In honor of Independence Day, during the month of July, #MarkerMonday will be exploring individuals and events related to the Revolutionary War in Georgia. Join GHS as we learn more about the role Georgia and her people played in the fight for independence.
This week’s #MarkerMonday shines a light on Nancy Hart, a devout Patriot and the only female to have a county named after her in Georgia. Her exploits during the American Revolution have helped to make her the stuff of legend and folklore. While little is known of the earlier part of her life, it is believed that Nancy Hart was born in North Carolina c.1735. In the early 1770s, Hart moved with her husband, Benjamin, from North Carolina to Georgia, settling in the Broad River Valley in North Georgia. During the Revolutionary War, Hart often remained at home with her children while her husband was away serving in the Georgia militia as a lieutenant under General Elijah Clark. According to local lore, it is believed that Nancy Hart also served as a spy for the revolutionary cause, posing as a “simpleminded” man and wandering behind British and Loyalist lines to collect information.
The most famous of Nancy Hart’s revolutionary escapades took place when a group of Loyalists forced their way into her home and demanded that she prepare dinner for them. According to legend, as Hart occupied the soldiers with food and drink, she sent her daughter to call for help. When the soldiers noticed Nancy Hart stealing their weapons, she shot and killed one of the men and wounded another. Hart held the remaining soldiers at gunpoint until help arrived, at which the remaining Loyalist soldiers were hung. After the war, Hart and her family left the Broad River Valley and moved to Brunswick. Following the death of her husband, Hart returned briefly to their old homestead before moving to Athens, Georgia, to live with her son. In the early 1800s, the Hart family moved to Henderson County in Kentucky. Hart passed away in 1830 and was buried in the family cemetery. In 1853, Georgia legislators named the newly created Hart County in her honor. Hart was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement in 1997.
Top Image taken from larger image of American flag. Public Domain.
Explore the links below to learn more about Nancy Hart and the Revolutionary War in Georgia.
The Georgia Historical Quarterly has published the following article about the Battle of Kettle Creek which can be accessed on JSTOR. If your library does not have access to JSTOR, you can go to www.jstor.org and create a free MyJSTOR Account.
Coulter, E. Merton. “Nancy Hart, Georgia Heroine of the Revolution: The Story of the Growth of A Tradition.” The Georgia Historical Quarterly 39, no. 2 (1955): 118-51. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40577562.