Deborah Sampson: A Brief Biography

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Deborah Sampson was born on December 17th, 1760 in Plympton, Massachusetts. She was a decedent of William Bradford, Miles Standish, and John Alden, who were all passengers on the Mayflower. For the first few years of her life, Sampson lived in poverty with her parents, Johnathan Sampson Jr and Deborah Bradford, as well as her six younger siblings. Her father left to claim a stolen inheritance and never returned, either dying at sea, or, as certain records indicate, moving to Maine and marrying another woman. Deborah Bradford was unable to care for her children and placed them in the homes of relatives and friends, with Sampson being hired as an indentured servant to Deacon Jeremiah and Susannah Thomas, two patriots who swayed Sampson’s opinions. When she turned 18, Sampson’s indentured servitude was over, and she provided for herself by teaching school and weaving during the winter. Sampson eventually married Benjamin Gannett, having three children and adopting another. The family lived in Sharon, Massachusetts in poverty. In 1797, Herman Mann helped her publish a biography of her life called “The Female Review,” sparking interest in her and she became the first female public speaker in America, going on a tour through New England and parts of New York beginning in 1802. The government of Massachusetts awarded her a $4.00 pension in 1805, partially due to the urges of Paul Revere, which they doubled in 1818. Sampson died on April 29,…show more content…
Did the views of Deacon Jeremiah Thomas affect your decision to join the army?

Do you regret your decision in any way?

Do you think you impacted American history? If so, how?

Did you encourage other women to disguise themselves and join the army?
Is a woman’s place truly at home, as so many of your time period believe?

Was your discharge from the army justified?

Would you have preferred to remain in service, even if it meant your
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