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Jack Jouett

1781

Jack Jouett

The Ride That Saved America

America is a nation built on the shoulders of courageous everyday people who accomplished extraordinary things in the face of great danger. During the Revolutionary War, the country’s key leaders were never far away from peril. In 1781, the British, led by the ruthless Colonel Banastre Tarleton, planned to attack Thomas Jefferson and other revolutionaries at Monticello. Fortunately for the budding Republic, Captain Jack Jouett overheard the plans and valiantly rode his horse through the night to warn Jefferson and the others. His heroism may not have just saved the lives of several important leaders, it may have saved the Revolution itself. This is the story of the incredible ride of the man some now call "The Paul Revere of the South."

What if Jouett Failed?

After you read the story of Jack Jouett’s ride it’s natural to wonder what would’ve happened if he’d failed. What if Jouett had been sick that day, or hadn’t decided to take Sallie over to the tavern? What if he’d not been able to warn Jefferson in time? Would Jefferson have been hung? Would the revolution still have turned out the same way? Would all of us Americans be speaking with British accents and thinking, “Thank God that Col. Tarleton got Jefferson when he did; those radical colonists were close to winning!”

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