Paul Revere character jug produced by Southern Potteries of Erwin, Tennessee, circa 1940. Paul Revere (1734 - 1818) was an American silversmith, engraver, early industrialist, Sons of Liberty member, and Patriot. He is best known for his midnight ride to alert the colonial militia in April 1775 to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 1861 poem, "Paul Revere's Ride". Revere was a prosperous, established and prominent Boston silversmith. He had helped organize an intelligence and alarm system to keep watch on the British military. Revere later served as a Massachusetts militia officer. Following the war, Revere returned to his silversmith trade. In 1800, he became the first American to successfully roll copper into sheets for use as sheathing on naval vessels.