On December 13, 1774, Cheswell rode with Paul Revere to warn Portsmouth citizens of the approach of two British Warships. Along with other local men, Cheswell signed a document in April 1776, in which he pledged to take up arms and resist the British.
In the middle of December 1774, messengers on horseback carried news to the people of New Hampshire’s seacoast. Two British warships were headed to New Castle to reinforce Fort William and Mary. The messengers, or dispatch riders, helped organize the resistance. One messenger was Paul Revere. And one was Wentworth Cheswell.
Revere made quite a few rides before war broke out, and so did dozens of dispatch riders before and during the American Revolution. As part of the secret patriot network, the riders shared intelligence about the enemy and communications between the colonial provisional governments.
Wentworth Cheswell took a number of rides like Revere. He volunteered to serve in the military and fought at Saratoga. He is also considered New Hampshire’s first archaeologist — and the first African-American elected to public office in the United States.
For the complete article: newenglandhistoricalsociety.com
Biography: Famous for alerting the Colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”