This Woman Traveled Farther Than Paul Revere to Warn America "The British are Coming"

The phrase "the British are coming" might be synonymous with an image of Paul Revere riding horseback in the night to warn his fellow patriots about an impending invasion. 

But on this day, April 26, 16-year-old Sybil Ludington actually did the same thing, and she traveled much farther to do so.

Ludington's father, Colonel Ludington, held various roles from farming to serving the local military regiment in their community in Dutchess County, New York. He became a patriot in 1773 and was promoted to the rank of Colonel, leading the local regiment.

After British troops and loyalists attacked a nearby town in 1777, a rider reached Colonel Ludington with a warning of an impending  battle. But the rider was too tired to continue his trek. At the time, the Colonel's troop was disbanded, its members miles apart. Plus the Colonel had to prepare himself for battle.

It was then when he decided to ask his eldest daughter, Sybil, to make the trek through the night on horseback, alerting other men of impending danger and asking them to fight back.

Here are 5 things you didn’t know about this remarkable woman who made a journey that shaped American history as a teenager:

1. Sybil traveled all night on horseback, covering 40 miles, a significantly longer distance than Paul Revere.

2. Her journey and courage helped nearly the entire regiment prepare to fight the British by dawn.

3. Sybil was always a leader as the eldest of 12 children.

4. Former U.S. president George Washington visited the Ludington home to personally thank Sybil.

5. Sybil was honored with a stamp by the Postal Service in 1975. Today a statue in her image stands by Lake Gleneida in Carmel, N.Y. And markers through Putnam County let tourists and visitors travel the route she took that fateful night.

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