Celebrating Margaret Corbin... But There's More Work to be Done

Written by: Ann Dillon, President General
July 17, 2018

At the 127th Continental Congress, we presented our annual Margaret Cochran Corbin Award for distinguished women in military service to Vice Admiral Nora Tyson. The award presentation on National Defense Night provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on the unexpected developments over the past year that have extended Margaret Corbin’s incredible story into our contemporary times. We shared her story in a video that aired at Congress which you can view here: https://youtu.be/6r0T8Ayu4z8 

 

For those of you who may not know all of the background, we have covered on the Today’s DAR Blog over the past 8 months the unexpected disturbance at the West Point Cemetery, the enduring importance of honoring Margaret Corbin’s legacy, the DAR’s plans to continue the search for her, and the rededication ceremony at her monument in May.

The development of this story has evolved into an incredible opportunity to reignite interest in Margaret Corbin’s fascinating history and to continue the research begun by the New York Daughters in hopes that it may lead to the true whereabouts of Margaret Corbin.

The ongoing mystery of the story has also garnered widespread national media attention, including stories distributed to outlets throughout the world via the Associated Press, and, most recently, a piece that aired in primetime on the 4th of July on FOX News’ Bret Baier Special Report, followed by extended online coverage: Hunt to find American Revolutionary War hero Margaret Corbin

The successful publicity has been very positive for the DAR in helping to spread awareness about Margaret Corbin’s role in the Revolutionary War, and also as a way to further inform the public of the mission of the DAR to perpetuate the memory and spirit of those who contributed to the American Revolution.

It is important to emphasize that on a grander scale, our recent focus on Margaret Corbin can be so much more than just searching for one individual Revolutionary War patriot. Margaret Corbin is representative of so many Patriots who might not be recognized today without the Daughters of the American Revolution. I hope Margaret’s ongoing story also inspires you to learn more about our women Patriots who are often under-represented. We can further honor Margaret’s legacy by researching other lesser known women Patriots and spreading awareness about them.

Particularly with the 250th Anniversary of our country on the horizon, we have the perfect opportunity to lead the way in educating the public about these underrepresented Patriots and their contributions to the birth of our nation. I encourage your chapters to start projects to learn more about women who contributed to the American Revolution and share their stories with your communities.

Help your prospective members in tracing their ancestry back to a female Patriot. Give public programs on local, little-known Revolutionary War heroines.  Find and mark graves of female Patriots in your area. Of the more than 2,000 DAR Patriot Grave Markers that have been placed and recorded in our national database over the past 20 years, only 18 mark the graves of women Patriots. I’m confident your chapters can expand that list!

I challenge you to go back to your chapters and start planning ways to engage your communities in learning more about the extraordinary generation that fought for independence and democracy – and remind them of the significant role that women and other under recognized individuals played in the formation of our great nation.      

 

Further coverage on Margaret Corbin and the mystery of her gravesite:

A New Chapter in the Story of Revolutionary Heroine Margaret Corbin
Today’s DAR Blog – December 5, 2017

Margaret Corbin’s Legacy Lives On
Today’s DAR Blog – December 5, 2017

Honoring Margaret Corbin
Today’s DAR Blog – March 16, 2018

Where’s Margaret Corbin
Today’s DAR Blog – April 6, 2018

Margaret Corbin Rededication Ceremony
Today’s DAR Blog – June 7, 2018

Not Capt. Molly: 1776 war hero not in her West Point Grave
Army Times (AP distribution) – December 5, 2017

Where’s Capt. Molly? Search on for Revolutionary hero grave
Associated Press distribution – April 29, 2018

Where is Margaret Corbin? Hunt on for Revolutionary War hero’s grave
FOX News – July 5, 2018

www.dar.org/MargaretCorbin

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