Esther Sumner Damon

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Esther Sumner Damon
Born August 1, 1814 (1814-08)
Bridgewater, Vermont
Died November 11, 1906 (1906-11-12) (aged 92)
Plymouth, Vermont, USA
Occupation Retired- Last American revolutionary war widow

Esther Sumner Damon (August 1, 1814[1] - November 11, 1906) was cited as the last widow of the American Revolutionary War to receive a state pension.

Early life[edit]

Esther was born in Bridgewater, Vermont.[2] The family had eight or nine children.[1] Esther's father was killed by a fallen tree when she was eight years old.[1][2] Esther attended school during the winter and worked during the summers to help support her family.[2] At the age of seventeen, Esther became a school teacher in Plymouth, VT.[2]


Esther Sumner married Noah D. Damon on September 6, 1835, in Bridgewater, when she was 21 and he was 75.[2] The couple had met two weeks prior.[2]

Husbands war enlistment[edit]

Noah Damon enlisted in the Continental Army on April 19, 1775.[2] He was intermittently enlisted over the next five years.[1] Noah applied for a war pension, as a resident of Plainfield, New Hampshire on November 13, 1848.[3]

Noah was penniless, though Esther may have thought he was a hardworking landowner.[1] Esther supported him for three years before financial necessity forced him to move in with his daughter in New Hampshire.[2]

Esther supported herself by sewing and nursing.[2] She also leased a farm near Reading[1]

War pension[edit]

After Noah's death, Esther received his pension. The pension was increased to $24 a month by the United States Congress on February 28, 1905.[4]

Towards the end of her life, Esther received additional financial support from the Daughters of the American Revolution.[2]


Esther died on November 11, 1906, aged 92, she is buried at Plymouth Notch Cemetery in Plymouth, Vermont.[5] The gravestone was paid for by the Daughters of the American Revolution.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bayles, J. C. (18 June 1905). "The Last of the Revolutionary Widows". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Granite State Magazine. Granite State Publishing Company. 1907-01-01. 
  3. ^ "Esther (Sumner) Damon Genealogy & Ancestry Articles | GenealogyBank Blog". 2015-09-05. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2016-11-30. 
  4. ^ States, United (1905-01-01). Statutes of the United States of America Passed at the ... Session of the ... Congress. U.S. Government Printing Office. 
  5. ^ "Esther Sumner Damon (1814 - 1906) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2016-11-30. 
  6. ^ Congressional Edition. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1909-01-01.