A Brave Woman's Fame: Tablet to Mrs. Margaret Corbin


Margaret Corbin, who was the first American woman to bear arms for her country in the Revolution, will receive belated recognition during the Hudson Fulton celebration by the unveiling of a mural tablet of bronze on the site of old Fort Tryon on upper Manhattan island. The tablet is the gift of C.K.C. Billings, who now owns the property where the fort stands. It is nearly twelve feet high and more than seven feet wide.

At the time of the capture of Fort Washington by the British on November 16, 1776, the Hessian mercenaries made a terrific attack on this northern work, and after a brave resistance by the Americans captured it.

In this engagement a few artillerymen of the company under Captain Pierce handled the two small cannon mounted there. One of these men was John Corbin, a Pennsylvania private. He was accompanied by his wife, Margaret Corbin, w ho had marched with him from their home. There were not enough men properly to load, clean and handle the cannon, and Margaret Corbin did an artilleryman's work. Her husband was killed at her side, but she took his cannon under her own charge and continued to fire until she was injured by a charge of grape shot. She thus earned the distinction of being the first woman to take a soldier's part in the war for liberty.

The bronze work modeled in high relief, consists of three wreaths of flowers and laurel in the upper part, with great palm branches at the left acting as supports to an upright cannon of Revolutionary date. Within the centre wreath, will be the words "Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission", in the wreath on the left will be "1776" and in the wreath on the right will be "1909. Against the main field of the granite will be the inscription of record describing the site of Fort Tryon as follows:

On This Hill -top Stood
The Northern Out work of
Fort Washington.
Its Gallant Defense Against
The Hessian Troops
The Maryland and Virginia
Was Shared By
Margaret Corbin
The First American Woman
To Take a Soldier's Part
In the War for Liberty

The Revolutionary fortification called Fort Tryon originally had no name. It was one of the outer works of Fort Washington, situated about six-tenths of a mile north of Fort Washington, on what is now the west side of Fort Washington avenue, between the lines of 195th street and 198th street.

It stood on the summit of the hill overlooking the Hudson, as well as the eastern side, and was a small redoubt constructed by the American engineers, with a breastwork of boulders across the summit from west to east.


Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: A Brave Woman's Fame: Tablet to Mrs. Margaret Corbin
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


 The News Tribune September 25, 1909
Time & Date Stamp: