A Woman’s Retrospective of the American Revolution Essay

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Sarah Benjamin went before the deposition on the twentieth day of November, 1837 in the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne County, Pennsylvania. This deposition intended to validate claims for receiving pension benefits owed to Mrs. Benjamin from a previous marriage; an Aaron Osborn, veteran of the Revolutionary War. Her case founded itself on the numerous acts of Congress over the previous decade--in particular the Comprehensive Pension Act of 1832 and subsequent acts of Congress from July 4, 1836 and March 3, 1837--allowing for the first time yearly grants to all who served in the Continental Army for a period of six months or more. These acts supplanted Sarah Benjamin's case because applicants no longer required disability or monetary…show more content…
Osborn and her fellow female commandants of war became true patriots, veterans devoted to a cause they imagined worthy of a fight. While it may seem easy to speculate her deposition as mere hearsay or engorged fabrications of an elderly woman, many claims Sarah Osborn purports are verifiable and unrequitedly true. Throughout this work I will, where reasonably necessary, corroborate Osborn's claims with that of others' similar testimony. The study of this document will mainly comprise of the role Sarah Osborn played, using her accounts of the years 1780 through the surrender of Yorktown in 1781, with contextual additions explaining social aspects of women during this era. To further this study and supply a deeper and thorough contextualization, the research and importance of other known accounts of women involved in the war serve as supplementing points to the main theme presented by Sarah Osborn's testimony. These studies along with my own interpretations of Sarah Osborn's deposition will hopefully create a view of life during the Revolution far too often unseen; that of a completely female perspective. I will attempt to show that they, as much as anyone, helped fight for, create, and maintain a union during crisis. By November of 1837 when Sarah Osborn stood before the Court of Common Pleas in Pleasant Mount, Wayne County,
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