Paul Revere is one of America's heroes mainly because of his efforts to warn colonial rebels of British troop movements before the Battles of Lexington and Concord, made famous in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride." He also participated in the Boston Tea Party to protest British taxation.
When a ship from the British East India Company arrived in Boston under the 1773 Tea Act, Revere joined a group of colonists who boarded the ship and unloaded the tea into the sea to protest taxation of the colonists without representation in Parliament. As a rider for the Boston Committee for Public Safety from 1773 to 1775, Revere couriered messages to Philadelphia and New York. On April 18 and 19, 1775, after receiving a lantern signal from the North Church that British troops were advancing along the Charles River, he rode through Middlesex County warning colonists of the imminent arrival of the soldiers. In Lexington, he alerted Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who left town before they were captured. On his way to warn the town of Concord, he was captured by the British but later released.
After the Revolutionary War started, Revere briefly served in the militia, but his main contribution to the war effort and the founding of the new nation was in the field of industry. He set up a powder mill that produced large quantities of gunpowder for the colonial army. Later, he founded America's first sheet copper mill for shipbuilding.