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Introduction
1)
Title
Deborah Sampson Gannett (Kitson)
2)
Town, State
Sharon, MA
3)
ID #
1887
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
November 13, 2010
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
November 13, 2010
6)
Site Worked Last
November 19, 2010
Description
The memorial remembers and honors Deborah Sampson (later, Gannett), who served as a soldier in combat during the War for Independence. Sampson employed a singular means to create this unique, and ultimately successful, opportunity: she dressed and performed as a man -- twice, having been discovered the first time. Born December 17, 1760, in Plympton, Massachusetts, Sampson’s roots descend to well regarded Pilgrim and Plymouth stock; however, her upbringing was harsh, as a 1898 New York Times article styled it, “on account of the pressure of want.” Oldest of several children, with a missing father, she found herself indentured most of her youth. On May 20, 1782, under the name Robert Shurtlieff, Sampson enlisted in the militia, the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment. Mustered in at Worcester as a member of the Continental Army, Sampson and others were marched south to West Point, New York. Over the year-and-a-half of service, during which she was shot and wounded, her secret became known to a few but apparently not revealed widely. The Treaty of Paris having been signed in early September, Sampson was mustered out honorably at West Point, October 23, 1783. After war service she married Benjamin Gannett, and they raised three children on a farm in Sharon, Massachusetts. Sampson also spent time telling her memorable story, to audiences around the country, before whom she spoke and performed, and in a writing by Hermann Mann, The Female Review: or, Memoirs of an American Young Lady (1797). She was proclaimed by the state of Massachusetts as state heroine, in 1982. Sampson’s life ended in Sharon, April 29, 1827. Hers – Sampson/Shurtlieff/Gannett -- seems a study in opposites and strong contrasts: a woman presenting as a man; a person of supposed lineage yet indentured for many years in childhood; lacking formal education, she spent time teaching; and, seemingly, while physically drawn to injury and disease her strength and persistence when repeatedly and rigorously tested were positive, as documented. • Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson sculpted this work, a low-relief plaque, in bronze. It is part of an overall remembrance to those of Sharon, Massachusetts, who were lost in the Civil War. Kitson (1871-1932) was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. By the age of 19 she had been noticed in Paris at the Exhibition of 1889 and the Salon of 1890. Other opportunities and honors followed. She married sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson in 1886; they separated in 1909. Bureau Brothers of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, carried out the foundry work for the larger memorial, and, for this piece, it is assumed that Bureau created the plaque as well. • The plaque was sponsored by the town of Sharon and supported by a bequest of a grandson of Deborah Sampson, George Washington Gay. • The memorial is situated within the Rock Ridge Cemetery, at Paul Revere Road and East Street, Sharon. It was dedicated by the Deborah Sampson Chapter, Daughters of the Revolution, May 20, 1908. The work was unveiled by the sculptor herself with the assistance of Miss Edythe L. Monk, great, great, grand-daughter of Deborah Sampson.
Content
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1)
Self-sacrifice
2)
Men and women in war
3)
Military
5)
Caucasian
6)
War for Independence
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Tablet/Plaque
5)
Average (life-size)
7)
Inscribed/lettered directly
8)
Text available, all
9)
Others, authorized
9.1)
Image numbering/location
3000-341.1
10)
Design Preservation
Satisfactory
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Kitson, Theo. Alice Ruggles
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Known
13.1)
Fabricator/Builder 1
Bureau Brothers 
13.2)
Fabricator City
Philadelphia 
13.3)
Fabricator State
PA 
13.4)
Fabricator Country
United States 
Setting
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1)
Cemetery/burial ground
2)
Under Consideration
3)
Appearance/Setting
Not Performed
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4)
Not Entered
5)
May 20, 1908
6)
Not Entered
7)
Not Entered
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Under Consideration
12)
Business/Commerce/Organization
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
Bas Relief Works
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
Women's History
Demography
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1)
File Number
95
2)
Town/City
Sharon
3)
County
Norfolk
4)
District
Intentionally Blank
5)
State
MA
6)
Zip
02067
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
42.1119690000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-71.1662260000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
East St
11)
Intersecting Street 2
Paul Revere Rd
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Rock Ridge Cemetery
13)
Additional Identifier 2
15)
Man-made
16)
16.1)
Family/friends/colleagues
16.2)
Government, Local
17)
17.1)
Revolution: War/Governance | 1774-1788
17.2)
Washington to Lincoln|1789-1865
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
November 13, 2010
19)
19.1)
Correspondence
19.2)
Government Materials
19.3)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
Not Entered
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
SOURCES(S): American National Biography Online, s. v. “Sampson, Deborah; “Deborah Sampson, How She Served as a Soldier in the Revolution,” The New York Times, October 8, 1898; “Deborah Sampson, Soldier in Disguise,” flickr; "Dedication Programme," 5/20/1908; The Massachusetts Historical Society Online; SIRIS, s. v. “Deborah Sampson Gannett”; Wikipedia, s. v. “Deborah Sampson,” s. v. “Women in the American Revolution.”
SITE MAINTENANCE: Business/Commerce/Organization -- Rock Ridge Cemetery, Sharon Massachusetts
COMMENT: Spelling of assumed's name -- For the disguised soldier's sir name, the database uses the following spelling: "Shurtlieff," following The Massachusetts Historical Society, the American National Biography Online and The New York Times. These spellings are also seen in the literature: Shirtliff, Shurtleff, Shirtlief.



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