Deborah Sampson at War

Deborah Sampson at War
Rachel Nellis
Research Services Librarian, The American Revolution Institute
May 15, 2020

Librarian Rachel Nellis discusses Herman Mann’s The Female Review: or, Memoirs of an American Young Lady, a 1797 biography of Deborah Sampson, a soldier in the Massachusetts Line and one of the first female pensioners of the American Revolution. Mixing fact with romantic inventions, the book was published to support Deborah’s application for a pension, which she was granted in 1805. Sampson’s life and the creation of this book are a starting point for discussion of the treatment of enlisted men and woman combatants after the war.


Deborah Sampson is featured in our exhibition America’s First Veteransview highlights here—and in our book, also titled America’s First Veterans. Read it in our electronic publications.

To learn about Margaret Corbin, a female veteran of the Revolutionary War wounded in battle in the defense of New York, read “Margaret Corbin, Revolutionary.”