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Nancy Hart, Founding Patriot

Posted on July 13, 2019 by Diana Roberts


For America, there are founding patriots of the Revolutionary war and founding fathers with freethinking revolutionary principles. We know the famous names of the most popular ones, but actually, there was a supporting cast of heroes in both groups that never got their due. Here is a hero that simply was not going to put up with British control.

Nancy Hart inspired many neighbors with her adventures, not to mention American troops in the field once her stories reached them. While her husband was away from their farm fighting in the war, she got to work on her own. She was six- foot- tall, a size that was quite large even for male structure in that day and age. Nancy would dress as a man and engage British soldiers to gain information for patriot leaders. Some of these heroics took place at her own front door. When a Tory spy tried to sneak up on Hart’s cabin, one of her children noticed the Brit looking through a crack in the cabin wall. Hart threw a ladleful of boiling soap at him, wounding the spy, and then she and her daughter took the man prisoner.

In another incident, five or six British soldiers entered Hart’s home with the purpose of questioning her. One of them shot and killed her prized turkey and insisted that she cook it for the rest of the uninvited guests. Hart obliged — but also got the redcoats drunk on corn liquor. Her daughter alerted the neighbors of the intruders, and while the Tories continued to booze it up, Hart sneaked their loaded rifles to the Patriots through an opening in the cabin wall. When one of the British soldiers caught her, the fearless markswoman shot and killed him. The rest of the Tories surrendered.


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