A Midnight Ride More Arduous Than Paul Revere’s
Published: July 15th, 2020
By: Joe Angelino

Just as a DJ at a wedding reception or an AM radio host takes requests from listeners, this week's column is written because of a reader's request. Former Norwich Historian, Patricia Scott, suggested that readers would enjoy the Revolutionary War legend of Sybil Ludington and how she earned her bronze statue in a public square. I agree.

In April of 1777, when Sybil was just 16 years old, she did a very adult-like thing. Sybil made an all-night horseback ride alerting minutemen in New York's Hudson Valley of the advance of a British army raiding party. Many historians thought Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow should have made Sybil the subject of his famed Midnight Ride poem instead of Paul Revere.

Sybil Ludington was the eldest of 12 children from parents Abigail and Henry. Sybil and her family lived on a farm in Dutchess County, which lies between the Hudson River and the Connecticut state line. During the Revolutionary War, this area was of strategic importance. It was also a hotbed of emotions and clashes between the rebels and the loyalists to the Crown.


The Evening Sun

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