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Paul Revere's deposition, fair copy, circa 1775

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Paul Revere of Boston, in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay
in New England; of Lawfull Age, doth testify an say; that I was
sent for by Docr. Joseph Warren, of said Boston, on the evening of the
18th of April, about to oClock; When he desired me, "to go to Lexington, and
inform Mr. Samuel Adams, and the Honl. John Hancock Esqr. that there
was a number of Soldiers, composed of Light troops, & Grenadiers,
marching to the bottom of the Common, where was a number of Boats
to receive them; it was supposed, that they were going to Lexington, by
the way of Cambridge River, to take them, or go to Concord, to distroy
the Colony Stores." I proceeded immeaditly, and was put across Charles River
and landed near Charlestown Battery, went in town, and there got
a Horse, while in Charlestown, I was informed by Richd. Devens Esqr.
that he mett that evening, after Sun sett, Nine Officers of the Ministeral
Army, mounted on good Horses, & Armed, going towards Concord; I sett
off, it was then about 11 oClock, the Moon shone bright. I had got almost
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
roade. I was near enough to see their Holsters, & cockades; One of them Star-
-ted his horse towards me, the other up the road, as I supposed, to head me
should I escape the first. I turned my horse short, about, and rid upon a full
Gallop for Mistick Road, he followed me about 300 Yardes, and finding
He could not catch me, returned: I proceeded to Lexington, thro Mistick,
and alarmed Mr. Adams and Col. Hancock. After I had been there about half
an hour Mr. Daws arrived, who came from Boston, over the neck; We
set off for Concord, and were overtaken by a young Gentleman named Prescot,
who belonged to Concord, & was going home; when we had 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 as before. I 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 stoped) in an instant I saw four of them, who rode up to
me, with thier pistols in their hands, said G-d d-n you stop. If you go an
Inch further, you are a dead Man, immeaditly Mr. Prescot came up we
attempted to git thro them, but they kept before us, and swore if we did
not turn in to that pasture, they would blow our brains out, (they had
placed themselves opposite to a pair of Barrs, and had taken the Barrs down
they forced us in, when we had got in Mr. Prescot said put on. He took
to the left, I to the right towards a Wood, at the bottom of the Pasture,
intending, when I gained that, to jump my Horse & run afoot; just as I
reached it, out started six officers, siesed my bridle, put thier pistols to my
Breast, ordered me to dismount, which I did: One of them, who appeard to
have the command there, and much of a Gentleman, Asked me where I came
from; I told him, he asked what time I left it; I told him, he seemed supprised,
said Sir may I crave your name, I answered my name is Revere, what said he
Paul Revere; I answered yes; the others abused much; but he told me not to
be afraid, no one should hurt me; I told him they would miss their Aim.

He said they should not, they were only awaiting for some Deserters they expected
down the Road: I told him I knew better, I knew what they were after; that
I had alarmed the country all the way up, that their Boats, were catch'd
a ground, and I should have 500 men their soon; one of them said they had
1500 coming; he seemed supprised and rode off, into the road, and informed
them who took me, they came down immeaditly on a full gallop, one of them
(whom I since learned was Major Mitchel of the 5th Regiment Clap'd his Pistol
to my head, and said he was going to ask me some questions, if I did not tell
the truth, he would blow my brains out. I told him I esteemed my self a Man
of truth, that he had stopped me on the high way, & made me a prisoner, I
knew not by what right; I would tell him the truth; I was not afraid;
He then asked me, the same questions that the other did, and many more, but
was more particular; I gave him much the same Answers; he then Ordered me
to mount my horse, they first searched me for pistols. When I was mounted,
the Major took the reins out of my hand, and said by G-d Sir you are not to
ride with reins I asure you; and gave them to an officer on my right, to lead
me, he then Ordered 4 men out of the Bushes, & to mount their horses; they were
Country men which they had stopped who were going home; then ordered us to March. He said to me
"We are now going to wards your friends, and if you attempt to run, or we are
insulted, we will blow your Brains out." When we had got into the road they formed
a Circle, and ordered the prisoners in the centre, & to lead me in the front.
We rid to wards Lexington, a quick pace; They very often insulted me calling me
Rebel &c. &c. after we had got about a mile, I was given to the Serjant to lead,
he was Ordered to take out his pistol, (he rode with a hanger,) and if I run,
to excecute the Majors Sentence; When we got within about half a Mile
of the Meeting house, we heard a gun fired; the Major asked me what
it was for, I told him to alarm the country; he Ordered the four prisoners
to dismount, they did, then one of the officers dismounted and cutt the
Bridles, and Saddels, off the Horses, & drove them away, and told the men they
might go about their business; I asked the Major to dismis me, he said
he would carry me, lett the consequence be what it will; He then Orderd
us to march. When we got within sight of the Meeting-House, we heard
a Volly of guns fired, as I supposed at the tavern, as an Alarm: the Major
orderd us to halt, he asked me how far it was to Cambridge, and many more
questiones, which I answered; he then asked the Serjant, if his horse was tired,
he said yes; he Ordered him to take my horse; I dismounted, the Serjant
mounted my horse; they cutt the Bridle and saddle of the Serjants horse, & rode
off, down the road. I then went to the house were I left Messrs. Adams &
Hancock, and told them what had happined; their friends advised them to go
out of the way; I went with them, about two miles a cross road: after rest-
-ing my self, I sett off with another man to go back to the Tavern, to enquire the
News; when we got there, we were told the troops were, within two Miles.
We went into the Tavern to git a Trunk of papers, belonging to Col. Hancock,
before we left the House, I saw the Ministeral Troops from the Chamber window.
We made haste, & had to pass thro' our Militia, who were on a green behind
the Meetinghouse, to the number as I supposed, about 50 or 60, I went thro'
them; as I passed I heard the commanding officer speake to his men
to this purpose, "Lett the troops pass by, and don't molest them, with out
The [They] being first." I had to go a cross Road, but had not got half
Gun shot off, When the Minesteral Troops appeared in sight,
behinde the Meeting House; they made a short halt. When
one gun was fired, I heard the report, turned my head, and saw
the smoake in front of the Troops, they imeaditly gave a great
shout, ran a few paces, and then the whole fired. I could first
distinguish Iregular fireing, which I supposed was the advance
Guard, and then platoons: at this time I could not see our
Militia, for they were covered from me, by a house at the
bottom of the Street, and further saith not.

Paul Revere