Sarah Emma Edmonds


an HMS American Cultures collaborative production


Sarah Emma Edmonds was a Canadian born woman who enlisted into the Union army as a man named Frank Thompson. She proved that a women could do just as good as a job as any man in the field of war and spying.

external image 200px-Sarah_Edmonds_lg_sepia.jpgGrowing up in Canada, Sarah Emma Edmonds had a very difficult life. Even since she was born, her father resented her because she was a daughter and he wanted a son. This went as far to when she was "not tough enough" she was abused by her father. One day Sarah was informed that she was being forced into an arranged marriage, and she fled to Flint, Michigan. Here, she found a love for her new country, America, and when the Civil War broke out she vowed that she would help. Soon after, she enlisted into the army as a man named Frank Thomspon. She (he) first served in the Battle of Bull Run as a male nurse but soon learned she wanted to do more. Frank later became one of the most well known spies for the Union, playing everyone from a Confederate solider to an Irish Peddler woman. One of her most extreme cases however was when Frank (Sarah) died her skin black with silver nitrate, shaved her head, and enlisted as a African American named Cuff. Frank Thompson's career soon came to an end when she contracted malaria. Seeing how women could still not be in the army, she could not go to a military hospital without beeing found out as a woman. So Frank Thompson (Sarah) had to leave the army and was listed as a deserter and could never go back. Sarah later died in September 1898.


Online Sources:
SourcesWikipedia. 24 May 2009.< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Emma_Edmonds>
Hanford.24 May 2009.<http://www.hanford.gov/oci/ci_spy.cfm?dossier=44#>

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