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[Tidbits] Greatest American Silversmith & Engraver


#1

The Greatest American Silversmith & Engraver

The Son of Monsieur Apollo Rivoire. he was born in Boston on December
21, 1734 according to the old style calendar then in use. Translated
in today’s calendar he was born 11 days later, on January 1, 1735.
Essentially… he had two birthdays. Lucky devil. no? He apprenticed
to his father and became a Silversmith and an Engraver. While his
father attended Puritan services. our silversmith/engraver became
attached to the Church of England where he eventually began attending
politically slanted stirring services. His father strenuously
disapproved, to the point that one day father and son came to blows.
Clearly some dichotomies require violent catalysts to resolve
themselves, and the blows resulted in the son returning to his
father’s church.

His father died in 1754 and the son. legally too young to run the
father’s business. joined the provincial army… an act prompted by a
poor economy and the assurance of a steady income in the army. But he
did not last long and soon returned to run his father’s silver shop
in his own name. Alas. business suffered and attempts were made to
attach his property. To help make ends meet he took up dentistry.
That’s a little bit like being a jewelry manufacturer and if things
don’t work out taking up heart surgery as a side line till business
turns around.

There is not a one among you who do not know him. for in 1729 our
silversmith anglicized his name from Paul Rivoire to Paul Revere. It
is here that I digress slightly. This article may be a tad premature
considering the fact that July 4th is a month away. However, this
Tidbit is also going to appear in elsewhere and since I had to have
it ready and the lazy man that resides within my soul often dominates.
and yada yada yada. So. In 1765 Paul Revere joined a militant group
which would eventually be called the Sons of Liberty. For a while
Revere used his talents to produce engravings with political
themes… among them one which he termed Boston-Massacre and which he
created sometime in 1770.

We jump ahead. November 1773. A British ship arrives in Boston harbor
carrying tea. There are protests. The tea imports are bypassing local
merchants while duties were still being imposed. December 16th.
Colonists. some disguised as Indians. dump the tea into the ocean.
Our silversmith/engraver is one of the ringleaders.

  1. The governor of Massachusetts closes the Port of Boston and
    orders private citizens all over the city to provide lodging for
    British soldiers. It was during this time that Revere served as
    courier for the Boston Committee of Public Safety. He traveled to New
    York and Philadelphia to report on the political unrest.

British Army activity increased. And now. the setting of historical
landmarks. Revere is told that British troops are about to embark on
a mission whose goal was to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
However no one knew if the troops would arrive by land or by sea. A
sexton was to send a signal by lantern set in a church steeple to
alert the colonists in Charleston to the British movements. It is from
this the famous phrase derived: “one if by land, two if by sea”.

It was this act that gave birth to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem:
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. And it is thanks to this man. this
great American Silversmith/Engraver. that we today celebrate
Independence Day. July 4th. For those of you who have never read or
heard Longfellow’s poem, below are the first and most famous five
lines.

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

Okay. Who wants to see the print created from Paul Revere’s
engraving? Go ahead. It’s all right. You know where. For the new
subscribers: Home page: tyler-adam.com. Left hand menu. Click on
Tidbits.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark