A New Chapter in the Story of Revolutionary Heroine Margaret Corbin

Written by: Ann Dillon, President General
December 5, 2017

Of the many Revolutionary War patriots celebrated by the DAR, the story of Margaret Cochran Corbin is one in which the DAR has played a significant role in honoring her legacy and telling her story. The DAR has just learned that the story now has a new chapter. Following a construction disturbance at the Margaret Corbin gravesite at West Point, an extensive archeological and forensic study by the U.S. Army has revealed that the remains interred at West Point in 1926 are in fact not those of Margaret Corbin but rather an unidentifiable man from the colonial era. This does not detract from Margaret Corbin’s heroic contributions to the Revolutionary War nor from the DAR’s incredible effort to call greater attention to honoring her legacy, but they do introduce a new mystery into the final resting place of her remains.

The Executive Director of the Army National Military Cemeteries informed me of this news during a meeting at DAR Headquarters last week. She explained that the Margaret Corbin Monument at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point (donated by the DAR) would remain. Efforts are now being planned between the DAR and the Army National Military Cemeteries, to rededicate the valor of Margaret Corbin at the monument in the spring.

Due to the respect for the role our organization had in bringing the legacy of Margaret Corbin to West Point, the U.S. Army wanted to ensure the DAR was aware of the findings prior to West Point releasing the information to the public. The U.S. Army’s complete forensic report related to the archaeological recovery around the Margaret Corbin Monument will be available on the website of the U.S. Military Academy at www.usma.edu/news

For the past 90 years, the New York State Officers Club has served as stewards perpetuating the legacy of Margaret Corbin by organizing a memorial and wreath-laying at the monument each spring. I invited Jennifer Minus, who serves as the President of the New York State Officers Club, to join my meeting with the Army National Military Cemeteries due to her responsibilities organizing the annual Margaret Corbin Day Ceremony and because of her extensive knowledge of the history of Corbin and the interment at West Point in 1926.

If you would like a more in depth look at the story, I have asked Jennifer to write a guest blog post detailing the history of Margaret Corbin and the subsequent efforts to honor her legacy that you can read here

We see this recent discovery as an opportunity to spread even greater awareness to both our DAR membership and to the public of Margaret Corbin’s contribution to our nation. We look forward to working with the Army National Military Cemeteries and the U.S. Military Academy to educate the public about Margaret Corbin and honor her legacy.  

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