5 American Historical Facts

5 American Historical Facts That Just Aren’t True

America has quite an interesting history but over the years there are some things we have been led to believe are factual but when you dig a little deeper into the true stories you find that some historical facts just aren’t true…

Here are 5 of those American historical facts that just aren’t true:

1.    Let’s start off with the midnight ride of Paul Revere… You know, that story of the man riding on horseback frantically from town to town screaming “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

While this has become quite the story over the years that every American school kid learns of as a dramatic ride by one man on horseback to warn everyone of the invading British Army, the actual facts on record from the time do not support such a thing…

5 American Historical Facts

The first noted documentation of this as being a significant, dramatic ride on horseback was found in a famous poem titled “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henery Wadsworth Longfellow… The poem was written 85 years after the famous ride and it is expected that considering Longfellow was a poet and not a historian that he took significant creative liberties to portray Paul Revere as heroic as possible.

What is known is that Paul Revere was not alone on this ride as portrayed in the poem… There were at least two others that were known to have ridden with him, Samuel Prescott and William Dawes and chances are as they rode along their route they were joined by others to help them spread the word.

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And speaking of the word they were spreading, it is highly unlikely they would have been yelling the British are coming for a couple of reasons… One, almost everyone living in Massachusetts during that era was ethnically English and considered themselves British… The second reason the were not likely to be yelling is that they were on a secret mission and had to evade British patrols along the way… Nothing would have said shoot me like someone yelling the British are coming… Well, actually they were likely warning people that the “Regulars” are coming to describe the British Army.

The ride was such an insignificant part of his life that it was not even mentioned in his obituary which lends even more credibility to the idea that Longfellow took creative liberties…

There is one thing you learned that was in fact true in the story that’s been told for more than 200 years now… That is the “one if by land, two if by sea” part of the Paul Revere story…

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2.   For our second myth let’s take a look at the Declaration of Independence that was signed on July 4th 1776… Right? WRONG!

Contrary to what most American’s believe the Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4th… The day we throw parties and shoot off fireworks to celebrate the birth of this great nation…

The Second Continental Congress initially met in Philadelphia on July 01, 1776, to discuss the country’s future… It was on July 02, 1776, that they declared America’s independence from England. The final draft of the Declaration of Independence was completed on July 04, 1776, but it didn’t get everyone’s John Hancock on it until August 02, 1776. So while they did declare our independence on July 4th is was not actually signed off on by the members until August 2nd… Let’s start throwing another party… Why not. LOL

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5 American Historical Facts

 

3.   Let’s see… How about we discuss the Puritans in the myth number three slot…

History tells us that the Puritans came to the New World seeking religious freedom but that was not really the full story. It would seem that in reality, the “freedom” part exposes the myth.

In 1593 the Protestant “Separatist” emigrated to Holland from England so they could practice their preference of religion without interference… The problem for them turned out to be too much religious freedom in Holland.

Holland allowed everyone the freedom to practice whatever religion they wanted and gave free rein to Judaism, Catholicism, and even atheism… This was apparently too much freedom for the pure Puritan hearts to handle so they hopped a ride on the Mayflower and landed in the new world where they set up shop.

5 American Historical Facts

 

4.   Here’s one that will surprise most here in the number four slot… The 13 colonies myth…

Every American is taught that there were 13 original colonies but the truth is one of those wasn’t officially a colony until just before the Revolution began in 1776.

Deleware was officially a colony of Great Brittan for most of the 18th century and for quite a while was part of the Pennsylvania colony… It became the 13th colony just before we started putting a boot up the British army’s backside…

5 American Historical Facts

 

5.   Let’s end this with a war… The Civil War

Most people believe the war ended when Lee surrendered to Grant on April 09, 1865… The truth is the fighting continued and it took a full month for the union to declare victory… When Joseph Johnston surrendered his Confederate army on April 26, 1865, that pretty much marked the end of things but it was not until May 09, 1865, when President Andrew Johnson officially declared victory that the war was actually over.

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American’s love to tell a good story and there have been many more told over the years…

5 American Historical Facts

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Lucy Muller
Lucy Muller
August 11, 2020 3:12 pm

I think this article is too picky. The history is so close to the truth that it doesn’t matter. There was nothing here that was surprising.