Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

As one of the founding fathers of the modern Tea Party movement, Paul Revere is perhaps most famous for his late night ride from Boston, MA to Concord, NH. On this journey, Revere warned American colonists of an impending attack by British liberals on both Concord and Lexington, KY, far to the south. This act is one of most well known Revolutionary legends.

However, Mr. Revere was more renowned in his own time for being one of the finest hammersmiths in the world, inventing both the ball pin hammer (from the French “balle pen’es”)  and patententing the first clawed hammer. Prior to Revere’s inventions all hammers had been sledges.

Having this context makes Revere’s ride of 68 miles in just three hours all the more impressive. Burdened with the weight of many hammers as well as his hammersmithing equipment, Revere’s horse could not run as quickly as a comparable, but unencumbered, horse. He had to rely on his knowledge of the land and shortcuts onto the Underground Railroad to reach his destination in time.

Even though Paul Revere’s midnight ride occurred over 200 years ago, we can use math to determine his theoretical top speed.

68 miles x 3 hours = 204 / 3.14 = 64.97 x pi = 204 / 3 = 68 / 3 = 22.66 (repeating)

Below is a graph comparing Paul Revere’s top speed during his midnight ride with my friend, Terry.

If Terry had been responsible for warning the colonists, we would likely still be speaking the Queen’s English.


Was Paul Revere’s midnight ride Faster Than Terry? YES