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Deborah Samson Gannett

Massachusetts State Heroine

Statue of Deborah Samson Gannett at Sharon Public Library in Massachusetts; photo by Mike on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

Official State Heroine of Massachusetts

Massachusetts designated Deborah Samson Gannett as the official state heroine in 1983. She made a unique contribution to American independence, and was the first woman to be awarded a military pension. All State Awards - Historic & Iconic People

Deborah Samson Gannett Day

Massachusetts observes each May 23 as an anniversary commemorating Deborah Samson Gannett's enlistment in the Continental Army. All State Holidays

Deborah Samson Gannett fought in the American Revolution as Robert Shurtleff (also spelled “Shurtliff” or “Shurtlieff”). She was recognized for outstanding service before she was wounded in battle (at which point her masquerade was discovered).

Several other individuals are recognized as official symbols of Massachusetts: Ben Franklin (state inventor), Dr. Seuss (state children's author), Norman Rockwell (state artist), Johnny Appleseed (state folk hero), and Taj Mahal (state Blues artist).