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FREEDOM HERO:
DEBORAH SAMPSON
by Haley from Laguna Beach, Calif.


My hero's name is Deborah Sampson. She was the first known American woman to impersonate a man in order to join the army and take part in combat. She was born in the year of 1760 and died in the year of 1827.

When she was a little girl, she had to live with her mother's relative. While she stayed there, Deborah was taught how to read. When her mother's relative died, Deborah went to live with an old woman named Mrs. Thatcher who was so old that she had Deborah cook and clean, and even feed her. At the age of 8, Deborah moved again and worked for the Thomas family for 10 years. After living there for a long time, Deborah wanted to learn like the boys, so she took their school books and read them through the night. All this work on the farm and at the house gave Deborah a desire for adventure. She decided that she would fight as a patriot in the Revolutionary War at the age of 19. Before she entered the war, Deborah became a schoolteacher and was freed from working at the Thomas family house.

While waiting for her turn to take part in the war, she learned how to handle a gun and other war items. By going to war, Deborah risked her life for the patriot cause and for her country. She knew that women were not allowed to join the army, but she dressed up as a man. She thought that something bad would happen to her if her secret was revealed, so Deborah took care of a very serious wound herself instead of letting a doctor take care of her wound.

When her secret was revealed, it was kept safe with the farmer of the barn where she was staying. The farmer gave Deborah good horses, food, and better clothing while sending a letter to a general and asking if the general could send Deborah on a secret mission to Philadelphia. The general agreed to the letter and sent Deborah to Philadelphia. Her secret was revealed again after she caught a terrible fever. She was not hurt, but was rewarded for her bravery. She helped the patriots in many ways.

She got married to a farmer named Ben Gannet. Deborah left the army in the year of 1781 at the age of 22 after three years of fighting. She wanted to travel west, but never managed to do so. She marched through very dangerous towns and through safe towns. She was all over the place. When she told her famous story in different towns, she received money and rewards.

Deborah risked her life for the patriot cause because she wanted to have an adventure and decided to join the army for many different reasons. One reason is because at Deborah's age, women were settling down and getting married, but Deborah did not want to get married just yet. Women were not allowed to do the things that men did, but she still wanted to go to war. She did a good deed by choosing to go to war to fight for her country instead of going somewhere far away.

These actions are heroic because she could have been arrested in the loyalist towns while trying to save a fellow soldier, but she took her chances anyway! Deborah could have been killed in the war while fighting for her country, but she did not care. When Deborah got wounded, she dressed the wound herself and was supposed to go home, but she refused to go home.

I think that her actions were heroic because I don't think anybody else would have done the things that Deborah did! I would have thought that she would go home after a little while, but she was so brave and heroic that she stayed in the war with a leg that was not properly healed.

Deborah Sampson impacted my life by proving that women are just as strong, and maybe even stronger than men. I would be angered if girls weren't allowed to do things that boys do because I think that we are equal. Deborah made many things possible for women today!


Written by Haley from Laguna Beach, Calif.
Last changed on: 2/20/2006

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