Our Sacred Honor - A story of teenage heroes
A new musical stage/film production based on the true story of John and Ann Simpson Davis
Ann Simpson was born in Buckingham Township, PA, December 29, 1764. When Ann was a child, Ann’s father, who was politically-aligned with the colonists, was almost taken captive by the British, and had to be hidden in the family basement.
During 1779-80, at the age of 16, General George Washington hired Ann to carry messages to his generals while Washington was stationed in Eastern Pennsylvania. Red-haired Ann was an accomplished horsewoman and was a familiar sight to her Tory neighbors, making her the perfect candidate to slip unnoticed through the British ranks. She often carried the secret orders to her rendezvous at the various mills in and around Philadelphia and Bucks County, smuggling messages in the sacks of grain and vegetables, sometimes in bullets and in her clothing. The mills, a center for gossip and news, gave her added cover. Dressing up as an old woman pulled her through many tight spots in Philadelphia. She was never caught, but occasionally had to swallow the messages when she was searched.
John Davis was born September 6, 1760, in Bucks County PA. At the age of 16, he volunteered, taking the place of his father in William Hart's company of the Bucks County Battalion of the Flying Camp, helping to fill a quota of 400 men set by the Continental Congress on June 4, 1776. He was with General Washington at the historic crossing of the Delaware on Christmas Eve, 1776. He spent the winter at Valley Forge and again fought the British at Monmouth eight months later. In 1777, Davis enlisted in the Third Pennsylvania serving under Thomas Butler, and participating in the storming of Stony Point. He later served under the command of the Marquis de Lafayette, where he helped carry him from the battlefield during the battle of Brandywine. He participated in the battle of Yorktown and witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis.
John and Ann were childhood friends. Two years after he returned to Bucks County, they were married in June 1783 at her parents' home. They remained in Bucks County for 12 years during which time five of the nine children were born. In 1816, John and Ann moved to Dublin, Ohio, to claim land they had received for their Revolutionary War services. The Davis family was one of the founding families of Central Ohio. There are many Davis descendants throughout Central Ohio.
Today, Ann and John lay side by side on a hill underneath a double marker in the Davis Historical Cemetery on Riverside Drive on Route 33, just south of Dublin, Ohio. The Ann Simpson Davis Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution was organized on February 1, 1926, in Columbus, Ohio.
(* Source: DAR web site and various descendants of John and Ann Simpson.)
John and Ann Davis memorial, Davis Historical Cemetery
Riverside Drive, Upper Arlington OH
Ann Davis stone inscription:
Ann Davis was a messenger and carried orders from Gen. Washington to the other commanders
in the Revolutionary War in 1779 and 1780.
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