“My Daugher Can” is a story about Sybil Ludington, a 16 year old daughter to war hero Colonel Henry Luddington. In 1777, two years after Paul Revere made his historic evening ride to Concord, Massachusetts - Sybil had a similar experience, though hers was twice as long, took all night and was during a terrible storm. The ride was to alert patriot farmers to gather at her father’s home where they would set off the following morning to defend Danbury Connecticut from the British army.
Note: Though this is historical fiction and the characters have been developed to accommodate a story, their attributes and development may be useful as reference points and inspirations.
TOPICS FOR INVESTIGATION
Connecticut History - History of Revolutionary War in Connecticut. - Biography of Henry Ludington and his experience in French and Indian War - proceeded by the Revolutionary War. - Biography of Sybil Ludington and the effect of her ride on the war.
- Map of the British siege of Danbury and the patriot response.
- Map of Sybil’s ride. - Map of New England and New York showing Danbury and Boston.
“My Daugher Can” Study Topics - Comparison between Paul Revere’s ride and Sybil Ludington’s. - Life of Colonial farmers/militia.
TOPICS FOR REFLECTION
From a Child Development Perspective:
In this story, your child might learn that:
Sometimes when we see a need, we are called to respond and act, even if the person whom we think needs help says they do not. Sometimes, we do it, anyway. Sybil's father told her that he did not have a need protection, but she responded, "But I can anyway.”
Even when we are advised otherwise, sometimes we cannot quiet the inner voice of wisdom that knows where our true passions lie. Sybil knew that she needed to be prepared for whatever adventures life was to bring her way, even if her mother suggested that the only important preparation that she needed to concern herself with was to start her own family.
We all want to have someone whom we can look up to. We are strengthened by the positive examples set by others. Sybil very much wanted to be like her father. She wanted to be brave like him, and his example inspired her. Sometimes our resolve is strengthened by someone else’s success that we want one day to achieve for ourselves.
Sometimes the greatest gift that we can give someone else is the confidence that we believe in them. Sybil received this vote of confidence from her father when he looked to her to assist the seventh regiment of the Dutchess County militia.
It is important to have work that has purpose and meaning. Sybil knew that her work mattered when she was serving the Revolution! We all like to know that we are part of something bigger than we are, especially when we are doing service for something that we believe in.
Sometimes inspiration and leadership comes from unexpected places! In our story, it was Sybil who actually did the very task as the historic hero, Paul Revere, but Sybil Ludington’s accomplishment even exceeded his. And in the end, it was her steadfast loyalty and bravery that was the encouragement that and the men of the Seventh Regiment from Dutchess County needed!
About the Authors
David Sewell McCann
David Sewell McCann fell in love with spinning stories in first grade – the day a storyteller came to his class and captured his mind and imagination. He has been engaged in storytelling all of his adult life through painting, film-making, teaching and performing. Out of his experience as a Waldorf elementary class teacher and parent, he has developed a four step method of intuitive storytelling, which he now shares through workshops and through this website.
Meredith has been working with adults and children of all ages for the past 25 years as a Waldorf Teacher and Educational Consultant. She received a B.A. with a focus on child development and child psychology from the University of Michigan, in 1984, an M.A. Ed from Washington University in 1987, and her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Lehrerausbildung (Teacher Training) in Nurnberg, Germany in 1989. She was certified as a Living Inquiries Facilitator in 2014, and she completed her formal teaching certification with The Enneagram Institute in 2014. Her work in the classroom and with individuals and groups is designed to help people of all ages to drop self-limiting beliefs to live a more joyful and compassionate life.