Sybil Ludington lived from 1761—1839. She was born in what is now Fredericksburg, New York to Colonel Henry Ludington and his wife, Abigail. She was the oldest of 12 children. Her parents ran a mill in Patterson, NY, so the family was mostly based there.
On April 27, 1977, during the War of Independence, British soldiers sacked Danbury, Connecticut, a town that housed many arms for the insurgents. Sybil was dispatched to warn her father and to bring the knowledge of the attack to the troops. She rode 40 miles on horseback, and used a stick to prod the horse and to knock on doors. She also used the stick to defend herself from a highwayman. By the time she reached her home, 400 of her father’s soldiers were ready to march to help Danbury. She had ridden from 9:00 pm till about dawn, at only sixteen years of age. For her actions, she received praise from her family and friends, as well as formal recognition from General George Washington.
Legacy: NY placed a number of markers along Sybil’s route in 1935. The famed sculptor, Anna Hyatt Huntington, created a famous working of Ludington in order to commemorate her.
Her actions were much like Paul Revere’s famed midnight ride, except she rode far more than he did and was only sixteen.