Somewhat after the French and Indian War, other better known failures of the English Crown led to the American Revolution. The American colonel Henry Ludington lived in what is now Carmel. On April 26, 1777, his daughter Sybil, age 16, rode over 40 miles through back roads—from the area of that would become Kent to Mahopac to Danbury—to alert the soldiers in her father’s regiment to prepare for an attack by the British. Unlike Paul Revere, a renowned silversmith who rode a mere 12 miles on familiar roads near Boston and rendered immortal by Longfellow, it was not until nearly 200 years after her perilous ride, that Sybil received recognition. She is buried in the cemetery just behind the old Presbyterian church in Patterson on Route 311 with members of her family. Her unadorned headstone reads:
Feb. 26, 1839
E. 77 yrs. 10 mo. & 21 ds.
Our new Kent Town Center on Route 52 is at an intersection called Sybil’s Crossing. A statue of Sybil on horseback stands on the shore of Lake Gleneida in Carmel. In 1975, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in her honor.
Another local Revolutionary War hero was Enoch Crosby. Crosby spied for the Americans and was a resident of Carmel. He was the inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper’s The Spy. After the war, he returned to Carmel and became a Justice of the Peace. Benedict Arnold, who spied for the British, resided in Garrison when he commanded West Point. He fled to join the British at the time his treachery was discovered.