Washington's Brave Drummer, Molly


For George Washington's birthday, I thought I'd post some images from an old hardbound children's book in my collection called, "Molly The Drummer Boy." The book was written by Harriet T. Comstock with illustrations by Curtis Wager-Smith. Copyright is listed as 1900.
The book's colorful cover

The story is about a girl named Debby who disguises herself as a boy, renames herself Molly and joins the Revolutionary army as a drummer. The author claims the story is based on historical fact, but Comstock doesn't mention where she first encountered records of the story.
A long-haired boy before Washington

The caption to this illustration reads, "For a moment Washington eyed the boy."


Why would a girl disguising herself as a boy name herself Molly? Was Molly a boy's name back then? There are a lot of names we think of as female names that are male names in England, like Evelyn, Ashley, Carol, Beverly, Hilary, Meredith, Shirley, Shannon, Vivian - all guys' names. But Molly?

Not enough, Poo. Wanted more. Maybe the author said it was historical but it wasn't and it's all made up? Copyright was 1900. Maybe back then you could get away with fabricating or making stuff up. I am going to google and see about this Molly drummer boy.