13 July 2007

One if by land, two if by sea . . .

Another of those memories from my long-ago youth is learning part of the poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. "Listen my children and you shall hear . . . begins the lengthy poem that tells about the lantern signals and other warnings Paul Revere used to warn that the British were on the march to the Boston area.

On that night of April 18, 1775, the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston held the church sexton who displayed two lanterns for all to see that Paul Revere signaled that the British were marching by sea and not by land. Today this church is also known as the Christ Church in the City of Boston, an Episcopal church built in 1723. Ten months ago I visited the church and gazed at the steeple for the third time in my life. It was still a thrill to see it. Did I recall all the words of that poem? The answer is a definite "no" and to be honest, I only remembered a few lines. For more on the history of the church and the events surrounding Paul Revere visit http://www.oldnorth.com/hist.htm.

Do any of you have family members who were members of that church around 1775? If so, you might want to contact the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Its Research Services team is cooperating with the Church’s Foundation to assemble information on these families. If you do know of a family member who was a member of that congregation between the years of 1750 and 1800, please contact Joshua Taylor, NEHGS Research Services Coordinator at jtaylor@nehgs.org.

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