Paul Revere House


The Revere house in North Square, Boston




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Built in 1680, Paul Revere owned and lived in it from 1770 to 1818; restored to reflect its 17th century appearance.

In the seventeenth century it may have looked much as it does today, a two-story, peak-roofed, tiny house with a scowling medieval overhang. Seemingly there is no conceivable place to put Paul Revere himself, his wife, mother, and all those children. But the tax assessments of 1790 describe this house in that year as having three stories and seventeen windows. Paul may have added that extra story or it may have been enlarged before he bought it. As it is the only seventeenth century house still standing in a large American city, it was wisely restored to John Jeffs’ day rather than Revere’s. Although not so picturesque in the eighteenth century, it was undoubtedly much more commodious.

— Esther Forbes, Paul Revere & the World He Lived In (1942), p. 162.

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Wounds [from battle] were first cleansed with lint, either dry or wet with oil, and bandaged lightly. Later they were to be washed with a digestive — a substance used to draw pus — and then covered with a bread-and-milk poultice, with oil for moisture. For the first twelve days, a cooling regiment of medicines and diet was recommended, on the theory that this lowered the danger of infection. The empiricists among the medical men of the time had noticed that a man ran a fever with an infection, and concluded, with somewhat superficial logic, that keeping him cool would lower the chances of the infection taking root.

Unfortunately, there was little or no interest in using clean bandages or instruments.

Thomas Fleming
Now We Are Enemies: The Story of Bunker Hill (1960; reissued 2010)