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Simon was born in Griswold, Connecticut (called Pachaug at the time) in 1759 during the French and Indian Wars, and died in 1835 at age 76. A card file at the Providence Public Library in Rhode Island states that he was a colored man, with a note at the bottom of the card: "'Colored'" as distinguished from Negro. He was said to have been a full blood American Indian, Wampanoag Tribe".
Simons was a descendant of Massasoit, Wampanoag chief in Massachusetts at the time of the Pilgrim's landing, and also of Massasoit's son Metacomet—better known as King Philip, instigator of King Philip's War. Simons' Revolutionary War Pension states that he was born in Norwich, Connecticut; however, Norwich included part of Griswold and other towns at the time. According to Griswold legend, General George Washington stopped to refresh himself in Pachaug on the way to Boston in June, 1775. Word of his arrival spread rapidly throughout the small community, and Washington noticed a group of young men engaged in exercises such as leaping and wrestling. One of them was Simons, and he allegedly impressed the general with his athletic carriage. Washington summoned him to his room and asked him to be his bodyguard, and Simon remained with him throughout the Revolutionary War.
- History of Norwich
- "Griswold--A History: Being a History of the Town of Griswold, Connecticut From the Earliest Times to the Entrance of Our Country Into the World War in 1917" by Daniel L. Phillips.