I recently came upon this article (on http://www.fultonhistory.com) about Mrs. Sarah (Mathews) Benjamin, a thrice married Revolutionary War heroine who was born in 1743 in Goshen, New York, and died in 1858 at the eye-popping age of 114. Apparently she was blessed with remarkable stamina and mental acuity to the end.
Among Sarah’s life experiences mentioned in a May 1858 obituary in the Peterson, NJ, Daily Guardian, was the Daniel Brodhead family‘s 1755 fight for survival while under attack in their Minisink Valley (PA) fortification. She served in the Colonial Army and twice encountered and spoke with General Washington. She is an official Patriot from whom her subsequent descendants have been able to claim membership in lineage societies like DAR and SAR.
A genealogy book on Internet Archive refers to a daughter Christina Benjamin Mapes as being one of Sarah’s youngest children. Christina was 77 when her mother died. It also says that “According to family tradition, Mrs. Mapes’ mother, grandmother and great-grandmother all lived to be over 100 years of age.” Now that, if true, is pretty amazing. Note: the book gives Sarah’s death date as April 6, 1861, but that could not be the case given the obituary was published three years prior to that.
Sarah’s fearlessness is certainly inspirational—one of thousands of examples throughout history of Americans doing what’s needed, often under extremely dangerous conditions, to ensure a better tomorrow for all.