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    Israel Bissell

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    1752 – October 24, 1823

    If you're an American (and if you're not, don't worry, nobody's perfect), you're no doubt familiar with the tale of Paul Revere: silversmith and rabble rouser who warned the patriots of Massachusetts that the British were, indeed, coming.

    One if by land, two if by sea, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah.

    Anyway, Revere is remembered as quite the patriot for his midnight ride of 1775, which allowed the fledgling Massachusetts militia to respond with alacrity to the English incursion.

    But, oh scholars and historians, do you know who Israel Bissel was? He wasn't a Jewish vacuum cleaner, as JONJ whipping boy Robert Wuhl has suggested. No, Bissel was the man who grabbed his horse at the same time Revere did in Watertown, MA and rode for four days straight all the way to Philadelphia to warn that war had begun (the Amtrak Acela line was, sadly, closed for repairs that day).

    Now isn't that typical. The goyishe Revere rides about a mile and a half — barely bruising his soft, white tooshie — and gets all the credit while the Jew, who did the real work, gets swept under the Revolutionary carpet.

    Except Bissell wasn't Jewish. In fact, Bissell might not even be real.

    The only actual record of any Bissell in 1775 (beyond the folk tales, forgotten poems, et al), is that of one Isaac Bissell who only rode as far as Hartford, then took a powder while billing the Revolution for his six-day stay.

    So yeah, go Paul Revere! Or something...

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    April 9, 2013

    See Also

    John Adams

    Alexander Hamilton

    Israel Hands

    Thomas Jefferson

    Robert Wuhl
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