Deborah Sampson Facts

Deborah Sampson Facts
Deborah Sampson (also known as Deborah Sampson Gannett) is famous for disguising herself as a man so that she could serve in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Deborah was born on December 17th, 1760 in Plympton, Massachusetts to Colonial parents Jonathan Sampson and Deborah Bradford Sampson. Deborah was the first of seven children born to her parents (Jonathan, Elisha, Hannah, Ephraim, Nehemiah and Sylvia). Deborah and her family lived in Plympton, Massachusetts while she was young but her father abandoned the family, she was sent to live with a relative, and she began working at a young age. She questioned the British's actions at the beginning of the Revolutionary War and as the war went on, even though she worked as a teacher, she dressed as a man so she could fight along with the men.
Interesting Deborah Sampson Facts:
After Deborah's father abandoned the family her mother could not afford to care for all seven children.
Deborah and the next four oldest siblings were sent to live with neighbors or relatives.
Deborah was sent to live with her cousin Ruth Fuller in Middle borough where she learned to sew, read and write.
Three years after Deborah arrived at Ruth Fuller's house to live, Ruth became ill and died.
Deborah was then sent to live with Mistress Thatcher, an old widow, who required constant care.
Within a year the Mistress Thatcher was sent to live with a relative and Deborah was sent to live with Benjamin Thomas.
At Benjamin's house Deborah took care of his sons and was not permitted to go to school.
When she was 18 years old Deborah left Benjamin's house and became a weaver and then a teacher.
In the spring of 1781 Deborah enlisted in the Continental Army as Robert Shurtliff. She was 21 but she gave the age of 17.
Deborah had to sleep in a tent with six men on a bed made of hay and burlap.
While on a scouting party with other soldiers Deborah was shot in the leg and the head. She thought she was going to die, and the British thought she was dead, so they left her there.
Another soldier took her to a hospital and Deborah survived the wounds.
Deborah got sick in 1783 and a doctor discovered that she was a woman, but he kept her secret.
The doctor's niece fell in love with Robert (Deborah), and the truth had to be revealed.
When she disclosed the fact that she was a woman to the General she was discharged, but with much respect and an excellent service record.
Deborah Sampson married Benjamin Gannett on April 7th, 1785. Together they had three children.
Deborah was given a small pension for her service in the army and for the wounds she received.
Paul Revere pushed Deborah to go on tour to promote her fame from her service in the war, to help make money. She took his advice and lectured in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
Deborah Sampson Gannett died on April 29th, 1827 at the age of 68.
Her tombstone reads 'Deborah wife of Benjamin Gannett, dies April 29th, 1827, aged 68 years'. The reverse side of her tombstone reads 'Deborah Sampson Gannett, Robert Shurtliff, The Female Soldier Service 1781-1783'.

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