Finishing the Ride - Samuel Prescott Warns Concord
Samuel Prescott was a Physician who finished Paul Revere’s midnight ride.
Though Revere usually gets credit, he was caught by the British. Meanwhile, Prescott was the one who warned Concord of the impending attack.
Samuel Prescott was learning his family trade as a physician when the people of Massachusetts began protesting British taxation.
Prescott joined the Sons of Liberty in Concord and may have also served in its Committee of Correspondence.
He took part in preparing the town for an attack from the Redcoats, including moving cannons to neighboring towns and hiding the gunpowder.
Samuel rode to Lexington on the evening of April 18, 1775 with the dual purpose of visiting his fiance and informing the town’s leaders of Concord’s status.
This is when he found himself in the center of history.
A Chance Meeting
Leaving Lexington in the middle of the night, Prescott was surprised when he encountered two other men on horseback.
Revere and Dawes were in the middle of a ride to warn the countryside about the British Army’s movements. They too had just left Lexington and were on their way to alert Concord.
Seeing as Concord was his hometown, Prescott decided to ride with the two men.
While approaching Concord, the riders were confronted by four British officers who attempted to arrest the men.
Paul Revere was captured (yes, he never finished ‘his’ famous ride).
William Dawes managed to escape, but needed to play a trick on the officers and never made it to Concord.
Samuel Prescott was able to evade his attackers and loop back around.
Prescott was the only man who arrived in Concord and set off the bells in town.
Samuel Prescott’s warning allowed the people in the village to evacuate and plan for an attack.
His night was far from over, however. Samuel continued riding west, warning the other towns and sending minutemen hurrying to prepare for battle.
Prescott’s brother, Abel, jumped out of his bed. He joined the fray by riding south to alert additional towns and militias to the impending fight.
After his ride, Prescott becomes extremely difficult to track.
The general understanding is that he joined the Continental Army as a Surgeon, perhaps serving during the invasion of Canada. Meanwhile, claims that he served on a privateer have little evidence.
Possibly, he was taken to a British prison in Canada, where he died.
The sad truth is, no one is certain when Samuel Prescott died or where he is buried.
What is unarguable is that had Prescott not chanced upon Revere and Dawes in the woods that night, the American Revolution as we know it may never have happened at all.
Here are some other Midnight Riders you might not know about:
Despite the little amount we know of him, Prescott actually has a book written about him.
‘Legend of the Third Horseman’ is a fun read that discusses Prescott in relation to the other Massachusetts Revolutionaries.
If you’d like a copy you can get one through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same).