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Wadsworth, Peleg

Peleg Wadsworth (1748-1829) was a Representative to Congress from Massachusetts. Born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, he attended public and private schools, and was graduated from Harvard College in 1769.

After a brief period in business in Kingston, Massachusetts, Wadsworth served in the Revolutionary Army as an aide to General Artemas Ward in 1776; as an engineer under General Thomas in 1776 and 1777; as brigadier general of militia in 1777; and adjutant general of Massachusetts in 1778.

At the Penobscot Expedition against the fortress at Castine in 1779, Wadsworth was in command of the forces that landed on the peninsula of Castine. Although this expedition proved disastrous to the Americans, the General was exonerated of any wrongdoing. On February 18, 1781, General Wadsworth was taken prisoner by the English at Thomaston. He escaped two months after his capture.

He moved to Portland in 1784 and became a land agent. Wadsworth served in the Massachusetts Senate in 1792 and was elected to the Third Congress and reelected as a Federalist to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1793-March 3, 1807).

In 1807 he moved to Oxford County to survey and improve a large tract of land in Hiram granted to him by the Government. He was the grandfather of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

General Peleg Wadsworth died in Hiram on November 12, 1829, with interment in the family cemetery at Wadsworth Hall in Hiram, now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Additional resources

Wadsworth, Peleg. Letters of General Peleg Wadsworth to His Son John, Student at Harvard College, 1796-1798. Biographical Chapter and Notes by George and Margaret Rose. Portland, Me. Maine Historical Society. 1961.

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This entry was last modified: August 06, 2015 05:04 PM

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