Bristol Budd Sampson:
Patriot of the American Revolution
By Margaret Denise Dennis
Illustrations By Kimberley Lyles-Folkman
Beautifully written by Margaret Denise Dennis and exquisitely illustrated by Kimberley Lyles-Folkman, Bristol Budd Sampson: Patriot of the American Revolution, tells the true story of Bristol Budd Sampson, an African American man from Connecticut who in March 1777, when he was a teenager, enlisted in the Continental Army and served in the 2nd Regiment of the Connecticut Line until the end of American Revolutionary War, in 1783. Written for a juvenile audience, the book is a rhyming, 31-verse, narrative poem of four lines per verse with fifteen full-color illustrations. It is based on Bristol Budd Sampson’s Revolutionary War Pension File and history books from the Northeast Pennsylvania county and township where lived from the early 19th century until he passed away in 1848.
In addition to his service, which included the skirmish at Whitemarsh, PA in 1777, the brutal winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge, the 1778 Battle of Monmouth, NJ, and the Elite Light Infantry’s taking of Stony Point, NY, the book describes Sampson’s quest to receive his pension after the war. By 1818, when the US government made pensions available to disabled veterans of the Revolutionary War, Bristol Budd Sampson was blind and living with his in-laws, free African Americans, on their farm in Pennsylvania. The book reveals the determination he showed in petitioning for his pension and the arduous journey he made to New Canaan, Connecticut in order to secure written confirmation of his service from his former commanding officer. It also describes the final years of his life, when and his wife Phoebe Perkins Sampson lived with their children on a farm adjacent to her parents’ farm.
The book’s author, Margaret Denise Dennis, is a direct descendant of Bristol Budd Sampson’s in-laws and is President and CEO of The Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust that maintains the family cemetery where he is buried, the Perkins-Dennis Cemetery, on The Dennis Farm in Pennsylvania. The Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is her fourth book, the others including Black History for Beginners, are written under the name Denise Dennis.