American History was built on the courage of its women and men
Often girls and women are not always written into our national history, but it is definitely not true that they were not as important or not willing, capable or doing courageous acts daily. Recently I travelled to Boston to watch several re-enactments of the American Revolution. We followed the trail from Boston to Concord. The same trail that Paul Revere took on that fateful evening on April 19, 1775. We discovered that he in fact was caught near Lincoln, Massachusetts and it was not Revere, but instead a Dr. Samuel Prescott who he met along the way, that delivered the final message to Concord of the RedCoats path.
While we were being told facts about the battles from Lexington to Concord, we were never told the facts about the girls and women who also served important roles at this time. While the people throughout Massachusetts dressed in their Colonial costumes, never once did we meet a Sybil Ludington, Abigail Adams, Molly Pitcher, Margaret Corbin, or Lydia Darragh. It is often ignored but women and girls served often in battle as spies or in disguise as male soldiers. Wives and sisters were often in battle helping to set up an maintain camps with their husbands.
Here are a few of their stories, so you can write them back into history and remember them as you travel through the American Revolution.
Deborah Samson: When many men were feeling called to join the fight against the British, young Deborah Samson felt the same call. Women were not allowed in battle so she disguised herself as a boy and took her dead brother’s name. She was known as Robert Shurtlieff. She was shot both in the forehead and the thigh during battle, but would only allow doctors to treat her head and used her own knife to remove the bullet from her thigh. In 1783 she became ill while in battle and a doctor treating her discovered her secret.
Prudence Cummings Wright: When the men of Massachusetts were creating their assembly of minutemen the women who were left behind also created their own militia under the guidance of Prudence Cummings Wright. The main goal was to protect those that had remained in town after the ment had left for battle.
Sybil Ludington: While Rever gets most of the credit as being the messenger that saved the Patriots we should not forget Sybil Ludington wh at age 16 also travelled 40 miles on horseback through upstate NY to warn her father’s troops that the British had attacked in Danbury, CT.
Lydia Darragh: General Washington had many spies during the Revolution. One of these was a Quaker woman named Lydia Darragh, whose home became a meeting place for British officers. Often she would listen to these meetings and smuggle messages by sewing them into button covers or books and smuggled them to her son who was serving in the revolution. She saved many soldiers including General Washington.