Sybil Ludington’s Ride

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Sybil Ludington postage stamp, USPS, public domain. (c)2019

​We all know Paul Revere and we practically take the Longfellow poem as historical fact and we pass our elementary social studies exams and move on, probably never thinking about the rest of the country during The Revolutionary War. Several years ago I read a novel by former President Jimmy Carter that centered on Georgia during the Revolution. It was eye-opening in that I never considered the part of the colonies further south than Virginia. As a New Yorker, I am both excited but also sad that it took this long into adulthood before I even heard her name and then to discover a new Revolutionary hero from right here in New York: Sybil Ludington.

She wasn’t very widely known outside of her home areas around Kent and Patterson, New York.

On April 26, 1777 (two hundred forty-two years ago today), at age 16, Sybil rode her horse, Star to alert the Revolutionary militia forces in Putnam County, New York and as far as Danbury, Connecticut. Her ride was more than twice the distance of that than Paul Revere, longer than any of the other men to have made similar rides. She began at around 9pm, and rode forty miles in darkness until about dawn.

Her father was Colonel Henry Ludington and Sybil’s intention was to warn her father’s troops. It was believed that Danbury was targeted because they had a Continental Army supply depot there. At home, she also thwarted a royalist from capturing her father and turning him over to the British.

A statue of her on her horse depicting the ride is erected in Carmel, New York. That statue is also the ending place of a yearly 50K footrace that approximately follows her historic ride.

She is buried in Patterson, NY and has had her ride commemorated on a postage stamp in 1975.

Learn more here:

Historic Patterson

Sybil Ludington’s Statue in Carmel, NY

Events at the Saratoga Battlefield

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This summer there are several events happening at the Saratoga Battlefield.

On Wednesdays in July, there is a children’s program exploring life in the 18th century for children.

Topics include:

Open Fire Cooking
Toys and Games
English Country Dancing
Laundry and Dress-Up

Call the Visitor Center for information but there is no fee for the program.

Check out their website’s events page for other fun activities.

Saratoga Battlefield and National Historic Park

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Continuing this week’s Revolutionary War era theme, all across upstate New York (as well as New York City and Long Island) can be found many historical sites and battlefields. Even the Battle of Bennington (Vermont) was fought across the border in a town of New York.

On a recent drive through the Saratoga/Schuylerville area, my family and I saw an obelisk in the distance. We drove towards it and discovered the Saratoga Monument for the first time. It was under some renovations but we were still allowed in and around it and the family climbed up as far as they could go. For my own bragging rights, I did climb to the second level, which considering my knee and the open stairs that fed my fear of heights was a pretty good feat.

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