Contributed by Bruce Wild

Captain Peleg Simmons (1716-1807)


Peleg Simmons was born December 21, 1716 in Little Compton to parents William Simmons and Abigail Church of Duxbury and Little Compton. Two days before his 23rd birthday he married Mary Brownell December 19, 1739 in Little Compton and started work on a 60 acre farm to the north on Crandall Road in Tiverton where their first son Thomas was born September 9, 1740. Peleg became captain in the Rhode Island Militia and led a company of men from Tiverton during the Revolutionary War. His company was present during the British raids on the mainland, Spencer's Expedition, The Battle of Rhode Island, and The Siege of Rhode Island at the time when British forces occupied Newport. On September 17, 1778, just after The Battle of Rhode Island, Peleg lost his 20 year old son Joseph, who was a junior officer in his company. His grave still lies next to the cornfield at Wingover Farm. Despite the hardships, these little bands of militia kept the British troops well-confined to Aquidneck Island and away from Washington's main army until the occupation was finally abandoned in 1779 and Newport was liberated.


After the war, Captain Peleg Simmons retired in 1784 at the age of 68 and turned the farm over to his son Peleg, Jr. who owned it until 1795 when he sold it to William Hicks. Mary passed away in 1799 at the age of 82 and Captain Peleg died in 1807 at the ripe old age of 90. His farm lives on to this day.