J. L. Bell

William Dawes, Before and After His Ride

William Dawes, Jr., is known today only as the other rider who carried news of the British army march to Lexington in April 1775. In fact, like his famous colleague Paul Revere, Dawes was active throughout Massachusetts’s Revolution. Before April 1775 he was a militia organizer, a political fashion icon, and even an arms smuggler whose secret mission for the Patriots’ Committee of Safety helped bring on the same march to Concord he helped to warn about. During the war he took on responsibilities administering and supplying the state’s armed forces. And afterwards he was active in reestablishing one of Boston’s oldest military institutions. Hear all about one of the hands-on figures who made the Revolution happen.

The professional recording of this session was funded by a Preserving America grant from Americana Corner.

[Recorded on 12 August 2023]

J. L. Bell is the proprietor of the Boston 1775 website (boston1775.blogspot.com), providing daily helpings of history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about Revolutionary New England. He is the author of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War, a book-length study for the National Park Service about General George Washington in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and numerous articles and book chapters.

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