Excerpts from "Paul Revere's deposition, fair copy, circa 1775"
Paul Revere of Boston, in the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay in New England; of Lawfull Age, doth testify and say; that I was sent for by Docr. Joseph Warren, of said Boston, on the evening of the 18th of April, about to oClock; When he desired me, "to go to Lexington, and inform Mr. Samuel Adams, and the Honl. John Hancock Esqr. that there was a number of Soldiers, composed of Light troops, & Grenadiers, marching to the bottom of the Common, where was a number of Boats to receive them; it was supposed, that they were going to Lexington, by the way of Cambridge River, to take them, or go to Concord, to distroy the Colony Stores."
I proceeded to Lexington, thro Mistick, and alarmed Mr. Adams and Col. Hancock. After I had been there about half an hour Mr. Daws arrived, who came from Boston, over the neck; We set off for Concord, and were overtaken by a young Gentleman named Prescot, who belonged to Concord, & was going home; when we had got about half way from Lexington to Concord, the other two, stopped at a House to awake the man, I kept along, when, I had got about 200 Yards a head of them, I saw two officers as before. I called to my company to come up, saying here was two of them, (for I had told them what Mr. Devens told me, and of my being stoped) in an instant I saw four of them, who rode up to me, with thier pistols in their hands, said G-d d-n you stop. If you go an Inch further, you are a dead Man, immeaditly Mr. Prescot came up we attempted to git thro them, but they kept before us, and swore if we did not turn in to that pasture, they would blow our brains out
He took to the left, I to the right towards a Wood, at the bottom of the Pasture, intending, when I gained that, to jump my Horse & run afoot; just as I reached it, out started six officers, siesed my bridle, put thier pistols to my Breast, ordered me to dismount, which I did: One of them, who appeard to have the command there, and much of a Gentleman, Asked me where I came from; I told him, he asked what time I left it; I told him, he seemed supprised, said Sir may I crave your name, I answered my name is Revere, what said he Paul Revere; I answered yes; the others abused much; but he told me not to be afraid, no one should hurt me; I told him they would miss their Aim. He said they should not, they were only awaiting for some Deserters they expected down the Road: I told him I knew better, I knew what they were after; that I had alarmed the country all the way up, that their Boats, were catch'd a ground, and I should have 500 men their soon; one of them said they had 1500 coming; he seemed supprised and rode off, into the road, and informed them who took me, they came down immeaditly on a full gallop, one of them (whom I since learned was Major Mitchel of the 5th Regiment Clap'd his Pistol to my head, and said he was going to ask me some questions, if I did not tell the truth, he would blow my brains out. I told him I esteemed my self a Man of truth, that he had stopped me on the high way, & made me a prisoner, I knew not by what right; I would tell him the truth; I was not afraid
the Major orderd us to halt, he asked me how far it was to Cambridge, and many more questiones, which I answered; he then asked the Serjant, if his horse was tired, he said yes; he Ordered him to take my horse; I dismounted, the Serjant mounted my horse; they cutt the Bridle and saddle of the Serjants horse, & rode off, down the road. I then went to the house were I left Messrs. Adams & Hancock, and told them what had happined
A complete version of the deposition can be found at: www.masshist.org/database/viewer.php?item_id=98