MUSINGS 2019 the 4th of July Week #2 Militia Women

When we recognize that only three things are really in our power …what we believe, what we desire and what we move forward – we free ourselves radically from those attitudes of subservience and emotional bondage that hold too many people back from their proper development and inner personal success in the world. Tom Morris


Many of us were taught about the Militia Men in the American Revolutionary War. They were neighbors who were prepared to defend their local community against advancing British Troops.

We may not have learned that Colonial Women also embraced their Patriotic duty. Instead of buying British goods, they learned to weave wool into fabric to sew clothes for their families. They became farmers who bore children and learned to raise them without their husbands at home. After the Boston Tea Party, women learned how to make tea from local native plants. A group of women who became Militia Women in the town of Pepperell, Massachusetts, is the subject of this Blog.

It became known to resident Prudence Cummings Wright of Pepperell, Ma, following a conversation she had overheard, that British spies would be sending messengers from Canada to the British Troops in Boston. These messengers would be passing their community from Groton at the Jewett Bridge. After Prudence shared this information with the women of the village, they elected Prudence the Head of the Wright Guard. The women armed themselves with whatever muskets remained in the village, pitchforks and other farm items and laid in wait at the Bridge Passing on a night in April, 1775.   Mrs. David Wright’s Guard did indeed hear the two spy messengers coming down the path and the Guard was successful in taking them down. Their documents were confiscated and the men were sent to the Area’s Safety Committee. As a Memorial to the Women Militia of April, 1775, the following Granite Tablet has been placed near Jewett’s Bridge, located over the Nashua River, MA..

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 dispatches to the enemy at Boston. He was taken prisoner to Groton and the dispatches were sent to the Committee of Safety at Cambridge.”

What is omitted from this Granite Tablet is that Leonard Whiting was accompanied by Samuel Cummings, the brother of Prudence Cummings Wright. He too was arrested and subsequently imprisoned. A year and a half later in the Fall of 1776, Samuel Cummings jumped his bail and left a wife and three children fatherless. The court case of Leonard Whiting found he was not a traitor. He was judged not to be a traitor because as a commissioned officer he followed the loyalty of his commission, albeit, an English Officer.

We learn about ourselves as we learn from others. This American story demonstrates how family’s make difficult choices when they stand up for their beliefs. During this 4th of July Week, Choose Who You Want to be Known As. Enjoy.       “Jo Ann” M. Radja, Executive Coach

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Notes: 1) https://mentalfloss.com/article/67905/9-women-who-helped-win-american-revolution

2) https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/massachusetts/beautiful-covered-bridges-ma/ This bridge was constructed similarly as the Jewett Bridge near Pepperell, MA.

3) The above quotation is found on page 86 of, The Stoic Art of Living, Inner Resilience and Outer Results by Tom Morris (2014) Open Court Publishing Company a division of Carus Publishing Company.

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