WASHINGTON (AP) — Sarah Palin says she didn't mess up her history on Paul Revere.
The potential 2012 presidential candidate was in Boston on Thursday as part of her bus tour when she was asked about the Revolutionary War hero.
Palin said Revere "warned the British that they weren't gonna be takin' away our arms."
Palin, a paid Fox News contributor, told "Fox News Sunday" that she was correct. She says there were British soldiers in the area for years before Revere's legendary ride, and that he was warning them, as well as his fellow colonists.
The Paul Revere House's website says that on April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren instructed Revere to ride to Lexington, Mass., to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them.
But Palin's defenders insists that Revere did warn the British. They cite an obscure text not often mentioned in the midnight ride story.
A letter that Revere wrote in 1789 that has been preserved by the Massachusetts Historical Society. Here’s the key bit, according to Forbes.com:
"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."
But Forbes blogger E.D. Kain was having none of it:
"Setting aside the likelihood that this is a letter Palin has actually read, the fact still remains that the story of Paul Revere that Americans know and love is one of Revere riding across the countryside alerting the colonists that the redcoats were coming.
"This is one of the key stories of the American Revolution, as much legend as history at this point. Nobody references Paul Revere being waylaid by British soldiers and warning them that the Americans were coming. If you answer a question about Paul Revere you talk about his ride, you recite Longfellow. You don’t babble incoherently about warning the British unless you happen to be a half-term former governor of Alaska who simply can’t be bothered to learn a little bit of American history."
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