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This Day in Boston History

February 25th, 1799

William Dawes

b.1745, d. 1799

William DawesS

He rode with Paul Revere, taking a different route to carry the same message. Along with up to three dozen riders they attempted to alert the citizens of Concord and John Hancock to the approach of English troops from Boston.

Both Revere and Dawes were captured, however Dr. Samuel Prescott who joined their mission a little late was able to get the message to Concord.

A poem in the form of Longfellow's tribute to Revere was published by Helen F. Moore
in 1896, recalling that if Dawes' name were lyrical, he could just as well have had the fame history has given to Paul Revere.


England's Prime Minister never expected this tea tax to cause an outcry, let alone revolution. In 1767, England reduced its property taxes at home. To balance the national budget they needed to find a mechanism for the American colonies to pay for the expense of stationing officials in them. The officials would generate their own revenue by collecting taxes on all imported goods, and once paid affixing stamps on them. This Stamp Tax generated more in the way of protests and smuggling than added revenue.

Religion. Politics. Rebellion. Boston’s pedigree was forged back in England in the midst of religious dissension, where Puritans and Pilgrims sought religious reform, and Cavaliers and Roundheads vied for political power. The question isn't where did Boston get its name – but how.

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