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Introduction
1)
Title
Deborah Sampson Gannett (Stubbs)
2)
Town, State
Sharon, MA
3)
ID #
1041
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
March 23, 2003
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
November 13, 2010
6)
Site Worked Last
January 19, 2013
Description
The monument 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 Herman 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.

• Sculptor Lu Stubbs created the bronze statue. Her standing Mrs. Sampson displays two wardrobes, the dress with bodice and gathered skirt that she wears and the uniform of a Revolutionary War soldier that she holds and displays. There are two, brief inscriptions at the memorial’s base. Educator as well as artist, born in New York City, Stubbs was educated, trained and practices in Massachusetts. She began this work in 1988 and completed a one-half size plaster model to assist with fund-raising. The foundry work was carried out by Paul King Foundry (then of Johnston, Rhode Island and now, apparently and subject to further inquiry, of Rock Tavern, New York). Gisela Trelenberg and Elisa Falcione, members of the Sharon Garden Club, designed and fabricated the site's landscaping.

• Sponsored by the Deborah Sampson Statue Committee, the piece was also supported in part by contributions from the Sharon Historical Society and the Gannett Foundation.

• The memorial is situated in front of the Sharon Public Library, located at Main and High Streets. It was dedicated November 11, 1989, Veterans Day.
Content
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1)
Outstanding/notable citizen/person
2)
Caucasian
3)
War for Independence
Design
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1)
Statue(s) w/wo pedestal
3)
Average (life-size)
4)
Designers
4.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Stubbs, Lu
4.2)
Designer 2
Artist/Artistic Group: Falcione, Elisa
5)
Fabricators/Builders
Known
5.1)
Fabricator/Builder 1
Paul King Foundry 
5.2)
Fabricator City
Johnston 
5.3)
Fabricator State
RI 
5.4)
Fabricator Country
United States 
Setting
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1)
Plaza arrangement
4)
Satisfactory
Themes
Not available in ABBREVIATED view
Demography
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1)
Town/City
Sharon
2)
County
Norfolk
3)
District
Intentionally Blank
4)
State
MA
5)
Zip
02067
6)
Man-made
7)
7.1)
Business/businesses
7.2)
Historical Society
7.3)
Membership Group/Public Contribution
8)
8.1)
Revolution: War/Governance | 1774-1788
8.2)
Washington to Lincoln|1789-1865
Comments and Notes
NAME: Deborah Sampson (later, Deborah Sampson Gannett)
TITLES ALT: Deborah Sampson, Deborah Sampson Memorial Statue
SPONSOR(S): Business/businesses -- Gannett Foundation; Historical Society -- Sharon Historical Society
COMP TECHNISQUE: Correspondence
SOURCES: American National Biography Online, s. v. “Sampson, Deborah; Carlock, Guide to Public Art in Greater Boston, p. 223; “Deborah Sampson, How She Served as a Soldier in the Revolution,” The New York Times, October 8, 1898; “Deborah Sampson, Soldier in Disguise,” The Massachusetts Historical Society Online; SIRIS, s. v. “Deborah Sampson Gannett”; Wikipedia, s. v. “Deborah Sampson,” s. v. “Women in the American Revolution.”
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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