The 16-Year-Old Who Warned The British Were Coming

Her name wasn't Paul Revere

"Listen my children and you shall hear about the midnight ride of Paul Revere..." who hasn't learned this story in middle school? Paul Revere is hailed as an American hero who warned the American colonists that the British were coming during the Revolutionary War, but he really didn't do as much as Israel Bissell, who rode for DAYS, or Sybil Ludington, the 16-year-old girl who reportedly rode for double the length that Revere did to spread the news.

Why don't we hear about these two rather than just Revere? Comedian Robert Wuhl explains that it's because Paul sounds more "American" than Israel, but he doesn't even mention Sybil. There are so many "legends" published as truth in our history books that I often wonder what's really true and what we'll never know for sure.

What other historical figures (particularly women and people of color) were you surprised to learn about?

 

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