The Deborah Sampson Chapter is located in Brockton, Massachusetts and serves seven surrounding towns as well as the City of Brockton with its ongoing programs. The membership of the Deborah Sampson Chapter reaches even further beyond these boundaries.
Brockton is located approximately twenty miles south of Boston. It is served by Routes 24, 27, 28, and 123 as well as by commuter rail and bus service. Known in the past as the Shoe City, it proudly calls itself the City of Champions today.
Originally known as North Bridgewater, it was a major stop along the old Boston-Taunton Turnpike. The City of Brockton was incorporated in 1881 and shortly thereafter, in October 1883, was chosen by Thomas Edison as an “ideal place for testing and popularizing” his inventions. He returned to Brockton in 1884 to supervise the installation of the world’s first three-wire underground power system and in 1884 to supervise the wiring of the world’s first centrally powered theatre, fire station, and shoe factory. Today the Homestead, which had a brief life as a turnpike stop, is owned by the Brockton Historical Society and houses an extensive Edison collection as well as a shoe exhibit and an impressive display of fire-fighting equipment in its nearby barn.
Famous since 1874 as the home of the Brockton Fair, the city has a population of over 93,000 and is looking toward the future with major downtown redevelopment projects.
Chapter meetings are scheduled for the second Saturday of the month, but to take advantage of unique opportunities and avoid conflict with state events, some meetings shall be scheduled for another day and time. Contact the chapter regent for more information.
Regent Paula Pierce
Vice Regent Lorna Vasapollo
Chaplain Dorothy Taylor
Treasurer Stephanie Trovato
Registrar Jane Gadaire
Librarian Dorothy Taylor
Historian Margaret Alexander
Recording Secretary Virginia McGrath
Corresponding Secretary Harriet Range
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) was founded on October 11, 1890 and incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896. Its objectives are: Historical - to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American independence; Educational - to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American People, “to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion...” and Patriotic - to cherish, maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.
The Deborah Sampson Chapter of the DAR was organized at Brockton, Massachusetts on January 25, 1897 in the parlor of the Belmont Hotel with 21 charter members from Brockton and surrounding towns. It received its charter on March 20th of that year. Present at its first meeting was Mrs. Lydia French, a “real” (distinction of honor given to DAR members whose fathers were patriots in the Revolutionary War) Daughter, who became the first of eighteen “real” Daughters to belong to the Brockton Chapter.
The Deborah Sampson Chapter takes pride in a record of continuous service in the Brockton area for over 100 years.
This page was last updated: August 28, 2013
Deborah Sampson Chapter
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Organized January 25, 1897
Chartered March 20, 1897
The chapter name was chosen in recognition of the noble service Deborah Sampson gave to her country, and in memory of the unrecorded services of the women of the American Revolution.
When wounded at Tarrytown. Deborah treated herself and did not seek medical attention. Her sex was discovered by Doctor Barnabus Binney in Philadelphia where she was hospitalized with a fever. He did not reveal her secret but quietly made arrangements ending her military service. Private Robert Shurtleff was honorably discharged from the army by General Henry Knox at West Point on October 23, 1783.
While living in Stoughton with her uncle and aunt following her discharge, Deborah met Benjamin Gannett, a farmer. They married early in 1785. Three children were born to them in five years: Earl Bradford, Patience and Mary (Polly).
As a pioneer in the field, she toured New England and New York in 1802, delivering a series of lectures.
Massachusetts, acting on Deborah's petition in 1792 for pay never received for her military service, passed a resolve. This resolve, approved by John Hancock, reads in part "that the said Deborah Sampson exhibited an extraordinary instance of feminine heroism by discharging the duties of a faithful, gallant soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her sex unsuspected and unblemished and was discharged from the service with a fair and honorable character."
The report from the Congressional Committee on Revolutionary Pensions reads, in part: "The Committee believe . . . they are warranted in saying that the whole history of the American Revolution records no case like this, and furnishes no other similar example of female heroism, fidelity and courage . . . and there cannot be a parallel case in all time to come."
Deborah Sampson Gannett died April 29, 1827.
Covering the following Cities/Towns:
Avon, Abington, Braintree, Bridgewater, Brockton, East Bridgewater, Holbrook, Quincy, Randolph, Rayham, Sharon, Stoughton, & West Bridgewater
When ten years old she was bound out in the home of Deacon Jeremiah Thomas. By the time she was eighteen, when her indenture ended, she had learned enough to teach school in Middleboro for two six-month summer terms in 1779 and 1780.
She enlisted May 20, 1782, in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army for three years using the name "Robert Shurtliff". In appearance she was five feet seven inches in height, taller than most women, with an erect carriage and strong features.
Deborah, daughter of Jonathan and Deborah (Bradford) Sampson, was born in Plympton, Massachusetts on December 17, 1760. A descendant of Abraham Sampson who came from England about 1629 and settled in Duxbury. Isaac Sampson son of Abraham was one of the earliest settlers of Plympton, and married Lydia, daughter of Alexander Standish, and grand -daughter of Miles Standish. Jonathan Sampson, son of Isaac, married Joanna Lucas in 1721 and had a daughter, who married Deborah Bradford , the great grand-daughter of Gov. Bradford. The last Jonathan of Plympton was the father of Deborah. Her great-great-grandfather Alexander Standish married Sarah, daughter of John Alden. She has a distinguished blood line of Bradford, Standish, Alden, Lucas and Sampson mingled in her veins.
The Deborah Sampson Chapter DAR participates in the following activities on an annual basis:
American History Essay Contest (grades 5-8)
Christopher Columbus Essay Contest (grades 9-12)
Constitution Week Activities
DAR Schools, support of
Flags for New Schools, a local project
Good Citizens, honoring an outstanding senior from each of eight area high schools
Outstanding Teacher of American History Award, honoring the best from grades 7 through 12
Plus special commemorative events as they arise.
Membership in the DAR provides a unique opportunity to establish a family’s heritage and service to the nation. Any woman, 18 years of age or older, is eligible for membership as long as she can prove lineal, blood-line descent from a man or woman who aided in achieving American independence.
Inquiries about membership and activities are welcome and should be directed to
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