Monday, January 28, 2008

The Midnight Ride Of....Israel Bissel?

***Israel Bissel, the real "Midnight Rider."*********

While nobody would argue that Paul Revere was a patriot, the "Midnight Ride" immortalized by author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ( how do I get THAT last name?) never actually happened. The real midnight rider was a twenty five year old man named Israel Bissel. He managed to fly through the night on horseback, covering over four hundred miles in five days. He was a mail carrier, very slight of build and knew the countryside and villages where the militia's were to be alerted if the British attacked. The bell tower set it's "two if by sea" lights in the window when the observer saw the Red Coats dropping of the ships and into boats...but they would just row a short distance to shore before marching on foot. They were heading to Lexington and Concord to wipe out the Continental Congress.

***Statue of Sibyl Ludington in New York*******

Sibyl Ludington was a sixteen year old girl who also had a fairly amazing ride in the middle of the night. She was the daughter of a militia man-farmer, and when he got word the Brits were attacking Danbury, Connecticut..he sent her out in the night to gather the troops. She rode an amazing forty miles in six hours, and awoke enough men to stop the British advance! Of course, our own Vanessa Humic would have stomped her ass on her new Tomac hardtail frame.... but whatever.

***Vanessa would have been a great messenger for the Continental Congress!****

It was never the job of Paul Revere to rouse the troops for battle. His work for the night was to head to Lexington and warn John Hancock and Sam Adams ( that the Red Coats were coming to arrest them! He never saw the lamps in the Old North Church, as he was on the complete opposite side of town. As he sat with Adams and Hancock that night, William Dawes entered the tavern and instructed them to roll out and warn Concord of the British advance.

***Paul Revere yelling at Sam Adams to make some frikkin stout for his long ride.

They were arrested by the British on the ride there, and Dawes escaped..leaving Paul to spill his guts to save his life. They let him go the next day. It was around the time of his release that Israel Bissel mounted his horse and made his way to a forgotten route through American history.
Maybe if he had the new SIGMA EVO X/Endurance Limited Edition light system like Jeff "Tookie" Williams has, he would have been seen by more people, and been more famous? Paul Revere? He was jailbait.....


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