State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, is proud to announce that, as part of Women's History Month, War of 1812 heroine Betsy Doyle of the Niagara and Greenbush areas (circa 1750-1819) was selected to be recognized as one of this year's Historic Women of Distinction.
To celebrate Women's History Month, the New York State Senate announced an exhibit honoring historic New York women whose achievements in arts, science, government, military, labor, education and social reform has earned them recognition as Women of Distinction. Each year three women statewide are inducted based on their historic contributions to New York.
Betsy Doyle was a heroine of the War of 1812, who remained at Fort Niagara during the war and played an integral role in the struggles that took place there. During a prolonged duel with British forces, Doyle carried red-hot cannonballs to guns on the roof of the French Castle. A year later, she donned a soldier's uniform and stood guard through the night. She instantly became a local celebrity for her acts of bravery. Although the fort was ultimately captured, she and her children were able to escape some three hundred miles to refuge in Greenbush.
"Women's History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the enormous contributions of great women from our past," Maziarz said. "The Women of Distinction exhibit singles out just a few of these extraordinary people as an example of women's achievements that continue to this very day. Betsy Doyle was a true heroine for her actions, and her legacy to this area is something that I am glad is not going unnoticed. This being the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, I find it only fitting that she be inducted in a year of great significance."
Doyle is being honored alongside African-American crusader and nurse Adah Belle Samuels Thoms of New York (1870-1943) and documentary photographer and writer Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971) of the Bronx and Ithaca areas.
The exhibit will be on display in Albany, March 19 to 30, at the Legislative Office Building. Maziarz is also offering an online Women of Distinction exhibit through his website, www.senatormaziarz.gov.