By Jayne E. Triber
Portraying the guy at the back of the parable, "A precise Republican" is going past the recognized "ride" to discover Paul Revere's better function within the American Revolution, the evolution of his political idea, and his transformation from innovative artisan to entrepreneur within the early republic. "The top complete biography we have now of Revere".--Gordon S. wooden, writer of "The Radicalism of the yankee Revolution". thirteen illustrations.
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Additional resources for A true Republican: the life of Paul Revere
It was an idealistic view, but not a hopelessly naive one, for Revere's belief in the promise of republicanism was always tempered by his awareness of the frailty of the human condition. 9 The search for the sources that shaped Revere's definition of republicanism involved his family, socioeconomic status, occupation, and fraternal associations. In several pages of engaging reading, Revere biographer Esther Forbes suggests that Revere's zeal for liberty and independence was an inheritance from his French Huguenot father, who emigrated to Boston to escape religious persecution, or Page 4 from a host of his mother's Hichborn ancestors, who defended their rights and liberties with energy, defiance, and cantankerousness.
Although his craft allowed Revere a certain degree of creativity and independence in the design and ornamentation of his silver, he was nonetheless confined to interpreting and adapting the English and European styles favored by Boston's merchant elite. He might be able to vary the design of finials and handle tips on his tankards, but in the end, he was dependent on the demands and whims of customers like Andrew Oliver, who wanted him to make a sugar dish out of an ostrich egg. Paul Revere, master goldsmith, could never forgetnor would many a true gentleman let him forgetthat for all the artistry involved in the design and production of his silver, he still wore a leather apron and worked with his hands as he hammered, soldered, cleaned, and filed each piece of silver.
Artisans like the Reveres rented or owned two-story wooden houses with a central chimney and two rooms on each floor. In 1770, when Paul could finally afford to buy a house, something that his father never achieved, he purchased a seventeenth-century wooden row house in North Square. Built around 1680 for Robert Howard, a wealthy merchant, the house had been at the height of fashion in its day, but that day was long past by the time Revere bought the house. 10 William Clark, the merchant who gave his name to Clark's Wharf and Clark Square, built his handsome three-story brick dwelling in 1711, before he lost his fortune in the French wars.