• “Lesser-known Figures of the American Revolution” First Prize – Khamiah Quinones

    Khamiah Quinones

    Lydia Darragh:
    An Important Revolutionist

    Lydia Barrington Darragh was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1729. Lydia Barrington married William Darragh, a friend of her family, in 1753. After a few years, the Darragh’s moved to a Quaker community in Philadelphia. William worked as a tutor while Lydia stayed at home and, together, they raised 5 children. During the American Revolution, most Quakers were neutral and did not support either side, but the Darraghs secretly agreed with the Patriot’s freedom cause.

    In September of 1777, the British army rushed into Philadelphia and about one-third of the population left the city. British General Sir William Howe created a camp right in front of the Darraghs’ house, so Lydia was able to give her eldest son, a patriot soldier, important details that could help the army. Howe’s troops forced the family to let them hold meetings in their home. On December 2, the troops held a very private meeting and the Darraghs were told to stay in their bedrooms, but Lydia hid in a closet and spied during the whole conference. They were planning an attack on George Washington on December 4, so she was determined to warn the American army.

    Since Lydia’s children were sent away, she used visiting them as an excuse to leave the city. She headed to the patriot messaging center and told a soldier about the General’s plans. Washington and his troops were ready for the attack and were able to push back the British troops. When Howe and his army headed back to the city, they investigated the residents to discover who leaked the information to the Patriots. When Lydia was being questioned, she told them that everyone was asleep and that her family was innocent. They left the Darragh’s alone and in June of 1778, Howe left and Lydia was able to live with her children again.

    The Darragh family believed in freedom and the Patriots. The family stood up for what they believed in and helped keep the nation together during the Revolution. With Lydia and William’s son being a patriot soldier, she was able to leak information to the patriot army easily. Without Lydia’s courage and determination, George Washington and his troops would have been overtaken by General Howe’s surprise attack. Lydia is not as famous as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, or Arron Burr, but she played a key role in America’s victory during the Revolutionary War.

    Khamiah Quinones, PGHS Grade 9

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 4, 2021

    Topics: Pacific Grove High School, Young Writers' Corner


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