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Paul Revere Court-Martial: 1782

The Penobscot Expedition, Initial Allegations Against Revere, Revere Court-martialled At His Own Insistence

Defendant: Paul Revere
Crimes Charged: Disobedience of an order; leaving the Penobscot River without orders from his commanding officer
Chief Defense Lawyer: No record
Presiding Officer: No Record
Chief Prosecutor: No Record
Court: No Record
Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Trial: February 1782
Verdict: Acquitted on both counts

SIGNIFICANCE: The reputation of Paul Revere as a patriotic hero of the American Revolution was tarnished by the accusations made against him after the disastrous Penobscot expedition in 1779. A court-martial was eventually held, at Revere's insistence, in 1782, and he was acquitted.

Paul Revere has become an icon in the mythology of the American Revolution largely as a result of the historically inaccurate account of his famous "midnight ride" given in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's popular poem. Revere was born in 1735, the son of a Boston silversmith. He took up his father's craft and excelled in it. His contributions to the design and manufacture of fine silverware justify his place in history perhaps as much as his patriotic and military exploits.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1637 to 1832