On the Battlefield
The night ride of Sybil Ludington
Sixteen-year old Sybil Ludington rode forty miles through New York and Connecticut on a rainy night to warn the militia that the British were burning Danbury and preparing for more raids. The British were met at Ridgefield on April 27, 1777 and eventually forced to retreat to Long Island Sound. The tale of Sybil and her horse was set to poetry by Berton Braley in 1940, with a nod to Longfellow's poem The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere. It begins:
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of a lovely feminine Paul Revere
Elizabeth Freeman, aka Mum Bett, was one of the first slave women to successfully sue for her freedom in Massachusetts under the state constitution, in the aftermath of the Revolution. Freeman decided to seek freedom after hearing a public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Family lore says she was driven by abuse at the hands of her owner. When the municipal case was upheld by the state courts, the ruling was considered to have implicitly ended slavery in Massachusetts. Once free, she worked in her attorney's household as a paid governess and senior servant.