We are all familiar with Paul Revere and his historic midnight ride on the eve of the American Revolution. What is less known, however, is that he wasn’t alone in this endeavor. In fact, one of the men who rode with him, Wentworth Cheswell, was a black man who helped secure the idea of America as much as any other Founding Father.
Not only did Cheswell ride with Revere, but he was also by all accounts an American original. He was the first black officeholder in American history, a well-respected member of his community, the first archeologist of New Hampshire, and his town’s historian, to name a few accomplishments. His story has largely been forgotten, but it’s time for that to change.