It’s Founders Month here in Florida! According to the Florida Department of Education,
Section (s.) 683.1455, Florida Statutes (F.S.), designates the month of September as American Founders‘ Month and s. 1003.421, F.S., recognizes the last full week of classes in September in public schools as Celebrate Freedom Week.
So what does this mean for our schools and kids and teachers? Basically, it’s time to do some learning about the men and women who have helped shape this state and this country. Here on our Florida Citizens blog, we’ll be doing at least two posts a week with a brief overview of a particular Founder, Framer, thinker, or shaper of this state or this nation and how they made an impact.
Are you familiar with Deborah Sampson? If not, you should be, for we might consider her a Founding Mother, and certainly perhaps the first woman in US history to get a military pension.
She was born the poor daughter of a poor though preeminent family, a great granddaughter of founding Pilgrims Myles Standish and William Bradford. She was indentured at age 10, completing her service at 18 and then working as a self-educated teacher in Massachusetts. But in the heat of war, as the Revolution raged, she felt she had to do something more. She wanted to fight. But she was a woman, and that was impossible. Or was it?
She disguised herself as a man, and served as a light infantry scout, led men in battle, was wounded more than once (and taking care of the wounds herself, less her true sex be exposed) and served proudly as a soldier in Revolutionary Army. But then she fell ill and lost consciousness, and was then honorably discharged from the army. She married, had children, and traveled the new country telling her story.
“Four years after Sampson’s death at age 66, her husband petitioned Congress for pay as the spouse of a soldier. Although the couple was not married at the time of her service, in 1837 the committee concluded that the history of the Revolution “furnished no other similar example of female heroism, fidelity and courage.” He was awarded the money, though he died before receiving it.”
You can learn more about Deborah Sampson by visiting Mount Vernon’s excellent overview of her life and service!
You can get a copy of the slide on Deborah Sampson here: Sampson AFM 2019