Paul Revere (1734-1818) and Apollos Rivoire (1702-1754), abridged biographies.
Paul Revere’s father was a Huguenot. In France his father was known as Apollo Rivoire. In the early 1700’s, France had two-million Huguenots mostly of the Calvinist faith and 12 million Catholics. Calvinism leaned further right of Protestantism, in a Catholic dominated country.
At first, Louie the Fourteenth attempted to peacefully convert Huguenots to Catholicism, with financial incentives. Huguenots revolted all over France from the early 1700’s to 1715, leading to more futile bloodshed. Louie the Sixteenth was a terribly misunderstood sovereign. But, one of his most positive acts was to end the Huguenot purge started by his grandfather and ignored by his father.
Apollos' family sent him to live with his uncle in Guernsey, England. At thirteen Apollos was indentured to John Coney of Boston in 1716, as much to have a financial future as to escape. By the time Apollos left France, five-hundred thousand Huguenots disappeared and an equal amount sought refuge in other countries. Apollos uncle chose Boston, a Puritan community and the largest city in the colonies with similar religious practices. At this point Boston’s religious identity was infamous having tried and hung four Quakers, including Mary Dyer, as they refused to adhere to the Puritan doctrine. The poor Quakers only wanted to talk to God direct without priestly intervention. The Salem Witch Trials would have been another reason for caution. Apollos may not have known better. He could have chosen Plimoth or Rhode Island that were devout but tolerant communities.
As a young immigrant in Boston, Apollos was apprenticed to John Coney, a goldsmith. Apollo could have apprenticed to any one of thirty or more goldsmiths in Boston: a testimonial to the wealth of Boston with a population of only fifteen-thousand citizens. Indeed another one-hundred and thirty-four thousand lived in the agricultural proximity. Coney died in 1722 and Apollos served his remaining years of apprenticeship to John Coney’s wife. John Coney had a wealth of tools that well served Apollo. A goldsmith or silversmith was often ranked by the number of tools he mastered. John Coney had 97 hammers. This suggested that in the early 18th Century, artisans relied on their craft more than technology, finessing each and every mold by hand. By the time Apollos died he had reduced the number of hammers to twenty-nine using sub-assembly piece work and technological enhancements to the annealing of gold and silver.
This lesson was not lost on Paul. He further reduced his artisan tools down to seventeen-hammers, using technology and innovation to simplify the iron purification process, making the metal far more moldable and pliable. Paul was indentured to his father. Yes, a written contract existed and a pay-down of his obligations to his mother concluded his indenture contract. At nineteen years old and at the time of his father’s death, Paul was already on the path of moving America from an agricultural economy to an industrial revolution. Paul’s participation in America’s first political revolution are most note-worthy. Literally, weeks prior to the Paris Peace Treaty signed in 1783, Paul placed numerous orders with England for manufacturing equipment. A decade later he sent his son Joseph Warren to Europe for a year, to pry loose the technological innovations needed to compete against England.
America needed rifles, gun powder, cannon, copper plating for naval ships of war, nautical nails and fittings, ships bells and church bells. His cannons were trusted and true, his church bells used to muster citizen soldiers were on a par with England’s craft, his gun powder was lethal and his nautical nails and copper platting on such ships as the U.S.S. Constitution, helped our navy compete at sea.
Paul died at eighty-three. His famous ride was not heralded until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his famous poem eighty-five years after the event. To Paul Revere's dismay, Sam Adams, John Hancock, John Adams and the hierarchy of the Sons of Liberty, never afforded Paul the respect he desired. If only he could have been granted an Esquire after his name and worn the powdered wig his most accomplished life would of been fulfilled. Even today little does America know of Paul Revere’s enduring contribution to industry and it’s military. Please tour with us and learn so much more including his court-martial, his service as a coroner, his spying activity, his family life, printing activity and his witness and or participation in the Tea Party, the Boston Massacre and the battle at Lexington Green.