It was a full house — literally — at the Paul Revere House this week for a reading of a historical letter by Joan Gatturna as Rachel Revere in Boston’s North End. The event honored the recent acquisition of three important 18th century documents by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. (View the rare documents.)
At the event, “My Dear Girl: A Revere Letter Returns,” Rachel Revere received and read the letter as she did over 236 years ago. The crowd included about 20 special guests including several members of the Revere family including Paul Revere, Jr, Avery Revere, Ben Edwards, Bobbie Hansen, Ted Reynolds and Ned Reynolds. Close to 100 regular visitors also experienced this particularly poignant historical moment from April of 1775.
The letter Paul wrote to his wife Rachel in late April 1775 is one of only a few surviving family letters. It conveys the great affection between the couple and the challenges the family faced with Boston under siege and Paul unable to return home after his midnight ride.
The original letter was long considered lost, until a descendant brought it to the Association’s attention. It was essentially hiding in plain sight amongst heirlooms inherited by the Reynolds branch of the Revere family, when Association staff noted its significance for the owners and encouraged them to have the document professionally conserved. The receipt from April 1778 relates to Revere’s tenure as Lt. Colonel in the Massachusetts Train of Artillery and his command of Castle Island in Boston Harbor. It is one of only few surviving documents that are both written and signed by Revere using his military rank.
For more information about the Revere House, visit www.paulreverehouse.org.