Prudence Wright Chapter NSDAR

Pepperell, Massachusetts

Welcome to the website of the Prudence Wright Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR). 
Our chapter was organized on October 19,1898.

We are a group of women who vary in ages from eighteen to ninety plus.  

We welcome new members.


DAR

OBJECTIVES
Historic Preservation


Education


Patriotism

LINKS






Massachusetts Daughters of the American Revolution


National Society Daughters of the American Revolution

If you are interested in joining our chapter or learning more what we do, please 


For questions regarding this website, please contact the Prudence Wright Chapter webmaster

The content contained herein does not necessarily represent the position of the NSDAR. Hyperlinks to other sites are not the responsibility of the NSDAR, the state organizations, or individual DAR chapters.
Last Updated August 9, 2021
Prudence Wright's Bridge Guard with the captured Tory spy.

(Photo credit: Barbara A. Smith)

Prudence Wright Chapter DAR House
(Photo courtesy of Wendy Cummings)

CHAPTER OFFICERS:

  Regent: Wendy Cummings

  Vice Regent: Diane Barletta

  Registrar: Barbara Smith

  Recording Secretary: Patty Gale

  Treasurer: Karyn Paglierani

  Chaplain: Maude Matley

  Historian: Susan Smith

  Corresponding Secretary: Ellen Slentz

  Librarian: Stacy Smith

(Photo courtesy of Karen Blood)
Prudence Wright and the Bridge Guard

In the conflicting rumors in April 1775, the people of the town were expecting a company of men to pass through it to join the enemy, or possibly some messengers with dispatches. It was a time of uncertainty and confusion. It was this uncertainty that led the women of the Bridge Guard to disguise themselves as men and under the cover of darkness surprise an unexpected militia in order to capture dispatches of the enemy. The report on the battle of Lexington Green and Concord came to town. The women knew that their men had helped chase the British and were engaged with other minutemen near Boston. Spies were reported as passing between the British in Canada and Boston. One direct route ran through Pepperell (at the time called Groton West Parish).

A few days after April 1775, word was sent from house to house in Pepperell for the women to assemble. They determined that no foe to the cause should pass through town, if they could prevent it. The assembly numbered between thirty and forty women. (Unfortunately, the muster roll of the Guard was not preserved.) The Guard elected Prudence Wright as commander of their company. Their rendezvous was Jewett's Bridge over the Nashua River, the place where a person coming from the north would be obliged to cross. Soon after nightfall, horses were heard approaching, but instead of the force of British expected, only two horsemen approached, Leonard Whiting and Samuel Cumings. The men were seized and searched, and dispatches from the British were found. The prisoners were taken to Groton to the Committee of Safety. After delivering their prisoners into custody, the Guard disbanded. The Guard was paid seven pounds, seventeen shillings and six pence by the town for their actions." 


Source: Shattuck, Mary Lucinda Parker. 1912. The Story of Jewett's Bridge. 3rd Printing: April 19, 1964, entitled Prudence Wright and the Women Who Guarded the Bridge.
Prudence Wright's Gravestone

The Prudence Wright gravestone is located in the Walton Cemetery, 5 Park Street, Pepperell, Massachusetts.

        "In Memory of
        The Captain of the Bridge Guard
        April 1775 
        PRUDENCE CUMINGS
        Wife of David Wright
        Born November 26, 1740
        Died December 2, 1823
        Erected by Prudence Wright Chapter
        D.A.R.
        1908"


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Prudence Wright wrote this document on November 4, 1770. 

(Photo Courtesy of Paul Keating)
                         Pepperell Covered Bridge

                (Photo Courtesy of Pepperell Covered Bridge)
Prudence Wright Memorial Stone

In November of 1889, this marker of polished granite was first erected near the Pepperell Covered Bridge by a great, great granddaughter of Prudence Wright, Mrs. H.A Pevear of Lynn, Massachusetts, to commemorate the heroic act of her ancestor.

"Near this spot a party of patriotic women, under the leadership of Mrs. David Wright, of Pepperell, in April 1775, captured Leonard Whiting, a Tory who was carrying  treasonable despatches to the enemy at Boston. He was taken prisoner to Groton and the despatches were sent to the committee of safety at Cambridge."

(Prudence Wright stone photo courtesy of public domain)
(Gravestone image courtesy of Find A Grave)
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Prudence Wright Scenic Overlook located on Groton Street, Pepperell, Massachusetts.  (Photographs courtesy of Diane Cronin)
Prudence Wright Chapter, NSDAR dedicated this marker on July 26,1926 on a half acre piece of land called "Minuteman Park" in Pepperell, Massachusetts.

Transcription of plaque on the boulder reads:  

"From this boulder the Minute Men of Pepperell were called to join Col. Prescott at Groton on  April 19, 1775 by Captain Edmund Bancroft and son Luther. 
 Placed by Grace Greenhalgh in memory of her mother Lucy Bancroft Page" 

(Photographs courtesy of Prudence Wright Chapter NSDAR)

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                     COON TREE TABLET

Located at the corner of Bancroft and 
Townsend Streets, Pepperell, Massachusetts

Summary: Captured British soldiers from Burgoyne's army were allowed to fraternize there. 

Transcription: 
"After the surrender of Burgoyne in Saratoga in 1777, certain British officers, prisoners of war, were quartered in this vicinity, but released upon parole, were permitted to enjoy in all their military finery, a trysting place at this spot."
Save this date-  May 28, 2022
Real Daughters of Prudence Wright Chapter

Past Chapter Regents
Prudence Wright's Lantern

Photo Credit: Wendy Cummings