February 25, 1799

William Dawes Dies

Greater Boston

On this day in 1799, William Dawes died. The first man to be dispatched on the night of April 18, 1775, Dawes carried the same message as Paul Revere, but while Revere rowed across the harbor and mounted a horse in Charlestown, Dawes went overland, galloping through Roxbury and Watertown. Both men managed to deliver the warning to Samuel Adams and John Hancock in Lexington. They set off together for Concord, but were stopped by a British army patrol. Revere was arrested. Dawes staged a ruse and escaped. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow later immortalized Paul Revere and his midnight ride. William Dawes, the other hero of that night, died unheralded.

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