In the radiant front superior shines
That first paternal virtue, public zeal,
Who throws o’er all an equal wide survey,
And, ever musing on the common weal,
Still labors glorious with some great design.

“Old Middlesex” being our native county, with peculiar pleasure and some local pride, we record the following anecdote. Should the historical ploughshare be driven through the other towns in the county, and the towns generally of Massachusetts, it would turn up similar gems in abundance, “of purest ray serene.” We quote from Butler’s History of Groton:

“After the departure of Colonel Prescott’s regiment of ‘minute-men,’ Mrs. David Wright, of Pepperell, Mrs. Job Shattuck, of Groton, and the neighboring women, collected at what is now Jewett’s Bridge, over the Nashua, between Pepperell and Groton, clothed in their absent husbands’ apparel, and armed with muskets, pitchforks, and such other weapons as they could find; and having elected Mrs. Wright their commander, resolutely determined that no foe to freedom, foreign or domestic, should pass that bridge. For rumors were rife, that the regulars were approaching and frightful stories of slaughter flew rapidly from place to place, and from house to house.

“Soon there appeared one* on horseback, supposed to be treasonably engaged in conveying intelligence to the enemy. By the implicit command of Sergeant Wright, he is immediately arrested, unhorsed, searched, and the treasonable correspondence found concealed in his boots. He was detained prisoner, and sent to Oliver Prescott, Esq., of Groton, and his dispatches were sent to the Committee of Safety.”

* Captain Leonard Whiting, of Hollis, N. H, a noted tory, who was the bearer of dispatches from Canada to the British in Boston.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

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