Paul Revere – a Jewish one?

Paul Revere is one of the most famous Americans for his midnight ride at the beginning of the American Revolution, when he galloped from Charleston to Lexington to warn rebels that “the British were coming.” Jews may be annoyed that 23-year-old Israel Bissel who rode 345 miles across five states to warn patriots that war had broken out against Britain gets barely a mention, perhaps because Paul Revere has a more romantic ring than Israel Bissel.

Actually, there is probably nothing for Jews to get heated about, because just as Otto Lilienthal is often mistakenly identified as an early Jewish aviator due to his Hebrew sounding name, so there is little doubt that there is nothing except Israel Bissel’s name to indicate that one drop of Jewish blood ever fl owed through his veins. Having a brother named Justis, and a wife named Lucy Hancock also lend little credence to the notion that a Jew once outrode Paul Revere.

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