Gannett Family Grave site Deborah Sampson a.k.a. Robert Shurtlieff
Rock Ridge Cemetery, Sharon Massachusetts November 2010
Me at Deborah Sampson’s Grave site, Sharon Massachusetts November 2010.
I recently found out a male resident in Sharon Massachusetts has taken a keen interest in Deborah Sampson and is writing her story. GREAT! I wish him much success.
During my research of women in US History, Deborah is one of the most fascinating women I discovered. But… men writing about women has always rang too technical to me. Which always takes me back to conversations I have with women about men and history. “It’s done their way and they forget about the ladies.” “That’s why it’s called HIS-story” I giggle a little. The dividing line between men and women always gives me a little giggle, I can’t help it.
As a woman I research between the lines. It’s what we do, we are known for beating the facts to death right? (sarcasm). Fact are facts and behind every factual situation is an emotion the compelled someone to do it. The emotional intent on doing what we do. How women think and the desires behind our actions is one thing that men will not EVER be able to grasp – I don’t care how many debates I will have with anyone on this topic. In turn,I don’t think like a man and don’t pretend I know how to or want to for that matter.
Women of our history are just as responsible for the founding of our country as the men were. They accomplished successful deeds, just as the men did. Women didn’t sit back and watch what the men were doing, they were working and working hard. Men and women worked as a team. They were each others most trusted companions and together they worked and labored on every task that was needed to survive and create a new life. As most want to say they didn’t have a choice. True. However, men and women weren’t any different then as they are today in the process required to accomplish what needs to be done.
Women were not allowed to be educated, even though most women in history were very well educated? Women were not allowed to have an opinion even though most men listened to their women’s advice. Abigail Adams for one, Eleanor Roosevelt another.
Deborah Sampson fought in the Revolutionary War as male soldier Robert Shurtlieff, a foot soldier with the 4th Massachusetts Regiment. She was felled by a musket ball to her left thigh and slashed by a sabre across her forehead. After the war she went to her Aunt and Uncle Waters farm, met and married Benjamin Gannett and bore three children, adopted a daughter Patience. Petitioned and received veteran’s pay as a soldier of the war as Deborah Gannett. Went on the lecture circuit and spoke about her time in the war and performed military drills dressed as a soldier, and was paid for it. Retired to a quiet life in Sharon Massachusetts and was known in town as the “Old Soldier”. Died on April 29,1827 in the upstairs bedroom of the home she shared with her husband, son and daughter in-law.
All of this information and more are documented facts readily available to anyone who would like to know more about Deborah Sampson Gannett.
For this author, my interest in the remarkable life of Deborah Sampson Gannett and all the women I will write about in US History and all that they accomplished and the REASONS behind their actions are but one question.
Teresa L. Watts, Author of the remarkable women in US History, telling THEIR stories, their way.