Our history is filled with little known patriots

I have just learned about the story of a true American patriot.

PRUDENCE CUMMINGS WRIGHT

 

(*1740 –  1823)

 

Prudence was born in Dunstable, Massachusetts, and in 1761 she married David Wright. They made their home in Pepperell, MA. Over the years they raised a family of seven while Prudence became known in Pepperell as a leader. Her family favored the patriots as did the others of her town although, in surrounding communities, there were many who remained loyal to the King of England, George III.

By 1773 at the age of 33, the American Revolution saw the first sparks of rebellion burst into flame. The Boston Tea Party aroused fervor around Boston. In Pepperell, the women reacted swiftly by burning their tea in front of the meeting house. Two years later her husband, David and the men of their town were organized as Minute Men and ready to be called up at any time to support the rebel cause.

The women of Pepperell were no less prepared should their men have to leave their homes and their farms to answer the call to arms. It must have been a shock to Prudence and David to discover that two of their daughters were Tories.

 

Early in the morning of April 19, 1775, word was spread that the British were marching toward Lexington. The Minute Men were roused to answer the call. Prudence learned that there was a direct line of Loyalist messengers through Pepperell to Boston. Prudence marshaled the women of her town to do all they could to impede these important messages from going through to the British.

The men had left, and 30-40 women elected Prudence to be their leader. They would dress as men, take what they could find as weapons and meet at Jewett’s Bridge over the Nashua River between Pepperell and Groton, the only crossing for miles. The women knew that the messengers would have to pass this way, so the women vowed to protect the bridge with their lives.

It was necessary for the women to remain hidden so incomers from the north would not see them until the last minute before crossing the bridge. The women hid silently throughout the night until some men were seen approaching. At the last moment, Prudence leaped up with her lantern to demand they halt and state their business. Two men rode up.

One was recognized as a Tory, and the other man, hearing a familiar voice, said: “Wait, that is my sister, Prudence, and she would wade through blood for the rebel cause!” It was Samuel Cummings, Prudence’s brother. The two men were surrounded and led to a nearby house under guard for the night.

The next day they were marched to the town of Groton and eventually given their freedom if they left the colonies. Prudence never saw her brother again. He had been her favorite sibling. Incriminating messages were found on Leonard Whiting. He was taken to the Committee of Safety at Cambridge. There remains a plaque on the famous bridge to this day reminding us of Prudence’s brave role in the Revolution.

 

 

 

Are you ready for another unsung hero?

or should I say, Heroine of the American Revolution? My friend, Elaine reminded me of this one on July 4th.

Sybil Ludington (1761-1839)

A young American patriot, Sybil Ludington is the female counterpart to the more famous Paul Revere. Born in 1761 in Connecticut, Ludington was the eldest of twelve children. Soon after her birth, her family settled in Dutchess County, New York. In addition to being a farmer, Ludington’s father held various positions within the small town and served in the military for over sixty years.

He was loyal to the British crown until 1773, when he joined the rebel cause. He was quickly promoted to Colonel and led his local regiment. Colonel Ludington’s area of command was along a vulnerable route that the British could take between Connecticut and the coast of Long Island Sound.

When British troops and British loyalists attacked a nearby town, Danbury, Connecticut, in 1777, a rider came to the Ludington household to warn them and ask for the local regiment’s help. At the time, the Colonel’s regiment was disbanded for planting season, and all of the men were miles apart at their respective farms.

The rider was too tired to continue and Colonel Ludington had to prepare for battle, so he asked his barely sixteen-year-old daughter Sybil to ride through the night, alerting his men of the danger and urging them to come together to fight back.

Ludington rode all night through the dark woods, covering forty miles (a significantly longer distance than Revere rode), and because of her bravery, almost the whole regiment was gathered by daybreak to fight the British.

After the battle at Danbury, George Washington went to the Ludington home to personally thank Sybil for her help. After the war, Ludington married a Catskill lawyer named Edward Ogden; they had one son. She died in 1839.

Although Ludington never gained the widespread fame that Paul Revere did in America’s history, she was honored with a stamp by the Postal Service in 1975.

 

 

There is a statue of her by Lake Gleneida in Carmel, New York, and there are historical markers tracing the route of her ride through Putnam County.

 

 

It was our supper tonight. UMMMMM. Good!

Try something new that tastes like the best pancakes you ever ate?

Yes, it is new, and it is Gluten Free, especially great for me! No one else needs to know it’s a GF meal. John never guessed when it was served to us recently. Now I make it as a quick ‘go to’ meal, and he loves it!

Below is the simple recipe:

1/2 cup Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Quinoa flour
1/2 cup Gluten Free rolled oats
1 tsp natural sugar
3 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Cook in the usual manner on a hot griddle with sausages if desired. Serve piping hot with Vermont Maple syrup laced with 2 tablespoons of frozen Maine blueberries added until both are warm enough to melt butter on top of the pancakes.

John and I just enjoyed this great last minute, healthy meal for an early supper. Give it a try!

Bon Appetit!

What did General Rochambeau uniform look like?


For those of my readers who like to delve into details:

Below is a description of Rochambeau as seen on the cover of my book:

Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant

A French General ’s Role in the American Revolution.

Description of portrait of Rochambeau and his uniform of the 1780’s:

“To the Comte’s right is a sheaf of documents upon which he has placed his hat and upon which he rests his marshal’s baton held in his right hand. He wears the full-dress uniform of a French general: a blue coat with much gold lace, red waistcoat and breeches … across his coat runs the scarlet ribbon of the Order of Saint Louis, while over his heart is attached the star of the Order of the Saint-Esprit…

…it was only in 1783, when he returned to France, that he received the more coveted Order of the Saint-Esprit…then too, he is portrayed with his marshal’s baton, which he did not receive until December of 1791 – one of the last honors that King Louis XVI was able to bestow.”
As written by the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University c.1960

Elbridge Gerry – an unsung hero of the American Revolution

See pp 34 and 35 from my text of: Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant, A French General’s Role in the American Revolution:

“During the British army’s pre-dawn march to Lexington to engage in the battle that officially began the war, the British raided the tavern. Lee and the others, Azro Orne and Elbridge Gerry, fled and hid in a cornfield. In the early morning hours the men suffered from exposure, and Lee contracted a fever that led to his death on May 10, 1775.

Following Lee’s untimely demise, Gerry continued working seamlessly with Gardoqui. Lee died an unsung hero of the revolution.5 Fortunately the incriminating letter did not fall into British hands. It remains, however, proof that aid received from the French, Spanish, and Dutch had begun much earlier than the British suspected.”

In case you are not familiar with his name, Elbridge Gerry was a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, born there in 1744. After graduating from Harvard he joined his father’s shipping business. They shipped codfish to Barbados and Spain. The Gerry’s and their business were flourishing under colonial rule before the British closed the harbor at Boston in 1774.

Elbridge Gerry

Elbridge served in the colonial legislature from 1772-1774. During that time he became acquainted with Samuel Adams and took part in the Marblehead and Massachusetts committees of correspondence.

With the port of Boston being shut down, the shipping business moved sharply to the north and to Marblehead. Thus shipping to and from Marblehead was a relief for patriots in need of all kinds of supplies, not only of a personal type, but soon, became a covert delivery point of aid to the patriots.

From 1774-1776 Gerry sat in on two provincial congresses and served with Samuel Adams and John Hancock on the council of safety and as chairman of the committee of supply. He was the best man for the job on the supply side because of his shipping business. See the preceding pages in my book on how he aided the rebel Americans to arm and suppply the Continental Army and patriots who fought at the Battle of Lexington and Concord April 15, 1775.

Gerry continued to work covertly to aid the patriots after the death of Jeremiah Lee. He imported war materiel and cash donations from Holland, France, and Spain at great risk to his finances, his shipping business and his personal safety, in order to assist in the birthing of the United States of America.

He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He went on to serve in the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and as Vice President to James Madison. He died on his way to the Senate in 1814. He had risked life and limb to help create the American way of freedom.

Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant

IS AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!

Look for a paperback  on Amazon!

 

NOW FOR ANOTHER REVIEW:

By Susan K.:

5 out of 5 stars

A Great Read for All Ages!

 

Jini Jones Vail has written a most appealing historical account of France’s General de Rochambeau’s role in the American Revolution. In the Preface (p.XXI) she says, “the research and writing of distant history is not an exact science” yet her scholarly research, evidenced by notes, glossary and bibliography, gives the reader a wonderfully readable historical account of the relationship between Rochambeau and Washington as the American War for Independence moves down the eastern seaboard to Yorktown, Virginia.

Though Jini Jones Vail’s audience must not be limited to “east-coasters” those who do reside along the eastern seaboard will find charming references to towns, homes and perhaps ancestors with whom Rochambeau visited. The past comes alive as do the personalities of Rochambeau and Washington through anecdotes and the personal correspondence between them. They have become men whom you might have or wish to have known.

Even knowing the final outcome of the war, it is unfolding in this most enjoyable book that pushes one to turn pages to accompany Rochambeau on our country’s journey toward independence.

Most Happy 2017 to all my readers!

Celebrate with champagne

 

Winter is upon us now. What a good time to cozy up to a wonderful read about Rochambeau and Washington! Enjoy!

Today I am re-printing one of the reviews of my book that appeared in print or online:

N. R. wrote this:

“Great book on General Rochambeau.Probably the only one out there readily accessible in English on this great French commander. The book covers Rochambeau’s entire life but obviously spends most of it talking about his campaign in America. She draws on many different sources and is very descriptive when talking about how the French managed in America.

Everything is covered about how the French kept supplied, their relations with the native population, and Rochambeau’s relationship with Washington. She used numerous French sources to describe what they felt of America and Americans which added interest to the book. For example she states that many French were impressed by the Delaware River because it reminded them of the Loire River in France. The book also supplies information about different landmark sites where Rochambeau spent time in America.”

Many thanks for this review. I will post more next time…

I welcome your review and would be happy to include it in an upcoming blog! Please feel free to contact me

Bonne Annee 2017!!!