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Book Talk: Memoir of a Female Soldier
Book Talk: Memoir of a Female Soldier

Sat, Mar 16


Milne Public Library

Book Talk: Memoir of a Female Soldier

Join us for a book talk about a work of fiction based on true events, by Jan Lewis Nelson, about a female soldier who fought disguised as a man during the Revolutionary War. The book was published posthumously by the author's husband, Steve, who will be giving the talk.

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Time & Location

Mar 16, 2024, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Milne Public Library, 1095 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267, USA

About the Event

Deborah Sampson was a young woman from Massachusetts who donned men’s clothing to enlist in the Revolutionary War. Stationed at West Point for 17 months, she was wounded in combat against Tory loyalists terrorizing the Hudson Valley, and promoted as an aide to General John Paterson, from Lenox, Mass. Her gender was finally revealed while unconscious with a deadly fever.

In The Memoir of a Female Soldier, a novel by Jan Lewis Nelson, Deborah takes quill pen in hand to tell her story. A wife and mother disabled by her war wound, her petition for a veteran’s pension ignored by Congress, and the victim of media misinformation, she became the first American woman to do a lecture tour. She won respect as the man she wasn’t, but sought respect for the woman she was.

Jan grew up in the same town as did Deborah. Her book was based on extensive research, including living in the house where Deborah was born. Written nearly fifty years ago, it has been published now for the first time, posthumously, by her husband Steve. He will talk about Deborah and the book, which The Berkshire Eagle called “richly imaginative…a remarkable story.”

Steve Nelson is a longtime resident of the Berkshires. He is the author of a memoir, Gettin’ Home: An Odyssey Through The ‘60s, and of Homo Electric: Evolution of a Dynamic New Human Species. He is a graduate of Cornell University (math major), Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School.

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