Very slowly but surely, 19th century women claimed their right to speak/perform in public. One of the earliest was Deborah Sampson, a woman who disguised herself as a man and served as a soldier in the American Revolution. She fought in several battles and was wounded. Fearing detection if she was treated by a doctor, she removed a musket ball from her thigh with a penknife and sewing needle. Honorably discharged after serving eighteen months, she eventually received a pension for her military service. On this day–March 26th–in 1802, Deborah Sampson, dressed in a soldier’s uniform, performed her one-woman show “The American Heroine” in Boston.