Sarah Palin's Paul Revere Gaffe
By Daniel Kurtzman, About.com Guide June 3, 2011
Sarah Palin is the comedic gift that keeps on giving. She demonstrated that once
again on her non-publicity-seeking bus tour when she attempted to give a history
lesson about Paul Revere's famous midnight ride, and botched almost every fact.
"He who warned uh, the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms,
uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin' sure as he's riding his horse through
town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we
were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
As any elementary school student can probably tell you, Paul Revere was not
attempting to warn the British when he rode around crying, "The British are
coming." Nor was he ringing bells and trying to protect gun rights.
Apparently Palin learned nothing at any of the five colleges she attended.
Bill Liddell says :
To UNDERSTAND the ride of Revere and William Dawes you have to understand the
actual reasons for the rides. Early on April 19th, 1775, the British Commander
dispatched the best of their troops in Boston to march out of Boston towards
Concord via Lexington to seize colonial gunpowder stores there and caputure
Hancock and Adams; although arguably this would have been better done by
dragoons on horseback rather than foot solders.
It was impossible to gather up all the firearms in private hands so gunpowder was
the key to controlling the militiamen and thus the colony. You see most Mass
militiamen had enough for only about 20-25 shots each. The majority of the
gunpowder were held in common storage in Concord. By seizing the gunpowder the
British commander could, essentially disarm the entire Massachusetts Militia.
Therefore, the actual GOAL of the British march was gun control: to disarm the
rabble rousers and the threat to British control that their individual firearms
presented. No gun powder = no guns.
So, Revere and Dawes then DID INDEED begin a process to: “Warn the British that
they were not going to be taking away our arms” and “we were gonna be secure and
we were gonna be free … and we were gonna be armed.” Which is exactly what Mrs.
Palin said, and far, far from what your reporter claimed. A little knowledge, and
research, goes a long way in these things.
The militia moved their gunpowder and cannon out of Concord ahead of the British
arrival. The militiamen of Massachusetts then chased the British in near rout all the
way back to Boston and besieged the city. The War of the American Revolution had
begun, April 19th 1775. All started by a British attempt at gun control.
While not slickly articulated, Mrs. Palin hardly ‘flubbed’ anything. She was
historically and factually correct no matter how you twist and distort it for the
amusement of the sycophantic and misleading the uninformed.
Shaun-Katherine says :
It still remains that there were no ‘warning shots’ or ‘bells ringing’ or warnings to
the British that they weren’t ‘gonna be takin’ away our arms’. The intent to capture
the gunpowder reserves was largely a practical measure complimenting the ongoing
measures used to subjugate and control the Colonial population, like quartering
troops in private homes. Communal storage of gunpowder was not limited to
potential revolutionaries, but to all members of a community. Militia were not
initially formed to ‘fight the British’ but to defend the British colonies in which they
lived. Washington was first a Militiaman serving during the French Indian War.
The suggestion that this is a form of gun control is as logical as the suggestion that
the communal storage of gunpowder is a form of communism! It assumes meaning
and intent out of context. Gun control relates to private ownership and conflicts
over applications of the 2nd Amendment in more recent times. No one can argue that
any army including our own would take the practical measure of limiting enemy
access to available arms. This is quite different than gun control. Paul Revere’s
actions represented the efforts of individuals to who believed in their freedom to
govern themselves and their willingness to die for that freedom. Ms. Palin got that
right when she said ‘we were going to be sure and we were going to be free’!
Sycophantic followers? Misleading the uninformed? Those could be applied to
supporters who rise to her defense over any aspersions to her actions or words. The
best thing in this situation is to recognize that she made a mistake. One of Ms. Palin’s
charms is that she gets caught up in the moment and is rather unscripted. She does
not pretend to be an intellectual. She regularly misspeaks, but that is also part of her
appeal. I cannot imagine that such an error is not best addressed by laughing it off
and clarifying her point in a later interview or speech. Bush often did so with grace
Stan Jankowitz says :
Revere did in fact tell the British that the colonial militias, who had been alerted,
were waiting for them. Here is the original historical text written by Revere
(spelling in original, bold added):
“I observed a Wood at a Small distance, & made for that. When I got there, out
Started Six officers, on Horse back,and orderd me to dismount;-one of them, who
appeared to have the command, examined me, where I came from,& what my
Name Was? I told him. it was Revere, he asked if it was Paul? I told him yes He
asked me if I was an express? I answered in the afirmative. He demanded what
time I left Boston? I told him; and aded, that their troops had catched aground in
passing the River, and that There would be five hundred Americans there in a
short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up. He imediately rode
towards those who stoppd us, when all five of them came down upon a full
gallop; one of them, whom I afterwards found to be Major Mitchel, of the 5th
Regiment, Clapped his pistol to my head, called me by name, & told me he was
going to ask me some questions, & if I did not give him true answers, he would
blow my brains out. He then asked me similar questions to those above. He then
orderd me to mount my Horse, after searching me for arms. . .”
edo says :
poor Mr Liddell has drank too much of the Plain kool-aid. While it is true that the
British did have their eye on the gunpowder stockpiles at Concord, Revere’s
mission had absolutely NOTHING to do with this. He was all about getting to
Adams and Hancock while passing the word along the way of the coming arrival
of the British Regulars.
After being detained by the Brits later, he simply lied by overestimating the size
of the colonial forces. There was no grandstanind, no claims that the Brits would
never take our arms, any ringing of bells to alert the Brits…
Understandably, Ms Palin, the former half-term Gov of Alaska may not read
newspapers, but apparently, she fails to read history books too. Perhaps she was
relying on the same resources that Rep Bachmann did when she stated the the
shots heard around the world were from New Hampshire.
I am unsure which it more pitiful. The lack of research and knowledge of alleged
leaders of the tea party or the fact that there are so many lemmings so intent on
blind faith that would follow such inane interpretations of OUR AMERICAN
Hoover Beavenheimer says :
OK… Bill Liddell is correct on the historical significance of Mr. Revere’s ride.
However, it clearly wasn’t Revere’s intent to “warn the British” by riding past the
homes of colonists yelling that the regulars were on the move. I mean, the British
Army already knew that, right? And what about “those warning shots and bells”
that Palin referred to? There were no shots fired or bells rung as part of Revere’s
mission. Palin is just plain dumb. You can twist and edit her words around
history all you like, but she clearly had no clue what she was talking about.
Criticalthinker says :
This is Palin’s exact quote:
“…he who warned, uh, the…the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away
our arms…uh, by ringin’ those bells and um…makin’ sure as he’s ridin’ his horse
through town…to send those warning shots and bells…that, uh, we were gonna
be secure and…and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.”
1. The sentence structure is convoluted and the grammar is completely wrong,
what in the world is correct about that?
“he who warned” ?? WTF???
2. Revere, Dawes, and Prescot were on a SECRET mission and the plan did not
include them getting caught by the British soldiers in way shape or form, so
OBVIOUSLY the purpose could not have been to warn the British soldiers!
3. Again the three riders were on a SECRET mission so there would not have
been any bell ringing or warning shots.
I find all you Palin apologists hysterically funny, when you try to convince
anyone with half a brain that the convoluted statement said by Palin,
somehow meant the same as saying that when Paul Revere was caught on his
mission he lied to the British soldiers about the size of the colonists armY!
Tastentier says :
Mrs. Palin’s exact words were: “He who warned the… the… the British that they
weren’t gonna be taking away our arms, by ringing those bells and, um, making
sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells
that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free.”
This doesn’t sound as if Mrs. Palin was talking about a captured Paul Revere
reluctantly telling the British about the alarmed colonial militia after his famous
ride to warn the colonists of the advancing British troops. And why would Mrs.
Palin possibly tell the proud citizens of Boston about Revere’s captivity and what
could be seen as his betrayal of the colonist cause?
It appears that Mrs. Palin’s was struggling to remember what Revere is best
known for, and all she could come up with was him riding through town and all
that business with the bells and the warning shots (erm… yeah) and that it had
something to do with the British and… better fall back to safe territory: They
ain’t gonna take away our bear arms, those durn British libruls! If in doubt, fill in
the blanks by spouting the party line. it is a bit ridiculous to claim that this
stammering was an accurate record of historic events.
Ron C says
Well Palin haters it looks like the joke is on you once more. She baited you this time
and you took it. She had just left the Revere House. Don’t you think the park
personnel had maybe said something about this? Anyway, here’s a link to the Boston
Herald which admits Palin was correct. This should be the end of this sad attempt to
discredit a fine lady.
“Experts back Sarah Palin’s historical account: You betcha she was right!
By Chris Cassidy | Monday, June 6, 2011 | http://www.bostonherald.com | U.S.
Sarah Palin yesterday insisted her claim at the Old North Church last week that Paul
Revere “warned the British” during his famed 1775 ride — remarks that Democrats
and the media roundly ridiculed — is actually historically accurate. And local
historians are backing her up.
Palin prompted howls of partisan derision when she said on Boston’s Freedom Trail
that Revere “warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms
by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send
those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to
Concerned says :
Keep looking at the parts you want to look at, kid. Realistic comments from the
article you quoted:
Patrick Leehey of the Paul Revere House said Revere was probably bluffing his
British captors, but reluctantly conceded that it could be construed as Revere
warning the British.
“I suppose you could say that,” Leehey said. “But I don’t know if that’s really
what Mrs. Palin was referring to.”
McConville said he also is not convinced that Palin’s remarks reflect scholarship.
“I would call her lucky in her comments,” McConville said.
Meanwhile, the state’s Democratic Party held a thin blue line on the issue,
insisting on mocking Palin despite a brief historical review of the matter. State
party chairman John Walsh wise-cracked that the region welcomes all tourists,
even those with “an alternative view of history.”
“If you believe he was riding through the countryside sending text messages and
Tweets to the British, still come to Boston,” he said. “There are a lot of things to
do and see.”
Good says :
Everyone here (usually calling names) that supports Palin is as wrong as she
was. Revere did not warn the regulars. He was captured and lied to them about
the number of militia, under threat of gun, and that is very different from ridding
out to do so. That was not a warning but an embellishment that he never
intended to concoct. He did it to protect locals and attempt to scare the regulars.
Have you asked yourselves why he would warn (boast) to the regulars?
Everyone here who defends her incorrect statements is making Revere out to be
Alex says :
You could not be more incorrect my friend. Sarah Palin isn’t saying that Revere
pointed to where the Militia was and whispered to them, “They are planning to
take you by surprise, go sneak up on them and kill them.” What Sarah Palin was
quite obviously saying was that Paul Revere looked the British in the eye like a
true hero and said “You will never take our guns, we will stop you.” He warned
them that they wouldn’t take our guns, not that there was an ambush waiting.
Read what Sarah Palin said rather than what you think she said. It is refreshing
to see a Lefty who knows the truth though, and by what he is saying, Palin must
have been correct