Jack Jouett silhouette
This silhouette of Jack Jouett was made by his son Matthew Harris Jouett.

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year…    

                                                         Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1861


Hearken good people: awhile abide:
And hear of stout Jack Jouett’s ride;
How he rushed his steed, nor stopped nor stayed
Till he warned the people of Tarleton’s raid

                                                    Charlottesville Daily Press, 1909

Jack Jouett was a captain in the 16th regiment of the Virginia militia during the American Revolution.  In June of 1781 Lord Cornwallis learned that Governor Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia legislature had fled to Charlottesville after Benedict Arnold had taken Richmond.  Cornwallis ordered Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to Charlottesville to capture them.  Jouett learned of Tarleton’s advance on Charlottesville and rode through the night of June 3 and 4 to warn his fellow Virginians that the British were coming!  He succeeded, as Jefferson and most of the legislature escaped capture.

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