Fact Check Politiku: Paul Revere's Letter to Jeremy Belknap Circa 1798
The page of the Massachusetts Historical Society website, pictured below, has no firewall. It is not obfuscated by a screen name and password wireframe obstacle course. The identity of a first pet is not required to gain access.
The site provides a collection of public documents, available courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society, to anyone with a computer and internet access.
Paul Revere's spelling is abysmal and his handwriting, illegible. That's what the transcription is for. Check it out for yourself.
As Politiku is now on Tumblr, I was looking for relevant content to reblog and stumbled upon "Poor Richard's News Post", which posited that Palin's version of the story wasn't so off the mark. The source, however, seemed prohibitively biased. Confident in the certainaty that there were not gunshots or bells, I decided further investigation was not waranted.
Then a tweet from Roger Ebert pointed to a Legal Insurrection post citing original documents along with "Paul Revere's Ride" by David Hackett Fischer (Oxford University Press 1994).
Concerned, I forwarded the links with citations to a historian I'm friends with. He confirmed that "Fischer's account of the ride is the current standard and best" and pointed me to an article posted in
The International Business Times . An international publication had addressed the historical veracity of Palin's story more rigorously than the US big city dailies had. Then, Monday right before the crack of dawn, The LA Times validated.
I began blogging in 2008 and several of my anagural posts were about Palin. When Palin quit her job 2009, I cross post Sarah Palin Swan Song Politiku here, on Huffington and initially delighted that her latest Katie Couric moment might well alienate her pointy hat supporter base.
It should go without saying that I am not thrilled about having to admit that I was wrong and Sarah Palin was right about something. I could have done this research before posting
and I'm not the only one who should have fact checked.
Here is the amended clause of the previously posted Politiku:
Susanna Speier's Fact Check Politiku
There were warning shots.
I don't like it that she's right...
...but they rang bells, too.