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BRM2437 Political Magazine Boston Massacre 1770Popular culture has unfortunately reduced Paul Revere (1734-1818) to a cartoon, best known (or more accurately, known only for) the “Midnight Ride” immortalized by Longfellow’s poem. But Revere is better remembered as, not just a patriot, but an accomplished silversmith whose work is among the treasures of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, an engraver whose works are eagerly sought by collectors and libraries, and early American industrialist, who founded a firm capable among other things of producing enough copper to sheathe the bottom of the USS Constitution. 

As an engraver during the late Colonial and Revolutionary eras, Paul Revere produced a number of iconic cartoons and other images, most in the service of the Patriots’ cause.  The most famous of these is of course “The Bloody Massacre” (1770), a brilliant propaganda piece positioning the occupying redcoats as the villains of the Boston Massacre. But he also produced well-known images such as the view of British troops landing at Long Wharf (1770), and “The Able Doctor” (1774), to name a couple.  Prior to the Revolution Revere also engraved at least two maps, one being a world map illustrating John Hawkesworth (ed.), A new voyage, round the world … by, Captain James Cook (Hartford, 1774).  The other was Bernard Romans’ monumental map of Florida, the only know copy of which is held by the Library of Congress.

The quality of Revere’s engraving varied quite markedly, from a crude, almost child-like rendering of King Philip (aka Metacomet) to the ambitious work on Roman’s map of Florida.  It is however undeniable that he had a gift for being at the center of the action and for creating lasting images that reflected the fevered mood of this times.



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BRM2437 Political Magazine Boston Massacre 1770

Rare contemporary print of the “Bloody Massacre”

The fatal March 5, 1770 riot in Boston—immediately rebranded by Patriots as a “massacre”—was immediately seized upon as a worthy subject for depiction in print. Revere’s “Bloody Massacre” engraving, pirated from a drawing by artist Henry Pelham, was advertised the Boston press as soon as March 26, while Pelham’s own version appeared just a week […]

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With a Revere political cartoon

A rare Boston almanac from the pre-Revolutionary period, with a terrific Revere cartoon lampooning Governor Hutchinson. Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780) was an eminent merchant, politican and historian in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts, and served continuously as Lieutenant Governor and then Governor from 1758-1774. Though intelligent, competent, and rather fair minded, his conservative and Loyalist policies brought him into conflict […]

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With Revere’s iconic engraving of King Philip

The second edition of Church’s extraordinary history of America’s most devastating war, illustrated by Paul Revere’s iconic engraving of “King Philip,” the Wampanoag chief who initiated the conflict. Very rare on the market, with no record of having been offered for sale in almost a quarter century. Background King Philip’s War erupted in June 1675, after […]

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Early variant of the “Bloody Massacre”

The fatal March 5, 1770 riot in Boston immediately rebranded by Patriots as a “massacre” was immediately seized upon as a worthy subject for depiction in print. Revere’s “Bloody Massacre” engraving, pirated from a drawing by artist Henry Pelham, was advertised the Boston press as soon as March 26, while Pelham`s own version appeared just […]

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