The Memoir of a Female Soldier

Steve Nelson Discusses Book by Jan Lewis Nelson

By: - Jun 10, 2023

The Memoir of a Female Soldier

Publisher Steve Nelson discusses book by Jan Lewis Nelson

Tuesday, July 11, 2023
at 7 p.m. EDT
Hybrid: In-person at Berkshire Community College and also via Zoom
Free & open to all
Offered in partnership with the Lenox Historical Society

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.

Copies of The Memoir of a Female Soldier will be for sale and signing.

Free and open to the public

Go to to register and for event details.