The midnight ride

Posted by Tory Historian Saturday, April 18, 2009 ,

Tory Historian is ambivalent about the War of American Independence. In many ways, given the ideas that were swirling around in the 13 colonies at the time and given that those involved on all sides (including the many loyalists among the colonists) were, strictly speaking, still British, it is reasonable to call the conflict the third civil war that formulated the basic political ideology of the Anglosphere.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that the colonists who rose against their rightful King were rebels and many Tories in England and in the Colonies opposed them. Then again (let's not bother with any more hands) the great Earl Chatham, the Elder Pitt, proclaimed on various occasions that the American Colonists would not submit to tyranny and it would be better to come to an agreement with them.

Edmund Burke, too, supported those who proclaimed no taxation without representation (though, really, they meant no taxation tout court and who can blame them.

April 18 and 19 are important dates in that conflict. This was the night in 1775 on which Paul Revere (pictured above), a silversmith with a French Huguenot father and Bostonian mother, togeher with William Dawes famously rode from Boston to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British Army was on the move towards Concorde to seize the arms cache and to arrest the two gentlemen.

The following day saw the battle of Lexington Green or Lexington Common, agreed by all to be the first battle of the War of Independence but, truth to tell, it was something of a skirmish, with both sides claiming victory.

The ghosts of those riders and the minute-men who stood up to the regulars must be watching with some interest the present day tea-parties across the fifty rather than thirteen states.


  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. Now, surely, you mean 57 states? The One cannot be wrong, can he.


  3. Yes, I thought about saying that. If Texas secedes, there will be 56.

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