Monday, August 15, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Amy O'Quinn.

My selection is "The secret soldier : the story of Deborah Sampson" written by Ann McGovern, illustrated by Harold Goodwin with cover illustration by Katherine Thompson.

McGovern tells the remarkable story of the first woman known to have served in the army during the Revolutionary War.

Deborah was born in Plympton, Massachusetts, on December 17, 1760.  Her father died at sea and her mother could not support their six children, so she sent them to neighbors and relatives. Sampson was only eight or ten years old when she became an indentured servant. 

Ten years of working in the house and fields made her strong.  And in the winter when there was less work to do, she went to school.  When her servitude ended, she had learned enough to be hired as a teacher.  Deborah wanted more from her life -- more than spinning, weaving, and baking bread -- more even than teaching.

So, on May 20, 1782, at the age of twenty-one, she disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army as Robert Shurtleff.  She was wounded twice and was honorably discharged from the army at West Point on October 25, 1783.  She  returned home, married, and had three children. In 1802, she traveled through New England and New York lecturing on her experiences in the military.


Anonymous said...

I have always been fascinated by Deborah Sampson's story, and this book was actually one we used when my son studied the Revolutionary War. A GREAT read! Thanks for the review and suggestion.

Tammy Flanders said...

Are you familiar with another recent (2009) novel about Deborah Sampson, Soldier's secret? I haven't read either - just curious.
Thanks the recommendation.
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