A LIVE History Lesson Will Be Presented Here In South County
The Great Barrington Historical Society will present "A Revolution Of Her Own: The Story of Deborah Sampson" on Wednesday August 28th at 7 pm. The free event will take place at The Clair Teague Senior Center on South Main Street in Great Barrington The Bidwell House Museum in Monterey will also co-sponsor this lively and informative presentation here in south county.
A little background on Deborah Sampson: she was the first woman to fight during the Revolutionary War disguised as a man named Robert Shurtleff and afterwards was honorably discharged from the American military. She was a member of the Bay state's 4th Massachusetts Regiment and received training at West Point in upstate New York where she part of Captain George Webb's Company of Light Infantry.
Her mission consisted of scouting neutral territory to assess the British build-up of men and material in Manhattan. The journey featured Sampson and a pair of sergeants leading the way with about 30 infantrymen that eventually ended with a confrontation where a raid resulted in the capture of 15 men.
Despite a few close calls, Sampson's true sex escaped detection for about a year and a half until she became ill during an epidemic while in Philadelphia and after losing consciousness, she was hospitalized and her secret was discovered which resulted in an honorable discharge from the US military in 1783 barring no criminal prosecution after her tour of duty was completed.
The role of Deborah Sampson will be portrayed by Judith Kalaora, a professional actress, educator and living historian. She's a Syracuse University graduate with degrees in acting, culture and Spanish language and established the organization "History At Play" that provides educational entertainment focusing on the lives of influential and often forgotten women in American history.
For more information on this event log on to The Great Barrington Historical Society's web site by going here. You can also learn more about Judith's ensemble of performers by logging on to her web site
(Photo of Judith Kalaora courtesy of her bio page on the History At Play web site)