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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Longfellow was wrong


That darn lamestream media is at it again. The Friends of Sarah Palin want us to know it was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who messed up the tale of Paul Revere's Ride.

The former Alaska governor offered this now famous disquisition on Revere warning the British with bells so they wouldn't take our guns (or something along those lines). Most Americans assume she was merely mangling the tale told by Longfellow in is famous poem.

But the folks at Conservatives4Palin (interesting logo -- Palin turns her back on America?) want us to know that the esteemed patriot of American history was really a wuss who spilled the beans when he was captured by the British.

Citing a 1789 letter at the Massachusetts Historical Society, we are told:
Upon being stopped, did Revere, in essence, warn the British soldiers of the colonists’ plans? Yes. The strawmen built by the media seems to almost indicate that Revere rode through the streets warning the British soldiers. In actuality, simply put, Paul Revere told Regulars of the colonists’ plans during his attempt to warn the colonists of the Regulars’ approach (Revere actually said, “the Regulars are coming!”. The colonist still viewed themselves as British subjects at the time and would not have said, “the British are coming”.)
There have many critics of Longfellow's interpretation of that ride, but it's hard to believe Palin was quoting them in her mangled history lesson. Revere may not have been all he's been built up to be, but this fractured piece of history doesn't add to that body of criticism.

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