Many of us associate the name Paul Revere with a night ride wherein he alerted the town with the famous shout “The British are coming”. Close enough, but incorrect!
According to Wikipedia, in April 1975 Revere warned patriots along his route that the king’s troops were about to embark in boats from Boston bound for Cambridge and the road to Lexington and Concord. Revere’s exact words were ,“The Regulars are coming out.”
A local resident has been calling himself the Paul Revere of Oracle, according to recent articles and stories published in Copper Corridor and Tucson newspapers.
Curious about what the two men might have in common, I set out to look at the history and handwriting of the real Paul Revere. Research revealed that Paul Revere was an innovative, successful and influential businessman. He was born on New Year’s Day 1735 in Boston, Massachusetts and died in 1818 at the age of 83.
Revere enlisted in the provincial army around the age of 21 during the French and Indian War. He did not stay long, but returned to Boston to take over the family owned silver shop.
He was innovative. When the British economy entered a recession and a downturn in the Massachusetts economy occurred that negatively affected the income of his silversmith business, he learned and practiced dentistry to make ends meet.
In 1773 the merchant ship Dartmouth arrived in Boston harbor carrying the first shipment of tea made under the terms of the Tea Act. This act authorized the British East India Company to ship tea (of which it had huge surpluses due to colonial boycotts organized in response to the Townshend Acts) directly to the colonies, bypassing colonial merchants. Passage of the act prompted a call for renewed protests against the tea shipments on which Townshend duties were still levied. Paul Revere and Dr. Joseph Warren, as members of the informal “North End Caucus,” organized a watch over the Dartmouth to prevent the unloading of the tea. Revere took his turns on guard duty, and was one of the ringleaders in the Boston Tea Party of Dec. 16, when colonists (some disguised as Indians) dumped tea from the Dartmouth and two other ships into the harbor.
During the ensuing two years, Revere served as a courier for the Boston Committee of Public Safety traveling to New York and Philadelphia to report on the political unrest in Boston.
By the time Revere was 53, he expanded his silver business to include iron working. He transitioned from just being an artisan to also being an entrepreneur.
Mental flexibility and acquired new knowledge from iron workers nearby had allowed him to master the iron casting process, thus bringing in substantial profits from this new product line.
Soon thereafter, a new market was opening up for church bells during the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Around 1792, at the age of 58, he became one of America’s best-known bell casters, working with sons Paul Jr. and Joseph Warren Revere in the firm Paul Revere and Sons. This firm cast the first bell made in Boston and ultimately produced hundreds of bells, a number of which remain in operation to this day.
And by 1794 the business expanded to include casting cannons for the federal government.
At the age of 66, Revere became a pioneer in the production of rolled copper, opening North America’s first copper mill south of Boston in Canton which eventually grew into a large corporation, Revere Copper and Brass, Inc.
Paul Revere died at the age of 83. He had two wives who each bore him eight children.
The communities of Revere, Massachusetts and Revere, Minnesota bear his name, as do Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts, Revere Avenue in The Bronx, New York City, and Paul Revere Road in Arlington Heights in Arlington, Massachusetts.
Let us then take a closer look at this exceptional character by analyzing his signature.
The signature (at left as displayed by Wikipedia) shows that Paul Revere was a man who enjoyed the company of many friends and associates. The rightward slant supports the history of his being quick to act and get involved in business or various causes he believed in.
The name is penned in rhythmic fashion as would be expected from the practice of handwriting styles of that era.
The underlining of one’s signature is a personal choice and used by writers who want to impress others with their talents or showmanship. Nothing in Revere’s writing points toward timidity or fearfulness.
Underlining one’s name is also graphic expression of individuals who take full responsibility for their actions. Such persons may lead a team effort to achieving certain goals, but in the end, they want the glory. However, if the endeavor falters, these individuals will take the blame, like the saying goes, “The buck stops here.”
When studying someone’s handwriting, a Graphologist would associate the past with the left side of a page (in Western cultures) and the future with the right side. Revere’s underscore starts with the name ending on the right side and swings leftward toward the past, where it immediately returns with an elegant stroke toward the right, the future, where it ends. The writer is progressive.
Of special note here is the pen pressure. The leftward motion is drawn with light pressure, whereas the final stroke to the right is executed with heavy pressure. This denotes energy, ardor and excitement aimed at adventure, opportunity, and toward achievement of his goals.
The above specimen is a handwritten statement by Paul Revere at the age of 75, a time when he had taken a son into his business.
In this particular signature we see clearly how the name Paul Revere is emphasized by the underscore of the name only. & Son is drawn smaller than Revere, not underlined, added almost like an afterthought. Over the years, Revere had built up a reputation that, in his mind, does not include the son(s).
History and handwriting tell us that Paul Revere was a highly intelligent individual and an extraordinary entrepreneur. Now, going back to the local wannabe Paul Revere, I do not have a sample of his handwriting to analyze and compare. But here is what I think the two men have in common: Both men are attention seekers. They have a need to be noticed. They are gregarious and like to be involved in current events. They react to people and events in their immediate environment.
And both men are associated with the Tea Party.