Who was Sarah Tarrant?


Sarah Tarrant (1743 to 1828) was a nurse.

She is remembered for her bravery in challenging the British soldiers who occupied Salem during military actions prior to the American Revolutionary War.

On Sunday 26 February 1775, a battalion of British infantry, under Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Leslie, was sent to Salem to look for colonial weapons. Sarah Tarrant shouted at them from a window, “Go home and tell your master he sent you on a fool’s errand and has broken the peace of our Sabbath. Do you think we were born in the woods, to be frightened of owls?”

A soldier aimed his musket at her, and she dared him, “Fire, if you have the courage, but I doubt it.”

No shots were fired, and the British, having found no weapons, left the town.


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