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!”

The answers to those questions are obviously unknowable, but an article over on the Colonial Williamsburg site (history.org) does a pretty good job recapping the ride and then sorting through a few of the key hypotheticals. (Warning: Not that this story has “spoilers,” but you may want to read Chapter 1 in the book before reading the history.org article.)

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