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Last Updated September 17, 2016
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Regent Wendy Cummings, Vice Regent Patty Gale, and Secretary Julia Stockwell
Prudence Wright Chapter DAR House
Regent: Wendy Cummings
Vice Regent: Patty Gale
Chaplain: Joan Osborne
Recording/Corresponding Secretary: Julia Stockwell
Treasurer/Registrar: Barbara Smith
Historian: Julia Stockwell
Librarian: Susan Smith
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 cross. Soon after nightfall, horses were heard approaching, but instead of the force of British expected, only two horsemen approached, Leonard Whiting an 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 Gravestone
The Prudence Wright gravestone was erected by Prudence Wright Chapter in 1908 and is located in Walton Cemetery, Pepperell, Massachusetts.