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Sybil Ludington
Statue of Sybil Ludington in Carmel, New York by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
Born (1761-04-05)April 5, 1761
Kent, New York, U.S.
Died February 26, 1839(1839-02-26) (aged 77)
Catskill, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s) Edmond Ogden (married in 1784)
Children 1

Sybil Ludington commemorative stamp

Sybil Ludington (April 5, 1761 – February 26, 1839), daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, was a heroine of the American Revolutionary War who, mounted on her horse, Star, became famous for her night ride on April 26, 1777 to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British. Her action was similar to that performed by Jack Jouett or Paul Revere,[1][2][3][4][5] although she rode more than twice the distance of Revere and was only 16 years old at the time of her action. She was an aunt of Harrison Ludington, a Governor of Wisconsin.


Sybil was born at Fredericksbourg (now Ludingtonville), Kent, New York, the eldest of twelve children born to Henry and Abigail Ludington. Her father was a colonel in the French and Indian War in 1756.[citation needed]

The Ride[]

Ludington's ride started at 9 p.m. and ended around dawn.[6] She rode 40 miles, more than twice the distance of Paul Revere, into the damp hours of darkness. She rode through Carmel on to Mahopac, thence to Kent Cliffs, from there to Farmers Mills and back home. She used a stick to prod her horse and knock on doors. She managed to defend herself against a highwayman with a long stick. When, soaked with rain and exhausted, she returned home, most of the 400 soldiers were ready to march.[7][8]

The men arrived too late to save Danbury, Connecticut. At the start of the Battle of Ridgefield, however, they were able to drive General William Tryon, then governor of the colony of New York, and his men, to Long Island Sound.[7][8] She was congratulated for her heroism by friends and neighbors and also by General George Washington.[7][9][10][11][12] [13][14][15][16]

Close-up of smaller version of statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington. Offner Museum, Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina

The grave of Sybil Ludington

After the war, in 1784, when she was 23 years old, Sybil Ludington married Edmond Ogden, with whom she had one child and named him Henry. Edmond was a farmer and innkeeper, according to various reports. In 1792, she settled with her husband and son in Catskill, where they lived until her death on February 26, 1839, at the age of 77. She was buried near her father in the Patterson Presbyterian Cemetery in Patterson, New York.[6] Her tombstone, at right, shows a different spelling of her first name.

In 1935 New York State erected a number of markers along her route. A statue of Sybil, sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington, was erected near Carmel, New York, in 1961 to commemorate her ride. Smaller versions[17] of the statue exist on the grounds of the Daughters of the American Revolution Headquarters in Washington, DC; on the grounds of the public library, Danbury, Connecticut; and in the Elliot and Rosemary Offner museum at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.

In 1975, Sybil Ludington was honored with a postage stamp in the "Contributors to the Cause" United States Bicentennial series.[6][7]

Each April since 1979, the Sybil Ludington 50-kilometer footrace has been held in Carmel, New York. The course of this hilly road race approximates Sybil's historic ride, and finishes near her statue on the shore of Lake Gleneida, Carmel, New York.[7]

See also[]


  1. Johnson, "Memoir," Colonel Henry Ludington, Google Books
  2. It was first mentioned by Lewis S. Patrick (Connecticut historian and Ludington descendant, great nephew of Sybil Ludington) in The Connecticut Magazine II (no. 2, 1907) and credit was given to Patrick by Willis Fletcher Johnson in the memoirs of Colonel Henry Ludington. Hauntings of the Hudson River Valley: An Investigative Journey By Vincent T. Dacquino, p. 93</ref name ="news08152009">Ludington Daily News front page, Saturday, August 15, 2009
  3. Ludington - American Revolutionary War heroine, remembered for her valiant role in defense against British attack
  4. Sybil's Story, footnotes 20, 21, 23
  5. Profile,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Profile,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Sybil Ludington profile,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sybil Ludington: a Revolutionary Hero,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  9. Sybil Ludington article by Jone Johnson Lewis
  10. Sybil Ludington - Her Midnight Ride,; accessed February 23, 2015.
  11. Miller, p. 18, Later, America's general George Washington came to Sybil's house to thank her.
  12. Moore, p. 300, Afterward, General George Washington made a personal visit to Ludington's Mills to thank Sybil for her courageous deed.
  13. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, Biography - Sybil Ludington 1761—1839, Unit 3, Chapter 5, The American Revolution Later, Sybil was thanked personally by General George Washington.
  14. Binkley, p. 18, Afterward, General George Washington made a personal visit to Ludington's Mill to thank Sybil for her courageous deed.
  15. Smithsonian Source - Confirmation Readings (Sybil Ludington)
  16. Weatherford, p. 31, ... After the battle at Danbury, George Washington and French General Rochambeau came to the Ludington home personally, to thank Sybil.
  17. "Original" defined as a sculpture cast under the supervision of original artist during his/her lifetime.

Further reading[]

  • Binkley, Marilyn R., Reading Literacy in the U.S.: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study, DIANE Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0-7881-4512-6

External links[]

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