Descendants of disguised female militia member visit Historic New England
July 19, 2011
Four generations of descendants of Deborah Sampson, who gained notoriety by dressing as a man and joining the Massachusetts militia in 1782, recently visited their ancestor’s wedding dress at Historic New England’s Collections and Conservation Center. A disguised Sampson served honorably for eighteen months, once avoiding discovery by extracting a musket ball from her own thigh.
She was finally discovered when she was treated for fever and honorably discharged at West Point. The dress she is presumed to have worn at her wedding came to Historic New England from another branch of descendants in 1998.