June 4th, 1781 – Jack Jouett The Paul Revere of the South

by | Jun 4, 1781 | The American Almanac | 0 comments

On 7th December 1754, Jack Jouett was born in Virginia. He was serving as a captain in the state militia; he got fame for a”All Night Ride” while rescuing Thomas Jefferson (Governor) from the Brits.

June 1781 – Jouett accidentally heard some British soldiers talking about some men who were making their way to capture Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville for being the governor of Virginia and authoring the Declaration of Independence. The soldiers had recently made their journey back from Richmond and were part of the cavalry command of Banastre Tarleton. They were hopeful of some Virginia Legislature members also to be held captive as they were gathered in Jefferson’s home in Monticello.

Jack Jouetts Ride
jack jouett House

Image Courtesy of Jack Jouett House

Jouett decided to warn the endangered governor and started his journey into the night on a horse. He took the back roads to avoid being seen by the British troops on the main roads to Monticello. He reached Monticello before dawn and informed all the lawmakers about their abduction plan in motion. They all were able to evacuate in time and stayed safe because of Jouett’s timely thinking and heroic decision. As an award for this bravery, Jouett was called the “Paul Revere of the South,” and a pair of pistols along with a sword was gifted to him.


In 1782 Jouett moved to Mercer County, Kentucky, and settled there. He married Sallie Robards, and the couple parented 12 children. Matthew – one of his children – chose to become a painter. Jouett was not happy with Matthew’s line of work. Still, Matthew continued to follow his passion. He ended up being a disciple of Gilbert Stuart – the current famous American artist. Matthew eventually became a very renowned artist in Kentucky and continued to follow his passion.

Serving in the Kentucky legislature, Jouett actively supported the idea of Kentucky becoming a state. In the process, he went on to represent the counties of Mercer and Woodford as well. Later, he moved to Bath County, where he lived as a farmer and in 1822 Jack passed away and was buried on his farm.