Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclamation
His Excellency Governor Charles D. Baker

Whereas Deborah Samson, a direct descendent of Mayflower passengers such as: (Governor William Bradford, Captain Myles Standish, Honorable. John Alden and his wife pilgrim Pricilla Mullins), was born on December 21st, 1760, in Plympton, Massachusetts; and

Whereas Samson learned to read and write while tenured for 8 years as an indentured servant, and absorbed so much knowledge that she became a school teacher in her twenty's, for the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts; and

Whereas She disguised herself as a man (Robert Shurtlieff) and successfully enlisted into the 4th Massachusetts Regiment, Light Infantry Division, of Washington's Continental Army on May 23rd, 1782, She was determined to answer the call, to help the United States gain independence from British rule; and

Whereas in 1802, this now married mother of 4 children, coauthored an autobiography (The Female Review) still in print today, and toured for 1 year to sold out audiences, through RI, MA and NY with a memorized 2 hour speech, reminding our fledgling nation of the hard fought freedoms gained when she and others "rushed into the vortex of politics and war", bringing closure to the American Revolution, 20 years prior; and

Whereas "Our Deborah’ was honorably discharged as, "Old Soldier" was wounded in action in Tarrytown, New York, gained the support of Paul Revere, John Hancock, General John Patterson and others, while fighting for due compensation to herself and all soldiers of the war; and

Whereas Deborah was provided an auspicious way to begin passage into American history, in 1838, when John Quincy Adams stated, in the house of Representatives, that "the whole history of the American Revolution records no other similar episode of female heroism, fidelity and courage, and Deborah Samson's actions were a virtue of supererogation of the very highest and noblest order"; and

Whereas she was designated as the United States' first official state heroine as proclaimed by Governor Michael Dukakis in 1983.  A fitting recognition for her contribution to the history and legacy of the commonwealth,

Now, Therefore, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim May 23rd, 2016, to be,

Deborah Samson Day

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take

cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.


Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this first day of May, in the year two thousand and sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-ninth.


By His Excellency               

Charles D. Baker
Governor of the Commonwealth

Karyn E. Polito
Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts