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Corbin, Margaret Cochran (12 November 1752–1800), revolutionary war heroine, was a . The details of her early life are based on an undocumented source that indicates she was born in Pennsylvania in what is now Franklin County, the daughter of Robert Cochran. Her mother’s name is not known. In 1756, Native Americans killed her father and abducted her mother. Margaret and her brother John, who might have been visiting their mother’s brother, escaped capture and were subsequently raised by their uncle. She was probably still living in Pennsylvania when she married John Corbin, a Virginian by birth, in about 1772. Although a 1782 source referred to a son being killed in the Revolution, the couple apparently had no children. When John went to war, Margaret, who at about five feet eight inches was tall for the era, accompanied him....

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Hart, Nancy (1735–1830), revolutionary war heroine, was born Ann Morgan, in Pennsylvania or North Carolina, the daughter of Thomas Morgan and Rebecca Alexander. Nothing is known of her childhood except that she grew up in North Carolina. Portrayed as “unlearned” in most accounts, she probably received little education. She married Benjamin Hart, a Virginia-born North Carolinian, with whom she had eight children. In the early 1770s the Harts migrated to Georgia and settled in the upcountry area that became Elbert County. There her revolutionary exploits took place. Like many uneducated eighteenth-century women who left no personal writings, the real Nancy Hart is an elusive figure, making it difficult to separate fact from myth. The early information of her deeds was oral tradition, with the earliest extant written accounts dating to the 1840s. She does not appear in the earliest Georgia histories, and even modern Georgia scholars have dealt with her in qualified terms....

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Molly Pitcher. Lithograph by Nathaniel Currier, c. 1886. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-5030).

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Pitcher, Molly (13 October 1754?–22 January 1832), revolutionary war heroine, was of uncertain origins; her birthplace, early family history, and heroic actions are all clouded in mystery and dispute. Only her actual first name, Mary, is accepted as definite. John B. Landis, in an influential 1911 study built on oral testimony, maintained that Mary was born near Trenton, New Jersey, that she was the daughter of John George Ludwig, a dairyman who came from the German Palatinate, and that she was employed as a domestic servant before her first marriage. However, these claims cannot be verified. There is better support for Landis’s claim, based on family testimony, that Mary married John (or John Casper) Hays, a Carlisle, Pennsylvania, barber, in 1769. C. P. Wing, who in 1878 had access to a family bible as well as to Mary’s granddaughter, who was thirty when Mary died, offered the same information about Mary’s first marriage. In addition, a marriage licence for a Mary Ludwick and Casper Hays was issued in the appropriate county in 1769. Nevertheless, D. W. Thompson and Merri Lou Schaumann, in a vital 1989 study, asserted that court records prove that Mary’s first husband was a William Hays and that she was never married to a John Hays. However, they do not have court records for the period before 1783. On balance, the evidence suggests that Mary did marry a John Hays of Carlisle in 1769. All scholars agree that Mary’s first marriage produced one son, John L. Hays (1780–1856)....

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Sampson, Deborah (17 December 1760–29 April 1827), revolutionary heroine and public speaker, was born in Plympton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jonathan Sampson and Deborah Bradford, farmers. Born into a family that claimed a distinguished lineage from the days of the early Pilgrims in Massachusetts, Sampson endured a painful and impoverished childhood. Her father died when Deborah was five. She lived with an elderly female relative for three years and with a pastor’s widow for two more years before she was bound out as a servant to the family of Jeremiah Thomas in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Sampson thrived during the period of her indenture, learning manual skills and her letters. She became literate enough to teach school for a period of six months after she became free from her indenture in 1779. To this point in her life, little distinguished her from her fellows other than her physical strength. She was five feet seven inches, and observers commented on her sturdy physique....