Abigail Adams, Margaret Corbin, Sybil Ludington, and Deborah Sampson. These may just sound like names to you, but they are the names of women in the American Revolution who changed history. Although we might not hear about them as much as we do the founding fathers, they contributed just as much.
A man named Robert Shirtliffe enlisted in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment in 1778. There was just one problem… He was not a man and her name was Deborah Sampson. Deborah Sampson disguised herself as a man and fought for years. She was wounded in a battle and when she went to a doctor, he helped her keep her identity a secret. Sampson was given an honorable discharge.
Sybil Ludington was sixteen years old the night she rode over forty miles in the dark and rain to warn patriot soldiers that the redcoats were attacking. Sybil was one of twelve and her father was the colonel. She is deservedly known as the female Paul Revere. She was able to avoid loyalists the entire ride and, thanks to her, the Minutemen were able to attack.
George Washington’s wife, Martha, was also a real asset to the revolution. During the Valley Forge winter of 1777-78, Martha Washington; brought supplies from Mount Vernon, organized the wives of officers to sew shirts and bandages for the soldiers, and hosted plain dinner parties to boost spirit. An observer was quoted saying, “I never in my life knew a woman so busy from early morning until late at night as was Lady Washington, providing comforts for the sick soldiers.”
Betsy Ross is credited with creating the first American flag. Her name maiden name was Elizabeth Griscom until she married John Ross. John died guarding ammunition in 1776. Afterward, she attended a meeting that led to her sewing the very first American flag. She died on January 30, 1836. She went on to be buried in three different places.
Margaret Corbin was a woman who got involved in the war by cooking and cleaning for the soldiers. Her husband died in battle but she continued to fight. During a battle, she took over as matross when the gunner was killed. Margaret was hit and left for dead. Miraculously, a doctor saved her but she remained permanently disabled. She was the first woman to receive a military pension.
Abigail Adams married a future Founding Father, John Adams, in 1764. She had an amazing appetite for learning, and taught herself French. She wrote many letters about liberty to her friends, and ardently believed both men and women should have independence. She continuously reminded John that he should “Remember the Ladies”. Abigail also fought for women’s education. She was an all-around feminist and did everything she could to encourage equality for women. These are just a few of the extraordinary women who affected the Revolution. From hanging up laundry to fighting in battles themselves, every one of them contributed.