The mark of any successful political venture by Governor Palin often results a misrepresentation of her words that only leaves the media with egg on their faces. Governor Palin’s bus tour has been successful in allowing her to highlight the greatness of the history of America, meet everyday Americans and fellow politicians, and share her policy stances on everything from fishing regulations in New Hampshire to ethanol subsidies to the debt ceiling. Such successes leaves the media grasping at proverbial bendy straws. Today’s news is no different. Poised with the opportunity to more appropriately address political stories essentially pre-written for them, such as abysmal jobs numbers under the Obama administration or the newest report that the federal government lends financial aid to the very same countries from whom they borrow , the media have chosen to focus more on their own historical ignorance by creating a story out of a non-story and misportraying Governor Palin’s comments on Paul Revere yesterday:
“He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.”
Those quibbling with Governor Palin’s statements have their history incomplete. During Paul Revere’s ride he was stopped by British soldiers, which Revere recounts in a 1789 letter maintained by the Massachusetts Historical Society ,in his original language (emphasis mine):
I observed a Wood at a Small distance, & made for that. When I got there, out Started Six officers, on Horse back,and orderd me to dismount;-one of them, who appeared to have the command, examined me, where I came from,& what my Name Was? I told him. it was Revere, he asked if it was Paul? I told him yes He asked me if I was an express? I answered in the afirmative. He demanded what time I left Boston? I told him; and aded, that their troops had catched aground in passing the River, and that There would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up. He imediately rode towards those who stoppd us, when all five of them came down upon a full gallop; one of them, whom I afterwards found to be Major Mitchel, of the 5th Regiment, Clapped his pistol to my head, called me by name, & told me he was going to ask me some questions, & if I did not give him true answers, he would blow my brains out. He then asked me similar questions to those above. He then orderd me to mount my Horse, after searching me for arms.He then orderd them to advance, & to lead me in front. When we got to the Road, they
turned down towards Lexington. When we had got about one Mile, the Major Rode up to the officer that was leading me, & told him to give me to the Sergeant. As soon as he took me, the Major orderd him, if I attempted to run, or any body insulted them, to blow my brains out. We rode till we got near Lexington Meeting-house, when the Militia fired a Voley of Guns, which appeared to alarm them very much.
Upon being stopped, did Revere, in essence, warn the British soldiers of the colonists’ plans? Yes. The strawmen built by the media seems to almost indicate that Revere rode through the streets warning the British soldiers. In actuality, simply put, Paul Revere told Regulars of the colonists’ plans during his attempt to warn the colonists of the Regulars’ approach (Revere actually said, “the Regulars are coming!”. The colonist still viewed themselves as British subjects at the time and would not have said, “the British are coming”.)
Additionally, as the Paul Revere Heritage Project notes, Revere had reason for concern that the colonists’ arms would be taken away as they questioned the location of the militia’s ammunition (emphasis mine):
The Redcoats had set temporary roadblocks as a security measure and on their way to Concord they encountered British soldiers. Prescott managed to escape; Revere was captured and Dawes tried to run away but was arrested shortly thereafter. The British held Revere and interrogated him with a pistol on his chest. He was asked about the plans of the militia and where they kept their ammunition. When asked where the Patriots were hiding he told them the truth and replied that they had 500 militiamen in Concord protecting them and 1500 coming. As they rode towards Concord he was told that if he tried to escape he would be shot.
There were no claims by Governor Palin that Paul Revere’s ride had anything to do with the 2nd Amendment as some spuriously claim. She simply indicated the immediate concern of Revere and the colonists. It appears that the media once again fail to grasp the history of our Founding again. You may recall that the media were in an uproar when Governor Palin encouraged Tea Partiers to party like it’s 1773, and the media claimed she didn’t know her Revolutionary War history. Oops. Governor Palin stated that this “One Nation” bus tour would, in part, draw attention to America’s founding and history. It looks like she is doing just that.
H/T Ian, Karen Allen, PalinSupporter
UPDATE: The Governor responds to Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday