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Record 1 of 1

  • Simeon Thayer Papers
  • Thayer, Simeon
Call Number:
  • MSS 27
Record Level:
  • Collection
Physical Description:
  • 0.5 ft.
  • LB
Inclusive Dates:
  • 1774-1803
Bulk Dates:
  • 1774-1803
  • Simeon Thayer Papers. Petition to the Congress of the United States, and other papers, 1790
  • Mostly papers pertaining to his military career, 1775, 1776, and efforts to win a disability pension.
Historical Note:
  • Simon Thayer (aka Thayre) was born in Massachusetts in 1738. he came to Providence as a youth to serve an apprenticeship as a wig-maker. At the age of 16 he enlisted with Rhode Island troops to fight in the French & Indian and was present at Ft. William Henry when it fell to Montcalme. Thayer suffered great hardship with the column of survivors on the retreat to Ft. Edward, and his health was so severely affected that he had to resign from the army. He returned to Providence to recover and to resume his trade, which he followed until the outbreak of the Revolution. Thayer held a comission as Ensign in the Providence Grenadier Company, and was comissioned Captain in May, 1775, of the Providence Colonel's Company. Thayer led his company with Benedict Arnold's expedition against Quebec where, with many others, Thayer was captured. After 9 months in a British prison ship he was released on parole. In February 1776, the Rhode Island legislature honored Thayer and comissioned him Major in teh 2nd Continental Battalion. He distinguished himself at the defense of Ft. Mifflin and at Red Bank, and was in the midst of the fighting at the Battle of Monmouth. There he was severely injured when the concussion of a cannonball passing close by his head cost him the sight of one eye. Although he continued to lead his troops through the end of the battle, he had then to give up his command and retire from the field. Thayer underwent a long convalescence, missing the Battle of Rhode Island, and was never able to resume his command. His health was so impaired that he resigned from the regular army, and years alter was forced to petition Congress for a disability pension when it became apparent that he was losing the sight of his remaining eye as a result of the injury. Simon Thayer's military career was not ended, however. The City of Providence appointed him Captain of the Providence Senior Class Company of Rhode Island Militia, in 1781, and he served as a recruiting officer. From 1783-1785, he held a commission as Lt. Colonel and Commandant of the Providence County Senior Class Company, and from 1787-1792 he was Brigadier General fo the Providence County Brigade. Simon Thayer had three wives in succession, and fathered several children of whom five survived. Late in his life he moved from Providence to Cumberland, Rhode Island where in 1800, he died.
Bibliographic References:
  • NUCMC 1993, RLIN, OCLC, Chadwyck Healey. Diary published in RIHS Collections, volume 6.
  • Smith. Civil & Military List of Rhode Island.
Scope and Content:
  • The bulk of this collection consists of papers pertaining to Simon Thayer's military career in the years 1775-1776, and to his efforts to win "relief" from Congress for his wounds, 1790-1793.
Accession Number:
  • 1843.3.1.1-
  • 1977.95.1-9
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