Deborah Sampson, a true hero of the American Revolutionary War, is the only woman in early American history thought to serve as a soldier without being discovered. Her patriotic zeal leads the young woman to disguise herself as a man, and to enlist as a soldier in Washington’s Continental Army. At West Point her officers choose her for membership in an elite corps, The Light Infantrymen. The military action and episodes of Deborah’s story are based on real events. After the war, Deborah became the first American woman to set out alone to tour as a speaker for compensation, and the first to receive a full pension as a soldier for serving in the army. The actions she took enabled her to live life by her own lights in a society that appeared hostile to the value of women—for they had no legal rights. Their voices and plight were ignored, except for those whose husbands, or fathers, were more enlightened and compassionate. Deborah’s story shows that courage and bravery know no gender, and calls us to empathy, and to a wider vision of the world as we stand in someone else’s shoes, if only as reader. Deborah’s journey is one in which men, women and children actively participated in the shaping of our nation, and that physical, spiritual and psychological freedoms are the right of both genders. This is a look at the far past, which in many ways is not so different from our modern era. The struggle to individualize and to find a place where one can live and thrive is a challenge all of us have faced, or are facing. Each man, woman and child must find within themselves the courage to stand up, to live a life of integrity with the kind of grit, tenacity and care for others that life requires. Deborah’s life is a testament to the difficulties of that challenge and of their resolution—or at the least how to live well in spite of life’s often unasked for trials and hardships.
About Marilyn Gilbert Komechak PhD
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Published August 22, 2012
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
History, War, Literature & Fiction.