“One if by Land”

TROUBADOUR #2: Hey Taylor, cool threads. Very “One if by Land.”

A phrase from the poem Paul Revere’s Ride, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, previously mentioned. It was a reference to the secret signal orchestrated by Revere during his historic ride from Boston to Concord on the verge of American Revolutionary War.

The signal was meant to alert patriots about the route the British troops chose to advance to Concord, with one lantern on a church steeple to signify they were coming the longer way, over land, while two lanterns meant they were coming the shorter way, by sea.

Despite its importance in the cultural landscape, the lantern signals were only a back-up plan if the messenger was not able to get through, but Paul Revere did manage to leave Boston safely to make his historic ride. The popular myth was that the lanterns, now redundant, were intended for Revere, waiting for the signal across the river.

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