“Listen my children and you shall hear the midnight ride of Israel Bissell.” Huh?!
Israel Bissell? Who’s he? Actually there were three ‘midnight riders’ that fateful night of April 18, 1775. Bissell, a 23 year old postal express rider, probably had the most outstanding ride of the three and ended up as one of our most unheralded Revolutionary heroes.
On that fateful night, Paul Revere, a silver smithee and young William Dawes were instructed to ride from Boston to Lexington, to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the British Army was on the march to Lexington. The purpose of their march was to arrest Hancock and Adams and seize the weapons stores in Concord.
In fact Revere and Dawes were captured by the Brits after each had traveled less than 20 miles. So there was little chance for Paul Revere to shout the alarm “The British are coming, the British are coming” or “One if by land, two if by sea,” to very many patriots. No doubt the noted Alaskan neo-rewriting history historian, former Governor Sarah Palin, whose axiom; “I can see Russia from my porch,” has gained great gravitas with today’s GOP funded and organized Tea Party, with her new and some say divine fix of American history.
NeoHistorian Palin dug deep during her recent twenty minute visit to Paul Revere’s haunts, as she discovered unknown facts about the renowned silver smithee that had not been uncovered by all the great American historians before her, including the great American writer, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
What did Palin uncover? She revealed that “The British are coming, the British are coming,” and “One if by land and two if by sea,” was just plain wrong, suggesting that all of Wadsworth’s famous poem was inaccurate.
Palin, had to dig very deep into American history in her Minute Woman stay to learn the real purpose of Revere’s ride. Surprisingly she found it was to warn the British that the American patriots were now armed, dangerous and also they were reloading. Sort of like, ‘Don’t tread on me.” According to historian Palin, apparently, the British, after learning this vital information from the captured Paul Revere, misunderestimated his message of the Minute Men’s intent and thus the American Revolution began.
Now, we get back to Israel Bissell. The three midnight riders, Revere, Dawes, and Bissell, each took a different route out of Boston. As was mentioned before, Revere and Dawes were captured by the British after each had traveled less than twenty miles.
Bissell, on the other hand, rode incredibly fast and within two hours he had ridden some thirty miles. The young postal express rider rode so hard that the first of his three horses died from exhaustion. In all, Bissell rode 345 miles, from Boston to Philadelphia in four days and six hours. It’s been suggested his cry was; “To arms, to arms, the war has begun, to arms, to arms, the war has begun.” So why was Paul Revere, selected by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, over Israel Bissell to write his famous poem, The Midnight Ride? We can assume the answer is alliteration. ‘Listen my children and you shall hear the midnight ride of Israel Bissell’ just didn’t work.
The current gang of Pinocchio complex, ‘pants on fire’ Republicans have a penchant for rewriting history and what follows is the imagined GOP rewrite of our U.S. preamble that their corporate masters would desire.
We the Persons of the United States, in order to form a more perfect anti-union Union, establish Republican ideological Justice from our owned Supreme Court and Congress, insure domestic and international corporate Profitability, provide Defense and Corporate Welfare and Warfare along with subsidies for the military/industrial complex, the international Oil Industry for their record profits and future, greater gains for CEO’s, Wall Street, the Banking industry and Insurance companies by securing total deregulation, and lastly secure the Blessings of no taxation to Corporations, or the Wealthiest one percent of our nation and their families for their undying Prosperity, do ordain and establish this new Constitution for the former United States of America.
Jerry Drucker is a freelance writer and screenwriter, political progressive letter writer, a member of Valley Democrats United, Democratic Club of Camarillo and Valley Grassroots for Democracy. A graduate of the UCLA Film School. Jerry was voted as the 41st AD Man of the Year for 2008 by the LA County Democratic Party members
From Valley Dems United, Margy Murray, Editor.