Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2019

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20 Hudson Valley Parent n March 2019 Trail marks her final destination. Sarah went on to marry William Bull, a stonemason, and together they acquired a 100-acre homestead, had 12 children and built a 10-room stone house that still proudly stands in Campbell Hall. This strong, resilient woman who started out as an orphan lived to be over 100 years old, and today her descendants number some 76,000. "A great place for families to visit is Plum Point on the Hudson where the ship landed and here the passengers would have spent their first night -on board," says co-author Julie Boyd Cole, a former journalist, noting that they can find maps designating the passengers' likely route at the Knox headquarters on Blooming Grove Turnpike in Vails Gate. The late-night ride of Sybil Ludington About 50 years later another teenager, Sybil Ludington of Putnam By GLORIA SMITH T he Hudson Valley is so rich in history that you don't have to go far to travel back in time. Since March is Women's History Month, why not clean off your hiking boots, dust off your bike seats or polish up a saddle and get on the trail this spring to teach your children about some women who, through their grit and hard work, won a place in history? On the trail of Sarah Wells "March!" was the cry rallying the assorted group of Native Americans, tradesman, livestock and at least one teenage girl debarking from a ship arriving from New York City at Plum Point in New Windsor more than three centuries ago. The life journey of this teenager is documented in a new book Sarah, An American Pioneer- the Circumstantial and Documented Evidence of the Courageous Life of Sarah Wells Bull by Julie Boyd Cole and Sarah Brownell. They tell the story of how Sarah Wells left the small town of Manhattan in 1712 to become the first European to settle in Goshen, New York. An orphan living as indentured apprentice in the household of Elizabeth and Christopher Denne in Manhattan, Sarah had accepted the Dennes's offer to venture to their 2,000-acre parcel of the Wawayanda Patent to establish a homestead in exchange for 100 acres. After a 24-hour trip sailing up the Hudson, a 20-mile two-day trek lay ahead. The journey took them along Moodna Creek in Otterkill, where a historic marker for the Sarah Wells County, rode into history. Colonel Henry Ludington, Sybil's father, was a volunteer militia officer and community leader who went on to become an aide to General George Washington. On the night of April 26, 1777, he got word from an exhausted messenger that the British were attacking Danbury. Since the messenger was unable to go any farther, legend has it that Sybil took over, riding her horse, Star, 40 miles through the countryside of Putnam and Dutchess counties -roughly twice as far as Revere rode-to alert the militia with the same message: The British are coming! When she got back home, some 400 troops had gathered at the Ludington residence to fight the British, whom they ultimately forced to retreat in what became known as the Battle of Ridgefield. The rest, as they say, is history...or is it? Jennifer Cassidy, aide to the Putnam County Historian's Office & Archives, allows that several versions of the story exist and reluctantly acknowl- edges that some historians have dis- credited the story. But she also points out the multiple tributes to the ride -a commemorative Sybil Ludington stamp from the mid 1970's, an NRA award named in her honor, and a replica of the statue of Sybil Luding- ton that stands in Carmel today. Sojourner's Journey Sojourner Truth started life with a different name-Isabella-and several different masters before she walked out on her slaveowner at age 29. She became a free woman-and eventually an evangelist, abolitionist and women's Celebrate Women's History Month in the Hudson Valley Teach your children about the history right in your backyard The Hudson Valley is teeming with history. See what you can learn on your next hike!

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