For Carrot Ranch, January 4, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about Copper Country. It can be any place, fictional, historical, or on another planet. Go where the copper leads. Respond by January 9, 2018, to be included in the compilation (published January 10). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
So, Charli stumped me again, and again I am breaking the rules. Go where the prompt leads, she says… Charli, residing in Copper Country, gave copper as a prompt after sharing in her post that she would be working her literary magic with veterans and their spouses. This is all beyond me, and besides I kept getting led to Paul Revere, himself a veteran of more than one war. And a coppersmith.
Revere fought in the French & Indian War, perhaps more inclusively known as the Seven Years’ War. He also fought, more famously and in many capacities, in the American War for Independence. One of the Sons of Liberty, Revere’s participation as a soldier was less successful than his other contributions, many of which relied on his skills as an artisan and metal worker. The pen was a strategic weapon the Americans wielded in the Revolution, with some wonderful persuasive essays and propaganda being distributed by the means of the day. Revere, using copper plates, made, among other political cartoons and illustrations, a famous engraving that wasn’t quite accurate in its portrayal of the Boston Massacre; he may have even copied the illustration. But he used his craftsmanship to spread a message and it got the desired result, inflaming more to the cause of independence from Britain. Brawnier contributions had more to do with munitions and weaponry; he set up gunpowder mills and cast cannons from iron and brass. After that war, he established a copper mill south of Boston where his work with rolling copper took the form of rivets and other hardware and sheeting for ships’ hulls, benefitting the nascent American Navy that would be crucial in the War of 1812.
Industrious and adaptive, Revere is a favorite patriot and Revolutionary hero. And yet, many associate Revere’s work with copper with the making of copper alloy bells and with pots and pans. Let’s. Let’s melt down all the brass cartridges and the copper bullets and make pots and pans to cook up a shared meal and a bell to ring in peace. Surely we have the resources to do that.