2012-04-26 / Front Page

Sybil Ludington rides again

Historic ride is reenacted for Bicentennial
Eric Gross

 Sybil Ludington rode again last Saturday along the same route the heroine of the American Revolutionary War galloped through the countryside alerting American colonial forces that the British were burning Danbury.The entourage concludes its travels on Route 52 at the Putnam-Dutchess County line, with Mark-Lyn Sullivan leading the way as Sybil Ludington.The entourage concludes its travels on Route 52 at the Putnam-Dutchess County line, with Mark-Lyn Sullivan leading the way as Sybil Ludington.

The original Sybil's heroics took place during a 40-mile ride on the night of April 26, 1777, through Carmel into Mahopac to Kent Cliffs, Farmers Mills and back home where she knocked on doors -- even defending herself against a highwayman. The 21st-century Sybil, who in real life was Mark-Lyn Sullivan of Pleasant Valley, rode her mount along a mile of North Horsepound Road in Kent to the delight of more than 200 men, women and children who cheered the young lady on in conjunction with the celebration of Putnam's Bicentennial.

Sullivan, 16, the same age as Sybil when she wrote American history, expressed great excitement. She hadn't heard of Sybil Ludington until last winter, when she was asked to take part in Saturday's celebration.

Mark-Lyn went home that night and did a lot of research: "I was in awe. At the age of 16 I haven't done half of what Sybil accomplished. She was so amazing. Imagine me acting as the female Paul Revere. What an honor!"

Vincent D'Aquino, a local historian and author, called the day extremely special: "Sybil Ludington deserves as the credit she can muster. Sybil belongs in American history."

Kent's assistant historian, Putnam Legislator Richard Othmer, explained the ride this weekend remembered the time when the 7th Regiment of the Dutchess County militia responded to assist another colony: "This was most uncommon for New Yorkers to cross colony lines and assist their neighbors. Everyone was very jealous back then. Crossing into another state was like entering another country."

Sybil was honored for her heroics by General George Washington.

Following the war, Sybil married Edmund Ogden and had six children. She died in 1839 at the age of 77 and is buried at the Patterson Presbyterian Cemetery.

In 1935, New York State erected a series of markers along her route and Sybil's statue along the Gleneida Lakeshore in downtown Carmel, sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington, was erected in 1961 to commemorate her ride.

 

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