W

henwasthefirsttimeyou

heardtheselinesorreadthis

story?

Wasyourimaginationenchantedby

thisfamouspoempublishedbyHenry

WadsworthLongfellowin1863?While

PaulRevere(1734-1818)achievedfame

forhiscourageousridethroughthe

countrysideintheearlymorninghours

ofApril19,1775towarnthetowns-

peoplethattheBritishArmywasonthe

move,thiswasonlyonenightofhis83-

yearlife.

Inmanyways,Revere’sliferepre-

sentstheAmericanDream.Borntoa

Frenchsilversmithfather,hestartedhis

professionallifeasaBostonartisanand

workedhiswaytoentrepreneurship,

amassingasignificantfortuneand

achievingthestatusofgentlemanalong

theway.

AmongRevere’smanypursuitsand

accomplishmentswashisMasonicca-

reer,whichmirrorshisbusinessactivi-

ties.

Initiatedin1760andmadeaMaster

Masonin1761,heservedasGrandMas-

teroftheGrandLodgeofMassachu-

settsfrom1795to1797,duringwhich

timeheopened23lodgesthroughout

thestate,arecordthatwouldstandfor

overonehundredyears.

TheGrandLodgeofMasonsinMas-

sachusettstodayhasacollectionof

morethan11,000objectsandpapers,

includinganumberofitemsassociated

withRevere.

Theseitemshelptellthestoryofhow

Reveremadealivingstartingasanar-

tisan,engraverandsilversmith,and

laterexpandedhisbusinessventures.

Eventuallyheownedhisowncop-

per-rollingfactoryinCanton,Massa-

chusetts.

Byexploringtheseobjects,wecan

followRevere’slifestoryandseehow

hisinvolvementinFreemasonryaf-

fectedhisbusinesspursuitsandliveli-

hood.

Reverelearnedthesilversmithing

tradefromhisfather.Heworkedasa

craftsmaninthistradeinthelate1750s

andearly1760s,eventuallyleavingthe

largestsinglebodyofworkofany18th-

centuryAmericansilversmith.

TheGrandLodgeofMassachusetts

collectionincludestwosilverladles

withwoodenhandlesthathaveRe-

vere’smarkinthebottomofthebowl.

Thebowlsoftheladlesareflutedand

scallopedwithanelegantstemcon-

nectingtotheirwoodenhandles.Thela-

dlesintheGrandLodgecollectionare

notdatedbutshowtheinfluenceofthe

mid-1700sstyleknownas“rococo,”

suggestingthattheyareearlyexamples

ofRevere’swork.

Theyresembleapairofladlesthat

ReveremadeforSamuelBarrett.Barrett

presentedhisladlestohisMasonic

lodge,theLodgeofSaintAndrewin

Boston.Theyareengravedwithadate

of1762.

Theladlesalsorepresentthestartof

Revere’sworkforMasoniccustomers,

bothindividualsandlodges.

Infact,thefirstrecordedtransaction

inhisearliestsurvivingdaybook,from

1761,isaMasonicmedalpurchasedby

JamesGrahaminJanuaryofthatyear.

GrahamwasanofficerinSt.Andrew’s

lodge.

10

THENORTHERNLIGHT/FEBRUARY2007

PaulRevere
the
Businessman

ByAIMEEE.NEWELL

PatriotinterweavesMasonic

andcommerciallife

AMIEEE.NEWELL,istheCuratorofCollections,NationalHeritage
MuseumatSupremeCouncilheadquartersinLexington,MA.

Listen,mychildren,andyoushallhear

OfthemidnightrideofPaulRevere…

SilverladlewithPaul
Revere’smarkinthe
bottom,fromthe
GrandLodgeof
Massachusetts
collection.