Paul Revere’s ride, April 18th, 1775
Lord Dartmouth, the British secretary of state for the colonies, had decided to end the rebellion before it could take root by seizing the rebels’ weapons, arresting their leaders, and reasserting royal authority. Samuel Adams and John Hancock were lodging in Lexington and were in grave danger. Paul Revere and William Dawes are ordered to give warning. Revere arranges a simple code: one lantern would be hung in the bell tower of Old North Church if British troops were marching by land from Boston Neck, two lanterns if they were rowing across the bay to march from Cambridge.