"A hurry of hoofs in the village street
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles in passing a spark,
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet,
That was all, and yet, through the gloom and the light
The fate of the nation was riding that night."
Paul Revere of the Revolutionary fame was a silversmith. He was a descendent of a French Huguenot Family, the name originally being Rivoire. He was born in Boston, Dec. 21, 1734. (two years after the birth of George Washington.) Brother Revere was made a mason in St Andrews Lodge on Sept. 4, 1760. The Record tells us, "It was laid before the Lodge, and in the same evening work was commenced by receiving Paul Revere, a goldsmith and engraver as Entered Apprentice."
The above simple statement of facts, but think of its impact on History. Think of what this brother's contribution was in the struggle for American Freedom.
His was a burning passion for freedom. He also knew that "the Masons" were the ones most feared by those whose loyalty rested with the Royal Government.
Masonry brought Paul Revere in touch with the best minds of the day, James Otis, Dr. Joseph Warren, Samuel Adams and many others.
After the union of the Saint John's and Massachusetts Grand Lodges, Paul Revere, Paul Revere became the second Grand Master and served in 1795-96 and 97.
So Paul Revere and the others masons of that day met at the Green Dragon Tavern. They were busy men, but not so engrossed in their private endeavors as to close their eyes to what was going on around them. They refused to accept a temporary safety in lieu of Freedom.
What were these masons doing? They were meeting, Planning, working, sacrificing for what we now take for granted, and which we always stand to lose because of apathy and indifference. But what about this mason who was a patriot? Permit me to reiterate. Paul Revere was a Mason and a Patriot, a silversmith, a devoted Family man, a business leader, and a leader of organized benevolence. Through our records of what he did through 83 years of useful life, the man emerges, a silent man in a generation of orators, a man who learned his trade and was proud of his ability in his work. A patriot who asked only to serve those whose duty it was to plan.
Paul Revere joined St Andrew's lodge in Boston in 1760 when he was 25, and finding in Masonry a congenial climate for his sturdy spirit made his first copper-plate engraving at that time. It was a Masonic Notice.
In 1783, at the close of the Revolution, the question arose whether St Andrews Lodge should cleave to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, or pass into the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. The majority voted to remain with the Grand Lodge of Scotland, Paul Revere, of course was of the minority and when the Rising States Lodge was chartered he was its first worshipful master.
Less than ten years later Brother Revere was elected Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, and he made one of his few speeches, concluding; "May we, my brethren, so square our lives and our actions through life as to show the world of mankind that we mean to live within the compass of good citizens, that we mean to and wish to stand upon the level with them, that when we part we may be admitted into the Temple where reigns silence and peace."
When George Washington died, Grand Master Paul Revere made an exquisite golden urn, three and a half inches high to hold a lock of hair of our first President. For many years this urn had a place of honor in Revere's home, and was given to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts when he died. It was typical of Paul Revere, that he express his love of Washington and Masonry and his country through the work of his hands rather than in words.
Masons of today looking back to that Brother Mason of long ago, can well be awed by the spirit of the chunky middle aged man who galloped thirteen midnight miles and changed the fate of a nation.
"And so through the night went his cry of alarm,
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness and knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore."
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