Deborah Samson

Her Story

Deborah Samson was the first female soldier to fight in the Revolutionary war. In May 1782 she presented herself to be a young man offering to volunteer as a solder in the war. She disguised herself as the soldier Robert Shurtlieff. Deborah's youth was spent in poverty. Her Father went off to sea and her Mother was in poor health. She became a servant and for ten years, she helped with housework and worked in the fields. At the age of 21 she enlisted in the Continental Army.


On May 23rd, she went into service. She performed duties as well as any man. Their had been rumors back home of a women fighting as a man. But, her regiment was on the way to West Point by this time. When Deborah was Fighting she was wounded twice, the first time was a wound to the leg. She tended her own wounds, so her gender would not be discovered. The leg never healed right. The second time she was hospitalized for a fever and the Doctor discovered her real gender. He made arrangements that ended her military career. She was honorably discharged from the army in October 1783.

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Her Statue

Sharon, Massachusetts now memorializes Sampson with Deborah Sampson Street and a Deborah Statue in front of the public library.

After the war

After the war Deborah married Benjamin Gannett, they had three children. She also, taught school. She was recognized by the Army and received money for her service to our country. Later she traveled throughout New England and New York giving lectures about her experience in the military. She wore her military uniform. She died April 29th, 1827 at the age of 66. Her children received special compensation by the Congress for her efforts in the War.

My Reaction

I think that its pretty cool to see a women fight in the war. Because in that time period women had very limited rights to be whatever the wanted to be. I think she was very dedicated to the War and serves as a role model to all women. I like to think that women can achieve anything they want. It takes strong will and determination to reach your own success.