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Paul Revere's deposition, draft, circa 1775

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Paul Revere of Boston, in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in N. England of Lawfull age doth testifye and Say: that he I was
in Boston on the Evening of the 18th of April 1775, that I was sent for by
Docr. Joseph Warren about 10 oClock that evening, and desired, "to go to Lexington
and inform Mr. Samuel Adams, & the Hon. John Hancock Esqr. that there was a number
of Soldiers composed of the Light troops and Grenadiers marching to the bottom of the common, where was a number Boats
to receive them, and it was supposed, that they were going to Lexington, by the way of Watertown to
take them, Mess. Adams and Hancock or to Concord." I proceeded imeaditly & was put across Charles River in a
private Boat , and Landed at Charlestown Battery. Went into
the Town and their got a Horse, while in Charlestown I was informed by Richd. Deavins Esqr.
that he, that Evening after sun sett, mett 9 officers of Gages Army, well mounted &
Armed going to wards to Concord. I sett off it was then about (about 11 oClock) the Moon Shone bright. I had
got allmost got over Charlestown Common towards Cambridge when I saw two officers on horse back standing under the
shade of a Tree, In a narrow part of the Road. I got near enough to see their holsters & Coc-
-kades. When one of them started his horse towards me and the other up the Road as I
supposed to head me, I turned my horse short about & Rid upon full gallop for Mistick
Road, he following me about 300 yards, and finding he could not catch me, stoped. I proceeded
to Lexington throu Mistick, and awaked Messr. Adams & Hancock, and delivered my message.
After I had been there about half an hour, Mr. Daws came arrived, who came from Boston over
the neck. We sett of together for Concord, and were overtaken by a Young Gentleman
named Prescot who belonged to Concord, and was going home when we got about half way from Lexington to Concord, the Other two
Stopped at a House to awake the Man. I kept along, when I had got about 200 Yards
a head of them, I saw two officers under a Tree as before. I imeaditly called to my
company to come up, saying here was two of them, (for I had told them, what Mr. Devens
told me and of my being Stopped) in an Instant I saw four of them officers who rode up to me
with their Pistols in their hands & said God damn you Stop if you
go an Inch farther you are a dead man, imeaditly Mr. Prescot came up, he turned the butt end of his whipp. We attempted
to git thro' them but they kept before us & swore if we did not turn in to that
pasture, they would Blow our brains out, (they had placed them selves opposite to a
pair of Barrs and had taken the Barrs down) they forced us in, and when we had got in, Mr.
Prescot said to me putt on, he turned to the left, I turned to the Right, + [See additional information provided by Paul Revere at the bottom of page 1.] towards a
wood in the bottom of the pasture, intending when I reached that, to jump my horse &
Run afoot. Just as I reached it out started Six others on horseback, wrode up to me with their
Pistols in their hands put them to my Breast siesed my bridle and ordered me to dismount, which I did. One of them who appeared to
have the command there, and much of Gentleman, asked me where I came
from, I told him, he asked me what time I left it, I told him, he asked me said Sir may I crave your
Name, I answered my Name was Revere, he said what Paul Revere, I said yes, the others the others abused me much, but he told me not to be afraid, they should not
hurt me. I told him they would miss their Aim. He said they should not, they were after sour deserters
that were on the Road. I told him I knew better, I knew what they were after, that I had alarmed
the Country all the way up, and that their Boats had catched aground, and I should have 500
men their soon. He seemed supprised and rid imeaditly up to the Road to them that stopped me. They came
down on full gallop, one of them (whom I have since learned was Major Mitchel of the 5th
Regt.) clapd his pistol to My head, and said he was agoing to ask me some Questions, & if I
did not tell the truth, he would blow my brains out. I replied that I calld my self a Man of
Truth, and that he had stopped me on the high Way, & made me a prisoner by force I knew not by what right.
I would tell the truth, for I was not afraid. He then asked me the same questions that

[+ I found since that he knew the ground, for he lived within 3 or 4 Miles. He jumped his horse over the wall and got to Concord.]

that the other did and many more but more particular, I gave him the same answers; after he and two
more had spoke together in a low voice he orderd me to mount my horse, but they first
searched me for Arms. When I had mounted, the Major rode up to me & took the reins out
of my hand & said by God Sir you are not to ride with reins, and gave them to an officer
upon my right to lead me. I asked him to let me have the reins, & I would not run from
him, he said he would not trust me, he then orderd four men out of the Bushes, whom
I found were Country men, which they had stopped and to mount their horses, and then Ordered
us to march. He came up to me and said: "We are now going towards your friends & if you
attempt to run, or we are insulted, we will blow your Brains out." I told him he might
do as he pleased. When we had got into the road they formed a Circle & ordered the prisoners
in the centre, and to lead me in front. We rode down to ward Lexington prittie smart.
I was often insulted by the officers calling me damned Rebel &c. &c. The Officer who ledd
me said I was in a d-m-d critical situation I told I was sensible of it. When We had
got about a mile, I was delivered to a Serjant, who was Ordered to take out his Pistol (he
rode with a hanger & should I run to excecute the Major's Sentance. Whe [When] we got within
about half a mile of Lexington meeting-house we heard a Gun fired, the Major ask-
-ed what that was for, I told him to alarm the Country, he then Ordered
the other 4 prisoners to dismount, which they did. They cut the Bridles & saddles off
the Horses, drove them away, and told the men they might go about their Business.
I asked the Major to dismiss he said he would not. He then ordered us to march.
When we got within sight of the Meeting-house, we heard a Volley of Guns fired as
I supposed at the Tavern, as an Alarm, the Major ordered a halt, he asked me
ho [how] far it was to Cambridge. I told him, after Asking me a number of questions he
Asked the Serjant if his horse was tired. He answered Yes, he ordered him to take
My horse which he did. Then after cutting the Saddle & Bridle off the Serjants horse
they told me they should make use of my horse for the Night and rode off, towards Cambridge.
I then went to the house where I left Messr. Adams & Hancock & told them what had
happined, thier Friends advised them to go out of the way, I went with them, went about
two miles a cross road & their stopt, after resting my self I set off with
another man, to go to the Tavern, to enquire wither the troops had come, or were
coming. When we got there, a Man who has just come up the road, told us said they were
within two mile. We went into the Tavern to git
a Trunk of Papers belonging to Col. Hancock, before we got out the I saw the
Ministearal Troops from the chamber window, coming up the Road. We made
haste, and had to pass thro our Militia, who were on a green behinde the Mee-
ting house, to the Number as I suppose of 50 or 60. it was then Daylight. I passed thro' them, as I
passed I heard the Commanding officer, say words to this Effect "Lett the Troops
pass by & donot molest them with out they bigin first." As I had to go a cross road
I had not got half gun shot distance, when the ministeral Troops appeard in Sight, behind
the Meeting house. They made a short halt. When one Gun was fired, I saw the smoake
in the front of them, they imeaditly gave a shout rann a few pace & then fired.
I could distinguish first iregular firing and then platoons. At this time, I could not
see our Militia, for they were covered by a house at the bottom of the Road.