted for disobeying orders), and he went back to a profitable career in silversmithing at the end of the war.