We spend much of our lives being taught in school and in church as well.
We are told what is spiritually true, and what is historically true.
I am sure many of you learned this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during your school days.
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere …
The ride to alert the colonies that the British were coming was thru Massachussetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey
to Philadelphia Pa. Three Hundred and Forty Five miles in 5 days.
The problem is that Paul Revere did not make that ride. It was made by Israel Bissell.
On that night, three men were assigned to ride and warn the people that the British were coming. Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Israel Bissell. Dawes and Revere road from Boston to Lexington. Between the two of them 20 miles.
Israel Bissell road 5 days, 345 miles all the way to Philadelphia warning the colonies as he rode through Massachessetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pannsylvania.
But Henry Wadsworth Longfellow felt that Paul Reveres name was more patriotic sounding and rhymed better and so he wrote the poem about Paul Revere.
But Clay Perry wrote a poem about Israel Bissell that you can find on the net.
The beginning goes like this:
I. Bissell’s Ride – by Clay Perry
Listen, my children, to my epistle
Of the long, long ride of Israel Bissell,
Who outrode Paul by miles and time
But didn’t rate a poet’s rhyme
So what we all learned in our history class turns out not to be true. And we have to think, if they didn’t get right what happened 250 years ago how are we supposed to believe their Bible teachings of 3000 years ago.
That always leads me to think of George Gershwins song of many years ago:
It ain’t necessarily so
The things that your liable to read in the Bible
It ain’t necessarily so.
What this shows us is that the things that we read in our history books also are not necessarily so.
All of your children believe that Paul Revere was the hero that night … Are you gonna tell them the truth?
Poor Israel Bissell got no mention of his heroic ride that night, because his name was not patriotic sounding and hard to rhyme.
Such is the nature of what we are led to believe. It really is all show biz.