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Influencing Citizen Nancy Morgan Hart

By David Streater, PhD

Burke CountyDavid Streater Burke County nancy morgan hart


This is an American history educational moment of those who made a difference during the Revolutionary War era and how they served our Country.

Around 1735, Nancy Morgan Hart was born in either Pennsylvania or North Carolina.  Nancy grew to become physically agile with a commanding personality and an American patriot.  Even though Nancy was illiterate, she was a survivalist living off the land, as a sharpshooter, and a farmer. She and Benjamin Hart married had six children and raised their family in Georgia.

Being a lady of legend, some tales are more credible than are others.  As a spy, Nancy dressed as a man and went into a British camp.  Acting bizarre to keep others at bay, she was able to gather information and pass it to the patriots.

Tories often harassed the Harts.  On a particular home visit, the Tories killed Nancy’s only turkey, and then demanded she cook it for them.  Patronizing them, Nancy cooked the bird and served them liquor while secretly sending her daughter to summon help.  Nancy was caught hiding their gunsshe was able to kill one and the others surrendered.  When Benjamin and their neighbors responded, they suggested the Tories be shot.  Nancy objected, and reportedly said, “Shooting was too good for them”.  Nancy demanded they be hung.  In 1912, archaeological evidence supported this event.  Hart was described as, “a honey of a patriot, but the devil of a wife”.

Since the American Revolution, Georgia memorialized her heroism by naming a militia, county, school, highway, and other entities after her.  As was true of other frontierswomen, she was a fierce patriot safeguarding her country and preserving memories of the War of Independence that continues to echo today.

As a widow, Nancy retired to Kentucky to be near her son and lived to be around ninety-three.  During her funeral, there was “a total eclipse of the sun”.

Please visit your Charters of Freedom setting in most western North Carolina counties.  A Charters of Freedom setting consists of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.  They are on permanent display analogous to the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives, Washington, DC.  Please visit our website ( to learn more about our existing settings.

Teachers are encouraged to contact Dr. Streater for information and complementary student education materials to enhance experiential field trips to a Charter of Freedom settings.  Everyone is welcome and urged to obtain a personalized engraved legacy paver for placement at their Charters of Freedom setting.  Please contact Dr. Streater ( for an engraved legacy paver information and complementary educational materials.


Dr. David Streater is the director of education for Foundation Forward.  He is a retired college instructor and administrator, and a retired probation and parole officer/administrator.  David is a criminologist who has an acute history interest, served in the Navy, and is a resident of Burke County, NC.

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