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Volume I 

Authorized by the City Government January 14TH, 1896 











Providing for a History of the City of Concord. 

Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Concord as follows: 

That Amos Hadley, Howard F. Hill, Benjamin A. Kimball, 
James O. Lyford, Lyman I). Stevens, and John M. Mitchell be and 
the same are herein' appointed and constituted a committee of which 
the mayor shall be ex officio a member and chairman, all to serve 
without pay, to employ some competent and satisfactory person to 
write the history of Concord to the present time and to procure its 
publication, said committee to devise some plan or project whereby 
the city, as such, shall be saved from considerable expense in the 
matter, subscriptions to be obtained to the work, and data and mate- 
rial collected for the same : and for said purposes the sum of two 
hundred dollars is hereby appropriated from any money in the treas- 
ury not otherwise appropriated, subject to the order of the duly- 
elected treasurer of said committee upon its organization, and to be 
expended under the direction of the committee. 

The said committee to be known as the City History Commission, 
the members thereof to serve until others are elected in their stead, 
and any vacancy in said commission from death, resignation, or ina- 
bility shall be filled immediately by election in the ( ity Council and 
said Commission shall report progress from time to time to the City 
Council, and shall incur no expense beyond the sum of two hundred 
dollars hereby appropriated without first obtaining proper authoriza- 
tion from the City Council therefor. 

In Board of Mayor and Aldermen January 14, 1896. 

Henry Robinson, Mayor. 

In Common Council January 14, 1890. 
Passed in concurrence. 

Harry R. Hood, President. 


The first public consideration of a history of Concord to supple- 
ment that of Dr. Nathaniel Bouton was at a meeting of the Commer- 
cial club in the whiter of 1893. The subject was brought to the 
attention of the club by Postmaster Robinson, and received favorable 
consideration. No action was taken, however, until December, 1895, 
when in consultation with several citizens Mr. Robinson, then mayor, 
suggested that some expression of the public be obtained by petition. 
Following out this suggestion Isaac Andrew Hill prepared and circu- 
lated the following petition : 

To the Honorable Henry Robinson, 

Mayor of Concord : 

As mayor of our city and as president of the Concord Commercial 
club, we beg to call your attention and to ask your co-operation as 
far as may be proper, to the subject of a history of Concord. 

It is now nearly half a century since Dr. Bouton completed his 
work, and the book is now long out of print, and almost impossible 
to buy. 

Since 1853 we have become a municipality. We feel that the 
time is now ripe for the preparation of a, history embodying these 
great changes, both material and personal, and we respectfully re- 
quest you to call the attention of the aldermen and common council 
to this most desirable undertaking. 

Benjamin A. Kimball, Franklin D. Ayer, 

James S. Norris, F. J. Aiken, 

Lewis Downing, Jr., Woodbridge Odltn, 

John M. Hill, Lyman D. Stevens, 

John Kimball, John Whitaker, 

Leland A. Smith, Daniel B. Donovan, 

Joseph B. Walker, Milon I). Clmmings, 

George A. Cummlngs, Cyrus R. Robinson. 

Edson J. Hill, 

This formal presentation of the project was read on December 10, 
1895, before a convention of the city council, and was referred to a 
special committee composed of Mayor Robinson, Aldermen John F. 
Webster and David F. Dudley, and Councilmen George W. Bunker 


and Charles S. Piper. This committee reported favorably January 
14, 1896, to the city council, introducing an ordinance, drawn by the 
mayor, providing for a history of Concord, appointing a commission 
to carry out the undertaking, and appropriating two hundred dollars 
to develop a plan of the history. The commission consisted of the 
mayor, ex officio, chairman, Amos Hadley, Howard F. Hill, Benjamin 
A. Kimball, James O. Lyford, Lyman I). Stevens, and John M. 

This commission met at the office of Benjamin A. Kimball at the 
passenger railway station Saturday morning, February 1, 1896, and 
perfected an organization by the choice of James O. Lyford as secre- 
tary, who was subsequently chosen editor. An executive committee 
was appointed consisting of the mayor, James ( ). Lyford, and How- 
ard F. Hill. The executive committee was directed to prepare and 
recommend to the commission a general plan of the history. 

The second meeting of the commission was held February 10, 
1896, at which the executive committee reported its plan, which was 
discussed by the commission, and then it was voted to ask the city 
council to appropriate two thousand five hundred dollars for the 
preparation of the history, the appropriation to be in the nature 
of a loan of the city's credit, the commission to secure subscriptions 
to that amount before asking for any further appropriation. At a 
regular meeting of the city council February 11, 1896, the request of 
the commission was granted and the appropriation made. 

The plan of the history, as outlined by the commission and fol- 
lowed in the preparation of the work, provided for a general narra- 
tive, giving the story of the settlement of Concord and its growth 
from the date of its founding to the close of the year 1896. The 
general narrative was to be supplemented by a topical treatment of 
those subjects which could be better considered separately than in 
the general story. As the work progressed it was found that more 
time would be required to complete the history, and the date of 
closing it was extended to the beginning of the new century. Sub- 
sequently the various writers were engaged and the patient exam- 
ination of data went forward. In the meantime a prospectus of the 
history was prepared and the soliciting of subscriptions begun. 
Within a year, and before any of the manuscript had been submitted 


to the commission, subscriptions to the amount of three thousand 
three hundred dollars were secured, showing the popular interest in 
the subject. 

The commission was appointed to serve without compensation, 
and no member thereof has drawn anything from the city treasury 
for his services as commissioner, while two, at least, have contrib- 
uted financially to the success of the enterprise. All members of the 
commission are engaged in active business, yet it would be difficult 
to find a commission whose members have attended meetings with 
more regularity and punctuality. From the beginning of the work 
the commission has held at least two hundred and fifty meetings, 
and these meetings cover five city administrations, — those of Mayors 
Robinson, Woodworth, Martin, Sargent, and Corning. The meetings 
have been held at the office of Mr. Kimball, which he early gave to 
the use of the commission. 

It has been the object of the commission to produce the history 
without material expense to the city beyond the loan of its credit. 
To this end the commission has sought voluntary contributions from 
those who were hi a position to make them, and for such literary 
labor as it has given compensation the price paid is far from ade- 
quate for the time spent and the material prepared. To secure this 
result the contributions and employments have had to be subsidiary 
to other duties, which necessarily lias delayed the completion of the 
work. This has not been without its advantages, for it has secured 
greater accuracy and condensation of statement. Since the first 
manuscript was ready tor examination the work of each writer has 
been read to the full board for comment and criticism. In this work 
of examining manuscript the commission has had the assistance of 
the following citizens, who have attended its meetings in response to 
an invitation from the commission and have acted as associate mem- 
bers: Lewis Downing, Jr., Joseph lb Walker, Henry McFarland, 
Charles R. Corning, John C. Ordway, and Giles Wheeler. 
The following articles are the gifts of the authors : 

Physical Features of Concord . .Joseph B. Walker. 

Physical Development of Concord . Joseph B. Walker. 

Canals, Stage Lines, and Taverns . Henry McFarland. 

Concord as a Railroad Center . Henry McFarland. 



Medical History .... 
( 1 lurch History .... 
State Hospital .... 
Margaret Pillsbury Hospital . 
Hospital for Women and Children 
Dentistry ..... 
Schools, Public and Private . 
Concord Literary Institution . 
Methodist General Biblical Institute 
Newspapers ..... 
State Prison ..... 
Concord in the Civil War 
St. Paul's School .... 
St. Mary's School .... 
The Rolfe and Rumford Asylum . 
The Governor's Horse Guards 
Fish and Game .... 
Official Roster of Concord 

Jacob H. Gallinger. 
James O. Lyford. 
Joseph B. Walker. 
James O. Lyford. 
James O. Lyford. 
James O. Lyford. 
John C. Ordway. 
John C. Ordway. 
John C. Ordway. 
Frank W. Rollins. 
Joseph P>. Walker. 
Howard F. Hill. 
James O. Lyford. 
Thomas C. Bethune. 
Joseph B. Walker. 
James O. Lyford. 
Frank Battles. 

James O. Lyford. 

The special topics have relieved the general narrator, Amos Had- 
ley, of the necessity of breaking the thread of his story by turning 
aside to give details on such subjects, which often detracts from 
the merits of a history, while the writers who have dealt with these 
special subjects have had opportunity to give a continuous account 
of the themes which they have treated. In addition to this there is 
a variety of style in the writing, which it is hoped will make the 
history more pleasing to the public. 

The history is the joint production of citizens of Concord, some of 
them natives and all of them long-time residents. The illustrations 
have been in charge of Henry B. Colby, and have been prepared 
under the supervision of Benjamin A. Kimball. To obviate any 
cpiestion of discrimination, no portraits of individuals living or dead 
have been used. The illustrating has been of places and buildings 
of historic interest, public buildings, and such scenes of the past and 
present as posterity would desire to have preserved. The reading of 
the revised proof has been the contribution of Edward N. Pearson. 

The spirit of tins undertaking has been to give as complete, 
readable, and accurate a history of Concord as possible, exploiting 


no enterprise and no individual, but preserving in compact form all 

those facts and incidents which present and future generations will 

find useful, instructive, and entertaining. How well the commission 

lias succeeded the public can best judge when this book is in their 


Charles R. Corning (ex ' t <//?Wo), 

Amos Hadley, 

Howard F. Hill, 

Benjamin A. Kimball, 

James O. Lyford, 

Lyman 1). Stevens, 

John M. Mitchell, 

City History Commission. 

To the secretary and editor, James O. Lyford, credit should be 
given for the labor he has performed and the capacity he has shown 
in the preparation of this history. His contributions to its pages are 
but a part of his work. The plan of the history, combining a general 
narrative with topical treatment of special subjects, is his, and the 
burden of securing voluntary contributions, conducting correspond- 
ence, arranging material, and attending to the many details, has fallen 
upon him. The ability with which he has discharged these duties 
has contributed in no small degree to the success of the undertaking. 

Charles R. Corning. 

Amos Hadley. 

Howard F. Hill. 

Benjamin A. Kimball. 

Lyman D. Stevens. 

John M. Mitchell. 






To Incorporate the History Commission of Concord. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General 
Court convened : 

Section 1. That the mayor of Concord, Amos Hadley, Howard 
F. Hill, Benjamin A. Kimball, James ( ). Lyford, Lyman I). Stevens, 
and John M. Mitchell, their successors and assigns, shall be and 
hereby are made a body politic and corporate by the name of the 
History Commission of Concord. 

Sect. 2. This corporation shall receive, when published, all copies 
of the History of Concord, authorized by said city by ordinance 
passed January 14, 1896, and ordinances and resolutions supple- 
mentary thereto, and shall have the custody and control thereof, and 
shall provide for their sale, fixing the price thereof with the approval 
of the City Councils of Concord, and account to said city for all 
moneys received therefrom. 

Sect. 3. This corporation is empowered to appoint an agent or 
agents to carry out its work and to fix their compensation. 

Sect. 4. Any vacancy in the incorporators shall be filled by the 
city councils upon recommendation of the remaining members. 

Sect. 5. The mayor of Concord, Amos Hadley, Howard F. Hill, 
and James ( ). Lyford, or any two of them, may call the first meeting 
of this corporation not later than May 1st, 1903, and at said meeting 
or any adjournment thereof may take such measures as are necessary 
to complete its organization. 

Sect. 6. This act shall take effect upon its passage. 

[Approved March 24, 1903.] 

The incorporators of the foregoing act met April 4, 1903, and or- 
ganized by the choice of Lyman D. Stevens as president, Howard F. 
Hill as clerk, and Benjamin A. Kimball as treasurer. Notice of the 
acceptance of the act of incorporation and of the organization was 
filed with the mayor and City Councils, who accepted and approved 
the same April 13, 1903. 


Joseph B. Walkei 


Physical Features — Joseph B. Walker 





Mineral Resources 

Artesian Well 

Localities . . . 




Main Street 

Shade Trees 

Types of Houses 
Fish axd Game — Frank Battles 
General Narrative — Amos Hadley 

Chapter 1 — Scene of the History. Aboriginal Occupa 
tion ........ 

Chapter 2 — Events leading to English ( )ccupation 
Grant of the Plantation of Penacook 

Chapter 3 — Plantation of Penacook. Transition to the 
Township of Rumford ..... 

Chapter 4 — Town of Rumford. Falls within Jurisdic 
tion of New Hampshire ..... 

Chapter 5 — District of Rumford. King George's War 
and its Indian Hostilities 

Chapter 6 — Rumford neither Town nor District. Bow 
Controversy and Matters connected therewith. Colo- 
nization by Concord Settlers . . . . . 

Chapter 7 — Last French and Indian War. Rumford 
becomes Concord, a Parish of Bow . . . . 

Chapter 8 — Parish of Concord. Period of the American 
Revolution ........ 











( ( intents. xi 

( . eneral Narrative : 

Chapter 9 — Town of Concord. Post Revolutionary 
Events. Constitution of the United States. Revised 
State Constitution. Town Affairs and Progress . 287 

Chapter 10 — Town of Concord. Early Events of the 
New Century. Becomes the Capital of the State. 
War of 1812. Other Facts of the Period . . 315 

Chapter 11 — Town of Concord. The State House 
Erected. Toleration Act. Merrimack County Formed. 
Other Events ....... 346 

Chapter 12 — Town of Concord. Temperance Reform. 
Religious, Social, Intellectual, and Material Progress. 
Catholic-Irish Immigration. Political Events. City 
Charter Adopted . . . . . . .373 

Chapter 13 — City of Concord. New Government in 
Operation. City and County Building. Public Li- 
brary. The Prohibitory Law. Progress in Various 
Departments. Ante-War Politics .... 137 

Chapter 14— City of Concord. Period of the Civil War. 481 

Chapter 15 — City of Concord. After the War. Impor- 
tant Means Adopted whereby the General Advantage 
of the Community was Subserved .... 522 

Chapter 16— City of Concord, 1880 to 1900. Two Dec- 
ades of Progress. Topics, old and new, treated to 
Conclusion ........ 543 

Material Development — Charles R. Corning (Chapter 17) 613 
Weather Record from 1856 to 1900 inclusive — Will- 
iam W. Flint (Chapter 18) 667 

The Governor's Horse Guards — James 0. Lyford (Ap- 



State House, 1816 to 1865 

Course of Merrimack River, 1726 

Leavitt's Plan of River Course, 1804 

Loammi Baldwin's Plan of River Course, 1836 

Badger's Plan of River Course, 1855 

First Concord Bridge, 1795 

Plan of Concord about 1827 

The Log House 

The Frame Cottage 

The Cambrel Roof House 

The Box Trap House 

The Two-story Square House 

The Nearly Flat Roof House 

The Cable Front House 

The Mansard or French Roof House 

The Queen Anne House 

The Colonial House 

The Romanesque House 

P.eorawarrah's Gun 

Hannah Dustin Monument 

The Log Meeting-house 

( )ld Burying Yard 

Monument to Commemorate First Service 

Badger's Plan of Proprietors' Lots 

Garrison around Reverend Timothy Walker's Dwelling 

The Bradley Monument 

Facsimile of Petition for Aid, 1744 

Plan illustrating Bow Controversy 

First Frame Meeting-house, with subsequent Additions 

"Elm Croft" in 1900 . 

Old Town House, 1790 

The Philip Carrigain House 

Main Street in 1798 

Merrimack County Bank 



48, 49 





























X ill 

The Fort Burying Ground, now Old Fort Cemetery 
The Old Pound .... 

Old Horse Sheds .... 

City Hall and County Court House 
Main Street, looking North from Pleasant Street, with Ma- 
sonic Temple at Left, 1900 . 
Old Post-office, on Site of Board of Trade Buildin 
View of Concord from South 
Central Fire Station .... 

Board of Trade Building 

State Street, rear of State House, 1880 

First Centennial Home for Aged 

Present Centennial Home for Aged 

Concord, from Cupola of Court House . 

Pumping Station • . 

Eno-ine House at Penacook 

Contoocook River Park 

Entrance to Blossom Hill Cemetery 

Police Station, Warren Street 

Police Station, Penacook 

The Fowler Library .... 

View of Great Bend from Passaconaway Club 
Club Houses ...... 

Main Street, looking South from Park Street 
Main Street, looking South from Centre Street 

Call's Block 

The Post-office ...... 

The State Library ..... 

Odd Fellows" Home 

The Chadbourne and Stearns House 

The Bogers House ..... 

Hay Scales in Smoky Hollow 

House where First Legislature met in Concord 

Granite Quarries ..... 

View of Penacook, showing Dam and Stone Mill 

New Hampshire Savings Bank 

Mechanicks National and Merrimack County Savings Bank 

National State Capital and Loan and Trust Savings Banks 

Old Bank Building .... 

First National and Union Guaranty Savings Banks 





Topography, Streams, Ponds, Freshets, Forests, Minerals, 

Artesian Well, Localities. 

Joseph B. Walker. 

The township of Concord, which has a length from north to south 
of about eight miles and a breadth of about seven and three quar- 
ters, embracing an area of about thirty-nine thousand acres, forms a 
section of the Merrimack valley. Its surface, for the most part 
moderately uneven, slopes inward from its sides to the original flood 
plain of the river, which divides it into two unequal parts, leaving 
on its east side a little more than one third, and on the opposite a 
little less than two thirds, of its whole area. 

Its highest elevations are found in its northeastern and north- 
western sections. Some of these rise to heights of over five hundred 
feet above the sea level, the highest being the summit of Rattlesnake 
hill, which the United States Coast Survey has found to have an 
altitude of seven hundred and eighty-three feet. Inasmuch as the 
low-water mark of the river is two hundred and twenty-five feet 
above the ocean, it will be perceived that the city's different eleva- 
tions above that point vary from its level up to five hundred and 
fifty-eight feet. 

Six considerable basins hold the waters of as many ponds : Great 
and Little Turkey ponds, having a combined area of two hundred 
and seventy-four acres, Long pond of three hundred and thirty-nine 
acres, Little pond of five acres, Horse Shoe pond of fifteen acres, Tur- 
tle pond of one hundred and forty-six acres, and Snow's pond of 
sixty-two acres. The four first mentioned lie in the westerly part of 
the township and the two last in its easterly section. These, together 
with the rivers and brooks, afford a water surface of about two thou- 
sand acres. 

Precisely how, by ice and other eroding forces, the hand of Omnip- 
otence carved into its present form that portion of the earth's crust 
which lies within the boundaries of Concord, we know but in part. 
As yet we see through plausible conjecture darkly, and it little 
becomes one to strain his vision in vain speculations beyond the lim- 


its of its present power. Some of the operations of these forces, 
however, are patent to superficial observation, and of these it may 
be allowable to speak. 

When, in prehistoric time, the great glacier which had filled the 
Merrimack valley withdrew, it left behind it an extensive plain of 
modified drift, composed mostly of sand. This, varying greatly 

in width, extended 
from north to south 
through the entire 
township, occupying 
an area of nearly 
nine thousand (8837) 

This vast sheet of 
sand, varying in its 
thickness from one 
to one hundred and 
fifty feet, formed for 
a time the flood plain 
of the Merrimack. 
But such was its 
composition that the 
river began at once 
to deepen its chan- 
nel and transport its 
excavations to the 
lower levels along its 
course and at its en- 
trance to the sea. 
Pari passu with this 
sinking of its bed, 
the northwest winds 
swayed laterally its 
current from east to 
west, and from west 
to east, alternately. 
The action of these forces, operating in combination with gravity, 
formed in time new flood plains, each succeeding one being lower 
than its predecessor. Of these, the remains are yet visible in the 
broad steps which rise above the interval. 

This sinking of its bed continued until the river encountered the 
solid material of the earlier formation, upon which the glacier had 
spread the expanse of modified drift before mentioned. But, while 

Course of Merrimack River in I 726. 



the ledges in the former arrested the farther depression of the river's 
channel, it interfered but slightly, if at all, with its lateral move- 
ments. Since then it has been swayed back and forth, us before 

So serpentine, in time, became the river's course, within the limits 
of this township, that the Indians affixed to the locality the descriptive 
name of " Penny 
Cook," the crooked 
place. Since its de- 
pression ceased, the 
present interval has 
been its only flood 
plain. This varies 
but little in extent 
or character of sur- 
face, and has an 
area of about four 
and a half thou- 
sand (4547) acres. 

Through this, — 
" like Bacchus reel- 
ing and drunken," 
the river has stag- 
gered on its uncer- 
tain way, making 
six different loops 
in as many miles, 
abrading in high 
water its southerly 
bank, and, in unsat- 
isfactory compen- 
sation therefor, fill- 
ing with sand such 
opposite portions of 
its channel as in 
this movement it 
has abandoned. Upon the flats thus formed, willows and other allu- 
vium-loving plants have sprung up, to arrest in flood times the silt 
suspended in its waters and there precipitate it ; thereby raising these 
low surfaces to elevations corresponding to the general level of the 

Many of the wanderings of the river over its most recent flood 
plain may be easily traced and with an interest always attaching to 

Leavitt's Plan of River's Course in I 804. 


indisputable geologic records. Some of the most marked changes 
of its course may be seen by comparing with one another the five 
accompanying plans, covering a period of one hundred and seventy- 
four years : 

1. Plan of the Surveyors of the Township, 1726. 

2. Plan of Jeremiah Leavitt, 1804. 

3.^ Plan of Loammi Baldwin, drawn from surveys of the river made 
for the Sewall's Falls Canal Co. in 1836. 

4. Plan made in 1855 by Stephen C. Badger for Bouton's History 
of Concord. 

5. Plan of Will B. Howe, city engineer, of the River and Flood 
Plains, in 1900. 

A comparison of Leavitt's plan with that of Baldwin, made thirty- 
two years later, shows remarkable changes during that period. On the 

11 th of August, 
1828, the river cut 
for itself a new 
channel across the 
eastern end of the 
tongue of land pro- 
jecting westward 
from Sugar Ball 
interval, and there- 
by transferred thir- 
ty acres of land 
from its eastern to 
its western shore. 
Three years later, 
in 1831, it reversed 
this action by sev- 
ering about five 
acres from Hale's 
point, on its west 
side, and leaving 
it on the other. 
This straightening 
of its course by the 
obliteration of the 
two most notable 
bends has done 
much to destroy 
the significance of 

Loammi Baldwin's Plan of River's Course in 1836. till' liailie of "Pell- 



ny Cook," 
nally attached to 
this locality. Horse 
Shoe island is an- 
other instance of 
similar severance 
and transfer by the 
river of some sev- 
enty-five acres from 
its east to its west 
side, at some re- 
mote date in the 
aboriginal period. 
This pond plainly 
indicates a previ- 
ous river channel 
now largely oblit- 
erated by decayed 
aquatic vegetation 
and silt. 

During the last 
sixty years, the riv- 
er has moved east- 
ward from its for- 
mer bank, near the 
south end of Main 
street, 1500 feet 
and south-easterly 

1 900 * TwifP m'llPP Badger's Plan of the Course of Merrimack River in 1855. 

1885 has the Wyatt house, upon the bluff opposite that point, been 
moved back on account of the river's encroachments. 

In 1855 a tract of land situated in the upper part of Wattanum- 
mon's field, bought by the late Benjamin Farnum of the heirs of Capt. 
Eliphalet Emery, had an area of forty acres. Measured in June, 
1900, it was found to contain but about twenty-seven acres, the river 
having in the meantime washed away thirteen, being an average of 
about twenty-nine one hundredths of an acre each year, and corre- 
spondingly increased the flat upon its opposite shore. Tradition 
says that this transfer was initiated by the removal of the bushes 
which once lined its southerly bank. 

Since 1726 the largest portion of seven lots formerly abutting 
upon the Fan road have been washed away and about thirty-five 

1 Measurements of Maj. Lewis Downing, Jr. 


acres, formerly upon the south side of the river, must now be sought 
for on its north side or in its channel. According to the survey of 
the interval, made in the year just mentioned, the river was distant 
from the East Concord road, by way of the Fan road, two hundred 
and twenty-three rods. Its distance is now (June, 1900) but one 
hundred and fifty. During the last seventy years the Fan point has 
moved eastward some fifty rods, and the bluff opposite has receded 
a like distance. 

A marked change in the river's course has occurred at Penacook, 
a few rods below the Northern Railroad station. Here many acres 
have been washed away from the northerly side of the Rolfe interval, 
while its easterly side has been greatly enlarged at the expense of 
the land adjoining the river's opposite shore. 

( hie result of the turning of the entire volume of the river into 
its east channel, at the upper end of Sewall's island, has been a 
severe abrasion of its east bank for a distance of half a mile or more 
and a corresponding accretion to its opposite shore of some twenty- 
five acres. 

Another has been a later infringement of the river upon its west- 
ern shore, just below the south end of this island, whereby land to 
the amount of three or four acres has been washed away and serious 
injury done to the fields below by covering their rich soil with coat- 
ings of barren sand. 

A large portion of its former channels on the west side of Sewall's 
island and of Goodwin's point, from which the Northern Railroad 
excluded the river in 1S-M!, has since been* filled with sand and 
decayed vegetation. Eventually but few traces of its occupancy 
will remain. 

It is interesting to observe upon the river's present flood plain its 
more recent changes of course. Those of prehistoric dates, however, 
are mostly obscure, and, like the movements of the aborigines, can 
be traced with difficulty and uncertainty. 

The changes of the river's course thus far mentioned have been 
natural changes. Allusion should not be omitted to an artificial 
one, made, and before alluded to, by the Northern Railroad in 1846, 
whereby the peninsula known as Goodwin's point, of about forty 
acres, was cut oft' by the river's diversion to a new channel excavated 
across its junction to the main laud. 

The abrasions above mentioned have been often arrested by coat- 
ing the slopes of endangered banks with rubble. In a few years 
bushes generally take root beneath it, around which sand gathers and 
renders them sufficiently firm to successfully resist all assaults of 
floods and ice, and breakings no longer occur. About fifty years 










ago some one hundred and twenty-five rods of the river's south bank 
above Federal bridge was thus protected, and no loss by washing 
has since taken place. Like action, with like results, has been taken 
at other exposed sections. 

From the foregoing statements it will be seen that the surface of 
Concord consists, approximately, of : 

Post-tertiary drift, of various elevations . 
Modified drift, mostly of plain surface 
River alluvium ..... 
Water areas ...... 

Whole area 39,050 " 

The soil varies, from the dry and porous sand of the pine plains 
and the fine humus-bearing alluvium of the interval, to the more or 
less rocky and clayey formations of the post-tertiary age. 

Somewhat more than half of the land in Concord is suitable for 
tillage, while the remainder, too rough for the plough, is well adapted 
to grazing and to the production of wood and timber. Here and 
there, on limited areas, the underlying rock formation protrudes 
above the surface and supplies material for one of the city's greatest 
industries. Millions of cubic yards of choicest granite have been 
taken from Rattlesnake hill, and millions of millions more await the 
quarryman's drill. 

The importance of the subject seems to warrant farther allusion to 
the soils of Concord. There are four leading varieties : 

1. The alluvial soil of the interval. This is fine grained, fairly 
moist, granitic, and contains assimilable plant food sufficient to pro- 
duce moderate crops of ordinary farm products without amendment. 
It is free of stones and easily manipulated. Adequate fertilization 
renders it highly productive. 

2. The modified drift soil of the plains. This is of coarser texture 
than the foregoing, is more porous, contains but little humus, is easily 
affected by droughts, holds manures in a loose grasp, and is subject 
to early frosts. It is better adapted to cereals than to grasses. It 
is a little more easily wrought than the land of the interval. With 
proper culture, it yields moderate crops of rye, oats, corn, buckwheat, 
grass, and roots. 

3. The upland soil. This is usually warm, friable, retentive of 
moisture, well supplied with humus, and adapted to the production 
of almost all ordinary farm crops. But it is often pretty full of 
stones when first cleared of the forest. Until these are removed, its 
manipulation is laborious and expensive. 

4. Mucky Soils. Frequent tracts of these, of varying areas, are 


found in all considerable sections of Concord. Some of them consist 
of decomposed vegetation and the wash of surrounding hills, some 
of decayed aquatic plants, mingled with river silt. They are all more 
or less rich in nitrogen and some of them in potash. When properly 
drained, they make grass fields of much value. As yet, but few of 
them have been very thoroughly improved. 

The soil-sheet which covers the underlying rock formation of Con- 
cord varies much in thickness. The latter undulates in sudden 
elevations and depressions, and the stratum of earth resting upon it 
conforms, more or less, to these. At the works of the Page Belting 
Company, on Penacook street, the surface of the bed rock has been 
found at a depth of about eighty feet below that of the ground ; at 
Toofs laundry, just west of Main street, between School and Warren 
streets, at fifty-seven and a half feet ; at the Concord & Portsmouth 
Railroad bridge, at Turkey Falls, at about twenty feet. 

It may be further remarked of the surface of Concord that it rises 
on each side from the river's level by three broad steps to elevations 
of from four to five hundred feet on its western and the northern half 
of its eastern border. Along the southern half of the latter it sinks 
to the level of the Soucook river, which forms the city's southeastern 

The first step upwards from the Merrimack to the interval makes 
a rise, varying from three or four to fifteen feet. The second from 
the interval to the plain makes another of from a hundred to a hun- 
dred and twenty feet. From the plain the ground ascends in irregular 
slopes to the side lines before mentioned. 

The surface of the two first steps is nearly level, the variations 
therefrom rarely exceeding ten feet. That of the third is very uneven. 
On the west side of the river it is characterized by three parallel 
ranges of hills and intervening valleys, the crests of the former some- 
times rising into conspicuous summits designated by particular names. 

Along the first or most easterly range, on the west side of the 
Merrimack, are found Rum, Parsonage, Dagody, and Rattlesnake sum- 
mits, rising to the respective altitudes of five hundred, six hundred 
and seventy-five, six hundred and forty, and seven hundred and 
eighty-three feet above the level of the sea. 

In the second are found the summits known as Silver hill, having a 
height of four hundred feet ; Jerry hill, of seven hundred and twenty- 
five ; Pine hill, of eight hundred and ten ; and Horse hill, of seven 
hundred and sixty. 

Along the third range, which skirts the Hopkinton line, rise Stick- 
ney hill, having an altitude of five hundred feet ; Dimond Hill, of six 
hundred and eighty ; and Beech hill, of seven hundred and seventy-five. 


On the east side of the river the high ground is confined to a 
single chain of hills, commencing near Sewall's Falls and sweeping 
around easterly and southeasterly, in a semi-circle to the Soucook. 
In this are found the rounded elevations known as the Mountain, 
Oak hill, and the broken ground, having in the order of their men- 
tion altitudes of seven hundred, nine hundred and thirty, and seven 

hundred and twenty feet. 


Merrimack River. The principal river of Concord is the Merrimack. 
The headwaters of its most northern west branch are found about the 
bases of the Pemigewasset, Profile, and Flume mountains, in Lincoln 
and Franconia ; while those of its most northern east branch may be 
traced to the feet of Mount Willey, in Bethlehem, and of the moun- 
tains in Waterville and Livermore. 

Along its banks and those of its main tributaries, in aboriginal 
times, lay important Indian trails from the mountains to the ocean. 
These formed sections of one of the great Indian routes from the 
Canadas to the Massachusetts coast. As the red man receded west- 
ward, they were broadened to carriage highways, to be paralleled in 
time by steam and electric railroads. 

From the top of Sewall's Falls dam to the foot of Garvin's Falls, 
the Merrimack makes a descent of fifty feet, furnishing to Concord a 
single water-power of about fifteen feet at the falls first mentioned. 
Its volume, which has an average summer width of about four hun- 
dred feet, is considerably increased within this city's limits by the 
waters of the Contoocook, which enter it at Penacook, and by those 
of several minor streams along its banks. 

The population of the Merrimack valley, if it be allowed to consist 
of the two tiers of towns which fine its banks from its main forks at 
Franklin to its mouth at Newburyport, is probably denser than that 
of any other extra-urban section of the United States. AVhile, in 
1890, the population of New Hampshire numbered 41.31 persons to 
the square mile, of Massachusetts 278.41, and of Rhode Island 
318.44, that of the Merrimack valley was 471. 

Contoocook River. The stream next in size to the Merrimack is 
the Contoocook. It enters the city near its northwest corner, and 
after flowing southerly and easterly in a tortuous course of about 
seven miles, joins the Merrimack at Penacook. It has an average 
width of some two hundred feet, and from the top of the dam at 
Contoocook River Park to its outlet it makes a descent of one hun- 
dred and eleven feet, furnishing at different points four important 
water-powers. To these the flourishing village just mentioned is 
largely indebted for its prosperity. 


Turkey River. Turkey river, a much smaller stream than the 
Contoocook, drains the ponds bearing this name. It has a varying 
width of some twenty to thirty feet, and a length of about three 
miles. At the end of a total fall of a little more than three hundred 
feet, it joins the Merrimack in Bow, near the north line of that town, 
having furnished six mill privileges along its course, the upper four of 
which are in Concord. Of these, only two are now utilized. For- 
merly the four at and near St. Paul's School were occupied by a grist- 
mill, a clothing mill, and two sawmills. 

This stream has interesting associations with literary celebrities. 
Upon its bank Nathaniel H. Carter, Concord's earliest and sweetest 
poet, was born, September 17, 1787. During the last half century it 
has had intimate relations with the boys of St. Paul's School, similar 
to those existing between the Thames and the boys of the ancient 
school at Eton. Half a mile from it Dr. John Farmer, in his day the 
most distinguished historian and genealogist in New England, breathed 
his last, on the 13th day of August, 1838. In the same house, some 
five years later, passed from earth the spirit of the gifted Mary Clark, 
on the 9th day of May, 1841. 

Soucook River. The Soucook forms the southeastern boundary of 
Concord, separating it from Pembroke and belonging in part to each 
township. From the point where it first touches the territory of the 
latter in a straight line to its mouth, the distance is about six miles 
and three quarters. By the stream it is a little over ten. It has an 
average width of some forty-five feet and furnishes two small water- 
powers of seven and nine feet fall, respectively, and in its entire 
course makes a descent of one hundred and eight feet. 

Mill Brook. This stream receives the overflow of Turtle pond and, 
after pursuing a westerly and southwesterly course for some two 
miles and a quarter, enters the Merrimack near East Concord village. 
In this distance it falls nearly one hundred feet. While its volume 
is not large, it affords three small mill powers, two of which were 
improved as early as 1729, the first utilized in Concord. 

H<«-ketfs Brook. Tins is a small stream, supplied by the overflow 
of Hot Hole and Snow's ponds. From the former to the river, which 
it enters just above Sewall's falls, it makes a descent of two hundred 
and thirty-three feet. 

Bow and Wood's Brooks. These, starting in a single stream from 
the east side of Little pond, take separate courses at the junction of 
the Little pond and Woolson roads. The first pursues a southeast- 
erly course for about four miles through the woods, the county jail 
lot, the state hospital farm and other estates, to Turkey river, in 
Bow. The latter passes easterly through the woods, Blossom Hill 


cemetery and. other lands for a distance of about a mile and a half, to 
Horse Shoe pond. Some fifty years ago it furnished power to a small 
sawmill located a few rods east of the main entrance to Blossom Hill 
cemetery. Of late years the removal of the forest has restricted its 
flow to a portion only of the year. 

In addition to these streams there are others in different parts of 
the city, varying in length from one to three miles each, of which the 
limits of this chapter allow no extended mention. Of this number 
are Wattanummon's brook, which connects Horse Shoe pond with the 
Merrimack ; Ash brook, which rises at the foot of Beech hill and 
joins Turkey river near St. Paul's School ; Beaver Meadow brook, 
which drains the bog at West Concord ; Willow Hollow brook, which 
enters the Merrimack from the west about a mile south of Penacook ; 
Burnham's and Bowen brooks, which also discharge their waters into 
the Merrimack at East Concord, and others of yet minor importance. 

Various causes have operated to the reduction of the several vol- 
umes of these streams. They all carry less water than formerly. 
Yet the statement is made that, upon the Merrimack and its tributa- 
ries, more cotton is spun and woven than upon any other river in the 
world ; a fact which accounts for the important towns and cities which 
occupy its banks, at intervals, all the way from Lake Winnepesaukee 

to the sea. 


In depressions among the hills may be found the seven ponds before 
mentioned, each of sufficient area to claim a brief mention. Of these 
two are in the northeasterly section of the city, one, Snow's pond, 
lying between the Mountain and Oak hill ; and Turtle pond, situated 
about a mile south of it, between Oak hill and the Broken ground. 
The former has an elevation of one hundred and ninety-five feet above 
the river, an area of sixty-two acres and a watershed of four hundred 
and ninety-two. The latter lies ninety-nine feet above the Merri- 
mack, has an area of one hundred and forty-six acres and a water- 
shed of fourteen hundred and fifty. ( )n the west side of the river, 
in the southwest section of the city, are two ponds, respectively desig- 
nated as Turkey and Little Turkey. They lie near to each other in 
the depression between Silver, Stickney, and Dimond hills. The first 
has an area of two hundred and thirty-nine acres and a watershed of 
fifteen hundred and seventy-one. The second has an area of thirty- 
five acres and a watershed of five hundred and fifty-five. The former 
lies one hundred feet above the river and the latter ninety. 

In the depression surrounded by Rattlesnake, Jerry, Pine, and Par- 
sonage hills, a little west and north of the centre of the city, lies 
Long pond, the largest within its limits, one hundred and seventy- 


nine feet above the river. It has an area of three hundred and thirty- 
eight acres and a watershed of nineteen hundred and twenty. 

In a small hollow, high on the Rattlesnake range, is found a small 
body of water known as Little pond. It covers some five acres and 
lies within a watershed of about thirty-five. 

Just above the north end of Main street, in a former channel of 
the river, may be found a semi-circular body of water known as 
Horse Shoe pond. It originally had an area of some sixty acres. By 
the growth of aquatic vegetation, successive deposits of river silt in 
times of inundation and drainage, its surface has been reduced to about 
fifteen acres and its original form changed from that of a horse shoe, 
whence has come its name, to that of a semi-circle. It is fed in part 
by springs and in part by Wood's brook, which carries to it a portion 
of the outflow of Little pond and the drainage of some of the 
southeastern slopes of Rattlesnake hill. It has an elevation above 
the summer surface of the Merrimack of about three feet. 

All of these ponds, with the exception of Long pond, are wholly 
or partially surrounded by low, wet, and level meadows, composed 
largely of decayed vegetable matter, the accumulation of unknown 
periods, which have encroached upon their original areas. Of this 
process Horse Shoe pond furnishes a marked example. 

To the ponds already mentioned might be added a small one at 
Fort Eddy, formed by the Merrimack, in 1828, when it cut for itself 
a new channel ; and another at Sugar Ball, produced in the same way, 
three years later. 

In addition to these are several artificial ponds, the largest of which 
are the Asylum pond, made in 1818 by the damming of Bow brook, 
which has an area of about six acres ; the semi-circular pond near 
Sewall's Falls, made by the Northern Railroad in 1846 by a transfer 
of the river to a new channel cut for it across the base of Goodwin's 
point; and the pond on the west side of Sewall's island, formed at the 
same time by this railroad, which closed the west channel of the river 
and forced its whole volume into that on the east side of the island. 


The Merrimack has ever been subject to occasional overflows, 
resulting from heavy rains or melting snows upon its watershed and 
those of its tributaries. These have varied in height from a few feet 
up to a score or more, and inundated more or less of its interval. In 
some instances the interval has been entirely submerged. 

Of these freshets we possess but imperfect records. Tradition 
says that one of the highest occurred about 1781 and also that, in 
1799, the timber of the house now occupied by Dr. William G. 


Carter (No. 244) at the north end of Main street was floated to its 
destination on the waters of a freshet. 

Benjamin Kimball, who lived for many years near the east bank of 
the river at Sugar Ball, and there kept a ferry, makes mention in his 
diary of a winter freshet in January, 1772, which broke up the ice in 
the river and strewed it far and wide over the interval. He also 
records the occurrence of two other ice freshets ; one on the 5th of 
April, 1819, and the other on the 10th and 11th of February, 1821 ; 
the first of which swept away Federal bridge and the second a part 
of it. 

Of the first of these, the New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette 
in its issue of April 13, 1819, remarks : " The heavy rain of Sunday 
night last week (April 4) producing a sudden breaking up of the ice 
in Merrimack river, the northerly bridge in this town and the turn- 
pike bridge at Isle Hooksett was rendered impassible by carrying 
away three piers in the former and one pier in the latter. Prepara- 
tions had been made for the erection of a new bridge in this town, in 
the anticipation that the old one would be unfit for use after the 
present season ; so that the inconvenience, though great, will be only 

Of the latter the same paper says, on the 16th of February, 1824 : 

" On Thursday last a flood, the most tremendous ever known in 
this part of the country, took place. The extreme cold of the pre- 
ceding week was followed on Tuesday and Wednesday by southerly 
winds, 'which increased to a gale on the evening and night of that 
day, during the greater part of which rain descended in torrents. 
The solid coat of ice which covered the ground, while melting it 
added to the quantity of water, prevented the earth from receiving 
it, and the whole rushed toward and filled the smaller streams, 
pushing thence into the river ; in a few hours the thick ice giving 
away, swept bridges and everything else in the way into the mass of 
undistinguished ruin. . . . The cakes of ice, some of which are 
more than two feet in thickness, lie pile on pile on the interval 
ground in this vicinity. . . . The following is the best informa- 
tion of damage we have been able to gather: . . . Concord 
lower bridge, two stone piers and a part of the body of the bridge 
carried off". Concord upper bridge (new), one wooden pier and about 
two thirds of the body carried away." 

Mr. Kimball further states that, in 1820, during the 30th of 
August freshet, the river rose twenty feet above low-water mark, 
and that, upon its subsidence, three days later, forty-seven men were 
engaged in digging potatoes at Sugar Ball that they might prevent 
the loss of them by decay. 



Dr. William Prescott says (Bouton's Hist. Concord, p. 773) that 
the April freshet of 1850 submerged the whole interval; while 
twenty years later Mayor John Kimball remarks in his address to 
the City Council that the ice freshet of 1872 "did serious injury to 
four of the seven bridges across the Merrimack and Contoocook 

Twice, certainly, within the last fifty years has high water washed 
away so much of the road-bed of the Concord & Montreal Railroad, 
between the Concord station and its East Concord bridge, as to 
render it impassable for nearly a week in each instance. 

In a communication to the Concord Daily Monitor, January 29, 
1894, H. N. Robinson of Pittsfield says : " I remember a Mr. 
Moulton, who lived near us, saying that he rowed his boat into 
several houses in East Concord, and in one he had run the nose of 
his boat into the brick oven. I can remember the ice piled high on 
the Free bridge road, between the bridge and the hill to the east, 
some four feet deep ; left there by a mid-winter freshet. The last of 
these high freshets which I recall was in October, 1868, when the 
railroad between Concord and East Concord was submerged." 

The recent freshet of 1895 covered the iron of the Northern 
Railroad at Penacook street to a depth of from three to four inches, 
and the water about the Rolfe and Rumford Asylum rose to within 
eighteen inches of the first floor of the institution. This freshet, the 
highest within the remembrance of persons now living, covered the 
entire interval in the central part of the city with the exception of 
some ten square rods of the summit of Wattanummon's hill. The 
water of the freshet of 1896 rose nearly as high and covered most of 
the river's flood plain. 


Dates. Elevations in feet above datum line 

1851 . . ... 18.99 


m t 


1862, April 22 

. « 


1865, March 

. , 


1869, April 22 

. 4 


1869, Oct. 5 



1870, April 20 



1873, Oct. 22 

, . 


1874, Jan. 9 

, , 


1878, Dec. 12 

. , 


1886, Jan. 6 

, . 


1895, April 17 



1896, March 2 



1897, July 15 

, . 


1900, April 20 




The foregoing list of the flood elevations above the city's datum 
line (low-water mark) at the Concord bridge, since 1851, a period of 
forty-nine years, has been kindly furnished by Frank A. Merrill, 
assistant chief engineer of the Boston & Maine Railroad. 

To this may be added, for facility of consultation, the additional 
partial list of freshets which, with two exceptions, occurred previous 
to 1851. 

1772. A great flood. 

1784. Tradition reports a very high freshet this year. 

1799. A freshet upon whose waters the timber of Dr. W. (J. 
Carter's house was floated to its destination. 

1818. A freshet which carried off Federal bridge. 

1820, Oct. 17. Great inundation of the interval. 

1821. Federal bridge partially carried away. 

1826, 1828, and 1831. Very high freshets, causing important 
changes of river channel. 

1811, Feb. 8. Federal bridge and Free bridge both badly 

1850, May 1 and (3. Federal bridge injured and embankments of 
B., C. & M. Railroad washed away. 

1865. Sewall's Falls, Federal, Free, and Concord bridges dam- 
aged by freshet. 

1868, October. B., C. & M. Railroad embankment between Con- 
cord and East Concord submerged. 

While the above list does not contain a record of all the Merri- 
mack river freshets occurring at Concord during those forty-nine 
years, it gives the several elevations above the city's datum line of 
fifteen of the more notable ones, the highest having been twenty-one 
and sixty-five one hundredths feet, while the lowest was sixteen and 
twelve one hundredths, and the average eighteen and seventy-two one 

These inundations are usually attended with results both good 
and evil. They temporarily obstruct travel, wash away valuable 
land in some places, and in others bury it beneath sheets of barren 
sand. Occasionally, division fences, farm animals, and growing- 
crops are injured or destroyed. At the same time they elevate the 
surfaces of low grounds, leave upon the lands submerged deposits of 
silt of more or less value, and, if their advent be in spring, they 
increase materially the coming grass crop. 

Some thirty years ago, serious complaint was made by some of the 
farmers upon the interval above Concord, of the withholding in reser- 
voirs of considerable portions of the spring waters which had before 
contributed to the inundation of their fields, which was done for the 


benefit of the manufacturing companies at Manchester and lower 
points along the river's course. In their view, they were deprived of 
a natural benefit attaching to their land and had received no compen- 
sation for it. The inequality of the parties interested prevented any 
reference of the grievance alleged to the legislature or to the courts and 
its importance has never been determined. 

It is, however, an undoubted fact that much value attaches to grass 
lands from a thorough wetting of their soil in early spring, which 
renders them moist for a long period thereafter. To such the Merri- 
mack inundations are of much benefit, making them, when properly 
drained, perennially productive of fair crops of second-class hay with- 
out fertilization. 

Regarding the value of the sedimentary deposits left upon these 
lands by freshets, various opinions are held, based largely upon loose 
observations of different persons. That they vary more or less goes 
without saying. How much of the benefit received results from 
water and how much from silt can be settled only by the most careful 
examination by competent persons of particular cases. Such are yet 
to be made. 

An analysis of three specimens of river silt collected upon Horse 
Shoe island in 1896, made at the New Hampshire Experiment Station, 
in Durham, indicates that, at this locality, their fertilizing value is 
not great. 

It is to be regretted that the records of the exact times, heights, 
and characteristics of the Merrimack river freshets are so imperfect ; 
a fact due in part, doubtless, to a general lack of appreciation of their 
importance and the want of some established scale by which their 
varying elevations may be determined, similar to the Nilometers of 
Egypt, used to mark the varying heights of the Nile. But the 
records which we have suffice to show that our ordinary freshets attain 
elevations of from five to ten feet above the river's low-water mark, 
and that the higher ones rise to eighteen and twenty. At these 
latter heights the interval in the central part of the city is nearly all 

The height of the water in the time of a freshet is not the same 
over all submerged localities. It varies to the amount of one or two 
feet and in some instances even more. When the river overflows its 
southern bank at the upper end of Wattanummon's field, and is swept 
onward by its current and a northwest wind, which generally prevails 
at such a time, forcing the water into the triangle formed by the em- 
bankments of the Northern and of the Boston, Concord & Montreal 
railroads, it is found to be considerably higher on the west than on 
the east side of the latter road. It was to the action of these forces 


that the carrying out the section of its embankment, before men- 
tioned, was due. Various causes produce similar but lesser irregu- 
larities of surface at other places. The following are records of the 
heights of water in the Merrimack river during the flood of April 17, 
1895, furnished by Mr. Merrill: 

At East Concord passenger station . 24.12 

At new bridge near N. E. Granite Co.'s sheds, west side of track 24.22 

At new bridge near N. E. Granite Co.'s sheds, east side of track 22.59 

Opposite Concord passenger station ..... 21.65 

600 feet south of gas house bridge ..... 21.32 

2,900 feet south of gas house bridge ..... 18.79 

At Bow Junction ........ 16.32 

The above elevations are all above the citv datum, low water at the 
lower bridge, by Governor Weston's survey. 


When the first settlers came to Concord they found its territory 
covered by primeval forest, with the exception of its water surfaces 
and small portions of its interval, which the Indians had cleared and 
on which their squaws had raised small crops of corn, beans, and 
pumpkins. Limited sections also produced the indigenous grasses, 
still found on the low, sandy soils near the river, which the plow but 
rarely, if ever, reaches, called by the earlier generations " old interval 
grasses," and by the botanists various species of " Andropogon." 

Besides shrubs of little worth, the Concord forests still contain 
thirty-three different species of native trees of commercial value. In 
them may be found : 

The Basswood (Tilia Americana). 

Four species of Maple — The Sugar or Rock Maple (Acer saccha- 
rium), the Red Maple (Acer rubrum), the White Maple (Acer dasy- 
carpuni), and the Striped Maple (Acer Pennsylvanicwm). 

The Black Cherry (Prunus Serotina). 

The Sassafras (Sassafras officinale). 

Two species of Elm — The American Elm (Ulmus Americana) and 
the Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva). 

The Oilnut or Butternut (Juglans cineria). 

The Walnut (Gary a alba). 

Three species of Oak — The White Oak (Quercus alba), the Yel- 
low or Black Oak (Quercus tinctoria), and the Red Oak (Quercus 

Two species of Ash — The White Ash (Fraxinus Americana) and 
the Brown Ash (Fraxinus samibucifolia). 

The Beech (Fagus ferruginea). 

The Chestnut (Castanea vulgaris). 


The Lever Wood (Ostrya Virginica). 

Four species of Birch — The Black Birch (Betula lento), the Yel- 
low Birch (Betula lutea), the White Birch (Betula papyrifera), and 
the Grey Birch (Betula alba). 

The Black Willow (Salyx nigra). 

The American Aspen (Populus tremuloides). 

Three species of Pine — The White Pine (Pinus strobus), the Pitch 
Pine (Pinus rigida), and the Red Pine (Pinus resinosa). 

The Black Spruce (Pieea nigra). 

The Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea). 

The Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis). 

The Hackmatack (Larix Americana). 

In early days grand aboriginal pines of great size were cut for 
masts and drawn to the river's bank to be thence floated to the ship- 
yards near its mouth. One hundred oxen, gathered from a large 
neighborhood, were sometimes employed to move such from the 
forest. " Masting," as it was termed, was a rough, laborious, and 
somewhat hazardous business. A large mast rolled into the river 
represented what was then a considerable amount of money. If it 
encountered disaster on the way to its destination, a serious loss 
befell its owner. The late Simeon Abbott once remarked that on 
one occasion a prominent mast master 1 of Concord followed on horse 
back along the river's bank a valuable mast stick, which he was 
transporting to its destination, as far as Amoskeag Falls. Here it 
floated athwart the current, struck a rock in mid-channel and was 
broken in two parts. This ruin of the mast was the ruin of its 
owner. He relied upon the money which he expected to receive for 
it for the payment of debts he had no other means of discharging. 
Disheartened, he turned from the river and was never seen again. 

" The next famous master was Capt. Reuben Kimball. The man- 
ner in which he carried on the business was as follows : Taking a 
strong team in the winter, of twenty yoke of oxen or more, with 
sleds and an adequate number of men, he went into the woods and 
camped. His men were divided into sections for particular parts of 
the work, called swampers, teamsters, choppers, peelers, and tailsmen. 
The swampers cleared the way ; choppers cut down the trees ; peel- 
ers peeled off the bark ; teamsters drove the oxen ; and two tailsmen 
walked beside the hind team, and in case at any time the tongue of 
the sled, in passing a hollow place, run so high as to lift the hind 
oxen up by the neck, then the tailsmen seized the tails of the oxen 

1 The first mast-master of whom we have particular knowledge was Lieut. John Webster. 
. . . Timothy Walker remembers that Lieutenant Webster cut a mast in Northfiehl which 
measured thirty-eight inches in diameter at sixty feet from the butt, and took one hundred 
and four oxen, or fifty-two teams, to draw it. 


and drew them outward, so that in coming down the tongue of the 
sled would not strike them." — Bouton's History of Concord, pp. 
537, 538. 

The Rev. Mr. Walker, the town minister, in his diary for 1764, 

" Jan. 17. At night Prince, with one yoke of oxen, went into y e 
mast camp. 

" Jan. 18. Mr. Webster hauled his great mast at night. 

" Jan. 20. Prince returned from masting." 

In early days, when wood was consumed in large quantities and 
forest clearings were in progress, collections of ashes were made and 
the manufacture of potash was prosecuted to some extent. 

Judge Timothy Walker had a potashery in the rear of his garden, 
the well of which remains in good condition to this day. In his 
diary for 1766 he remarks: 

" February 10. John Colby brot a L. of ashes from C* Page's. 
" June 23. J u Colby went to Haverhill with a load of Potash." 

There was but little other than the small local demand for lumber 
previous to the construction of the canals, at the various falls of the 
Merrimack. Consequently masts and potash were, until then, the 
only forest products which could be conveyed to a market. Upon 
the opening of these the transportation of lumber was made possible 
and that industry was greatly promoted. They came too late, how- 
ever, for the manufacture here of rosin, spirits of turpentine, pipe 
staves, and other wood products, once extensively pursued on and 
near the sea-coast. The want of practicable transportation facilities 
had before prevented the establishment of these industries so far dis- 
tant from a market. 

Fifty years ago there might have been found in Concord a consid- 
erable number of very ancient white pines of colossal dimensions and 
great ages. Some of them contained from two to three thousand 
feet of lumber, board measure. They were nearly or quite coeval 
with the settlement of New Hampshire by the English. Now and 
then one might be found whose preservation was due, perhaps, to 
having once borne the mark of the broad arrow placed upon it by the 
Surveyor of the King's Woods, when New Hampshire was a British 
province, to indicate its reservation as a mast tree for the royal navy. 

These giants of the woods, commonly called " old growth pines," 
to designate them from younger trees of the same species, which, far 
from small, had diameters of from two to three feet, a foot above the 
ground, although long past their prime a half century ago, were still 


stalwart in their great age. Forest Nestors, erect, of commanding 
stature, stately, grand and majestic, they towered above all their fel- 
lows, bearing green coronals which daily received the sun's earliest 
greetings, and reflected his latest rays as he descended below the 
horizon of the west. 

In all probability, not one of those old patriarchs of the woods now 
survives within the limits of Concord. Like the Indian, of whom 
they were companions in youth, they have passed in the great pro- 
gression of the world's movements, and the places which once knew 
them will know them no more. 

The wood and timber of Concord forests grows less rapidly than 
is generally supposed. The writer found some years ago, by count- 
ing the rings and measuring the butts of forty white-pine logs, aver- 
aging about fifty feet in length, taken from various localities, that their 
average diameter was twenty-two and eighty-two one hundredths 
(22.82) inches, their average age eighty-six and seventy-six one hun- 
dredths (86.7(3) years, and their average contents three hundred and 
sixty-three (3(33) feet, showing an average growth of four and two 
tenths (4.2) feet a year, board measure. 

A similar examination of twenty chestnut logs, averaging thirty 
feet in length, showed their average diameter to be twenty-one and 
four tenths (21.4) inches, their average age seventy-four (74) years, 
and their average contents two hundred and ninety-six (296) feet, 
having increased at an average rate of four (4) feet a year. 

Twenty red-oak logs of an average length of thirty feet, and an 
average diameter of eighteen and two tenths (18.2) inches, had an 
average age of seventy and one tenth (70.1) years, and contained on 
an average two hundred and fifty-three feet, having grown at the 
rate of three and six tenths (3.6) feet each year. 

Five hemlock logs, averaging thirty-five feet in length and seven- 
teen and two tenths (17.2) inches in diameter, had an average age 
of seventy-seven (77) years, and an average measurement of two 
hundred and seventy-one (271) feet, having increased at the rate of 
three and a half (3 1-2) feet a year. 


The mineral resources of Concord have been iron, clay, potash, and 

Iron. In a section of the city known as the Iron Works, small 
quantities of iron were manufactured many years ago, and the same 
was also done at Forge pond at West Concord. Where the ore was 
generally obtained does not appear. Some of it, however, was taken 
from a spot near the Sheep Davis road on the Plain. It has also been 


found at the foot of Oak bill, near Turtle pond. This industry, never 
of great importance, has been described in another chapter. 

Clay. The best of clay is found in several localities. It underlies 
the superincumbent formation at depths so inconsiderable as to render 
it easily accessible. Beds of it have been utilized near Mill brook, in 
East Concord, on Turnpike street near the Margaret Pillsbury hos- 
pital, and farther south, near the Bow line, upon the State Hospital 
farm, near the foot of Dimond's hill, and elsewhere. 

Bricks were made in Concord quite soon after its settlement. They 
were somewhat smaller than those now used, being thinner, with one 
side a little thicker than the other, and not quite so hard. Some, 
made as early as 1734, and perhaps before, are still doing good service 
to-day. Though not an extensive industry, the manufacture of bricks 
has always been an important one, and has partially met the local 

Fifty years ago, considerable quantities of brown pottery were man- 
ufactured in the vicinity of St. Paul's School and disposed of in Con- 
cord and neighboring towns. Twenty years ago flower pots, jugs, 
vases, etc., of attractive forms were produced, evincing not only good 
taste but skill and fidelity on the part of the manufacturers. 

Granite. The granite industry dates from the early part of the 
last century. In its early days the undressed stock was obtained 
from surface boulders. These yielded large quantities of choice 
stone, one to the amount of eleven thousand cubic feet. When this 
source of supply failed, ledges were uncovered and regular quarrying 
was commenced. Top sheets, more or less stained, were originally 
made use of and were split into the required forms by steel wedges 
driven into narrow holes made by flat drills. The round drill was 
in but little, if any, use seventy years ago. Gunpowder was not 
much used until deep quarrying began. 

The erection of the walls of the state prison in 1812 and those of 
the state house in 1816-1819, brought Concord granite into notice 
and created a demand for it. It was quarried in considerable quan- 
tities for building purposes and prepared for use by the convicts of 
the state prison, whence it was shipped by the Boston & Concord 
Boating Company to Boston, and thence to New York, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, and New Orleans. 

For some years the dressing of stone was the chief employment of 
the state prisoners. When, about 1840, the convict labor was trans- 
ferred to other industries the stone business was assumed by private 
parties. Prominent among these was Luther Roby, who for many 
years pursued it extensively. Gass & Johnson, Benjamin Speed, and 
Alexander Nichols also followed it. 


These supplied the local demand and sent stone, both dressed and 
in the rough, to other places. The United States post-office at Ports- 
mouth and the Horticultural and Merchants bank buildings in Boston 
afford fair specimens of the stone sent from the Concord quarries some 
thirty to forty years ago. Inasmuch as the history of this industry is ably 
described elsewhere, it is unnecessary to say more of it here than that 
the greatest mineral resource of Concord is to be found in the granite 
ledges which form so large a part of Rattlesnake hill, exhaustless, and 
thus far but partially developed. 

Potash. Before the Revolution and for many years after, the man- 
ufacture of potash, elsewhere mentioned, was pursued to some extent 
in Concord. In the clearing of land for farming purposes, large quan- 
tities of ashes were produced. This fact led to the establishment of 
the business which continued to be prosecuted until the scarcity of 
the raw material rendered it unprofitable. 

By the reduction of the alkali of this waste product to the con- 
centrated form of potash, its transportation to a market became prac- 
ticable. Mr. Richard Herbert carried on this business down to about 
1825. Sixty years before that time, Judge Timothy Walker, as before 
remarked, had a potash manufactory on his premises, which was occu- 
pied for a considerable period. Its well, like that of the patriarch 
Jacob, in the Valley of Shechem, is in good preservation at this day. 


Concord has but one artesian well. This is located about one hun- 
dred and fifty feet south of School street and midway between Main 
and State streets. 

In 1897 and 1898, John H. Toof, wishing to obtain superior water 
for his laundry, sank such a well to the depth of thirteen hundred 
and twenty-five feet. The bed rock was struck at forty-nine feet 
below the ground's surface, and thence the drilling proceeded for the 
remaining distance of twelve hundred and seventy-six feet, through 
a coarse granite formation which varied considerably from time to 
time in the mixture of its elements. At one point a stratum of pure 
quartz was encountered fifteen feet thick, which tested severely the 
temper of the drills and slackened the progress of the work. 

Water was reached in small quantity at fifteen feet below the rock's 
surface, and in larger measure later at the depth of nine hundred and 
thirty-five feet. 

This well has a diameter of six inches and yields each day between 
five and six thousand gallons of pure water by a pumping of ten 
hours. This is raised from a point three hundred and twenty-five 
feet below the ground's surface and has a uniform temperature of 


seventy-one degrees Fahrenheit. Thus far, experience has indicated 
that this amount marks the well's capacity, which is unaffected by 
atmospheric conditions of moisture or temperature. 

The quality of the water is of perfect clearness, is soft, and answers 
admirably the purpose for which it was sought. 

The sinking of this well has demonstrated the fact that if at some 
future time the water from Long pond shall fail, from pollution, 
insufficiency, or other cause, Concord's citizens have in reserve an 
inexhaustible supply of pure water to which they may freely resort. 


Concord, like other New England towns, contains various localities 
which were better known in former times than now. While these 
are of some interest to the general reader, they are of much impor- 
tance to a careful student of this city's history. A part of the fol- 
lowing descriptions of these has been taken from Dr. Bouton's His- 
tory of Concord, pages 4 to 7. The localities on the west side of 
Merrimack river are as follows : 

" 1. Horse-Hill is the name of the territory included in School 
District No. 1, lying northerly of Contoocook River; — so called from 
the practice, in early times of the settlement, of turning young horses 
and cattle there to pasture, in spring and summer. Oliver Hoit was 
the first settler there, in 1772. 

" 2. 3Iast Yard on the Contoocook River, about a mile and a half 
from Horse Hill bridge ; so called from the heavy timber that used to 
be hauled thither from adjacent forests and rolled into the river, to 
be floated thence into the Merrimack and down to the Atlantic 
Ocean. Opposite Mast Yard, about a mile southerly, is Broad Cove, 
in School District No. 4. 

" 3. Dagody or Bagodon Hill and Brook, on or near the northerly 
boundary line between Concord and Boscawen ; so called from a 
man named Dagodon, who formerly resided there. The brook is 
famous for trout fishing. Lieut. Marshall Baker, when a young man, 
on a fishing excursion to this brook, in his haste to catch a large 
mess, took off his pantaloons, tied a string around the bottom of the 
legs, buttoning the waistband and opening them with sticks, set them 
for a fish-pot at the mouth of a little dam which he threw up. Then, 
driving the fish down the stream, he caught in a short time about 
ninety fine trout, one weighing over three pounds. 

" 4. Within the Horse Hill territory, partly in Boscawen, is a Lit- 
tle Pond, sometimes called Catamount, abounding more with snakes 
and turtles than with fishes. 

" 5. The Borough, School District No. 2, settled originally by the 


Elliots ; now the residence of old Mrs. Lydia Elliot, at the age of 
102 years. Among the ancient men distinguished in this locality in 
former times and known by their honorary titles were ' Governor 
Elliot,' ' Lawyer Elliot,' and ' Judge Baker,' grandfather of his Excel- 
lency, Nathaniel B. Baker. 

" 6. Hoyfs Brook, which crosses the road to Boscawen, about one 
mile south of Fisherville. 

" 7. Beaver Meadow Brook, about a mile south of Hoyt's Brook. 
Near this is Beaver Meadow bog road to Horse Hill. 

" 8. Sand Banks, about a half mile easterly from Hoyt's brook, 
where logs and timber were rolled into the Merrimack River. Capt. 
Joseph Pratt, of Oxford, with a two horse sleigh, drove off this bank 
one night by accident, and, though precipitated to the bottom, 
escaped without material injury. 

" 9. Horsing-Downs was the name given to a long, narrow neck of 
land lying at the foot of Sand Banks on the east side, as the river 
formerly ran, but since cut off by turning the river for the track of 
the Northern Railroad, better known now as G-oodivins Point. 

" 10. Dusthis Island, at the mouth of Contoocook River, — the 
scene of the famous exploit of Mrs. Hannah Dustin, who killed and 
scalped her Indian captors. 

"11. SewalVs Island and Falls, so called from Judge Samuel Sew- 
all, of Massachusetts, who formerly owned the premises. 

"12. Rattlesnake Brook, running from Long Pond through West 

" 13. Rattlesnake Hill, so called on account of the snakes of this 
species that formerly had their dens here, well known as Granite 
Hill, about two miles northwesterly from the Main Village. 

" 14. Parsonage Hill, so called from the eighty acre lot laid off to 
the parsonage right, west of Isaac Farnum's. 

" 15. Long Pond. (See Ponds.) 

" 16. Pine Hill, belonging to the farms of Nathan K. and Jeremiah, 
S. Abbot, west of Long Pond, is estimated to be the highest point of 
land in Concord. 

" 17. South and westerly of Long Pond is a range of hills, of 
which the highest is ' Jerry 's Hill,'' so called from Jerry, or Jeremiah, 
Bradley, who formerly owned the land. From the summit of this 
hill a grand and picturesque view is had far to the north and east, 
taking in the Franconia Mountains, White Hills, Red Hill, and on 
the southwest the grand Monadnock. North of Jerry's is a hill hav- 
ing a large and curious cave on the southwest side of it. 

" 18. Little Pond, or District No. 6, is so called from a small pond, 
situated northeast from Nathan Ballard's. This neighborhood was 


settled about 1789, by Nathan Ballard, Nathan and Henry Chandler, 
and Eben Fisk on farms bought of the estate of Col. Paul Rolfe. 

" 19. Beech Hill, on the westerly line between Concord and Hop- 
kinton, so called from the abundant beech wood there found. 

" 20. DimonoVs Hill, about four miles westerly of the Main Vil- 
lage, on Hopkinton road, so called from Ezekiel Dimond, a large 
landowner, who formerly resided on or near the place where Joseph 
S. Abbot now lives. In 1828 Mr. Nathan Call moved a two story 
dwelling house, thirty by forty feet, on wheels, with forty yoke of 
oxen, from Hopkinton to Concord. 1 In descending this hill, then 
much steeper than at the present time, he put three yoke of oxen 
before and the remainder behind, to hold back. It took four days 
to move the house. The distance was about five miles. 

" 21. Ash Brook, running at the foot of Dimond's Hill, through 
the farm of Atkinson Webster, into Little Turkey Pond. 

" 22. Fusli Market, 11 on the Hopkinton road, three miles from Main 
Street, origin of name not known, long distinguished for excellent 
brick and earthenware there manufactured. 

" 23. Powell's Hook, at the ravine near the upper mills in Mill- 
ville, so called from one Powell, a drummer, who lived near there. 

" 24. Millville, a name recently given to the settlement where 
Moses Shute resides, including the house and land of Dr. George C. 
Shattuck, of Boston, which house was the first of brick in Concord 
and was built by Jacob Carter, father of Jacob Carter, now post- 
master. This house and farm were recently given by Dr. Shattuck 
for the purpose of a school, to be called ' St. Paul's School.' 

" 25. RunnelVs Mills were situated on the stream from Great Tur- 
key to Little Turkey Pond on the road to Stickney's Hill. For- 
merly well known, these mills have fallen into entire decay. Stickney's 
Hill, about a mile southwest of Runnell's Mills, so called from first 
settlers of the name. 

" 26. Bog Road, running from Concord through the bogs of Tur- 
key Pond to James Hall's, thence to Dumbarton. Before reaching 
Mr. Hall's this road crosses Tury brook and Peter's or Behis brook, 
the latter so. called from former owners of land. 

" 27. Rum Hill, including the high land northwesterly of road to 
Hopkinton, owned by Benjamin Gale and others, about a mile and a 
half from the State House, so called from a drunken carousal and 
fight which took place there in early times, at a coal pit. 

" 28. Eleven Lots, extending, according to the first survey, from 

1 This house now stands on the east side of State street, the second house south of Pleas- 
ant street. 

2 Extends along the old Hopkinton road from Ash brook to Turkey river, at Powell's 


the residence of the late Countess of Rumford to near the old Bow 

" 29. The Bend (that is in Merrimack River) near the southern 
boundary line and taking in a small section of Bow. On the bank 
at this bend is a beautiful view, north, of the Main Village. 

" 30. Iron Works, southwest part of the town, including School 
District No. 18. In the Revolutionary War the 'Iron Works' were 
owned by Daniel Carter, Daniel Gale, and Dr. Philip Carrigain. A 
forge was built in the lot easterly of the bridge which now crosses 
Turkey River, where iron was wrought from native ore. 

" 31. Frog Ponds, on the interval east of the residence of the late 
Gov. Hill, who owned the premises and made various experiments to 
improve them. Name derived from the ' serenades ' of their princi- 
pal inhabitants. 

"32. Hale's Point, the extreme point of land on 'Ferry Road,' by 
Richard Herbert's, named from Joseph Hale, who in early times 
owned the land. From the ' Point ' across the river was formerly a 
ferry, extensively known as ' Kimball's Ferry.'' Hale's Point was 
cut off by a great freshet about 1831, and the ferry is discontinued 
since the opening of the Free Bridge road. 

"33. Fort Eddy, about half a mile north of Hale's Point, on land 
owned by Richard Bradley, opposite Sugar Ball. According to tra- 
dition this was the location of an old Indian fort. 

" 34. The Fan. A tract of land bordering the river, north of 
Fort Eddy, valuable for natural mowing and deriving its name from 
a fancied resemblance in shape to a lady's fan. Chiefly owned by 
the late Abiel Walker. 1 

" 35. Wattanummon s Brook, the principal feeder and outlet of 
Horse Shoe Pond on the east, crossed by a bridge and so called from 
the name of an Indian chief who owned and cultivated the land 
adjacent. There is an outlet from both ends of the Pond. 

"37. Wood's Brook, the little stream from ' Little Pond,' crossing 
the Boscawen road north of Richard Bradley's, and formerly turning 
the ' dry saw mill ' which was built there, deriving its name from 
David Wood, original proprietor. 

" 38. Paradise, about forty rods northerly from Wood's Brook, 
so named from a beautiful grove and the scenery around it, includ- 
ing a charming view of the interval and meandering of the river on 
the east. It was owned by Capt. E. S. Towle. The grove being 
recently cleared away, it may be called ' Paradise lost.' 

" 39. Blossom Hill, a pleasant eminence covered with a fine 
growth, opposite ' Paradise.' 

1 Mr. Walker was hardly " chief " owner. The larger part was owned by Richard Brad- 
ley and Samuel Coffin.— Editor. 


" 40. The Gfulf, or Steep Hill Bridge, on the main road to Bos- 
cawen, about twenty rods south of the railroad crossing, near Benja- 
min Farnum's. East of this Gulf is Far-Hum's Eddy, so called from 
a current or whirl in the river. 

"41. West Brook, formerly 'Meeting-house Brook,' rising in swamp 
land west of the State Prison, crossing Main Street near the house of 
the late John West, senior, whence the name. The space between this 
brook and ' Tan-yard Brook ' was neutral ground between the north 
and south end boys. 

" 42. Clay Pits, and tan yard brook (which runs under the road), 
in the valley of Mr. Ivory Hall's house. The late Capt. Richard 
Ayer carried on an extensive tannery on the west side of the road ; 
and clay of good quality was formerly dug here. Opposite the tan- 
yard stood the old hay scales, and here was ' the great elm tree,' 
marked on the plan of Main Street. 

" 43. Bow Brook, partly flows from Little pond, runs by the new 
Jail and the Insane Asylum, and empties into Turkey river. 

" 44. Free Bridge and Free Bridge Road, across the Merrimack 
and interval, nearly opposite Center Street. This road was first 
opened and bridge built in 1839." 

" Localities on the east side of the River, beginning on the north- 
ern line at Canterbury. 

" 1. Burnliam's Brook, running from Canterbury by Chandler 
Choate's to Merrimack river, opposite the eastern point of Rolfe's 

" 2. SacJcetfs Brook, so called from a man of that name who once 
leaped across it, and then turning around, said to himself — ' I '11 bet 
a mug of flip you can't do that again, Hackett.' Then attempting 
to leap it again, as his feet struck the opposite bank, he fell back- 
wards into the brook. The brook has its principal source in 'Hot 
Hole pond,' easterly on the Loudon line ; empties into the Merri- 
mack just north of Sewall's Falls bridge. On this stream is situated 
Lovejoy's Mills, so called, and also a saw-mill near its mouth. 

" 3. Snow's Pond. (See Ponds.) Oak Hill is a high eminence 
east of Snow's pond, or northerly of Turtle pond. (See pages 543, 

" 4. Hot Hole Pond. (See Ponds.) 

"5. Snaptoivn, the section comprising School District No. 14, in 
the northeasterly part of the town, near Loudon line. The origin of 
the name is uncertain. One tradition is, that it is derived from a 
man by the name of Blanchard, who had a habit of snapping his eyes, 
or winking quick : on which a woman remarked, that ' she should 
think the children in the neighborhood would snap.' Another tradi- 


tion is that an early settler in the locality, thinking himself crowded 
by others who moved in within a half mile of him, was cross or 

" 6. The Mountain, comprising School District No. 21, and extend- 
ing from the dwelling house of Jacob Hoit to the residence of Abra- 
ham Bean and John L. Tallant. 

"7. Bowens Brook, crossing the road to the Mountain in the val- 
ley near Meshech Lang's ; origin of name not ascertained. 

" 8. Turtletown, comprising School District No. 15, derives its name 
from the large pond in that vicinity, which abounds with turtles. 
(See Ponds, page 543.) 

" 9. Apple Town, southerly of Turtle pond, supposed to derive its 
name from the abundance and excellence of apples there raised. 

" 10. Leather Lane, the section from the fork of the road to Apple- 
town to the old burying ground in the East Village. 

"11. The Fort, — including the East Village — deriving its name 
from the ' Irish Fort,' or from the garrison of Capt. Ebenezer East- 
man, which stood directly west of the residence of Israel W. Kelley, 

"12. Squaw Lot, westerly of Federal Bridge. (See Indian His- 

" 13. Mill Brook, the outlet of Turtle pond, affording a tine water 
power in the East Village, on which the first saw and grist mill were 
built, in Concord, 1729. 

" 14. Death's Hill, on the Portsmouth turnpike, near the school 
house on ' Dark Plain,' a short, steep ascent, which the road now 
runs around on the south and east side, derived its name from the 
circumstance that a traveller, with a loaded team from Portsmouth, 
was killed in going over it by a hogshead of molasses rolling from his 

" 15. /Sugar Ball, the first prominent sand bluff northerly of Kim- 
ball's Ferry, or Samuel Clifford's residence, and opposite Fort Eddy. 
On this, according to invariable tradition, stood the old Penacook 

" 1(3. Mount Pleasant, a high and steep sand bluff, about eighty 
rods northwesterly from Sugar Ball, recently so called from the 
extensive and beautiful view it affords of the interval of the Merri- 
mack and the Main Village ; of hills of the West parish and scenes 
more distant. 

"17. Garvin's Falls, formerly the residence of the Garvin family, 
including a portion of the ' Southern Bow gore.' In the ancient 
records it is known as the Penny Cook Falls, and not, as on the map, 
' Soucook Falls.' 


" 18. Head's Mills, on the Soucook river, near the old line of Con- 
cord, a little north of the old road to Pembroke, about two miles 
from Concord bridge. 

" 19. Placer, a favorite place of resort in the summer, at a great 
bend in Soucook river." 

To the foregoing may be added the following localities not men- 
tioned by Dr. Bouton : 

1. Pond Hill, the bluff at the north end of Main street, overlook- 
ing Horse Shoe pond, the interval, and the distant mountains. It was 
formerly a popular place of resort of pedestrians and used as a parade 
ground by the military companies of Concord. Here, also, for a time, 
was located the town pound. Since its depression by the Concord & 
Claremont Railroad, some fifty years ago, and the subsequent erection 
thereon of the ice house, it has been- rarely visited except for business 

2. Wattanummori 's Hill, the slight eminence above the highway at 
the crossing of Wattanummon's brook by the Concord & Montreal 
Railroad. It is the highest land on the interval of the central part of 
the city, and is not known to have ever been submerged by a freshet. 

3. Brimstone Hill, the southern termination of the terrace upon 
which has been built most of the compact part of the city at the 
south end of Main street, at the intersection of Turnpike and Water 
streets near the old Butters tavern. 

4. Tuckers Ferry, the ferry of Lemuel Tucker, at East Concord, 
located, when in use, upon the site of Federal bridge, to which it 
gave way. 

5. Merrill's Ferry, the ferry of Deacon John Merrill, near the 
south end of Main street, about one hundred and fifty rods above 
Concord bridge, discontinued upon the erection of that bridge. 

6. Bradley s Island, originally a tongue of land on the east side of 
the Merrimack, attached to Sugar Ball interval, transferred to the 
other side of the stream, in 1831, by a freshet which cut for the river 
a new channel across the base of it. Portions of the old channel are 
now filled up and it is no longer an island but a peninsula. 

7. St. PauVs School, the delightful hamlet two miles west of the 
state house, which takes its name from the important school to which 
its origin is chiefly due. 

8. Rolfe's Eddy, a small bay of still water on the south side of 
Contoocook river, near its junction with the Merrimack, where sawed 
lumber was formerly held within booms for rafting down the river. 

9. Christian Shore, a section of interval at East Concord, half a 
mile above Federal bridge, embracing, fifty years ago, the farms of 


Samuel B. Locke, John Locke, Samuel B. Larkin, and Henry S. 

10. The Break of Bay, a small hamlet on the Dark Plain, near the 
intersection of the old Portsmouth turnpike and the road to Loudon, 
some three miles from the state house, — a locality better known and 
more frequently visited during the Civil War than before or since. 

11. The Broken Ground, a section of hilly land mostly covered 
with forest trees, in the northeast part of Concord, lying between 
Turtle pond and the Loudon road, — a locality best known to woods- 
men and hunters. 

12. The Shaker Road, a road leading to Shaker Village, Canterbury, 
laid out some fifty years ago, from a point on the old Canterbury 
road, near the East Concord Congregational church, past the easterly 
side of Snow's pond to the southeasterly part of Canterbury. 

13. The Bark Plain, that section of pins plain land which lies 
opposite the main settlement of Concord, extending from the inter- 
val, on the west, to Soucook river, on the east, and from Turtletown, 
on the north, to Pembroke line, on the south. 

14. Smoky Hollow, the valley between Pitman and Montgomery 
streets, through which Tan Yard brook formerly ran, now largely 
filled up and occupied by stores and dwelling-houses. 

15. WJiale's Back, a glacial moraine, some twenty to thirty feet 
high, composed mostly of coarse gravel and extending along the 
westerly part of the compactly settled portion of the city from 
Washington to Pleasant streets. 

16. Birch Bale, a locality in the southwest part of the city, near 
Great Turkey pond, where the late Dr. Robert Hall formerly had 
medical springs, whose waters he sold in considerable quantities and 
exported to different parts of the United States. Here he erected a 
hotel for the accommodation of patients, which was destroyed by fire 
in 1885 (July 26), causing a loss of about twenty-five thousand 

17. Sand Hill, the elevation north of Centre and west of Spring 
street, from which cannon salutes were formerly fired, before it was 
covered with streets and houses. 

18. Glovers Hill, the slope from the interval up to the Dark Plain, 
situated some eighty or ninety rods southeasterly of Concord bridge, 
at the top of which John Glover once resided. 

19. The Silk. Farm, a farm situated in the southwesterly part of 
Concord, at the intersection of the road leading to Dunbarton with 
that from St. Paul's School to Bow. It was purchased by a com- 
pany, organized in 1835, for the manufacture of silk, an enterprise 
which was prosecuted for a few years but failed of success. 


20. Over the River. In early times, the section now designated 
East Concord was spoken of as " Over the river," and bore that name 
until the middle of the last century, when the Boston, Concord & 
Montreal Railroad was built. 

21. Wattanummon's Field, a section of interval lying along the south- 
erly bank of the Merrimack, between Farnum's eddy and Federal 
bridge. It takes its name from the Indian, Wattanummon, who claimed 
to own it when the first white settlers came to Concord. 1 

22. Horse Shoe Island, a section of interval, of about one hundred 
acres, once a peninsula nearly encompassed by the Merrimack, con- 
verted to an island by a prehistoric change of the river's course. 

23. The New Colony, a small hamlet, no longer existing, near the 
intersection of Franklin and Jackson streets, which was once occu- 
pied by a rough class of people, whose manners and morals had not 
risen to the highest standard of excellence. 

24. Farnum's Eddy, a sharp turn of Merrimack river into its west- 
ern bank, at the lower end of Rattlesnake interval. This was con- 
verted into a still pond in 1816, by the construction across its mouth 
of the embankment of the Northern Railroad. 

25. Crarvins Landing, a place on the east bank of the Merrimack, 
at the " Bend/' below the Concord bridge, where lumber was put 
into the river to be floated thereon to a market. It took its name 
from Patrick Garvin, who lived a mile or more farther down, on the 
opposite shore, in Bow. 

26. Eivers Mill, a sawmill on Hackett's brook, in East Concord, six 
miles from the state house, near the intersection of the roads leading 
to Canterbury and the old road to Portsmouth. Much lumber was 
once manufactured at this mill, but of late years the great reduction 
of the timber supply and the introduction of portable steam sawmills 
have greatly reduced its operations. 

27. Fisherville, the former name of Penacook, named for Francis 
and Freeman Fisher, who introduced cotton manufacturing to this 
locality about 1836. 

28. The Ivy Field, a considerable section of unoccupied ground 
lying west of State and south of Monroe street, near the Rumford 
schoolhouse. Fifty years ago it was a place of resort for recreation, 
but it is now occupied by streets and houses. 

29. Dunklee's Fair Ground, a large tract of open ground, extending 
on both sides of Broadway from Downing street to Rollins park. 
Here fairs of the New Hampshire Agricultural Society were held in 
1856 and 1857. Here, too, some of the New Hampshire troops were 
temporarily quartered during the Civil War. 

1 See Bouton's Hist, of Concord, pp. 40-42. 


30. The West Parish, the northwesterly section of Concord. Known 
for the last fifty or sixty years as West Concord. 

31. Foster ville, a short court north of the pumping station of the 
Concord Water-works, extending from State street to the brow of the 
hill overlooking Horse Shoe pond. It was laid out some fifty years 
ago by Reuben L. Foster, and lined with dilapidated houses, trans- 
ported from different sections of the city. It is now absorbed in the 
large settlement which has since grown up around it. 


Ferries, Bridges, Main Street, Shade Trees, Types of 


Joseph B. Walker. 


Inasmuch as the proprietors of Penny Cook were to live on both 
sides of the river, a frequent crossing of it would be a necessity. To 
meet this, preliminary action was taken by the proprietors at a meeting 
holden on the 15th day of May, 1728. At this meeting it was voted : 

"That Mr. Ebenezer Eastman, Mr. Abraham Foster and Mr. 
Joseph Hall shall be a committee to agree with some suitable person 
to keep a ferry on Merrimack river, at Penny Cook, in the most con- 
venient place they can find for that purpose ; and that they lay out 
and clear the best way they can to the ferry place, and after they 
have stated the place where the said ferry shall be kept, that the 
ferry-man shall have and receive the prices following, viz., For fer- 
riage of each man and horse, six pence ; for each horned beast, four 
pence ; and this establishment to remain and be in force for six years." 

A year later, on the 6th day of May, 1729, at a meeting of the pro- 
prietors holden at the house of John Griffin, in Bradford, Mass., it 
was voted : 

" That Mr. Nehemiah Carlton be desired to build a ferry boat of 
about nineteen feet long, and a suitable breadth, to be well timbered, 
and every way well built, workmanlike, at the charge of the com- 
munity and to be done by the 20th of May current. Said boat to be 
delivered at Penny Cook for the use of the society. And a pair of 
good and suitable oars to be made by the said Carlton, for said boat. 
Said boat to be well and sufficiently caulked, pitched or turpentined, 
and finished, fit to carry people and creatures." 

And later, at the same meeting, it was also voted : 

" That the sum of seven pounds, eighteen shillings and six pence, 
paid by several persons and several subscriptions to the sum of forty- 
one shillings and six pence, be put into the treasurer's hands, and by 
him paid to Mr. Nehemiah Carlton for the ferry boat when it is fin- 
ished, — which was accordingly delivered to the treasurer." 

Ten years later still, when the plantation had been pretty fully 
peopled and had become the town of Kumford, it was further voted: 


" That Mr. Barrachias Farnum, Mr. James Osgood and Mr. George 
Abbot shall be a committee to agree with any person to take the 
Ferry against Wattanummon's and make a return of their doings to 
the Proprietors for their acceptance." 

Some eleven years later (April 26, 1750) the proprietors appointed 
a committee, consisting of Dr. Ezra Carter, Lieut. Jeremiah Stickney, 
and Capt. John Chandler, " To dispose of the Ferry against Watta- 
nummon's Field, so called, to such persons and upon such terms as 
they shall think will be for the Proprietors' advantage." 

This ferry seems to have been known for a time as " Eastman's 
ferry," and later, as " Tucker's ferry " or the ferry of Lemuel 
Tucker, to whom the legislature, in 1785, granted the exclusive right 
of ferriage across the river for one mile above and below his house. 

There was also another, possibly the one first above alluded to, 
near the south end of Main street, known as Merrill's ferry, operated 
for many years by Deacon John Merrill, who came to Concord in 
1729, and upon the organization of the church, the following year, 
was elected its first deacon. This ferry subsequently became the 
property of Samuel Butters, and was known as " Butters' ferry." 

Midway of these two, at the east end of Ferry street, Benjamin 
Kimball operated a third, between Hale's Point and Sugar Ball, 
which was continued in use until 1831. 

Of these three ferries, Tucker's seems to have been the only one 
operated under the privileges and limitations of a charter, eleven 
only having been previously incorporated in the entire state. Its 
charter provided : 

" That the sole and exclusive right and privilege of keeping a 
Ferry over said river in any place within one mile of the now dwell- 
ing house of the said Lemuel Tucker be and hereby is granted to 
and invested in the said Lemuel Tucker, his heirs and assigns, he 
and they from time to time as the same fall, giving bond, with surety, 
in the sum of one thousand pounds to the clerk of the Court of the 
General Sessions of the Peace for the county of Rockingham, that 
the said ferry shall be well kept and constantly attended. 

" That if any person or persons shall for hire or reward, transport 
over said river within one mile of the said dwelling house, any per- 
son, creature or thing, such person so transporting shall forfeit and 
pay forty shillings for each person, creature or thing so transported, 
to be recovered by action of debt before any Justice of the Peace in 
said county, one moiety of which shall go to the complainants, and 
the other moiety to the county of Rockingham." 

In addition to these, in the early part of the last century, a fourth 
ferry was established at the south end of Hall street, near the head 



of Turkey Falls. It appears to have been a private enterprise, and 
was managed for a time by Col. John Carter. For lack of sufficient 
patronage, or for some other cause, its maintenance was not of long 


For some sixty years after the settlement of Concord the crossing 
of the Merrimack was upon the ice in the winter, and by ferries at 
other seasons of the year. At length, however, as population in- 
creased and transits became more frequent, a more expeditious and 
convenient means was called for. In accordance with this demand, 
at a town-meeting holden on the 30th day of April, 1781, Col. Timo- 
thy Walker 
was made 
the agent 
of the town 
"to Petition 
the General 
Court for 
Liberty t o 
make a Lot- 
t e r y f o r 
building a 
bridge over 
Merrim a c k 
river." The 
records of 
the General 

Court afford no mention of such a 
petition, and the proposed lottery 
was never made. To any who may 
be surprised that the building of 
bridges, so much needed, should 

have been delayed so long, it may be said that at the time last men- 
tioned the country was just emerging from the French and Revolu- 
tionary wars, uninvested capital was not abundant in Concord, and 
bridge stocks were not tempting investments. But the demand for 
bridges increased and at length became imperative. 

Concord Bridge. 

In answer to their petition, in January, 1795, the New Hampshire 
legislature granted to Peter Green, Timothy Walker, Thomas Stick- 
ney, William Duncan, Robert Harris, William Austin Kent, William 

First Concord Bridge, I 795. 


Partridge, and William Manly, a charter for a toll-bridge across Mer- 
rimack river, at a point just below the Rolfe and Rumford asylum, to 
be known as the Concord bridge. 

The corporators met for organization at the tavern of Samuel But- 
ters, on the 29th day of the next February, and at that meeting chose 
all necessary officers and took measures for the immediate erection of 
the contemplated bridge. 

Its construction soon afterwards commenced, and was prosecuted 

with such energy that it was opened for public travel on the 29th 

day of the following October (1795), with ceremonies and festivities 

which indicate the importance with which the event was then 

regarded. These, lucidly set forth in his official record by Col. Paul 

Rolfe, the clerk of the corporation, were conducted in accordance 

with the following programme, previously adopted by the proprietors 

of the bridge : 


"1st. The 5 Committee. 

- 2. The Treasurer & Clerk. 

"3. The Kev. Israel Evans with Mr. Woods & Mr. Parker. 1 

" 4. The Proprietors. 

" 5. The Workmen with the Master Workman at their head. 

" 6. The Spectators, in regular order." 

The bridge was toll free on this day. Besides the out-of-door 
exercises, " the Proprietors and Workmen partook of a repast at the 
expense of the Proprietors," at the tavern of William Stickney. 

This 29th day of October, 1795, was a memorable one, and, as the 
clerk tells us in his record, was spent " in conviviality and mirth, by 
passing the Bridge, &c." Precisely what the " &c." stands for, and 
what sacred duties were discharged on this occasion by the three 
venerable ministers, he has, unfortunately, omitted in his record. 

The expense of this bridge, including fifteen hundred dollars paid 
to Samuel Butters for his ferry, was twelve thousand dollars up to 
this time. This amount was subsequently increased by outstanding 
bills and additional outlays to over thirteen thousand. 

Federal Bridge. 

First Federal Bridge. So satisfied were the people of Concord 
and vicinity with the great conveniences afforded by this bridge that 
they called for another, to take the place of Tucker's ferry at East 
Concord. In accordance with this desire, on the 28th day of Decem- 
ber of this same year (1795), the legislature granted to " Timothy 
Walker, Benjamin Emery, William Partridge, -Jonathan Eastman, 

1 Rev. Samuel Woods of Boscawen and Rev. Frederick Parker of Canterbury. 


Joshua Thompson, and others, their associates," the right, " to civet 
a bridge over the river Merrimack at any place within the limits of 
Tucker's ferry, so called, in Concord, and ... to purchase any 
lands adjoining said bridge." 

It was further provided in the charter that, "For the purpose 
of reimbursing said proprietors the money expended by them in 
building and supporting said bridge, a toll be, and hereby is 
granted and established for the benefit of said proprietors, accord- 
ing to the rates following, namely: — For each foot passenger, one 
cent ; for each horse and ■ rider, three cents ; for each horse and 
chaise, sulky, or other riding carriage drawn by one horse only, ten 
cents ; for each riding sleigh drawn by one horse, four cents ; for 
each riding sleigh drawn by more than one horse, six cents ; for each 
coach, chariot, phaeton, or other four-wheeled carriage for passen- 
gers drawn by more than one horse, twenty cents; for each curricle, 
twelve cents; for each cart or other carriage of burthen drawn by 
two horses, ten cents, and three cents for every additional beast : for 
each horse or neat creature, exclusive of those rode on or in carriages, 
two cents; for sheep and swine, one half cent each; and to each team 
one person, and no more shall be allowed as a driver to pass free of 
toll." This charter also provided that this bridge should be com- 
pleted within three years, and that its projectors should pay to Lem- 
uel Tucker the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars for his ferry, 
and allow him the free use of it during that period. 

The construction of this bridge met with serious delays, and it was 
not opened to public use until the autumn of 1798. Inasmuch as its 
fortunes have been very similar to those of its neighbors, and it 
affords a fair type of the ordinary Merrimack river bridge in this 
vicinity, it has been thought proper to state a few of its varied expe- 
riences in such detail as the limits of this chapter will allow. 

Its location was about fifty rods above that of its last successor 
bearing the same name, and now in use. Its capital stock was repre- 
sented by one hundred shares, severally assessable in such amounts 
as its construction might require. Its abutments, piers, and super- 
structure were of wood, and it was completed in the fall of 1798, at 
an expense of four thousand dollars. 

Second Federal Bridge. After a service of about four years this 
bridge was swept away, in part, by a freshet. Little disheartened, 
its proprietors met on the 3d day of February, 1803, and, in lan- 
guage as terse as hearty, "Voted to rebuild said bridge." They also 
chose Richard Ayer their agent to execute this purpose, and levied a 
first assessment of ten dollars on each share toward meeting the 
requisite expense. Mr. Ayer entered promptly upon the execution 

38 History of concord. 

of the work assigned him, and completed it in the following Septem- 
ber at a cost of about twenty-three hundred dollars ($2,350.22). 

The strong current of the river during periods of high water seems 
to have rendered its south abutment insecure, and the records state 
that repeated attempts were made to fortify it by placing about it 
large quantities of stones. But these efforts proved vain, and the 
bridge was completely destroyed in the spring of 1818. 

Third Federal Bridge. This loss of their second bridge seems to 
have left its proprietors in some uncertainty as to what course to 
take. Had they viewed their enterprise of again bridging Merri- 
mack river from a financial standpoint only they would, doubtless, 
have abandoned it. But the necessities of the community, coupled, 
perhaps, with a little town pride, forbade the idea of any long resump- 
tion of the use of the old-time ferry boat. 

At a meeting of the proprietors holden on the 1st day of Septem- 
ber, 1818, a carefully selected committee of eight was chosen "To 
examine Federal Bridge and the river within the limits of the grant, 
and find the best place for building the Bridge, should it be expedi- 
ent to build/' 

The next day this committee reported that they were " Unanimously 
of the opinion that it is expedient to build a new bridge, and that 
the most eligible place for erecting the same is the old Ferry Place." 
Their report, signed by Jeremiah Pecker, Richard Bradley, Richard 
Ayer, Joseph Walker, Samuel A. Kimball, Stephen Ambrose, and 
Jacob Eastman, was accepted, and, in pursuance of its recommenda- 
tions, a vote was immediately passed "To build Federal Bridge at 
the old Ferry Place, and that the directors proceed to erect the same 
as soon as practicable, and that they also purchase the necessary land 
for a toll house, and that they build or purchase a toll house as they 
think most advisable." 

In the erection of this bridge it was subsequently decided that a 
portion of its substructure should be of stone instead of wood, and 
Jeremiah Pecker was made agent of the proprietors " To erect a stone 
pier and abutment, to be built with split stone, and that he employ 
Leban Page to split and lay the stone." 

The records indicate that this bridge, including purchased land 
and toll house, cost about fifty-five hundred dollars. It did good 
service until the winter of 1824, when, against the date of February 
10-11, Mr. Benjamin Kimball made in his diary the following entry: 
"A great thaw, and on the 12th the ice left the river and carried off 
Federal Bridge." 

The injury to the bridge proved less serious than Mr. Kimball sup- 
posed. The ice destroyed one wooden pier, and about two thirds of 


the superstructure. Measures were promptly taken to repair the 
damages and to provide a ferry for use while this work was in prog- 
ress. It was completed during the summer at an expense of about 
twelve hundred dollars. 

Several votes passed by the proprietors about this time afford 
refreshing evidence of their probity and prudence. 

Upon abandoning the location of their two first bridges they had 
sold their toll house to James Moulton, Jr. When, subsequently, 
an adverse claim to this property was made, they at once instructed 
the directors (September 4, 1825) to examine their former title, 
" and if they find said Moulton aggrieved to make him such compen- 
sation as they may deem equitable." In the same spirit they made 
good the loss imposed upon the tollman by some unknown person 
by voting " That the proprietors of Federal Bridge sustain the loss 
on a one dollar bill, altered to a three, which was received by Mr. 

The records also afford evidence of a commendable effort to keep 
all official salaries within reasonable limits. By a formal vote passed 
September 4, 1827, the directors, treasurer, and clerk were each 
allowed the sum of four dollars for their services the preceding year. 

About this time an evident desire was manifested by persons hav- 
ing frequent occasion to cross the river to do so at the cost of the 
town. To this the bridge owners responded by offering to all citizens 
of Concord free passage over their bridge for one year for the sum of 
four hundred dollars to be paid to them by the town in quarterly 
payments of one hundred dollars each. The town failed to accept 
the offer, inasmuch as the majority of its citizens had but little occa- 
sion to use the bridge, and did not care to be assessed towards pay- 
ing the toll of those who used it frequently. 

Fourth Federal Bridge. Repaired or rebuilt, as above stated, the 
third bridge seems to have stood securely for about ten years. In 
1834, however, solicitude arose as to its safety, and a committee was 
appointed to examine its condition and that of the river's bed and 
report their findings to the stockholders, together with such recom- 
mendations as they deemed advisable. 

In compliance with the advice of this committee, it was subse- 
quently decided by the stockholders (April 18, 1835) that, "It is 
expedient to rebuild the ensuing year," and the directors were author- 
ized to make all necessary contracts for labor and materials and hire 
money to meet the same, to be paid from the future receipts of tolls. 

Thus started, the fourth bridge was in time erected, at a cost of 
thirty-six hundred dollars, as shown by the treasurer's report of 1836. 

By this time, the project of building a free bridge was advocated 


by citizens of influence, to cross the river a short distance below Kim- 
ball's ferry. Inasmuch as this project augured financial injury to the 
two existing bridges, the proprietors of Federal bridge appointed a 
committee to oppose it (September 4, 1839), but their efforts proved 
of no avail. 

Thus, to the former assaults of log drivers, floods, and ice was 
added a large diversion of its former patronage. Never desirable as 
an investment of capital, Federal bridge now became even less so ; 
yet, with careful management its income remained sufficient, barring 
accidents, to yield some return to its stockholders. 

In January, 1841, an ice freshet made great havoc along the 
Merrimack, carrying away all of the free bridge, except the west 
pier, and robbing Federal bridge of one of its piers and two lengths 
of its stringers. 

This damage to the latter bridge was repaired at no very large 
expense, which, again taking a new lease of life, entered upon fresh 
contests with the floods which periodically sought its destruction. 
In these it was successful for about ten years, although the great 
freshets of 1850 may have impaired somewhat its strength. 

Shortly afterward it became by condemnation by the road commis- 
sioners as a highway the property of the town, and its proprietors 
were awarded as damages the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, which 
was subsequently somewhat increased by a vote of the town. Dis- 
satisfied with its condition, the town removed it and supplied its 
place with a new one. 

Fifth Federal Bridge. This, unlike its predecessors, was a covered 
arc-truss-bridge of the Paddleford pattern. Its superstructure rested 
upon piers and abutments of stone. Its cost, when completed, was 
about fifteen thousand dollars ($ 14, 830. 14). While stronger than 
any of its predecessors, the construction of its stone work was faulty 
and led to its destruction by the freshet of 1872. 

Sixth Federal Bridge. The power of Merrimack river in times of 
flood, long ignored, was recognized at length, and the conviction 
became general that it was unwise to longer waste money upon 
structures unable to withstand it. 

Accordingly, the sixth and present bridge, constructed in 1873, 
under the general direction of Hon. John Kimball, then mayor of 
Concord, was built with special reference to endurance. To allow 
the widening of the river's channel it was made longer by forty feet 
than its predecessor. Its superstructure was made of wrought iron. 
Its abutments and piers were constructed of closely fitted stones, 
laid in cement, so accurately fitted to each other that any impinge- 
ment upon any part of any pier or abutment would encounter the 


resistance of its whole mass. Thus constructed, this bridge has stood 
unimpaired for twenty-nine years. While its superstructure may 
need occasional renewals, its foundations bid fair to outlast the new 

First Free Bridge. The project of a free bridge across the Merri- 
mack did not materialize until 1840. It was started in 1889, as a 
private enterprise, the money for its construction having been raised 
by the subscriptions of three hundred and ninety different individ- 
uals, for the most part citizens of Concord, Loudon, Pembroke, 
Chichester, and Epsom. These subscriptions varied in amount from 
fifty cents to one hundred dollars. 

Subsequently, in answer to the petitions of Ira Osgood of Loudon 
and others, and of Trueworthy L. Fowler of Pembroke and others, 
the Court of Common Pleas ordered highways from these two towns 
to be laid out over this bridge to a point in Concord where Bridge 
street now meets Main street. The damages awarded for the several 
parcels of land taken for these were assessed upon the towns in which 
they lay. 

Upon the town of Concord was also assessed the sum of sixteen 
hundred and seventy-eight dollars and fifty cents, being one half of 
the subscriptions above mentioned, and awarded as damages to the 
respective owners of the bridge. In short, its cost was borne in 
moiety by the subscribers before mentioned and the town of Concord. 
Tliis bridge was the forerunner of all the free bridges across the 
Merrimack in this state. 

Second Free Bridge. After a brief life of about a year it was 
swept to its destruction by a freshet, on the 8th day of January, 
1841, and soon afterwards was succeeded by another of more stable 
construction, which stood until about 1849, when it was succeeded by 
a new one of the Paddleford pattern. This in turn gave way in 
1894 to the present structure of iron. 

SewaWs Falls Bridge This bridge, which is also a Merrimack 

river bridge, incorporated as a toll-bridge in 1832 and built soon 

afterwards, has had experiences similar to those of its associates 

below it. Three times it has been carried away and as .many times 


Contoocook River Bridges. 

Penacook Bridges. When the first bridge across the Contoocook 
was built does not appear. Located near the works of the Concord 
Axle Company, and in Boscawen, it was reached by a highway 
deflecting from the main road to that town, which, after crossing the 
river, again joined this road near Johnson's tavern (now the Pena- 
cook House). Colonel Rolfe intimates that this location was selected 


because the river was narrow there and the expense of a pier could 
be saved by building at that point. 

Upon the straightening of this road, in 1826, a new bridge became 
necessary and was constructed upon the site of the present iron 
bridge. This stood until 1849, when it was rebuilt and did service 
until 1874. It was superseded by an iron one, which, in 1898, gave 
way to the one now in use. 

The Twin Bridges, so called, which cross the river farther down 
stream, were first constructed in 1850 ; one in Concord and the other 
in Boscawen. An island in mid channel serves as a double abut- 
ment for the two. The former, originally of wood, was supplanted 
by an iron bridge in 1898. 

Horse Hill Bridge, which spans the Contoocook some two miles and 
a half above the village of Penacook, was first built at some time 
previous to 1792 by persons residing on the west side of this river. 
For many years thereafter the town repeatedly assisted them in its 
maintenance and finally assumed its entire support. It has shared 
the fortunes of its neighbors and been often repaired and several 
times rebuilt, the last time in 1894. No one of the bridges across the 
Contoocook has ever been a toll-bridge. 

Bridges over Turkey and Soucook Rivers. 

The limits of this chapter forbid giving in detail accounts of the 
smaller bridges, which have been built from time to time over Turkey 
and Soucook rivers. Of these, six now span the former and seven 
the latter. They have been subjected to accidents of ice and flood 
similar to those encountered by their contemporaries on the larger 

From first to last Concord has had three distinct styles of bridges. 
The one in use down to about 1850 was termed "the balance beam 
bridge." It was sometimes supported upon stone and at others upon 
wooden piers. When the latter were used each consisted of a mud- 
sill resting upon the bottom of the channel, from which rose a series 
of square posts planked on both sides and surmounted by a heavy 
cap. From the up-river end of this mud sill two timbers, one resting 
upon the other, rose on a slant to the corresponding end of the cap, 
the upper one being of oak and designed to protect the pier from the 
assaults of floating ice, log jams, and other river drift. 

At right angles across the caps of the piers, and extending at equal 
distances therefrom, were laid heavy timbers of considerable length 
and some fourteen by sixteen inches square, termed " balance beams." 
Their office was to stiffen the stringers, which consisted of large 
timbers resting upon them and extending from one pier to the next. 


Upon these rested the floor timbers of the bridge. To still farther 
increase the rigidity of these stringers, as they were termed, a third 
series of heavy timbers, reaching from pier to pier, were sometimes 
laid upon and firmly bolted to them and their underlying balance 
beams, thereby making the three virtually one. By this means ver- 
tical vibrations were mostly prevented. 

The second style of bridge, which succeeded to the first about the 
middle of the last century, was a lattice bridge, supported on stone 
piers and covered with a light, long shingle-roof. Vertical vibration 
of bridges of this style was sometimes prevented by the addition to 
the lattice sections of wooden arches, supported by the piers. 

The third style of bridge, first introduced some twenty-five or 
thirty years ago, is the one in present use ; — an open, iron truss bridge, 
supported upon solid stone piers provided with sharp, sloping ice cut- 
ters upon their upper ends. These vary greatly in their details, but 
similar principles of construction may be found embodied to a great 
extent in each. 

Four different means have been devised by which transit is made 
from one side to the other of a stream: the ford, the tunnel, the 
ferry, and the bridge. AVith the two last, Concord has had a long 
experience. With the two first she has had none. Her streams have 
been too deep to ford, and as yet, neither her wants nor her resources 
have warranted a tunneling beneath them. 

Thus, since 1796, down to the present time some twenty different 
bridges have spanned the Merrimack alone, within the limits of Con- 
cord. Had the fathers possessed the knowledge of bridge architec- 
ture which we have and the -pecuniary means of using it, their earliest 
structures might have been more permanent. 


Main street, called by Concord people eighty years ago " The 
Street " and by outsiders, " Concord Street," was for many years 
Concord's principal village street. It was four hundred and sixty- 
five (465 2-3) rods long, and extended from Horse Shoe pond to the 
brow of the hill above Merrill's ferry. 

It was the first thoroughfare laid out in the town, and upon it 
abutted sixty-eight of the one hundred and three house lots, of one 
acre and a half each, which were assigned to the original proprietors 
in the division of their plantation lands. It was not quite straight, 
inasmuch as the ground's surface required two slight bends ; one at 
a point near the east end of Montgomery street, and another near 
that of Fayette street. 

As first laid out it was ten rods wide, but this width proving 


undesirable the lot owners were allowed to advance their front lines 
two rods, thereby reducing the street's width to six rods, or ninety- 
nine feet, at which it has since remained. By so doing the propri- 
etors acted better than they knew, and furnished their posterity with 
a highway adequate, and no more than adequate, for future needs. 

Across this street ran, for many years, three small brooks, which 
drained the low ground lying west of these house lots. The first, 
West's brook, crossed it at the east end of Chapel street ; the second, 
Tan Yard brook, near Montgomery street; and the third still farther 
south, near Freight street. For these streams water courses were 
made, since buried, by repeated elevations of the street, to the depth 
of some ten or a dozen feet below its present surface. Of those the 
two first mentioned are in use to-day. 

For an hundred years the mercantile and other business of 
Concord was transacted upon this street, mainly at the north end 
of it. Upon it was erected the block house, in 1726, which served 
for nearly a generation the triple office of meeting-house, town 
house, and schoolhouse, until its superseding by the old North 
meeting-house in 1751. In 1790, eight years after the legislature 
had begun to hold occasional sessions in Concord, the town in 
co-operation with public-spirited citizens erected a town house, upon 
the site now occupied by the court house and city hall ; largely for 
the accommodation of the General Court. Here, the legislature 
subsequently held all its sessions until 1819, when the present state 
house was finished. In 1806 the Concord bank was chartered, and 
under its act of incorporation two banks of the same name were 
organized, popularly designated as the Upper and Lower banks. 
The former subsequently developed into the Merrimack County 
bank, and in 1826 erected the brick building now owned and occu- 
pied by the New Hampshire Historical society, then, with the excep- 
tion of the state house, the most imposing structure upon the street. 
A few years later, farther south and opposite the state house, the 
Eagle Coffee House was built, for some years the finest hotel in New 

The establishment of the enterprises represented by these struc- 
tures, together with the openings of river and rail transportation 
from Boston, drew southward the centre of business to a point near 
the state house. Hence, it has since gradually moved to one a little 
to the south and may now be found at or very near the intersection 
of this street with School or Warren streets. 

Three other establishments of importance to a New Hampshire 
village two generations ago were located on, or at the head of, this 
street. The first was the post-office, introduced to Concord in 1792, 


which subsequently followed the drift of business and never had a 
permanent abiding place until 1890, when it was established at its 
present location on State street. The second was the public hay 
scales, near Tan Yard brook, which, by means of a windlass, raised 
from the ground a load of hay or other bulky article and allowed its 
weight to be read from a scale beam in an office near by, while the 
third was the town pound, which stood on Pond hill. 

The length of this street, nearly a mile and a half, gave rise 
to North End and South End rivalries. Naturally the sentiments 
of the fathers were adopted by their sons. These fought and bled 
in the interests of their respective sections, which extended from 
the North End south to West's brook, and from the South End 
north to Tan Yard brook, the section between these being neutral 
ground. A boy from either end caught on the wrong side of this 
was liable to hostilities he would have done well to avoid. For 
many years the bone of contention was an old iron cannon. This 
was repeatedly captured from each other by the contending parties. 
At length the South-enders, having it in possession, concealed it in 
the stable of the Phenix hotel. Here, their opponents eventually 
discovered it chained to a beam. Having by stealth gained posses- 
sion of it, they transported it to Horse Shoe pond and sunk it. 
Like the precise resting-place of Moses, the place of its burial is 
known to no man. As the town increased in business and popula- 
tion local animosities grew less and less, until they ceased to exist. 

Along this street the great out-of-doors pageants have from time to 
time been displayed — martial, funereal, religious, and civic. A gen- 
eration ago, more or less of the New Hampshire regiments which 
departed for or returned from the Civil War marched up and down 
it. In earlier times, from 1784, when the legislature met for the first 
time under the new state constitution, down to 1831, the members of 
the General Court annually went in solemn procession up this street 
to the Old North church, to listen to the Election sermon delivered 
on the occasion. Most graphically has Dr. Andrew McFarland 
described one of these, as follows : 

" But the grand occasion for the Old North was the annual elec- 
tion sermon. To those who can go back in memory to the time 
when there was at least a show of recognizing divine agency in the 
direction of state affairs this pulpit deliverance and the parade 
attending it must ever stand as an event of a lifetime. It is the 
state's one great holiday, and Concord swarms with the ingathered 
multitude. On Wednesday the General Court organizes ; but Thurs- 
day is the day of all days, for then the governor takes his seat. 
Main street, from the state house to the extreme North End, is lined 


with booths (' tents ' so called) active in traffic of sheet gingerbread, 
early apples, and ginger beer, not to speak of the plentiful array of 
decanters full of more heady liquors ; for temperance societies were 
of much later birth. From his perch on a maple limb close to the 
church door the writer awaits the coming pageant. It has already 
left the state house, for does not the cannon every minute proclaim 
the fact from the brow of Sand hill ? Now, faintly on the air comes 
the low boom of the big drum, afar down the street in advance of all 
other sound. Nearer it comes every minute, but still alone, till at 
length the higher notes of the key-bugle can just occasionally be 
made out. There is an almost undefinable consciousness of other 
sounds, for the very winds seem to hold their breath. The more 
distinct strain of each musical piece announces the approach of the 
slow moving column at the head of the street, and a skirmish line of 
small boys heralds the grand advance. And now, with burst and 
swell of martial melody — big drum and little drums, bugles, clarion- 
ettes, fifes, cymbals, and triangles — every man of them at his best — 
Fisk's corner is turned, and the grand spectacle opens out with all 
of war's pride, pomp, and circumstance. What a test of stretched 
sheep-skin — what wind! Mark the cymbal-player, head thrown 
back and swaying from side to side, breast well forward, the glitter- 
ing disks waved high in air, with a flourish and a shake, as he 
brings the two together with a resonant clang, to the admiration of 
all small boys. The Concord Light Infantry leads the van ; white 
pants, blue coats, most uncomfortably buttoned to the chin; felt- 
topped leather caps, and tall, stiff plumes of white, roofed with 
plumage of brilliant red. What martial mien in the captain ! (Seth 
Eastman, I think) head erect, eyes sternly fixed on nothing just in 
front, body stiff as a halberd, sword firmly to right shoulder, toes 
well turned out! Shades of heroes and warriors! How can mortal 
man descend to common week-day affairs from such a pinnacle of 
glory ! This is but the escort and the grand central figures are now 
in sight. Governor Fierce (father of the President) and his aids, 
all showily mounted, the portly form of the bluff old governor in the 
centre of the platoon, continental cocked hat in hand, bowing right 
and left to the acclaiming thousands, with his aids in all the splendor 
of half-moon chapeaux, ostrich feathers, red and yellow sashes, buff 
breeches and most formidable, knee-high military boots. Now the 
sensation is at full height. Cannon are booming, martial strains till 
the air, horses neigh, the welkin rends with the prolonged shoutings 
of the multitude, and billows of dust envelope every thing. 

"When close to the tree, where this chronicler sits, the captain 
comes to a sudden halt; pivots round on the soles of his boots to 


face his company, sword uplifted with the short, quick command: 
' Right and left of sections file to the front ! Halt ! Inward face ! 
Present arms ! ' Meanwhile the cavalcade has dismounted, and the 
chargers are given to the keeping of ready-to-hand boy, expectant 
of a pistareen when the sermon is over. The governor and his suite, 
the honorable council, senate and house of representatives, two and 
two, with heads uncovered, advance between the files of soldiery; 
the band plays the salute; officers stand with sword-hilt to the 
eyes ; the flag waves ; and the venerable sanctuary swallows up the 
long procession, when the services follow, in which the boy of the 
period takes, as I fear, but little interest." 1 

It is a matter of some surprise that the colonists of the little plan- 
tation of Penacook, in the wilderness, should have given to their 
main street such generous breadth as they did, and that they made 
their second street no less than eight rods wide. It is more so that 
their successors, nearly a hundred years later, should have given to 
the extension of this latter street a width of but fifty. 

Indeed, those fathers of ancient Penacook did better than they 
knew. Little dreamed they, when establishing the lines of their 
main street upon which most of their dwellings were to stand, that 
it was to form a section of one of the great highways of travel from 
the Canadas to the sea, and become, in time, the chief avenue of the 
capital of a sovereign state, over which busy throngs and imposing 
pageants were to move ; or that, within a- few generations, science, 
coupled with inventive skill, would harness the lightning to palatial 
carriages to be moved thereby upon it continually and, quite likely, 

It is impossible, at this late day, to ascertain all the changes of 
buildings and their occupants on this street during the one hundred 
and seventy-five years it has been in use. Some of these, however, 
have been preserved, and, a short time before his decease, the late 
Lewis Downing, Jr., a native and constant resident of Concord for 
more than eighty years, prepared for this history the following plan 
of the buildings upon it in 1827, and attached to these the names of 
their occupants at that time. 

1 One Hundredth Anniversary of First Cong. Ch., pp. 67, 68. 






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Concord abounds in shade trees, mostly elms and rock maples. 
The former are indigenous to the interval, where they grow in great 
perfection, attaining large dimensions, and, under favorable condi- 
tions, ages of from an hundred to an hundred and fifty years. They 
also flourish equally well on that part of the plain upon which the 
compact part of the city stands. The latter are natives of the 
uplands, and when transplanted grow well for a time, but their lives 
are much shorter than those of their associates, shorter, probably, by 
one half. 

Shade trees began to be planted along the streets of Concord at 


quite early dates. The earliest recorded planting was nearly syn- 
chronous with the collapse of the attempt of the proprietors of Bow 
to capture the township. Its citizens then felt that the title to their 
homesteads had been rendered secure, and that any improvements of 
them which they might make would be for their own enjoyment and 
not for that of unjust claimants. 

The oldest shade trees yet standing of which an authentic record 
has been preserved are the five elms at the north end of Main street, 
near the house of the writer of this chapter. They were set out by 
the Rev. Timothy Walker the next spring after his third return from 
London, whither he had gone as agent of his people to prosecute an 
appeal to the king in council from a judgment of the superior court 
of New Hampshire in favor of the proprietors of Bow. Upon his 
majesty's reversal of that judgment, December 29, 1762, the inhabi- 
tants of Concord were quieted in the titles to their landed estates, 
and felt encouraged to improve and adorn them. 1 

In his diary for 1764, against the date of May 2d, Mr. Walker makes 
this brief entry, " Sat out 8 elm trees about my house." Five of these 
still survive, one hundred and thirty-seven years after their removal 
from the interval at ages, probably, of a dozen to fifteen years. 

Three of these are yet in vigorous health. Two are gradually 
approaching the limits of their respective careers, wdiile the lives of 
the other three have sunk into oblivion for the want of a timely his- 

The finest tree in the city is the graceful elm at the north end of 
Fisk street, often called the Webster elm. It was set out by Capt. 
Enoch Coffin and his brother, Col. John Coffin, about 1782, the year 
in which Daniel Webster was born (January 18, 1782). Hence, 
doubtless, the name sometimes given to it. 

The trees on the west side of Main street, between the residence of 
William P. Fiske and the east end of Church street, were planted in 
1818 by the late Samuel A. Kimball, who also planted the sturdy wil- 
lows on the north side of the East Concord road, near the buildings 
of the Page Belting Company, in 1831. There are ten of the latter, 
and their respective circumferences at three feet from the ground are : 
1st (westernmost), thirteen feet and five inches ; 2d, thirteen feet 
and four inches ; 3d, ten feet and ten inches ; 1th, ten feet and five 
inches ; 5th, twelve feet ; 6th, thirteen feet and one inch ; 7th, eleven 
feet and four inches ; 8th, ten feet and six inches ; 9th, twelve feet ; 
10th, eleven feet and one inch. 

The ten have an aggregate of circumference amounting to one 
hundred and eighteen feet, an average of nearly twelve to a tree, at 

1 Moore's Annals of Concord, p. 99. 


their present age of about eighty years. The smaller willows stand- 
ing eastward were set out by the writer in 1895-99. 

The elms in front of the lot of Dr. George M . Kimball were planted 
by his great uncle, Hazen Kimball, at a date unknown, but somewhat 
earlier, evidently, than that of the planting of those on the opposite 
side of the street. 

The noble row of elms in front of the ancient building once known 
as the Washington hotel were set out by Dr. Ebenezer H. Goss in 
1771, and those in front of the house of Henry Robinson are believed 
to have been placed in their present position soon after the close of 
the Revolutionary War. Those which line the west side of Main 
street between Franklin and Pearl streets were planted by Charles 
Walker, about 1802, in front of his house, erected about that time. 

The stalwart elms on Main street, near the east end of Thorndike 
street, were planted at an early day by Timothy Walker, a relative 
of the first minister. Many others of advanced ages might be men- 
tioned, notably those in front of the Rolfe and Rumford asylum, 
planted, doubtless, by Col. Benjamin Rolfe about the time he built 
the main structure of this house, in 1764; the great elm near the 
corner of South and Clinton streets ; and the tough old veteran on 
Pleasant street opposite the house of Dr. F. A. Stillings. 

Most of the elms on the lot of the Walker schoolhouse were set 
out in 1832 by John D. Abbot and paid for by subscription. The 
largest of those in the yard of John H. Stewart were probably 
planted by Capt. Benjamin Emery. The younger elms at the north 
end of Main street were for the most part set out by the writer of 
this chapter about 1850. The flourishing elms on the south avenue 
of Blossom Hill cemetery were planted by the cemetery committee 
about twelve years later. 

The trees thus far mentioned are mostly elms. But, as before 
intimated, rock maples have been the favorite shade trees of many. 
Hazen Kimball planted a fine row of these just north of the elms 
before alluded to as set out by him, but only one of these survives. 
In his History of Concord, published in 1856, Dr. Bouton says that 
the rock maples on Centre street, between State and Main streets, 
were at that time about twenty years old, making their present age 
about sixty-six, and that both the maples and elms in the state house 
yard are older by some ten years. 

Besides elms and maples, trees of other species have been planted 
for ornament and shade. There were formerly standing on State 
and Main streets five sycamores, three of which still remain, — one 
in the front yard of George H. Marston, one near the foot of Mont- 
gomery street, and the majestic one near the house of Dr. George M. 



Kimball. Various other kinds have also been planted from time to 
time, but in no great numbers. In the southeast section of the 
State Hospital grounds may be seen a magnificent grove of large 
white oaks, some thirty in number, evidently of great age and pre- 
sumably remains of the great primeval forest which once covered 
Concord's whole territory. 

Since the publication of Dr. Bouton's history, forty-five years ago, 
many magnificent elms have, for various causes, been removed. 
Among these were the six he mentions as standing near his house, 
the large ones on the west side of State street, near the east end of 
Walker street, the monster on Stickney hill, one of the largest, and 
perhaps the largest, Concord has produced, and the Downing elm, 
near the residence of the late Lewis Downing. 

The growth of the five venerable elms before mentioned, which 
have shaded a section of the north end of Main street for one hun- 
dred and thirty-seven years, is shown by the following comparison 
of circumference measurements at heights of three and six feet from 
the ground in 1764, 1856, 1864, 1871, and 1901: 








3 ft. from 
ground. | 


3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 


Ft. In. 


! Ft. In. 


12 4 

12 9 

Ft. In. 

12 3 
9 3 
12 2 

Ft. In. 

16 4 
13 5 
9 2 
13 2 
13 6 

Ft. In. 

14 10 

12 10 

9 4 

12 3 


Ft. In. 

16 10 

14 1 

9 4 

13 3 

14 4 

Ft. In. 

15 3 
13 5 

9 6 

12 7 

13 5 

Ft. In. 

18 5 

15 10 

9 9 


15 4 

Ft. In. 

16 4 

15 2 

9 10 


14 6 

* The 1st is the southernmost tree and the 5th is on west side of the street. The size of the 
first measurement at the time of their setting out has been assumed. 



Inc. in 92 years. [ 

Inc. in 8 years. 
1856- '64. 

Inc. in 7 years. 

Inc. in 30 years. 


3 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

3 ft. from 

6 ft. from 

2d .. 
3d .. 

Ft. In. 


Ft. In 

15 3 

11 7 
8 3 

1 12 3 


Ft. In. 

13 3 
11 6 
8 6 
11 3 
11 7 

Ft. In. 


1 1 

Ft. In. 


Ft. In. 


Ft. In. 


Ft. In. 

1 7 

1 9 


Ft. In. 

1 3 
1 9 


1 1 

It will be observed that the first, second, and fifth have surpassed 
in growth the third and fourth, a fact due largely to their standing 


farther away from neighboring trees than the other two. To this 
circumstance the first owes its far-extending crown, which has an 
east and west diameter of seventy-four feet. 

The entire length of Main street is seventy-six hundred and 
eighty-three feet. Between Centre and Pleasant streets, for a dis- 
tance of thirteen hundred and twenty feet, no trees now remain. 
Along the remaining sixty-three hundred and sixty-three feet trees 
to the number of two hundred and eighty-nine shade the sidewalks, 
one hundred and fifty-nine on the street's east side and one hundred 
and thirty on the opposite. These stand at average distances from 
each other of forty feet on the former side and forty-nine on the lat- 

Under such circumstances proper trunk developments and comely 
crowns cannot be attained. A well-developed elm, of an hundred 
years, requires as many linear feet along the street, and a well- 
formed maple of seventy-five years, three fourths as many. 

The history of Concord's shade trees may, possibly, throw some 
light upon the question as to the allotted age of the American 
elm (Ulmus Americana). As before stated, the Rev. Mr. Walker 
planted elms before his house in 176-1, one hundred and thirty-seven 
years ago, five of which now remain. If it be assumed that they 
were fifteen years old at that time, their present age is one hundred 
and fifty-two. Three of them are in vigorous health and seem good 
for another half century. The other two will probably end their 
careers ere half that period has elapsed. While it is by no means 
safe to generalize from single facts, the history of these trees, so far 
as it goes, suggests some one hundred and seventy-five to two hun- 
dred years as, under favorable circumstances, the allotted age, in 
Concord, of the American elm. 

And just here another question arises. Whence came to Concord 
this custom of lining a street with shade trees? Doubtless from the 
older Massachusetts towns in which its earliest settlers had been 
reared. Whence to the latter came this custom? Doubtless from 
the parks and villages of the old English fatherland. 

The attractiveness of Concord's streets is not wholly due to their 
smoothness as highways of travel and the comely houses which adorn 
them, but in a good measure also to the graceful lines of trees which 
overshadow them. 


Some ten to a dozen types of houses have been erected in Concord 
during the period following its settlement as a plantation down to 
the present time. 



1. The Log House. 
The first, intended for 
temporary use, was 
necessarily built of 
loos, as no sawmill 
was erected until 
1729, three years af- 
ter the settlement of 
the town had com- 
menced. The build- 
ing first erected was 
the block house, to 
be used as a meeting- 
house, town house, 
schoolhouse, and, if 
need be, as a fortress 
for protection against 


The Framed Cottage. 

and that a large part of these 
were framed structures. The 
type of many of these was 
doubtless that of the simple 
one-story cottage, whose rooms 
— surrounding a single central 
chimney — were easily warmed. 
As this arrangement met the 
wants of the frugal life then 
prevailing in this remote com- 
munity, it was very generally 

The Log House. 

attacks of the Indians. Its construc- 
tion, commenced in 1726, was com- 
pleted the next year. Its site was 
the north corner of Main and Chapel 

2. The Framed Cottage of One- 
Story. How many of the early houses 
of Concord were of logs there is no 
means of determining. From a state- 
ment of the condition of the planta- 
tion, bearing date October 20, 1731, 
it appears that no less than eighty- 
five dwelling-houses were at that 
time wholly or partially finished, 

The Gambrel Roof House. 




The Box Trap House. 

The G-ambr el Roof House. A third type of dwelling introduced 
to Concord very soon after its settlement was the gambrel roof house, 
a type brought from the older towns of Massachusetts where its peo- 
ple had been born, and whence they had recently emigrated. Houses 
of this description were usually of two stories, about forty feet long 

and half as wide. They were covered by a 
roof known as a "gambrel roof," which de- 
scended on both sides from the ridge line in 
two unlike slopes to the eaves. To this was 
sometimes attached a rear addition of one 
story of like construction. While its outlines 
were not particularly pleasing and its form 
suggested a ship turned upside down, it was 
roomy, and, owing to its capacious attic, came 
near being a three-story house. 

4. The Box Trap House. Another style of 
house erected quite early in Concord was a 
house of a somewhat greater depth than 
length, which generally faced the south, re- 
gardless of location and surroundings. It was 
of two stories in front, and of one in the rear. 
From the eaves of the front side the roof rose by a pretty sharp pitch 
to the ridge line, and descended thence on the other in a more gentle 
slope to the top of the back wall. While no technical name may 
have attached to houses of this model, their 
end elevations so forcibly suggest an ordi- 
nary box trap set for game, that this desig- 
nation has been assumed for the want of a 
better one. 

Mr. Wilson Flagg appropriately remarked, 
in 1872, of this style of house and of the elm 
which so often shaded it: "In my own 
mind, the elm is intimately allied with those 
old dwelling-houses which were built in the 
early part of the last century. . . . Not 
many of these venerable houses are now ex- 
tant ; but wherever we see one it is almost 

The Two-Story Square House. 

invariably accompanied by its ehn, standing 

upon the open space which slopes down from its front, waving its 
branches in melancholy grandeur above the old homestead, and droop- 
ing as with sorrow over the infirmities of its old companion of a cen- 
tury." i 

1 Woods and By-Ways of New England, p. 86. 



5. The Two-Story /Square House. This 
affords another type of dwelling intro- 
duced to villages and large farms early 
in the last century. It was usually well 
built by well-to-do proprietors, a fact 
which accounts for the good condition 
in which it is generally found. The 
most marked features in its construction 
are a large, square chimney in its cen- 
tre, bisecting its ridge line as it emerges 
from the roof, around which the rooms 
of both stories are so arranged as to 
allow fireplaces in most or all of them. 
Admission on the front side is through 
a shallow entry between the chimney 

and the outside door, while access to the The Nearly Flat Roof House - 

second story is had by a stairway of so many rectangular turnings 
as to make it a matter of some uncertainty whether a person, starting 

from the bottom in a sober condition, would 
•■ ^k-- be able to walk without staggering when 

he had reached the top. 

6. The nearly Flat Roof Mouse, without 
Gables, also came into use about the same 
time as the type last mentioned. Its roof, 
pitching from a short ridge line in four 
directions, was pierced by a chimney at 
each end of the building. This style seems 
to have been a faint imitation of the three- 
story colonial mansions of the coast towns, 
many of which still survive in perfect 
preservation, and attest the prosperity of the country about the time 
of their erection. Its depth was that of a single room, and its main 
entrance was midway of its front wall. It 
was quite often enlarged by the addition of 
an L in its rear. 

7. The Gable Front House made its first 
appearance about seventy years ago. Un- 
like the former, its front elevation was 
formed by having a gable end face the 
street. From this it extended back in 
form of a parallelogram until the de- 
sired room was secured. The front 
entrance was generally through a re- 

The Gable Front House. 

The Mansard or French Roof House. 



The Queen Anne House. 

cessed porch which opened on one side to a long, narrow hall, which 
afforded immediate access to the rooms of the first story, and by a 
straight stairway to those above. Scores of these are still in use, 
but few have been built in recent years. 

8. The Mansard or French Hoof House. This type began to be 
erected in Concord just before the Civil War, but in no great num- 
bers, inasmuch as it was expensive and best 
adapted to the wants of towns where large 
estates abounded. It may be said of this style 
of house that it allows of imposing elevations 
and the utilization of almost every cubic foot 
of interior space. 

9. The Queen Anne House. This was intro- 
duced some thirty years ago. It allows greater 
freedom of architectural treatment than any 
other. Its steep roofs, numerous gables and 
dormer windows, its porches, piazzas, and L's, 
often give to a house of this type the appear- 
ance of a cluster of buildings which have grad- 
ually grown by degrees into an harmonious 
whole, rather than of a building of one design 
and construction. Concord has several good 
specimens of this type, of which it is unnecessary to say that, while 
no two of them are alike, they all bear a typical resemblance to each 

10. The Colonial is another type of about the 
same period as that of the style just mentioned. 
It is not a new one. It is, rather, the renaissance 
of the old colonial mansion so common a 
hundred years ago, modified by the addi- 
tion of porticoes, verandas, and bay win- 
dows — a type more showy and palatial than 
any heretofore mentioned. Its contrast with 
the log cabin forcibly suggests the great 
advance in wealth and improved housing 
in this city since its settlement, while the 
intermediate styles mark the steps along 
which these have been reached. 

11. The Romanesque. Of this style, which succeeded to- the Grecian 
and other styles in vogue upon the downfall of the Roman empire, 
Concord can show but few examples. It is highly picturesque, and, 
in general appearance, foreign. It also varies greatly in minor points 
in the different European countries in which it has been developed. 

The Colonial. 



Ill England charming specimens of it in its simpler forms may be 
found classed as Norman. It is not well adapted to the more com- 
mon requirements of domestic life, and is most often chosen for build- 
ings of a public character and for imposing private mansions. 

By a more particular examination of the diversities in styles of the 
Concord dwellings, the foregoing number of types might be enlarged, 
but it seems unnecessary. It should, however, be stated that there 
was a kindred variation in the types of the town's meeting-houses. 

The first 
consisted of 
a simple, 
structure of 
logs, which 
served as a 
town house, 
and m e e t - 
The second, 
built for the 
standing or- 
der, w h e n 

The Romanesque. "('lllU'ch 

and State " prevailed in New Hampshire, was 
originally seen in a two-story, square structure, 
having walls pierced by numerous large windows, and subsequently 
enlarged by exterior additions and a steeple. To this type, soon after 
the passage of the toleration act, succeeded a third of one story, with 
long side windows, gable front, and steeple. ( )f the various renais- 
sance types which have succeeded, the limits of this chapter forbid 
particular description. 


Fiiank Battles. 

The ancient plantation of Penny Cook, the township of Rumford, 
now the flourishing city of Concord, and its immediate vicinity, from 
a topographical standpoint has been, and still is, admirably adapted 
to the propagation and growth of many of the most valuable of the 
edible animals, birds, and fishes. The varied woodland growth on the 
surrounding hillsides, interspersed with the necessary swales and 
brushy pastures, afford abundant protection and food for the ruffed 
grouse, commonly known as the partridge, and the woodcock, — two of 
the most important game birds of the state, — while in the same covers 
foxes, coney rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, freely breed and flourish. 
The numberless sparkling streams, which have their origin in the 
springy soil of these elevated localities, form natural breeding places 
and homes for the peerless brook trout, always eagerly sought. The 
half dozen or more ponds within the city limits, and many others in 
close proximity, have furnished in the past, and yield to-day to the 
persistent fisherman, handsome strings of the more common yet highly 
esteemed pickerel, perch, and pout ; and in a few of them, as well as 
in the Merrimack river, the result of transplanting from other waters, 
black bass may be said to be numerous. 

Animals and birds recognize no human boundaries over which they 
must not roam or fly, and the fish inhabiting the waters in this vicinity 
are not cognizant of any town lines which may extend to, or cross, 
their domain. So that whatever is said of the fish and game of this 
immediate locality is equally applicable to the section about Concord 
as well. It may be stated that the all-round sportsman can safely 
make his headquarters in Concord, from which within an easy dis- 
tance he will be sure of pleasure to a reasonable extent, unless he 
wishes to engage in deer hunting or to try his luck with landlocked 
salmon. Deer are now frequently seen in Merrimack county, and in 
several instances have invaded the precincts of Concord, but they are 
protected by the law the year round in this part of the state. The 
efforts to stock the waters of Concord with landlocked salmon are of 
recent date, but even now show satisfactory results. 

If the reader will examine the records made by the authorities in 
years long gone by he will find that the titles of the land lying on 
the Merrimack river, which back to about 1732 was divided into dis- 


tricts, were conveyed in the crude though unmistakable language of 
the times, and that the boundary lines of many such districts began 
and ended with such and such a tree, giving the name, whether of 
white pine, red oak, or other variety ; and it requires no stretch of the 
imagination to infer that when the Indians first came upon and 
decided to remain on what is now the rich arable interval land bor- 
dering upon the river, they found it covered with a bushy growth 
with here and there an area of woods, consisting of pine, maple, oak, 
walnut, and other species. 

As the character of the American Indian ever prompted him to 
eke out his existence with as little labor as possible, one of the first 
acts on his arrival in the neighborhood was to burn over the lands for 
the double purpose of clearing valuable space on which to raise his 
absolutely necessary corn, and to change original rank growth to suc- 
culent verdure, in order that the deer inhabiting the woods adjoining 
might be enticed into situations which would render their capture a 
comparatively easy matter. That the Penacook tribe, domiciled in 
the main as they were for years on territory which is now included 
within the limits of Concord, subsisted largely on fish and game will 
be readily admitted from the nature of things ; but, with the advent 
of the white man, in accordance with established methods of civiliza- 
tion, records and narratives of current events and conditions were 
begun and continued, so that from the day of his coming there is at 
hand information from which the student can inform himself concerning 
the happenings of any particular period of time. From these records, 
antedating, of course, the memory of persons now living, much of 
interest relating to fish and game of those early days and their capture 
for food may be culled. 

The gunner of to-day follows his pointer or setter with nothing to 
divert his attention from the pleasure he is enjoying. The fox and 
rabbit hunter listens undisturbed to the music of his hounds in the 
most unfrequented places. The coon hunter, during the darkest 
nights, plods through the trackless forests and over rocky pastures, 
ascends the tallest trees to kill his quarry, with no possibility of harm 
coming to him. The angler enters the water or crawls along the 
slimiest places with no thought of danger. The sportsman of other 
days or the head of the family in quest of food did not, however, 
roam the woodlands with the same immunity or without sense of fear. 
In the early times the country about this beautiful city abounded in 
savage and obnoxious animals and vermin. 

In the records referred to it is learned that determined efforts on 
the part of the settlers to rid the country of pests were absolutely 
necessary, not alone to insure their own safety, but for the protection 


of their stock as well ; and organized hunting parties were the order 
of the day for many years, to scour the woods and destroy as many 
as possible of the bears, catamounts, wolves, and rattlesnakes which 
infested the township. These efforts were encouraged to the fullest 
possible extent by the town officials, who were authorized by vote of 
the inhabitants year after year to pay a bounty on all such animals 
and reptiles destroyed. The sum paid for the killing of wolves 
varied with different years from three pounds to one pound for a full- 
grown wolf and from one pound ten shillings to ten shillings for a 
whelp. For each rattlesnake killed there was paid from sixpence to 
a shilling. Year after year the warfare was kept up, with the result 
that the settlers finally had the satisfaction of seeing the " varmints " 
practically exterminated, the rattlesnake lasting the longest, as it was 
well into the forties of the nineteenth century ere it ceased to be a 
pest in some localities. Who now, as he dwells in the city of his 
choice, enjoying the comforts which he can obtain here and which are 
made possible by the efforts of the rugged yeomanry he calls his 
ancestors, can but admire their perseverance in the face of obstacles 
which to-day would be considered unsurmountable ? 

There is no doubt that the early settlers and their immediate 
descendants depended largely on fish and game to supply their tables. 
There was a sameness and plainness in their daily fare, to say nothing 
of its limited quantity, which made the fish and game they could 
readily catch and kill the only luxuries with which they could supply 
their larder. Deer were fairly plentiful ; hares, grouse, and wild 
pigeons were abundant ; the river at the proper season was alive with 
salmon and shad ; the brooks contained large numbers of trout ; and 
the ponds yielded liberally of the coarser native varieties of fish. 
These conditions continued until the march of progress and the 
increase of population marked the beginning of the manufacturing 
era, when the building of dams across the river diminished the large 
run of salmon and shad to their spawning places at the headwaters. 
The gradual increase in the number of these structures, some of them 
so built as to absolutely prevent the passage of fish, finally caused 
them to disappear completely from the Merrimack, although it was 
not until the year 1898 that the salmon gave it up entirely, several 
fish of that species, gigantic in size, having been seen that year in the 
river abreast the city. 

The passenger pigeons, which our forefathers and their descendants 
to within a few years held in such high esteem, and which inhabited 
the entire country east and west in such immense numbers as to be 
reckoned by the million, have been exterminated by the ruthless 
slaughter carried on among them at their roosting, breeding, and feed- 


ing grounds, so that to-day the only specimens which certainly exist 
are in confinement. 

With these exceptions, and that of the upland plover (all migratory 
species), the quantity of fish and game around Concord will compare 
favorably with that of any ancient day of which there is any record. 
This statement may be questioned, but is based upon an active expe- 
rience of nearly fifty years in the woodlands of New England and 
other sections of the country in pursuit of game and fish, and in cor- 
roboration it may be said that during each of several days' shooting 
in the fall of 1900 as many partridges were started as had ever been 
noted in any one day of previous years. The same abundance has 
also been noted in other recent years, and it is believed that partridges 
are as plentiful as ever and will continue to be abundant so long as 
pine forests grow and laws to prevent snaring and trapping are en- 
forced. Occasionally there has been a year when some disease has 
reduced their numbers, and it has then taken two or three seasons to 
fully recover the losses, but the conditions are still most favorable to 
their propagation. 

The woodcock, another migratory bird, has rapidly decreased in 
numbers apparently with the advance of civilization, but the season 
of 1900 witnessed a remarkably large flight of these birds. The 
same abundance has been observed at intervals of a few years apart, 
with proof almost every year that a large flight had passed along, 
making but a brief stop in this vicinity. In any event, the fact that 
this variety breeds exclusively in the north and is killed by the thou- 
sand in the south during the winter, shows that they are still very 
much in evidence, although on their southern passage they may some 
years elude the Concord wing shots. 

The " highlander," or upland plover, to within twenty-five years, 
passed over the intervals by hundreds on their southern flight from 
their breeding places on the hills in the adjacent north. They are 
still more than abundant in the west and are by no means scarce 

It may seem extravagant to assert that there are as many trout in 
this vicinity as there were a hundred years ago, but is it not so? Jn 
olden times the farmer or his boy went to the brook and took out 
enough for a mess and was satisfied. To-day the fisherman makes a 
day of it and cleans up the brook for the time being. There are hun- 
dreds of fishermen now where there was only the farmer or his boy 
to fish in those days, and still the trout hold out, as there are many 
fine strings taken in every year very close to Concord. 

Black bass have superseded the pickerel in many waters, but this 
has been accomplished by the hand of man in the line of supposed 


benefit. Large sums of public and private moneys have been ex- 
pended in the artificial propagation of food fish to keep up the supply. 
These expenditures have been going on now for a number of years 
with varying degrees of success towards obtaining the desired result. 
Within the past few years, also, quite extensive efforts have been 
made to introduce into this, as well as other sections of New Hamp- 
shire, valuable game birds other than the native varieties, notably the 
quail and pheasants. The hopes of those interested, so far as the quail 
is concerned, have been more than realized, as flocks of these beauti- 
ful little birds are reported in all directions, and not a few of them 
have been brought to bag during the last three or four shooting sea- 
sons. The result of raising and liberating pheasants around Concord 
and other localities in New England has been very far from satisfac- 
tory. The experiment, however, has not proved a complete failure, 
although generally believed to have been so. 

To sum up then, with the changes that have been noted and with 
the additional statement that the coney rabbit has driven out and 
supplanted the hare and that the gray squirrels have not held their 
own against the woodman's slaughter of the chestnut forests, the vis- 
itors to the woodlands and the waters of this vicinity in this the 
beginning of the twentieth century, will not find it so vastly different 
in its natural history from what his ancestors found it at the begin- 
ning of the preceding one. Wherever original forests, second growth 
and wild uninhabitable lands are found, there will flourish animals 
and birds, the edible with the worthless, and in the public ponds of 
the state, under wise protection, valuable fish will breed and thrive. 

In no part of the state has greater interest been taken in fish and 
game than in Concord and its immediate vicinity. Here was organ- 
ized the first practical fish and game league of the state. It is true 
there was an earlier league organized in Cheshire county, but it was 
limited in its character and was largely a social organization. Years 
ago, in the palmy days of the late John B. Clarke, there was a state 
league, and work attempted under that well-known pioneer was of 
practical value. Later on, the Merrimack County Fish and Game 
League was organized February 15, 1883, with the writer as tempo- 
rary chairman, who outlined the possibilities in the line of sport that 
might be derived through concentrated action on the part of those 
interested. The meeting for organization was held at Union hall, 
White's opera house, and was largely attended. The organization 
was perfected by the choice of Thomas A. Pilsbury of Concord as 
president, Walter Aiken of Franklin, Henry McFarland, and Dr. 
F. A. Stillings of Concord, vice-presidents, John M. Hill of Concord, 
treasurer, and James M. Morris of Concord, secretary, with an execu- 


tive committee representative of various sections of the county. The 
activity of this league and the co-operation of the other leagues of the 
state, with the wise counsel and valuable assistance of the state commis- 
sioners, have secured a code of laws for the protection of fish and 
game, legislation wise in its inception, because of the intimate con- 
nection of sport of this character with the largely increasing summer 
business of New Hampshire. 

By way of appendix to the foregoing it should be said that sev- 
eral fine salmon were taken with rod and reel in Long pond during 
the season of 1902, the largest one, weighing just above fifteen 
pounds, being captured by Harrison A. Roby. 



Amos Hadley. 


Scene of the History. — Aboriginal Occupation. 

The scene of the following historical narration lies within that por- 
tion of the present domain of New Hampshire which anciently bore 
the name of Penacook. This appellation of varied orthography, with 
civilized softening of savage gutturals, was sometimes applied to a 
region whose limits cannot now with certainty be defined. That 
region probably extended, in undefined width, along both sides of the 
Merrimack river, with the mouth of the Soucook, or the Suncook, in 
its southern line of demarcation, and that of the Contoocook in its 
northern. Out of this tract was subsequently carved for civilized 
settlement, a restricted grant having definite bounds, and bearing the 
same name — Penacook, as the Indian called " the crooked place," 
formed by the singularly picturesque meanderings of the Merrimack, 
or " the place of the rapid current." In this locality have occurred 
the events of savage and civilized occupation which make up the 
History of Concord. 

In Penacook was the special abode of the Indian tribe bearing that 
name. The historic light of the seventeenth century falls only in 
flecks upon aboriginal life in the valley of the Merrimack, as the sum- 
mer sunlight, in that distant day, mast have flecked the wigwam or 
the pathway of the dusky hunter in the dark, primeval forest. It is 
historically certain, however, that the tribe occupying the soil of the 
present Concord was the leading one among kindred tribes that dwelt 
along the Merrimack and tributaries northward to Lake Winnepesaukee 
and beyond, and southward to the great bend near Pawtucket Falls. 
Those subordinates bearing such specific names as the Winnepesaukees, 
the Ossipees, the Amoskeags, the Souhegans, the Nashuas, and the 
Wamesits, or Pawtuckets, may, perhaps, be more properly characterized 
as bands than as tribes, and all of them Penacooks, with headquarters at 
the seat of the leading tribe. Possibly, too, the Indians living by the 
Merrimack, eastward to the sea — including the Squamscots and the 
Piscataquas, with the Aecomintas and others along the western edge 


of Maine, and others still, as the Wachusetts upon the northern rim 
of Massachusetts — were kindred to the Penacooks, as surely they 
were confederate subjects of the same grand sachemship. 1 

The Penacooks, warlike representatives of the Algonquins, were in 
irreconcilable feud with the Mohawks, the fierce representatives of the 
Iroquois. In the days of their strength, these men of the Merrimack 
not only waged defensive Avar on the incursions of their traditional 
foes from beyond the Hudson, but sometimes avenged themselves in 
war offensive. At their first historical appearance, about 1621, they 
had been much weakened by war, and other causes — among which 
may have been the dread disease of 1616, which prevailed along the 
seashore and at an unknown distance inland. Tradition, without 
assigning dates, locates three ancient forts at the headquarters of the 
Penacooks : one upon the west bank of the river in Fort Eddy plain ; 
another upon the east bank opposite, on the crest of Sugar Ball bluff ; 
the third also on the east side of the Merrimack, near Sewall's island. 
Undoubtedly the Sugar Ball fort, occupying its excellent position, 
had for its special object defense against the Mohawks ; and with it 
is connected the story of a desperate battle. As was not unusual, the 
Mohawks were paying these eastern parts a visit of mischief, and a 
party of them had suffered repulse in an encounter with the Pena- 
cooks. The latter, in precaution against their persistent foes, with- 
drew, men, women, and children, within the fort on Sugar Ball, along 
the strongly-built walls of which were stored their baskets of newly- 
harvested corn. The Mohawks, the more enraged for their repulse, 
appeared in force on Fort Eddy plain, and took threatening position. 
A time of mutual watch and of mutual defiance passed ; for the Pen- 
acooks dared not " fight in the field, nor the Mohawks to attack the 
fort." 2 Then it was that a Mohawk was seen carelessly strolling 
across Sugar Ball plain, southward of the bluff, and at its foot. The 
decoy drew out of the fort warrior after warrior, in hot pursuit, while 
he sped away to the river. Meanwhile, the main force of the wily 
Mohawks, having crossed the river above, had, by a roundabout march, 
drawn near the Penacook stronghold, and hidden there. With a war- 
whoop more startling than that of the pursuers in the plain, they at 
last sprung from their ambush upon the fort, now thinned of defend- 
ers. But the warriors, lured into deceptive chase, were not slow to 
return, and to join obstinate battle for the possession of their fortress 
and its precious contents. 

Tantalizing tradition tells not definitely the result. It leaves, how- 
ever, the inference of an indecisive battle, in which both sides suffered 

1 See St. Aspenquid, in note at close of chapter; also, Potter's Manchester, 28. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 20. 


severely; the baffled "Mohawks leaving their dead and wounded on 
the ground " 1 with those of the demoralized Penacooks. The diver- 
sity of skulls among the human bones unearthed in later times, in 
what is supposed to have been a burying-ground, northward of the 
fort, denotes a promiscuous burial of the Algonquin and the Iroquois 
dead. The traditional statement, " that from the fatal day the al- 
ready reduced force of the Penacooks was broken into fragments, and 
scattered, 1 ' 2 seems exaggerated in view of what is known from other 
sources of information. The day may have been one of serious dis- 
aster ; and may help to account for the weakened condition of the 
Penacooks in 1623, as well as tend to suggest the date of the battle 
as being toward the end of the sixteenth century or early in the 

When, in 1620, the first permanent English settlement in New 
England was made at Plymouth, the strong chieftain, Passaconaway 
— or Papisseconewa, the " Child of the Bear"- —was, as he had 
been for years, at the head of the Penacook nation, or confederacy. 
He is first historically mentioned by Christopher Levett, " His 
Majesty's Woodward, and one of the Council of New England," who, 
late in 1625, visited David Thomson, at his new plantation, taken up, 
that year, at Odiorne's Point, or Pannaway, in permanent occupation, 
as the first English settlement in New Hampshire. In a diary of 
this visit to the region of the Piscataqua, Levett records that he saw an 
Indian, whom he calls " Conway," in a natural English abbreviation of 
the real but lengthy Indian name. That the chief sachem of the Pen- 
acooks should have been in that vicinity at that time seems reason- 
able, both from his custom of making visits, or taking up temporary 
residence, among the subordinate sagamoreships in the region by the 
sea, and from the special interest he must have felt in the new white 
settlement within his domain. 

He was now perhaps fifty or sixty years of age. To have gained 
the position of power and influence which he undeniably held with 
his warlike people, he must have been efficient upon the war-path, 
and the scalps of defeated foes must have hung from his wigwam 
pole. He had probably led in the wars, offensive and defensive, of 
which mention has already been made. And from all that is known 
of him, the inference seems just, that a superior discernment and 
moderation, together with an extraordinary skill in the arts of the 
juggler and the incantations of the medicine man, striking the imag- 
ination of the untutored red man as miraculous, and that of the 
superstitious white man as devilish, had quite as much to do in estab- 
lishing his power, as his prowess in war. Morton, an ancient and 

1 Bouton's Concord, 20. ? Bouton's Concord, 26, 


contemporary historian, quaintly writes of him : "That sachem is a 
Powah — that is, a witch, or sorcerer, that cures by the help of the 
devil — of greate estimation amongst all kind of salvages. There hee is 
at their Revels — which is the time when a greate company of savages 
meete from severall parts of the countree, in amity with their neigh- 
bours — hath advanced his honor in his feats or juggling tricks, to the 
admiration of the spectators, whome hee endeavoured to persuade 
that hee would goe under water to the further side of a river to 
broade for any man to undertake with a breath; which thing hee per- 
formed by swimming over, and deluding the company with casting a 
mist before their eies that see him enter in and come out, but no part 
of the way hee has bin seene. Likewise, ... in the heat of 
summer, to make ice appear in a bowle of faire water; first, having 
the water set before him, he hath begunne his incantation — and before 
the same hath been ended, a thicke cloude has darkened the aire, and 
on a sodane a thunder-clap hath bin heard that has amazed the 
natives ; instant hee hath showed a firme peace of ice to noate in the 
midst of the bowle in the presence of the vulgar people, which doubt- 
less was done by the agility of Satan, his consort." 1 With such 
power over the imagination of the red men of the forest, Passacona- 
way had inspired them with the reverential belief that he was 
endowed with supernatural powers, and that he who could do those 
wonderful things, and such others, as "make a dry leaf turn green, 
water burn and then turn to ice, and take the rattlesnake in his hand 
with impunity,"- —must have control over their destinies, and, conse- 
quently, should have their obedience. Indeed, it was the case of the 
greatest mind finding its fit place as the ruling one. 

Passaconaway was not at first a friend of the English who came to 
possess the Atlantic coast ; he disliked them as dangerous intruders, 
and would fain have prevented them from " sitting down here/' He 
tried against them his mystic arts, but no sorceries could avail against 
the white man's encroachments. In 1631, the English settlements in 
his neighborhood were not so strong as necessarily to have precluded 
the idea of their extermination by war from the mind of the jealous 
chieftain. But his discernment and moderation now swayed his con- 
duct ; he was too " politic and wise a man " — as the Apostle Elliot has 
characterized him — to resort to war. Military considerations do not 
seem to have actuated his early pacific policy ; for he had at least five 
hundred warriors at his command — a body of fighting men, who, prac- 
tising the savage tactics of ruse and ambuscade, though in small force, 
were equivalent, for the destructive purposes of the Indian campaign, 
to many times the same number of white troops employing the usual 

1 Force's Hist. Tracts, Vol. 2; " N. E. Canaan," 25-26. 


methods of civilized warfare. He could have put the eagle's " feather 
in the scalp-lock,'" and urged the hostile onsets of his fighting men, to 
the present woe of Hilton's Point and Strawberry Bank, and even of 
the three-hilled Boston in the strong colony of Massachusetts Bay. 
But he refrained ; for with the clairvoyance of superior wisdom he 
appears to have realized the inherent strength of Anglo-Saxon civil- 
ization, that should go on conquering and to conquer, whatever 
aboriginal savagery might do to hinder. He bowed to the inevitable, 
and accepted such terms as destiny offered. In his forecast, war with 
the English was sure destruction to his race ; and that forecast cer- 
tainly found terrible verification, in 1637, in the annihilation of the 
Pequots. Hence Passaconaway's pacific intention, deliberately formed, 
was permanent, being strengthened, as the years went on, by a 
desire to keep the friendship of his English neighbors, and secure 
their protection against the hostile " Tarratines of the east and the 
Mohawk of the west." He overcame jealousy, and became willing to 
sell lands, with " fishing, fowling, hunting, and planting " rights re- 
served. As early as 1632 he cheerfully delivered up to Massachusetts 
an Indian who had killed a white trader. He also learned thoroughly 
the hard lesson, how to bear and forbear ; for those whose favor he 
always sought to conciliate did not always reciprocate in acts of kind- 
ness or justice. Thus, in 1642, upon a false alarm of an Indian con- 
spiracy, the Massachusetts authorities sent forty men to disarm 
Passaconaway, quietly abiding in his wigwam in the vicinity of 
Ipswich or Newbury. Prevented by a storm from reaching the 
sachem, the armed messengers contented themselves with investing 
the wigwam of his son, Wonolancet, and dragging him away, together 
with his squaw and little child. Breaking from the rope by which he 
was led along, Wonolancet attempted to escape, but, narrowly eluding 
the shots fired after him, was recaptured. Thereupon, the authori- 
ties, fearing that the outrage inflicted by their reckless agents upon 
the family of Passaconaway might disaffect him, sent him an apology, 
coupled with an invitation " to come to Boston and converse with 
them." To this, the chieftain made the reply, not lacking in dignity : 
" Tell the English, when they restore my son and his squaw, then I 
will, of my own accord, render in the required artillery." "Accord- 
ingly," says Governor Winthrop, " about a fortnight after, he sent his 
eldest son, who delivered up his guns." The same year, too, he gave 
his consent to the sale of lands at Pentucket, or Haverhill, " to the 
inhabitants thereof." But while putting away resentment, and show- 
ing an obliging disposition toward his white neighbors, " The Merri- 
mack Sachem " did not hurry to come formally under the government 
of Massachusetts, and it was not- till 1644 that he, with his sons. 


" subscribed to articles " of submission. This result had been earn- 
estly desired by the ambitious colony, which had just brought into a 
forty years 1 union with itself, the then thinly inhabited region of New 
Hampshire, represented by its four settlements at Dover, Portsmouth, 
Exeter, and Hampton. 

Though now a subject of Massachusetts, Passaconaway held to the 
manners and customs of his race. In the planting season, when the 
" oak leaf became as large as a mouse's ear,' 1 he found one favorite 
abode on Penacook (or Sewall's) island, and another at Naticook near 
the mouth of the Souhegan. There and elsewhere along " the great 
river,'" on the fertile intervals, were the fields of corn, — with beans, 
pumpkins, gourds, and melons interspersed, — which repaid rude cul- 
tivation by considerable crops. The withe-handled clam-shell hoe, 
wielded by a strong squaw, with a papoose strapped upon her back, 
proved a not very indifferent cultivator; and an ale wife or two, or 
even a shad, placed in the hill was no ineffective fertilizer. 

In the fishing season, the Penacook sachem, with sagamores and 
peoples, took temporary abode at Amoskeag or Pawtucket, where the 
salmon and other fish swarmed, or at Ahquedaukee, 1 as the Indians 
called "The Weirs," where abounded the shad, having parted com- 
pany with the salmon at the meeting of the Pemigewasset and 
Winnepesaukee confluents of the Merrimack. It was a lively season 
of utility and pleasure for the " salvages," then gathered and quar- 
tered in the nomadic villages of wigwams, simple of construction, 
easily set up and easily removed. 

It was during the fishing season of 1648 that John Elliot, the 
" Apostle of the Indians," in his work of " gathering companies of 
praying Indians," visited Pawtucket Falls, and here met Passa- 
conaway, with two of his sons. Elliot writes : " This last spring, I 
did meet old Papassaconaway, who is a great sagamore, and hath 
been a great witch in all men's esteem, and a very politic wise man. 
The last year, he and all his sons fled when I came, pretending feare 
that we would kill him. But this year, it pleased God to bow his 
heart to hear the word. I preached out of Malachi 1:11, which I 
render thus to them : From the rising of the sun to the going down 
of the same, thy name shall be great among the Indians ; and in 
every place prayers shall be made to thy name, — pure prayers, — for 
thy name shall be great among the Indians. . . . After a good 
space, this old Papassaconaway [did] speak to this purpose : — ' That 
indeed he had never prayed unto God as yet, for he had never heard 
of God before as now he doth.' And he said further : that he did 
believe what I taught them to be true, and for his own part, he was 

1 Potter's Manchester, 33. 


purposed in his heart henceforth to pray unto. God, and that he 
would perswade all his sonnes to do the same — pointing at two of 
them who were then present, and naming such as were absent. His 
sonnes present, especially his eldest sonne, — who is a sachem at 
Wadchusett, — gave his willing consent to what his father had prom- 
ised, and so did the other who was but a youth. And this act of his 
was not only a present motion that soon vanished, but a good while 
after [he] said that he would be glad if I would come and live in 
some place thereabouts and teach them, and that if any good ground 
or place that hee had would be acceptable to me, he would willingly 
let me have it." 

Though Passaconaway seems himself to have been well convinced 
of the excellence of ''praying to God," — as the Indians called "all 
religion,"- —yet " he had many men who would not believe," or 
harken to him, and he " earnestly, importunately invited " Elliot " to 
come and live there, and teach them ; " urging that ministrations 
more frequent than " once a year " were necessary to convince them. 
And the request was urged with such " gravity, wisdom, and affection " 
that the Apostle's heart yearned " much towards them," and he had 
" a great desire to make an Indian town that way " — up along the 

Subsequent years must have been quiet ones for the aged chieftain, 
since nothing is heard of him for ten years. In 1(359, Major Richard 
Waldron, of Dover, who was much engaged in Indian traffic, met, at 
their invitation, Passaconaway and several other sagamores, at Pena- 
cook, where they were with " a great many Indians, at the fort which 
was by the river's side." 1 The next year, 1660, there was a great 
gathering of Indians at Pawtucket Falls. They were of those subject 
to the authority of the " great sachem of Penacook." Passaconaway 
was there, venerable and venerated ; and feeling that the end of a 
long life was near, spoke, at the feast, impressive words of fatherly 
advice. The substance of that farewell speech, which was heard by 
an Englishman 2 present, has been transmitted thus in history 3 : 

" I am now ready to die, and not likely to see you ever met to- 
gether any more. I will now leave this word of counsel with you, 
that you may take heed how you quarrel with the English ; for 
though you may do them much mischief, yet assuredly you will all 
be destroyed and rooted off the earth, if you do : for I was as much 
an enemy to the English on their first coming into these parts, as 
anyone whatsoever ; and I did try all ways and means possible to 
have destroyed them, — at least, to have prevented their sitting down 
here, — but I could no way effect it [meaning by his incantations and 

l N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. I, 290. 2 Daniel Gookin. 'Hubbard's New England. 


sorceries] ; therefore I advise you never to contend with the English 
nor make war with them." 

In sad sequel to such pathetic words of unrepining appeal, came 
those of two years later, when the old chief, former lord of the 
Merrimack valley, hut now threatened with utter dispossession, 
through English grants, petitioned the government of Massachusetts, 
on this wise: "The petition of Papisseeonnewa in the behalf of 
himself, as also of many other Indians who now for a long time, 
o'rselves [and] o'r progenators [were] seated upon a tract of land 
called Naticot, . . . now in the possession of Mr. William 
Brenton of Rode Hand, marchant, . . . by reason of which 
tracte of lande beinge taken up as aforesaid yr pore petitionr with 
many others is in an onsetled condition. . . . The humble re- 
quest of yr petitionr is that this honerd Courte wolde to grante vnto 
vs a parcell of land for o'r comfortable cituation ; to be stated for o'r 
Enjoyment, as also for the comfort of oths after us."' In answer to 
this petition of the aged and impoverished sachem, whose submission 
to the jurisdiction of Massachusetts had been anxiously sought and 
gladly accepted, twenty years before, the Court judged " it meete to 
grant to the said Papisseconneway, and his men or associates about 
Naticot, above Mr. Brenton's lands, where it is free, a mile and a 
half on either side Merrimack river in breadth, [and] three miles on 
either side in length ;" including, at the suggestion of the surveyors, 
"two small islands," 1 on one of which tw Papisseconneway had lived 
and planted a long time, — and a small patch of intervale land on the 
west side of the river, by estimation, about forty acres, which joineth 
their land to the Souhegan river." 2 On this contracted estate, the 
old chieftain probably spent the remnant of his days, ever faithful to 
the English and praying to their God, — now his. It is supposed that 
his death occurred at the age of a hundred years or more, and between 
the years 1(363 and 1669 3 : certainly, at the latter date, his son 
Wonolancet held the sachemship. 

Six children of Passaconaway are mentioned in historical records, 
four sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Nanamocomuck, was, 
for awhile, sagamore of the Wachusetts ; the second, Wonolancet, 
was sachem of the Penacooks; of the two other sons, Unanunquoset 
and Nonatomenut, little or nothing, save their names, is known. One 
of the daughters married Nobhow, the sagamore of Pawtucket ; 
Wanunchus, 4 or Wenuchus, the other, became the wife of Monto- 
wampate, or James, as called by the English, sagamore of Saugus. 

1 See note at close of chapter. 

2 xMass. Archives, cited in Potter's Manchester, 61-2-3. 

3 See note at close of chapter. 

4 See Wanunchus, in note at close of chapter. 


The latter marriage, which, as "The Bridal of Penacook," the 
poetic genius of Whittier has treated with fancy's graceful touch, has 
in its simple facts historic interest. According to Thomas Morton, 
who wrote in 1(332, the young " sagamore of Saugus, when he came 
to man's estate, made choise of a lady of noble discent, daughter of 
Papasquineo, the sachem or sagamore of the territories neare Merri- 
mack river — a man of the best note and estimation in all those parts, 
and ... a great liigromancer, — and with the consent and good 
liking of her father," took her " for his wife. Great entertainment 
hee and his receaved " in Penacook, " where they were fested in the 
best manner . . . according to the custome of their nation, with 
reveling, and such other solemnities as is usual amongst them. The 
solemnity being ended," the father caused " a selected number of his 
men to waite upon his daughter " to the home of " her lord and hus- 
band — where the attendants had entertainment by the sachem of 
Saugus and his countrymen." At length, the young wife having " a 
great desire to see her father and her native country, . . . her 
lord, willing to pleasure her, . . . commanded a selected num- 
ber of his owne men to conduct his lady to her father ; where, with 
great respect they brought her, and having feasted there awhile, re- 
turned to their owne country — leaving the lady to continue there at 
her owne pleasure, amongst her friends and old acquaintance. . . . 
She passed away the time for a while, and, in the end, desired to 
return to her lord." Her father sent messengers "to the younge 
sachem, his sonne-in-law, to let him understand that his daughter was 
not willing to absente herself from his company any longer" and to 
request " the younge lord to send a convoy for her. lint hee, stand- 
ing upon tearmes of honor, and the maintaining of his reputatio, 
returned to his father-in-law this answere : that when she departed 
from him, hee caused his men to waite upon her to her father's terri- 
tories, as it did bcome him ; but, now [that] shee had an intent to 
returne, it did become her father to send her back with a convoy of 
his own people ; and that it stood not with his reputation to make 
himself or his men so servile [as] to fetch her againe. Papasiquineo, 
having this message returned, was inraged to think that his son-in- 
law did not esteeme him at a higher rate than to capitulate with him 
about the matter, and returned him this sharpe reply : That his daugh- 
ter's blond and birth deserved more respect than to be so slighted, 
and, therefore, if he would have her company, hee were best to send 
or come for her. The young sachem, not willing to undervalue him- 
self e, and being a man of stout spirit, did not stick to say that he 
should either send her by his owne convoy, or keepe her, for he was 
not determined to stoope so low." 


" So much," adds Morton, " these two sachems stood upon tearme 

of reputation with each other, [that] the one would not send her, and 

the other would not send for her, lest it should be any diminishing 

of honor on his part that should seem to comply ; [so] that the lady, 

—when I came out of the country, — remained still with her father." 

How long Wanunchus remained away from her punctilious lord, 
Montowampate, or how she returned to him, is not known. But 
she was back with him in August, 1632, when a hundred " eastern 
Indians, called Tarratines," coming " with thirty canoes, assaulted, in 
the night, the wigwam of the sagamore of Agawam," at Ipswich, 
where Montowampate, or James, and his wife, Wanunchus, were on a 
visit. " They slew seven men, wounded James, and carried others 
away captive, amongst whom was the wife of James." 1 The captives, 
however, were soon returned, with expectation of ransom. 

The next year, " James, sagamore of Saugus, died of small-pox, 
and most of his folks," as says Winthrop. It is not thought that 
Wanunchus died with her husband, for she seems afterwards to have 
been " a principal proprietor of lands about Naumkeage, now Salem." 
A widow, after a chequered wedded life of five years, and still young, 
it is not an improbable surmise that she returned to her father at 
Penacook, where, certainly, were living, half a century or more later, 
1686, two squaws, her granddaughters. 2 

As already seen, Wonolancet, the second son of Passaconaway, 
had by 1669 — possibly four or five years earlier — succeeded his 
father as sachem of the Penacooks. He was born, probably, about 
1619. His name, which signifies "breathing pleasantly," and which 
was received, it is supposed, according to the Indian custom, after 
reaching manhood, surely befitted his character. Mention has been 
made of his outrageous capture, in 1642, at the false alarm of Indian 
conspiracy. Afterward for years he dwelt upon the small island of 
Wiekasauke, in the Merrimack, above the present Lowell. This 
pleasant home he was licensed by the General Court of Massachu- 
setts, at his own request, to sell in 1659, to John Webb, in order to 
obtain money for redeeming his elder brother, Nanamocomuck, from 
imprisonment on a surety debt. For this generous act of brotherly 
kindness, he was granted a hundred acres " on a great hill about 
twelve miles west of Chelmsford, because he had a great many chil- 
dren and no planting grounds." Six years later, by new adjustments, 
Wiekasauke was restored to him ; and there he was living when he 
became sachem. After that event he seems to have had permanent 
residence awhile at Penacook. 

1 Hubbard's New England, cited in Bouton's Concord, 34. 

2 Felt's Salem, cited in Bouton's Concord, 34. 


In 1(369 or '70, he removed, with at least a part of his tribe, " to 
Pawtuckett, and built a fort on the heights southeast of the river." 
This fort. was only for refuge and better protection, especially against 
the Mohawks. That at Penacook was also kept in repair, and some 
of the more resolute and warlike of the tribe doubtless permanently 
occupied it and its neighborhood. Wonolancet had his home in the 
" desirable position " on Wickasauke, but continued to occupy, in 
their season, the planting grounds at Souhegan and Penacook, and 
the fishing-places at Amoskeag and elsewhere up the river. Whether 
or not his change of permanent residence had immediate connection 
— as elsewhere stated — with the deadly fight at the Penacook fort, 
before described, it is certain that he preferred an abode and refuge 
further down the river and nearer the compact English settlements. 

AVonolancet was a man of peace, — an Indian with the warlike and 
revengeful element left out of his nature or eradicated from it. He 
would, as best he could, defend against Indian foes ; but against 
the English he would never offend, however grievously provoked,— 
following in this both his own convictions and the injunctions of his 
father. But though in his life he had been wont to exemplify the 
Christian virtues, yet not till 1671 did he, " a sober and grave per- 
son, and of years between fifty and sixty," make profession of the, 
Christian faith. "Many endeavors," writes Gookin, "have been 
used several years to gain this sachem to embrace the Christian 
religion ; but he hath stood off. — A great reason that hath kept him 
off, I conceive, hath been the indisposition and averseness of sundry 
of his chief men and relations to pray to God, and which he foresaw 
would desert him, in case he turned Christian." But in May of that 
year, at his wigwam near Pawtucket Falls, after a sermon preached 
by Mr. Elliot, Wonolancet stood up and said : " You have been 
pleased for four years last past, in your abundant love, to exhort, 
press, and persuade us to pray to God. I am very thankful to you 
for your pains. I have all my days used to pass in an old canoe, 
and now you exhort me to change, and leave my old canoe, and 
embark in a new canoe, to which I have hitherto been unwilling. 
But now I yield myself up to your advice, and enter into a new 
canoe, and do engage to pray to God hereafter." 

As his conversion had been deliberate, so was it permanent ; and 
Gookin could say three years later : " I hear this sachem doth per- 
severe, and is a constant and diligent hearer of God's word, 
and though sundry of his people have deserted him since he sub- 
jected to the gospel, yet he continues and persists." 

In 1675, King Philip's War came on ; but the son of Passacon- 
avvay refused to side with the son of Massassoit in the attempt to 


annihilate New England civilization. But friendly as well as hostile 
Indians were objects of suspicion to their white neighbors, and if 
those who were hostile did mischief, it was too often imputed to 
those who were friendly. Besides, the hostile Indians were pressing 
him to join their side. Thus, between two fires, — troublesome 
solicitation to hostility against the English and false suspicion of 
such hostility, — Wonolancet determined to maintain strict neutrality 
in the woods of New Hampshire, and thither he withdrew, " and 
quartered about Penacook. " The General Court of Massachusetts, 
because he did not return " after the planting season was over/' 
ordered "a runner or two" to be sent "to persuade him to come in 
again and live at Wamesit, and to inform the Indians at Penacook 
and Naticook that if they will live quietly and peaceably they shall 
not be harmed by the English." Accordingly, early in October, 
1675, the " runners " set forth with their message, and also bore 
Governor Leverett's " saf e conduct " in writing, for Wonolancet to 
have " free liberty in a party not exceeding six, of coming unto, and 
returning in safety from, the house of Lieutenant Thomas Hinchman 
at Naumkeke, and there to treat with Captain Daniel Gookin and Mr. 
John Elliot," who were fully empowered "to conclude with " him, 
u upon such meet terms and articles of friendship, amity, and sub- 
jection as were formerly made and concluded between the English 
and old Passaconaway," his "father, and his sons and people." 
They did not get sight of Wonolancet, but sent him the message. 
He did not, however, see fit to comply, and thus bring himself into 
the entanglements of the fearful war of races then raging in Massa- 
chusetts. Now, his religious conversion having detached some of 
his people, and his pacific disposition having disaffected the more 
warlike spirits, he had not with him, at that time, above one hundred 
Penacook and Naumkeke Indians. The Massachusetts authorities 
imputed a hostile intent to the friendly chief's non-return, and, 
through nervous fear, exaggerated his meager band into a dangerous 
enemy " at Penagog, said to be gathered there for the purpose of 
mischief." Hence, straightway, Captain Mosely, who had been 
fighting with success to the southward, was sent up to Penacook, 
with a hundred men, to dispel the danger menaced from that quarter. 
Wonolancet, having " intelligence by scouts " that the English were 
at hand, withdrew with his men from the fort, " into the woods and 
swamps, where," as Gookin says, " they had opportunity enough in 
ambushment, to have slain many of the English soldiers, without any 
great hazard to themselves, — and several of the young Indians were 
inclined to it." But their sachem, by his wisdom and authority, 
restrained his men, and suffered not an Indian to appeal' or shoot 


a gun ; while, within easy musket range of the red men in watching, 
the white soldiers burnt wigwams and destroyed the winter stores of 
dried fish. Thereupon, Wonolancet withdrew farther into the wil- 
derness, and, with his people, passed the winter (1675-76), or the 
greater part of it, about the head-waters of the Connecticut, 

King Philip's War proper came to an end in the summer of 1676 ; 
but it had a bloody sequel in Maine and New Hampshire, which, 
commencing later than the war it continued, and from somewhat 
different motives, ended in 1678. This might be called Squando's 
war, after its chief instigator, the Saco sagamore and medicine-man, 
who was of great repute and influence in that country, and who, 
from personal wrong, hated the English, and sought revenge. Into 
this war the Ossipees and Pequawkets had been lured ; but having 
lost many men, and suffering from hunger in course of the winter, 
they came to terms with Major Waldron, prominent in military 
affairs in that region. Somewhat later, in the year 1676, a treaty 
" of peace and mutual good offices " was negotiated, at Cocheco, 
between the chiefs of "the Indians of the eastern parts" and a com- 
mittee of the general court of Massachusetts. To this treaty, Won- 
olancet, having returned from his self-banishment, and having re- 
paired to Dover, on invitation of Major Waldron, affixed his signa- 
ture, as did Squando, with six other prominent Indians. But the 
" strange Indians,*'- —as those were called who had fought to the 
southward against the English, — now, in their hopeless defeat and 
fear of extirpation, sought the hospitality of the Penacooks, who had 
not participated in the war, and of the Ossipees, Pequawkets, and 
other tribes who had been hostile, but were now in peaceful submis- 
sion under treaty. These cowering guests hoped thus to escape 
punishment, in becoming identified with their entertainers. 

The Massachusetts authorities, however, had no tenderness for 
" strange Indians,*' and, in despatching two companies eastward 
where hostilities still continued, they ordered the captains, Syll and 
Hathorne, to seize " all who had been concerned with Philip in the 
war." Upon the arrival of the companies at Dover, on the 6th of 
September, 1676, they found assembled there four hundred mixed 
Indians, — and among them the kindly and innocent Wonolancet,— 
all relying upon the promise of good usage made by " their friend and 
father," Major Waldron. The captains would fain have fallen upon 
them all without delay, but were dissuaded by the Major from ex- 
posing both friends and foes to peril of life and limb in a "promiscous 
onslaught." He, while owing, as they owed, obedience to Massachu- 
setts, yet wishing to keep his word of protection to his red guests, 
suggested this stratagem : In a pretended military training, to array, 


in sham fig-lit, the Indians against the English, and by dexterous 
manoeiiver, surround, seize, and disarm the whole body, without 
personal harm. The stratagem was successful. " A separation was 
then made," says Belknap, " Wonolancet, with the Penacook Indians, 
and others who had joined in making peace . . . were dis- 
missed ; but the ' strange Indians ' who had fled from the southward 
and taken refuge among them were made prisoners to the number of 
two hundred; and being sent to Boston, seven or eight of them, who 
were known to have killed any Englishmen, were condemned and 
hanged ; the rest were sold into slavery in foreign parts." Waldron's 
action, though " highly applauded by the general voice of the colony," 
left revenge in many a savage breast, which the veteran's life-blood, 
just thirteen years later, could alone appease. 

But it was with no revenge in his heart, though, doubtless, with 
much sadness, and a painful distrust of English faith, that, by order 
of the court, Wonolancet retired, with his people, to Wickasaukee 
and Chelmsford. There, under the " care " and " inspection " of Mr. 
Jonathan Tyng of Dunstable, he remained a year, conducting him- 
self, says Gookin, " like an honest Christian man, being one that, in 
his conversation, walks answerably to his knowledge." The un- 
reasonable suspicion of his English neighbors must have grieved him, 
still he could find some compensation in the happy consciousness of 
his honest and effective friendliness. He could point, with the 
triumph becoming a noble deed, to his bringing back from savage 
captivity a widow and five children, after saving them from the fires 
already kindled for their burning. With a smile upon a grave face 
where smiles were rare, he could say, " Me next," to the good minis- 
ter of Chelmsford, who " desired to thank God," that the town had 
suffered so little from the Indian enemy. 

This sachem " in the care " of Mr. Tying had reasons to be ill at 
ease. His attendant band had dwindled to a few ; " he had but 
little corn to live on for the ensuing winter, for the English had 
plowed and sown his land before he came in ; " and " he lived at a 
dangerous frontier place," exposed to prowling Mohawks and Abe- 
nakis — they being still on the war-path to the eastward. Then it 
was that, in September, 1677, as Mr. Elliott says, " a party of 
French Indians, — of whom some were of the kindred of this sachem's 
wife, — fell upon this people, — being but few and unarmed, — and 
partly by persuasion, and partly by force, carried them away " to 
their settlement of St. Francis. 

This captivity of Wonolancet was, it would seem, a voluntary 
withdrawal under color of force — an expedient for relief and security 
and with no hostile intent towards white men from whose presence 


he, for a time, retired. The length of his stay at St. Francis is not 
known ; but it was not permanent. He is frequently reported as 
tarrying at Penacook and other places along the Merrimack. Sachem 
he must always have remained ; for by that title he is uniformly 
designated in the public records, and as such, to the latest years, dis- 
posed of lands belonging to the Penacook domain. But as early as 
1685, his nephew Kancamagus was also recognized as a sachem of 
the Penacooks, and, in that capacity, signed treaties. It is probable 
that the uncle, " the only surviving son of the great Passaconaway," 
retained the grand sachemship, with special authority over the peace- 
able and u praying " Penacooks ; while the nephew became the 
specially recognized sachem of the warlike majority of the nation. 

At the head, then, of the peace party of his tribe, Wonolancet, at 
Penacook in 1685, a year of much apprehension of savage outbreak, 
relieved, to a degree, the fears of the provincial authorities — for 
New Hampshire had become a royal province — by the friendly 
assurance that his Indians there " had no intention of war," nor, 
" indeed were in any posture for war, being about twenty-four men 
besides squaws and papooses," Again, four years later, while the 
warlike party of the Penacooks, under Kancamagus, were busily in- 
tent upon hostile enterprises, he was still the man of peace, as testi- 
fies this record of the Massachusetts Council, made in 1689; "Wio- 
lanset, the Penecooke sachem [and] Watanmn [or Wattanummon], 
one of his chief captains, came down to the Council, manifesting their 
friendship to the English, and promised the continuance thereof." 1 

Nine years later, Wonolancet was dwelling at Wamesit, and though 
still recognized as " chief sachem on Merrimack river," was again in 
care of Mr. Tyng, to whom, and others, he had transferred by deed, 
on several occasions, sundry lands in his domain. His years were 
now nearly fourscore. Where and how long he afterwards lived, 
neither history nor tradition says. But enough is known of the good 
sachem to warrant the assurance that, to the last, he obeyed the 
noble Passaconaway's dying injunction to his children ; " Never be 
enemies to the English; but love them and love their God also, 
because the God of the English is the true God, and greater than the 
Indian gods." 

In the latter years of Passaconaway's sachemship, and the early 
ones of Wonolancet's, Captain Richard Waldron and Mr. Peter Coffin, 
of Dover, having much fur trade with the Indians, had a trucking- 
house at Penacook, probably near the Bewail farm, and on the east 
side of the Merrimack. There was also an Indian fort in the vicinity. 
In the summer of 1668, Thomas Dickinson, an English employee of 

. i N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. II, 47. 


Waldron and Coffin, was killed at that trucking-house by a drunken 
Indian. In August of that year, the matter was, on warrant from 
Governor Bellingham of Massachusetts, investigated on the spot, by 
Thomas Hinchman " with sufficient aid ; " the evidence of Indians in 
the case being admitted. Among the witnesses were Tahanto and 
Pehaungun, called " sagamores." The " examinants " testified that 
" one Thomas Payne and the Englishman slain sent several Indians 
to their masters, Captain Walderne and Mr. Peter Coffin, at Piscata- 
qua," ordering the messengers to " bring from them guns, powder, 
shot and cloth, but instead thereof Captain Walderne and the said 
Peter Coffin returned those Indians to Pennycooke, loaded only with 
cotton cloth and three rundlets of liquors : with which liquors, there 
were at least one hundred of the Indians drunk for one night, one 
day and one half together." During " the time of their being so 
drunk . . . all the Indians went from the trucking-house, except 
one, who remained there drunk . . . and killed the Englishman 
— the other Englishman being at the time in the fort." 

It also appeared in evidence, " that an Indian, hearing the slain 
Englishman cry out, swam over the river, and went to the trucking- 
house, where he found the Englishman dead ; and that presently 
after he saw the Indian who killed " him " going towards the fort 
with his knife bloody in his hand." The murderer, being asked why 
he had done the deed, replied that he was " much sorry," and that 
" he had not done it, had he not been drunk." When told that " they 
must kill him for it," he said " he was willing to die for it," and that 
" he was much sorry for the death of the Englishman." 

The record then proceeds : " The Indians then belonging to the 
fort, held a council what to do with the said murderer," and "after 
some debate, passed sentence that " he should be shot to death ; which 
sentence was accordingly performed the then next ensuing day, about 
noon. The murderer died undauntedly, still saying " he was much 
sorry for the Englishman's death." 

In further investigation, four English witnesses testified that 
" going to Pennycooke " in the " month of June and riding to the 
fort there were told " of the killing of the Englishman ; and " that 
Tahanto, a sagamore, being afraid that " they " had brought liquors 
to sell, desired " them, " if " they "had any . . . to pour it upon the 
ground, for it would make the Indians all one Devill." This urgent 
appeal of the ancient sagamore, so strong in its simplicity, and so 
broad in application, — whatever its immediate effect, — was to per- 
petuate the name of Tahanto, as one to rally by in future organized 
efforts against the evils of strong drink. 1 

1 N. H. His. Society's Collections, Vol. III. 


It should be added that, in this case of nun and murder, justice 
did not content itself with the Draconian penalty, paid by the guilty, 
but repentant, red man; it brought white men also to account. 
Heavy blame was found to rest upon the murdered man, and his 
associate Payne. The latter, upon confession, "that he sold rum to 
the Indians," and "that he did this when Thomas Dickinson was 
killed," was fined thirty pounds. Waldron exculpated himself under 
oath; but Coffin was so far implicated that he confessed " his grief 
for the miscarriage, and more especially for the dishonor of God 
therein;" and, throwing himself upon the mercy of the court, was 
found to have "traded liquors irregularly, and contrary to law," and 
was fined in " the sum of fifty pounds and all charges." 

For the seven years onward from about 1683, Kancamagus, alias 
John Hogkins, or Hawkins, is more prominent in history than Won- 
olancet. He differed widely in character from the latter, as well as 
from his grandfather, Passaconaway. He loved the war-path, and 
was never in his element save when he was upon it. He was the 
'.' wild Indian " in his hatred of the whites, and in his sullen resent- 
ment and cunning revenge. His father, Nanamocomuck, Passacona- 
way's eldest son, having for some reason, come to fear, if not to hate, 
the English, left the Wachusetts, of whom he was sagamore, and 
retired to the country of the Androscoggins, in Maine, where his 
death occurred probably before that of Passaconaway. The son be- 
came prominent among the Androscoggin warriors, gained a chief- 
taincy, and "maintained a fort" in connection with Worombo, the 

It was natural that the more warlike of the Penacooks should will- 
ingly come under the sway of the active and fiery grandson of their 
greatest sachem, and so, as has already been seen, they did. Their 
numbers now constantly grew by accretions of restless and disaffect- 
ed men from various quarters, including many " strange Indians," 
among whom were not only the friends of those seized at Dover, in 
1676, and sold into slavery at Barbadoes, but also some of the latter 
themselves, who had returned from banishment. By 1684, the Pen- 
acooks under Kancamagus had become a source of serious apprehen- 
sion to their English neighbors. Finally, such alarm arose from the 
suspected hostile intents, not of the Penacooks alone, but of the east- 
ern savages in general, that the provincial government of New Hamp- 
shire, in desperate resort, invited the Mohawks " to fight against the 
Indians of the East." Nothing loth, those eager warriors got ready 
to make descent upon New England in the summer of 168o ; threat- 
ening to destroy all the Indians "from Narragansett to Pechypscott '" 
(Brunswick), in Maine. Kancamagus, at Penacook, heard of this. 


He hated the English no less, but he feared the Mohawks more. He 
applied to Governor Cranfield for protection, and promised submis- 
sion, but he got no satisfaction from that official or any other. Such 
neglect did not strengthen the sachem's amiable intent, if any he 
really had. He forthwith retired with most of his men to the An- 
droscoggins ; while the Sacos and neighboring tribes, hearing of the 
Mohawk threat, withdrew inland to Penacook. The alarm caused by 
this movement prompted the government to send messengers to that 
place, to order back those who had retired thither from the seaboard 
and to learn the truth. The messengers obeyed orders, and returned, 
as has before been said, with Wonolancet's peaceful assurance. Nego- 
tiations followed, which resulted in a treaty of mutual aid and protec- 
tion between the provincial council and the Indians of Maine and 
New Hampshire, which Kancamagus joined in signing, September 
19, 1685, and which secured peace for four years. 

" King William's War " was declared in 1689. Of course it meant, 
for New England, a border Indian war, instigated by the French, as 
meant all the wars of that period between France and Old England. 
There had been here, the year before, bloody premonitions of the 
coming struggle. For some of the Indians of Maine had undertaken 
hostile reprisal, — having grievances of their own against the English, 
and being also stirred up by the influential Frenchman, St. Castine, 
whose plantation at the mouth of the Penobscot had been wantonly 
despoiled by Andros, the Stuart viceroy of New England. Moreover, 
Kancamagus and his Penacooks had come into league with the 
Ossipees, Pequawkets, Sacos, Androscoggins, and other eastern tribes. 
With these were incorporated the " strange Indians." The Penacook 
sachem was a leading spirit in this savage conglomeration, and con- 
genial with him were such warriors as Mesandowit, Metambomet, 
of Saco, and Wahowah, or Hope-Hood, son of Robinhood, sachem of 
Kennebec. Hope-Hood had been especially mischievous, and had 
come to be characterized as " a tiger, and one of the most bloody 
warriors of the age." In April, 1689, — about the time when the 
Andros government was overthrown in revolution, leaving New 
Hampshire with no government, and Massachusetts with a provisional 
one, — the temporary authorities of the latter province ordered the 
despatch of a messenger to Penacook " to ascertain the number and 
situation of the Indians there, and to concert measures for securing 
Hope-Hood and other hostile Indians." The " tiger " was not then 
secured ; but he escaped, only to perish the next year, at the hands 
of friends who mistook him for a hostile Iroquois. 1 

The confederate warriors had rendezvous at Penacook fort, — and 

1 Belknap's New Hampshire (Farmer's edition), 133. 


there, in the early summer of 1689, they devised the surprisal of 
Cochecho, and made ready to wreak on Major Waldron, for alleged 
violation of faith and hospitality, the vengeance delayed for thirteen 
years, but not forgotten. Moreover, there existed grudges against 
the veteran Indian trader for alleged sharp practice in his business 
dealings with the red men, in which too often, as it was believed, his 
fist was made to answer " for a pound weight as against their furs." 1 
But the deadly designs of the hostile chiefs leaked out ; and, on 
the 22d of June, two friendly Indians, Job Maraniasquand and 
Peter Muckamug, hastened down to Chelmsford to inform Colonel 
Hinchman of the speedy mischief designed " by a gathering of 
Indians at Pennecooke," against the English — especially Major 
Waldron, at Cocheco. The informants also reported Hawkins as a 
" principal enemy and designer," who threatened " to knock on the 
head whosoever came to treat, whether English or Indians.'* 2 This 
startling intelligence was communicated to Thomas Danforth of the 
council, and by him to Governor Bradstreet, on the very day of its 
reception. But, for some unknown reason, — possibly, from the con- 
fusion resulting from the revolutionary deposition of the Andros 
government, — the matter did not receive attention till the 27th of 
June. Then a messenger was hurried off for Dover with a warning 
to Waldron, and with no time to spare, if the fell purpose of the sav- 
ages was to be defeated. But time had to be spared, for the messen- 
ger met with unavoidable delay at Newbury ferry. He could reach 
his destination only on the morning of the 28th of June ; too late, 
for during the previous night Kancamagus and his party had accom- 
plished the surprisal of Cocheco, and " with violence and rage de- 
stroyed, and laid waste before them." They had " crossed out their 
accounts" in gashes upon the breast of the dying Waldron ; they had 
slain twenty-two others — men, women, and children ; and, leaving in 
ashes six houses and " the mills upon the lower falls," they had taken 
away with them twenty-nine captives in unmolested retreat towards 

After this bold achievement at Dover, Kancamagus never returned 
to Penacook. He and his following probably sought security in 
Canada and Maine. He was outlawed by the general court of 
Massachusetts, and a price was set upon his head. Captain Noyes 
was sent with soldiers to Penacook, but found nothing except corn 
to destroy. The Penacooks had disappeared, — either hidden or fled. 

But, in 1690, Kancamagus came to severe fighting with Major 
Benjamin Church along the Androscoggin, in which he was worsted ; 
and in November of the same year, under the alias of Hawkins, he 

1 Belknap's New Hampshire (Farmer's edition, 78). - Potter's Manchester, 91-2. 


was one of the six eastern sachems who signed the trace of 
" Sackatehock," running until 1692. Thenceforth nothing is heard 
of the last war sachem of the Penacooks. The conjecture that he died 
not long after the truce of 1(390 derives likelihood from the fact 
that during the six remaining years of King William's War, and the 
nine of Queen Anne's which followed, no mention of him occurs ; for 
Kancamagus, if alive, with his vigor unspoiled by age, with his 
ungovernable propensity for warfare, and his undoubted ability as an 
Indian captain, must have been, sometime and somewhere, in the con- 
flicts of those days, and being in them would have been heard of in 
history. The inference, then, is reasonably safe that his death occur- 
red before that of Wonolancet, who was living in 1697, the chief 
sachem on the Merrimack. 

It has been seen that the immediate following of Kancamagus, 
directly engaged in the surprisal of Cocheco, with perhaps some 
others, permanently left Penacook. Possibly others of his adherents 
did not at once do so. At any rate, in one of the Indian assaults 
upon Haverhill — probably, that of 1693 — Isaac Bradley was one of 
the captives, and testified, some forty years later, that he " was taken 
prisoner by Indians, part of whom were of the Merrimack Indians, 
and others of them belonged to the Saco." : The term " Merrimack" 
seems a natural substitute enough for "Penacook"; especially in 
view of the broken condition of the tribe — part peaceful, part war- 
like. It is safe to conclude that the former, the adherents of Wono- 
lancet, — who was still alive, — were not in the foray upon Haverhill. 
The latter, then, the recent followers of Kancamagus, must have 
been of those who were engaged in that attack, and who either still 
dwelt in the Merrimack valley, or had temporarily returned thither. 
Bradley leaves this point in uncertainty, though he says he " went 
with them hunting to Merrimack river above Penicooke." 

Ultimately, however, these hostile Penacooks all left for Maine and 
Canada, to become parts of other Indian organizations. Thus some 
of them became merged with the Pequawkets, already composed of 
remnants of other tribes once belonging to the Penacook confederacy. 
The conglomerate Pequawkets, having located themselves upon the 
upper Saco and its branches, did much mischief for two or three 
years, till having been effectually humbled in Lovewell's tight at 
Fryeburg in 1725, they retired to the head waters of the Connecticut, 
and afterwards to St. Francis. Some of the peaceable Penacooks 
also removed to the latter place, where Wonolancet had once tarried ; 
but most of them remained in their old haunts, — hunting, fishing, and 
planting. The soil, however, was no longer theirs, save at the suffer- 

1 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XIX, 319-20. 


ance of those who had received it by deed from Wonolancet or his 
father, years ago. How far along into the next century they retained 
their distinct tribal organization is not known. But early in it, they 
had as a leading sagamore, resident at Penacook, one Wattanummon, 
or Walternummon, with whom Bradley, in his deposition already 
cited, says he " was well acquainted " after his return out of captivity 
about the year 1702, and while employed "for many years after as a 
pilot" up the river, and whom he styles "an Indian sachem and cap- 
tain of the Merrimack Indians." In 1703 the Penacooks were repre- 
sented by the same chief, under the name of Waternummon, in the 
conference held by Governor Dudley at Casco, with delegates from 
several Indian tribes. 

In this connection, the following entry 1 made in the Colonial Rec- 
ords of Massachusetts, as late as August 21, 1733, may have signifi- 
cance, while being otherwise of historic interest : " Wanalawet, chief 
of the Penacook Indians, and divers others of the tribes attending, 
were admitted to the council. Wanalawet made demand of the lands 
at Penicook, from Suncook to Contoocook, as his inheritance, saying 
that they were never purchased of him or his fathers ; and he, like- 
wise, in behalf of the Indians resorting to Penicook, prayed that a 
trading-house might be set up there. The Governor thereupon ac- 
quainted the Indians that Wonalanset, Chief Sachem on Merrimack 
river, had sold all those lands to the English almost forty years ago ; 
and the Secretary showed the Indians the record of his deeds, [at] 
which they expressed themselves satisfied, and acknowledged that 
the English had a good right to the said lands by those deeds. And 
then the Indians were dismissed." 2 

This occurred seven years after the permanent English occupation 
of Penacook ; and the brief official record awakens curiosity to know 
more of the chief, who, at that late day, was demanding his " inheri- 
tance," as never having been " purchased of him or his fathers." And 
while history tolerates no mere conjecturing, it can permit the ques- 
tion, — May not Wanalawet have been of the royal line of Passacona- 
way, and the last sachem of the thin and fading race of the Penacooks? 

It is recorded of the Indians who remained in Penacook until and 
after English settlement in 1725-'26, that they "were highly useful 
to the first inhabitants, supplying them with food in the winter of 
1726-'27, when almost in a state of starvation." 3 One of those who 
lingered in their old home after white occupation was Wattanummon, 
already mentioned as " one of the chief captains of Wonolancet," and 
as a sagamore. In 1683, as "Wattanummon," then resident at 

1 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV; Town Charters, Vol. I, 56-7. 

2 See Wanalawet in note at close of chapter. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 40. 


Wamesit, he signed, with Joseph Traske, another Indian, a deed con- 
veying to Jonathan Tyng, of Dunstable, a considerable tract of land 
lying on the west side of the Merrimack and along the Sonhegan. It 
is also recorded of him under the name of Waternnmmon, that while 
living at Newbury, in 1689, he preserved by friendly interference, 
Colonel Dudley Bradstreet and family, in a murderous attack made 
upon Andover by " a company of thirty or forty Indians." 

In 1726, the old and friendly sagamore, now living, as he had been 
for years, in Penacook, had his wigwam " on a knoll " beside the 
brook which, by the confluence of two smaller streams, becomes the 
outlet of the pond whose form has named it Horse Shoe. His rude 
dwelling stood near by and easterly from the site of the present high- 
way bridge, which bridge has been named for the chieftain, as has also 
the brook in which he set his eel-pots. He occupied the land which 
lay northerly of the brook from its junction with the Merrimack, 
and, which extending along the right bank of the latter for a consid- 
erable distance, bore the name of Wattanummbn's Field. It was into 
this open and extensive tract of tempting meadow that Captain 
Ebenezer Eastman one summer day went over from his own prem- 
ises across the river, with his men, to make hay. But the old man, 
gun in hand, soon appeared with his two sons to forbid the tres- 
pass ; asserting his claim to land and grass, and raising his gun to 
enforce it. The captain assented to the claim, called off his men 
from work, and invited the whole party to luncheon in the shade. 
A bottle was presented to the father, of which he drank freely and 
without scruple ; but a cup of its contents being offered one of the 
sons, the old man hastily interposed with " He no drink !" snatched 
away the cup, and swallowed the dram himself with gusto. (Jener- 
osity was born of the beverage, and the old sagamore-farmer, extend- 
ing his arms, exclaimed, " My land ! my grass ! all mine — every- 
thing ! You may cut grass — all you want ! " " After this friendly in- 
terchange of property — rum for grass,"' —says Dr. Bouton, " Captain 
Eastman and Wattanummon lived in peace on opposite sides of the 
river." What became of this former chief captain of Wonolancet, and 
true disciple of his pacific policy, is not known. 

Contemporary with Wattanummon seems to have been Pehaungun, 
" a celebrated warrior, whose wigwam and planting-grounds were on 
the east side of the river." 1 He died in 1732, at an advanced age. 
But it seems hardly probable that his age was so great as it must have 
been, if he was the person, who, named Pehaungun and described as 
an " ancient Indian," testified with Tahanto in the rum-and-murder 
trial of 1668. If the identity really exists, he must have been one 

1 Bouton's Concord, 48. 


hundred and twenty years old or more at his death, as some have 
supposed. But whatever his length of days, he certainly lacked, in 
the story told by tradition of his death, the moderation " which should 
accompany old age." It is related that the old warrior's wigwam was 
one night the scene of a " big drunk," with great noise and outcry 
that called Captain Eastman thither. Entering the wigwam he found 
the " ancient Indian " and his guests drinking heavily " from the 
bung-hole of a keg of rum." The English neighbor being invited to 
drink, " hoisted the keg to his mouth," but let more of the liquid fire 
run out than in. Pehaungun, angered at the ruse, as an insult to 
proffered hospitality, threatened to kill the offender. But with proper 
discretion, and in good order, Captain Eastman withdrew. 

Pehaungun did not awake the next morning, but lay dead in his 
wigwam. When those who had reveled with him would bury him, 
the fear fell upon them that the old warrior might return in spirit to 
plague them. They laid him in the ground, encoffined in a hollow 
log of pine, with lid of slab, and close fastening of withes bound all 
about ; and, to " make assurance double sure," they " stamped down 
hard " each layer of earth thrown in to fill the grave, repeating half 
triumphantly all the while, " He no get up. He no get up." Then 
the participants in this grotesque burial service, having, with " danc- 
ing, howling, wailing, and tearing of hair," set the grave about with 
boughs of willow, withdrew to conclude the last Indian funeral known 
to have been held in Penacook with another " big drunk ' —at which 
Pehaungun did not preside. 

Another incident of traditional Indian history, of date but little 
later than that of th } vhite settlement of Penacook, finds here 
appropriate place. The story runs, that Peorawarrah, a chief, having 
stolen the wife of another Indian living down the river, had, with 
his paramour, paddled his canoe to Sewall's island, and there landed 
for the night. The deserted husband, who had on foot traced the 
enamored pair to their landing place, lay in wait all night on the 
opposite east bank. At dawn Peorawarrah and his stolen squaw 
took canoe for further flight up the river. But by a turn in the cur- 
rent, the couple were brought within range of the injured husband's 
gun. At one shot, " both were killed — fell overboard and sunk." 
" The report of the gun was heard by one of the settlers — tradition 
says Ebenezer Virgin — who afterwards met the Indian who had 
satiated his revenge." 1 The latter told what he had done, and said, 
" Peorawarrah had good gun." Virgin verified the statement, by 
finding, in a search of the river, " Peorawarrah's gun " — a " good " 
one — which still exists, a valued relic and heirloom. 2 

1 Bouton's Concord, 47. 2 See note at close of chapter. 


The body of the woman was borne down stream and lodged upon 
the east bank of the Merrimack, where it was found bearing the bul- 
let's mark. It was buried in a piece of land, whch lies due west from 
Federal bridge, " bordering the river;" 1 and has since been known 
as trie " Squaw's Lot," in remembrance of the Indian Helen whose 
Paris was Peorawarrah. 

The chief scene of a famous exploit, in which a woman led, in the 
last year of King William's War, lay within the former limits of Pen- 
acook, though later exeluded from Concord by slight change of 
boundary. The story of that exploit has been often told, with many 
variations : its facts, without accretions of fancy, may here form an 
appropriate pendant to this chapter of Indian history. On the 15th 
of March, 1697, a band of Indians fell upon " the skirts of Haver- 
hill," 2 with intent to kill, ravage, burn, and captivate. Hannah 
Dustin, wife of Thomas, was lying at her home, still weak in child- 
lied, with her babe but seven days old, and with her nurse, Mary 
Neff, in attendance. Mr. Dustin, at work in his field, hearing the 
fearful war-whoop, hurried to his house. Ordering his children — 
seven of his eight, and of ages from two to seventeen — to make, with 

all haste, 
for " some 

ga r r l s o n 
in the town," he thought to res- 
cue his wife and infant child. 

Peorawarrah's Gun. 

But the savages had come so 
near, that, in despair of effecting this intent, he seized his gun, and, 
mounting his horse, rode on after his fleeing children, resolving that, 
when he should reach them, he would snatch up the one he loved most, 
and ride away to safety — leaving the others "under the care of the 
divine Providence." 2 And now he had come up with the panting group 
—but he could not choose one from among them, all so loved; he 
must defend them all, and with all live or die. Bringing up the rear 
of the fugitives, he kept the pursuers at bay, as they skulked behind 
tree and fence, firing ineffectual shots, while he with presented gun 
repelled their too near approach, until the baffled red-skins gave over 
the chase, and at length he and his precious charge unharmed reached 
the garrison a mile or more away. 

Meanwhile other "furious tawnies" 2 had invested the brave man's 
home, and, having taken prisoner the nurse seeking escape with the 
babe in her anus, had entered the house, and captured the astonished 
matron, who "saw the raging dragons rifle all that they could carry 
away, and set the house on fire." 2 Straightway Mrs. Dustin and her 

1 Bouton's, Concord, 46. 2 Mather's Magnalia. 


nurse, with " about a half a score of other English captives," 1 were 
put upon their northward march — helpless prisoners "of those whose 
tender mercies were cruelties/ 1 1 Indeed, they had not gone far, 
when before the dazed eyes of its mother, the merciless captors 
" dashed out the brains of the infant against a tree " ; 1 and, thence- 
forth, more than once, the hatchet was heard to crash out the life of 
some weary victim fainting by the way. Dreary and painful to the 
agonized mother, with but one shoe to her feet, was that journey, in 
an inclement season, through the wilderness, to the little island at 
the Contoocook's mouth, where her savage master tarried; 2 and 
where also were abiding another warrior, three women, seven chil- 
dren, and an English youth, Samuel Lannardson, taken captive at 
Worcester, the year before. Thence the prisoners were to be taken 
to Canada, and there sold to the French, for possible future release 
by ransom. 

At length, notice was given the " poor women " that they would 
soon set out for " a rendezvous of savages, which they call a town, 
somewhere beyond Penacook ; and . . . that when they came to 
this town, they must be stript, and scourged, and run the gauntlet 
through the whole body of Indians." 1 But Mrs. Dustin, pondering 
the woes that had befallen her, and dreading the woes that threatened 
her, at the hands of those whom she could esteem no better than the 
ravenous wild beasts, upon whose heads, as well as theirs, a price 
was set, felt herself nerved with strength for the heroic task of rescue. 
She braced up Mary Neff and the youth Lannardson to her purpose. 
Through the latter she sought instruction in the use of the tomahawk 
and scalping-knife. The youth asking his unwary master, where he 
would strike a man, if lie wished to kill him instantly, and how he 
would take off a scalp, the latter replied, — laying his finger on his 
temple, — " Strike here ! " l and added the desired information how 
to scalp adroitly. This information, communicated to the resolute 
women, found them apt learners. 

A few weeks elapsed, and the fatal night came, when, " a little be- 
fore break of day, " the three captives, " with wise division of labor," 3 
smote with tomahawks, deadly sure, the sleeping red-skins, — as they 
had been instructed, — and of them instantly killed ten. Mrs. Dustin 
slew her master, and Lannardson his, who had so unwittingly told 
him how to do it. One boy, purposely spared, disappeared in the 
darkness ; and an aged squaw, left for dead, rallied from the blows 
dealt her, and escaping to another encampment where other prisoners 

1 Mather's Magnalia. 

2 See Mrs. Dustin's Escape, in notes at close of chapter. 

3 Bancroft's United States, Vol. Ill, 188. Charles R. Coming's Address: Proceedings of 
N. H. Historical Society, Vol. II, 49. 


were held, told Hannah Bradley, also a captive from Haverhill, what 
her neighbors, Hannah Dustin and Mary Neff, had done. The scalps 
of the victims were taken and wrapped in linen stolen from her own 
house, to be witnesses of the almost incredible feat ; for else, who 
would believe their report? With these ghastly proofs, and with 
provisions gathered from the stores of the slain, Mrs. Dustin, taking 
also her dead master's gun and the tomahawk with which she slew 
him, set out, with her two companions, for Haverhill. However the 
journey thither was made, and whether on foot or in canoe, or par- 
tially by each, it was safely accomplished in the early days of April. 
On the twenty-first of that month, " after recovery from fatigue," 
Mrs. Dustin, accompanied by her husband, who had saved the chil- 
dren all but one, and by her late companions in captivity, arrived in 
Boston to ask of the General Court of Massachusetts recompense for 
" an extraordinary action in the just slaughter of so many of the 
barbarians." The scalps, gun, and tomahawk sufficiently enforced 
her petition, and, within a few weeks, a reward of fifty pounds was 
ordered to be paid — one half to Mrs. Dustin ; the other half, in equal 
parts, to Mary Neff and Samuel Lannardson. The feat elicited gen- 
eral admiration and approval, of which the doers received many tok- 
ens in presents of substantial value, including a generous gift from 
the governor of Maryland. The exploit involved no unwomanly 
element of revenge. It was an achievement of righteous vengeance, 
in which Hannah Dustin glorified the heroic in woman. 1 

Since the sixties of the eighteenth century and the French wars of 
that period no Penacook, or Indian of Penacook descent, has been 
seen in the valley of the Merrimack. Those red sons of the forest, 
branch of a still fading race, perished long ago, leaving to crumbling 
bluff or white man's excavations occasionally to reveal, as relics of 
aboriginal occupation, their buried bones. 1 The Penacook has become 
a memory ; but a memory worthy to be preserved in history, as best 
it may be, from inadequate data, as well as perpetuated in the appli- 
cation of the names of such noblemen of nature as Wattanummon 
and Tahanto, Wonolancet and Passaconaway, to the uses of modern 

1 See notes at close of chapter. 



St. Aspenquid. There is a legend which would identify an Indian 
apostle of Christianity, called St. Aspenquid, with Passaconaway, 
grand sachem of the Penacooks. That Indian, in May, 1688, died, 
and was buried on Mt. Again enticus, in Maine. His funeral was 
held there with much grotesque observance, and with the attendance 
of many sachems and warriors of various tribes. The legendary 
confusion of Passaconaway with St. Aspenquid has historical signifi- 
cance, as tending to show what the Penacook confederacy included in 
its eastward extension, and how widely prevalent was the authority 
and reverent estimation in which the great Penacook sachem was 
held. [See New Hampshire Historical Society Collections, Vol. Ill ; 
also Thatcher's Indian Biography, Vol. I, 322-3 ; also Albee's New 
Castle, 62.] 

Grant to Passaconaway. The grant of lands mentioned in the text 
included two small islands near Thornton's Ferry, later known as 
Heed's Islands. The whole tract afterwards reverted to the govern- 
ment, and was granted, in 1729, to Joseph Blanchard and others. 
[Bouton's Concord, 26.] 

Date of Passaconaway 's Death. The date 1665 has been assigned 
by some writers, but with no adequate reason given. [Plumer MSS. 
Papers in New Hampshire Historical Society Library.] 

Wanunchus. Whittier calls the Bride of Penacook Weetamoo, a 
name more euphonious — whether historically authentic or not — than 
Morton's Wanunchus. The form Wltamu is occasionally given. 

Wanalawet and the Minister of Rumford. In the "Annals of Con- 
cord," it is said, in a note on page 30 : " Rev. Mr. Walker, who was 
beloved by all his parishioners, was also esteemed by the Indians, 
and, when not in open war, they used to visit his house, where they 
were always well treated. At one time they came to his house com- 
plaining, in angry terms, that the white people possessed their lands 
unjustly. Mr. W. informed them that they were purchased of their 
chiefs, and that the deed signed by them was to be seen in Boston. 
He finally advised them to go and see it. To this they assented ; 
and, on their return, called and took some refreshments, and said 
that they had seen the papers, and were perfectly satisfied. This 
deed is the famous instrument of Wheelwright, now generally believed 
to be a forgery." 

The above statement assigns no date ; but it is reasonable to sup- 
pose that the facts therein mentioned belong to the year 1733 ; that 
the Indians mentioned were Wanalawet and his party ; and that 
they went to Boston to examine title deeds, at the suggestion of Mr. 


Walker, the minister of Rumford. The deed which they saw in 
Boston was doubtless one of Wonolancet's, and not the forged 
Wheelwright instrument, which, if seen, could have afforded no sat- 
isfaction, for it did not cover the territory of Rumford, or any other, 
within more than twenty miles distant. 

" PeoraivarraKs Grim." This gun — spoken of in the text, with 
illustration — descended at the death of Ebenezer Virgin to his son 
John ; then to his grandson John, from whom it was obtained by 
Jonathan Eastman, Esq. The gun, identically the same, except the 
stock, as when held by Peorawarrah, was carefully preserved by Mr. 
Eastman, and after his death descended to his grandson, Jonathan 
Eastman Pecker, in whose possession it still (1900) remains. 

Mrs. I) u stiii's ^Escape. It is not definitely known, and, probably, 
never will be, to what tribe of Indians the captor, or " master," of 
Mrs. Dustin belonged. It is known, however, from the testimony of 
Isaac Bradley, cited in the text, that, in the attack upon Haverhill, 
in 1(395, " Merrimack Indians " were engaged. It is not improbable 
that some of the same race may have had a hand in that of 1697. 
The man might have been of the party of Kancamagus removed to 
Maine or Canada; but at the instigation of Jesuit priests, and by 
French promises of reward for English scalps and captives, may 
have been induced to engage in hostile expeditions to the Merrimack 
valley, visiting familiar haunts and combining the hunt with war. 
On such an excursion the family might have accompanied the war- 
rior, and been lodged in a place of security, like that to which Mrs. 
Dustin and Mary Neff were brought, and where the warrior would 
be, as it were, at home, as, indeed, this one was, if a Penacook. 
According to Cotton Mather the man was a " praying Indian," after 
French instruction — a fact not inconsistent with the supposition that 
he was a Penacook, thus instructed. But, if, as Sewall says in his 
Diary, " he had lived in the family of the Rev. Mr. Rowlandson, of 
Lancaster, and told Mrs. Dustin that ' when he prayed the English 
way, he thought it was good, but now he found the French way 
better, ' the supposition that he was a Penacook seems untenable. 
-It is commonly asserted that the heroine's return to Haverhill 
was made by canoe. She must have used a boat in escaping from 
the island; but there is no evidence that, when she reached the 
bank of the Merrimack, she retained the frail skiff and sailed therein 
all the way home, down the swollen and rapid river. The supposi- 
tion seems reasonable, that she and her companions pursued their 
homeward way along the trail of the upward journey, which had 
not been hurried, and had doubtless left marks by which it could 
be easily retraced. — Another part of the story, as frequently told 



is that she forgot, at first, to scalp the victims, and had to return 
in the canoe, land again, and finish the ghastly work. This may be 
true ; but it seems rather improbable that the strong-nerved, heroic 
woman so far lost her head as to forget, even temporarily, that 
important finishing stroke of her deed of vengeance — a stroke in 
which she had taken pains to be specially instructed. — Mr. Chase, 
in his History of Haverhill, says that the tomahawk "was some 
years after lost in the woods near Mr. Dustin's " ; and that the 
piece of linen cloth, in which the scalps were wrapped, " Mrs. Dustin 
afterward divided among her daughters, and a part of it is still 
[1861] preserved by some of their de- 
scendants." The " gun continued in 
possession of the male line to the year 
1859, when it was presented to the 
Dustin Monument Association, of Ha- 
verhill, by Mrs. Luela H. Dustin, widow 
of Thomas Dustin, of Henniker, N. H." 
The Dustin Memorial. A granite 
memorial of Hannah Dustin's exploit 
was erected in 1874, on the island at 
the mouth of the Contoocook. It stands 
upon the part of the island lying east 
of the Northern Railroad; this parcel 
of land having been conveyed in trust 
for the purpose, by John C. and Calvin 
Gage, to the Rev. Nathaniel Bouton 
and Eliphalet S. Nutter, of Concord, 
and Robert B. Caverly, of Lowell. Dr. 
Bouton, in his History of Concord, was 
the first to suggest the idea of erecting 
the monument ; the other two trustees 
were especially efficient in giving the 
idea practical effect. Six thousand dol- 
lars were raised by subscription. The 

statue and pedestal were designed by William Andrews, of Lowell, 
sculptured in Concord granite, by Andrew Orsolini, James Murray, 
and Charles H. Andrews. It was unveiled on the 17th of June, 1874. 
with appropriate ceremonies, in the presence of many people. Ad- 
dresses were made, among which were those of the Rev. Dr. Bouton, 
John H. George, and Ex-Gov. Onslow Stearns, of Concord ; Charles 
C. Coffin, of Boston ; Robert B. Caverly and I). O. Allen, of Lowell ; 
George W. Nesmith and the Rev. William T. Savage, of Franklin ; 
the Rev. Elias Nason, of Billerica ; Benjamin F. Prescott, of Epping ; 

The Dustin Monument. 


and Gen. Simon G. Griffin, of Keene. Governor James A. Weston 
accepted the deed, in trust for the state. The legislature of a later 
year made an appropriation for repairs about the monument, which 
was expended under the care of Eliphalet S. Nutter. 

Indian Bones. About the site of the fort on Sugar Ball, Indian 
bones have been dug, and also found washed out and dropped at the 
foot of the bluff. — In November, 1855, human bones were found 
in digging a cellar for a dwelling west of Richard Bradley's 
house. Dr. William Prescott thus describes them in a communication 
printed in Bouton's History of Concord,^. 745 : "The whole number 
[of skeletons] found thus far is nine, comprised within a space of 
about ten by fifteen feet. Three of them were adults — one male of a 
very large size, and two females ; the others were children and youth. 
Considering the time that must have elapsed since they were interred, 
the bones were in a tolerable state of preservation. Two of the 
craniums were nearly perfect — that of the adult male, and one of the 
adult females. They were each enshrouded in a thick envelope, con- 
sisting of several thicknesses of pitch pine bark, the only exception 
being what appeared to be a female between two infants, all being- 
enclosed in one general envelope. The skeletons all lay upon the 
right side, in a direction north and south, the face looking east ; the 
lower limbs somewhat flexed at about right angles, and the elbows 
completely flexed, the head resting upon the right hand." 


Events leading to English Occupation. — The Grant of the 

Plantation of Penacook. 


While most of the events recorded in the preceding chapter were 
occurring, others were taking place, in train of which came the per- 
manent civilized occupation of Penacook. It will be recollected that 
the first appearance of Passaconaway, as a definite historical character, 
was in 1623, and in the neighborhood of the first English plantation 
upon New Hampshire soil, at the mouth of the Piscataqua. On the 
4th of March, 1629, King Charles I confirmed by charter, a grant 
of lands made to a company the year before, by the Council of 
Plymouth. 1 This charter made the grantees, "a corporation on the 
place," under the name of " The Governor and Company of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England." The lands granted bore the 
following description : "All that part of New England . . . which 
lies and extends between a great river there, commonly called 
Monomack, alias Merrimack, and a certain other river there called 
Charles river . . . and also all and singular, those lands . 

. lying within the space of three English miles, on the south part 
of the said Charles river, or any and every part thereof ; 
and also all those lands . . . which lie and be within the space 
of three English miles northward of the said river called . 
Merrimack, or to the northward of any and every part thereof ; and 
all lands . . . lying within the limits aforesaid, north and south, 
in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude of and within 
all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the mainland, from the Atlantic 
and western sea and ocean on the east part, to the South sea on the 
west part." 

Before this, Captain John Mason, a member of the Council of 
Plymouth, had obtained patents conveying territory, inland and along 
the coast, in the neighborhood of the Merrimack and Piscataqua, but 
had made no settlement under them. David Thompson's settlement 
at Portsmouth, in 1623, and Edward Hilton's at Dover, of a date still 
uncertain, were probably made with Mason's consent ; though Thomp- 
son had a special patent of his own. But on the 7th of November, 

1 See Council of Plymouth ; note at close of chapter. 


1629, eight months after the date of the Massachusetts charter, the 
Council of Plymouth issued a patent to Mason, conveying lands de- 
scribed as follows : " All that part of the mainland in New England, 
lying upon the seacoast, beginning from the middle part of Merrimack 
river, and . . . thence to proceed northward along the seacoast 
to Piscataqua river, and . . . up within said river — to the 
farthest head thereof; and thence northwestward until threescore 
miles be finished from the entrance of Pascataqua river ; also, through 
Merrimack river to the farthest head thereof ; and so forward up into 
the lands westward until threescore miles be finished ; and thence to 
cross over land to the threescore miles' end, accounted from Pascat- 
aqua river ; together with all islands and islets within five leagues' 
distance of the premises." 

This grant, Captain Mason named New Hampshire. His patent 
was inconsistent with the Massachusetts charter, previously granted, 
as to the Merrimack boundary line ; the description of which in both 
was founded upon the misconception, that the river runs easterly the 
whole distance from source to sea ; as it does run, from the almost 
rectangular bend occurring in its longer southerly course. Out of 
this misconception was to spring a mischievous controversy of the 
lines, not to be settled for more than a hundred years, and then only 
by the royal fiat ; — a controversy which was seriously to affect the 
interests of the civilized settlement which was to occupy the wilder- 
ness of ancient Penacook. 

Massachusetts, enterprising and ambitious, found her territory too 
much straitened by the literal signification of the terms defining 
her northern river boundary, and early sought by liberal interpreta- 
tion to expand her border. After the death of Mason, — a royalist 
churchman, and no friend of hers, — her puritan authorities ventured 
to take measures to push back her northerly line upon New Hamp- 
shire. This, by 1639, contained the four settlements of Dover, 
Portsmouth, Exeter, and Hampton. The last was claimed as a Mas- 
sachusetts township, notwithstanding the protest of the agent of 
Mason's estate. About that time, men were sent out to discover the 
" head " of the Merrimack, as its " farthest part." They reported 
that they "found some part of the Merrimack about Penkook,"--as 
Governor Winthrop has it, — "to lie more northerly than forty-three 
and a half." Soon the " head " was located at the junction of the 
Pemigewasset and Winnepesaukee rivers. A pine, to be known as 
" Endicott's Tree," standing three miles north of the confluence, 
was selected to designate the point through which the northern boun- 
dary line of Massachusetts passed, east to the Atlantic ocean and 
west to the Pacific. By 16-42 Dover, Portsmouth, and Exeter had 


come into union with Massachusetts, and under her jurisdiction ; a 
result brought about not without much adroit maneuvering on the 
part of the ambitious colony. Hampton had always been under that 
jurisdiction; so that New Hampshire, being at that time comprised in 
these four towns, which " were then of such extent as to contain all 
the lands between the rivers Merrimack and Pascataqua," was merged 
with Massachusetts, as part of her county of Norfork, in a union 
which lasted forty years. 

It may also be recalled here that a little later (1(344) Passacona- 
way gave in his formal submission to the government of Massachu- 
setts. In 1H42 the sachems, Passaquo and Saggahew, had, " with 
the consent of Passaconaway," conveyed by deed k * the lands they 
had at Pentucket," a township then recently settled, and which, 
as Haverhill, was eighty years later, through some of its enterprising 
inhabitants, to take an important hand in the settlement of Pena- 

Robert Tul'ton, the surviving grandson and heir of Mason, having 
reached majority and taken the surname of his grandfather, attempted, 
in 1650, by a test suit, to recover his legacy of New Hampshire, but 
with no success ; while Massachusetts, two years later, determined to 
push back still farther her northern boundary line so as completely 
to include the territory of Mason's grant. Accordingly, in the sum- 
mer of 1652, Captain Edward Johnson, one of her commissioners, 
with two surveyors, John Sherman and Jonathan Ince, and several 
Indian guides, passed up the Merrimack through Penacookin a boat, 
on a nineteen days* trip, to find the "head of the Merrimack." They 
found it this time at the " Weirs," where the river " issues out of 
the lake called Wmnapusseakit," as the surveyors reported. The 
location was designated by a huge stone which lay in the bed of the 
river, and which, inscribed with the name of Governor John Endi- 
cott and the initials of the commissioners, Edward Johnson and 
Simon Willard, was to become historic as "The Endicott Rock." A 
straight line drawn through a point three miles due north from this 
"farthest part" of the Merrimack, and extending east and west from 
ocean to ocean, was decreed to be the northern boundary line of 
Massachusetts in that quarter. 

Penacook early attracted attention as a desirable place for civilized 
settlement. In 1659 some men of Dover and Newbury, — towns 
under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, in the Union, — made petition 
to the General Court for " the grant of a tracke of land ... to 
the quantity of twelve miles square " at " a place which is called 
Pennecooke." The name of Richard Walderne, or Waldron (which 
often occurs in the preceding chapter), headed the list of twenty-two 


signatures 1 to the petition. The petitioners prayed, — in case the 
grant were made, — "the liberty of three yeares to give in their res- 
olution, wheather to proceed for the settliiige of a town or noe, 
after vewinge it and considering fully about it;" and they further 
prayed, in case they did proceed, " the grant of their freedom from 
publique charge for the space of seaven yeares after the time of their 
resolution given in to this honerd Corte ; " this, they added, to be 
" for our encorragement to settle a plantation soe furre remote, as 
knowinge that many will be our inconvenyences (for a long time), 
which we must expeckt to meet with. . . ." The deputies, or 
lower house, replied on the eighteenth of May of the same year to 
the petition, by granting, on their part, " a plantation of eight miles 
square, upon condition " that the petitioners " make report to the 
Court, at the session to be held in October 1660, of their resolution 
to p'secute the same . . . and to carry on the work of the said 
place in all civill and eclesiasticall respects, and that within two 
years then next ensuing, there be 20 families there settled ; also, that 
they may have inutility from all publique charges (excepting in cases 
extraordinary), for seavern yeares next ensuing the date hereof." 
Whether the magistrates, or the upper house, consented or not, noth- 
ing practical came of the movement. For on the 16th of May, 1662, 
the deputies adopted the following preamble and order : " Upon 
informacon that Penicooke is An Apt place for A Township, and in 
consideration of the lord's great blessing upon the countrie in multi- 
plying the inhabitants and plantations here ; and that Allmost All 
such places are Allreadie taken up : Tis ordered by this Court, that 
the lands at Peniecook be reserved for a plantation till so many of 
such as have petecioned for lands there, or of others, shall present to 
settle A plantation there." 2 

The same year (1662), moreover, sundry inhabitants of Maiden 
presented a petition for "a tract of land about four miles square, at a 
place called Pennycooke, as an addition" to their township, whose 
bounds were "exceeding streight." But the prayer was not granted, 
and Penacook did not become Maiden-Addition. The next year, 
1663, inhabitants of Chelmsford petitioned for the grant of a town- 
ship at Penacook, but without success, in October of that year, 
however, the petition of sundry inhabitants of Salem received favor 
in the grant to them of "a plantation of six miles square at Penni- 
cook, if getting twenty families on it within three years." The con- 
ditions were not fulfilled ; but some of the petitioners did erect " a 
trading-house at Pennicook," —being, possibly, the same as that of 

1 See note at close of chapter; also, Bouton's Concord, 52. 

2 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 33. 


Waldron and Coffin, which stood in 1668 on or near a five hundred 
acre tract, not devoid of historic interest. 

These " five hundred acres of land in the wilderness at Penni- 
cooke " comprised fine interval on the east side of the . Merrimack, 
and an island close by, reputed to have been a favorite abode of Pas- 
saconaway. In 1668 this land was surveyed and laid out, under a 
right granted to Governor John Endicott eleven years before. The 
title having been sold by Governor Endicott to John Hull, the weal- 
thy mint-master of Massachusetts, and the latter dying, his daughter 
Hannah, and her husband, Samuel Sewell, the inflexible but manly 
judge in the days of witchcraft, petitioned the General Court, in 
1695, that " this tract might be confirmed to them," and the prayer 
was granted. 1 Sewall's Farm was the first permanent grant of land 
in Penacook made by Massachusetts. 

The confirmation of the Endicott grant to Judge Sewall, in 1695, 
occurred sixteen years after New Hampshire was detached from 
Massachusetts, and made a royal province. For upon the restoration 
of the Stuarts, and the accession of Charles II to the throne of Eng- 
land, in 1660, Robert Tufton Mason had urged his claim anew, till 
Massachusetts, in 1677, was compelled to disclaim before the king in 
council "all title to the lands claimed by Robert Mason, and to the 
jurisdiction beyond three miles northward of the river Merrimack, to 
follow the course of the river as far as it extended.' 1 It was found 
by the chief justices of the king's bench that, while " the four towns 
of Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, and Hampton were out of the bounds 
of Massachusetts," Mason had no "right of government within the 
soil he claimed." The rinding was approved in 1677 by the king in 
council. Moreover, it being admitted that Mason's title to the lands 
" could be tried only on the place, — there being no court in England 
that had cognizance of it, — it became necessary to the establishment 
of that title, that a new jurisdiction should be erected, in which the 
king might direct the mode of trial and appeal at his pleasure." 2 
Accordingly, on the 18th of September, 1679, a * k commission passed 
the great seal for the government of New Hampshire," inhibiting and 
restraining " the jurisdiction exercised by the colony of Massachu- 
setts over " the four towns, " and all other lands extending from 
three miles to the northward of the river Merrimack, and of any and 
every part thereof, to the province of Maine ;" and constituting "a 
president and council to govern the province. " 2 

This commission, while restraining the jurisdiction of Massachu- 
setts over certain lands, did not settle the divisional line between that 

1 See N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 62-3-5-7. 

2 Farmer's Belknap, 88. 


colony and the new province, nor curtail Mason's claim, which ex- 
tended sixty miles inland from the sea. It did not declare that 
Massachusetts might hold, to the exclusion of Mason or anybody else, 
all the lands to the southward of a line " three miles to the north- 
ward*' of "any part " of the Merrimack, but merely inhibited the 
jurisdiction hitherto exercised by her over those extending from that 
line to Maine. Massachusetts, however, acted on the assumption 
that the line was a settled divisional one ; and that a prohibited juris- 
diction over specified lands somehow implied a permitted jurisdiction 
over lands not specified. The description of the line, given in the 
commission, was, to be sure, that of the charter of Massachusetts, but 
this had been issued in total ignorance of the true course of the 
Merrimack. Hence she was obliged, though to the utter confusion 
of the points of the compass, to construe the term " northward " as 
identical with eastward, when applied to two thirds of the river's 
course. But such a liberal, not to say audacious, interpretation of 
the terms of her charter was deemed necessary, since otherwise, as 
has been before suggested, she would be nudged out of coveted terri- 
tory by the river's sharp elbow. And to tins construction of her 
charter line, Massachusetts held steadfastly ; her claim, in plain and 
consistent description, covering all the lands south and west of a line, 
beginning at a point three miles north of the Merrimack, thence run- 
ning inland westerly and northerly, at the same distance from the 
river, and on its right, as one ascends the stream, to the confluence 
of the Winnepesaukee and Pemigewasset rivers, thence north three 
miles to Endicott's Tree, thence running, bent at right angles, indefi- 
nitely west. For it should here be observed that she had never 
insisted upon her claim that Endicott Rock marked the head of the 
Merrimack, nor, for years, upon her other claim to a line running 
east from Endicott's Tree to the Atlantic ocean. Of the lands, south- 
ward and westward of the line claimed, and as far as the Connecti- 
cut river, she made grants at pleasure, until the settlement of the 
lines in 1740. Sewall's Farm, in the wilds of Penacook, belonged 
to those lands, lying, as it did, eastward — or northward as Massa- 
chusetts called it — of the Merrimack, and within the distance of 
three miles therefrom. 

( )ne purpose of erecting New Hampshire into a royal province was, 
as has been seen, to facilitate the establishment of Mason's title to 
the lands. In this respect, the scheme failed as " to the inhabited 
part of the province." Accordingly, in 1680, to lay a foundation for 
realizing his claim to the waste lands, Mason, by deed, with a reser- 
vation " to himself and his heirs, of the yearly rent of ten shillings, 
confirmed a purchase " made fc * from the Indians,"- —probably, through 


Wonolancet, still living, — " by Jonathan Tyng and nineteen others." 
This " Million-Acre-Purchase," as it was called, embraced "a tract 
of land on both sides of the river Merrimack, six miles in breadth, 
from Souhegan river to Winnepiseogee lake." 1 This speculative 
enterprise entirely disregarded Sewall's five hundred acre grant ; but 
it never proved of any practical consequence, either to Mason or the 

No further movements to procure the granting of the soil of Pena- 
cook, either for speculation or settlement, appear to have been made 
till 1714, after the Peace of Utrecht, when Salem people again peti- 
tioned the government of Massachusetts, that " the grant of a planta- 
tion of six miles square at Penacook," made in 1663 — fifty-one years 
before — might " be confirmed to them." They alleged, in valid 
excuse for not having fulfilled the conditions of the former grant, 
that they "had been embarrassed by Indian wars": and, indeed, 
such wars, and bloody ones, had raged for nearly half of the years 
intervening between the petitions. This movement was, however, 

New Hampshire and Massachusetts had now for some years had a 
single governor, but each its lieutenant-governor. The boundary 
lines, and Mason's claim — which, by sale, had temporarily become 
Allen's — were still in dispute, and both governments were coy in 
making grants. Futile attempts had been made at sundry times to 
settle the line controversy, In 1719, under the administration of 
Governor Samuel Shute and Lieutenant-Governor John Wentworth, 
New Hampshire proposed to Massachusetts the establishment of a 
line, beginning at a point three miles north of the mouth of the Mer- 
rimack, and thence running due west to the western boundary of 
that province. The proposition was rejected by Massachusetts ; 
whereupon Henry Newman, the New Hampshire agent in England, 
was instructed to solicit approval of it from the lords of trade. 

The same year (1719) sixteen families of Scotch Presbyterians 
made a settlement of Nuffield, " a tract of good land above Haver- 
hill." 2 They had arrived the year before in Boston, with many 
others, from the north of Ireland, where a colony of their race, the 
result of migrations from Scotland, had existed since 1609. This 
accession of Scotch-Irish inhabitants was unexpected, but valuable, 
though for a time misappreciated, there being a strong prejudice 
against the Irish proper, with whom the new-comers were confounded. 
This planting of Nuffield, or Londonderry, and the presence of this 
new and vigorous element of population, stimulated the settlement 
of other places " on the waste lands." Indeed, the adventurous men 

1 Farmer's Belknap, 116. 2 Farmer's Belknap, 192, 2. 


of Nutfield soon began to look for more room, as their numbers 
swelled by fresh immigration, and they cast their eyes northward, 
with shrewd discernment, even to Penacook. 

But some of the sagacious and enterprising men of Essex county, 
in Massachusetts, notably of the towns of Andover, Bradford, and 
Haverhill, had also spied out the land in the same quarter. On the 
31st day of May, 1721, one hundred and nineteen 1 of these joined in 
a petition to Governor Shute and " to the Honerable, the Council and 
House of Representatives in General Court assembled," setting forth, 
in substance, that " being straitened for accommodations for them- 
selves and their posterity," they had " espied a tract of land situate 
on the river Merrymake (the great river of the said country), where- 
on they " were " desirous to make a settlement and form a town." 
They prayed that there might be granted them "... a tract of 
land for a township, which " lay " at the lower end of Penniecook : to 
begin three miles to the eastward of Merrimake river, at the place 
nearest the mouth of Conduncook (Contoocook), to extend to Merri- 
make river, and over it, to and up Conduncook river, eight miles; 
thence to run southerly seven miles parallel with Merrimake river ; 
and at the end of the said seven miles, to run directly to the mouth 
of Smu'oot river ; and then up Suncoot river till it " came " to the 
distance of three miles from Merrimake river ; and then on a straight 
line to the first mentioned bound : " the tract being " computed to 
contain . . . about eight miles square." 2 

The petition having been received and considered, a committee, 
consisting of Captain John Shipley, Colonel Joseph Buckminster, 
and Mr. Joseph Winslow, was appointed " to take exact survey of 
the land on each side of the Merrimack, between the rivers Suncook 
and Cuntacook, and lay the same into two townships, if the land be 
capable thereof." 3 The committee appointed William Ward and 
John Jones to make the survey ; and this they did in May, 1722. 
They found the upper portion to comprise 69,500 acres, of which 
2,000 were interval. The south line, crossing the Merrimack at its 
junction with ShooBrook (Soucook), measured eleven miles ; or 1,530 
rods on the east side and 1,990 on the west. The north line, cross- 
ing the Merrimack at or near the mouth of the Contoocook, 1,450 
rods east, followed the course of the Contoocook west. The line, 
joining the eastern termini of these lines, was ten miles ; that drawn 
from the western terminus of the south line till it struck the Contoo- 
cook was nine miles and fifty rods. 4 The committee reported to the 

1 See note at close of chapter; also, Bouton's, Concord, 54. 

2 Bouton's, Concord, 53-4. 

3 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 34. 

4 Bouton's, Concord, 55. 

the <;i;ant of the plantation of penacook. 103 

General Court on the loth of June, 1722, the result of the survey of 
the land "between the Suncook and Cuntacook," with the conclusion 
that the tract contained " a great quantity of waste land, and some 
good ; and that the same " might " be accommodable for settling a 
township, if laid out large enough." * The surveyors had also re- 
ported that, in performing their " service, they observed a new line 
marked upon several trees, particularly on one corner tree marked 
with the letter N, — and several other trees, — which tree " was " not 
more than one mile and a half from Merrimack river ; and discours- 
ing witli some Irish people," the latter " declared that they had a 
grant, from the government of New-Hampshire, of the land home to 
the Merrimack river, from Amoskeag falls, and that they were re- 
solved to make a speedy settlement there." Thereupon, on the same 
15th of June, 1722, the house, startled by this intelligence, ordered 
a committee of three forthwith to inquire of the governor " whether 
the government of New-Hampshire have granted any such tract of 
land, that this government may prevent any such encroachment on 
the lands and properties of this province." In the confusion inci- 
dent to the non-settlement of the boundary line, the governments of 
the two provinces were beginning to watch each other more and more 
narrowly. Massachusetts had reason, in this connection, to keep an 
open eye upon the lively " Irish people," to whose settlement at Nut- 
field she had refused patronage, by declining to confirm to them her 
previous grant of lands of their own selection, " at the eastward," on 
the ground that their present location was not within her jurisdic- 
tion. But New Hampshire, while at first withholding " a grant in 
the king's name," had given "them a protection," 2 and "they re- 
membered with much gratitude the friendly offices of Lieutenant- 
governor Wentworth." 3 The government which had protected the 
plantation of Xutfield, and had made, — or was just about to make,— 
of it the town of Londonderry, might favor these " Irish people " in 
other attempts at settlement, and do so, too, without squeamish re- 
gard to that line, " three miles to the northward of the Merrimack," 
so pertinaciously insisted upon. Indeed, no such regard had been 
shown in the previous incorporation of Chester in that chestnut 

The petition of 1721, however, did not receive the assent of the 
General Court for four years, though a committee of the petitioners, 
consisting of Benjamin Stevens, Andrew Mitchell, David Kimball, 
Ebenezer Eastman, John Osgood, and Moses Day, perseveringly reit- 
erated and enforced its prayer in earnest requests. The house re- 

i N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 35. 

2 Farmer's Belknap, 194. 

3 Whiton's New Hampshire, 66. 


sponded promptly and steadily in favorable action, but the council 
failed to concur. Thus, in December, 1723, the house, on its part, 
voted the grant of a township, according to the survey of Messrs. 
Ward and Jones, and similar action was taken the next year. Why 
the council delayed concurrence is not known; though, possibly, the 
preoccupation of the government with Lovewell's Indian war, which 
was then raging, and did not cease till 1725, may have been one 
cause, while another may have existed in the critical condition of the 
line question, which New Hampshire had referred to the king, and 
to meet which, it may have been thought, required, just then, special 
prudence on the part of Massashusetts in the disposal of territory. 
But the men of Essex county did not give over in face of procrasti- 
nating legislation, and with Scotch-Irish adventurers for their sturdy 
rivals. This rivalry finds illustration of its character and spirit in 
the brief journal of an expedition made to " Pennecook," in the 
spring of 1723, by Captain James File and Lieutenant Stephen 
Barker, — the latter a petitioner of 1721, — with thirty men. The 
party having " moved from Andover," on the 19th of March, " came," 
on the fourth day out, " to Pennecook Plains, at the Intervale lands, 
about 11 of the clock ; " having " lodged " the three preceding nights, 
respectively, at ••Nuffield, Amiskege, and Suncook." The record 
thence sent home under date of March 22d, to Benjamin Stevens, 
one of the original petitioners, and of their committee of six already 
mentioned, proceeds in this wise : 

" There we found five of those men which came from N. Ireland. 
Mr. Houston was one of them. They came to us, and we chose Cap- 
tain Frie to discourse them with 4 men. They say they have a grant 
of this Penacook on both sides of the river. They call us rebbells, 
and command us to discharge the place, both in the King's name and 
in the Province's ; and if we don't in a fortnight, they will gitt us 
off. We therefore desire you, .Justice Stevens, with the committee, 
to send us word whether we have any encouragement to stay, or else 
to draw off. But Captain File's courage is so that he will stay allone 
rather than let them userpers drive us off." 1 

There were, however, more words than blows on the Merrimack 
at that time : but the "usurpers" from " North Ireland," though they 
did not "get" the Massachusetts "rebels off," still held their ground ; 
for, by 1724, they had built a fort upon the interval on the east side 
of the river, within eighty rods of Sewall's Farm, 2 with a view to per- 
manent occupation. It was at that " Irish Fort," so called, that Col- 
onel Tyng, at the head of a scouting party bound for Lake Winnepe- 

1 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV. 36. 

2 See Wainwright's Journal in next chapter. 


saukee, in pursuit of Indians, quartered on the 5th and 6th of ApriJ, 
1725, " the snow being so thick upon the bushes that " the compan} r 
••could not travel without injuring their provisions." 1 From that 
structure, also, the settlement east of the river — the modern East 
Concord — was long called "The Fort." 

On the 17th of June, 1725, the petitioners, by their committee of 
six, headed by Benjamin Stevens, renewed their prayer for the "grant 
of a tract of land at Pennycook, with resolutions fully inclined to 
make a settlement there, which they" conceived, "under the divine 
protection, they " were " able to go on and through with." They 
earnestly besought the " Great and General Court," that, though 
their former petitions had not met with concurrent favor, they 
" would please to take the premises again into " their " wise and 
serious consideration." They declared that, " as the building of a 
fort there" would •• undoubtedly be a great security within and on 
Merrimack river . ," the "petitioners" were "still willing 

to build and maintain it as afore proposed, at their own cost." They 
also suggested to their " Honnours, , ' as a stimulus to prompt action, 
that " many applications " had " been made to the government of 
New Hampshire for a grant of the said land, [of] which, though it 
be the undoubted right and property of "* Massachusetts, "yet it" 
was " highly probable that a parcel of Irish people " would " obtain a 
grant . . . unless some speedy care be taken by " the 
•• Court to prevent it. If that government should once make them a 
grant, though . . . without right, as in the case of Nuffield, yett 
it would be a thing attended with too much difficulty to pretend 
to root them out if they should once gett foothold there." There- 
fore, they prayed that the former " vote passed by the Honerable 
House" might "be revived, or that they" might "have a grant of 
the land on such other terms and conditions as to the wisdom of the 
Court should seem best." 2 

The house, on the 17th of December, revived its former vote, but 
the council decided to postpone the matter till the next session in 
May, 1726. By message, the council was requested to reconsider its 
vote of postponement, and to " pass now " upon the vote " of the 
House, by concurring or non-concurring ; " inasmuch as there was " a 
great probability that the lands " would be " settled by others than 
the inhabitants " of Massachusetts, " before the next May session, as 
it happened in the case of Nuffield, unless the Court" should "now 
take effectual order for preventing such unjust settlements.** 2 

After some delay, a joint committee appointed to consider the sub- 

1 Tyng's Journal, Mass. Archives; also, Potter's Manchester, 167. 

2 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 39; also, Bouton's Concord, 55-6. 


ject of the petition, made a report, by Nathaniel Byfield, recommend- 
ing that " part of the lands petitioned for by Benjamin Stevens and 
company " be granted to them " for a township," and assigning 
bounds, conditions, and orders as to settlement. The report was 
accepted by the council, concurred in by the house, and approved by 
Lieutenant-Governor William Dummer. 

So, at last, on the 17th of January, 1725-'26, 1 the Plantation of 
Penacook came to exist under the legislative sanction of the province 
of Massachusetts Bay. 


The Plymouth Company. This was one of the two corporations, to 
which, early in the seventeenth century, King James I of England 
granted charters for settling portions of the North American coast. 
The king granted to the Plymouth company the coast from Long 
Island to Nova Scotia, extending indefinitely westward, between 
straight lines having those points as eastern termini. The company, 
in turn, could and did grant its lands to others for the purposes of 

The Dover and Newbury Petition. Besides Richard Walderne, 
other prominent names upon the petition were Peter Coffin, Edward 
Woodman, John Pike, Abraham Toppan, and Nathaniel Weare. 

The Petitioners of 17,11 . These, as seen in the text, renewed 
their petition in 1725, by a committee. Most of their names are 
found in the list of admitted settlers given in connection with the 
next chapter. 

Pate of Plantation of Penacook. According to " old style," under 
which the year commenced March 25th, the Plantation of Penacook 
was established in January, 1725; but according to "new style," in 
January, 172(3. The former date has generally been taken for the 
natal day of the Plantation, and is inscribed upon the city seal. 

1 See note at close of chapter. 


The Plantation of Penacook. — Its Transition to the 

Township of Rumford. 


The committee's report, mentioned in the preceding chapter, as 
adopted by the legislative authorities of Massachusetts, January 17, 
1726, served as letters-patent for the plantation or incipient township 
of Penacook. It ''assigned and set apart" territory prescribed "to 
contain seven miles square, and to begin where Contoocook river 
falls into Merrimack, and thence to extend upon a course east seven- 
teen degrees north, three miles, and upon a course west seventeen 
degrees south, four miles, to be the northerly bounds of the said 
township; and from the extreme parts of that line, to be set off: 
southerly at right angles, until seven miles shall be accomplished 
from the said north bounds." 

It "ordered that the Hon. William Tailer, Esq., Elisha Cooke, 
Esq., Spencer Phipps, Esq., William Dudley, Esq., John Wain- 
wright, Esq., Capt. John Shipley, Mr. John Saunders, Eleazer Tyng, 
Esq., and Mr. Joseph Wilder, be a committee to take special care 
that the following rules and conditions be punctually observed and 
kept: . . . That the . . . land be divided into 

one hundred and three equal . . . shares, as to quantity and 
quality, and that one hundred persons or families be admitted, — such 
only as, in the judgment of the committee shall be well able to pur- 
sue and bring to pass their several settlements . . . within 
three years, at farthest, from the first day of June next ; 
that each . . . intended settler, to whom a lot . . . shall 
be assigned, shall pay into the hands of the Committee, for the use 
of the Province, at the time of drawing his lot, the sum of five 
pounds, and be obliged to build a good dwelling-house, . . . and 
also break up and sufficiently fence in six acres of land for " his 
" home lot, within the time aforesaid ; that the first fifty settlements 
shall be begun and perfected upon the eastern side of said river 
Merrimack, and the houses erected on their home [house] lots, not 
above twenty rods, the one from the other, — where the land will pos- 
sibly admit thereof, — in the most regular and defensible manner, the 
committee . . . can project and order — the home lots on each 


side of the river, to be alike subjected unto the above-mentioned con- 
ditions ; that a convenient house for the public worship of God be 
completely finished within the term aforesaid ; that there shall be 
reserved, allotted, and laid out to the first minister that shall be law- 
fully settled among them, one full . . . share . . . of the 
aforesaid tract of land : his house lot to be ... 

adjoining the land whereon the meeting-house shall stand ; also one 
other . . . share . . . for the use of the school forever, and 
one other ministerial lot, of equal value with the rest — the home 
lot appertaining thereto, affixed near the meeting-house." The report 
further provided, " that, . . . when . . . there shall be 
one hundred persons accepted ... by the committee, 
it shall be lawful ... to notify the undertakers to meet at 
some convenient time and place ; who, when assembled, shall make 
such necessary rules and orders as to them shall be thought most 
conducible for carrying forward and effecting the aforesaid settle- 
ment— . . . three fourths ... of the persons present 
consenting — and two or more of the committee being 
present at such meeting, who shall enter into a fair book, to be kept 
for such purpose, all rules, orders, and directions agreed on as afore- 
said ; the whole charge of the committee to be paid by the 
settlers;" and, finally, "that when" the settlers "shall have per- 
formed the conditions above expressed, provided it be within the 
space of three years, as before limited, then the committee, for and in 
behalf of this Court, may execute good and sufficient deeds . . 
to all such settlers, . . . with a saving of all or any former 
grant or grants." 

Such were the provisions made by the General Court of Massachu- 
setts, for the planting of Penacook, " in a good, regular, and defensi- 
ble manner." These provisions were carried out, with such excep- 
tions as will be noted. The Court's Committee of Nine, with Will- 
iam Tailer for its president, and John Wainwright for its clerk, 
faithfully and strictly watched over the settlement during its early 
years ; and it now comes in order to trace, mainly from the records 
of that committee and those of the proprietors, the evolution of the 
town. 1 

The petitioners had been waiting four years not without appre- 
hension that the lands at Penacook might fall into the hands of the 
" Irish People," or those of others. The court's committee met on the 
18th of January, 172(3, — next day after the adoption of the report 
making the grant, — and, having organized, made arrangements for 
holding a meeting on the second day of February, " at the house of 

1 The direct citations from the records will be carefully denoted by quotation marks. 


Ebenezer Eastman, inn-holder, in Haverhill," to " treat with . 
the petitioners . . . for a tract of land at PennyCook." Dur- 
ing the four days' session of the meeting accordingly held, one hun- 
dred persons were admitted as settlers, after the most careful inquiry 
" as to their character and their ability to fulfil the conditions." 1 
In this examination, the committee summoned officially "some of the 
principal inhabitants of the towns, to which the generality of the 
petitioners belonged, to give information of the circumstances of v 
those desirous of admission, so that only such might be selected " as " 
should " be thought most suitable for bringing forward the intended 
settlement."' The enrolment was completed on Saturday, the 5th of 
February, 17 25-' 26, and each person thus admitted "paid twenty 
shillings to the chairman to defray the charges of the committee." 2 

At once, sixty-eight of the admitted settlers, wishing to save the 
trouble and expense of a journey of the committee to and from Bos- 
ton, and also being earnest for " the greatest expedition v in their 
enterprise, made written request to the committee to notify " the 
community " to appear at the house of Ebenezer Eastman, on the 
next Monday, February 7th, "to make . . . rules and orders 
most conducible for bringing forward " the intended settle- 
ment. At the meeting held in accordance with the request, it was 
" agreed and ordered," that a settler, who should " fail of plowing, 
fencing, or clearing one acre of land within twelve months from the 
first day of June next," should " forfeit to the community the sum 
of five pounds ; " that, in case of such failure for two years, and of 
" having a sufficiency of timber felled, hauled, and adapted for build- 
ing a house within six months after the direction of the committee of 
the general court," a forfeiture of " ten pounds " should ensue ; that 
if any should fail " to comply with the directions enjoined him '" 
, for " two years and a half from the first day of June next," 
he should forfeit his "lot," which should be assigned to any other 
person, selected by the settlers, with the consent of the court's com- 
mittee ; and that no sale " of any lot " should " be made without the 
consent of the community," and that any attempted sale in violation 
of the order should be " void " and work forfeiture. This last pro- 
vision had strong reference to the Scotch-Irish immigrants with whom 
it was then thought not desirable to have association. The restric- 
tion had, at the outset, been urged upon the committee, in a letter, 
by Reverend Christopher Toppan of Newbury, a son and a nephew of 
whom became grantees. 

On the same occasion, the court's committee provided for " two 

1 Bouton's Concord, 59. 

2 See list of admitted settlers at close of chapter. 


surveyors and four chainmen to attend upon the next adjournment," 
for allotting the land into one hundred and three equal shares. An 
adjournment was taken to the 5th of April, when the committee were 
to "meet at the house of Colonel Tyng. 1 in Dunstable, in order to 
proceed to PennyCook, to lay out the land in lots.*' Colonel Tyng 
was also to be requested " to prepare fifteen days' provisions for 
twenty men " ; and " the intended settlers " were to be " notified that 
each of them " was " expected and directed to pay forty shillings " 
towards " defraying the charge of the committee — the money to lie 
ready at Colonel Tyng's on or before the 5th day of April." De- 
layed, however, by engagements in the General Court, the committee 
could not proceed, at the time indicated, to allot the lands at Pena- 
cook, and this duty was deferred till the second Tuesday of May. 

Meanwhile the authorities of New Hampshire had been awake to 
these movements of Massachusetts. On the 23d of February, 1726, 
a month after the passage of the " order of the General Court for the 
opening of a new town at Pennicook," Lieutenant-Governor Went- 
worth, 1 of New Hampshire, addressed a letter to Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor Dummer, 1 of Massachusetts, " complaining of the order, and sug- 
gesting that Pennicook " was " within the Province of New Hamp- 
shire. " 2 The communication having been laid before the council, 
the opinion was expressed, on the 5th of March, that the suggestion 
of encroachment " on the bounds of New Hampshire " was " alto- 
gether groundless ; for the committee impowered to lay out the town- 
ship," could " not by that vote extend, above three miles northerly 
from the river Merrimack, or any part thereof, for the north bounds 
of the said township."" 3 The next month, April 11, 1720, Lieuten- 
ant-Governor Wentworth sounded a warning note, in a message to 
the General Assembly, and in the following earnest words : "The 
Massachusetts are daily encroaching on us. A late instance we 
have, in voting a township should be erected and settled at Penny- 
cook, which will certainly be in the very bowels of this Province, and 
which will take in the most valuable part of our lands. I would, 
therefore, recommend this matter to your mature consideration. . . . 
I have lately represented this affair to the Lords Commissioners for 
Trade and Plantations, and have transmitted the best and exactest 
draught of this Province, Merrimack river, and situation of Penni- 
cook, to their Lordships, praying their favor in obtaining a settlement 
of the lines, [and] giving instances wherein it highly concerns the 
interest of the Crown." 

On the last day of April the house and council concurred in order- 

1 See note at close of chapter. 

= N.H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 43-4. 

»7bid., 44-5. 


ing instructions to Mr. Henry Newman, agent in London, " to prose- 
cute . . . speedy settlement of the lines," inasmuch as Massa- 
chusetts had " lately disposed of considerable tracts of land 
reasonably supposed to be within the bounds of New Hampshire, 
and " was " about granting more of said lands, which " was " a very 
great grievance. " 1 The council, on the 10th of May, hearing " that 
sundry persons " were " going or gone to lay out and take possession 
of and settle upon some of His Majesty's lands ... at or near 
a place called Pennecook, without the consent " of the New Hamp- 
shire " government," 1 pronounced the act to be "not only unneigh- 
borly, but unjustifiable, and " having " a tenddency to the destroying 
of the mast trees fit for His Majesty's service, that " might " be grow- 
ing thereon." Accordingly, it was ordered that " Messrs. Nathaniel 
Weare, Theodore Atkinson, and Richard Waldron, jr., repair imme- 
diately to Pennecook, and forewarn any persons whom they " might 
"find there " against " laying out, taking possession of, or settling" 
on, the lands at or near that place, " or presuming to appropriate any 
other of His Majesty's lands within '' the province of New Hamp- 
shire, " till they " should " have the countenance and grant of " the 
government of that province, " for so doing ;" and " to direct them, 
in an amicable way, forthwith to withdraw — from the land, and their 
pretensions to it by virtue of the . . . vote of the General 
Assembly of Massachusetts." 2 

The same day on which this action was taken by the New Hamp- 
shire authorities, the committee of the General Court of Massachu- 
setts " met at the house of Ebenezer Eastman," in Haverhill, with the 
purpose of proceeding thence to Penacook, " to lay out there a new 
township of seven miles square, and on each side of the Merrimack 
river." 3 After completing preliminary arrangements, six of the nine 
members, — Messrs. William Tailer, John Wainwright, John Shipley, 
Eleazer Tyng, John Sanders and Joseph Wilder, — on Thursday, 
May 12th, set out upon "their journey to PennyCook, attended by 
twenty-six persons, including the surveyors, chalnmen, and such of 
the intended settlers as were disposed to take a view of the lands." 
Starting early in the morning, the company arrived, about noon " at 
Nuffield alias Londonderry," where they " refreshed themselves and 
horses with " their own provisions at the house of one John Barr, 
an Irish tavern-keeper, but had nothing of him but small beer ; the 
expenses ... at the house " being " 5 shillings." Thence their 
course led them, for three or four hours, along " a cart path " which 

1 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. IV, 220. 
"-Ibid, 11, 12. 

3 Journal of Jno. Wainwright (Bouton's Concord, 64). The quoted portions of the suc- 
ceeding narrative of the committee's journey and proceedings are from that journal. 


afforded "very indifferent travelling," and involved the fording of 
" two brooks . . . called Great and Little, which," proceeding 
" from Great MassaBeseek and Little MassaBeseck Ponds, — empty 
themselves into the Merrimack." Having " arrived at a place called 
Amoskeeg Falls,' 1 they " there encamped that night." There, too, 
they k ' found several Irish people catching fish which that place " 
afforded "in great abundance." Proceeding "on" their "journey," the 
next morning, over " very hilly and mountainous land," they " passed " 
about eight o'clock " by a Fall, in Merrimack river, called Onnahook- 
line, 1 from a hill of the same name." Abont an hour later they 
"forded a pretty deep brook — and soon after came upon a large tract 
of intervale land, joining to Suncook river." This they forded in 
course of the forenoon, finding it " a rapped stream "' with " many 
loose stones of some considerable bigness in it, making it difficult to 
pass." One of the " men going over, having a heavy load on his 
horse, was thrown off into the river and lost " one of the bags of pro- 
visions " —there being " no time to look after it." Another of their 
" men fell into the river," but without serious consequence. Finding- 
there " Benjamin Niccols and Ebenezer Virgin, — two intended set- 
tlers," whom " Colonel Tyng " had " sent up ahead with some stores," 
the journeyers, early in the afternoon, " passed PennyCook river,— 
alias Shew Brook, or SowCook, — pretty deep and very rocky " and 
into which "one of" their "men tumbled. A short time after," they 
reached " PennyCook Falls, 2 . . . and then," steering their 
course north, "travelled over a large pitch pine plain, (indifferent 
land), three miles at least in length, . . . and, about five o'clock 
afternoon, arrived at PennyCook, and encamped on a piece of inter- 
vale land, or plain, called Sugar Ball Plain ; " having taken " its 
name from a very high head, or hill, called Sugar Ball Hill, whereon 
was the first Indian fort, — as " they " were informed, — which the 
Indians in old times built to defend themselves from the Maquois 
and others, their enemies. This Sugar Ball plain," they found to be 
" a pretty large tract of land, encompassed on all parts,— ' except 
" where the river runs round it, — with very high and mountainous 
land, as steep as the roof of house "; and that " it " was " altogether 
impracticable for a team, or, indeed, a horse cart, to get on the plain, 
the land" was "so mountainous round it; and there'' was "no 
spring on it, as " they " could find." At this point, the record adds : 
" Just as we were making up our camp, there came up a smart thun- 
der shower, and we had enough to do to save our bread from the 

Early on the morning of May 14th the committee "got together 

1 Hooksett. - Garvin's. 


the surveyors and chainmen, and set them to survey the township 
according to the General Court's order. Mr. Jonas Houghton, Sur- 
veyor," and " Jonathan Shipley, Josiah Cop, Moses Hazzen, and Ben- 
jamin Niccolls, chainmen, being first sworn truly and faithfully to 
discharge their duty and trust in taking the survey, were sent to run 
the line of the township, according to the Court's grant ; to begin on 
the east side of the river, where the Contoocook falls into the Merri- 
mack. Mr. Josiah Bacheldor, Surveyor " and " Ens. John Chandler 
and " another, " chainmen, being first duly sworn, were appointed to 
survey the intervale on the east side of the river ; and Mr. Richard 
Hazzen, Junr, Surveyor," with John Ayer and John Sanders, Jr., 
chainmen, to survey the interval on the west side of the Merrimack. 
To the service designated the parties had severally proceeded when 
about noon, " Messrs. Nathaniel Weare, Richard Waldron, Jr., and 
Theodore Atkinson, a committee appointed by the Lieut Governor 
and Council of New-Hampshire, came up to camp, — being attended 
by about half a score of Irishmen, who kept some distance from the 
camp." These gentlemen " acquainted us," says the record, " that 
the Government of New-Hampshire, being informed of our business 
here, had sent them to desire us that we would not proceed in appro- 
priating these lands to any private or particular persons, for they lay 
in their government ; and our government's making a grant might be 
attended with very ill consequences to the settlers when it appeared 
the lands fell in New-Hampshire's government ; — and then they de- 
livered a copy of an order passed by their Honours the Lieut. Gov- 
ernor and Council of New-Hampshire, respecting the settling of the 
land at PennyCook. . . . We made them answer, that the gov- 
ernment of Massachusetts Bay had sent us to lay the lands here into 
a township ; that they had made a grant of it to some particular 
men, and that we should proceed to do the business we were come 
upon, and made no doubt but our government would be always 
ready to support and justify their own grants ; and that it was the 
business of the public, and not ours, to engage in . . . to deter- 
mine any controversy about the lands. We sent our salutes to the 
Lieut. Governor of New-Hampshire, and the gentlemen took their 
leave of us, and went homeward this afternoon. The surveyors and 
chainmen returned to us in safety about sundown." 

The next day, May 15th, being the Sabbath, — " fair and cool,"- 
the chaplain of the party, Mr. Enoch Coffin, a grantee, " performed 
divine service both parts of the day." 1 And so, on that plain just 
awakening to vernal beauty beneath the skies of May, those pioneers 
in an enterprise germinant with promise of good, sought the divine 

1 See note at close of chapter. 


favor by joining in that initial act of public worship, which, by repe- 
tition, should bless, in all coming years, the life and growth of plan- 
tation, town, and city. 

In course of the next three days the work of running the lines and 
surveying the interval on both sides of the river was completed. 
Mr. Batchelder, in surveying on the east side, found that " Gov. 
Endicott's grant of five hundred acres — , claimed by the Honerable 
Judge Sewall, . . . consisted principally of interval land : and 
that the grant extended down the river within eighty poles of the 
place where the Irish people had lately built a fort ; so that there 
remained but a small quantity of interval, which would accommodate 
not half a score [of] home lots." Accordingly no lots were "laid 
out on that side of the river." On the west side, however, " Mr. 
Hazen and company " succeeded, with some difficulty, in laying out 
" the home lots " agreeably to the General Court's order, by locating 
them " on the Great Interval over against Sugar Ball Plain, and the 
land next adjoining ; having made a beginning on the 

adjoining upland." But they " found it impracticable, if not impos- 
sible, to lay out the land there into six acre lots so as to be fenced 
and broken up within three years ; the contents being too large, 
wholly to be laid out there." 

So the work was accomplished during the bright days of May — 
for the weather was " fair," " fair and cool," " fair and pleasant," 
" fine and clear," as Wainwright's lively record duly noted ; while 
the surveyors, chainmen, and companions, as they threaded the vir- 
gin growths of the wilderness, found some excitement in coming 
upon an occasional " beaver " or " hedgehog," or " divers rattle- 
snakes " that "were killed daily ;-- but," in the fervent language of 
the journal, " thanks be to God, nobody received any harm from 
them." The sum of two hundred pounds defrayed the charges in- 
curred in this important preliminary to the civilized occupation of 

The committee made report, the next month, to the General Court 
of Massachusetts, setting forth that, " on the east side of the Merri- 
mack," they found " little or no water, [and] the land near the river 
extremely mountainous, and almost impassable, and very unfit for 
and incapable of receiving fifty families, as the Court" had "ordered; 
more especially," as, " near the center of the town, on the east side 
of the river Merrimack, the Honorable Samuel Sewall, Esq.," had " a 
farm of five hundred acres of good land formerly . . . laid out 
to Gov. Endicott : " and " that, therefore, . . . one hundred and 
three lots of land " had been " laid out for settlements, on the west 
side, contiguous to each other, regularly and in a defensible manner 


." Ill conclusion the committee humbly offered, that 
" inasmuch as the generality of the land " did not answer " the 
grantees' expectation," and " five hundred acres " had been laid out 
before, a grant of " the like number of acres of the unappropriated 
lands adjacent to the township " should " be made to the settlers as 
an equivalent." The General Court at once accepted the commit- 
tee's report so far as to allow the settlements to be made on the west 
side of the river ; but no action was taken at that time upon the re- 
quest for a grant of land equivalent to the Sewall Farm. 

Immediately upon the return to Portsmouth, on the 15th of May, 
the New Hampshire committee — Messrs. Weare, Waldron, and 
Atkinson — reported to the lieutenant-governor and council, that 
they had been "at Pennecook," where they "found his Hon. Col. 
Will. Taller, Esq., John Wainwright, Esq., and Col. Eleazer Tyng, 
Esq., with sundry others, mostly unknown to " them, " to the num- 
ber of near forty men, who were felling the trees and laying out the 
lands there." " Whereupon," — the report continues, — " we presented 
the order of Court, and assured them that their proceedings were 
highly displeasing to the government which sent us thither, and their 
persisting therein would be at their peril, for they might depend upon 
it, when the controversial boundary between the two Provinces 
should be determined, the poor misled people who might be induced 
to settle there under the color of a Massachusetts grant, would be 
dispossessed of the said lands, or suffer some other inconveniences 
equally grievous ; and that the message on which we were sent, and 
the fair forewarning they had by us, would take away all occasions of 
complaint when they should be compelled to leave the said lands, 
and lose the benefit of their improvement. To which the gentlemen 
above-mentioned were pleased to reply, that, as we were sent by the 
government of New-Hampshire, so were they, by the government of 
Massachusetts, and that when they returned home, they ' : would 
" lay before their General Assembly, the order of Council we had 
delivered them, who, without doubt, would pass thereon as they 
should think proper." 1 

The council of Massachusetts took notice of this forewarning, by 
passing an order, on the 28th of June, that a letter be sent to " Mr. 
Agent Dummer"in London, instructing him "to take effective care 
to answer any complaint " that the New Hampshire government 
might make against the grant of Penacook " lately made." On the 
other hand, Mr. Henry Newman, having " received letters " from the 
New Hampshire authorities, " complaining of the encroachment of 
Massachusetts Province," addressed, on the 8th of August, an urgent 

1 1 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. IV, 12. 


communication to the " Lords Commissioners of Trade and Planta- 
tions/ 1 informing them that he had " some time since lodged in the 
Council office, to be laid before His Majesty, a memorial requesting 
that the boundaries of " those "provinces" might "be settled"; and 
begging their " Lordships," that, " as that " might " require time to 
be considered," they " would be pleased, in the meanwhile, to inter- 
pose " their " authority for securing His Majesty's interest in the 
Province of New-Hampshire from any detriment by the grants already 
made ; and for suspending all grants of land on or near the boun- 
daries in dispute, till His Majesty's pleasure therein" should "be 
known." * 

The summer and autumn of 172(3 passed, but the admitted settlers 
had not yet drawn their lands by allotment. They had met the 
court's committee, on the 7th of September, at the house or inn of 
Francis Crumpton, in Ipswich, " to draw their respective lots," as 
specified in the call for the meeting, but, from the lack of some prep- 
arations deemed requisite by the committee, especially the cutting of 
a road from Haverhill to the intended settlement, they did not then 
receive the expected allotment. However, they "came into certain 
orders and rules for bringing forward and effecting the settlement," 
which were put into the hands of the committee. They chose Cap- 
tain Benjamin Stevens, treasurer, to receive the balance of money 
paid the court's committee by the settlers, after defraying the com- 
mittee's charges ; this balance " to be disposed of in marking out and 
clearing a way to PennyCook." They appointed " Ensign John 
Chandler, of Andover, John Ayer, of Haverhill, and Mr. William 
Barker, of Andover, a committee to go out and clear a sufficient 
cart-way to PennyCook, the nighest and best way, from Haverhill " ; 
the expense to be " defrayed by the community." They also ordered 
" Mr. Obadiah Ayer to make application to the General Court," . . . 
in their behalf, " to have the five hundred pounds abated, and the 
five hundred acres, — being the equivalent for Mr. Sewall's farm, 
added to the township." Moreover, they completed their payment 
of twenty shillings each, for making up the hundred pounds, ordered 
by the committee to be raised for defraying the expense of " laying 
out a way to the settlement." 

During the autumn the committee on the " cart-way " were en- 
gaged in the duty assigned them, with the help of Richard Hazzen, 
who went " to search out and mark " a path by way of " Chester " 
to " PennyCook." This new road, thus selected and " cut through," 
was a more direct and otherwise better one than that taken by the 
committee in May, as already described. It kept farther to the east 

1 Original in office of secretary of state; Bouton's Concord, 82. 


from the Merrimack, without deflections towards it at the several 
falls. It passed up through the Chester woods, including those of 
modern Hooksett ; and having skirted along " White Hall " and the 
eastern edge of " Lakin's Pond " 1 it reached the Suncook. From the 
ford at the site of the present village which bears the river's name, 
the path ran northward for a portion of its distance, over the course 
of the later thoroughfare, known as " Pembroke Street," onward to 
the ford of the Soucook, 2 and thence beyond to Sugar Ball ; whence 
was passage by boat to the west bank of the Merrimack. 

In course of the summer and autumn some of the admitted settlers 
were on the ground, and made hay upon the tempting intervals on 
the west side of the river, stacking it for the future use of " the com- 
munity." 2 It seems also that two of them at least — Henry Rolfe 
and Richard Urann — spent the ensuing winter, or a part of it, in 
Penacook, and hence it is sometimes claimed that they were the first 
settlers. 3 It is said that the winter of 1126-21 was one of unusual 
cold and depth of snow, and that these hardy pioneers suffered not a 
little from the severity of the season and lack of provisions, but were 
relieved by the kindly services of friendly Indians, who still lingered 
in the home of their fathers. 4 

Towards the close of winter, on the 7th and 8th of February, 1727, 
a meeting of the court's committee and the admitted settlers was 
held at the house of Benjamin Stevens in Andover. "A bond of 
five pounds " was taken from each settler, " for the payment of five 
hundred pounds for the use " of the province of Massachusetts, when 
the General Court should " demand the same ; on penalty of forfeit- 
ing title ... to the lands respectively." The settlers, having 
complied with this condition, as well as that of opening, at their own 
charge, a cart-way from Haverhill to Penacook, were allowed to draw 
their allotments of land. 

Each allotment consisted of a " House Lot " and a " Home, or Six 
Acre, Lot"; the former containing an acre and a half; the latter, 
six acres, more or less, according to quality. There were one hun- 
dred and three allotments, being those of the hundred admitted set- 
tlers, and three others — the " minister's," the " ministerial," and the 
"school," 5 all laid out upon the west side of the river. The "house- 
lots " were laid off in ranges. The first range ran along on the east 
side of a highway-space, ten rods wide, — afterwards to be contracted 

1 In modern Hooksett. History of Pembroke, 94-95. 
1 See note at close of chapter. 
8 Annals of Concord, 11 (note). 

4 Bouton's Concord, 83. 

5 At the close of this chapter will be found an alphabetical list of the proprietors, with the 
house- and home-lots drawn by each in their respective ranges. This is accompanied by a 
plan, by the aid of which the description in the text may be more easily understood. See 
Bouton's Concord, 122, 123, 124, with plan. 


to a width of six rods, known as Main street, — and extended from 
Horse Shoe pond hill, or " the minister's lot," J southward about a 
mile and a half. This range contained thirty-seven lots, regularly 
numbered from north to south, with the sixth and thirty-fifth vacant. 
Parallel to this, and along the west side of the same thoroughfare, 
and extending about the same distance, was the second range, con- 
taining thirty-four lots, numbered in the same direction as those of 
the first, with the thirtieth vacant. Westward of the second, and 
separated from it by a highway-space ten rods wide, being a part of 
what was to be State street, was the third range, which ran southerly 
to the present Washington street, from a highway reservation, ex- 
tending westerly from Horse Shoe pond hill. It contained twelve 
lots, numbered from north to south in continuation of those in the 
second range, with the thirty-ninth vacant. A short range, perpen- 
dicular to the northernmost lots of the third range, extended west- 
ward, and contained the school lot with three others. These four 
lots were not numbered in the record, and took, it seems, the place 
of the vacant ones in the other ranges. The " Island Range " lay 
along the highland on the west side of Horse Shoe pond, and reached 
northward to Wood's brook. It comprised nine "house lots," num- 
bered from south to north, which had their accompanying "home lots " 
on " Horse Shoe Island " near by, a fact that gave the range its name. 

As has been seen, with these one hundred and three " House 
Lots " went the same number of " Home, or Six Acre, Lots,"- —the 
latter generally detached from the former, though the minister's allot- 
ment had the two contiguous. The eleven allotments of the portion 
of land variously styled " The Lowest Range," " The Lowest Inter- 
vale," or " The Eleven Lots," extending northward from " The Great 
Bend " of the river nearly to the southern extremities of the first and 
second house-lot ranges, already described, had the peculiarity of 
being, each, a combination of " house-lot " and " home-lot," and of 
being designated exclusively by the latter name. Of the other 
" home-lots," ten lay in " Wattanummon's Field," to the northward 
of Horse Shoe pond, and southward of the Merrimack, as it there 
flows ; seventy-two in " The Great Plain," comprising all the interval 
northeast and east of the first range of " house-lots," and between 
" Wattanummon's Field " and the " Frog Ponds " —the latter desig- 
nating an area embraced by the river's curve north of " The Eleven 
Lots " ; and, lastly, ten on Horse Shoe Island. Through these lots, 
highways — some four rods wide, others two — were here and there 

Thus, the allotments that had been surveyed and laid out in May, 

1 See note at close of chapter. 



1726, came at last, in February, 1727, into the hands of individual 
proprietors. Each "admitted settler ,, had now his little farm of up- 
land and interval, with the assurance of future enlargement of pos- 
session out of lands yet unallotted ; and in this freehold tenure he 
was to find a natural stimulus to the earnest exertion requisite to 
accomplish the civilized occupation of the wilderness. 

As soon as the settlers had drawn their land they held a meeting', 
February 8, 1727, and voted to build "at Pennycook, a block- 
house of twenty-five feet in breadth and forty feet in length, for the 
security of the settlers " ; John Chandler, Moses Hazzen, Nehemiah 
Carlton, Nathan Simonds, and Ebenezer Stevens being a committee 
to examine the charges arising from " building a block-house, . . . 
or any other charges, that " should " arise in bringing forward the 
settlement," and, upon allowance, " to draw money out of the treas- 
ury," for payment. They levied a tax of one hundred pounds to "be 
paid in to the treasurer by the first day " of the succeeding March, 
" for defraying past and future charges." They appointed John 
Chandler, Henry Rolfe, William White, Richard Hazzen, Jr., and 
John Osgood, " to lay out the intervale that " had " not yet " been 
" laid out," so that the " whole," — including the part already laid 
out, — should " be equally divided among " the settlers, " as to quan- 
tity and quality." While adopting promptly such wise measures, 
they thought it not premature to declare a war of extermination 
against the venomous reptile, already found to be dangerously preva- 
lent in the Penacook woods, by providing a bounty of " threepence " 
for every " rattlesnake killed within the bounds of the township, to 
be paid by the settlers' treasurer upon sight of the tail." x 

The " Second Division of the Intervale," ordered at this meeting, 
was surveyed and laid out in May, 1727, by the committee appointed 
for that purpose, — Richard Hazzen, Jr., behig the surveyor, — and 
was accepted by the court's committee in March, 1728. 2 

The division comprised, on the east side of the river : (1) The 
" Mill Brook Intervale," or the lands in the vicinity of Mill brook, 
the outlet of Turtle pond into the Merrimack, lying in two ranges— 
the first containing twenty-four lots, the second, twelve. (2) The 
" Sugar Ball Division," situated in the valley south of Sugar Ball 
hill, and containing sixteen lots. (3) "The Middle Plain," includ- 
ing the interval extending from Sugar Ball plain to the river's curve 
at the " Frog Ponds," and being in twenty-eight lots, numbered, — as 
were all those hitherto mentioned, — down Merrimack river. (4) The 
east-side " Lowest Intervale," opposite the " Eleven Lots," extending 
from the ancient south line of the plantation, northward to the "Mid- 

1 See note at close of chapter. 3 Bouton's Concord, 85. 



die Plain " ; being in thirty-one lots, numbered up the river, and with 
"a driftway of three rods through 1 ' their "westerly" ends, "as nigh 
the Merrimack river as " might be convenient. 

This second division included, on the west side of the Merrimack: 
(1) "Rattlesnake Plains," comprising the interval reaching north- 
ward from " Farnum's Eddy to the hills and bluffs which border the 
river, northeast of West Parish village," x in seventeen lots, num- 
bered up river, and with allowance for a highway. (2) " The Frog 
Ponds,** —already often mentioned, — south of " The Great Plain," 
and divided into sixteen lots. 

In addition, nine small lots not in range were laid out in various 
localities. 2 Those persons whose allotments, in the first division, had 
fallen in the " Eleven Lots," obtained, in the second, the same num- 
ber of lots opposite in the " Lowest Intervale " on the east side of the 
river, and also eleven others in the " Middle Plain." 3 In some other 
cases, " two parcels, in different localities, were allotted to the same per- 
son." 4 The number of lots in the second division was one hundred 
and sixty-seven ; and these, exclusive of the nine scattered ones, 
varied in size from two and a half acres to six. 5 

In the early spring 
of 1727, nearly a year 
before the second as- 
signment of lands was 
completed, the set- 
tlers had gone to work 
in the plantation. By 
April and May a pio- 
neer band of propri- 
etors, comprising Eb- 
enezer Eastman, Jo- 
seph and Edward Ab- 
bott, John Merrill, and 
forty or fifty others, 
including employees, 
had arrived, and at 
once engaged " i n 
building the meeting- 
house, in clearing and fencing lots," and in other labors incident to 
the beginning of a permanent settlement. 6 The " meeting-house " — 

bouton's Concord, 86. s Ibid, 126. 

2 Ibid, 127. 4 Ibid, 125. 

6 The allotments of the second division are tabulated at the close of this chapter, with 
quantity of land, locality, and names of owners. No plan is to be found. See notes at close 
of chapter. See Bouton's Concord, 125-27. 

"Depositions of Richard Hazzen, Joseph and Edward Abbot, and others in the Bow con- 
troversy, cited in Bouton's Concord, 210-11. 

The Meeting-house. 


otherwise denominated the "block house," or the "garrison house" 
was the first building to be reared, and was early completed for use. 
It was a modest structure of hewn logs, newly felled in the primeval 
forest where it was placed. Its length was forty feet, and its width 
twenty-five. Its roof was low-ridged, and without chimney or tower. 
Its door opened midway the length, and unglazed port-hole windows 
pierced the sides. The exterior of the structure, in its solidity with- 
out beauty, was matched by an interior of rude finish and scanty fur- 
nishing. It stood in the second range of house-lots, on the west side 
of the main highway, by an eastward-flowing brook, not then named 
"West's," and where, in after years, was to be the northwest corner 
of Main and Chapel streets. With repairs and " amendments," it was 
to answer its purposes, religious and secular, — in other words, as a 
church and a town house, for nearly a quarter of a century. 

During the season, some of the uplands were put in process of 
clearing, and portions of the interval were plowed and planted with 
Indian corn, while the native grass was cured into hay. It is asserted 
that Samuel Ayer, a young proprietor, was the first to plow " a field 
in Penacook." House-lots were prepared to receive the home build- 
ing's of hewn log's. Indeed, Ebenezer Eastman, a veteran of the Port 
Royal and Canadian expeditions of fifteen years before and now a 
leading spirit in this plantation enterprise, had his house ready for 
occupation in the fall of 1727, and there resided with his wife, Sarah 
Peaslee, and his six sons — Ebenezer, Philip, Joseph, Nathaniel, Jere- 
miah, and Obadiah — the first family of settlers resident in Penacook. 1 
The house-lot where was then the Eastman home, was the ninth in 
the second range of the original survey, not far south of the angle 
made by the modern Franklin street with the main thoroughfare. But 
in the second division of lots, early the next year, Captain Eastman 
received the sixteenth lot in the " Mill Brook range," on the east side 
of the river, and there he finally settled. It seems from tradition that 
Captain Eastman's team of six yoke of oxen, with a cart, accompa- 
nying the removal of his family to their new home, was the first out- 
fit of the kind to pass over the road lately cut " through the wilder- 
ness," from Haverhill to Penacook. 2 The outfit proving somewhat 
unwieldy, found difficulty along the route, but especially towards the 
end, where, at precipitous Sugar Ball, the driver, Jacob Shute, after- 
wards a settler in the plantation, could secure a safe descent into the 
plain bordering the river, only by felling a pine tree and chaining it 
top foremost to the cart. 3 

iBouton's Concord, 90; Annals of Concord, 11 (note). 
2 Bouton's Concord, 88; Annals of Concord, 11 (note). 
3 Ibid; also, see notes at close of chapter. 


The arrival of Captain Eastman's family was probably soon fol- 
lowed by that of others. Certainly, Edward Abbott and his wife, 
Dorcas Chandler, passed the ensuing winter in the settlement. Pos- 
sibly they dwelt upon the lot, marked by the junction of the present 
Main and Montgomery streets, where they surely dwelt some years 
later. 1 However that may be, to the worthy pair was born, on the 
15th of February, 1728, a daughter, to whom was given the mother's 
name, and who was the first white child born in Penacook. It was 
not till nearly two years later that the first male child, Edward 
Abbott, was born in the plantation and of the same parents. 

Now, of the work of settlement, thus successfully pushed in the 
plantation established by Massachusetts, the government of New 
Hampshire was not an idle spectator. On the 20th of May, 1727, 
it granted — " as it is believed without actual survey " 2 — the town- 
ships of Bow, Canterbury, Chichester, and Epsom. The grant of 
Bow, to one hundred and seven proprietors and " their associates," 
comprised eighty-one square miles, and covered about three fourths 
of the plantation of Penacook, and much adjoining territory on the 
south and southwest. This action was taken with a view to the 
practical enforcement of the warning given in May of the previous 
year, to the committee of the General Court of Massachusetts, then 
engaged in laying off the lands in Penacook. New Hampshire was 
determined to resist, pending the settlement of the boundary line be- 
tween the two provinces, the claim of Massachusetts to the posses- 
sion of all lands to the southward of the line three miles " northward 
of the Merrimack from mouth to source." The grant of Bow in- 
volved mischief to the Massachusetts settlers of Penacook, for there 
was to come of it to them a long, vexatious, and injurious contro- 
versy, the history of which belongs to a period twenty-five years 

The next year (1728), at a meeting of the settlers, called at their 
" desire " by the court's committee, and held, on the 6th and 7th of 
March, at the house of John Griffin, in Bradford, an appropriation 
was voted to discharge accounts for " laying out the second division 
of intervale, for building the block-house, making canoes," and for 
other purposes. A committee, consisting of Ebenezer Eastman, 
Joseph Hall, and Abraham Foster, was appointed " to amend the 
new way from PennyCook to Haverhill." The same committee had 
in charge " to fence in," by the last day of May, " all the first divis- 
ion of intervale " ; each proprietor having the choice " to fence in his 
proportion, or else to pay the committee for doing it." 

1 On or near the site of the residence of the late Eliphalet S. Nutter. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 206 (note). 


At this meeting action was also taken towards seeming the regu- 
lar preaching of the gospel. Accordingly, Joseph Hall and John 
Pecker " were empowered to agree with a minister to preach at Pen- 
nyCook, the year ensuing ; to begin the service from the fifteenth day 
of May." The committee received also injunction " to act with all 
prudence, and not assure the gentleman more than the rate of one 
hundred pounds per annum for his services." 

Other business of a financial character, or connection, having been 
transacted, as, ordering one hundred pounds to be raised " for defray- 
ing past and future charges " ; appointing collectors " to demand and 
receive, and, if need be, sue for and recover in the law," arrearages 
on sums previously raised ; making appropriations to individuals for 
services rendered, and choosing Deacon John Osgood, treasurer, the 
meeting was continued by adjournment to the 15th of May, then to 
be held " at the block-house in Penny-Cook." 

At this adjourned meeting, — the first of the kind held by the set- 
tlers on the soil of their new plantation, and the earliest forerunner 
of " Concord town-meetings,"- —Captain Henry Rolfe was moderator, 
with John Wainwright, of the court's committee, clerk. The prog- 
ress of the settlement was evinced in the appointment of Henry 
Rolfe, Ebenezer Eastman, and James Mitchell, as a committee, to 
procure the building of a sawmill within six months, " to supply the 
town with good merchantable boards of yellow pine, at thirty shil- 
lings per thousand, and . . . white pine boards at forty shillings 
per thousand — or to saw of each sort to the halves " ; and also " to 
agree with some person or persons to erect a grist-mill," within a 
year, and " to oblige the builder or builders to grind the town's corn 
of all sorts, well and free from grit, for the usual toll." It was fur- 
ther provided that " fifty pounds of bills of credit " should be paid, 
and " fifty acres of land " granted for building each of the mills, and 
that the builders should " be entitled to the said lands and also to 
the stream or streams upon which the mills " stood, " so long as they " 
were " kept in repair, and the design of the town in having them 
built " was " answered " ; this title to hold good, if the mills should 
be "providentially consumed." As already seen, provision had 
been made for canoes to navigate the river ; but now another ad- 
vance was made in taking steps towards a more effective mode of 
crossing the stream by authorizing Ebenezer Eastman, Abraham Fos- 
ter, and Joseph Hall, " to agree with some person to keep a ferry on 
Merrimack river," and " to clear the best way they " could " to the 
ferry-place " ; the ferriage to be sixpence for " each man and horse," 
and fourpence " for each horned beast." 

The settlers, thus busily intent upon advancing the interests of their 


plantation, received, on the 6th of August, 1728, from the legislature 
of Massachusetts, upon a petition presented by John Osgood, permis- 
sion " to extend the south bounds of the township one hundred rods, 
the full breadth of the town," as an equivalent for the five hundred 
acres formerly laid out to the right of Governor Endicott, — otherwise 
the Sewall Farm. On the same day, and by the same legislature, 
was granted to the volunteers under Captain Love well, a portion of 
the wilderness to the southward, six miles square, and named Sun- 
cook, described as " lying on each side of the Merrimack," and " of 
the same breadth from the river as Pennicook," and " beginning 
where Pennicook new grant determines." The territory of Suncook 
was largely included in that of Bow. As New Hampshire had, the 
year before, laid the township of Bow over the greater part of Pena- 
cook, so Massachusetts now laid the greater part of Suncook over 
Bow. Such territorial overlapping — such a shingling of hostile 
grants, so to speak — was not conducive to peaceable occupation, as 
subsequent events were to attest. 

As already mentioned, action had been taken by the settlers, early 
in the year, with a view to securing regular religious service. Little 
is known of the immediate result of that action. It is certain, how- 
ever, that Reverend Enoch Coffin and Reverend Bezaliel Toppan, 
both proprietors, and both Harvard graduates, occasionally occupied 
the pulpit of the log meeting-house; for early the next year (1729) 
an allowance of four pounds was granted to the heirs of the former, 
and thirty shillings to the latter, " for preaching and performing 
divine service at PennyCook." 1 At the meetings of the settlers, 
held in May and June of 1729, the subject of " procuring a minister " 
was a prominent one. At the June meetings, a committee, enlarged 
from two to seven, and consisting of John Osgood, John Pecker, 
John Chandler, Ebenezer Eastman, Nathan Simonds, William Barker, 
and Joseph Hall, was appointed " to call and agree with some suitable 
person to be minister of the town of PennyCook," at a salary of " one 
hundred pounds per annum " to " be paid by the community." 
Another sum of " one hundred pounds " was " allowed to be paid out 
of the company's treasury as an encouragement to the first minister 
for settling as " such, " and taking pastoral charge." At the subse- 
quent adjourned meeting in October, " every proprietor or intended 
settler " was assessed " in the sum of twenty shillings, towards the 
support of an orthodox minister, . . . for the current year." 
Though the permanent supply of preaching had not then been secured, 
yet it is probable that, in course of the year, Timothy Walker, of 
Wobuin, a young man of twenty-four, and four years out of Harvard 

1 See note at close of chapter. 


college, made his first appearance in the Penacook pulpit, and there 
continued his services, more or less constantly, until his " call " to 
the pastorate in 1730. 

In those days, too, the attention of the settlers was steadily 
directed to providing suitable roads within the settlement, and the 
region to the southward which had been their home. To facilitate 
the crossing of the Soucook and Suncook rivers fell to them exclu- 
sively, in the absence of neighbors to share the labor and expense. 
As a westward branch of the original Haverhill road, a new path, 
also, had to be opened leading directly from the Soucook crossing to 
the southerly part of the main settlement growing up along the west 
bank of the Merrimack. Hence, in proprietors' meeting on the 6th 
of May (1729), William Barker, Timothy Johnson, and Nicholas 
White were instructed " to make a fordway over Sow-Cooke river, 
and clear a way thence to the Merrimack river against the Eleven 
Lots, at the charge of the community." Within a year, and to 
another committee, consisting of John Pecker, Ebenezer Stevens, and 
Abraham Bradley, was assigned the duty, " to amend and repair the 
necessary roads in Pennycook, and also, ... to build a good 
bridge over Sow-Cook river, at the cost of the settlers " ; being the 
first structure of its kind to span a Concord stream. At the time 
when the branch way to the Merrimack against the " Eleven Lots " 
was ordered to be cleared, Nehemiah Carlton was " desired, for the 
sum of ten pounds to build a ferry-boat, about nineteen feet long, 
and of suitable breadth, well timbered . . . well caulked, 
pitched, or turpentined, and furnished fit to carry people and crea- 
tures." This was forthwith " to be delivered, with a pair of good 
and suitable oars, at PennyCook, for the use of the society." Already 
Henry Rolfe had built a " ferry-boat for the carrying of the com- 
munity and company over the river Suncook," for which he was 
allowed five pounds. Carlton's boat was soon plying on the Merri- 
mack, at the Eleven Lots ; and in March, 1730, in accordance with 
the action of two years before, a ferry was definitely established at or 
near the former " ferry place." It was then decided that " John 
Merrill " should " have the ferry, with twenty acres of land near " : 
the ferriage to be " two pence for a man, and four pence for a horse " 
or other " beast " ; and, after twenty years, " one penny per man " of 
" the inhabitants of PennyCook," and " three pence " a head for 
" beasts." This ferry, which later bore the name of Butters's, had 
location at some distance to the northward of the place where, 
more than sixty years later, a bridge — ever after to be maintained — 
was to be built over the Merrimack. On the hillside towards the 
west, the ferryman's twenty acres were laid out ; and there his house 


stood near the lower end of the main thoroughfare, where has long 
been a parting of roads. 1 

By 1729 " Mr. Simonds and company ' — as designated in the 
record — had completed, on Mill brook, the first sawmill, and, half 
a mile below this, the first grist-mill, as provided for by the settlers 
the year before. The stones of the latter were taken from Rattle- 
snake hill ; 2 the crank of the former was brought from Haverhill on 
horseback. Soon after the mill was put to use it was disabled by 
the breaking of this iron crank — with no blacksmith short of Haver- 
hill. But necessity suggested relief. A forge of blazing pitch-pine 
knots having been extemporized, the broken member, splintered with 
beetle-rings and wedges, had its fracture so reduced, and so knit in a 
thorough weld, that it was almost as good a crank as ever. 3 The 
inconvenience of having the nearest blacksmith shop fifty miles away 
must have been felt by the settlers in other instances than this. So 
the next year (1730), provision was made to secure the services of a 
resident smith, in the vote " that Mr. Cutting Noyes " should " have 
fifty acres of land : ten of which " were to " be laid out against Mr. 
Pecker's lot, . . . sixteen rods front, and extending back from 
the high way," ten rods ; 1 while " the other forty acres " were " to be 
laid out in some of the other divisions : provided " he should " do the 
blacksmith work for the town for ten years." On these terms the 
first smith cast in his lot with the farmers and carpenters of Pena- 

The new sawmill supplied convenient lumber. The settlers were 
not slow to avail themselves of this advantage in repairing their 
meeting-house, and providing it with " a floor of planks or boards." 
The mention of this improvement suggests the more important fact 
that soon the pulpit of that modest edifice was to be occupied by a 
settled "orthodox minister." On the last day of March, 1730, the 
settlers reappointed the committee of seven, selected in June of the 
preceding year, and instructed it " to agree with the Rev. Mr. Timo- 
thy Walker, in order to his carrying on the work of the ministry in 
PennyCook for the year ensuing, and to treat with " him " in order 
to his settlement " in that " work." At the same time provision was 
made for " a speedy " additional " repairing of the house of worship." 
Six months later, "the General Court's committee" notified "the pro- 
prietors and grantees to assemble at the meeting-house " in "Penny- 
Cook, on the fourteenth day of October," and " then and there to 
choose a minister," fix the terms of settlement, and arrange "for his 
ordination." At the meeting held in accordance with this order, it 

1 See note at close of chapter. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 545. 

8 Annals of Concord, 11 (note) ; Bouton's Concord, 93. 


was " voted by the admitted settlers, that they" would " have a min- 
ister" ; that " the Rev. Mr. Timothy Walker" should "be the minis- 
ter of the town " ; that the committee of seven should " agree with " 
him " upon terms " of settlement ; that he should "have one hundred 
pounds for the year ensuing " —this to " rise forty shillings per annum 
till " coming " to one hundred and twenty pounds," x which should 
" be the stated sum annually for his salary " ; that " salary " should 
" be paid in whatever " should " be the medium of trade, for the time 
being, in " the " province, at silver seventeen shillings per ounce " ; 
and, finally, that " the one hundred pounds formerly voted, to enable 
the minister to build a house " should " be paid in eighteen months' 
time." These stipulations were rounded off with the careful pro- 
viso, " that if Mr. Walker, by extreme old age," should " be dis- 
enabled from carrying on the whole work of the ministry, he " should 
abate so much of his salary as " should be rational." A committee 
was then selected, consisting of " Deacon John Osgood, Mr. John 
Pecker, Mr. Benjamin Nichols, and Mr. Ebenezer Eastman, to dis- 
course with Mr. Walker about the time of his ordination, and to 
appoint the day ; also to request " such churches as they " might 
think proper, to send their ministers and messengers to assist in " 
the services, the committee being authorized " to appoint suitable 
entertainment " for the guests. 

Mr. Walker having formally accepted, by letter, " the invitation to 
settle in the ministry," his ordination occurred on the 18th of No- 
vember, 1730. As to this important event in the history of the new 
settlement, present information is but meager. No tradition describes 
that earnest assemblage of strong-hearted pioneers, the early men 
and women of Penacook, gathered, with their guests, in the humble 
church on the cleared rim of the leafless forest of that November 
day. Something is known of the services of the impressive occasion, 
though of the visitants, present on invitation, the names of only 
three, — ministers of Massachusetts churches, — have been preserved. 
These, John Barnard of North Andover, Samuel Phillips : of 
South Andover, and John P>rown of Haverhill, were of the coun- 
cil, if not its sole constituents. The charge was given by Mr. Phil- 
lips ; the right hand of fellowship by Mr. Brown. The sermon was 
preached by Mr. Barnard, and in this the preacher urged the people 
" always ... to rejoice and strengthen the hands of their min- 
ister by their concord " —words which embodied an appeal not un- 
heeded in the coming years, while, by pleasant accident, they included 
the future permanent name of the settlement. On that occasion, too, 
the first church in Penacook was organized, with eight members, 

1 See note at close of chapter. 



ft- : f * 

%''.' $ :7 ^Jl 

including the pastor. The expenses of the ordination, as afterward 
allowed and paid, amounted to thirty-one pounds ten shillings. Thus 
the new pastor embarked with the people of his charge ; and, to them, 
in things secular as well as religious, he was ever to be a safe pilot. 
The week after his ordination, he brought to Penacook his wife, Sarah 
Burbeen, of Woburn, the bride of a fortnight, in company with the 
wives of several other settlers, all with brave and hopeful hearts, 
making the journey on horseback, over the wilderness road to their 
new homes beside the Merrimack. 

The requisition made in the beginning, upon " the intended set- 
tlers," as to a place for divine worship and the 
settlement of a minister, had now been com- 
plied with, while other requirements of " the 
community " had been or were to be duly met. 
Hence, this same year (1730) Henry Rolfe, 
John Pecker, and John Chandler were ap- 
pointed to lay out a suitable burying-place. 
Accordingly, the house-lot situated between 
numbers thirty-eight and forty in the third 
range, or the continuation of the second, on 
the west side of the highway afterward named 
State street, and left vacant in the original 
drawing of lots in 1727, was appropriated to 
that purpose. 1 
The proper fencing of the interval was another requirement, to 
meet which demanded persistent effort in the early years. The action 
taken upon this matter, in March, 1728, has already been mentioned. 
The result of that action seems to have been unsatisfactory, for in 
December the court's committee was petitioned to appoint a meeting 
of " the community and society of PennyCook, to see if they " could 
" come into some way and method to preserve their corn," inasmuch 
as they " received great damage last year, in " their " corn for want 
of a fence." At the meeting appointed in compliance with the peti- 
tion, and held by adjournment on the 12th of March, 1729, it was 
voted " that a good and substantial fence, according to law," should 
"lie made, to enclose the great interval, and secure the corn and 
mowing grass from the encroachment of cattle, horses, &c." ; this to 
be done " at the charge of the proprietors in said field in equal shares 
. . . and to be completely finished on or before the 15th day of May" 
ensuing. At the same time, Messrs. Ebenezer Eastman, Ebenezer 
Stevens, John Chandler, John Pecker, and Nathan Simonds, were 

1 The site was the present " Old Burying Ground;" also, see plan of lots at close of chap- 

Old Burying-ground. 


instructed as a committee, " to see that the fence be made sufficient, 
according to the law . . . and maintained accordingly " ; with 
power, should " anyone refuse to make and maintain his part of the 
fence, to hire " it " made at the charge of the delinquent,'* who should 
" pay ten shillings per diem for every laborer employed ... by 
the committee to make or repair such delinquent's fence." The next 
year similar and effectual action was taken respecting " the general 
fence at PennyCook." Moreover, as additional security against dam- 
age from stray beasts, a pound was ordered to be built, and David 
Barker and Jacob Shute were chosen " field-drivers," whose duty it 
was to look after wandering animals, and to impound them, if neces- 
sary. It was not, however, till the next year and under a new vote 
that the pound was built ; when, also, Nathaniel Abbott and Ezekiel 
Walker served as field-drivers, and the former as poundkeeper. 

The financial requirements of the pioneer community occasionally 
encountered individual delinquency. But the delinquents met with 
no favor from the body of proprietors, who manifested the steady 
purpose to bring every admitted settler to contribute promptly his 
part towards advancing the enterprise. Hence, as early as 1728, 
Solomon Martin was " admitted a settler in place of Nathaniel Bar- 
ker," who had forfeited his right by " refusing to pay his proportion- 
able charge." The next year complaint was made that " sundry 
persons " had " refused to pay in their respective proportion of 
charges," to the hindrance and discouragement of the settlement. 
Therefore " due inquiry " was ordered to be made as to " what per- 
sons " were " in arrearages," so that immediate payment might be 
demanded of them. " Upon their refusal or non-payment," they were 
to be reported " to the General Court's Committee . . . that 
their honors " might " proceed with them with the utmost rigor and 
severity." And so, in 1730, William Whitcher, Nathaniel Sanborn, 
Thomas Coleman, and Thomas Wicombe forfeited their rights, and 
their lots were assigned to Joseph Gerrish, Henry Rolfe, Nathan 
Webster, and Joseph Parker . . . each of whom paid five 
pounds for the lot thus received. 1 But there was one requisition in 
the original grant which the proprietors were unanimously reluctant 
to meet ; hoping that it might be partially, if not wholly, remitted. 
This was the stipulated payment of five hundred pounds to the prov- 
ince of Massachusetts, — five pounds for each of the hundred admitted 
settlers. To secure this payment, the proprietors, after ineffectual 
application for relief from what seemed to them an onerous condition, 
and before drawing their lands, had each given a bond for his share, 
payable on demand. And now in the last week of September, 1730, 

1 Bouton's Concord, 90-1. 



the General Court's committee, in calling the grantees to a meeting 
in " PennyCook," to choose and settle a minister, " more especially 
notified each proprietor to prepare the sum of five pounds ordered by 
the General Court in the grant of the township, — and respectively 
pay the same to the committee ... at the house of Mr. Sted- 
man, taverner, in Cambridge, on Wednesday, the twenty-first of 
October, at ten o'clock before noon, as '* thus would be avoided " the 
trouble and charge of having their bonds put in suit at the next 
court." At the meeting thus notified, which was held in Penacook, 
on the 14th of October, " Mr. Pecker and Ensign Chandler were 
chosen to " meet the General Court's committee at the time and place 
specified and " to pray their forbearance with the proprietors, relating 
to the five pounds due from each proprietor to the province." What 
" forbearance," if any, was obtained, is not known. But that the five 
hundred pounds were paid before the next March seems certain, for 
at that time, in a petition to the Massachusetts legislature for the con- 
ferring of town privileges, the proprietors set forth that " they " had 
" paid into the hands of the committee of the General Court the con- 
sideration money for their lots " ; and they prayed " that the court 
would order that one hundred pounds, or more, of the money " thus 
paid in might "be reimbursed them, for the extraordinary charges 
they " had " been at," in " building a meeting-house, settling a min- 
ister, making highways, et cetera." It appears that, upon this peti- 
tion, or some other, the entire sum of five hundred pounds was in 
some form reimbursed. ] 

Penacook was still a plantation, though, all along, it had been fre- 
quently designated as a "town "or "township." Indeed, in 1729, 
the settlers had petitioned the General Court "to empower "them to 
raise money to pay public charges, by making the settlement a town- 
ship invested with " the powers and privileges " of other towns with- 
in the province. This petition proving ineffectual, another was pre- 
sented in 1730, likewise without attaining the desired result. Hut 
in March, now that " the conditions of the original grant of the plan- 
tation had been complied with," 2 — including the five hundred pounds 
of " consideration money " paid in, — the settlers presented to the 
General Court the petition mentioned in the preceding paragraph, 
setting forth expenses incurred and the likelihood of tk difficulty " to 
be met with "in gathering the money thus laid out," and "therefore 
praying that they " might be made a township. 

This petition having been somewhat considered by the General 
Court, was, on the 6th of March, "referred "to the May session. 
Hut this reference was accompanied by an important order regulating 

1 Bouton's Concord, 132. 2 Ibid, 103. 


the plantation, and granting it approximate town rights and privi- 
leges. It authorized Henry Rolf e to call a meeting of the inhabitants 
and grantees "at the meeting-house," on the 29th of March, 1731, 
and of which he was to be moderator. It provided for the choice of 
a clerk, assessors and collectors of taxes, a constable, fence-viewers, 
and hog-reeves — all to be sworn by the moderator. It empowered 
the grantees and settlers to agree on ministerial and other "rates 
and taxes," to be " levied equally on the lots except " those " of 
the ministry " and the " school," and all to be " paid into the 
hands of the assessors, by them to be disposed of for defraying the 
ministerial and other charges of the plantation."" It instructed 
" Henry Rolfe to take an exact account of what " was " done in each 
lot in fencing, building, and improving," and lay the same before the 
court at the next May session. It authorized " the committee for 
the settlement of the plantation " to grant anew the lots of delin- 
quents " to such other persons as " should " speedily and effectually " 
comply " with the terms of their grants and the orders of the Court." 
And, finally, the order declared the plantation " to lie in the county 
of Essex," — a declaration for which the settlers had petitioned two 
years before. 

At the meeting held pursuant to this order, the list of officers sug- 
gested by the general court was filled by election. Benjamin Rolfe, 
son of the moderator, and a recent graduate of Harvard college, was 
chosen clerk. He was a rising man, and had already served as 
recording officer at the meeting of " the admitted settlers," held the 
previous year for the choice of a minister. About that time, too, 
John Wainwright, who had kept the records of the court's committee 
and of the proprietors, resigned, Rolfe becoming his successor, as 
proprietary clerk, or, as he was sometimes designated, " clerk for 
the settlers and grantees of PennyCook." At this first meeting, 
in connection with the choice of two hog-reeves, it was voted 
" that the hogs " might " go at large." It was also voted " that 
the fence " should " be made up round the general field by the 
fifteenth of April, and also creatures kept out of it after that day," 
and " that the general field be broken, the fifteenth of October." To 
effectuate this action, fence-viewers and field-drivers were chosen, 
and also a pound was definitely ordered to be built, — as before men- 
tioned, — and a pound-keeper chosen. Moreover, " Abraham Brad- 
ley, Ebenezer Eastman, and William Barker, Jr.," were made " a 
committee to mend the highways . . . ," in other words, to 
be highway surveyors. " Two hundred pounds " were raised for 
the payment of the "minister, and defraying other necessary 
charges " ; while the assessors — who by committee assignment per- 


formed some of the duties of selectmen in the absence of these offi- 
cers from the official list — were instructed " to clear the minister's 
and mimstery's six acre lot, at the charge of the community." 

The meeting was kept alive during the year 1731 by three or four 
adjournments, with Henry Rolfe as permanent moderator. At the 
first adjournment, on the last day of March, the attention of the set- 
tlers was almost exclusively devoted to taking the first steps towards 
establishing the " School." This important action was embodied in 
votes, "... that ten pounds " should " be levied on the grantees, 
to be laid out for the instructing of the children in reading, et cetera ; 
that the school " should " be kept in two of the most convenient parts 
of the township " ; and " that Mr. Ebenezer Eastman and Mr. 
Timothy Clement" should, as a committee, "lease out the six acre 
lot belonging to the School, to David Barker for the term of four 
years." Unfortunately, no further historical record, no additional 
tradition even, is extant as to this interesting initial movement in 
education — the future pride and blessing of the community. 

At the third adjourned meeting, on the 21st of October (1731), 
a committee was " chosen to settle the bounds of . . . Sewall's 
Farm ". Hitherto, repeated mention has been made of this valuable 
tract of five hundred acres, originally Endicott's grant. It had sup- 
plied, as will be recollected, a leading motive for changing the origi- 
nal purpose of the Penacook grant, which was to locate the first fifty 
settlements on the east side of the river. In 1729 Captain Eben- 
ezer Eastman had taken from Judge Sewall a lease of the farm for 
thirty years ; agreeing to pay as rent ten shillings the first year, with 
an increase of ten shillings each succeeding year, till fifteen pounds 
should be reached, — this sum to be paid annually afterwards. He 
was to improve the land by cultivation to the value of one hundred 
pounds ; to build a timber house and barn together worth the same 
sum ; to leave on the farm one hundred pounds' worth of fences of 
stone or timber ; to plant, in a regular orchard, five hundred apple 
trees, and to set out one hundred other fruit trees, such as cherry, 
pear, quince, and plum. 1 Before 1731 the farm was sold to Joseph 
Gerrish and Henry Rolfe, of Newbury, to whom the annual rent was 
afterwards paid. 2 In that year Captain Eastman was reported as 
having " broken up, cleared, and mowed eighty acres," 3 — a portion of 
which doubtless belonged to this farm. 

The plantation was thus trying its capability for town government, 
as best it might, in the leading strings of the general court of Massa- 
chusetts. That capability the court would test, under liberal though 

'Original lease in archives of N. H. Hist. Society. 
2 Bouton's Concord, 553 (note). 
» Ibid, 129. 


temporary concessions, before granting absolute and permanent 
township rights and privileges. Definite information, also, as to the 
actual condition of the settlement was insisted upon; hence, the 
order had required " an exact account " of what the settlers had 
done upon their lands to be taken and rendered. This duty, though 
assigned to Henry Rolfe, seems to have been done by John Wain- 
wright and John Sanders, two members of the court's committee, 
whose signatures alone stand attached to the report dated October 
20, 1731, and certified to be "The account of the present state and 
circumstances of the Plantation of PennyCook, taken there by as 
careful a view as we could, and the best information of the principal 
settlers and inhabitants." 3 

The general court's order of March, 1731, was substantially re- 
newed in January, 1732, but without empowering any person to call 
the first meeting. This omission hindered the holding of the " anni- 
versary meeting " in March, for the choice of officers and the raising 
of money, as authorized by the order. A legal way was at length 
found out for obviating somewhat the consequent embarrassment. A 
meeting of the settlers, not as " inhabitants " or " freeholders," but 
as " proprietors," had to be summoned. Richard Kent, of Newbury, 
a justice of the peace for the county -of Essex, upon application of 
Jeremiah Stickney and four other "proprietors of PennyCook," 
issued to Nathaniel Abbott, a warrant " for calling a proprietors' 
meeting." Upon due notification, the settlers convened on the 14th 
of September (1732), and chose Ebenezer Eastman, moderator, and 
Benjamin Rolfe, clerk. They elected no other officers ; but they 
agreed upon a more expeditious method of calling meetings, whereby, 
at the written request of ten of the " proprietors," the clerk could 
call a meeting " by giving fourteen days' warning." Five of these 
proprietary meetings were held in course of the year ; and thus the 
settlers contrived to meet some of the requirements of the plantation. 
Thus, in September, they appointed a committee of six, with 
Ebenezer Eastman at the head, " to lay out a first division of upland 
to each grantee . . . consisting of twenty acres in quantity 
and quality, in one or more pieces," leaving "land for sufficient 
highways." This " Twenty Acres Division " 2 was completed within 
two years. In October they raised " one hundred pounds for the 
support of" the minister. In November they ordered another 
division of land. This was entrusted to a committee of five, headed 
by Abraham Bradley, with instructions " to make amendments to the 
interval lots, in interval or other land." It required about two years 

1 Bouton's Concord, 13 (Proprietary Records). 

2 See note at close of chapter; Bouton's Concord, 127. 


to accomplish this division, known as the " Emendation Lots." * 
Preliminary measures were also taken at several of these meetings, 
as to building a sawmill and a grist-mill on Turkey river, for the use 
of the proprietors. The settlers, in a large majority, dwelling on the 
west side of the Merrimack, probably, found the location of the mills 
on Mill brook, on the east side, inconvenient; while from a vote of 
inquiry as to the condition and management of the latter mills, 
adopted about that time, it is a reasonable inference that there were 
other causes of dissatisfaction. 

In December, 1732, the settlers of Penacook, by Henry Rolfe, 
made petition to the authorities of Massachusetts that " some meet 
person " might be empowered " to call the first meeting of the inhab- 
itants for the ends and purposes " of the January order of that year ; 
thus affording relief from " many hardships and difficulties." Where- 
upon, on the 21st of December (1732), Governor Belcher " consented 
to " the following order, which, the day before, had been concurrently 
agreed upon by the council and the house of representatives : " Or- 
dered that Mr. Benjamin Rolfe, one of the principal inhabitants of 
the plantation of PennyCook be and hereby is fully impowered to 
assemble and convene the inhabitants of said plantation, to choose offi- 
cers and to do other matters, in pursuance of an order of this court 
at their session, begun and held at Boston, the first day of December, 
1731 ; which officers, when chosen, are to stand until the anniversary 
meeting in March next." 

In accordance with this order, Benjamin Rolfe, on the 8th of Jan- 
uary, 1733, "set up" the following notification at the meeting- 
house door in PennyCook : " The inhabitants of the Plantation of 
PennyCook are hereby notified to assemble and convene at the meet- 
ing-house in PennyCook, on the eleventh day of this instant January, 
at nine of the clock in the forenoon, then and there to choose a town- 
clerk, selectmen and constables, and all other ordinary town officers ; 
which officers, when chosen, are to stand to the anniversary meeting 
in March next." A 

This first meeting of the " settlers " was to choose " town officers " 
for the plantation. Having organized by selecting Ebenezer Eastman 
for moderator, and Benjamin Rolfe for town clerk, the settlers pro- 
ceeded to the elections. Under the privilege of choosing selectmen, 
—the privilege pre-eminently distinctive of the New England town, 
and now for the first time exercised, — they chose Captain Ebenezer 
Eastman, Deacon John Merrill, and Mr. Edward Abbott. These 
were also elected assessors. The purpose of assembling was fulfilled 

1 See note at close of chapter; Bouton's Concord, 128. 
s Town Kecords (1732-1820), 1. 


by the choice of a constable, a town treasurer, a collector of taxes, a 
sealer of leather, two surveyors of highways, two tythingmen, two 
hog-reeves, two fence-viewers, and two field-drivers. 

The first meeting having been dissolved, the newly-elected select- 
men, forthwith, as their first official act, issued a warrant to Nathaniel 
Abbott, constable, to summon " the inhabitants and freeholders " to 
a second meeting, to be held " at three of the clock in the after- 
noon " of that same 11th of January. Thus warned by the consta- 
ble's notification, set up at the meeting-house, the settlers met, and, 
with John Chandler as moderator, transacted the business specified in 
the warrant. This was comprised in two votes, raising one hundred 
and ten pounds " for the support " of the minister, and one hundred 
pounds " for defraying the necessary charges of the town or planta- 

The town-meeting, in its full import, had come to the " inhabi- 
tants " of Penacook, even before their plantation could legally be 
called a town. To this date the proceedings of the settlers' meetings 
had been exclusively matters of proprietary record ; thenceforth the 
proprietary and town records were to be kept separately, but both, 
for some years, by Benjamin Rolfe. 

The regular " anniversary " town meetings came on the 6th of 
March, 1733, and officers to serve for the ensuing year were elected, 
those chosen in January holding place only till March. There was 
an inclination, it would seem, to make the most of the newly-acquired 
privilege of choosing selectmen ; for a board of five, instead of three, 
was elected, — an incident of the office not again occurring in Con- 
cord, save in the years 1749 and 1850. In their town legislation the 
settlers, as usual in those days, first remembered the minister, and 
voted one hundred and five pounds for his support ; following this 
by an appropriation of two hundred pounds for other town charges. 
They provided for the safety of flock and herd by offering a bounty 
of twenty shillings to encourage the killing of wolves ; for the pro- 
tection of the crops, by promising a penny for every head of blackbird 
brought to the selectmen and burnt ; and for the better securit}^ of 
human life, by ordering the payment of sixpence for every rattlesnake 
killed, the entire tail or black joint of it having been brought to the 
selectmen by " the destroyer of such snakes." 

At a proprietors' meeting, held on the 26th of March, twenty days 
after the town meeting, the arrangements begun the year before for 
building mills on Turkey river were completed. Henry Lovejoy and 
Barachias Farnum were accepted for building the mills. They 
were to have the whole stream of the river in Penacook, forty 
acres of land adjoining the mills, and one hundred acres — within a 


mile or two, and forty pounds in money or forty pounds' worth 
of work. In cast* of forfeiture, the proprietors were to pay them 
the value of one half of the iron work and stones. They were 
allowed to flow as much swamp as they could "for a mill-pond 
betwixt the first and second falls, below the lowest pond on Turkey 
river in PennyCook." They were not to be obliged to tend the grist- 
mill save on Mondays and Fridays, provided that during the term of 
ten years they should grind all the grain brought to the mill on those 
days. The mills were completed before 1735, at the lower falls of 
the Turkey, in the locality which came to be known as Millville. 

At special town meetings, held in course of the year, special re- 
quirements were met. Thus, on the 5th of December, it was voted 
that thirty pounds should " be drawn from the town treasury to buy 
ammunition for the use of the inhabitants and freeholders of the 
plantation. ,, * This action probably resulted from fears " entertained 
of the hostile disposition of the Indians, although no act of aggres- 
sion had been committed." 2 At the same time, also, education re- 
ceived attention in a vote to appropriate sixteen pounds to the sup- 
port of " a school " for the winter and ensuing spring. 3 It is said 
that James Scales, of Boxford, afterwards the minister of Hopkinton, 
was the first teacher, and that James Holt, of Andover, was his suc- 
cessor. 4 Again, on the 16th of January, 1731, fifty pounds were 
given the minister " for building him a dwelling-house . . . upon 
his giving the inhabitants and freeholders a receipt ... in full 
for his salary in times past until this day, for the decay of money, it 
not being equal to silver at seventeen shillings the ounce." 5 Hitherto 
Mr. Walker had lived in a log-house on the brow of the hill over- 
looking Horse Shoe pond. In course of the year 1734 he erected the 
frame house, two-storied and gambrel-roofed, which was to be his 
home through life, and in which were to dwell his descendants from 
generation to generation, standing through the years, " the oldest " 
structure of its kind " between Haverhill and Canada." 

Penacook's transition from plantation to township, through the 
three years, 1731-33, was now nearly made ; indeed, for a year, the 
leading strings of foreign authority had been relaxed to virtual drop- 
ping. That town-meeting of January 16, 1731, was the last for 
Penacook as a plantation. For the petition of Henry Rolfe " for 
himself and the other grantees " was already, or forthwith would be, 
before the general court of Massachusetts, praying that the planta- 
tion might be erected into a township. That prayer would be an- 
swered, not many days hence, in an act of incorporation, whereby the 
Plantation of Penacook should become the Town of Rumford. 

1 Town Records. 14. 3 Town Records, 14. 5 Town Records, 15. 

» Annals of Concord , 16. * Annals of Concord, 16. 



For eight years now had the favorite abiding-place of the red Pen- 
acooks been in the occupation of white men exclusively English in 
descent. The Massachusetts towns of Andover, Haverhill, Newbury, 
Bradford, Ipswich, Salisbury, and Woburn had contributed the strong, 
wise, and energetic pioneers of the settlement — the first two towns in 
nearly equal quotas. The record of the doings of these original set- 
tlers, given with some minuteness in this chapter, has shown them to 
have been a well selected hundred, and fully competent successfully 
" to prosecute their noble and hazardous enterprise." Such names 
as Rolfe, Eastman, Abbott, Merrill, Pecker, Chandler, Stevens, 
Walker, so often recurring in the narrative, while they individualize, 
do but represent the sterling New England qualities of the body of 
Penacook's early settlers, by whom the beginning was made which 


IAst of Admitted Settlers. The following list of the one hundred 
persons admitted " to forward the settlement " of Penacook appears 
in the Proprietors'' Records, under date of " Saturday, Feb. 5th, 
1725, " as cited in Bouton's Concord, 67-68: 

Zebediali Barker, 
John Osgood, 
Benjamin Parker, 
Moses Day, 
John Sanders, 
Robert Kimball, 
Nathaniel Abbott, 
Stephen Osgood, 
John Wright, 
Ebenezer Stevens, 
Thomas Page, 
Robert Peaslee, 
John Grainger, 
Timothy Johnson, 
William White, 
Samuel Reynolds, 
Nath'l Lovejoy, 
John Saunders, jnn. 
John Chandler, 
Thomas Blanchard, 
Joseph Parker, 
Nathan Parker, 
John Foster, 

Christopher Carlton, 
John Austin, 
Samuel Kimball, 
Nath'l Clement, 
Samuel Ayer, 
Joseph Davis, 
Nehemiah Heath, 
Nath'l Sanders, 
Abraham Foster, 
Nath'l Barker, 
Samuel Davis, 
Samuel Toppan, 

John Mattis, 
William Whittier, 
Joseph Page, 
John Bayley, 
Joseph Hall, 
Benjamin Niccolls, 
John Jaques, 
Bezaliel Toppan, 
Nathaniel Jones, 
Eben'r Virgin, 
Thomas Wicomb, 
John Peabody, 

Ammi Ruhamah Wise, Jona. Hubbard, for 

Jonathan Pulsepher, 
John Ayer, 
Thomas Perley, for 
Nath'l Cogswell, 
David Dodge, 
Benja. Carlton, 
Nath'l Page, 
Edward Clark, 
Ephraim Davis, 
Stephen Emerson, 

Daniel Davis, 
Jacob Eames, 
Joshua Bayley, 
Richard Coolidge, 
Isaac Walker, 
James Simonds, 
John Coggin, 
Jacob Abbott, 
Moses Hazzen, 
Moses Bordman, 



Ephraim Farnum, Andrew Mitchell, 

Mr. Samuel Phillips, Benja. Gage, 

Eben'r Eastman, 
David Kimball, 
Nicholas White, 
John Merrill, 
Samuel Grainger, 

Nath'l Peaslee, 
William Gutterson, 
Enoch Coffin, 
Richard Urann, 
Ephraim Hildreth, 

Benja. Stevens, Esqr., Thomas Colman, 
Eben'r Lovejoy, David Wood, 

William Barker, Joseph Hale, 

James Parker, Nehemiah Carlton, 

Nathan Fiske, 
Zerobbabel Snow, 
Nathan Blodgett, 
John Pecker, 
Richard Hazzen, jr., 
Isaac Learned, 
Jonathan Shipley, 
Edward Winn, 
Nathan Simonds, 
Obadiah Ayer, 
Henry Rolfe. 

Colonel Tyng. Colonel Eleazer Tyng, one of the committee, was 
somewhat prominent in Lovewell's war. He has also been mentioned 
as quartering at the "Irish Fort" in Penacook in 1725. 

Lieutenant- Governors Wentworth and Dummer. At this time the 
two provinces had one governor, Samuel Shute, who was absent in 
England, and his functions were performed by the lieutenant-gover- 

First Religious Service in Concord. More than one 
hundred and seventy-three years later, or on the 26th 
of October, 1899, a commemorative monument of Con- 
cord granite, seven feet in height, and of becoming 
proportions, was erected upon the table land directly 
overlooking " Sugar Ball Plain," and the spot where 
— in the words of the inscription — was " conducted 
the first religious service ever held in the central part 
of New Hampshire, on Sunday, May 15, 172().'" It 
was erected by the five Congregational societies of 
Concord. The movement 
was initiated at the fifty- 
sixth annual meeting of the 
Conc< >rd Congre gational 
Union, November 10, 1898, 
when, upon a resolution 
presented by Joseph B. 
Walker, a committee of 
five, one from each society. 
was appointed upon the 
subject, consisting of John 
C. Thorne, Lyman I). Ste- 
vens, diaries E. Staniels, 
Charles II. Sanders, and 

Monument to Commemorate First Service. 


Fred A. Eastman. On the 2(3 th of February, 1899, the committee 
recommended " the erection of a monument upon a suitable spot at 
Sugar Ball, and that the sum of two hundred dollars be raised by 
apportionment among the five churches." The report having been 
adopted, and the committee authorized to carry into effect the recom- 
mendations made, the work was completed ; Dr. Alfred E. Emery, of 
Penacook, giving nearly an acre of land upon which to erect the mem- 
orial stone. The introductory dedication exercises took place at the 
monument, consisting of Scripture reading by the Rev. George H. 
Dunlap of the East church, dedicatory prayer by the Rev. George H. 
Reed of the First church, and benediction by the Rev. Nathan F. 
Carter. Carriages were then taken for the East church, where the 
remaining exercises were held. A poem, written for the occasion by 
Harry A. Batchelder, of Melrose, Mass., was read by the Rev. Harry 
P. Dewey of the South church ; an historical address was delivered 
by Joseph B. Walker, and after dinner in the vestry, a sermon was 
preached by the Rev. Henry M. Goddard of the West church, fol- 
lowed by the rites of holy communion and the final benediction. 

The Ford of the Soucook. It is said in the History of Pembroke, 
that this ford was probably located " about sixty rods northerly from 
the old PennyCook line, and about eighty above the old Head's Mills 
in Pembroke." 

Early Hai/stacking. Joseph Abbott, in a deposition taken in 1752, 
during the Bow Controversy, testified that, the next spring after the 
allotment of lands, those engaged in building the block house in Pen- 
acook, " turned their horses to some stacks of hay, said to be cut 
there by some of the admitted settlers the year before." 

The Minister 's Lot. This was not " adjoining the land where the " 
first " meeting-house stood," as would seem to have been literally 
prescribed in the original grant. 

An Ancient Vote. "Agreed and Voted — That threepence per tail 
for every rattlesnake's tail, the rattlesnake being killed within the 
bounds of the township granted at PennyCook, be paid by the in- 
tended settlers ; the money to be paid by the settlers' treasurer, upon 
sight of the tail." Proprietors' Records, Feb. 6', 1737. 

The Flan Destroyed. Richard Hazzen was requested " to draw a 
plan of PennyCook," to be annexed to the " town's books." " The 
tradition is," says Dr. Bouton, "that he drew the plan, but, on 
account of some misunderstanding about the pay for it, he burnt it 

Difficulties and Mishaps of Travel. It is related that Samuel Aver. 
a young proprietor, once took a barrel of pork in a cart, drawn by six 
or ten pairs of oxen over the road from Haverhill to Penacook, and 


having reached Sugar Ball descent, succeeded in getting down with- 
out accident, by taking off all but one pair of cattle, and fastening 
behind the conveyance a pine tree so trimmed that its stubby limbs 
would retard motion. But, in swimming the oxen to the west side 
of the river, he lost one of them by drowning. The flesh, however, 
being immediately dressed, the unfortunate animal afforded an acci- 
dental supply of beef, as a variety to the contents of the pork barrel 
which it had helped to bring forty miles over the rough road through 
the wilderness. The anecdote is told of Captain Eastman that, on a 
horseback journey to Haverhill, he bought a barrel of molasses, which 
he intended by some means to bring home with him to Penacook. 
He contrived what was called a " car," a conveyance made with two 
shafts which were fastened to the horse and to a drag" on the ground. 
With his barrel of molasses lashed to the car with ropes, on his 
homeward journey he got along well until, having crossed Soucook 
river, he had to ascend a high hill, near the top of which the horse 
made a short stop. On a new start, the ropes gave way and the 
barrel, in mad rush down hill, was dashed in pieces against a tree. 

Enoch Coffin and Bezaliel Toppan. Mr. Coffin, as has been seen, 
preached on Sugar Ball plain, at the first survey in 1726. He was 
of Newbury, and died in the summer of 1728, at the age of thirty- 
two. Mr. Toppan was, at this time, about twenty-two years old, and 
a physician as well as a minister. He was a sou of the Rev. Chris- 
topher Toppan, of Newbury, a clergyman of some note, who had taken 
much interest in the establishment of the plantation. The tradition 
exists that the son preached the first sermon after the settlement in 
1727, under a tree, before the log meeting-house was built. He was 
afterwards settled in the ministry at Salem, Mass., where he died in 

The Ferryman's Abode. The house of John Merrill, the ferryman, 
was at or near the junction of what were to be Turnpike and Water 
streets, northerly of the gas works. 

The First Blacksmith. The ten-acre lot of Cutting Noyes, the 
blacksmith, seems to have been on the west side of Main street, 
somewhat south of the modern Warren street junction. Pecker's 
lot was No. 23 in the first range, and north of the modern Depot 
street. (See plan appearing elsewhere in these notes.) Cutting's 
forty acres were subsequently laid out on the east side of Main 

The Minister s Salary. " The late John Farmer, Esq., estimated 
Mr. Walker's salary of £100, at $131.67 ; adding £20, it would be 
-1156.83." Bouton's Concord, 97. 

Rev. Samuel Phillips. This gentleman was an original proprietor, 


and was much interested in the plantation. He wrote to the court's 
committee, in 1726, requesting to be entered "as one of the proprie- 
tors," adding : " I have sons growing up, and the land which I have 
here settled upon is parsonage land." Two of those sons, John and 
Samuel, together founded Andover academy ; while the former 
founded Exeter academy and the professorship of divinity in Dart- 
mouth college. 

The " Twenty Acres " Division. No plan of this division has been 
preserved. The lots were laid off in different parts of the township. 
The original bounds are recorded in the Proprietors' Records, Vol. 
II. Ten of the lots were laid off north of the Contoocook road- 
extending from the north end of Main street into the neighborhood 
of the West village ; ten on the Hopkinton road, in the vicinity of 
the jail, westward of the Bradley monument ; and several west of the 
" second range," on Main street. BoutorCs Concord (Proprietary 
Records), 127. 

" Emendation Lots." These lots were laid off in different parts of 
the township, and in different quantities, in order " to make the 
interval lots belonging to the proprietors equal as to quantity and 
quality." The bounds are given in the Proprietors' Records, Vol. 
II, but can scarcely be recognized at the present day. The division 
was made between November, 1732, and December, 1731. Bouton's 
Concord (Proprietary Records'), 109—110. 



First Survey and Division of House and Home Lots on 
the West Side of Merrimack River, in May, 1726, with 

Here follows the alphabetical list of the proprietors, with their 
house and home lots, and the plan thereof, referred to in a note to 
the text : 


Alphabetically Arranged, with the House and Home Lots, Laid Out 
in May, 1726, and Severally Drawn in 1727. 

[By reference to the accompanying plan, the exact location of each settler may be 


Names, Alphabetically 

Number, Quantity, and 
Range of House Lots. 




Six-Acre, or Home 
Lots, and Range. 





Abbot, Nathaniel 

Austen, John 

Ayres, Samuel 

Ayres, John 

Abbot, Jacob 

Ayers, Obadiah 

Barker, Zebediah, alias 
ward Abbot 

Blanchard, Thomas 

Barker, William 

Barker, Nathaniel, alias Sol- 
omon Martin 

Bayley, Joshua 

Boardman, Moses, alias Jo- 
siah Jones 

Blodgett, Nathan , 

Bayley, John, alias Samuel 

Clement, Nathaniel 

Chandler, John 

Carlton, Benjamin 

Carlton, Christopher 

Carlton, Nehemiah 

Coolidge, Richard, alias Sam- 
uel Jones 

Coggin, John 

Clark, Edward 

Coffin, Enoch 

Coleman, Thomas ... 

Cogswell, Nathaniel 

Day, Moses 

Davis, Joseph 

Davis, Samuel 

Dodge, David 

Davis, Ephraim 

Eastman, Ebenezer 

Eames, Jacob 

Emerson, Stephen 

Foster, John ... 































Second Range. 
First Range. 
Island Range. 
Island Range. 
First Range. 
L'w'st Range* 

Second Range. 
Second Range. 
Third Range. 

Second Range. 
First Range. 

First Range. 
Second Range. 

First Range. 
L'w'st Range* 
Second Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 

Second Range, 
Island Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
Third Range. 
First Range. 
Third Range. 
Third Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
Second Range 
Second Range 
First Range. 
First Range. 





















6. 126 






Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

5.130! Great Plain. 











Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 


um. s. 


* The Lowest Range was " The Eleven Lots," and (9 acres 69 poles) included House and 
Home Lots. 




Names, Alphabetically 

Number, Quantity, and 
Range of House Lots. 




Six-Acre, or Home 
Lots, and Range. 




Farnum, Epbraim 

Foster, Abraham 

Fisk, Nathan, alias Zacha- 

riah Chandler 

Grainger, John 

Grainger, Samuel 

Gage, Benjamin 

Gutterson, William 

Heath, Nehemiah 

Hildreth, Ephraim 

Hale, Joseph 

Hazzen, Moses 

Hazzen, Richard 

Hubbard, Jonathan, alias 

Daniel Davis 

Hall, Joseph 

Johnson, Timothy 

Jaques, John 

Jones, Nathaniel 

Kimball, Robert 

Kimball, Samuel 

Kimball, David 

Lovejoy, Nathaniel 

Lovejoy, Ebenezer 

Learned, Thomas 

Mattis, John 

Merrill, John 

Mitchell, Andrew 


Nichols, Benjamin 

Osgood, John 

Osgood, Stephen 

Parker, Benjamin 

Page, Thomas 

Peaslee, Robert. . . 

Parker, Joseph 

Parker, Nathan 

Page, Nathaniel 

Phillips, Samuel 

Parker, James 

Pulsipher, Jonathan 

Peaslee, Nathaniel 

Pecker, John 

Page, Joseph 

Peabody, John 


Reynolds, Samuel 

Rolfe, Henry 

Sanders, John 

Stevens, Ebenezer 

Sanders, John, Jr 

Sanders, Nathaniel 

Stevens, Benjamin 

Simonds, James 

Simonds, Nathan 

Shipley, Jonathan 

Snow, Zorababel 





















































First Range. 
Second Range. 





First R 



First K 

First R 












First Range. 
Eleven Lots. 

First Range. 
Second Range. 
Third Range. 
Second Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
Island Range. 
Third Range. 
Second Range. 
Second Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
Eleven Lots.* 
Island Range. 
Third Range. 
First Range. 
First Range. 
Second Range. 
Second Range. 
Second Range. 
Second Range. 
First Range. 
Eleven Lots. 
Eleven Lots. 
First Range. 
Second Range. 
First Range. 
Third Range. 
First Range. 
Third Range. 
Second Range. 
Second Range. 
First Range. 
Second Range. 
Island Range. 
First Range. 
Second Range. 
Second Range. 
Third Range. 































sy 2 

















5y 2 





Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 













































* " The Eleven Lots " included House and Home Lots. 




Names, Alphabetically 

Number, Quantity, and 
Range of House Lots. 


Toppan, Samuel 
Toppan, Bezaleel. . . , 
Urann, Richard .... 
Virgin, Ebenezer. . . 

Wright, John 

White, William 

White, Nicholas.. . . 
Wise, Ammi Ruha m . 

Walker, Isaac 

Wood, David 

Whittier, William.. 
Wicomb, Thomas.. 
Winn, Edward 

Mill Grant on Turkey River 

Noyes Cutting Grant 

Miil Grant to Nathan Simonds 







































Second Range 
First Range. 

Six-Acre, or Home 
Lots, and Range. 











5. 128 


















Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 
Great Plain. 

140 acres on Turkey River. 
40 acres, east side of river, 
100 acres on the east side. 

[Main street, 
and 10, 2d Range, 


Here follow the tabulated allotments referred to in a note to the 

text. They are recorded in the Proprietors' Records, Vol. I, pp. 


Mill Brook Interval— First Range. 













Edward Abbot 2% 

John Foster 2*/ 2 

Nehemiah Heath 2% 

Ebenezer Lovejoy 2% 

Samuel Ayer 2% 

Stephen Osgood 2^ 

David Wood 4 

John Grainger 5 

William Barker 4>£ 

Timothy Johnson 4 

Ebenezer Virgin ^]/ 2 

Nathaniel Abbot \]/ 2 

No. Acres. 

13. John Chandler. 4 

14. Bezaleel Toppan 4^ 

15. John Coggin . . 4^ 

16. Ebenezer Eastman 4J^ 

17. Samuel Davis \y 2 

18. Nathan Parker 4J^ 

19. Edward Clark 6 

20. Benjamin Stevens 6 

21. Nehemiah Heath 3% 

22. John Foster 3 

23. Jonathan Shipley 4^ 

24. Nathaniel Jones 4^ 

Mill Brook Interval— Second Range. 


Abraham Foster 5 

John Sanders 5 

Thomas Wicomb 5 

Nathan Blodgett 5 

Minister 6 

Parsonage 6 

No. Acres. 

7. School 5 

8. Zerobbabel Snow 5 

9. Edward Abbot 2^ 

10. Ebenezer Lovejoy 2 l / 2 

11. Samuel Ayer 2% 

12. Stephen Osgood 2% 

No. Acres. 

1. Benjamin Niccolls 3 

2. Ephraim Farnum 2% 

3. Nathaniel Lovejoy 2 x / 2 

4. John Jaques 2j£ 

Sugar Ball Plain 




Benjamin Carlton 2 l / z 

Andrew Mitchell 2% 

Stephen Emerson 2% 

Thomas Colman 2 l / 2 



No. Acres. 
9. Ephraim Davis 2%, 

10. Samuel Reynolds 5 

11. John Ayer 6 

12. Samuel White 5 

No. Acres. 

13. David Kimhall 5 

14. Moses Day 5 

15. John Pecker 2% 

16. John Sanders 2%. 

Middle Plain. 

No. Acres. 

1. Thomas Coleman 4 

2. Ephraim Davis 3 

3. Benjamin Niccolls 3 

4. Stephen Emerson 2% 

5. Ephraim Farnum 2% 

6. Nathaniel Lovejoy 2% 

7. John Jaques 2% 

8. Benjamin Carlton 2% 

9. Andrew Mitchell 2% 

10. John Sanders, Jr 2>£ 

11. John Pecker 2y 2 

12. James Parker 5 

13. Robert Peaslee 5 

14. Joseph Parker 5 

No. Acres. 

15. Jacob Eames 5 

16. Samuel Grainger 5 

17. John Mattis 5 

IS. John Osgood 3 

19. Ephraim Hildreth 3 

20. Richard Hazzen, Jr 3 

21. Benjamin Gage 3 

22. William White 3 

23. Nathaniel Clement 3 

24. Obadiah Ayer 3 (?) 

25. Jonathan Pulsepher 3 

26. Nicholas White 3 

27. Joseph Hall 3 

28. Nathaniel Peaslee 3 

Lowest Interval — East Side of the River. 

No. Acres. 

1. Nathaniel Peaslee 4|^ 

2. Joseph Hall 4% 

3. Nicholas White 4% 

4. Jonathan Pulsipher A% 

5. Obadiah Ayer 4^ 

6. Nathaniel Clement A% 

7. William White 4%" 

8. Benjamin Gage 4^ 

9. Richard Hazzen, Jr 4^" 

10. Ephraim Hildreth 4%" 

11. John Osgood 5 

12. Joseph Hale 2% 

13. John Peabody 2% 

14. Edward Winn 2% 

15. Josiah Jones 2^| 

16. Joshua Bayley 2)| 

No. Acres. 

17. Jonathan Hubbard 2% 

18. Ammi RnMVise... 2% 

19. Thomas Blanchard 2% 

20. Moses Hazzen 2}Z 

21. Isaac Walker 2% 

22. Nathan Simons 2>| 

23. Joseph Page 2% 

24. Nathaniel Sanders 2% 

25. John Wright 2% 

26. Nathaniel Page 2% 

27. Nathan Fisk, alias Zachariah 

Chandler 5 

28. Solomon Martin 5 

29. Samuel Kemball 5 

30. William Gutterson 5 

31. John Merrill 5 

Rattlesnake Plains. 

No. Acres. 

1. David Dodge 5 

2. Samuel Toppan 5 

3. Christopher Carlton 5 

4. Nehemiah Carlton 5 

5. Jacob Abbott 5 

6. William Whittier 5 

7. Thomas Page 5 

8. John Austin 4 

9. Henry Rolfe 4 

No. Acres. 

10. Benjamin Parker 4 

11. Thomas Perley, for Nathaniel 

Cogswell 4 

12. Samuel Jones 4 

13. Thomas Larned 2% 

14. James Simons 2 

15. Robert Kimball 2}/ 2 

16. Joseph Davis 2Y 2 

17. Richard Urann 3 

Frog Ponds." 

No. Acres. 

1. Enoch Coffin 5 

2. Samuel Phillips 5 

3. Nathaniel Page 2y 2 

4. John Wright 2)| 

5. Nathaniel Sanders 2% 

6. Nathan Simons 2% 

7. Joseph Page 2% 

8. Isaac Walker 2>| 


No. Acres. 

9. Moses Hazzen (?) 

10. Thomas Blanchard 2% 

11. Ammi Ru h Wise 2% 

12. Jonathan Hubbard 2% 

13. Joshua Bayley 2j^ 

14. Josiah Jones 2% 

15. Edward Winn 2}/ 2 

16. John Peabody 2% 



Nine Miscellaneous Lots. 

Laid out to Nathaniel Abbot, " all that swamp betwixt his first division of inter- 
val and Merrimack river, containing one acre and a quarter, more or less." 

To Joseph Hale, two acres of swamp adjoining Abbot's. 

To David Wood, one acre of swamp adjoining Hale's. 

To Benjamin Niccolls, one acre of swamp adjoining Wood's. 

To John Austin, one acre of swamp adjoining Niccolls. 

To Ebenezer Stevens, four and a half acres of land, bounded on Benjamin Park- 
er's lot, on one side, aud Horse Shoe Pond and the brook that runs out of it on 
the other. 

To William Barker, all that land lying betwixt the highway that runs by his 
interval lot, and the brook that runs through Horse Shoe Pond, containing thirty- 
five poles, more or less. 

To Ebenezer Virgin, the land betwixt his first division of interval and the brook 
that runs out of Horse Shoe Pond — forty poles. 

To Timothy Johnson, the land lying betwixt his first division of interval and 
Horse Shoe Pond brook — one acre and a half. 

Badger's Plan of Proprietors' Lots, as laid out in I 726. 
(Especially to be consulted in connection with pages 142-144. J 


The Town of Rumfokd. — Falls Within Jurisdiction of New 



As before suggested, Henry Rolfe made petition to the general 
court of Massachusetts praying, "for himself and the grantees of 
the plantation of Penny Cook " that " they might be heard to make it 
appear — that they " had " fulfilled the conditions of their grant, and 
that thereupon they " might " be allowed to bring in a bill to erect 
the plantation into a township." Leave having been granted, the 
petitioners, on the 9th of February, 1734, brought in the following 

" An Act for erecting a new town within the county of Essex, at 
a plantation called PennyCook, by the name of Rumford. 

" Whereas, the plantation of PennyCook, so called, of the contents 
of seven miles square and one hundred rods extending on the south 
bounds the full breadth of said plantation, — which has by this court 
formerly been and hereby is declared to lie in the county of Essex, 
is completely filled with inhabitants, who have built and finished a 
convenient meeting-house for the public worship of God, and some 
time since have settled a learned Orthodox minister among them ; 
and have, to full satisfaction, complied with all the articles and con- 
ditions of their grant respecting their settlement ; and thereupon 
have addressed this court to be erected into a separate and distinct 
township, and hold and enjoy equal powers and privileges with the 
other towns in the province : 

" Be it enacted by His Excellency the Governor, and Council and 
Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority 
of the same — That the plantation of PennyCook, in the county of 
Essex, as the same is hereafter bounded and described ; be and 
hereby is constituted a separate and distinct township, by the name 
of RUMFORD ; the bounds of said township being as follows, viz.: 
Beginning where Contoocook river falls into Merrimack river, and 
thence to extend upon a course east seventeen degrees north three 
miles, and upon a course west seventeen degrees south four miles, 
which is the northerly bounds of said township ; and from other parts 
of that line, to be set off southerly at right angles until seven miles 
and one hundred rods shall be accomplished from the said northern 
bounds ; and the inhabitants thereof be and hereby are vested and 
endowed with equal powers, privileges, and immunities that the 
inhabitants of any of the other towns within this province are or 
ought by law to be vested or endowed with." 


This bill was enacted into a law, on the 27th of February, 1734; 
and the act of incorporation was confirmed by King George the 
Second in 1737. But whence came the corporate name of the town- 
ship is not known. " It is supposed," however, " to have been given 
from that of a parish in England from which some of the proprietors 
originated." * 

The anniversary March meeting of the plantation of Penacook, 
now at hand, was superseded by the first town-meeting of Rumford. 
By order of the general court, Benjamin Rolfe had notified the 
" freeholders and other inhabitants of the town of Rumford lawfully 
qualified to vote," to assemble at the meeting-house, on Monday, the 
11th day of March, at "two of the clock in the afternoon — to 
choose " town officers, "... and to do . other things 

. thought proper for the interest of the inhabitants . . ." 2 
At the meeting thus held, with Ebenezer Eastman as moderator, 
and Benjamin Rolfe as clerk, the list of officers of the preceding 
year was filled ; " a school " was provided for " so far as the money " 
previously voted would go ; and consent was given for opening a 
public highway, already laid out by the selectmen, extending from 
the bridge, southward through " the Eleven Lots and thence to the 
bend of the river." It was also " voted that the hogs in the town of 
Rumford be not allowed to go at large but be shut up in inclosures, 
for the year ensuing." The question whether swine should roam or 
be enclosed was for some years following annually decided in town- 

But at this first meeting no money was raised for the " ministerial 
charge and the other charges of the town for" the year 1734; a 
special order of the general court being requisite to such action. 
Benjamin's Rolfe's notification of the meeting contained no mention 
of raising money, as, presumably, the court's order under which he 
acted contained none. 2 Here was a hitch in the transition from 
plantation to town, which was not removed till late in the year. In 
November Ebenezer Eastman and Henry Rolfe were " chosen to 
petition the General Court for an order . . . for raising money 
for defraying the ministerial charge and the other charges of the 
town for the year and during the court's pleasure." 3 The move- 
ment seems to have been successful ; for, at a town-meeting held on 
the 26th of December, 1734, "one hundred and ten pounds were 
raised . . . for defraying the ministerial and school charge and 
the other necessary charges of the town for the year current." 

The transition from plantation to town having been effected, 

1 Bouton's Concord, 141; Annals of Concord, 15. 
s Town Records, 6. 
3 Ibid, 11. 


" The Proprietors of PennyCook," as they had hitherto been styled, 
became henceforth known as " The Proprietors of the common and 
undivided lands in the township of Rumford," and held their meet- 
ings and kept their records apart from those of the town; as, indeed, 
they had begun to do during the last year of the plantation. It was 
not till 1734 that John Wainwright delivered the proprietary records 
to Benjamin Rolfe who had succeeded him as clerk three years 
before. He did so after the proprietors had granted him one 
hundred acres of land in the township whose early settlement he had 
efficiently promoted, and after " the inhabitants and freeholders " 
had deputed their town clerk " to ask and receive of him the book 
of proceedings." 1 

The town and proprietary organizations, each performing its 
appropriate functions, cooperated to promote the welfare of Rumford. 
In 1735 the town added to its official list a surveyor of flax and 
hemp, and sealer of weights and measures ; the former office continu- 
ing for some years, the latter remaining permanent. The bounties 
on wolves and rattlesnakes were continued ; as they were to be, with 
little, if any, interruption till 1749 if not longer. An educational 
appropriation was made so that " Deacon John Merrill and Mr. 
James Abbott, or either of them, 1 ' might " hire a man to keep school, 
four months, the next winter and spring." 2 The records show 
similar provision to have been made for schooling in subsequent 
years. Thus in 1739 the school was ordered to "be kept" from 
October 20th to April 20th of the succeeding year; and in 1740, 
from October 15th to April 15th, 1741. At the March meeting of the 
year last mentioned the selectmen were instructed to hire a school- 
master for the year ensuing, and to order when and where the school 
" should be kept." Doubtless James Scales was teaching at this 
time. He had been received, in 1737, "to full communion" with 
the church in Rumford upon recommendation from the church in 
Boxford, and, in 1739, was given " liberty to build a pew in the one 
half of the hindermost seat at the west end of the meeting-house, 
that is, next the window." 3 

As hitherto and afterwards, highways within the town received 
attention, both as to the repair of existing ones, and the acceptance of 
those newly laid out by the selectmen. Of the latter was one — 
accepted in 1736 — that led to Hale's Point, and was later to be 
known as Ferry road, or street. It seems that there was early a 
ferry at Hale's Point; 4 for in 1739 a new highway is described as 
extending " from where they usually land the great boat coming from 
Sugar Ball, to the highway that leads to the old fort." 5 

1 Town Records, 13. s Ibid, 47. s Ibid, 50. 

2 Ibid, 21. * Ibid, 27. 


In 1735 provision was made to better the way leading outward to 
the country below, in that portion of it between Suncook and Chester, 
and an appropriation was made towards building a bridge over the 
Suncook river, at or near the old ferrying-place, where a Penacook 
boat had plied since 1729. 1 One third of the expense seems to have 
been borne by Rumford ; another third, by the settlers of Suncook 
who had come in to occupy the grant of 1727 ; and the remainder, 
possibly, by Chester. 2 In a special Rumford town-meeting held on 
the 10th of December, 1735, the pay was fixed for the men to be 
employed in building the bridge, and a committee was appointed " to 
take care that the," work " be well done." 3 

The minister was remembered, in 1736, in a special appropriation 
of fifty pounds to enable him " to clear a pasture and bring it to 
English grass, that he " might " live more comfortable in his family 
upon the account of a dairy than " hitherto. 4 The improvement of 
the meeting-house also came repeatedly in order. Thus, in 1736, 
Edward Abbott was " impowered to repair and fit up the seats, 

make a door to the pulpit, and put up the windows "; and in 
1738, Jeremiah Stickney and Benjamin Rolfe were ordered " to take 
care that galleries be built." In 1738, also, Benjamin Rolfe, James 
Scales, and John Chandler were made a committee " to fence in the 
burying-place, according to the best of their discretion, at the town's 

In November, 1739, from apprehension of Indian mischief a garri- 
son was ordered to be "built around the Reverend Mr. Timothy 
Walker's dwelling-house, at the town's cost "; and Mr. Barachias 
Farnum, the miller on Turkey river, was granted five pounds " to 
enable him to build a flanker to defend his mills," provided he should 
"keep a garrison at his dwelling-house " in that vicinity — other- 
wise, the " town " might " convert the flanker to its own use." 5 

With these precautions against "savage men," measures were 
taken, in December of the same year, to enforce the statute " for the 
better preservation and increase of deer " —the mildest of wild 
animals. At a meeting held specially for the purpose, " two meet 
persons," Joseph Eastman and John Chandler, were chosen " to in- 
form of all breaches of the act, and to take care that the violations 
thereof be duly prosecuted and punished." 6 Subsequently, for some 
years, a similar provision was made. 

Meanwhile, " the proprietors of the common and undivided lands 
in the township " were acting by themselves in meetings held in the 
Rumford meeting-house. In 1735 they gave liberty to John Chand- 

1 See note at close of chapter. 3 Town Records, 23. &Ibid, 47. 

2 History of Pembroke, 95. * Ibid, 25, 28. " Ibid, 48, 49. 


ler " to build a sawmill on Rattlesnake brook," — the outlet of Long 
Pond, — and to have " a convenient yard for his logs and boards " ; 
with the right " to flow the great pond " — these rights to be enjoyed 
for fifteen years. This privilege, was not, however, to be improved 
by Captain Chandler for a sawmill ; but, a little later, Capt. Henry 
Lovejoy, 1 who, with Barachias Farnum, had erected mills on Turkey 
river, came into possession of the premises, and built thereon a grist- 
mill, and subsequently, a forge, or smelter, where bar iron was made 
from ore obtained at the bend of the river southeast of the main 
settlement in the vicinity of Merrill's ferry. 2 The proprietors also 
disposed of the common meadow of the town for the year. In 1736 
they ordered the six-acre lots of interval to be newly measured, with 
new bounds, when necessary, and with new plans and a due record 
made. On the 14th of March, 1737, they selected Benjamin Rolfe, 
John Chandler, and Ebenezer Eastman, as a committee to lay out a 
division of the common and undivided land ; the said division to be 
as large as the good land would " allow of, and to be laid out to each 
grantee or proprietor of Rumford, in one or more pieces, so as to 
make the lot or lots equal in quality or quantity." This " Eighty 
Acres Division," 3 — as it was called, — though the lots varied, according 
to quality, from eighty to one hundred and fifty acres, or more, was 
completed between the 11th of March and the last day of December, 
1737 ; and the report of the committee was accepted at " a meeting 
of the proprietors regularly assembled at the meeting-house in 
Rumford," on the second day of February, 1738, and, with accom- 
panying plans, was ordered to be " entered in the proprietors book." 
The usual town-meetings of those days — both the annual in March 
and the occasional ones — were held upon warrants issued by the 
selectmen to a constable, setting forth the time, place, and objects of 
meeting, and ordering him to notify accordingly, " the inhabitants and 
freeholders." By virtue of the warrant, the constable placed " a noti- 
fication of said meeting with the cause thereof at the meeting-house 
door." In the case of a meeting for choice of a representative to the 
general assembly of Massachusetts, the selectmen's warrant required 
the constable " to notify the freeholders and the inhabitants " having 
" an estate of freehold in land within the province ... of forty 
shillings per annum at the least, or other estate to the value of fifty 
pounds sterling, to assemble, . . . and elect," by a major vote, 
some " freeholder and resident of the town " " to represent them in 
the great or general court to be held for his Majesty's service at the 
Court House in Boston." The first of such meetings in Rumford, 

1 Granite Monthly, May, 1893. 

2 Above the Lower, or Concord Bridge; Bouton's Concord, 546. 
3 See note at close of chapter; Bouton's Concord, 128. 


held on the 19th of May, 1735, was presided over by a moderator ; but 
the subsequent ones had not this officer; "the selectmen regulating" 
them " agreeably to law v —as the record stands. 1 At that first meet- 
ing, as also at those held in 173(3, '37, '38, it was voted not to send a 
representative. It would seem that, in thus waiving the right of rep- 
resentation, the men of Kumford were satisfied with their custom of 
employing special agents to bring their special wants to the favorable 
attention of the legislature, without incurring the greater expense of 
a regular representative. So, while declining, in 1736, to choose a 
representative to the general court, they selected Henry Rolfe to 
appear there as an agent, and " to use proper means to get the county 
of Essex divided into two counties " — a division which they felt 
would much promote their convenience. 

The provincial boundary question, long pending, was still a burn- 
ing one. After 1730, when Jonathan Belcher acceded to the gover- 
norship of both provinces, and the death of Lieutenant-Governor 
Wentworth soon after occurred, the question became complicated with 
that of entirely separating New Hampshire from Massachusetts, by 
giving the former province a governor of its own. Many of the most 
influential political leaders in New Hampshire were earnestly bent 
upon accomplishing this purpose, and were also strenuously urgent 
for settling the boundary lines, — particularly the southern one, — 
hoping thus to ensure to the province not only fixed but enlarged limits. 
In this they carried with them the majority of the people, and, of 
course, of the assembly. On the contrary, the leading men of Massa- 
chusetts, with Governor Belcher himself and his friends in New 
Hampshire, including a majority of the council, " were averse to 
pressing the settlement of the line " ; 2 hoping for a permanent 
" union " of the provinces, which they knew not how to effect. 
" But the governor, as obliged by his instructions, frequently urged 
the settlement of the lines in his speeches." 3 A fruitless conference 
of committees from both provinces was held at Newbury in 1731 ; 
after which a majority of the New Hampshire assembly " determined 
no longer to treat with Massachusetts ; but to represent the matter 
to the King, and petition him to decide the controversy." 3 In place 
of Henry Newman, — mentioned in a former chapter, — whose com- 
mission had expired, John Rindge, a wealthy merchant of Ports- 
mouth, was appointed by the assembly as agent in England, and 
entrusted with the petition to his Majesty ; but " the council, a 
majority of which was in the opposite interest, did neither concur in 
the appointment nor consent to the petition. Mr. Rindge, on his 
arrival in England," early in 1732, " petitioned the King in his own 

1 Town Records, 20, 30. 2 Belknap, 228. 3 Ibid, 229. 


name, and in behalf of the representatives of New-Hampshire, to 
establish the boundaries of the province ; but his private affairs re- 
quiring his return to America, he did, agreeably to his instructions, 
leave the business in the hands of Capt. John Thomlinson, mer- 
chant, of London ; who was well known in New-Hampshire, where 
he had frequently been in the quality of sea-commander. He was a 
gentleman of great penetration, industry, and address ; and having 
fully entered into the views of Belcher's opponents, prosecuted the 
affair of the line, with ardor and diligence ; employing for his solici- 
tor," the capable and untiring Ferdinando John Parris. 1 The two 
proved more than a match for the Massachusetts agents before the 
lords of trade, to whom the petition was referred. In 1733 Parris 
moved the question, " From what part of Merrimack river the line 
should begin? " In 1731 the attorney and solicitor-general, to whom 
the question was referred, after hearing counsel on both sides, ex- 
pressed the opinion, " that according to the charter of William and 
Mary, the dividing line ought to be taken from three miles north of 
the Merrimack, where it runs into the sea." Copies of this opinion 
having been given to both parties, " the lords of trade reported, that 
the King should appoint commissioners from the neighboring prov- 
inces, to mark out the dividing line. This report was approved by 
the lords of council." 2 Twenty commissioners having accordingly 
been appointed " from among the councillors of New-York, New Jer- 
sey, Rhode Island, and Nova Scotia, of whom five were to be a quo- 
rum," 2 eight of the appointees — three from Nova Scotia, and five 
from Rhode Island — met at Hampton on the 1st day of August, 
1737, "published their commission," and "opened their court." 2 
New Hampshire, by her committee of eight, — four of the council, and 
four of the assembly, — promptly delivered her claim and demand in 
the following words : " That the southern boundary of said province 
should begin at the end of three miles north from the middle of the 
channel of Merrimack river, where it runs into the Atlantic ocean ; 
and thence should run on a straight line, west, up into the mainland 
(toward the South sea) until it meets his Majesty's other govern- 
ments. And that the northern boundary of New-Hampshire should 
begin at the entrance of Pascataqua harbor, and so pass up the same, 
into the river of Newichwannock, and through the same, into the 
farthest head thereof ; and thence north-westward, (that is, north, 
less than a quarter of a point, westwardly) as far as the British 
dominion extends ; and also the western half of Isles of Shoals, we 
say, lies within the province of New-Hampshire." 3 

But Massachusetts was not ready to proceed, and the court ad- 

i Belknap, 229. * Ibid, 239. » Ibid, 242. 


journed for a week, to give her time. The court met on the 8th of 
August, according to adjournment. The claim of Massachusetts was 
presented by her committee of eleven — five of the council, and six of 
the assembly ; one of the latter being Henry Rolfe, of Newbury, so 
prominent among the proprietors of Penacook. The court having 
ordered copies of the respective claims of the two provinces to be 
drawn and exchanged, and having appointed as an additional clerk, 
Benjamin Rolfe, the capable son of Henry, and one of Rumford's 
most trusted citizens, adjourned till the 10th of August. The claim 
put in by Massachusetts was for " a boundary line, on the southerly 
side of New-Hampshire, beginning at the sea, three English miles 
north from the Black Rocks, so called, at the mouth of the river 
Merrimack, as it emptied itself into the sea sixty years ago ; thence 
running parallel with the river, as far northward as the crotch or 
parting of the river ; thence due north, as far as a certain tree, com- 
monly known for more than seventy years past by the name of Endi- 
cott's tree, standing three miles northward of said crotch or parting 
of Merrimack river; and thence due west to the south sea." This 
was the line noted in a previous chapter and steadily insisted upon 
through many years. On the northerly (or easterly) side of New- 
Hampshire, was claimed a boundary line, "beginning at the entrance 
of Pascataqua harbor ; passing up the same to the river Newich wan- 
nock ; through that to the farthest head thereof, and thence a due 
northwest line, till one hundred and twenty miles from the mouth of 
Pascataqua harbor be finished.'" 1 

When the commissioners came together on the tenth of the month, 
they had nine members in attendance ; for Philip Livingston appeared 
from New York, and, " being senior in nomination, presided in the 
court." They also had the assemblies of both provinces near by, in 
accordance with the prorogation of the governor ; that of New Hamp- 
shire meeting at Hampton Falls, and that of Massachusetts at Salis- 
bury, five miles apart. The court then heard the case, which was 
closely and sharply contested. The points in debate were : Whether 
Merrimack river, at that time, emptied itself into the sea, at the same 
place where it did sixty years before ; whether it bore the same name, 
from the sea up to the crotch ; and whether it were possible to draw a 
parallel line, three miles northward of every part of a river, the course 
of which was, in some places, from north to south." 2 The contro- 
verted points in respect to the boundary line between New Hamp- 
shire and Maine, the latter then being a part of Massachusetts, were : 
" Whether it should run up the middle of the river, or on its north- 
eastern shore ; and whether the line, from the head of the river, 

' Belknap, 243. Ubid, 245. 


should be due northwest, or only a few degrees westward of north." * 
The judgment of the commissioners as to the northern boundary line 
of Massachusetts, or in other words, the southern one of New Hamp- 
shire, was alternative and dependent upon the answer to the ques- 
tion, " Whether the charter of William and Mary granted to Massa- 
chusetts all the lands which were granted by the charter of Charles 
the First." Since to this question they gave no answer, leaving that 
" to the wise consideration of His Most Sacred Majesty in his privy 
council," their judgment settled nothing. It merely suggested that, 
with an affirmative answer to the question, the claim of Massachu- 
setts should be affirmed : but that, with a negative answer, her claim 
should be denied ; or rather, that the claim of New Hampshire should 
be sustained except as to the initial point of the westward running 
line, which, instead of being " three miles north from the middle of 
the channel of the Merrimack where it runs into the sea," should be 
" three miles north from the southerly side of the Black Rocks," sit- 
uated three fourths of a mile farther north than the river's mouth as 
claimed by New Hampshire. 

As to the northern (or eastern) boundary between the provinces, 
the court determined " That the dividing line " should " pass through 
the mouth of Pascataqua harbor, and up the middle of the river 
Newichwannock, (part of which is now called Salmon Falls), . . 
to the farthest head thereof, and thence north, two degrees westerly, 
until one hundred and twenty miles be finished from the mouth of 
Pascataqua harbor, or until it meets with His Majesty's other gov- 
ernments ; and that," furthermore, " the dividing line " should " part 
the Isles of Shoals " between the provinces. 

It is not desirable for present purposes, to pursue the obstinate 
contention which ensued in England over the evasive decree of the 
commissioners, and which, for more than two years, was carried 
on before the board of trade and the lords of council, by the agents 
of the two provinces — Thomlinson and Parris, for New Hampshire, 
and Quincy, Wilks, and Partridge, for Massachusetts. It must suf- 
fice here to record the final decree of King George the Second 
in council, determining the long and vexatious controversy. This 
was made on the 5th of March, 1740, and entirely ignored the much 
mooted question, " whether the new charter " of Massachusetts 
" granted all the lands comprehended in the old." It was deemed 
equitable that the parallel line should extend at the distance of three 
miles north of the Merrimack as far as that river flowed from west to 
east, since, when the first grant was made, such was supposed to be 
its entire course. " But, as on the one hand, if by pursuing the 

1 Belknap, 245. 


course of the river up into the country, it had been found to have a 
southern bend, it would have been inequitable to have contracted the 
Massachusetts grant ; so, on the other hand, when it appeared to 
have a northern bend, it was equally inequitable to enlarge it."' 1 
Therefore it was determined " That .the northern boundary of the 
province of Massachusetts be a similar curve line, pursuing the course 
of Merrimack River, at three miles distance, on the north side there- 
of, beginning at the Atlantic ocean, and ending at a point due north 
of Pawtucket Falls ; and a straight line drawn from thence due west, 
till it meets with His Majesty's other governments." 1 

Having thus established the southern line without regard to the 
finding of the commissioners, the king affirmed their decree respect- 
ing the northern line. The royal determination as to the southern 
line gave to New Hampshire a tract of country, east of the Connecti- 
cut, " fourteen miles in breadth, and above fifty in length, more than" 
it " had ever claimed. It cut off from Massachusetts twenty-eight 
new townships between Merrimack and Connecticut rivers ; besides 
large tracts of vacant land, which lay intermixed ; and districts from 
six of " its " old towns on the north side of the Merrimack." * 

Rumford, one of the townships cut off, was loyal to Massachusetts. 
It was but natural that its inhabitants should feel distrustful reluc- 
tance to fall within the untried jurisdiction of a province whose 
authorities had, in 1726, at the survey and allotment of Penacook 
lands, forbidden them the premises, and a year later had spread the 
township of Bow over the plantation itself, as an abiding, albeit as 
yet a latent, menace of evil. So, as early as the 11th of June, 
1740, the disquieted " freeholders and inhabitants " — now, for the 
first time, exercising the right of choosing a representative to the 
general court — elected Benjamin Rolfe to serve in that capacity, 
and empowered him, in their name and behalf, "to prefer a petition 
to His Majesty, that they " might " be quieted in their possessions 
and remain under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts Bay." 2 In 
Massachusetts, amid the disappointment and chagrin felt over the 
royal decree, it was resolved to relieve the heavy blow, if possible, 
by sending a new agent to England, " to petition the King that he 
would re-annex to the Massachusetts government the twenty-eight 
new townships which had been cut off, and the districts of the six 
old towns. It was also thought prudent that the whole province 
should not openly appear in the affair ; but that petitions should be 
drawn by the inhabitants of these towns, and that the agent should 
be chosen by them." 3 Accordingly, at a town-meeting held in Rum- 
ford on the 26th of September, 1740, the inhabitants, being "in- 

1 Belknap, 257. * Town Records, 55. s Belknap, 258. 


formed that, by the determination of His Majesty in council respect- 
ing the controverted bounds between the province of Massachusetts 
Bay and New-Hampshire, they " were " excluded from the province 
of the Massachusetts Bay to which they always supposed themselves 
to belong, unanimously voted that a petition be preferred to the King's 
Most Excellent Majesty setting forth " their " distressed estate, and 
praying that" they might "be annexed to the said Massachusetts 
province." "Thomas Hutchinson, Esq.," was "empowered to pre- 
sent the petition to His Majesty " —the same having been signed 
" in the name and behalf of the town " by " Benjamin Rolfe, Esq., 
Town Clerk." And it was also provided that if the said Hutchinson 
should " refuse the service or otherwise be prevented from the same," 
the said Rolfe might make choice of some other suitable person. 1 
Thomas Hutchinson, afterwards governor of Massachusetts, went to 
England as agent, and there presented and urged the petitions; but 
finding " Thomlinson too hard an antagonist," 2 he failed in his mis- 
sion. For it was held "that it never could be for His Majesty's 
service to annex any part of his province of New-Hampshire, as 
an increase of territory to Massachusetts." 2 

It remained " to run out and mark the lines." This work was 
mostly done early in 1741, and exparte by New Hampshire, for the 
Massachusetts assembly failed to join in appointing surveyors. 
"George Mitchell surveyed and marked the similar curve line, from 
the ocean, three miles north of Merrimack river, to a station north of 
Pawtucket Falls, in the township of Dracut." 3 Richard Hazzen, a 
proprietor of Penacook, and the surveyor of its lands in 1726 and 
1727, beginning at the Dracut station, marked the line thence west- 
ward, across the Connecticut river to the reputed eastern boundary 
line of New York, twenty miles east of the Hudson. 

The return of the lines to the board of trade was one of Governor 
Belcher's last official acts ; for the opposition which, from various 
motives, he had encountered during the boundary contention, at last 
proved too much for him. In 1741 he was removed from office, and 
was succeeded in Massachusetts by William Shirley, and in New 
Hampshire by Benning Wentworth, a son of the lieutenant-governor 
of a dozen years before. Thus the latter province secured what a 
majority of its people desired — its own governor, having no connec- 
tion with Massachusetts. 

Rumford, in population, and in all the resources and advantages of 
an intelligent, industrious, well-ordered, and consequently thriving 
settlement, was the most important town in the valley of the upper 
Merrimack. Not the least among its advantages were the services 

1 Town Records, 57-8. 2 Belknap, 258. 3 Ibid, 259. 


of its first regular physician, Dr. Ezra Carter, who came hither from 
South Hampton, in 17-10, to contribute by skilful medical practice to 
the welfare of his own community and of the neighboring region, and 
by general ability and popular qualities to become prominent in the 
civil affairs of his chosen settlement. 

Rumford had Canterbury on the east and northeast, an original 
New Hampshire township, then extending to the " crotch " of the 
river, and sparsely settled. It had on the north, Contoocook, granted 
by Massachusetts in 1732, and containing twenty-five families. 1 On 
the west lay New-Hopkinton, or Hopkinton, with a few settlers, 
— granted also by Massachusetts, in 1736, as "Number Five" in a 
line of townships extending from Rumford to Connecticut river, and 
somewhat overlapping the New Hampshire township of Bow, granted 
nine years before. Suncook lay along the south. Highways con- 
nected all the towns with Rumford, which was a center of dependence 
for certain wants of the new communities. Especially was this true 
of the first three. For the proprietors of Hopkinton contributed as 
early as 1737 twenty pounds for the opening of a highway to Rum- 
ford — a fact suggesting that Barachias Farnum's grist-mill was a con- 
venient necessity. And later, in the Indian War, the prominent res- 
idents of Contoocook and Canterbury, with some of Rumford, peti- 
tioned the governor, council, and assembly of the province, setting 
forth that they were " greatly distressed for want of suitable grist- 
mills," and praying that soldiers might be provided to enable Henry 
Lovejoy to maintain his garrison which he had been compelled to 
abandon together with his mill on the outlet stream of Long pond, 
" at a place," as the petitioners averred, " most advantageously situ- 
ated to accommodate the three towns." 2 Rumford had eminently 
prospered under the old jurisdiction, but was now inevitably com- 
ing under a new, and the better the grace with which it should do 
so, the better it might fare. Wisely declining, in 1741, to elect a 
representative to the assembly of the Bay province, or to grant money 
" to enable Thomas Hutchinson further to prosecute the affair " of 
annexation thereto, 3 it became the next year a New Hampshire dis- 
trict instead of a Massachusetts town. 


The Suncook Ford mid Ferry. It is said in the History of Pem- 
broke, pp. 94-95 : " We think that . . . till the ferry-boat was 
used in 1729, the river Suncook was forded somewhere south of the 
present Osgood or Turnpike bridge ; and that the ferry-boat was put 

1 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 186. 2 Bouton's Concord, 175-6. 3 Town Records, 3-4. 


into the river in 1729, below the falls, in deeper water, where the 
banks are low, thus giving better opportunity to pass to and from the 

The "Eighty Acres " Division. The lots were laid off, sometimes, 
in different pieces, remote from each other. There were one hundred 
and seven of them. " Plans of them are preserved in the Proprietors' 
Records, Vol. Ill, with the roads and drift-ways reserved which ran 
through them." Boutori's Concord {Proprietary Records), 128. 


The District of Rumford. — King George's War and its 

Indian Hostilities. 


New Hampshire was not slow in extending jurisdiction over her 
newly assigned territory. One step in that direction was the passage 
of an act bearing date March 18, 1742, entitled "An act for subject- 
ing all persons and estates within this province, lying to the east- 
ward and northward of the northern and eastern boundary of the 
province of the Massachusetts Bay (not being within any township) 
to pay a tax (according to the rules herein prescribed) towards the 
support of this government." This act provided that " all polls and 
estates ratable by the laws of the province," and situate as set forth 
in the title, should " be divided into certain Districts." One of these 
comprised " that part of Almsbury and Salisbury which by the settle- 
ment of the boundaries " fell within New Hampshire ; and another, 
that part of Methuen and Dracut in like situation ; while Litchfield, 
Nottingham-West [Hudson], Rumford, and a part of Dunstable, 
constituted four others. 1 

Under this law, with its additional enactments, Rumford, as one of 
the districts, was subjected to the payment of an annual province tax, 
and was also authorized to exercise usual town functions such as 
holding meetings of legal voters, choosing requisite officers, and rais- 
ing money to defray ministerial, school, and other municipal charges. 
The last annual meeting of Rumford as a town proper — though 
afterwards it was oftener styled town than otherwise — was held on 
the 31st of March, 1742, nearly a fortnight after the district act was 
passed, but almost a month before it fully went into effect. At this 
town-meeting, Ebenezer Eastman was chosen moderator, and Benja- 
min Rolfe town clerk, as they had uniformly been, at annual meet- 
ings, with a single exception in the case of the former, since the 
organization of Rumford as a town. Benjamin Rolfe, Ebenezer East- 
man, and Jeremiah Stickney were elected selectmen, and George 
Abbott was chosen constable. Choice was also made of the other 
usual town officers. Among the items of business transacted was a 
vote constituting " Edward Abbott, Deacon John Merrill, and Nathan- 
iel Abbott a committee to take care and build a school-house for "the 

i Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 183. 


" town, as they " should " in their best judgment think best — the 
said house to be built between the Widow Barker's barn and the 
brook by the clay pits." This vote was followed by another, to raise 
three hundred pounds " for defraying the ministerial charge, and for 
a school, and for building a sclioolhouse, and for other charges of the 
town." 1 The location of Rumford's first sclioolhouse, the erection of 
which was thus provided for, is now uncertain ; but doubtless it was 
on the main thoroughfare, not far to the southward of the locality 
long known as " Smoky Hollow," through which ran the brook re- 
ferred to in the foregoing* vote. 

On the 27th of April, 1712, was held a meeting of the inhabitants 
of Rumford, notified by the committee appointed in the district act to 
call the first meetings in the several districts. The members of this 
committee of three, — namely, Richard Jenness of Rye, George Wal- 
ton of Newington, and Ebenezer Stevens of Kingston, — were present, 
and opened the meeting. 2 The legal voters then chose, for modera- 
tor, clerk, selectmen, and collector, — these being the officers required 
by the new act, — the persons whom they had chosen in March as 
moderator, town clerk, selectmen, and constable. These being quali- 
fied by the committee, the organization of Rumford as a district was 
complete. In primary intention, this organization was a temporary 
expedient to secure a tax to the provincial treasury, and was to last 
only till the district should be incorporated into a town by a proper 
New Hampshire charter. 3 Under it the selectmen were to assess the 
province tax at a proportional rate fixed by the general assembly, 
from a sworn inventory of polls and estates taken by the clerk ; and 
they were " to issue their warrant directed to the collector for collect- 
ing or levying the same." 4 

The committee of organization found, in Rumford and the other 
districts, a cheerful acquiescence in the new order of things, and 
reported to the assembly that "the people" of the "towns" visited 
" were well satisfied and contented to be under the government of 
New-Hampshire, and were under no dissatisfaction upon any ac- 
count." 5 For the six years during which the district act remained 
in force, by renewals, the people of Rumford met the obligations 
which it imposed, and submitted to the taxation of the general 
court " even without being privileged with a representative in said 
court." 6 In 1741 they sought such representation, and in legal meet- 
ing, held on the 11th of December, empowered Benjamin Rolfe, in 
their name and behalf, to petition the governor of the general court 

i Town Records, 64-66. 4 Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 97. 

2 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 186. 6 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 185. 

3 Town Records, 69. 

6 Benjamin Rolfe's Memorials, June 27, 1744 and 1749; annals of Concord, 34-5-6. 


to be allowed " to make a choice of some suitable person to serve for 
and represent them in every session of the assembly." 1 The request 
was favorably received by Governor Wentworth, who, with the ad- 
vice of the council, directed, through the sheriff of the province, 2 
" His Majesty's writ " to the selectmen of the " district of Rumford " 
requiring them, " in His Majesty's name to notify . . . the free- 
holders of said Rumford, qualified by law to elect representatives, to 
meet at the meeting-house ... on Monday, the 21st of January 
current at three of the clock in the afternoon, and then and there to 
make a choice of some suitable person to represent said district in 
general assembly to be convened and holden at Portsmouth on the 
21th day of January," 1715. At the meeting held in compliance 
with this precept, Benjamin Rolfe was chosen representative. 3 Thus 
chosen, Colonel Rolfe — only recently in military commission — duly 
appeared in the assembly, and took the customary oaths; as likewise 
did four other gentlemen, elected from places hitherto unrepresented, 
lint the members from places heretofore represented did not permit 
the five to vote in the choice of speaker ; thus refusing them seats in 
the house. They did this to resist what they deemed " an encroach- 
ment on their privilege ; " 4 for they plainly declared to the governor 
their conviction, "that no town or parish, not before privileged, 
ought to have a writ sent it for choosing a representative, without 
a vote of the house, or an act of the general assembly." 5 On the 
contrary, the governor pronounced the action of the house in the 
matter of the rejected members whom he had called to the assembly 
"by the King's writ, issued by the advice of the council," to be " an 
invasion of the prerogative of the crown," 6 and during an inter- 
change of warm messages continued till the fifth day of the session, 
he withheld the requisite approval of the choice of speaker. Then, 
that the transaction of public affairs might not be hindered in a press- 
ing time of war, — for King George's War was already on, — the gov- 
ernor thought it best not to pursue his contention with the assembly, 
but to approve of its choice of speaker, and thus suffer his new mem- 
bers to be excluded till the king's pleasure could be known. 7 So 
Rumford was not represented in the general assembly, which was dis- 
solved in May ; and no attempt was made to secure representation in 
the one elected to succeed it, which convened in June, 1715. Though 
amid the urgent exactions of war-legislation, the contest as to pre- 
rogatives and privileges had truce, yet the governor had not failed to 

1 Town Records. 75. 

2 Thomas Packer, of Portsmouth, who was high sheriff from 1739-1771; Prov. Papers, Vol. 
V, 683 (note). 

» Town Records, 77. fi Ibid., 264. 

* Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 378. 7 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 264; Belknap, 301. 

B Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 263. 


report to the king's ministry concerning his calling of the new mem- 
bers and their exclusion from the assembly ; and " the ministry, 
without any exception or hesitation, had pronounced his conduct 
conformable to his duty." 1 In consequence he received, in 1748, an 
" additional instruction," directing him, when another assembly 
should be called, to issue the king's writ to the sheriff, commanding 
him to make out precepts for a new election to the towns and dis- 
tricts whose representatives had been before excluded ; and, further- 
more, " to support the rights " of the new representatives when 
chosen. 2 In accordance with this " instruction," the freeholders of 
Rumford were allowed to choose, on the second day of January, 1749, 
Captain John Chandler to represent them in the general assembly to 
be convened at Portsmouth the next day. 3 This assembly was, by a 
strong majority, opposed to Governor Wentworth, and numbered 
among its members some bitter enemies who desired and sought his 
removal from office. One of these, Richard Waldron, was elected 
speaker; such representatives from the new places as were present 
being debarred from voting. Thereupon the governor, in obedience 
to his new " instruction," supported " the rights " of the excluded 
members by negativing the choice of speaker, and directing the house 
to proceed to another election, with no discrimination against the 
right of members from new places to participate therein. 4 But this 
the house would not do ; nor would his excellency yield. On the 
12th of January the representative of Rumford appeared, but it was 
voted that he should " not be admitted to the privilege of a seat in 
the house until " he should " make it appear that the place for which 
he was chosen had a right by law, usage, or custom of the province, 
before the issuing of the king's writ, to send a representative to sit in 
the general court." 5 And so Rumford was a second time debarred 
from representation. The present quarrel, too, between the governor 
and the assembly was more intense than that of three years before, 
and, in the suspension of the French and Indian War, had a longer 
run ; for during the three years of the assembly's existence under the 
triennial act of 1727, it remained unorganized, and consequently in- 
capable of transacting business, and was kept alive only by adjourn- 
ments and prorogations. 

The thread of narration now recurs to the beginning of the period 
under review, and to that war to which allusion has been made, and 
to facts connected therewith. The population of the Indian village 
of St. Francis, in Canada, thirty miles north of the sources of the 
Connecticut, was largely made up of shreds of New England tribes, 

i Belknap, 304. * Prow Papers, Vol. VI, 71. 

* Prow Papers, Vol. VI, 82; Belknap, 301. &Ibid, 77. 

» Town Records, 102-3. 


including Penacooks. Thence, hunting parties were wont to come 
down into the valleys of the Connecticut, the Merrimack, and the 
Piscataqua. Among those who roamed along the Merrimack and its 
confluent waters would naturally be Penacooks, visiting the haunts 
of their fathers. These visitations in time of peace between France 
and England did not necessarily involve mischievous intent toward 
white occupants of the soil, though quite likely to do so if the vis- 
itants were of the Kancamagus stripe. At any rate, the presence of 
Indians sometimes occasioned alarm to the white inhabitants, as it 
did to those of Rumford in 1739, when, as will be recollected, pro- 
vision was made for a garrison around the minister's house, and a 
" flanker " for the mills on Turkey river. 

Sometimes the red hunters — either those who came from Canada 
or who still tarried about the frontiers — engaged in traffic with the 
white settlers. On the 10th of October, 1743, one Coaus, for him- 
self and other Indians, appeared before the governor and council at 
Portsmouth, and desired " a truck-house to be placed near the river 
Pemigewasset where they might have such supplies as were necessary, 
[in return] for their furs, [and] that they might not be imposed 
upon, as they often were, when they came into the lower towns/' l 
The matter was subsequently laid before the assembly, and on the 
22d of December, an order was made to send to Canterbury certain 
articles suggested by Coaus, 1 such as rum, blankets, cloth for stock- 
ings, linen for shirts, powder, shot, bullets, flints, knives, pipes, and 
tobacco, which were to be exchanged with the Indians for furs. 
James Scales, the former schoolmaster of Rumford, was designated 
as the agent to effect the sales, and make return of the same to the 
general assembly. 2 The project of establishing a truck-house near 
the junction of the Pemigewasset and Winnepesaukee rivers was 
before the assembly till late in February of the next year, and though 
urged by the Indians, in another petition, and pressed by the gover- 
nor, it was, filially, " at this critical time," made " to lie under con- 
sideration." 3 This action proved the indefinite postponement of the 
measure, for within a month came the declaration of a war, the exi- 
gencies of which soon made more appropriate the granting of boun- 
ties on Indian scalps than the building of Indian truck-houses. 

In 1739 the peace of Europe, which had existed for twenty-six 
years after the treaty of Utrecht, was broken by the war between 
England and Spain, engendered by commercial rivalry. In 1741 this 
war was merged in the War of the Austrian Succession. Charles the 
Sixth, Emperor of Germany, who died in 1740, without male issue, 

1 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 95. 

2 " Canterbury," in History of Belknap and Merrimack Counties, 222. 

3 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 222-225. 

"king George's wah." 165 

had made a settlement of the succession in the imperial family, by an 
instrument called the " Pragmatic Sanction," to which England, 
France, and other great European powers had promised support. By 
this sanction Charles was to be succeeded in his hereditary posses- 
sions, including Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, by his eldest 
daughter, Maria Theresa, wife of Francis of Lorraine. Charles 
Albert, Duke of Bavaria, asserting counter claims, resisted by arms 
the daughter's accession, and Frederick the Second, or the Great, of 
Prussia, pounced upon Silesia, an important portion of the Austrian 
domain. Bourbon France, desirous of dismembering the Hapsburg 
succession, broke her pledge to sustain the Pragmatic Sanction, and 
sided against Maria Theresa ; England and France were thus auxilia- 
ries fighting on opposite sides, but without declaration of war between 
themselves. The great struggle was not yet ended, when France, on 
the loth of March, 1744, declared war against England. This four 
years' war within a war is conveniently distinguished as " King 
George's War " ; for George the Second, both in the interest of his 
English kingdom and that of his German electorate of Hanover, 
actively and personally participated in the war of the Austrian Suc- 
cession, even to appearing as a combatant upon its battle-fields. The 
war was, in its transatlantic relation, a preliminary trial of strength 
in the mighty struggle between France and England for supremacy 
in America ; for the northern frontier of New England it meant war 
with the Indian allies of France. 

In common with the inhabitants of other frontier settlements, those 
of Rumford received, late in May, definite intelligence of war declared. 
The unwelcome tidings, while alarming the people, did not surprise 
them, for orders had been coming from England to Governor Went- 
worth, to have the province " in posture of defence," 1 but legislation 
had slowly responded. Fortifying had been done at some points : 
certainly at Canterbury, an extreme outpost, and possibly somewhat 
at Rumford. 2 But when, on the 23d of May, the members of the 
assembly, summoned by the governor's circular, convened in extraor- 
dinary session, his excellency had this to say to them : " The naked 
condition of our infant and inland frontiers requires your compas- 
sionate regard. Consider with great tenderness the distress the 
inhabitants on the frontiers are in at this juncture, and make their 
unhappy condition your own." 3 The assembly forthwith advised the 
raising of " two hundred men for one month, to be employed in cov- 
ering the frontiers," and also authorized the offering of bounties for 
Indian scalps. There was no delay in raising the two hundred men 

1 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 709. 

2 Benjamin Rolfe's Memorial, cited hereafter; see Annals of Concord, 84. 

3 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 709-10. 


and disposing them "for the benefit of the exposed frontiers " ; : but 
the share of benefit which fell to Rumford the imperfect military 
records do not disclose. 

The anxiety of the people of the district was manifested nearly a 
month later in a paper bearing date June 14, 1744, which was drawn 
up by their minister, and signed by him and sixty-three other inhab- 
itants of more or less prominence, comprising, in fact, nearly all the 
heads of families in Rumford. 2 This paper, expressing the apprehen- 
sion of the subscribers that they were " greatly exposed to imminent 
danger from the French and Indian enemy," and declaring their " in- 
ability to make a proper stand in case of an attack," contained the 
appointment of Colonel Benjamin Rolfe as their delegate, " to repre- 
sent " their " deplorable state " to the governor and general assembly 
at Portsmouth, and " request of them aid, in men and military 

Colonel Rolfe's memorial and petition bearing date of June 27, 
1744, and presented to the provincial authorities under the above 
mentioned commission from his fellow-townsmen, made a strong pre- 
sentment of Rumford's claim to aid and protection from New Hamp- 
shire, under whose care the town had been involuntarily cast through 
the " long and importunate " effort of that province, and which, as a 
district, had cheerfully met all the demands of its changed jurisdic- 
tion. The cogent paper set forth " that many thousand pounds " 
had " been spent " by the settlers of Rumford " in clearing and culti- 
vating the lands there, and many more in erecting mansion-houses 
and out-houses, barns and fences, besides a large additional sum in 
fortifications, lately made by his excellency the governor's order ; 
that the buildings " were " compact, and properly formed for defence, 
and well situated for a barrier, being on the Merrimack river, about 
fifteen miles below the confluence of Winnipishoky and Pemissawas- 
set rivers, both which " were " main gangways of the Canadians to 
the frontiers of " the " province ; that the breaking up of the settle- 
ment " would "not only ruin the memorialists, but, in their humble 
opinion, greatly disserve his majesty's interest, by encouraging his 
enemies to encroach on his direlect dominions, and be all-hurtful to 
the province by contracting its borders, and by drawing the war 
nearer to the capital ; and that, war " being " already de- 

clared against France, and a rupture with the Indians hourly ex- 
pected," the "memorialists, unless they" had "speedy help," would 
" be soon obliged to evacuate their town — how disserviceable soever 
it " might " be to the crown, dishonorable to the government, hurtful 

1 Prov. Papers, Vol. V. 713. 

2 See facsimile of paper and signatures in notes at close of chapter. 

"king George's war." 167 

to the province, and ruinous to themselves. Wherefore they humbly" 
supplicated " that such seasonable relief " might be granted them as 
might " enable them to maintain his majesty's dominion in so well 
situated a barrier, and so ancient and well regulated a settlement, as 
well as secure their own lives and fortunes against the ravages and 
devastations of a bloodthirsty and merciless enemy." 1 

No immediate action, however, was had in the assembly upon this 
urgent appeal ; 2 nor is it of definite record what protection, if any, 
Rumford received during the summer and autumn of that year, from 
soldiers recorded as stationed at several points, or from scouts sent 
out in various directions. There is extant " a muster-roll of twenty 
men under the command of Captain Jeremiah Clough, at Canterbury, 
Contoocook, &c," as the original heading reads, scouting for two or 
three weeks after the 80th of June. Possibly, Rumford may have 
been included in the indefinite and abbreviated et cetera of the fore- 
going description ; and also may have received slight incidental pro- 
tection from the six men under the same captain, and described as 
engaged, for three months from the 26th of September, " in scouting 
from Canterbury, at the heads of towns, and keeping the fort." It 
may be, too, that from the loss of muster-rolls, this seeming inade- 
quacy of protection fur Rumford is somewhat greater than was the 
real. But, after all, it stands a fact, that the town, originally estab- 
lished by the government of Massachusetts, and strongly attached 
thereto, though being the most important place on the upper Merri- 
mack, was not, in those days, a favorite with the New Hampshire 
authorities, and that, in respect to means of security against Indian 
attacks, Canterbury, not merely from its more northerly position, but 
because it had been, from the beginning, a New Hampshire township, 
was much the more highly favored of the two. 

The people of Rumford, however, understood the virtue of impor- 
tunity, and, realizing the inadequacy of the means of protection 
afforded them against the " hourly expected " attacks of the enemy, 
they, on the 11th of December, 1744, in town-meeting, " desired and 
empowered Benjamin Rolfe to prefer a petition to the governor or 
general assembly of the province for such a number of soldiers as " 
might " be sufficient with a divine blessing to defend " them " against 
all attempts " of their enemies " which " might " be made against " 
them. 3 And, evidently distrusting the aid which might be afforded 
them by the government of New Hampshire, they also, at the same 
meeting, " desired and empowered " the said Rolfe, " to represent to 
the governor and general court of Massachusetts Bay, the deplorable 

1 Annals of Concord, 84-5; Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 253 (note). 
*Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 345-46. 
3 Town Records, 74-5. 


circumstances " they were " in, . . . being exposed to imminent 
danger both from the French and Indian enemy, and to request of 
them aid." 1 This time, in answer to the petition accordingly pre- 
sented, Governor Wentworth ordered out, for about two months, a 
scout of ten men for Rumford and vicinity, headed by Captain John 
Chandler, commander of the second company of the Sixth regiment 
of the provincial militia. 2 During the term of this scout, the new 
assembly was convened, in which, as has been seen, the district of 
Rumford was denied representation, and the vigilant inhabitants, 
wishing for " constant aid," made provision, in a town-meeting held 
on the 28th of February, to petition that assembly for continued mil- 
itary assistance. 3 But nothing came of that petition. Therefore, in 
another town-meeting, held on the loth of April, Colonel Rolfe was 
" desired and empowered " to try again, and this time to petition the 
authorities of Massachusetts as well as those of New Hampshire. 4 
The faithful agent did as desired. In his memorial petition, dated 
April 30th, and presented to the New Hampshire assembly on the 
second day of May, he offered substantially the same case as in that 
laid before the previous assembly, in June, 1744, though he enforced 
the suggestion of an early evacuation of the settlement, unless speedy 
help were rendered, by declaring that many of the inhabitants, in their 
alarm, had already moved from the town. 5 Being " sent for into the 
house," he appeared in support of the petition, expressing the opinion 
that less than forty men would not be sufficient for Rumford, and if 
there should be an open war with the Indians, more would be wanted. 6 
No definite action, however, was taken upon the matter, probably be- 
cause the life of the assembly was cut short a few days later by disso- 
lution. 6 But the two appeals made to the general court of Massachu- 
setts were favorably answered in the sending of a few men from 
Andover and Billerica, who were stationed awhile at Rumford. 7 

Meanwhile, the greatest achievement of English arms in King 
George's War had been mainly accomplished by a force of volunteer 
New England militia. This was the reduction of Louisburg. In 
May, 1744, the French, with their Indian allies, had made hostile 
demonstrations against the English in Nova Scotia and Newfound- 
land. They had the stronghold of Louisburg on the island of Cape 
Breton, away to the eastward, six hundred miles from Portsmouth. 
This fortress had been twenty-five years in building, and was deemed 
well-nigh impregnable. " It was in peace," says Belknap, " a safe 
retreat for the ships of France bound homeward from the East and 

iTown Records, 74-5. 

2 Adjutant-General's Report, 1866, Vol. II, 60-1; Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 232. 
» Town Records, 78. ,; Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 322. 

* Ibid, 83. 7 Bouton's Concord, 153. 

« Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 317-8. 


West Indies, and in war a source of distress to the northern English 
colonies ; its situation being extremely favorable for privateers to 
ruin their fishery, and interrupt their coasting and foreign trade." 1 
Hence, during the autumn of 1744, and the succeeding winter and 
spring, an expedition against Louisburg was prepared and manned. 
Governor Shirley of Massachusetts was prominent in the movement, 
and found in Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire a ready coad- 
jutor, — though the plan is thought to have been originated by 
William Vaughan, of New Hampshire birth, who was largely con- 
cerned in the fishery on the eastern coast. 2 The enterprise generated 
enthusiasm in the popular mind, both from its incitement to the spirit 
of adventure, and from the more solid considerations, that the wel- 
fare, if not the very being, of the province depended greatly upon the 
reduction of that place ; as, if it continued " under the French, it " 
would, " in all probability, enable them in a little time to reduce Port 
Royal, 3 . . . with fatal consequences to all the English settle- 
ment upon the sea-coast as well as to the inland towns by the priva- 
teers infesting the one and the Indians destroying the others ; " and 
that, " on the other hand, if Louisburg were in the possession of the 
English they would thereby have almost all the fish trade in their 
own hands, which would give life and vigor to all branches of trade 
they " were " concerned in, and revive all sorts of business, with 
many other advantages too numerous to be particularized ; " and, 
farther, that it was " very probable that if " the inhabitants of the 
province should " neglect to fight " their " enemies at that distance, 
and in their own territories," they would " be obliged to do it nearer 
home, if not in " their " own towns." 4 

New Hampshire supplied five hundred of the four thousand men 
enlisted from the four New England colonies. Rumford contributed 
its quota, of which were Captain Ebenezer Eastman, Isaac and 
Nathaniel Abbott, Obadiah Peters, and one Chandler. 5 These are 
the only names preserved — and they by tradition — for the official 
enrolment has disappeared, which would probably increase the list. 
Of these volunteers, Isaac Abbott was killed during the siege, and 
Chandler died of disease. 5 It is a fact, too, that Captain Eastman 
went the second time to Louisburg 5 the next year, but upon what 
duty is not known. It is said that he did special service in the siege 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Vaughan, 6 who, though declining a regular 
command, led in some of the boldest and most decisive operations of 
the unique siege, and the Rumford captain must have had with him 
a full share of perilous work. He had been present in his }'ounger 

1 Belknap, 268. * Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 286. 

2 Ibid, 269. s Bouton's Concord, 152. 
s Annapolis in Nova Scotia. ° Annals of Concord, 29. 


days at the capitulation of Port Royal, in Nova Scotia, to the Eng- 
lish, and had share in the dangers of the ill-fated expedition against 
Canada, and now with the loyal pride of an English colonist, he wit- 
nessed on the 17th of June, 1745, the surrender of Louisburg — the 
pride and strength of French dominion in America. 

After the fall of Louisburg, the Indian allies of the French began 
their dreaded work on the frontiers of New Hampshire, in an attack, 
on the 5th of July, 1745, at "The Great Meadow," or Westmore- 
land, in the Connecticut valley. Among the scouts ordered out in 
consequence was a party of cavalry under Captain Peter Pattee of 
Londonderry, for service in the valley of the Merrimack. 1 Another 
attack being made at Westmoreland, on the 10th of October, one of 
the scouts sent out by Governor Wentworth into the Merrimack val- 
ley consisted of thirty-seven men in command of Captain John Goffe 
of Bedford, and was employed from December, 1745, till April of the 
next year. To this scout belonged Rumford men, of whom were 
Samuel Bradley, John Webster, and Ebenezer and Joseph, sons of 
Captain Ebenezer Eastman. 2 

As early as 1744 — possibly somewhat earlier — the work of put- 
ting the settlement in posture of defense, by fortification, was begun. 3 
This work was continued till, on the 15th of May, 1746, "the com- 
mittee of militia," consisting of Joseph Blanchard, Benjamin Rolfe, 
and Zacheus Lovewell, appointed by Governor Wentworth " for set- 
tling the garrisons in the frontier towns and plantations in the sixth 
regiment of militia . . . having viewed the situation and en- 
quired into the circumstances of the district of Rumford," appointed 
and stated the garrisons. 4 These structures, sometimes called forts, 
consisted each of a dwelling-house, with an area of " several square 
rods," surrounded by walls of " hewed logs," laid " flat upon each 
other " with ends " fitted for the purpose," and " inserted in grooves 
cut in large posts erected at each corner." The wall was built " to 
the height of the roof of '" the dwelling-house around which it was 
reared, and was surmounted, at " two or more corners," by sentinel 
boxes. In the enclosed areas were erected, " in some cases, small 
buildings for the temporary accommodation of families." All this 
work of fortifying was done at the expense of the inhabitants ; but 
the garrisons duly established were entitled to military support from 
the province. 

Seven garrisons around the houses of as many proprietors were 
appointed by " the committee of militia " before mentioned, to be reg- 

1 Adjutant-General's Report, 1866, Vol. II, 77. 
* lb id, 79. 

3 Benjamin Rolfe's Memorial, June 27, 1744. 
*Bouton's Concord, 154. 




ular " garrisons in Rumford." The following summary record of 
" the inhabitants " who, " with their families," were assigned to these 
several garrisons designated by the names of the owners of the prem- 
ises upon which they were located, has intrinsic interest, and affords 
a suggestive view of Rumford's population, as to number and distri- 
bution, in the year 1 746. To promote clearness of description, the 
sites of the forts, as identified for 1900, are given in connection : (1) 
To Reverend Timothy Walker's garrison, on east side of Main street,— 
the residence of Joseph B. Walker, — Capt. John Chandler, Abraham 
Bradley, Samuel Bradley, John Webster, Nathaniel Rolfe, Joseph 
Pudney, Isaac Walker, Jr., Obadiah Foster. (2) To Lieutenant 
Jeremiah Stickney's garrison, on the east side of Main street north of 
Bridge street, on ground partially covered by Stickney's new block,— 
Jeremiah Stickney, Nathaniel Abbott, Ephraim Carter, Ezra Carter, 
Joseph Eastman, Samuel Eastman, Joseph Eastman, 3d, William 
Stickney, Thomas Stickney, Nathaniel Abbott, Jr., Joseph Carter, 
Edward Abbott, Aaron Stevens, George Hull, Edward West, Sampson 
Colby, James Osgood, Timothy Clemens, Jacob Pillsbury, Stephen 
Hoit. (3) To Timothy Walker, Jr.'s, garrison, on the west side of 
Main street, near its junction with Thorndike street, — Timothy 
Walker, Jr., David Evans, Samuel Pudney, John Pudney, Jr., Mat- 
thew Stanley, Isaac Walker, Abraham Kimball, Richard Hazelton, 
George Abbott, Nathaniel Rix, Benjamin Abbott, Stephen Earring- 
ton, Nathaniel West, Wiliiam Walker, Aaron Kimball, Samuel 
Gray, James Rodgers, Samuel Rodgers. (4) To Deacon Joseph 
Hall's garrison, near the junction of Hall and Water streets, south 
of the highway bridge crossing the Concord railroad near the gas- 
works, and a short distance northwest of the Rolfe and Rumford 
Asylum, — Colonel Benjamin Rolfe, Joseph Hall, Ebenezer Hall, 
David Foster, Isaac Waldron, Patrick Garvin, Moses Merrill, Lot 
Colby, Joseph Pudney, William Pudney, Henry Pudney, John 
Merrill, Thomas Merrill, John Merrill, Jr., Jacob Potter. (5) To 
Henry Lovejoy's garrison in West Parish, on the height between 
Rattlesnake brook and the road leading westward along Long pond, 
and sometimes known as the "Levi Hutchins Place,"- -Henry Love- 
joy, James Abbott, James Abbott, Jr., Reuben Abbott, Amos Abbott, 
Ephraim Farnum, Zebediah Farnum, Joseph Farnum, Abial Chand- 
ler, James Peters. (6) To Captain Ebenezer Eastman's garrison, 
on the east side of the river, near the site of the present railroad sta- 
tion, — Ebenezer Virgin, Ebenezer Eastman, Jr., Philip Eastman, Jer- 
emiah Eastman, Timothy Bradley, Nathaniel Smith, Daniel Annis, 
Jeremiah Dresser, Philip Kimball, Nathan Stevens, Judah Trumble, 
Joseph Eastman, Jr., William Curey. (7) To Jonathan Eastman's 


garrison, on the south side of the Hopkinton road at Millville, a short 
distance southeast of the point where the old road from Long pond 
comes into the former, — Jonathan Eastman, Amos Eastman, Jeremiah 
Bradley, Seaborn Peters, Abner Hoit, Jacob Hoit, Timothy Bur- 
banks, Isaac Citizen. 

There was also a garrison around the house of Edward Abbott, at 
the southeast corner of the present Montgomery and Main streets ; 
another around James Osgood's tavern, — the first in the settlement,— 
on the east side of Main street, at the southeast corner of its junc- 
tion with Depot street ; and still another around the house of George 
Abbott, on the modern Fayette street, not far from its junction with 
Main. The committee did not appoint the last three to be " standing 
garrisons " ; but the occupants, inasmuch as they had " made no pro- 
vision for house room and conveniences in the respective garrisons 
where they " had been " placed, and the season of the year so much '' 
demanded " their labor for their necessary support, that " it was 
" difficult to move immediately," were allowed to remain where they 
were •" until further orders." And they were required, " as long as 
there stated, to attend to the necessary duty of watching, warding, 
&c, as if " those houses " had been determined standing garrisons." 1 

In the stress of danger from Indian attack, the persons " stated " 
at the garrisons left their own houses, and repaired thither. Men 
labored in the field, in companies, whenever practicable, with guns at 
hand, and not infrequently with a mounted guard. Three alarm guns 
from a fort announced approaching mischief, and put the settlement 
on the alert. Every Sabbath the men went armed and equipped to 
the log meeting-house, itself a fort, and stacking their muskets around 
the center post, sat down to worship " with powder-horn and bullet- 
pouch slung across their shouldiers," 2 while Parson Walker officiated, 
with his gun — the best in the parish — standing beside him in the 

Early in 1746 the red allies of the French resumed hostile opera- 
tions all along the New Hampshire frontiers. Though the inhabitants 
and the government were on the alert ; though garrisons were guarded 
at the public expense, and scouting parties were continually " scour- 
ing the woods " ; though a heavy scalp or captive bounty was set 
upon every hostile " male Indian " upward of twelve years of age, 
the wily foe, escaping detection, scored frequent successes. On the 
27th of April, the Indians appeared in the Merrimack valley, taking- 
eight captives at Woodwell's garrison in Hopkinton. Shortly, Cap- 
tain John Goffe, in fruitless pursuit of the adroit enemy, appeared in 
Rumford, at the head of fifty men, having for special destination 

1 Bouton's Concord, 154-156. 


" the Pemidgewasset, Winnipisseoca, and the great carrying place in 
the adjacent country," with " Canterbury his rendezvous." While 
at Rumford he hears of an attack at Contoocook, in early May, in 
which two men were killed and another was captured. " With all 
expedition " he proceeds to " do what " he " can to see the enemy." 
In his indignant anxiety, and before going " up to Contucook," the 
zealous captain writes to Governor Wentworth, from " Pennecook, 
about 2 of the clock in the morning, May 5th, 1746," as follows : 
" The Indians are all about our frontiers. I think there was never 
more need of soldiers than now. It is enough to make one's blood 
boil in one's veins to see our fellow-creatures killed and taken upon 
every quarter. And if we cannot catch them here, I hope the gen- 
eral court will give encouragement to go and give them the same play 
at home." 1 Evidently, in his last suggestion, the good captain had 
in view the expedition against Canada, which was then on foot, and 
for which eight hundred men were enlisted in New Hampshire, but 
which, for various reasons, was given up. 

The summer was passing ; the people of Rumford were in constant 
apprehension; no one knew when or where the lurking savages 
might strike. Any thicket might be his ambuscade ; and from any 
wooded covert he might dart to kill or captivate. The imminence of 
peril is attested by the fact that about this time several Indians — as 
they testified after peace — secreted themselves at night in windrows 
of new hay upon the premises of Dr. Ezra Carter, near the site of 
what was to become the " State House Park,*' with the intention of 
surprising the owner when he should resume hay-making the next 
day. But a long rain setting in early in the morning, they left their 
ambush and gave up their meditated attack ; " conceiving the Great 
Spirit to have sent the rain " for the protection of their intended vic- 
tim. 2 

In July Captain Daniel Ladd of Exeter enlisted a company of 
about fifty men for scout duty at Canterbury, Rumford, and the 
neighborhood. The company had done this duty and returned to 
Exeter, where the men furloughed till the 5th of August. Reassem- 
bling on that day, they returned northward. On the 7th, when near 
Massabesic pond, Captain Ladd turned aside, with about thirty of 
his command, upon a reported trail of twelve or fifteen savages in 
Chester, leaving Lieutenant Jonathan Bradley and the rest of the 
company to continue their march to Rumford ; where some tarried 
in garrison, and whence others went to Canterbury. Captain Ladd 
came in with his detachment on Sunday, the 10th of August. 3 

1 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 800. 

* Annals of Concord, 35. 

* Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II, 93. 


Indians of St. Francis, — it is supposed, — from fifty to a hundred 
in number, were already hovering about the settlement, awaiting an 
opportunity to do the most harm to the inhabitants with the least 
risk to themselves. They had seen Lieutenant Bradley's force 
divided, and a part sent to Canterbury, and relying on the inade- 
quacy of military protection, they seem to have determined to attack 
the people while at church the coming Sabbath. On the night of 
Saturday, the 9th of August, parties of them secreted themselves in 
the vicinity of the meeting-house ; some hiding a short distance 
southeast of it, among alders beyond the road, and others in bushes 
to the northwest between it and the intersection of the present State 
and Franklin streets. The people went to meeting on Sunday as 
usual — the men all armed. Captain Ladd, too, as has been seen, 
came into town with his detachment of thirty scouts. On the whole, 
the "posture of defense" was unexpectedly too strong. This is, at 
least, a probable reason why no attack was made that day. During 
worship a glimpse of lurking red faces was caught by Abigail, the 
young sister of Dr. Ezra Carter ; but she did not disturb the ser- 
vice by revealing the discovery until the meeting closed, and the con- 
gregation dispersed unharmed. 

The savages then took position in a body a mile and a half south- 
west of the main settlement, in the covert of a deeply wooded valley, 
not far south of the Hopkinton road. As Jonathan Eastman's gar- 
rison was farther westward along that road, they may have thought 
it likely that some of Captain Ladd's men would soon be going to that 
fort, and that they might waylay the dreaded scouts. In that covert 
they were lying in ambush on the morning of Monday, the 11th of 
August, when the opportunity which they sought came to them. For 
Lieutenant Jonathan Bradley, with seven companions, set out for 
Eastman's fort in the early hours of that bright hay-day, intending 
to return by noon, " in order to go to Canterbury in the afternoon, or 
at least to get fit to go." J Six of the lieutenant's seven companions 
— Samuel Bradley, Sergeant Alexander Roberts, William Stickney, 
Daniel Grilman, John Lufkin, and John Bean — were members of 
Captain Ladd's company ; the seventh, Obadiah Peters, belonged to 
Captain Nathaniel Abbott's company of Rumford militia. The party 
took a path, or road, extending westward along the course of the 
modern Franklin street, and bending somewhat abruptly southward 
into the "old Road " (or High street), and finally coming out upon 
the Hopkinton road (or Pleasant street). This last the main party 

1 Journal of Abner Clough, clerk of Captain Ladd's company. This journal and the nar- 
rative of Reuben Abbot, both published in the fourth volume of the Collections of the New 
Hampshire Historical Society, supply the main facts as to the massacre; and the direct 
quotations therefrom are carefully marked in the text. 


pursued to a locality about a mile and a half from the meeting-house ; 
but Daniel Gilman went ahead some rods, to shoot a hawk seen at 
a distance. Him the savages let pass, probably not wishing to spoil 
a better chance at the seven men following leisurely. As these men 
approached the ambush three shots were fired upon them. Gilman 
heard them, but supposed at first that his companions had " shot at a 
deer/" l He ran " back about forty rods upon a hill so that he could 
see over upon the other hill where the Indians lay, and shot upon the 
men, and heard Lieutenant Jonathan Bradley say, ' Lord, have mercy 
on me — fight ! ' '" 1 The lieutenant and three of his men fired ; " and 
then the Indians rose up and shot a volley, and run out into the path 
making all sorts of howling and yelling." 2 Whereupon Oilman " did 
not stay long," 1 but hastened to bear the fearful tidings to Eastman's 
fort a mile away. 

Lieutenant Bradley, supposing that the few Indians who fired 
first comprised the whole force, thought that " he and his six men 
could manage them," 2 and therefore he gave the order to fight, 
and return the fire ; but when this fire was answered by a volley 
from so large a body, " he ordered his men to run and take care of 
themselves." a But already four of them — Obadiah Peters, John 
Bean, John Lufkin, and Samuel Bradley — had received death shots. 
" The Indians then rushed upon Jonathan Bradley, William Stick- 
ney, and Alexander Roberts — took " the last two prisoners, and 
offered Bradley " good quarter. But he refused to receive quarter " 
from foes of a race whose mercy to his ancestors and relatives, in 
former wars, had been but cruelty, and fought stiffly, — albeit with 
strength somewhat diminished by recent sickness, — against that 
cloud of Indians, until, with face smitten by tomahawk blows, and 
gashed with knives, and with skull fractured, he was brought to the 
ground, and there despatched, scalped, and " stripped nearly naked." 
His younger brother, Samuel, had already perished, shot through the 
lungs ; but fell only after running five rods along the path, while 
" the blood started every step he took." 3 It was a common saying 
in those days, verified in the case of these brothers, " It takes a hard 
blow to kill a Bradley." 

The fight was over ; the corpses of five brave white men lay man- 
gled and despoiled. Only one of the enemy was then known to 
have been slain, and he — as supposed — by the undaunted lieuten- 
ant. But when Alexander Roberts escaped and returned from cap- 
tivity, the next year, he reported four Indians killed and several 
wounded, — two mortally, who were carried away on litters, and soon 

1 Clough's Journal. 

2 Reuben Abbot's Narrative. 

3 Clough's Journal and Abbot's Narrative. 


after died. The Indians buried two of their dead in the Great 
Swamp, under large hemlock logs, and two others in the mud, some 
distance up the river, where their bones were afterward found. 1 The 
guns were not heard in the main settlement, "because the wind was 
not fair to hear," and it was more than an hour afterward that there 
came a post down from Eastman's fort with the startling intelli- 
gence. Then three guns, — the appointed signal of alarm, — tired at 
Walker's fort, sent soldiers and others to the scene of the tragedy. 
Reuben Abbot and Abial Chandler at work making hay in the Fan, 
near Sugar Ball, ran, on hearing the alarm guns, up to the garrison, 
and found the soldiers who were stationed there, and such men as 
could be spared, had gone to where the men were killed. 1 They 
followed, and taking the foot-path somewhat diagonal to the regular 
route, and lying partly along the course of what subsequently be- 
came Washington street, arrived at the spot where the bodies lay as 
soon as those who went round on the main road. 2 But the arrival 
of the soldiers and others was too late for vengeance ; at their ap- 
proach the Indians fled like cowards, leaving their packs and various 
things which the soldiers took. 2 The woods were ranged awhile 
after for the captives, 3 but in vain. The bodies of the dead were 
collected. Samuel Bradley was found in the wood " on the east 
side of a brook running through the farm formerly owned by one 
Mitchell, — stripped naked, scalped, and lying on his face in the road, 
within half a rod of the bridge over that brook." His brother 
Jonathan lay "about ten feet out of the road, on the south side, 
and about two rods east of the brook. Obadiah Peters" was found 
in the road shot through the head. Bean and Lufkin had run from 
the brook toward the main road about six rods, and fallen within a 
rod of each other on the north side of the road as traveled 2 in later 
days. The bodies of the dead were laid side by side in a cart, which 
had been sent with a pair of oxen from Eastman's fort ; and, as all 
others refused the gruesome task, Reuben Abbot, then twenty-four 
years of age, drove the rude ambulance, under guard of soldiers and 
inhabitants, to James Osgood's garrison. There an excited and sor- 
rowing multitude received the sad procession. " They wept aloud ; " 
and " mothers lifted up their children to see the dead bodies in the 
cart." 4 The widow of Samuel Bradley, overwhelmed with anguish, 
was there with her little son, John, less than three years old, who 
retained, through a long, useful, and honored life, a vivid impression 
of the ghastly scene — an impression so strong that a terror of the 
Indians haunted him for many years. 4 The next day came an im- 

1 Bouton's Concord, 165. 3 Clough's Journal. 

2 Reuben Abbot's Narrative. * Bouton's Concord, 161. 



pressive funeral, and the dead were buried in two graves near the 
northwest corner of the old burying-ground ; the Bradley s in one, 
Lufkin, Peters, and Bean in another. 1 

The Bradleys slain were sons of Abraham Bradley, a useful and 
trusted citizen, who came to Penacook in 1730. They were young 
men of high character, enterprising and brave, and had seen much 
scouting service. Jonathan, the elder, was about thirty years of age, 
and a resident of Exeter, whither he had recently removed. Samuel 
lived with his father on the homestead in Rumford — the homestead 
which John, his son, inherited, and which was to descend in regular 
succession to grandson and great-grandson. Obadiah Peters was the 
son of Seaborn Peters, one of the first settlers of Penacook. His 
father lived near the Millville fort whither the party were going. Oba- 
diah had served with Captain Eastman at Louisburg. Of John Bean 
and John Lufkin nothing is known save that the former was from 
Brentwood, and the latter from Kingston. William Stickney, who 
was captured and taken to Canada, was the son of Jeremiah Stick- 
ney, one of Rumford's prominent citizens. After a year's captivity 
he escaped with a friendly Indian. According to the report of the 
latter, Stickney, when within a day's journey of home, was drowned 
in a stream which he was attempting to cross. Alexander Roberts, 
as before mentioned, also escaped from captivity, and reported the 
loss of the Indians in their attack. He claimed a bounty for having 
killed an Indian, and obtained it upon producing a skull bone before 
the general court. Of the seventy-five pounds appropriated as a 
tribute of honor to the participants in the memorable affair, Roberts 
received fifteen pounds, bounty included ; Daniel Oilman, and the 
heirs or legal representatives of Obadiah Peters, John Lufkin, John 
Bean, and William Stickney, each seven pounds ten shillings ; and 
the widows of Jonathan and Samuel Bradley, each, eleven pounds 
five shillings. 2 The general assembly, with the consent of the gov- 
ernor, made appropriation to James Osgood for funeral expenses, 3 in- 
cluding five coffins, and "drink for the peopel." 4 

A large tree, standing near the place of massacre, was soon after 
marked with the initials of the slain, and stood for many years, and 
until cut down, the only memorial of the event. But the memory of 
the brave men who perished there deserved a more durable monu- 
ment, and such it received within a century, when, in 1837, a granite 
shaft was, because of difficulty in obtaining the desired site, erected 
a few rods east of the scene of the massacre, and on the opposite side 
of the road, by Richard, grandson of Samuel Bradley. 5 

1 See note at close of chapter. 4 Bouton's Concord, 166 (note). 

2 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 541. 5 See Bradley Monument at close of chapter. 

3 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 863. 


Though the savages did not remain in large force at Rumford, after 
the August attack, yet they lurked about in small parties during the 
autumn, so that a military guard was requisite to the security of the 
inhabitants. Captain Ladd's company remained in Rumford and the 
neighborhood till October. Other volunteers took the place of those 
slain, among these being Ebenezer and Joseph, sons of Captain Eben- 
ezer Eastman, and Robert Rogers, the famous ranger of the next war. 
Other companies were scouting in the vicinity till December. 

On the 10th of November, after the disbandment of Captain Ladd's 
company, a man named Estabrook came in from Hopkinton to request 
of Dr. Carter professional services in that town. The doctor con- 
sented to accompany him, and taking " his bridle and saddle-bags," 
went to the pasture in Deacon George Abbott's lot, south of the 
Hopkinton road, to get his horse. But what was unusual, the ani- 
mal could not be caught. The doctor, waving his hand to Estabrook, 
who was in haste to return home before night, told him to "go on."' 
The latter did so, and had reached a point eighty rods east of the 
scene of the August massacre, when he was shot dead by an Indian 
enemy. The gun was heard in the main settlement, and within half 
an hour a pursuing party found the body of the dead man, 1 but saw 
nothing of his slayers, though they, or others of the same sort, were 
nine days later " discovered by their tracks in a small snow." 2 But 
for the unwonted reluctance of a horse to take the bridle, its owner 
would undoubtedly have shared the fate of Estabrook. 

In those days Indian surprises and narrow escapes from Indian 
violence were frequent enough to attest the reasonableness of the 
constant apprehension that existed, and justified precaution. Thus, 
Captain Henry Lovejoy, returning on horseback one evening, from 
Osgood's garrison to his own in the west settlement, feared that he 
might be waylaid in a gully south of Ephraim Earnum's. As he 
approached the crossing he bethought himself to shout, as if in com- 
mand of a force, " Rush on, my boys ! be ready to fire ! " and then 
galloped over at good speed. Having reached home in safety, "he 
went to turn his horse into a pasture on the north side of Rattlesnake 
hill, and while letting down the bars he noticed " disturbance among 
the cows. " Inferring that Indians were near, he turned toward the 
garrison, and hid himself under a large windfall tree. Immediately 
two Indians, with guns, trotted over the tree in pursuit." He re- 
tained his hiding-place " till they returned and went off," when he 
left covert and " regained the fort." 3 

Another incident has its ludicrous element, but shows the brave 

1 Facts related by Benjamin Gale, grandson of Dr. Ezra Carter; see Bouton's Concord, 177. 
1 Dr. Ezra Carter's Petition, cited in Annals of Concord, 26. 
3 Bouton's Concord, 181. 


spirit of woman in that time of oft impending danger. One evening at 
twilight, Betsey, a daughter of Abner Hoit, left Jonathan Eastman's 
garrison, where her father was " stated," to do the milking on the 
home premises, some distance off. 1 She was accompanied by a sol- 
dier, named Roane, as a guard. While she was engaged at her task 
the guard sat on the cow-yard fence ; but instead of looking out for 
Indians, he fastened his eyes upon the busy maiden. Observing his 
gaze, she said, " Roane, you better look the other way, and see if 
there are any Indians." The soldier, somewhat abashed, turned his 
eyes just in time to see " an Indian with tomahawk in hand, creep- 
ing slyly toward him." Roane, with a scream, " leaped from the 
fence, gun in hand, leaving Betsey to do the best she could for her- 
self." But the plucky maiden was equal to the perilous emergency, 
and made her way without her guard and in safety to the garrison. 2 

In 1747 the inhabitants of Rumford began early to provide means 
for continued defense. In town-meeting, on the 9th of February, 
they chose Captain Ebenezer Eastman and Henry Lovejoy to solicit 
aid from the governor and general court. 3 The assembly not being 
in session till March, Captain Eastman, on the 12th of the month, 
presented " a petition for some assistance of soldiers in . . . Penny- 
Cook," representing that " the inhabitants " were " much exposed 
to the Indian enemy," and were " in daily fear " of an attack " by 
such a number as " would " be too many for them, unless they " had 
" some help " ; and that they were " about to quit the place unless 
they " could " be protected " ; for, " on the eighth day of March, there " 
had been " a discovery of an Indian near Canterbury fort, which 
caused much fear and apprehension that there " was " a body of the 
enemy waiting an opportunity to do mischief." 4 Upon this petition, 
the house expressed the desire " that his excellency would cause to 
be enlisted or impressed twenty-five good, effective men to scout on 
the western side of Merrimack river near to PennyCook, &c." 5 
Whether or not the desire was complied with is not known, but if 
it was, compliance did not furnish adequate security. For on the 2d 
of April the assembly was urged again to grant men in aid of Rum- 
ford, and on the 4th the governor assented to a vote of the house 
for enlisting or impressing " one hundred and forty-four men to be 
employed for six months, or till the twentieth of October, in defend- 
ing the frontiers, guarding the people at work, and scouting,"- 
twenty-four of whom were to be posted " at Pennecook." 

About the middle of July extraordinary alarm was felt, and sixty- 

1 On what became the " B. H. Weeks place." 

2 Related in substance by Jacob Hoit, who was a grandson of Abner, and resided many 
years on "the Mountain," in East Concord; Bouton's Concord, 178. 

» Town Records, 90, 4 Prov, Papers, Vol. V, 859. 6 Ibid, 860. 


two of the citizens of Rumford petitioned the provincial authorities 
for a reinforcement of soldiers. They declared in their earnest peti- 
tion : " We have great reason to fear a speedy attack from the enemy 
with a force too great to be matched by us, with what assistance we 
at present (through your Excellency's and Honors" great goodness), 
have from the province. The plain and evident tracks of a consider- 
able number were discovered by our scout the last week. Guns have 
been heard both here . . .. and at Contoocook upon the Sabbath 
and [at] other times, and [at] places where it is certain no English 
were. The news of a formidable armament sent from Canada to 
Crown Point obtained such credit with the government of the Massa- 
chusetts bay as induced them to provide a prodigious reinforcement 
to strengthen their western barrier : and such is our situation, that, 
as the rivers Hudson and Connecticut lie most exposed to incursions 
from Crown Point, so ours is the next ; and the experience of this 
whole war has taught us that whenever any smart attack has been 
made upon any of the settlements on Connecticut river, the enemy 
has never failed of sending a considerable number to visit our river. 
While our ordinary business was hoeing, we could work in such large 
companies as not to be in such imminent danger of being massacred 
by the enemy, which, now [that] haying and English harvest come 
on, will be impracticable, without vast detriment to the whole, and 
utter ruin to some." 1 In answer to this petition, and, as it seems, 
upon the actual " approach of a considerable body of Indians " at 
Rumford, Governor Wentworth ordered thither a reinforcement of 
thirty men. In August and September ( 'aptain Ebenezer Eastman 
had command of a scouting party ; 2 as also of another the following 
winter. 3 

In March the " committee of militia " made some new arrange- 
ments as to the garrisons. Those of the Reverend Timothy Walker, 
Timothy Walker, Jr., Joseph Hall, and Jeremiah Stickney were con- 
tinued, — the last and that of Edward Abbott being made to con- 
stitute one garrison. Some changes to suit changed circumstances 
were made as to the inhabitants " stated " in those forts. But as 
"the pressing of the enemy " had "compelled two of the stated gar- 
risons to break up '' —namely, those of Henry Lovejoy and Jonathan 
Eastman — the committee ordered them to " be thrown up and not 
kept, until the inhabitants posted at " them should " have further 
assistance and be willing to return " ; these, " in the meantime," 
being " ordered to the " four authorized " garrisons, as most conven- 
ient for them." 4 

i Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 880-1. * Ibid, 102. 

2 Adjutant-General's Report, 1866, Vol. II, 99. " Committee's report, Bouton's Concord, 174-5. 


In the prevalent anxiety among the dwellers in Rnmford, the armed 
vigilance exercised by them allowed not the death or captivity of one 
of their number at the hands of the watchful savage, during the year 
1747. Indeed, only one is recorded to have been wounded. This 
was the aged Joseph Pudney, who had an arm broken by an Indian's 
shot, as he was carrying " a wooden bottle of beer " from Timothy 
Walker, junior's, garrison, to men at work on the Eleven Lots. On 
petition to the New Hampshire government for relief, he was allowed 
to earn his livelihood by being held in the military service, and 
" posted as a garrison soldier." The Indian could depredate, not 
murder. The proprietors, sharing in the apprehension of possible 
mischief, had ordered, in March, their " books of record " to be car- 
ried " to Newbury, or any other town where " they might " be kept 
safest." The savages were always watchful for some advantage. In 
the summer they had haunted a large field of rye belonging to Benja- 
min Abbott, lying on the Bog road, as now called, to attack any who 
should go out to reap it. But when the rye was ripe, harvesters ral- 
lied in such force that the crop was reaped, and carted home early in 
the forenoon, during a brief absence of the savages, who relieved their 
disappointment by killing cattle, sheep, and horses, at pasture near 
Turkey pond. 1 Later in the year a large party of Indians appeared 
in the southwest part of the town and remained some time, ranging 
the woods and committing sundry depredations. In particular, they 
made havoc of the animals turned by the neighbors into Jeremiah 
Bradley's " line field for fall grazing." At length, an armed force of 
the inhabitants rallied and " cautiously proceeded in two divisions, 
towards the enemy. In the woods near the field, one party found 
numerous packs belonging to the Indians, and concluded " to halt 
there, and await, in concealment, the approach of the redskins. When 
they were seen approaching, one of the concealed men, " through 
accident, or an eager desire to avenge his losses, fired his musket, and 
alarmed the Indians, who, observing the smoke of the gun, filed off 
in " another " direction. The whole party then fired, but with little 
injury to their adversaries. The body of an Indian was, however, 
some time afterward, found secreted in a hollow log, into which, it is 
supposed " that, " having been wounded by the fire of the party, he 
had crawled and expired." 

During the following winter no harm was done by the Indians in 
Rumford or its vicinity. But early in February, 1748, the inhab- 
itants began to be apprehensive, and, in town-meeting, chose Lieuten- 
ant John Webster and Dr. Ezra Carter to "make application to 
the general assembly for a suitable number of men to guard " them 

i Bouton's Concord, 178. * Annals of Concord, 27. 


"the ensuing year." 1 Savages were soon prowling about, and in 
April a considerable body of them passed " on rafts over Contoocook 
river," and killed " a number of cattle in that neighborhood," so that 
the governor reinforced " the garrisons at Contoocook and Canter- 
bury with ten men each for one month." 2 Captain John Goffe had 
a company of twenty-five or thirty men, scouting and doing garrison 
duty, from May 28 to October 5. Of this company, John Webster 
was lieutenant, and of the other Rumford men in its ranks were 
Reuben Abbott, Joseph Eastman, Nathaniel Abbott, Joseph Putney, 
Sampson Colby, and John Chandler, Jr. 3 

In October, 1748, the war of the Austrian Succession came to an 
end in the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, and with it King George's War. 
The peace, as to the former war, confirmed the " Pragmatic Sanction" 
and Frederick the Great's possession of Silesia ; as to the latter, it 
settled nothing between France and England in regard to their re- 
spective territorial claims in America, but remanded everything to its 
former state, even Louisburg, much to the disappointment of New 
England, being restored to France. But savage violence had gained 
an impetus during four years of contest, which the declaration of 
peace could not at once overcome. That violence was not wholly 
stayed even until the next year ; Rumford, however, suffered little 
or nothing after the peace, though the people kept themselves pre- 
pared for defense. 

The war had tested the endurance and taxed the resources of the 
people of Rumford. Sometimes, in their extreme perils and " de- 
plorable circumstances," especially when feeling themselves unsup- 
ported by adequate aid from the province, the idea of abandoning 
their settlement had suggested itself to them. Varied exigencies 
drained their means and detained them from their vocations, to the 
loss of nearly "one half of their time during the most busy and 
valuable part of the year." But it could be, as it was, truthfully 
said of the inhabitants of Rumford and their conduct in that day of 
trial : " They have stood their ground against the enemy, supported 
themselves with all the necessaries of life, and also yearly spared 
considerable quantities of provisions to the neighboring villages, 
which must have suffered very much if they had not had their 
assistance. And they had been always ready, upon notice of dis- 
tress or danger among their neighbors, during the war, to go to their 
relief, — many times, in considerable companies, to places at a great 
distance, — all at their own expense." 4 

•Town Records, 97. 

2 Prov. Papers, Vol. V, 906. 

sAdjutant-General's Report, 1866, Vol. II, 105-6. 

1 Depositions in the Bow controversy, 1767. Bouton's Concord, 181-2. 


During this time the men of Rumford had also duly exercised the 
town rights and privileges guaranteed them by the district act and 
its renewals, so as to meet the requisitions of an enlightened and 
well-ordered community. They regularly taxed themselves " to de- 
fray the ministerial and other necessary charges of Rumford." But, 
in the year 1749, Rumford lost its town privileges through the non- 
renewal of the district act. A town-meeting held on the 29th of 
March of that year was the last corporate one held upon the soil of 
Rumford for seventeen years; two of the petitions for incorporation 
as a town presented within that period having proved ineffectual. 
The incomplete ] record of that meeting is a suggestive broken edge 
of the chasm in the town records between 1749 and 17(36. 

Amid the closing events depicted in this chapter, a leading actor 
disappeared from the stage. Death detached Ebenezer Eastman from 
the elect company of early settlers. His associates had entrusted 
him with most important responsibilities, and while public duties were 
always upon his hands, large private interests made drafts upon his 
activity. His wide influence was the reward of merit. In family 
relations, too, this civilian and soldier was happy, and his children 
grew up about him to imitate his virtues. In March, 1748, Ebenezer 
Eastman for the last time — after many years of continuous service — 
presided as moderator over the deliberations of his fellow-citizens in 
the annual town-meeting. Four months later, on the 28th of July, 
this pioneer of Penacook died, at the age of fifty-nine years, in his 
home by the Merrimack, leaving a name honored in the annals of the 
community, and a memory to be cherished. 

Notes and Incidents. 

The G-raves of those Massacred in 174-6. Dr. Bouton, in his 
History of Concord, published in 1856, says : " The spot where the 
bodies were buried cannot now be exactly identified ; but it was very 
near the place now enclosed and occupied as the burial plat of the 
Bradley and Ayer family." 

The Bradley Monument. ( )n the 22d (11th, old style) of Au- 
gust, 1837, ninety-one years after the massacre on the Hopkinton 
road, the commemorative monument — mentioned in the text — was 
erected in the presence of a large concourse, near the scene of the 
event. A procession was formed under the direction of Colonel 
Stephen Brown as chief marshal, at the residence of Benjamin H. 
Weeks, in the following order : Teachers and scholars of public and 
private schools; chief marshal ; music; committee of arrangements ; 

1 See " Rumford's Last Town Meeting " in note at close of chapter. 


orator ; New Hampshire Historical society ; descendants of the per- 
sons killed in 174(3; his Excellency Governor Isaac Hill; officers 
of the state government ; past officers ; citizens generally. 

The procession moved to the site, and there the monument was 
raised into its place. The company then repaired to a grove of oaks 
on the south side of the road, where the follow- 
ing order of exercises was observed: 1. Hymn 
by the Rev. John Pierpont of Boston. Sung un- 
der the direction of William I). Buck. (Hymn 
printed beyond.) 2. Prayer by the Rev. Na- 
thaniel Bouton. 3. Address by Asa McFarland. 
Ode by George Kent. 5. Reading, by Richard 
Bradley, of an original petition of the inhabi- 
tants of Rumford to the governor, council, and 
assembly, for succor against the Indians, with 
autographs of the subscribers, followed by con- 

r ,, i it, The Bradley Monument. 

veyance ot the monument ami grounds made to 
the New Hampshire Historical Society by Mr. Bradley, and received 
by Rev. Nathaniel Bouton in behalf of the said society. 6. An his- 
torical ballad, written by Miss Mary Clark of Concord, and read by 
Mr. Timothy P. Stone of Andover, Mass., principal of the Concord 
Literary Institution. 7. Concluding prayer by the Rev. Ebenezer E. 



Not now, O God, beneath the trees 

That shade this vale at night's cold noon, 
Do Indian war-songs load the breeze, 

Or wolves sit howling to the moon. 

The foes, the fears our fathers felt, 

Have, with our fathers, passed away; 
And where in death's dark shade they knelt, 

We come to praise thee and to pray. 

We praise thee that thou plantedst them, 
And mad' st thy heavens drop down their dew — 

We pray, that, shooting from their stem, 
We long may nourish where they grew. 

And, Father, leave us not alone: 

Thou hast been, and art still our trust: 
Be thou our fortress, till our own 

Shall mingle with our fathers' dust. 


Facsimile of Petition for Aid, I 744. 

i^J jU fJft^S^ t faUfcbJi y^k^ -/X.-/O jtmu^>^. 

J„n^, Ai2L JLw M&trj~"~ jJSUU^' 

rumford's last town-meeting. 187 

RmnforcVs Last Towiwneeting. The following is the abruptly ter- 
minated record of Rumford's last town-meeting, as found in the town 
records, p. 104 : 

At a Legal Meeting of the Inhabitants & Freeholders of the Town 
of Rumford on Wednesday ye 29th of March 1749. 

Capt John Chandler was chosen Moderator of this present Meeting. 

Voted, that Dr Ezra Carter be Town Clerk. 

Voted, that Capt John Chandler Dr Ezra Carter Lt Jeremiah 
Stickney Mr Ebenezer Virgin & Mr Henry Lovejoy be Select Men. 

Voted, that Mr Samuel Gray be Constable. 

Voted, that James Abbott, Jeremiah Dreser, Dn George Abbott, 
Aron Stevens, Jacob Shute & Amos Eastman be Surveyors of High 

Voted, That Edward 


VERSY and Matters therewith Connected. — Colonization 
by Concord Settlers. 

1749-1762. 1 

The story of this chapter is that of the critical period in the his- 
tory of the town. The Bow controversy, previously referred to, had 
now reached its acute stage. King George's War was at an end. As 
a frontier town, Rumford had served as a buffer against Indian attacks 
for the more southerly settlements of New Hampshire. Relieved of 
the menace of Indian warfare, the settlers had precipitated upon 
them a legal controversy affecting the title of their land which threat- 
ened to dispossess them of their homes and give to strangers all that 
they had, through years of toil, reclaimed from the wilderness. Rum- 
ford had been settled under a grant from the colony of Massachusetts, 
but had now become a part of New Hampshire, through a decision of 
the king in council in drawing a boundary line between the two colo- 
nies of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The control of the New 
Hampshire government was in the hands of those friendly to the Bow 
proprietors, who were claimants of the land settled in Rumford. The 
suits which these Bow proprietors brought to acquire title to this ter- 
ritory were to be tried in the New Hampshire courts, whose judges 
were in sympathy with these same proprietors. The settlers of Rum- 
ford were dependent for authority to direct their local affairs upon 
the government of New Hampshire, and this government had now 
refused to renew the act by which, as a district, they levied taxes to 
support their schools and their minister and maintain their control of 
municipal affairs. The efforts of the Bow proprietors, through their 
influence with the colonial government of New Hampshire, were 
directed to destroying the unity of action of the settlers by depriving 
them of authority to act as a town or a district at the same time that 
they harassed them with vexatious suits, purposely brought for so 
small amounts of damages that no appeal lay beyond the colonial 
courts. These Rumford settlers, numbering one hundred families, 
who had come into the wilderness under a grant which they had 

1 1762. This date marks the second royal decision in favor of Rumford, the critical event 
in the Bow controversy; but to complete in this chapter the treatment of that controversy 
to its final settlement will require some anticipation of dates. 


every reason to believe valid, now found themselves an isolated 
colony under a hostile government, bereft of even the countenance of 
law to act as a community. In view of their situation at this time, 
the marvel is that the colony was not then and there broken up and 
its settlers scattered. 

How they held together for many years by voluntary association, 
agreeing to support one another, pledging their all to that end, is 
an incident of New England settlements probably without parallel. 
The Bow proprietors were entrenched in the government of New 
Hampshire, and the leading spirits were men of means and influ- 
ence. The settlers of Rumford, on the other hand, had no capital 
but their homes and no outside support save occasional small contri- 
butions from the government of Massachusetts; yet they entered 
upon this unequal contest with undaunted courage, and, when they 
were cut off from appeal to the courts of England, they fell back 
upon the sacred right of petition, and through this ultimately tri- 
umphed over their antagonists. In the pages of legal documents the 
story of this litigation is told ; but these documents do not picture 
the anxiety of these years, the self-sacrifice, or the doubts, as they 
planted, without confidence of harvest, as they harvested, without 
hopes of eating the fruits thereof, and as they put off permanent 
improvements which they might not enjoy ; nor do they tell of the 
unity of spirit, which, without legal sanction policed their community 
and kept it from crime ; the willing contributions of each his share 
to maintain the gospel and the school and the hundred and one acts 
which each cheerfully performed when there was no assurance that 
in the end they might not be compelled to abandon all that they had 
struggled so hard to obtain and held so dear. What the} r suffered 
in fears and doubts, with what heaviness of heart they engaged in 
their daily toil, with what rumors they were frequently dismayed, 
how the law's delay disturbed their waking and sleeping hours, how 
often they were on the point of giving up the fight, and with what 
small solace the clays and nights of these long years were cheered, no 
chronicler of that time records. It is left for the imagination to por- 
tray. But it is known from their surroundings that it was a contest 
of silent suffering, of strong resolution, and of fidelity to one another 
unshaken. While details are lacking of the daily life of Rumford dur- 
ing the period of this controversy with the Bow proprietors, the his- 
tory of the legal proceedings in the New Hampshire courts and before 
the king in council is quite complete and is here given. 

As mentioned in the preceding chapter, Rumford had, by 1749, 
ceased to be either a district or a town. On the 24th of January, 
1750, the people, through Benjamin Rolfe, petitioned the governor 


and council to be incorporated into a township with their ancient 
boundaries, and with such privileges as any of the towns in the prov- 
ince enjoyed. In the memorial accompanying the petition, it was 
declared : " Your memorialists, by power given them by the district 
acts, . . . for about six years last past, have annually raised 
money for defraying our ministerial, school and other necessary 
charges . . . , and taxed the inhabitants accordingly: but the 
district act expiring some time last summer, there is now no law of 
this province whereby your memorialists can raise any money for the 
year current, for the charges aforesaid. And your memorialists have 
abundant reason to think that the Rev. Mr. Timothy Walker, who 
has been settled with us as our minister for about twenty years,— 
unless we can speedily be put into a capacity to make a tax for his 
salary, — will be necessitated to leave us, which will be to our great 
loss and inexpressible grief; for he is a gentleman of an unspotted 
character, and universally beloved by us. Our public school will 
also, of course, fail, and our youth thereby be deprived, in a great 
measure, of the means of learning, which we apprehend to be of a 
very bad consequence ; [and] our schoolmaster, who is a gentleman 
of a liberal education, . . . and lately moved his family from 
Andover to Kumford, on account of his keeping school for us, will be 
greatly damaged and disappointed. And your memorialists, under 
the present circumstances, are deprived of all other privileges which 
a well regulated town enjoys." 1 But this urgent representation was 
met by a remonstrance of George Veasey and Abram Tilton, select- 
men of Bow, presented on the 7th of February, 1750, and alleging 
that the bounds mentioned in " the petition of the inhabitants on a 
tract of land called Penacook to be incorporated with town privi- 
leges," made " great infringement on land belonging to the town of 
Bow." Action favorable to Rumford was thus prevented, for it had 
become the policy of the New Hampshire government, from motives 
made apparent in early subsequent narration, to ignore Rumford, even 
as a district, and to destroy its corporate identity by a complete 
merger in the township of Bow. 

That government had, in May, 1726, sent its committee to Pena- 
cook to warn the Massachusetts committee against laying out the 
lands there, and, a year later, had chartered the township of Bow, out 
of territory lying on both sides of the Merrimack, in a grant of eighty- 
one square miles, made without previous survey, and " extremely 
vague and uncertain as to its bounds," 2 but stubbornly construed by 
its supporters to cover three fourths of the plantation of Penacook. 

1 Benjamin Rolfe's Memorial, etc.; Annals of Concord, 85-6 (Appendix). 

2 The Rev. Timothy Walker's Petition to the king in 1753. 


In 17*28 the Massachusetts government, confident of the validity of 
its claim as to its northerly boundary line, had, regardless of the New 
Hampshire caveat, made two grants: in 1728 that of Suncook, lying- 
in large part within the vague limits of Bow; and, a few years later, 
that of Number Four, or Hopkinton, trenching, at an angle, upon the 
same grant. This grant of Bow was taken to lie obliquely upon that 
of Rumford, from southeast to northwest, leaving outside a northeast 
and a northwest gore, the latter being considerably the larger. The 
bounds of the township were scantily described in the charter, in the 
following terms : " Beginning on the southeast side of the town of 
Chichester, and running nine miles by Chichester and Canterbury, 
and carrying that breadth of nine miles from each of the aforesaid 
towns, southwest, until the full complement of eighty-one square 
miles are fully made up." x This tract of land was granted as a town 
corporate, by the name of Bow, to one hundred and seven proprietors, 
and thirty-one associates, comprising the governor, the lieutenant- 
governor, the members of the council, and those of the assembly, with 
sixteen others to be named by the lieutenant-governor, numbering in 
all one hundred and fifty-one grantees. 2 

Though Bow was, by the terms of the charter, a town from the 
20th of May, 1727, yet not till twenty months later did its proprie- 
tors set foot upon its soil by way of entry. Then, by a committee, 
they surveyed the lands granted, and marked out the bounds. 3 All 
they did, however, was " to run a chain, and mark some trees, at a 
a great distance round " 3 the busy settlers of Penacook, who were in 
occupation, as they had been, for more than two years, and who were 
there clearing and tilling the virgin soil, building their homes, and 
finishing their house for the public worship of God. The blazed 
lines run out by the proprietors of Bow were not, as these held, 
essential " as to the purpose of giving them the seisin," 3 or possession 
of the lands surrounded by them, but were " especially designed, that 
they might know and distinguish their township from others." 3 For 
they claimed that " the grantees, by operation of law, were seized 
immediately upon the execution of their charter." 3 Some clue as to 
those lines is afforded by the testimony of Walter Bryant, who per- 
ambulated them about 1719. " I began," says the surveyor, "at the 
reputed bound of the town of Chichester, at the head of Nottingham, 
and from thence run northwest, four miles, to the head of Epsom ; 
then there marked a maple tree with the word Bow and sundry let- 
ters ; and from said tree, which I called the east corner of said Bow, 

1 See plan and explanations in note at close of chapter. 

2 See names of grantees in note at close of chapter. 

s From statement drawn up by Judge Pickering, being one of the papers upon which 
the Bow controversy was decided in 1762. It is able and thorough, and will be frequently 
quoted from in subsequent pages. 


I run northwest, four miles, to the west corner of Chichester ; then 
northeast, one mile, to Canterbury south corner, then northwest, rive 
miles, on said Canterbury; then southwest, nine miles, which runs to 
northwest of Rattlesnake hill and most of the pond that lies on the 
northwest side of said hill ; and said line crosses Hopkinton road, so 
called, and takes a part of said town in ; then we marked a tree, and 
run southeast, five miles, and marked a tree ; then one mile south- 
west ; then southeast, four miles ; then northeast, nine miles, to 
where we began. P. S. I crossed Merrimack river within two miles 
of Canterbury line, and found all the inhabitants to the south of Can- 
terbury and east of [the] Merrimack, which are in Rumford to be in 
Bow." J 

At best, however, even with this perambulation, the lines of Bow 
did not lose their uncertainty, and remained too much like the 
boundaries, once wittily defined by Rufus Choate, in another case, 
" as beginning at a blue-jay on the bough of a pine tree, thence 
easterly to a dandelion gone to seed, thence due south to three hun- 
dred foxes with firebrands tied between their tails/' Especially is 
it to be noted that the beginning of these lines was marked by a 
fleeting thing ; for " the southeast side of the town of Chichester,'" 
which the charter had set for the beginning, became, in the survey, 
the southwest side of Chichester — the " blue-jay " having flown and 
alighted four miles away to the westward. 

It is probable that the grant of Suncook, made by Massachusetts 
in 1728, and partially covering the territory of Bow, stimulated the 
proprietors of the latter to mark their boundary line in 1729. The 
next year a part of Suncook was divided by its proprietors into lots, 
which were assigned to grantees, and upon which actual settlement 
was soon commenced. Without regard to this the Bow proprietors 
laid out the same and some adjoining territory in an allotment reck- 
lessly intersecting and overlapping the other; 2 and while effecting 
no settlement under the grant of New Hampshire, they would not 
allow the peaceable effecting of any under that of Massachusetts. 
Their policy was that of the dog in the manger. About this time, 
and probably as a part of the same transaction, " a parcel " of the 
Bow grant, " on the east side of the Merrimack river, by conjecture 
about three miles square," 3 was enclosed; but what allotment of 
Penacook lands, if any, was made at this period by the proprietors 
of Bow is not known, lint at some time lands "were laid out and 
divided" 4 by them within the limits of Penacook or Rumford; for 
account was taken of them in the charter of the parish of Concord 

1 Bouton's Concord, 206 (note). 3 Judge Pickering's Statement. 

2 History of Pembroke, 39, 40. 4 Charter of Parish of Concord. 


in 1765 ; and in the settlement of the Bow controversy in 1771, 
" the proprietors of Rnmford were to pay ten pounds to the proprie- 
tors of Bow, for each hundred acre lot which was laid out by said 
Bow in said Rumford." ! 

Thus, while Bow — as Lord Chief Justice Mansfield of England 
remarked in substance years afterwards 2 — claimed the desirable 
valley of the upper Merrimack, the Massachusetts people went on 
and settled it. The plantation of Penacook became the town of 
Rumford with its charter confirmed by the king. Bow was nomi- 
nally a town, holding meetings of non-resident grantees, and choos- 
ing selectmen at Stratham, forty miles away, and with not an in- 
habitant settled by itself upon the soil which it claimed. Though 
the settlement of the boundary line in 1710 threw Rumford under 
the jurisdiction of New Hampshire, yet as this act had been accom- 
panied by the express declaration of the king that a change of juris- 
diction should not affect the rights of private property, the proprie- 
tors and settlers of Rumford had reason to hope that they should 
not be molested in their dearly earned possessions. As early, how- 
ever, as 1742, apprehension was felt by them as to the mischievous 
designs of the Bow proprietors, and the thought was entertained 
among them that it would be desirable to choose one or more per- 
sons fully authorized to act in their behalf, in using " ways and 
means to quiet and secure the proprietors in their possessions, and 
to secure their just right to the premises, either in the Province 
of New-Hampshire, or in the Court of Great Britain." 8 Though 
this thought did not ripen into immediate action, yet the same 
year Capt. Ebenezer Eastman was " appointed ... to meet the 
delegates of . . . proprietors of grants made by the General 
Court of the Province of Massachusetts Bay . . . at a meet- 
ing held in Boston, in November, . . . to join with them in 
consulting . . . [as to] what" might "be necessary for the 
general good of the said Proprietors." 4 Mischief was threatened; 
but the outright war of dispossession upon the Rumford settlers 
was temporarily averted, especially by the French and Indian War, 
which was scarcely more harassing than the civil contest which was 
to supervene. 

In the course of years those of the grantees specially named in the 
Bow charter as proprietors had forfeited their rights by non-fulfil- 
ment of conditions, and the proprietorship — as it is likely enough 
was originally intended — had fallen mainly into the hands of the 

1 Petition of Thomas Stickney to New Hampshire Legislature, 1789; Bouton's Concord, 304. 

2 The Rev. Timothy Walker's Letter, 1762. 

3 Proprietors' Records (manuscript), Vol. Ill, 170. 
4 Proprietors' Records (manuscript), Vol. Ill, 



associates who were the members of the executive and legislative 
branches of the provincial government, including some who held 
place in the judicial department. By 1749 the "Proprietors of the 
common and undivided lands lying and being in the town of Bow v 
as they styled themselves — were ready to attempt the actual en- 
forcement of their claim upon the soil of Rumford. To smooth the 
way for their attempt, the district act had not been renewed ; and 
now through the remonstrance of their so-called " selectmen," the 
incorporation of Rumford, as a New Hampshire town, was pre- 
vented, lest such official recognition of its distinct corporate exist- 
ence might hinder the purpose. Without any actual seizin — and 
with only the most illusory constructive one — of the lands claimed, 
they had the effrontery to assert that they had been disseized for 
twenty-three years by bona fide settlers, who, all that time and 
more, had occupied and improved the premises. Hence the claim- 
ants in or about the sea-board capital, alias, " the proprietors of the 
common and undivided lands lying and being in the town of Bow," 
under the fallacious pretext of only seeking "to recover" that of 
which they had been "disseized," instituted a course of oppressive 

In 1749 the proprietors of Bow entered at the December term of 
the court of common pleas, at Portsmouth, an action of ejectment 
against John Merrill, the early ferryman of Penacook, which was 
continued to the succeeding March term (1749-'50). 1 Judgment 
was then rendered for the defendant, and the plaintiff took an appeal 
to the next superior court, when pleas of abatement were moved, and, 
by agreement of parties, the case was continued to the September 
term, 1750. 2 But at this term neither party appeared, and the case 
was dismissed. 

Why the plaintiffs abandoned this action does not appear ; but in 
December, 1750, another action was entered upon the docket of the 
court of common pleas by the Bow proprietors against the same John 
Merrill, to oust him from " about eight acres of land, situate in Bow 
. . . with the buildings and appurtenances thereof," 3 the whole being 
a portion of his homestead estate. These cases headed the long line 
of vexatious suits, all involving the same principle and substantially 
the same procedure and result in the province courts. But the pro- 
prietors of Rumford had been preparing for the tug of war. They 
had seen to it that the lines of the town should be perambulated and 
marked. 4 They were united in their purpose to defend, at whatever 
cost, their rights, and those of their grantees, against intrusion. On 

'C. P. Records, 1745-1750, p. 436. 3 Statement of Judge Pickering. 

8 Sup. Ot. Records, B., p. 129. * Annals of Concord, 29 (note). 


the 23d of April, 1750, after the bringing of the Merrill action in 
1749, — which as just seen was abandoned, — they voted to "be at the 
cost of defending John Merrill, in the action brought against " him, 
by the proprietors of Bow, " provided " he should " pursue and de- 
fend said action agreeably to the orders of " his fellow proprietors. It 
was also voted " That the proprietors will be at the cost and charge 
of supporting and defending the just right and claim of any of " the 
" proprietors or their grantees, to any and every part of " the town- 
ship of Rumford against any person or persons that shall bring a 
writ of trespass and ejectment for the recovery of any of said lands : 
provided, the said proprietors or grantees that shall be trespassed 
upon, or that shall be sued, shall pursue and defend their rights or 
claims agreeably to the orders of said proprietors of Rumford." 1 
These votes were followed by another, appointing Captain John Chand- 
ler, Colonel Benjamin Rolfe, Lieutenant Jeremiah Stickney, Mr. 
Ebenezer Virgin, and Dr. Ezra Carter, a committee " to advise and 
order Deacon John Merrill how he " should "pursue and defend the 
action brought against " him " by the proprietors of Bow; also, to 
advise and order any other person or persons that " should " be sued 
or " should " sue in order to support and defend their rights or 
claims, what method they " should kt pursue for the purposes afore- 
said." 1 Provision was also made for selling " pieces of the common 
and undivided land in the township," to raise " money to pay the 
proprietors 1 debts, and the charge that " had " arisen or " should 
" arise by defending the suit brought against Deacon John Merrill by 
the proprietors of Bow." With such a resolute and concordant 
spirit of preparation did the proprietors and settlers of Rumford meet 
the issue presented. They appreciated the perils of the contest. 
They knew, indeed, that their cause was just, but would it prevail ? 
With a fair, impartial trial it would. But such a trial was not to be 
expected in New Hampshire, since the governor and most of the 
council were " proprietors of Bow, and by them, not only the judges " 
were " appointed, but also the officers that " impaneled the jurors 
from " people generally disaffected to " the defendants, " on account 
of their deriving their titles from Massachusetts." 2 The defendants 
might, however, reasonably hope to obtain some justice in the end, 
could they but get a hearing before the king in council; though this 
resort the plaintiffs might, as they did, try to prevent by bringing 
actions for so small values, that, under the laws of the province, 
there could be no appeal to England. But whatever the cost, it was 
felt by the defendants that it was better to incur it than to submit to 

'Proprietors' Records (manuscript), Vol. III. 

2 Petition of Rev. Timothy Walker and Benjamin Rolfe to the king in 1753. 



the process of the plaintiffs, instituted to compel, under menace of 
ouster, acknowledgment of a groundless claim to proprietorship. 

The action against John Merrill, entered in the inferior court of 
common pleas, at the December term, 1750, was, at the request of 
his counsel, continued to the March term, 1751, that he might "vouch 
in his warrantor/' of whom he had purchased part of the land in 
question. As the warrantor did not appear at that term, the defend- 
ant was obliged to defend himself, or give up the land demanded on 
which some of his buildings stood. " He, therefore, 7 ' as his counsel, 
Judge Pickering, has recorded in his statement of the case, " gave an 
issuable plea, and thereupon obtained judgment, from which the 
plaintiffs appealed to the then next superior court, and entered their 
appeal ; and after several continuances, the parties had hearing, and 
judgment was rendered for the plaintiffs to recover the premises 
demanded. This judgment the defendant reviewed ; but judgment 
was again rendered for the plaintiffs. From this judgment the de- 
fendant would have appealed to the king in council, or to the gover- 
nor and council here in a court of appeals; but was not permitted to 
do so, as the premises demanded were not of sufficient value to allow 
either " recourse, according to the province law in such cases. 

This case, with some others like it in principle and result, had, by 
1753, passed through the New Hampshire courts. From an elaborate 
statement of the Merrill case, prepared by the acute and learned 
counselor in defense, and fortunately preserved, a view of the posi- 
tions taken by the two parties in the controversy may be gained. A 
glance at some of them has already been had ; but it may be well 
here to present them briefly in connected form, and partly in Judge 
Pickering's own words. 

The Bow proprietors urged that, inasmuch as " the right to all the 
lands in the province was originally in the Crown," the charter of 
Bow, issued under the governor's commission which conferred the 
power to grant those lands, gave the grantees immediate seizin " by 
operation of law " ; and that marking the bounds, twenty months 
later, and enclosing, five years afterward, a parcel three miles square, 
"on the easterly side of Merrimack river," gave them "actual seizin 
and possession of the whole," with the consequent right to oust " any 
person who" had "entered and possessed any part within the bounds 
of their charter, in any other right or claim." They expressly set 
forth in their declaration that, in "June, 1727, they were seized of 
the premises ... in said town of Bow, in fee, taking the profits 
thereof . . . , and continued to be so seized for one year then 
next ensuing, and ought now to have quiet and peaceable possession ; 
yet " the defendant, " within twenty-three years last past hath, with- 


out judgment of law, entered into the premises demanded," and "dis- 
seized the plaintiffs thereof.** 

To the title thus set up by the plaintiffs the defendant objected, 
and denied that they had proved their ease. " For,*" as he urged, 
"it is only by virtue of a seisin in fact that a person takes the profits 
—never by virtue of a seisin in law only. Now, they never set a 
foot on the lands contained within the bounds of their charter till 
twenty months after*' the execution of that instrument in June, 
1727, so that "it is difficult to conceive how their seisin'* at the 
earlier date "is proved by entry" at the later. Nor could such evi- 
dence of entry and possession as was adduced by the plaintiffs prove 
the charge of disseizin against "the settlers of the plantation, called 
Penacook," who " had been in possession of it above a year before 
the date " of the Bow charter, and were vigorously pursuing meas- 
ures in order to settle a town there. The Penacook settlers "were 
clearing the land almost two years before any of the proprietors of 
Bow had seen their land : and all that "' the latter " did when they 
entered was to run a chain and mark some trees, at a great distance, 
round the laborers; they never so much as saw the land now 
demanded, where the settlers of Penacook were at work. And, 
indeed, by the plaintiffs' rule of possessing land by walking round it," 
the continuous possession of the Penacook settlers might " well be 
computed " from more than two years, instead of one, before the 
issuance of the Bow charter. "Upon these facts concerning the man- 
ner of entry and possession of these parties, with what propriety' 
could the Bow proprietors claim this land ? 

Again, it was argued for the defendant: Supposing "the lands 
which the plaintiffs claim were the king's at the time their charter 
was made — which was not the case, in fact — yet the Bow proprietors 
have not derived that right to themselves ; for the authority of the 
governor of New Hampshire " to grant the king's lands was confined 
to his jurisdiction, which, by the commission, " was limited to that part 
of New Hampshire extending from three miles northward of Merri- 
mack river, or any part thereof, to the province of Maine, which was 
the easterly boundary of the commission ; the westerly boundary of 
which was the line running three miles northward of the Merrimack. 
Now the land demanded by the plaintiffs in this suit lay on the west- 
erly side of Merrimack river, more than three miles without the gov- 
ernor's jurisdiction, and, consequently, he had no power to grant it ; 
for, if he might grant the king's lands out of his jurisdiction, where 
should he stop ? By what limits could he be restrained ? From the 
reason and necessity of the thing, therefore, it must be allowed that 
the right of government and of granting lands was limited to the 


same territory. And the words of the commission necessarily imply 
that it did not extend over all that was called New Hampshire." 
Hence, " if it were conceded that these lands were within the prov- 
ince of New-Hampshire at the date of the plaintiffs' charter, that con- 
cession would avail the plaintiffs nothing in this case." 

"Another objection' —already mentioned — was made "to the 
plaintiffs' demand, from the manner of their running out the bounds 
of their township. By their charter, they were to begin on the 
southeast side of the township of Chichester. Instead of that they 
began on the southwest side. Now what could justify such a pro- 
ceeding? If the land where they were to begin was appropriated 
before, that could not authorize them to be their own carvers, to take 
what they were pleased to estimate as an equivalent, without a new 
grant — which they never had. Nor did they ever make a return to 
the authority whence they derived their title, for confirmation of 
what they had thus unwarrantably assumed ; for by their running 
they took in a considerable tract of land, really without their char- 
ter, and which belongs to others." They alleged, to be sure, " that 
they could not begin on the south-east side of Chichester, because it 
joined Nottingham on that side ; but if it was so, what necessity of 
going four miles on Chichester before they began their measure? 
They should have taken their land according to their grant." But 
" it is probable " that " the true motive for making this leap — not in 
the dark — was to get better land." And " if they had run, as they 
ought, from the southerly corner of Chichester, they would not have 
reached the land demanded." 

Looking closer to the title claimed by the plaintiffs, " as derived 
from the Crown," the defendant said that all the lands in question 
were " long before granted by the council of Plymouth, — in whom 
the right of the crown to them was vested, — to Captain John Mason," 
whose " right was always adjudged good. As the said lands were all 
waste or unimproved " except those occupied by the settlers of Pena- 
cook, " they, beyond all question, belonged — agreeably to Queen 
Anne's orders and the concession of the assembly here — to those who 
had Mason's right." This being the case, "the governor's grant 
could be of no effect as to these lands ; for the power of the gov- 
ernor extended only to right of the crown, of which the crown was 
long before divested. Hence the plaintiffs' title under the govern- 
ment" could "not serve them," and of this fact, "the defendant" 
might " take advantage ; for it is a well known rule, that a defendant 
may plead any man's title against the plaintiff." 

Hut the plaintiffs claimed to have Mason's right, inasmuch as 
" Mason's heir sold it to Theodore Atkinson and others, by deed 


dated the 30th of July, 1746, and that the purchasers, by their deed 
of release, dated the 31st of July aforesaid, conveyed their right to 
the plaintiffs, among others." To understand better this position of 
the plaintiffs, and that of the defendant in denial of it, a brief digres- 
sive retrospect is necessary. 

In a preceding chapter it was related that Captain John Mason's 
grant of New Hampshire fell into the hands of his grandsons, John 
and Robert Tufton, who took the name of Mason. These made 
ineffectual attempts to obtain recognition of proprietorship. Another 
pair of brothers, also named John and Robert — sons of Robert — sold 
their claim to Samuel Allen in 1691. There was a flaw, however, 
in the transfer. After some years, John, the son of Robert, " con- 
ceived hopes of invalidating Allen's purchase," 1 but died in 1718, 
without accomplishing his purpose. His eldest son, John Tufton, 
the fifth in descent from Captain Mason, and born about 1713, "was 
bred to a mechanical employment in Boston," 1 and is also sometimes 
spoken of as a "mariner." He inherited the enterprising spirit of 
his ancestors, 1 and the controversy as to the lines called his attention 
to his interests. 1 In 1738, the politicians of Massachusetts, hoping 
to derive some advantage in the controversy, encouraged him " to 
assert his pretensions," 1 and sent him to England to enforce his 
claim, but they had their expense for their pains. Thomlinson, the 
vigilant New Hampshire agent, finding Mason detached from the 
Massachusetts agents, entered into an agreement with him for the 
release of his whole interest to the assembly of New Hampshire, in 
consideration of the payment of one thousand pounds, currency of 
New England. 2 Nothing more was heard of this till after the settle- 
ment of the boundary dispute, and the accession of Benning Went- 
worth to the governorship. 

In 1744, "the agreement with Thomlinson was lodged in the 
hands of the governor, who sent it to the house, for perusal and con- 
sideration ; " but "the affairs of the war" and other causes pre- 
vented anything from being done. It was not until 1746 that 
" the house came to a resolution ' that they would comply with the 
agreement, and pay the price ; and that the waste lands should be 
granted by the general assembly, as they should think proper.' ' 
The council demurred at the clause as to the sale of the waste 
lands; while a greater disappointment befell the tardy assembly, 
when a committee sent on the 30th of July, " to treat with Mason, 
about fulfilling his agreement, and to draw the proper instruments of 
conveyance," 1 found that he, tired of waiting, " had, on the same day, 
by deed of sale, for the sum of fifteen hundred pounds currency, con- 

i Belknap, 252. *lbid, 204. 


veyed his whole interest to twelve persons, in fifteen shares." One 
of the twelve was Theodore Atkinson, previously mentioned. These 
gentlemen, who, with their successors, were ever afterwards styled 
The Masonian Proprietors, aware that the transaction would raise, 
as it did, " a great ferment among the people," 1 prudently took care, 
the very next day, " to file in the recorder's office a deed of quit- 
claim," 1 or release, " to all the towns which had been settled and 
granted within the limits of their purchase ; " * thus somewhat allay- 
ing popular apprehension, and parrying the first fierce attacks made 
upon them. 

Bow was one of the towns quitclaimed ; and so it was that the 
plaintiff proprietors claime'd that by virtue of the Masonian Proprie- 
tors' release they had Mason's title in the Bumford lands lying 
within Bow. This claim involved the acknowledgment that Mason's 
title was in force and effect in 1727, and that they got no title until 
174(3 — a position wholly inconsistent with their claim of seizin from 
the former date, and effectually disposed of by the defendant's query : 
" How a right acquired in 174(3 could give an actual seism of the 
lands, the right to which was then purchased, so long before the 
purchase as 1727 ; that is whether a man by virtue of a deed made 
to-day, could be in actual possession of the land conveyed by it nine- 
teen years ago." But the defendant denied that " a right was con- 
veyed by this release to the lands demanded " ; it being " common 
learning on this subject that a release operates only to those in pos- 
session," while " the plaintiffs' own declaration " showed " that they 
had been out of possession about twenty years." Moreover, " the 
release " was " made as much to the defendant as any person whom- 
soever. For he is an inhabitant of Bow, as the plaintiffs them- 
selves " have styled " him ; and since the release '" was " made to 
the inhabitants, as well as to the proprietors, of what they " pos- 
sessed, he, having been " possessed so long in his own right, must of 
necessity be quieted by this release, if it has any effect at all." But 
what was further " objected to the plaintiffs on this head was the 
well known point of law," that "a chose in action, or a mere right, 
cannot be transferred, and Mason's title was no more as to all the 
lands in the possession of those who were not parties at the time of 
making the said deed to Atkinson and others. The lands demanded, 
as well as all the plantation of Penacook, had been nearly twenty 
years in the possession of entire strangers to that transaction. What 
title, then, could the Bow Proprietors derive to themselves, under 
this conveyance, to the lands in question ? " 

Having controverted the plaintiffs' title, the defendant vindicated 

1 Belknap, 296-7. 


his own, as derived from Massachusetts, while that province was 
exercising jurisdiction in fact over the premises, and was holding 
"the property of the soil" under a deed in fee given, in 1 (>2<S, by 
the council of Plymouth — which held the divested right of the 
crown — to Sir Henry Roswell and others as private persons. The 
grant was confirmed, in 1629, to the same persons and their asso- 
ciates, by the royal corporate charter of the Massachusetts Bay 
colony, within the bounds then specified, and afterwards recognized 
by the king in council in 1(377. Those bounds included Kumford, 
with the consecpLience, that, in its grantees as private persons, was 
the right of property in its lands which was in the original grantees 
under the Roswell deed. 

The Bow proprietors, on the contrary, asserted that Massachusetts 
had never had authority to grant the lands demanded, because " the 
settlement of the line" did not define "a new boundary," but was 
" a declaration by his Majesty of what was always the true boundary 
of" the two provinces; hence, the lands in dispute had always lain 
in New Hampshire, and, consequently, out of the jurisdiction of 
Massachusetts. And as "the right of granting lands is limited to 
the right of jurisdiction," the grant made by the government of that 
province "was void ah initio, and the settlers under" it "could 
derive no title to themselves, but " were to " be looked upon as 
disseizors." And "as their entry was recent when Bow was 
granted, the proprietors might lawfully enter upon " the lands ; 
" especially considering that the government of New Hampshire had 
' forewarned ' the committee who were on the business of beginning 
the settlement of Penacook," and forbidden them to proceed. In 
fine, " there was really nothing in the way of the proprietors of Bow, 
any more than if there had been nobody there." 

In reply, the defendant insisted that when the lands at Penacook 
were granted, " the government of Massachusetts had the jurisdiction 
in fact," and " exercised all powers and authorities, both legislative 
and executive, over all places to the line three miles northward of 
the Merrimack," and had done so, " till the last settlement " ; and 
that these acts " were never annulled or declared to be void," by the 
king ; " as must have been the case, had the plaintiffs' notion been 
entertained, that the settlement of the line was only a declaration of 
what was always the true boundary of the provinces — or that all 
which Massachusetts had done in this regard was a mere nullity." 
"And if the King," it was asked, " has not seen it proper to nullify 
all those acts of government what have the plaintiffs to do in the 
case ? " It seemed " necessary that all should be deemed valid, or all 
void; for by what rule " could " a distinction be fixed?" Indeed, so 


far had the king been from imputing usurpation to Massachusetts in 
this respect, or annulling its acts, that he had approved and confirmed 
the important one of chartering the township of Rumford. " Besides, 
the settlement of the line was," as the king himself had declared, " to 
settle the jurisdiction, not to affect private property." The acts done 
by either government within its limits, " before the settlement," were 
to " be held valid to all intents, to avoid that confusion which the 
contrary notion would necessarily introduce," by " connecting ideas 
which have no necessary connection " ; namely, " that the rights of 
government and the rights of property are always united, or that the 
latter have a necessary dependence on the former " ; — a notion, 
" which, with respect to this very line," had, " in fact, stirred a multi- 
tude of suits. If this opinion was true, the jurisdiction of a govern- 
ment ought never to be altered, without first hearing all parties hav- 
ing any real estate between the old and the new line. In what case 
of this nature was this ever done?'' And yet, according to this 
notion, the alteration of a line, " without hearing such parties, and 
determining their respective rights, would be productive of the great- 
est mischief to private persons " holding real estate under " the gov- 
ernment whose jurisdiction should be contracted, by exposing them '" 
to ruinous litigation, if not to ruin itself. From such considerations, 
the futility of the plaintiffs' objection to the defendant's title in this 
respect became apparent, as well as the soundness of the position 
" that the grants made by Massachusetts before settlement of the " 
boundary " line, within the jurisdiction " which that province " then 
had in fact, as well as other acts of government," could not but " be 
held good — the grant under which the defendant " held " among the 

Nor did the defense fail cogently to enforce the fact that the gran- 
tees of Penacook had made the most of their title and possession. It 
was earnestly set forth that, " notwithstanding their distance from 
other settlements within, and with none without them " ; notwith- 
standing " the hardships and difficulties necessarily " attending 
" those who first sit down upon land in a perfect wilderness ; and 
especially," notwithstanding " the danger, expense, and fatigue of an 
Indian war, and other discouragements, — these settlers" had "stood 
their ground ever since their first entry " ; had " persevered in their 
resolution " ; had " planted a fine town, supplied themselves and 
many others with provisions, afforded other places both defence and 
sustenance, and " were " likely to be a great advantage to the prov- 
ince of New-Hampshire in general." " Yet these," it was indignantly 
declared, " are the people whom the proprietors of Bow would eject ; 
would oust, not only of their all, but of that all they have thus dearly 


purchased." These proprietors would now " cruelly ravish " from 
such a people " all of their improvements, after they themselves, with 
folded arms and indolence, have stood by a long time, and seen the 
others, with the greatest toil and expense, make these improvements. 
For to this day, these proprietors of Bow have not settled five fami- 
lies within their whole township. They have not in the run of twenty 
years done so much toward settling a plantation as they might have 
done, and as the others did in two years ; yet they are so partial to 
themselves, so blinded by interest, as to think, that, because they 
once run a line round this land, above twenty years ago, they have 
an indefeasible right to it, which yet they are unwilling to have 
brought to the test, and decided fairly in the cheapest way, but en- 
deavor, by piecemeal, to destroy the possessors." For they prosecute 
" a great number of actions, each for a small parcel of land, that may 
prevent an appeal home, and that they may have the advantage of the 
ignorance and prejudice of common juries." Besides, they have " in 
view to weary out and dishearten the defendants, who live at a great 
distance from Portsmouth, where all the courts are held, with the 
expense of charges occasioned them by such a number of suits ; 
whereas they might as well have taken an action for all that lies in 
common, in the name of the proprietors of Bow, against the proprie- 
tors of Rumford, as well as the action against the present defendant, 
and others of the like kind. In fine, it seems they have set their 
eyes and hearts upon this vineyard, and perfas aut nefas, they must 
have it." 

The case was summed up in the following words : " The defendant 
has entered, subdued and cultivated the lands demanded ; reduced 
them from the rough condition in which nature left them, to the 
state of a garden, in which labor he has spent more than twenty years ; 
while the plaintiffs have been looking on, neither asserting their 
claim nor attempting to settle any other part of their lands. Whether 
the defendant has any title or not, the plaintiffs ought not to recover, 
if they do not make out the title they set up. The government of 
New Hampshire did not extend to the place where these lands lay on 
the westerly side of Merrimack river, and therefore no right could be 
derived from" that government; "and if the government had reached 
so far, the Crown had long before divested itself of all right to the 
soil, which was afterwards in Sir Henry Roswell " and others, or in 
those holding by grant from them. If that was not the case, it was 
Mr. Mason's right, or those who have his right, from whom the plain- 
tiffs have derived no title, because the defendant was in possession at 
the time of making the deed and release aforesaid. If the release 
operates as to these lands, it is in favor of the defendant. The de- 


fendant has a good right under the government of the Massachusetts 
Bay, as" that province "had the jurisdiction in fact, and moreover 
had the right of the soil by the deed and other matters aforesaid. 
Add to all this, that whoever settles land in the wilderness, which 
before served only as a shelter and nursery for wild beasts, and a 
lurking-place for the more savage animals, the Indians, not only pur- 
chases it at a dear rate, and has a hard bargain, though it is given to 
him, — but does public service. In which regard the whole town of 
Rumford merits the thanks of the government, instead of being 
turned out of doors. And what may be said in behalf of the defend- 
ant in this case may, with the same propriety, be urged in behalf of 
those other inhabitants of Rumford, with whom these proprietors, or 
those who derived their right from them, are now contending, and 
who have actions in the courts under continuance." 

Such being the state of the case in the action against John Mer- 
rill, and in others like it, one finds the results in the New Hamp- 
shire courts fitly characterized by Judge Pickering as having " been 
against common right, the common known principles of law, and 
plain common sense," and obtained by the plaintiffs, on verdicts 
of juries in their interest, and " entire strangers to these things, or 
under the influence of a principle worse than ignorance." There 
was no hope of honest treatment for the harassed settlers of Rum- 
ford, in the courts of New Hampshire ; only in England, if any- 
where, could they hope for a fair hearing of their cause. Accord- 
ingly, on the 12th of February, 1753, the inhabitants appointed 
Reverend Timothy Walker and Benjamin Rolfe, Esq., as their 
agents, to represent to the king their unhappy condition, oppressed 
as they were by unfair litigation, and deprived of all corporate 
privileges. It was determined that Mr. Walker should go to Eng- 
land, and there in person urge their appeal for justice. To forward 
this purpose, the general court of Massachusetts, upon petition, 
granted one hundred pounds sterling, and also instructed Mr. Bollan, 
the Massachusetts agent in England, " to use his endeavors to obtain 
such determination of His Majesty in Council as should quiet the 
gnintees of lands from that province, in their possessions." 1 To 
this movement not only the proprietors and inhabitants of Rumford 
contributed, but also the troubled settlers of Suncook. Though the 
case of the latter differed from that of the former, inasmuch as Sun- 
cook's grant was subsequent to that of Bow ; yet in the actual pre- 
occupancy of the soil by enterprising settlers, and the harassment of 
these by the non-resident proprietors of Bow, the two settlements 
were equally worthy of the royal interposition. 

1 Annals of Concord, 33. 


Mr. Walker went to England in the fall of 1753, and, without 
delay, presented " to the King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council " 
a petition 1 in behalf of himself and his co-agent Rolfe, and "the 
other inhabitants of Rumford." The petition, drawn up in effective 
terms, by the minister himself, described the granting of " the lands 
contained in Rumford, 1 ' and "the bringing forward of the settle- 
ment " under many difficulties, including " war with the French and 
Indians," until "a considerable town'* had been made, "consisting 
of more than eighty houses, and as many good farms ; " and having, 
since 1730, the petitioner, as the " regularly ordained minister of 
the church and parish." It was further represented that the peti- 
tioners, though unexpectedly thrown, "by the late determination of 
the boundary line, within the province of New-Hampshire" and 
though denied their request to " be restored to the province of the 
Massachusetts Bay," had yet " dutifully submitted to " the new 
jurisdiction, " and with so much the greater cheerfulness, because 
they were well informed that " the king had " been graciously 
pleased to declare that however the jurisdiction of the two gov- 
ernments might be altered, private property should not be affected 
thereby. But notwithstanding this most gracious declaration " the 
" poor petitioners " had " for several years past been grievously 
harassed by divers persons, under color of a grant made by the 
governor and council of New-Hampshire, in the year 1727, to sundry 
persons and their successors, now called the Proprietors of Bow. 
The said grant of Bow was." however, "not only posterior to that 
of Rumford, but" was k - extremely vague and uncertain as to its 
bounds."' Moreover, "notwithstanding the grant was made so many 
years ago, there " were " but three or four families settled upon it, 
and those since the end of the late French war ; the proprietors 
choosing rather to distress " the " petitioners by forcing them out 
of the valuable improvements they and their predecessors " had 
" made at the expense of their blood and treasure, than to be at the 
charge of making any themselves." " But," as was urged, " the 
petitioners' greatest misfortune " was "that they " could "not have 
a fair impartial trial," since the province authorities, civil and judi- 
cial, were all in the interest of their adversaries. Besides, " all the 
actions that " had " hitherto been brought " were each designedly 
"of so small value that no appeals could be taken from the judg- 
ments therein, to the King in Council ; and if it were otherwise, 
the charges that would attend such appeals would be greater than 
the value of the land, or than " what " the party defending his title 
would be able to pay " ; so that " without " the king's " gracious 

1 Bouton's Concord, 214-15. 


interposition " the petitioners would be compelled to give up their 
estates. The further complaint was made that the petitioners, since 
the expiration of the district act near four years ago, had been with- 
out any town privileges, notwithstanding their repeated applications 
to the governor and council ; and they were not able to raise moneys 
for the support of their minister, and the necessary charges of their 
school and poor, and other purposes, nor had they had any town 
officers for upholding government and order. Under these their 
distresses the petitioners entreated the king's gracious interposition 
in their behalf, and that he would be pleased to appoint disinter- 
ested, judicious persons to hear and determine their cause, and that 
the expense necessarily attending the multiplied lawsuits as then 
managed, might be prevented ; or, finally, to grant them such other 
relief as to his great wisdom and goodness should seem meet. 

This petition, and Judge Pickering's lucid statement of the case — 
much of which has already been cited — so clearly setting forth the 
grievances of Rumford, were well adapted to gain a special hearing 
in a test case before the king in council, the regular appeal of which 
thither could not be obtained from the provincial courts. Sanction 
was given for such a hearing in the case of John Merrill, which was 
put into the hands of Sir William Murray — soon to become Lord 
Mansfield — whose services, as counsel, Mr. Walker was fortunate 
enough to secure. Sir William — at that time forty-eight years of 
age — stood, in his wide and thorough knowledge of the law, and in 
his powers of eloquent advocacy, at the head of the bar in England. 1 
He had been for eleven years solicitor-general, and as a member of 
the Pelham administration was one of the most conspicuous figures 
in the parliamentary history of the time. This accomplished lawyer 
and statesman took up with zeal the cause of the oppressed farmers 
of Rumford. In the autumn of 1758 an order for a hearing was 
procured. But the hearing did not come off immediately, and Mr. 
Walker returned home with encouragement for his people. The 
agents of the Bow proprietors made preparation by petitioning the 
general assembly, in July, 1754, to lend them the sum of one 
hundred pounds sterling money, to enable them to carry on a suit 
before His Majesty in Council now depending there between one 
Merrill and the said proprietors. 2 The prayer was granted. In 
October, of that year, Mr. Walker was still at home from his first 
visit, though about to set out upon his second; while Rolfe, his 
efficient co-worker, was petitioning the general court of Massachu- 
setts for additional pecuniary assistance, which was promptly ren- 

^Enc. Brit., Vol. XV, 498-9. 

* Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 294; " Bow," in History of Belknap and Merrimack Counties, 269. 


Mr. Walker returned to England, and was there in the winter of 
1754-55 ; and on the 24th of the succeeding June, the Merrill case 
was decided by the king in council. The decision was a reversal of 
the judgment that stood against 1 the defendant in New Hampshire, 
as recovered by the proprietors of Bow, on the first Tuesday of 
August, 1753. It is the testimony of Lord Mansfield himself, that 
" the false laying out of Bow " was, in truth, the only point consid- 
ered in determining the case. " The Lords not being clear as to the 
other point,"' namely, " the order of the King respecting private prop- 
erty, laid hold of 1 ' the former, "and, — merely out of tenderness to 
possession and cultivation, which, they said, in America was almost 
everything, — determined as they did/' 1 A royal order confirmed 
the determination, and its reversal of the New Hampshire judgment, 
— as in the subsequent case of appeal in 1762 ; but as it did not, in 
express terms, extend beyond the premises sued for, the adversaries 
did not cease from troubling with further litigation. It may be per- 
mitted here to add the fact that the mission of Rumford's agent in 
this case, and the substantial sympathy manifested by Massachusetts, 
alarmed somewhat the New Hampshire government, so that in Feb- 
ruary, 1754, Mr. Thomlinson, the agent in London, was "put on the 
watch " of Mr. Walker, for fear that the latter might, under the 
instruction of the government of the Massachusetts Bay, " manage 
the affair" upon which he was sent, so as to "affect the province as 
such.'* 2 The alarm thus vaguely expressed in the assembly's vote 
seems to have resembled not a little that of the persons in the proverb, 
who flee when no man pursueth. 

In 1753 the New Hampshire government renewed the exaction of 
the province tax, and thus was opened another troublesome contro- 
versy for Rumford and Suncook. This act was one step more in a 
policy of compelling the settlements which Massachusetts had founded 
to become a part of Bow. On the 30th of May of that year a war- 
rant was issued for the assessment and collection of sixty pounds on 
all polls and estates ratable by law within the township of Bow. This 
warrant was followed by another, on the 26th of July, for raising a 
tax of thirty-one pounds four shillings. These taxes were to be col- 
lected and paid into the province treasury by the 25th of December 
ensuing ; and the persons on whom they were to be laid were, with 
three or four exceptions, inhabitants of Rumford and Suncook. 3 On 
the 30th of June, between the dates of the warrants, — since hith- 
erto Bow had never had a regular town meeting, — a special act was 

1 Petition of Timothy Walker, Jr., and others, June 26, 1774, to general court of Massachu- 
setts, for an equivalent to Penacook grant, N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 61-2. 

2 Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 253. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 211. 


passed, appointing Daniel Pierce, the province recorder, and an 
agent of the Bow proprietors, to call such a meeting. Accordingly, 
one was held on the 25th of July, at which Moses Foster, John 
Coffin, Richard Eastman, David Abbot, and William Moor were 
chosen selectmen. They were all of Suncook, for it is safe to con- 
clude that nobody from Rumford took part in the meeting. To these 
selectmen fell the task of assessing the taxes ordered. But they 
found it too hard for them to do, for reasons assigned, on the 26th 
of October, in their petition to the province authorities, and in the 
following terms : " We are at a loss as to the boundaries of said Bow, 
and, consequently, do not know who the inhabitants are that we are 
to assess said sums upon. The proprietors of Bow, in running out 
the bounds of said town have, as we conceive, altered their bounds 
several times ; and further, one of those gentlemen that purchased 
Captain Tufton Mason's right to the lands in said Province has given 
it as his opinion, that said proprietors have not as yet run out the 
lands of said town agreeable to their charter, but that their southeast 
side line should be carried up about three quarters of a mile further 
toward the northwest; and there is lately — by his order — a fence 
erected along some miles, near about said place, designed — as we 
suppose — as a division fence between said Bow and land yet claimed 
by said purchasers. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Penny- 
cook, formerly erected into a district by a special act of the General 
Assembly of this Province, — though they object nothing against sub- 
mitting to order of government, — refuse to give us an invoice of 
their estates (that is, such of them as we have asked for the same), 
alleging that they do not lie in Bow, and the said Assembly did as 
good as declare this in their said district act. So that, upon the 
whole, we humbly conceive . . . that, should we proceed to 
assess the aforesaid sums on such as we may have conceived are the 
inhabitants of said Bow, many would refuse to pay the sums that 
should be so assessed on them ; and, consequently, that we should 
be thrown into so many lawsuits as would, in all probability, ruin us 
as to our estates. Therefore, we humbly crave that Your Excellency 
and Honors would ... fix the boundaries of Bow, or otherwise 
give us such directions as, ... if followed by us, we may obey 
the commands laid on us . without . . . detriment to 

ourselves." 1 

Nothing came of the petition, or of this attempt at imposing a tax. 
In 1755 another attempt was made to organize the town of Bow, by 
merging therein Rumford and Suncook, and taxing their inhabitants 
as belonging to Bow. On the 24th of January was passed an act enti- 

1 Bouton's Concord, 212, 213. 


tied "An act for raising and collecting sundry sums in bills of credit on 
this Province due from sundry places unto the government, which can- 
not be raised and collected for want of a law to enable some person or 
persons to collect the same." x To make application of this act to Bow, 
Jonathan Lovewell was appointed to warn a town-meeting to be held 
there, on the 22d of April. 2 On the 21st of May he reported to the 
authorities that he had notified the inhabitants of the town of Bow 
of the time and place for holding a town-meeting, and that he did 
attend the same at the time and place appointed, but the inhabitants 
neglected to attend, except one man. 3 In resentment for this refusal 
of the men of Kumford and Suncook to appropriate the name, "The 
inhabitants of Bow,'" at the expense of former identity, and to the 
peril of former rights and advantages, an act was passed by the pro- 
vincial legislature, on the 5th of July, entitled " An act for taxing 
Bow." This " Bow act," as it was called, after declaring " that in 
contempt of the law, and in defiance of the government, the said 
town of Bow refused to meet at the time and place appointed," 
etc., designated three men — two of Rumford and one of Suncook— 
as assessors; namely, "Ezra Carter and Moses Foster, Esqs., and 
John Chandler, Gentleman, all of said Bow." These were to "assess 
the polls and estates within the said town of Bow, . . . the sum 
of five hundred and eighty pounds and sixteen shillings, new tenor 
bills of public credit " ; all " to be completed, and returned to the treas- 
urer of the province, within two months after date of the act." They 
were to require, upon ten days' notice, true lists of polls and ratable 
estates, and to " doom " all persons refusing to give in such lists. If 
the assessors should fail or refuse to do their duty, the province treas- 
urer was required " to issue his warrant of distress, directed to the 
sheriff," to levy the said sum of five hundred and eighty pounds and 
sixteen shillings "on their goods and chattels and lands"; and, "in 
want thereof, on their body." Timothy AValker, 4 of Rumford, and 
John Noyes, of Suncook, were appointed collectors to collect and pay 
in the sums on their respective lists, " on penalty of forfeiting and 
paying " the same themselves. The compensation offered for this 
disagreeable service was as ridiculously inadequate as some of the 
other provisions of the act were needlessly harsh ; the assessors being 
" entitled to receive each, seven pounds and ten shillings, new tenor,*' 
and the collectors, "fifteen pounds, new tenor, each." 5 

It was impracticable for the assessors to meet the requisitions 
imposed upon them by the act, and hence they became liable to its 

> Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 347-8. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 216. 

3 Coun. Jour., Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 378. 

4 Not the minister or his son. 

6 See act in office of secretary of state; also, Bouton's Concord, 217. 



penalties. On the 19th of February, 1756, the house, alleging that 
they had refused and neglected to make the assessment, ordered 
" that the treasurer immediately issue out his extent " against them ; 
and " a copy of the order was sent to the treasurer by Clement 
March, Esq.," i who was doubtless a willing messenger, for he had 
been prominent in the Bow litigation, and, among other doings, had 
brought an action against Ebenezer Virgin, which was entered at the 
same term of court, as that against John Merrill. 2 On the 18th of 
February, the day before this action was taken by the house against 
the assessors, a petition from two of them, Ezra Carter and John 
Chandler, in behalf of themselves and the inhabitants of Rumford, 
had been presented; 3 but, for some reason, not till the 19th, and 
after their condemnation, was it read, and laid over for further con- 
sideration. 3 The petition showed 3 that one half the time prescribed 
for completing and returning the assessment was lapsed before the 
assessors had sight of the act ; and it was then the most busy season 
in the whole year, and the cattle on which part of the tax was to be 
laid were out in the woods, and it was not known whether they were 
living, or killed by the enemy, which rendered it almost impracticable 
to comply with the letter of the act. The assessors, for the remedying 
of these inconveniences, and also in hopes of obtaining some altera- 
tions beneficial to themselves and the people they were to tax, would 
have addressed the general assembly long before, but their distance 
was such that they seldom heard of the adjournments and proroga- 
tions thereof before it was too late. Several times had been pitched 
upon for said purpose, but before they arrived the assembly was 
adjourned. Hut, at last, having an opportunity to lay the affair be- 
fore the authorities, they humbly hoped for consideration of their 
case and compassion for their circumstances. They could uprightly 
answer for themselves, and had reason to believe that they spoke the 
united sense of the people of Rumford that they ought to pay their 
part of the public charges of the government ; but they humbly 
prayed that they might have the privileges of a town or district, in 
order to raise money for the maintenance of their minister, school, 
and poor, and the repair of highways, for the want of which, for sev- 
eral years, the inhabitants had been great sufferers. The petitioners 
continued : " We apprehend we are doomed much beyond our just 
proportion of the charge, . . . for want of a true list of our polls 
and estates, which, we believe, was never laid before the Assembly. 
We have been unavoidably subjected to great loss of time, almost 

1 Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 476. 

1 Court Records, Dec. 6, 1750, et seq,; Rumford Proprietors' Records, Vol. Ill (manuscript), 
April 25, 1751. 
»Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 475-6-7. 


every year, for several years past, by disturbances from the Indians ; 
and particularly for the two last years past about a quarter of our 
inhabitants have been driven from their settlement during the busy 
season of the year, and the whole of them obliged to divert from their 
husbandry, in order to repair their garrisons and provide for the 
safety of their families. Wherefore your petitioners most humbly 
pray that their circumstances may be considered, so that they and 
the inhabitants aforesaid may be relieved against the penalties and 
rigor of said Act ; also, that a proper method may be prescribed to 
have a true list of polls and estates laid before the General Assembly, 
so that they may pay no more than their proportion, considering their 
situation ; also that they may be incorporated to all the purposes of a 
town ; and that the assessors may have a further time allowed to per- 
form the business assigned in assessing, and the collectors, in levying, 
the sum that," it " shall be finally determined, must be paid by said 

This petition, doubtless, helped to put off indefinitely the issuance 
of any warrant of distress against the assessors, and to make the Bow 
act a failure : but its prayer for a town charter fell on deaf ears, as 
did also that prayer repeated in another petition presented by Ezra 
Carter, later in the year. 

In course of the year 1756, a committee of the Bow proprietors 
came to some accommodation ahd agreement with the proprietors of 
Suncook. The terms of the compromise are not known further than 
that the Suncook proprietors were to pay a certain fixed price per 
acre for the land in dispute. 1 Rumford had no part in this transac- 
tion, and Suncook did not thereby, avoid future disputes and law- 
suits. 1 In 1739, however, the part of Suncook territory lying east of 
the Merrimack and between the Suncook and Soucook rivers, was, 
despite the opposition of the Bow proprietors, incorporated as the 
parish of Pembroke, and thus, in the matter of public taxation, was 
to have no further trouble with the province authorities. But Hum- 
ford was not to be free from that trouble for six years yet, as will be 
seen in the natural course of narration. Thus, in the spring of 1761, 
the government of New Hampshire ordered an inventory of the polls 
and ratable estates in the province to be taken. The order for Bow 
was delivered to Colonel Jeremiah Stickney of Rumford, who declined 
to perform, under the incorporation of Bow, the duty thus assigned. 
Soon after, in April, Ezekiel Morrill and Thomas Clough, selectmen of 
Canterbury, were assigned the duty, which they performed, returning to 
the general court an invoice of the polls, stocks, and improved lands in 
the township of Bow, as they expressed it. But the return pertained 

1 History of Pembroke, 45. 


to Rumford, except seven of the one hundred and sixty-four persons 
rated, a fact denoting how little had been done, in more than the 
third of a century, towards settling the township of Bow, under its 
charter. This invoice yielded no taxes to the province treasury. 1 

Meanwhile, in the course of ten years' litigation, the adversaries of 
Rumford brought, instead of their usual piecemeal suits, an action of 
ejectment for lands of sufficient value to allow direct appeal to the king 
in council. Early in November, 1759, Benjamin Rolfe, Daniel Car- 
ter, Timothy Simonds, John Evans, John Chandler, Abraham Colby, 
and Abraham Kimball, 2 all of Rumford, were sued, and their goods 
and estates were attached by the sheriff of the province, to the value 
of one thousand pounds, " to answer unto the proprietors of the com- 
mon and undivided lands lying within the township of Bow," who 
demanded possession of about one thousand acres of land with appur- 
tenances. 2 The land in question was described as, "beginning at a 
stake on the southwest of the great river in Bow, one hundred and 
sixteen rods below John Merrill's ferry ; thence running west to Tur- 
key river until it comes to within twenty rods of Nathaniel Smith's 
grist-mill ; thence south to said river ; thence on said river to 
where it empties into the great river ; thence up the great river to 
the first-mentioned bound." This was a second test case, involving 
the same principles, as the first, — or that of John Merrill, — and was 
prosecuted and defended with the same allegations and arguments. 
It was brought to trial in the inferior court of common pleas, on 
the second day of September, 17G0, when the jury, as usual, gave a 
verdict for the plaintiffs, and judgment was entered up accordingly 
with costs. From this judgment, the defendants were allowed an 
appeal to the superior court, where on the second Tuesday of Novem- 
ber, 1760, the cause was again tried, and with the same result. 
\V hereupon, the defendants took appeal to His Majesty in council, 
as, this time, they could not be prevented from doing. 

The proprietors of Rumford had all along carefully guarded their 
own interests and those of their grantees, and had met the expenses 
of litigation by judicious measures; such as, in 1758, the disposal of 
" Iron Ore," 3 and in June, 1759, the sale "of so much of the com- 
mon and undivided lands as" should " be sufficient to raise a sum of 
fifteen hundred Spanish Milled Dollars, for the defense of the pro- 
prietors' title to their township against any claim " laid " to the same 
or any part thereof," in any court of the province, "or in forwarding 
an appeal to His Majesty in Council." 3 Now, in 17(31, when the sec- 

1 See invoice of 1761 in note at close of chapter. 

2 Report of Lords of Council, December 29, 1762; Appendix to Annals of Concord, 99. 

3 Proprietors' Records (manuscript), Vol. III. 


ond test case had been appealed home, Rev. Timothy Walker and 
Benjamin Rolfe, Esq., were appointed agents to receive any money 
granted to enable the proprietors to defend their claims to the lands 
in Rumford. 1 This agency was a fitting renewal of that which had 
been conferred eight years before upon the same men, whose abiding 
faith in the justice of Rnmford's cause had since, as before, been 
amply tested in wise counsel and efficient action, and had been, amid 
deep popular disheartenment, the light of hope. 

In the autumn of 1762 Mr. Walker visited England the third 
time ; for the appealed case was, at last, after not a little of the law's 
delay, approaching trial. Already he was favorably known in a circle 
of valuable acquaintances among ministers of religion, members of 
parliament, and members of His Majesty's council. 2 Sir William 
Murray, his counselor and advocate in the former case, was now Lord 
Mansfield, and chief justice of the king's bench. He presided in 
the special court of the right honorable the lords of the committee of 
council for hearing appeals from the plantations, to which the king- 
had referred the petition and appeal of Benjamin Rolfe, Esq., and 
others. The trial came off on the 17th of December, 1762, and re- 
sulted favorably to the inhabitants of Rumford. 

"The Lords of the Committee of Council for hearing Appeals 
from the Plantations " made a report, bearing date of the same 17th 
of December. On the 29th of the same month this report was read 
at the Court of St. James. The report recited at length the history 
of the grants of Rumford and Suncook, and their settlement ; also, 
of the establishment of the boundary line, whereby those settlements 
were excluded from the province of Massachusetts Bay in which 
they had before been thought and reputed to be, and thrown into the 
province of New Hampshire. The report continued : " Notwithstand- 
ing His Majesty had been pleased at the time of issuing the commis^ 
sion to fix the boundary, to declare the same was not to affect private 
property, yet certain persons in New-Hampshire, desirous to make 
the labors of others an advantage to themselves, and possess them- 
selves of the towns of Pennicook, — otherwise Rumford, — and Sun- 
cook, as now improved by the industry of the appellants, and the 
first settlers thereof, whom they seek to despoil of the benefit of all 
their labors," had brought " ejectment against them.** Having de- 
scribed the special action in hand, and its progress from institution to 
appeal, the lords of the committee concluded their report by recom- 
mending the reversal of the judgment rendered against the appellants 
in the courts of New Hampshire. 

1 Proprietors' Records (manuscript) Vol. III. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 220. 


The king, on the same day, took the report into consideration, and 
was pleased, with the advice of his privy council, to approve thereof, 
and to issue the following order : " It is hereby ordered that the said 
judgment of the inferior court of common pleas of the province of 
New-Hampshire, of the second of September, 1760, and also the 
judgment of the superior court of judicature, of the second Tuesday 
in November, affirming the same, be both of them reversed, and that 
the appellants be restored to what they may have lost by means of 
the said judgments, whereof the Governor or Commander-in-chief of 
His Majesty's Province of New-Hampshire, for the time being, and 
all others whom it may concern, are to take notice and govern them- 
selves accordingly." 

" What is done, and what was said in the case," wrote Mr. Walker 
to Benjamin Rolfe, " if truly represented by anybody whom Bow 
will believe, will, I am persuaded, effectually discourage from any 
further attempts, even against Suncook — much more against Rum- 
ford ; yet I suspect their lawyers will urge them on to further trials 
— with what success, time must discover." The royal decision 
marked the crisis of the tedious controversy ; not its end, to be sure, 
but a sure beginning of that end. Indeed, what the faithful agent 
of Rumford " suspected " seems to have come to pass ; for, when, 
a dozen years later, his son, Timothy Walker, Jr., and more than 
forty other citizens of Rumford, or Concord, petitioned the Massa- 
chusetts legislature for a township in Maine, as an equivalent for the 
Penacook grant, and in consideration of the expenses incurred in 
defending their title to the same, they said : " We have been enabled 
to prosecute two appeals to His Majesty, and although in each we 
obtained a reversal of the judgment that stood against us here, yet 
the royal order, extending in express terms no farther than the land 
sued for, the advantage fell far short of the expense, and our adver- 
saries went on troubling us with suits. Thus exhausted, and seeing 
no end of our troubles, we have been reduced to the necessity of 
repurchasing our township of our adversaries at a rate far exceeding 
its value in its rude state." ! So it was that the proprietors of Bow, 
while not succeeding much in their attempts at direct eviction, did, 
still, by oppressive litigation and compulsory compromise, succeed 
in getting unjust advantage to themselves. The litigation, however, 
was not pressed to the point of a third appeal to England ; though 
this result seems to have been imminent in 1766, when, on the 9th of 
July, the proprietors of Rumford voted to raise four hundred pounds 
sterling to support and defend their claims and those of their gran- 

1 N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXIV, 61-2. This petition was favorablj' answered by the grant 
of the township of Rumford, in Maine, in 1774. See further, Colonization by Concord Settlers, 
in note at close of chapter. 


tees, to said township either in this province or Great Britain; 
appointing a committee of thirteen to proportion said sum upon said 
proprietors and their grantees ; and, finally, requesting the Reverend 
Timothy Walker to prepare all papers that he should think necessary 
for the ends aforesaid. 

The proprietors' records, under date of July 29, 1771, show the first 
provision made for " a final settlement with the proprietors of Bow," 
by the appointment of " Andrew McMillan, Mr. Abial Chandler, and 
Captain Thomas Stickney," as a committee to effect that object, and 
by the vote " that there be six pounds laid on each original right, to 
defray the charges." * For the latter vote was substituted, early in 
1773, — by legislative sanction, as it seems, — one raising " six hun- 
dred pounds lawful money, by a just and equal assessment on all 
the lands within the township to complete the said settlement." l 
Assessors and collectors were appointed, and Mr. William Coffin was 
chosen proprietors 1 treasurer, with orders " to pay the money as he 
received it to the committee formerly chosen to make a settlement 
with the proprietors of Bow, upon his receiving the deeds of them to 
the value of the money." 1 

The contending parties had, by 1771, come to an agreement that 
the proprietors of Rumford should have the whole of said township, 
except one hundred and sixty-two acres of land, which was to be 
laid out by them in some part of the town ; and the proprietors of 
Rumford were to pay ten pounds to the proprietors of Bow for each 
hundred-acre lot laid out by said Bow in said Rumford. 2 It was one 
of the duties of the committee of settlement to receive a quitclaim 
deed from the proprietors of Bow, and give them a bond upon inter- 
est, for the ten pounds for each hundred-acre lot. 2 The assessment 
of six hundred pounds, in 1773, was supposed to be sufficient to pay 
the proprietors of Bow, and to give sixty pounds to the Masonian 
Proprietors for their pretended right to part of said land. 2 The last 
mentioned claim arose from the fact that the quitclaim of Bow, 
given by the Masonian Proprietors, in 1746, did not cover the part 
of Rumford without the limits of Bow. This part, however, came 
within Mason's Patent, which had an extent of " sixty miles from 
the sea " on the easterly and southerly side of the province, with 
" a line to cross over from the end of one line of sixty miles to the 
end of the other." The proprietors pleaded that this cross line, 
instead of being straight, " should be a curve, because no other 
would preserve the distance of sixty miles from the sea, in every 

1 Proprietors' Kecords (manuscript), Vol. III. 

2 Petition of Thomas Stickney, surviving member of the settlement committee, to the 
N. H. legislature in 1789; see, also, note at close of chapter. 


part of their western boundary." * Under this claim, the part of 
Rumford lying outside the vague boundary line of Bow, came within 
the Mason Patent; and the proprietors of Rumford quieted their 
title in that direction by the payment of sixty pounds. 2 

So, at last, the proprietors and occupants of Rumford became 
quieted in the possession of their twice-bought lands. With painful 
sacrifice, but with unflinching purpose, wise counsel, and united 
action, they had held out through the long years of disheartening 
controversy, and thereby had saved the life itself of New Hampshire's 
future capital. 


Plan of Grant of Bow with Explanations. The annexed Plan of 
the Township of Bow, which, though not drawn with perfect accu- 
racy, will help to show, with the following explanations, the grounds 
of controversy : 

1. Rumford — laid out by Massachusetts, seven miles square and 
one hundred rods on the south, is represented by thick black lines. 

2. Suncook — laid out also by Massachusetts, south of Rumford, is 
(in both sides of the river. 

3. Bow — laid out by New Hampshire, represented by double lines 
—nine miles square, and apparent on the plan — covering like a 

wide sheet nearly the whole territory, both of Rumford and Sun- 

4. The dotted line on the east represents the "three miles north of 
the Merrimack river *" claimed by Massachusetts. 

5. Canterbury, Chichester, Epsom, and Bow were all granted by 
New Hampshire, May 20, 1727, as is believed, without previous 
actual survey. 

The Associate Grantees of Bow. His Excellency and Honorable 
Samuel Shute, Esq., and John Wentworth, Esq., Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor — each of them five hundred acres of land and a home lot ; Col- 
onel Mark Hunking, Colonel Walton, George Jaffrey, Richard Wibird, 
Colonel Shad. Westbrook, Archibald McPheadres, John Frost, Jotham 
( Kliorne, Esquires, — members of the Council — each a proprietor's 
share ; Peter Wear, John Plaisted, James Davis, John Gilman, An- 
drew Wiggin, Captain John Downing, Captain John Gillman, Samuel 
Tibbets, Paul Gerrish, Ens. Ephraim Dennet, John Sanburn, Theodore 
Atkinson, Ebenezer Stevens, Richard Jennes, Captain William Fel- 
lows, James Jeffery, Joseph Loverin, Daniel Loverin, Zah. Hanahford, 
Joseph Wiggin, Pierce Long, — members of the Assembly. (Bouton's 
Concord, 206.) 

1 Belknap, 300. * See note at close of chapter. 



Pian Illustrating Bow Controversy. 


Invoice of 1761. This invoice, mentioned in the text, has historic 
value, showing, as it does, somewhat the material condition of Rum- 
ford when it was taken. The items, as therein set down, were : 
Polls, 154 ; Horses, 91 ; Planting ground, 341 acres ; Mowing land, 
498 do. ; Orcharding, 16 do. ; Oxen, 160 ; Cows, 222 ; Cattle, three 
yrs. old, 85 ; ditto, two yrs. old, 90 ; ditto, one yr. old, 103 ; Horses, 
77 ; ditto, three yrs. old, 12 ; ditto, two yrs. old, 13 ; ditto, one yr. 
old, 10; Pasture land, 150 acres; Negroes, 6; Six Mills (yearly 
income), XI 25. The valuation for taxing purposes stood as follows: 
Polls, £2770 ; Land, £502 10s. ; Horses, £231 ; Oxen, £480 ; Cows, 
£444 ; Cattle, three yrs.. old, £145 10s. ; ditto, two yrs. old, £103 ; 
ditto, one yr. old, £56 10s. ; Slaves, £96 — making in all £4,828 10s., 
and with Doomage £1000 added, £5,828 10s. 

Thomas Stichney's Petition in 1789. In answer to this petition an 
act was passed, authorizing "the proprietors of Rumford, alias Con- 
cord, to collect a certain tax." This tax was a balance of the 
assessment of 1773, the collection of which was necessary to the full 
discharge of the bonds given to the Bow proprietors. 

The Masonian Line. In 1788 a committee appointed to run the 
" straight line " of the Masonian claim, reported to the New Hamp- 
shire legislature that it crossed "Merrimack river in Concord on 
Sewall's Falls." [House Journal, February 1, 1788 ; cited by Otis 
G. Hammond in paper entitled " SewalFs Falls Historically Con- 
sidered," published in Granite Monthly, February, 1896.] The Ma- 
sonian proprietors had, thereupon, bought of the state the disputed 
segment of land between the arc of the " curved line " and its chord, 
the "straight line." 

Colonization by Concord Settlers. 


Concord, unlike most New Hampshire towns, was colonized, and 
not formed by gradual accretions from time to time to its population. 
Some thirty years after its settlement, when the close of the last 
French and Indian War had opened northwestern New England to 
settlement, Concord sent considerable numbers of its people to the 
Pigwacket country, to assist in founding new towns on the Saco at 
Fryeburg, Maine, and Conway, New Hampshire. 

To the former it sent Moses Ames, James Clemons, Robert Brad- 
ley, John Bradley, Samuel A. Bradley, Abraham Bradley, John 
Evans, Uavid Evans, Philip Eastman, John L. Eastman, Stephen 
Farrington, Daniel Farrington, Nathaniel Merrill, Samuel Osgood, 
David Page, John Webster, Nathaniel Smith, Timothy Walker, and 
Ezekiel Walker. 


To the latter it sent Jedediah Spring, Andrew McMillan, Thomas 
Chadborne, Richard Eastman, Thomas Merrill, Abial Lovejoy, Ben- 
jamin Osgood, James Osgood, and a Mr. Dolloff. 

Further investigation would doubtless show that these lists are far 
from complete and might be considerably enlarged. 

To these, former members of his parish and more or less of them 
of his church, the first minister of Concord made pastoral visits from 
time to time, until they had formed local churches and pastors had 
been settled. Records of such visits are found in some of his diaries 
which have been preserved. From these it appears that he visited 
them in the autumns of 1764 and 1766, partaking of their hospitality, 
preaching to them on Sundays and baptizing their infant children. 
In the latter year, according to his record, he administered baptism to 
no less than eleven. The journey thither was by way of Kennebunk 
and occupied a little more than three days. 

Sometimes his son, Timothy Walker, in the ministry at this time, 
acted as his substitute. By his diary, it appears that he was with 
them on similar services in 1765 from the nineteenth day of July to 
the third day of September, a period of some forty-five days. But, 
loyal to the principles which they had brought with them from their 
former homes, they soon organized churches and settled permanent 
pastors at these new homes of their adoption. 

Some sixteen years later, a much larger emigration commenced 
going out from Concord to found a new town upon the Androscoggin, 
in Maine. ( )f this movement authentic records have been preserved 
which give in detail its origin and early progress. From these it 
appears that a little before the breaking out of the Revolutionary War 
(January 26, 1774) Timothy Walker, Jr., of Concord, in behalf of 
himself and his associates, presented a petition to the government of 
Massachusetts Bay, setting forth the trials and expense of the settlers 
of Concord in maintaining their rights against the Bow proprietors, 
and asking consideration therefor in the grant to them of a township 
in Maine, to lie on each side of the Androscoggin river, of equal 
extent to that granted by Massachusetts to the settlers of Concord. 

In response to this petition the general court of Massachusetts 
granted to the original proprietors of Concord, who were sufferers by 
reason of that township's falling into New Hampshire, a township of 
seven miles square to be laid out in regular form on both sides of the 
Androscoggin river, easterly of and adjoining Fullerstown, so called, 
otherwise Sudbury, Canada, provided the grantees within six years 
settle thirty families in said township and lay out one full share to 
the first settled minister, one share for the ministry, one share for the 
school, and one share for Harvard college, and provided the petition- 


ers within one year return a plan thereof to be accepted and con- 
firmed by the general court. 

A committee was also appointed to go to Concord (Pennycook) to 
inquire into and make out a list of the sufferers. November 8, 1774, 
in compliance with this resolution the committee made a report of 
the following list of individuals to whom " Rights " and the number 
thereof should be assigned, and their action was confirmed by the 
general court: 

To Timothy Walker, Jr., 3 rights ; George Abbot, 2 ; Thos. Stick- 
ney, 3 ; John Chandler, 3 ; William Coffin, 1 ; Ebenezer Hall, 1 ; 
Jno. Merrill, 1 ; Amos Abbot, 2 ; Edward Abbot, 2 ; Ephraim Far- 
num, Jr., 1 ; Benjamin Farnum, 2 ; Joseph Farnum, 1 ; Timo. Brad- 
ley, 1 ; Rev. Timo. Walker, 2 ; Joseph Eastman, 1 ; Aaron Stephens, 
2 ; Moses Hall, 1 ; Philip Kimball, 1 ; Ebenezer Eastman, 1 ; David 
Hall, 1 ; Philip Eastman, 2 ; James Walker, 1 ; Chas. Walker, 1 ; 
Richard Hazeltine, 1 ; Paul Walker, 1 ; Jeremiah Bradley, 1 ; Han- 
nah Osgood, 2 ; Asa Kimball, 1 ; Moses Eastman, 1 ; John Bradley, 
1 ; Jona. Stickney, 1 ; Reuben Kimball, 1 ; Benj. Abbot, 1 ; Joshua 
Abbot, 1 ; Abiel Chandler, 5 ; Timothy Walker, Tertius, 1 ; 
Nathaniel Eastman, 2 ; Heirs of Ebenezer Virgin, 3 ; Peter Green, 
1 ; Ephraim Carter, 1 ; Heirs of Jeremiah Dresser, 1 ; Nath. Rolfe, 
1 ; John Chase, 1 ; Benja. Thompson, 1 ; Paul Rolfe, 5; Ebenezer 
Harnden Goss, 4 ; Nathan Abbot, 1; Gustavus Adolphus Goss, 1; 
Robert Davis, 3-4 ; Anna Stevens, 1-4 ; Henry Lovejoy, 1-4 ; Phineas 
Kimbal, 1-4. 

These parties, sixty-six in number, were all of Concord, and the 
number of rights assigned them was eighty-two and three fourths. 

The remaining seventeen and one quarter rights were given to 
eighteen persons residing in other places. Thus it appears that a 
little over four fifths were given to residents of Concord. 

The distractions of the Revolutionary War prevented a full com- 
pliance with the terms of the grant within the time specified therein. 
This, however, was extended in 1779, after which settlements made 
such progress that on the 21st of February, 1800, the plantation of 
New Pennycooke became by incorporation the town of Rumford, 
named from the parent town from which so many of its people had 

At this time a second generation had been reared upon the farms 
of Concord, which greatly outnumbered the original occupants and 
for which they afforded an inadequate support. In short, " the eagle 
was stirring up her nest " and pushing out her young to careers 
elsewhere. Naturally many of them, under the rights assigned to 


their fathers or to themselves, sought new homes at New Pennycook, 
on the Androscoggin. 

Strangely like was this locality to the old Pennycook on the Mer- 
rimack where they had first seen the light. At both places the river 
bisected the township and flowed through fertile intervals which 
lined its banks. Near the northern border of the former the Ellis 
river entered the Androscoggin to increase its volume, just as at the 
northern border of the latter the Contoocook joined the Merrimack ; 
while, furthermore, as just over the southern line of the latter the last 
named river made an important descent of some twenty-five feet, so 
just within the former's southern boundary, the Androscoggin made a 
single plunge of forty, and thence hastened down rapids of more than 
half as much more in the next eighty rods of its course. And to 
still further enhance the likeness, the flood plains of the Merrimack, 
rising to terraces of higher ground and backed by hill ranges of 
granite formation, were almost exactly duplicated on the Andros- 

Moreover, as if these topographical similarities were not enough, a 
parallel equally surprising was to be found, two generations ago, by 
a visitor from the older town to the new, in a duplication, at the 
younger, of the surnames of his neighbors at home. Never did a fair 
daughter more closely resemble a fair mother ; never did a hardy son 
more exactly reflect the characteristics of a stalwart father. 

Hard indeed was it for this visitor to realize that he had wandered 
an hundred and twenty miles from the old Rumford on the Merri- 
mack and found its near facsimile in a new Rumford on the Andros- 
coggin, for, scattered over this new town, were families whose names 
had been familiar to him from his earliest days: of Abbot, David, 
Henry, Jacob, Moses, and Philip ; of Farnum, Benjamin, David, and 
Stephen ; of Hall, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Joseph ; of Hutchins, David 
and Hezekiah ; of Martin, Daniel, John, and Kimball ; of Virgin, 
Daniel, Ebenezer, Peter C, Phineas, Simeon, and William ; of 
Wheeler, Abel and William ; of families bearing the surnames of 
Carter, Colby, Eastman, Eaton, Elliot, Hoyt, Kimball, Knight, Page, 
Putnam, Rolfe, Sweat, and Walker. This list, partial only, might be 
much enlarged by the addition of the names of women who, singly or 
as the wives of settlers, found new homes in this new town in the 
district of Maine. It suffices, however, accompanied with that before 
presented of some of the first settlers of Fryeburg and Conway, on 
the Saco, to establish the proposition at first enunciated, — that Con- 
cord, itself originally a colony, became in time a colonizer of new 


The Last French and Indian War. — Rumford Becomes 

Concord, a Parish of Bow. 


While the war of land titles was raging, the last French and 
Indian War came on, and the alarm along the frontier, which had 
hardly subsided during the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, was renewed. 
Military hostilities existed in America for two years before the actual 
declaration of war in Europe, in 175(3. 

Even at an earlier date the Indian allies of France had, with or 
without French instigation, been troublesome along the New Hamp- 
shire frontier. As early as 1752 they had shown a mischievous dis- 
position. During the last days of April four hunters — Amos East- 
man 1 of Rumford, John Stark and his brother William of Derryfield, 2 
and David Stinson of Londonderry, while trapping along Baker's river, 
within the present limits of Rumney, fell in with a scout of ten St. 
Francis Indians headed by Thomas Titigaw. The trappers had been 
successful, having collected furs to the value of more than five hun- 
dred pounds. Though " they seasonably discovered " the savages, 
yet " they gave them no offence, . . . but esteeming it a time of 
peace with all the Indians who owned themselves the subjects of the 
French king," and being "free from any expectation of any hostilities 
being committed against them," they " peaceably applied themselves 
to their business." 3 They were about to return home when, towards 
evening of the 28th of April, the Indians rising from ambush, cap- 
tured John Stark, who, apart from his friends, was busy in taking up 
traps. His companions, alarmed at his prolonged absence, discharged 
guns in the night, and thus discovered their encampment to the sav- 
ages, whom their wily prisoner had led two miles in a contrary direc- 
tion. Early next morning the three hunters, suspecting that their 
comrade had been captured, left the encampment to go down the 
river ; Eastman passing on foot along the bank, Stinson and William 
Stark taking a canoe. The Indians retraced to the encampment the 
route over which John Stark had misled them, and made an ambus- 

1 A son of Jonathan Eastman, who had a garrison on the Hopkinton road in the previous 

2 Afterwards Manchester. 

'Affidavit of John and William Stark and Amos Eastman, May 21, 1754; N. H. Prov. 
Papers, Vol. V, 309. 


cade below, in which they captured Eastman. They ordered " John 
to hail the boat and bid the occupants to come on shore." He hailed 
the boat, but urged its occupants " to escape to the opposite shore." 
They were doing so when ten Indian muskets were leveled at them; 
and though Stark, with the courage characteristic of the future ranger 
and Revolutionary commander, " struck up " the guns within his 
reach, yet the shot of the others killed Stinson and hit the paddle 
held by William Stark. John shouted to his brother to flee, for the 
Indians had emptied all their guns ; and William heeding the advice 
got away. The baffled captors severely beat their undaunted cap- 
tive ; and appropriating the rich store of furs, set out with their two 
prisoners for Canada. Their course lay by the Lower 1 and Upper 2 
Coos, at the former of which had been left two of the original party 
to prepare supplies for the returning scout. Eastman was sent at 
once to Canada, with three of the party, where he was sold to a 
Frenchman; Stark was retained with the others, who tarried some 
time in hunting, and reached St. Francis early in June. He remained 
in captivity about five weeks. In July both he and Eastman were 
redeemed by agents of Massachusetts — Eastman for sixty dollars ; 
Stark for one hundred and three. 

John Stark's bold demeanor during his captivity was a charm 
against violence. Eastman, less defiant and dexterous, was, in run- 
ning the gauntlet at St. Francis, quite spent from the club blows 
showered upon him by young warriors in the files between which he 
was compelled to run, while Stark dashed along between the threat- 
ening lines, smiting right and left with the conventional pole tipped 
with a loon skin, and returned with a knock-down blow each stroke 
ventured at him, — thus passing the ordeal unharmed, and pleasing the 
older men of the village by discomfiting the youngsters. When, too, 
after having in vain tried to rid himself of the task of hoeing com, 
by nurturing the weeds and destroying the corn, he contemptuously 
threw his hoe into the river, declaring that " it was the business of 
squaws, not of warriors, to hoe corn," his captors, fascinated by his 
boldness, took it in good part, and called him " the young chief." 
So he was a favorite in the school of captivity, learning much of 
Indian ways that was to stand him in good stead thereafter. 

Upon the return of William Stark with news of the affair, a 
party — of which were Phineas Virgin, Joseph and Moses East- 
man 3 — went up from Rumford to Baker's river, and finding the 
body of Stinson, laid it in a grave in the lonely woods, with a brook, 

1 Haverhill. 
* Lancaster. 

» Bouton's Concord, 193 (note). Potter, in History of Manchester, 277, says the party con- 
sisted of Nathaniel Eastman, Timothy Bradley, and Phineas Virgin. 


a pond, and a mountain near by, to bear the hunter's name and to 
commemorate the event in which he lost his life. 

In May, just after the affair at Baker's river, Indians from St. 
Francis made their appearance at Canterbury. Two of these — 
if there were any others — were Sabbatis and Christo, who had for- 
merly lived in the Merrimack valley. What might be the import of 
their advent was uncertain, and some alarm was felt in the vicinity, 
so the minister of Rumford — esteemed by the red men — went to 
( Janterbury on a mission of conciliation. The well-intentioned effort 
was, probably, not entirely fruitless, though Sabbatis especially 
" discovered a restless and malicious disposition," and after some 
days, both disappeared, taking with them two kidnapped negro 
slaves. The appearance of the Canadian savages at Canterbury had 
more than an accidental connection with the affair at Baker's river ; 
both incidents, in fact, resulted from the ill feeling aroused among 
the St. Francis Indians, by a movement in New Hampshire, sup- 
ported by the government, looking to the white occupation of the 
" Coos Meadows." To this scheme the Indians were bitterly op- 
posed ; and finally they remonstrated so earnestly, and threatened so 
fiercely, that the design of settling immediately that desirable region 
was relinquished. It was suspected that the French themselves 
were at the bottom of this Indian opposition, inasmuch as they 
would naturally desire to keep open the easy way for predatory 
excursions from Canada through Coos county; and it was feared 
that they might attempt to take armed possession by erecting a fort 
in that neighborhood. 

In June of the next year Sabbatis appeared again in Canterbury — 
this time in company with one Plausawa. The conduct of these 
Indians soon became so outrageous that their lives were threatened 
by the inhabitants, and they went to Contoocook. There continuing 
their insolent behavior, and boasting of former robberies and murders 
in the neighborhood, they were despatched by Peter Bowen, a rough 
hunter, — in self-defense, as some accounts allege. By the stipula- 
tions of sundry Indian treaties, the province authorities were bound 
to take cognizance of such an act; hence Bowen, and another named 
Morrill, who was supposed to have been concerned in the deed, were 
indicted and jailed at Portsmouth. But on the night before the 
day for trial, they were forcibly rescued by a body of men from 
Canterbury, Contoocook, and other places. A proclamation was 
issued, and a reward offered by the governor, " for apprehending the 
rioters ; but no discovery was made, and the action was even deemed 
meritorious." 1 But the spirit of revenge was inflamed in the tribe 

1 Belknap, 308. 


to which the victims belonged; and on the 11th of May, 1754, thirty 
avengers visited Contoocook and Stevenstown, 1 rifled a house in the 
former place, and carried away into captivity, from the latter, the 
Maloon family — the father and mother, a son, and two daughters. 
Twenty men were forthwith ordered out by Governor Wentworth 
to guard the exposed localities for a month ; but no Indians were 

When, in the year 1754, hostile operations between France and 
England were commenced near the head of the Ohio, — though with- 
out actual declaration of war, — the Indian allies of the French 
became more aggressive than before, along the frontiers of New 
England, including those of New Hampshire. At Stevenstown, 2 
on the 15th of August, they killed Philip Call's wife and Timothy 
Cook, and carried three men into captivity. Governor Wentworth 
at once sent two detachments of " troop " to the exposed neighbor- 
hood ; and ordered Colonel Joseph Blanchard to raise fifty men from 
his regiment, to march, under an officer " to be confided in, to Con- 
toocook and Stevenstown to relieve the detachment of horse posted 
there." 3 Captain John Goffe, of Amoskeag, was detailed for this 
service. Reporting to Colonel Blanchard from Contoocook on the 
first day of September, the captain writes : 4 " I arrived at Pennicook 
ab't 12 o'clock on Thursday, where I met the troop who came down 
to guard 10 or 12 horses to mill, and I took their places, and they 
went home, and I got safe to the fort at Contoocook with all 
those that went to mill. . . . We have done considerable in 
guarding the people whose hay was cut before the mischief was 
done, and has lain ever since till we came ; and a great deal more 
hay & grain we must guard them to get, or they will loose it. And 
we shall do what we can for them, as souldiers ; for they are here 
more concerned than ever I knew them any time last war, and durst 
not go anywhere without a guard. I have not bin to Stevenstown 
yet, & its that dangerous to attempt without any more men. There 
is nobody there ; but I am informed that there is a great deal of good 
corn there which it 's pitty should be lost. But four or five of the 
inhabitants will go back, & them not without twenty men at least, as 
souldiers with them. The Indians are certainly about; they are 
tract, & guns heard every day almost, in the woods, ... I pray 
you would send me express what I shall do ab't going to Stevens- 
town ; if I have no more men, if I go, I must take them all with me, 
& I do n't see but Contoocook must loose or sell or kill most of their 

1 Salisbury. 

2 This occurred in the east part of Salisbury, which afterwards became a part of Franklin. 
The Maloon affair, in the spring, took place in the west part of Salisbury. 

3 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 296; Potter's Manchester, 293. 
* N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VI, 315-16. 



cattle ; for they have got but very little hay since the mischief was 
done, and have a great deal to get.; all their pease almost in the 
held unhooked and loosing every day, and abundance of them there 
is. . . . Mr. Lovejoy's garrison 1 are all moved off but three 
family s, and he told me he would not stay any longer without he 
had some souldiers — and if he had, severall familys would come to 
them. If that fort breaks up, they can grind none in Contoocook, 
& must be forced to go to Eastman's mill 2 on Turkey river (about 
12 or 14 miles — a dangerous road), and it will be much more 
dangerous to go to Pennicook. . . . Pray your advice by the 
bearer ; but if I go there — i. e., to Stevenstown — pray your interest 
for Contoocook, & Lovejoy's mill & Eastman's mill, that there may 
be an addition of souldiers, &c." 

This report indicates the perilous circumstances of Rumford, as 
well as of its vicinity, in the late summer and early autumn of 1754. 
Whether or not Captain Goff e's prayer as to protecting the mills in 
Rumford was directly answered, there was wisdom in it, which was 
recognized by the authorities ; for Captain John Chandler was as- 
signed the command of a company of nine men, 3 who were on duty, 
from the 8th to the 17th of September, "scouting and guarding," 
for the general protection of the township, as well as for the special 
safety of "people of New Hopkinton, while cutting their hay." 
Rumford was always in danger when Indians were around. By this 
time, however, the tiers of settled townships to the northward shel- 
tered it from the brunt of savage attack. In fact, the valley of the 
Merrimack, unlike that of the Connecticut, was nearly free from In- 
dian incursion throughout the ensuing war ; but garrisons were main- 
tained, and other defensive measures were continued, so that appre- 
hended evil was doubtless averted by precaution. 

The English government had been urging the American colonies 
to put themselves in a posture of efficient resistance to Erench 
" encroachments on the frontier from the Ohio to the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence " ; and, in 1755, sent over two regiments of regulars, with 
General Edward Braddock as commander-in-chief of his majesty's 
forces in North America. A Erench fleet was not slow to follow, 
bringing reinforcements for Canada under command of Baron Dies- 
kau. To this fleet Admiral Boscawen, with English ships, gave 
close pursuit, though peace still " existed between England and 
France under ratified treaties," and " England had avowed only the 

1 Situated in West Concord, and mentioned in the previous chapter. 

2 At Millville, being probably the one erected by Barachias Farnum and Henry Lovejoy, 
as described in a previous chapter. It seems to have come, subsequently, into the hands 
of Jonathan Eastman, who had a garrison in the vicinity, on the Hopkinton road. 

3 Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II, 1866, p. 156; see Roll of Scout, 1754, in note at close 
of chapter. 


intention to resist encroachments on her territory." Expeditions 
were at once planned against Du Quesne, at the fork of the Ohio ; 
Niagara, on the river and near the falls of that name ; and Crown 
Point, on Lake Champlain — three important strategic points in the 
French cordon of military posts from Canada to Louisiana. 

The first expedition for the reduction of Crown Point was placed 
under the command of Sir William Johnson, a resident in the valley 
of the Mohawk, and of great influence with the Six Nations of In- 
dians. To it New Hampshire contributed, in 1755, a regiment of five 
hundred men, commanded by Colonel Joseph Blanchard of Dunstable. 1 
Rumford had eighteen men of the sixty-five upon the roll of the fifth 
company in this regiment. Among these were the captain, Joseph 
Eastman, and his brother Moses, a sergeant, — both sons of Ebenezer 
Eastman so prominent in the earlier history of Penacook ; also, the 
lieutenant, Nathaniel Abbot, and private Ebenezer Virgin, who were 
of the original settlers and proprietors. 2 

Captain Joseph Eastman's company of Blanchard's regiment was 
in Johnson's camp during the battle of Lake George 3 and the men of 
Rumford had a share in the fighting. It is said, too, that Nathaniel 
Eastman, another son of Captain Ebenezer, was in Colonel Williams's 
detachment which fell into ambuscade there. Though wounded in 
the knee, Eastman continued to fire at the enemy till he was left 
almost alone 4 in the retreat, and then he limped through the woods 
to join his company. After the battle the entire regiment had sta- 
tion at Lake George, and its men were acceptably engaged in scout- 
ing and ranging service until their discharge in ( )ctober. 

For the second Crown Point expedition (1756), a regiment of six 
hundred men was raised in New Hampshire, and put under the com- 
mand Colonel Meserve of Portsmouth. In Captain John Goffe's com- 
pany of this regiment were enrolled eight men of Rumford, 5 including 
Thomas Merrill, second lieutenant. But this number did not em- 
brace all the Rumford men engaged in the campaign of 1756 and the 
operations of the following winter. Others were enrolled under an 
independent organization, which had been determined upon by the 
authorities, the preceding winter. The satisfactory ranging and 
scouting service performed by the men of New Hampshire in the last 
year's campaign had proved the desirability of a permanent corps of 
Rangers. These were to be men who thoroughly knew Indian char- 
acter and practices in war. They were to be " rugged foresters, 

1 Nashua. 

2 See full list of Concord men in the company, in note at close of chapter. 

3 See note at close of chapter. 
* Bouton's Concord, 195. 

p See list in note at close of chapter. 


every man of whom, as a hunter, could hit the size of a dollar at a 
hundred yards' distance ; could follow the trail of man or beast ; en- 
dure the fatigues of long marches, the pangs of hunger, and the cold 
of winter nights, often passed without fire, shelter, or covering other 
than their common clothing, a blanket, perhaps a bearskin, and the 
boughs of the pine or kemlock." ] They were to range woods dan- 
gerous with hidden foes ; to serve as guides and couriers ; to pro- 
cure, at deadly risk, intelligence of the enemy's movements ; to re- 
connoiter at short distance ; to skirmish with detached parties ; to 
fall with sudden force upon exposed points, and as suddenly find 
security in inaccessible retreats ; to venture, in fine, upon any peril- 
ous enterprise, in which muscle, nerve, sharp wits, and a dauntless 
heart were requisite. 

Such were the Rangers of the French and Indian War. Captain 
Robert Rogers was commissioned to raise the first independent com- 
pany of the famous corps. He recruited it in the early spring of 
1756, mainly from his old company in Blanchard's regiment, and 
taking John Stark as lieutenant. Soon, a second company was 
raised, with Richard Rogers — Robert's brother — as captain, and 
Nathaniel Abbot of Rumford as second lieutenant. Later that year, 
two companies from Nova Scotia swelled the corps to three hundred 
men. In course of time the corps was augmented by five other com- 
panies, — one from New Jersey, and four from New England ; 2 the 
whole force being under the command of Robert Rogers, who held 
commission as major, while the brothers, John and William Stark, 
became captains. This branch of service had separate enrolment, 
only fragments of which have remained, 2 so that the names of but 
few from Rumford, or elsewhere, who were engaged in it, are known. 

The rangers were kept busy reconnoitering, and in ascertaining 
what the enemy was about ; and after the regular provincial troops 
had been sent home they occupied Forts Edward and William 
Henry. A detachment of these, numbering seventy-four, marched 
in January, 1757, from the latter fort to intercept French supplies 
passing between Crown Point and Ticonderoga. They passed down 
Lake George, partly on the ice and partly along shore, on snow- 
shoes, and succeeded in rounding Ticonderoga without being seen 
by the enemy. Approaching Lake Champlain, on a line half way 
between the fortresses, they captured some of the provision sleds 
passing from Ticonderoga to Crown Point, and destroyed their 
lading. Other sleds, however, escaping back to the former post, 
the rangers, knowing that the garrison would be notified of their 
presence, commenced their homeward retreat. But at two o'clock 

1 Memoir of John Stark, 16. 

2 Adjutant-General's Report, Vol, 2 (1866), 


in the afternoon of that day — the 21st of January — they were sud- 
denly fired upon at close range by a body of French and Indians, 
two hundred and fifty in number. The bloody encounter which 
ensued lasted till dark, Captain Rogers, the leader, being disabled 
by two wounds, and Captain Spikeman, of one of the Nova Scotia 
companies, killed. Lieutenant John Stark, as senior officer, had com- 
mand. The rangers, while having five or six killed and as many 
wounded, slew, by their effective gunnery, one hundred and sixteen 
of the enemy. Retreating with their wounded during the night, 
they reached, on the morning of the 22d, Lake George at a point 
six miles south of the French advanced guard. They were now 
forty miles from Fort William Henry ; and since the wounded men 
were exhausted and could march no further, Lieutenant Stark, with 
two others, volunteered to go to the fort and procure sleighs. 
Though the journey had to be performed on snowshoes, with the 
snow four feet upon a level, the destination was reached that night ; 
and the next morning the sleighs arrived to take up the wounded, 
while the party of effective men marched on, and all at evening 
arrived at William Henry. 1 

Stilson Eastman of Rumford — a grandson of Captain Ebenezer 
Eastman — was in the fight. John Shute and Joseph Eastman, both 
of Rumford — the former a son of Jacob Shute, an early settler, the 
latter a nephew of Captain Ebenezer Eastman — and who were mess- 
mates in the ranger service through the war, 2 were also in this en- 
gagement. Shute used to say that the first notice the party had of 
the enemy was the noise made in cocking their guns, which he sup- 
posed was occasioned by some rangers preparing to fire at game. 
He was struck senseless by a bullet " which ploughed the top of his 
head." On coining to himself he saw a man cutting off the ribbon 
of Rogers's queue, to bind up the captain's wrist through which a 
bullet had passed. 3 

Mention should here be made of another participant in the action 
of January 21st, 1757, who after the war became a resident of 
Rumford. This was William Phillips, 4 a half-blood Indian of New 
York, who enlisted in Rogers's first company of rangers, and soon 
became a sergeant. He is specially noticed by Rogers, 5 as one of the 
"reserves to protect the flanks and watch the enemy's motions." 
His efficiency was recognized, for after that action he received a 
lieutenant's commission, signed by the Earl of Loudon. 

1 Major Rogers's Journal; Memoir of John Stark, 18-19. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 196. 

s Memoir of John Stark; Appendix, 412 (note). 
4 See notes at close of chapter. 
B Major Rogers's Journal. 


One battalion of the regiment contributed by New Hampshire to 
the campaign of 1757, went with its colonel, Nathaniel Meserve, on 
Loudon's fruitless expedition to Louisburg ; the other, with Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Goffe, was stationed at Fort William Henry. Captain 
Richard Rogers's company of rangers, of which Nathaniel Abbot of 
Rumford was a lieutenant, also had rendezvous there. The battalion 
and company were there when the gallant Munro, in command of 
the fort with his inadequate force, held out in a siege of six days 
urgently plied by Montcalm with overwhelming numbers, and then 
submitted to inevitable capitulation. They were witnesses of the 
infamous violation of the terms of surrender, when the savage allies 
of the French fell upon the departing garrison, plundering, wound- 
ing, murdering, or capturing for future torture and death. 

On the 10th of March, 1758, Rogers was ordered to proceed to 
the neighborhood of Ticonderoga, with a force numbering one hun- 
dred and eighty, — officers and men. He set out " with no small 
uneasiness of mind," J thinking the number should be four hundred. 
After a toilsome march of three days, down Lake George — some- 
times on skates, sometimes on snowshoes — the little band, having 
on the thirteenth reached a point near the advance guard of Ticon- 
deroga, was suddenly attacked by a largely outnumbering force of 
French and Indians. A desperate fight ensued which lasted for an 
hour and a half in a constant fire, " with the lines, in general, not 
more than twenty yards asunder." 1 During the encounter the 
rangers " lost eight officers and a hundred privates killed upon the 
spot ; " 1 the enemy, one hundred and fifty killed and the same 
number wounded — many mortally. Two days later hardly more 
than fifty of the one hundred and eighty, unwisely sent out by the 
English officer in command, upon so perilous an errand, returned to 
Fort Edward. 

In the heat of the combat Lieutenant Phillips, who, during the 
march, had led an advanced guard, was sent with eighteen men to 
head off a party of two hundred Indians, who were making for rising 
ground, in order to fall upon the rear of the rangers. The detach- 
ment gaining the summit, repulsed the enemy " by a well directed 
fire in which every bullet killed its man." 1 But the brave lieutenant 
finally found himself and his little party " surrounded by three hun- 
dred Indians." 1 At this juncture the main body of the rangers, 
" after doing all that brave men could do," 1 were beginning to seek 
safety as best they could. Rogers, with twenty men, ran up the hill 
towards the spot where Lieutenant Phillips stood enveloped in a 
cloud of foes. As Rogers drew near, Phillips said to him that he 

1 Major Rogers's Journal. 


thought " it best to surrender, if the enemy would give good quarter ; 
otherwise he would light while he had one man left to fire a gun." 1 
But the lieutenant could not stand upon the terms of quarter ; com- 
pletely overpowered by numbers, he and his surviving men having 
been carried off as prisoners, were fastened to trees to be shot, or 
hewn to pieces. Phillips, however, getting one hand free, took a 
knife from his pocket, and opening it with the help of his teeth, cut 
the strings that bound him, and made good his escape. 2 

Upon the rolls of the New Hampshire regiment, raised in 1758, 
and put in command of Colonel John Hart of Portsmouth, can be 
clearly identified three Rumford names. 3 One battalion went with 
the colonel to Louisburg, where were already the companies of rang- 
ers. The other battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel Goffe, joined 
Abercombie's force, — operating against Crown Point and Ticonder- 
oga, — with which was also a portion of the ranger corps in command 
of Major Rogers. Thus Rumford had its men both in the army of 
New York and in that before Louisburg. 

A regiment of one thousand men contributed by New Hampshire 
for 1759, and commanded by Colonel Zaccheus Lovewell of Dun- 
stable, contained Rumford soldiers, though from the loss of rolls 
their names are not known. The regiment at first joined the force 
of General Amherst, but later was detached to serve under General 
Johnson in the capture of Fort Niagara, which was accomplished 
almost simultaneously with Amherst's occupation of the forts on Lake 
Champlain, upon the withdrawal of the French forces during the last 
days of September, 1759. 

Three companies of rangers belonged to General Wolfe's com- 
mand, one of which was commanded by William Stark. 4 In this com- 
pany were, probably, Rumford men; "for soldiers from Rumford'' 
there certainly were in the expedition against Quebec, 5 which resulted 
in the irrevocable passing of that stronghold from French to English 

On the day of the decisive battle of Quebec (September 13, 1759) 
General Amherst, at Crown Point, issued an order to Major Rogers 
to march with a detachment of rangers to St. Francis village, at the 
junction of the river of that name with the St. Lawrence. A flag of 
truce recently sent thither by the English general had been violated, 
and the perfidy deserved chastisement. Besides, the Indians dwelling- 
there had been, for a hundred years, the terror of the New England 
frontier, and vengeance seemed permissible. Rogers proceeded at 
once upon the long, difficult, and dangerous march, mostly through 

1 Major Rogers's Journal. 4 Potter's Manchester, 338. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 200. 5 Bouton's Concord, 189. 
8 See note at close of chapter. 


an unbroken wilderness in the enemy's country, and, on the twenty- 
third day out from Crown Point, came with his one hundred and 
forty-two men, near the village of St. Francis. An evening recon- 
naissance found the Indians celebrating a wedding with dancing and 
general hilarity. It was determined to pounce upon the village, at 
various points, early the next morning, while the inhabitants were in 
deep sleep. At half an hour before sunrise of the appointed day 
the attack was made. The assaulting parties rushed into the dwell- 
ings, and, making but little use of the musket, slew the warriors, 
young and old, with hatchet and knife. Almost all, in their heavy 
sleep, were destroyed upon the spot ; the few, taking to canoes, were 
pursued, and shot or drowned. In accordance with the order of 
Amherst, " no women or children " were " killed or hurt " in this 
attack. But when the morning light revealed six hundred scalps, 
mostly English, dangling from poles over the wigwam doors, and the 
rangers, infuriated at the ghastly spectacle, fired the hated village, 
then many women and children, with, probably, some men in hiding, 
must have perished 1 in the general conflagration. Twenty of the 
former, however, were held awhile as prisoners, and then all but five 
children released. "Take your revenge," Amherst had said; the 
rangers had obeyed. By seven o'clock in the morning of October the 
7th, the affair was over. 2 Two hundred Indian braves lay slain, and 
the village of St. Francis was crumbling into ashes. The avenging 
party had six wounded, and one, a Stockbridge Indian, killed. 

Taking with them five rescued English prisoners, with some plunder 
and provisions, saved from the ashes of the village, the rangers set out 
upon their homeward return by the Connecticut river ; for to retrace 
the route by which they had come was deemed impracticable from the 
risk of meeting the French who were known to have been in pursuit. 
They marched in a body, eight days toward the sources of the Con- 
necticut, till reaching the shore of Lake Memphremagog, when their 
provisions having given out, they were divided into companies, with 
competent leaders, and with orders to proceed, as best they could, 
to the mouth of the Ammonoosuc, where General Amherst had, at 
Rogers's request, ordered supplies to be sent up from Number Four. 3 
Rogers himself led one of the parties, and reached, with it, on the 
loth of November, the Ammonoosuc rendezvous ; but, owing to the 
stupidity of the purveyor, he found there no provisions. As his 
wearied and famished party could go no farther without food, Rogers, 
— himself weakened by hunger, — in company with Captain Ogden 

« Potter's Manchester, 333. 

2 Despatch of Rogers; see memoir of Robert Rogers in appendix to memoir of General 
John Stark, 448. 

3 Charlestown, N. H. 


and a captive Indian boy, made a marvelous journey down the Con- 
necticut, on improvised and shaky rafts, and obtained at Number 
Four the indispensable supply. 

Lieutenant Farrington of Andover, with Benjamin Bradley 1 of 
Rumford, headed another return party. They were " two of the 
stoutest men of their time." 2 In the attack on the village, they had 
" pushed so violently against the door of the house where the dance 
had taken place, that the hinges broke, and Bradley fell in head-fore- 
most among the sleeping Indians." 3 But before the inmates could 
arouse themselves to resistance, they were all despatched by the sturdy 
rangers. But these were less fortunate in their homeward return. 
Cold, hungry, exhausted, the party struck the Connecticut in the 
Upper Coos, which was mistaken for the Lower. Here the party 
divided, Bradley, starting with four or five others, and saying that 
" if he was in his full strength, he would be at his father's house in 
three days," set off upon a course which, from the supposed point, 
" would have brought him to the Merrimack," 4 but from, the real start- 
ing point must have led far to the northward of that destination. 
Neither he nor any other one of the party ever reached home ; and 
the only traces of Bradley ever seen were found by hunters in the 
neighborhood of the White Hills — being bones, and long hair, " tied 
with a ribbon such as he wore," and silver brooches and wampum 
lying scattered about. 4 The fate of Stephen Hoit of Rumford, who 
set out from Coos with Bradley, was indicated by clothing, and a 
snuff-box, marked with his name, found on an island in Lake Win- 
nepesaukee. 4 

Lieutenant Phillips led a company directly to Crown Point, with- 
out the loss of a man, but not without much suffering. On the way, 
the men partly subsisted on the bark and buds of trees ; chewed the 
straps of their knapsacks and powder-horns; and some — who were 
esteemed fortunate — fed on lumps of tallow. They were finally re- 
duced to such extremity of hunger that they determined to kill and 
eat a captive boy brought from St. Francis. Fortunately, a muskrat 
shot, cooked, and distributed among them, quieted their cannibal 
frenzy. 4 

General Amherst, at Crown Point, prepared for the campaign of 
1760. He planned to concentrate three forces upon Montreal, by as 
man3 r routes, and under the leadership, respectively, of himself, de- 
scending the St. Lawrence by way of Oswego ; of Colonel Haviland, 
going directly from Crown Point, by the Sorelle river ; and of Gen- 
eral Murray, coining up from Quebec. Amherst accordingly set out 

1 Grandson of Abraham Bradley, an early settler. 3 Ibid, 193-4. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 193. * Ibid, 194. 


upon his circuitous route. Some days later (August 15th), Colonel 
Haviland started upon the direct advance into Canada. Of his force 
was the regiment raised by New Hampshire for the year, and com- 
manded by Colonel John Groffe. To it also belonged Major Rogers 
and his six hundred rangers, who had, earlier in the year, been 
engaged in precursory operations in Canada, and now formed the 
vanguard. In the indispensable corps, Rumford still had honorable 
representation. The campaign proved to be one of little fighting, 
and that was mostly done by the rangers, who, in " a finishing skir- 
mish, fired the last hostile guns in the conquest of Canada." 1 By the 
8th of September, the three armies of Amherst, Haviland, and Mur- 
ray were at Montreal, and on that day the city was surrendered, all 
( Janada being included in the capitulation. 

In the summer, before starting for Montreal, General Amherst, 
wishing to send despatches to General Murray, at Quebec, five hun- 
dred miles away through the wilderness, directed Major Rogers to 
procure, upon a reward of fifty pounds, four volunteers for the diffi- 
cult mission. The four were soon found ; being Sergeant Beverly, 
a recently escaped prisoner of war, John Shute and Joseph Eastman, 
the two Rumford messmate rangers, — " equally distinguished for 
their enterprise, hardihood, and trustworthiness," 2 — and Luxford 
Goodwin. Taking General Amherst's despatches, and letters from 
other officers to friends in Quebec, the messengers proceeded under 
a convoy to Missisqui bay, — an arm of Lake Champlain, — whence 
they were to proceed on foot, partially, along the route by St. 
Francis, which had been taken by the rangers, the year before. 3 
After leaving the bay, their course lay for many days through 
"marshy grounds where they could scarcely find a dry spot to 
encamp upon at night till they struck the St. Francis river " just 
above a rapid. Determining to cross as soon as possible, they con- 
structed two rafts of driftwood, " in order that two of the party 
might first cross, and, if they found no cause of alarm, might notify 
the others to follow with the letters. By casting lots, it fell upon 
Shute and Eastman to cross first; who immediately pushed off;" 
but having only "poles with which to work the raft," and "the 
current proving stronger than they expected," they were carried 
down stream to the head of the falls, where they narrowly "saved 
themselves by leaping upon a rock, against the point of which their 
raft struck." Their guns, knapsacks, ammunition, and provisions 
were also saved. Finding no enemy in the way, " they called to the 

1 Memoirs of Robert Rogers in appendix to Memoir of General John Stark. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 196. 

3 The record of the difficult, perilous trip is the substance of an account given by Mr. 
Shute in his old age, but " with memory and faculties unimpaired." See Bouton's Concord, 
196-7 8; also Annals of Concord, 65 (note). 


others to come over,'' but to do so "higher up the stream." The 
caution not being duly heeded, the second " raft was suffered to 
enter the current, where it soon became unmanageable." The two 
men upon it, " finding that they must go over the falls, threw down 
their poles " in despair. " Shute and Eastman told them to throw 
off their clothes and sit down." This they did, and the raft went 
down the rapids, " nearly an eighth of a mile in extent." Their 
companions, who, from a tree, had anxiously watched them, as they 
alternately appeared and disappeared in their descent, " ran to the 
foot of the fall," where Beverly was found " climbing up the bank," 
and " Goodwin, clinging to a press of driftwood," was extricated. 
The two men had escaped alive, but " had lost their arms, clothing, 
and provisions, together with all the letters." Shute and Eastman 
could and did divide clothing and some other supplies with their less 
fortunate comrades. But the letters were lost — and, without them, 
should they go forward, or go back ? If they went forward, and fell 
" into the enemy's hands without their papers, they would be in 
danger of being hanged as spies ; if they went back, Rogers would 
call them cowards and traitors, who had made up a false and improb- 
able account to excuse their imbecility." Considering the alterna- 
tives, they concluded to go forward, preferring " to take their chance 
of the cruelty of the enemy " to meeting " the reproaches of Rogers." 

They pursued their journey for weary days through trackless 
woods and tangled swamps, where only enemies dwelt ; venturing to 
approach the habitations of men only when impelled by hunger- 
though while satisfying this, they would, now and then, make booty 
of a silk dress, or something else that pleased their fancy. The 
Sunday bell of a Catholic chapel calling the inhabitants to worship 
was to the famished rangers an invitation to supply their wants 
from houses temporarily vacated by the worshipers. A calf, taken 
at night from the premises of the sleeping owner, on one occasion, 
gave the messengers each a quarter of veal ; a part of which, when 
cooked in the woods, four miles away, afforded a refreshing meal ; 
and the remainder, dried in smoke, became a store for future use, as 
they trudged on in moccasins made of the skin. 

At last they were nearing their tedious journey's end. Ascend- 
ing a high hill, " they saw for the first time the river St. Lawrence, 
and a large encampment of regular troops upon the bank, about 
twenty miles above Quebec." The wary rangers could not deter- 
mine whether the troops were French or English, but Sergeant 
Beverly ventured to go and ascertain. The kind greeting accorded 
him was witnessed by his companions from afar, and soon all were 
in the camp of their English friends. They were taken by boat to 


General Murray's headquarters in Quebec, where they arrived at 
midnight, and slept on the floor of the general's kitchen till morning. 
Then, " conducted into a large hall, lined with mirrors, and in which 
were about one hundred officers, each received a glass of liquor such 
as he had never tasted before," and of which Mr. Shute said sixty 
years later, " I have never drunk anything so good in my life." 
They were separately examined, and, " as they had previously 
agreed upon a statement of facts, coincided very well." At the 
request of General Murray, they remained with him till his advance 
upon Montreal ; and having gone along with his army thither they 
rejoined their corps and witnessed the surrender of the city. 

The conquest of Canada, which, in 1760, ended the French and 
Indian War in America, gave the New England frontiers immediate 
security from northern incursion ; though definite peace between 
France and England came not until 1763, when the " Seven Years' 
War," in Europe, closed in the Treaty of Paris. The dwellers in 
Rumford shared the general security ; and so far were free to pur- 
sue the ways that tend to the prosperity and happiness of a com- 
munity. But they were still embarrassed by the persistent claims of 
the Bow intrusion and their long deprivation of town privileges. 
As mentioned in the preceding chapter, the latter fact involved them 
in a contest with the provincial government in the matter of taxes. 
These, as long as the people were denied the corporate privilege of 
a town, could not be collected, and hence were left as troublesome 
arrears. In vain, for fifteen years, had the people of Rumford, in 
repeated petition, prayed the legislative authorities to relieve them, 
by an act of incorporation, of this inability not only to meet pro- 
vincial requisitions, but also their own municipal charges requiring 
corporate action. The influence of the Bow intruders hindered 
compliance with the just and reasonable request. On the 12th of 
April, 1764, — two years after the royal decision of the second test 
case in the Bow controversy, — the inhabitants of Rumford, by their 
minister, presented another petition. In this Mr. Walker set forth : 
" That the affairs of the said inhabitants — so far as relates to town 
matters — have been in great confusion ever since the year 1749, for 
want of the power which they had till then enjo} T ed since the year 
1741, by the District Act; that although it has been pretended that 
they might still have enjoyed the same privileges, — as inhabitants of 
Bow, — yet they never understood matters in that light. And for 
this their opinion and practice consequential thereupon, they humbly 
conceived they could give reasons which would be satisfactory to 
this court, were they permitted; that by 1760, they were so heartily 
tired of such an unsettled state, that they would have been glad to 


act even under the incorporation of Bow, if they could — although 
highly inconvenient for them, as it blended part of three towns, 
whose interests had always been separate, and would consequently be 
apt to create strife and contention ; that the said inhabitants con- 
ceive themselves greatly aggrieved by a late act of this government, 
imposing a heavy tax on the inhabitants of Bow, as arrears, et cetera,— 
a tax which nobody had power to assess and collect at the time when 
the said arrearages became due, and which, if now done, must be 
laid in many instances on wrong persons ; that what they had 
suffered for want of the powers they had enjoyed by the first men- 
tioned District Act, was unspeakably more to their damage than to 
have paid their proportion of the Province expense ; that the inca- 
pacity, complained of all along, still continues, and yet the people 
are subjected to pay their part of the current charge, but nobody has 
the power to assess or collect it. — They, therefore, most humbly pray 
that your Excellency and Honors will take the matters complained 
of under consideration, and either revive the said District Act, so 
far as relates to Rumford, or — which would be much more satis- 
factory to the said inhabitants — incorporate them by a standing act, 
and by their former known boundaries, that the said inhabitants, may 
be abated at least one half part of said arrearages ; and that with 
respect to their part of the current charge of the Province, 1 they 
may be subjected to pay no more than their just proportion with the 
other towns in this Province." 

A month later, the house of representatives, still insisting upon 
the policy of compelling the people of Rumford to merge their cor- 
porate identity, received from Massachusetts in that of Bow, ungra- 
ciously replied to Mr. Walker's petition, in terms substantially these : 
That the inhabitants of Bow, except those polled off to Pembroke 
and New Hopkinton, must pay the taxes, including all arrears, 
according to the act of 1763 ; that they must meet in town-meeting 
in Bow, " some time in June next, to choose all necessary officers for 
assessing and collecting the annual Province tax, and to transact all 
other town affairs ; and afterwards " to meet " some time in the 
month of March annually until further orders of the General Assem- 
bly ; " and that, upon these conditions, the petitioner " have liberty 
to bring in a bill." 2 Such conditions the people of Rumford could 
not accept without giving up their long-urged cause, and this they 
were far from being ready to do. Moreover, the tendency of events 
was towards the vindication of that cause. Recent settlers in the 
part of Bow outside the old limits of Rumford, to the southward, 
were complaining of the exaction of tax arrears and praying for 

1 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 33-4. 2 Ibid, 35. 


relief therefrom, while it was becoming more and move apparent 
that the settlement of unoccupied lands would be seriously impeded 
if the onerous requisition were enforced. Then, too, the persistent 
unanimity of Rumford, — with its "upwards of a hundred families " 
occupying by a tenure of possession not likely to be broken, — in 
insisting upon separate incorporation, and upon its lack of power, 
without such organization, to levy and collect taxes, was proving 
more than a match for the obstinacy of the Bow proprietors who 
had hitherto prevented legislative compliance with a reasonable 
request. But, in fine, whatever may have been the reasons, the 
province authorities, in the course of the year, came to the conclu- 
sion to remit tax arrears down to 1763, and to let Rumford have 
town privileges; not expressly, however, as a town, but as a parish 
of Bow. For, on the 7th of June, 1765, was enacted by the coun- 
cil, and consented to by the governor, a bill, passed by the house, 
on the 25th of May, and entitled, "An act for setting off a part of 
the Town of Bow, together with some lands adjoining thereto, with 
the inhabitants thereon, and making them a Parish ; investing them 
with such privileges and immunities as Towns in this Province have 
and do enjoy." The motive for this enactment was stated, in a pre- 
amble, to be, " That there are sundry arrearages of taxes now due 
which the inhabitants aforesaid apprehend they cannot levy for want 
of sufficient authority, and several of them" have prayed "they 
might be erected into a Town or Parish, and enjoy the common 
privileges of other towns in this Province." It was enacted that 
" the inhabitants " with " the polls and estates, on the lands and 
within the boundary, hereafter described be set off and made a 
Parish by the name of Concord, and invested and enfranchised with 
all the powers, privileges, and authorities which any Town in this 
Province doth by law enjoy, excepting, that, when any of the inhab- 
itants of the aforesaid Parish shall have occasion to lay out any road 
through any of the lands that are already laid out and divided by 
the said Town of Bow, application shall be for the same to the 
Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the said Prov- 
ince, as in other cases." The boundary of the Parish was described 
as follows : " Beginning at the mouth of Contoocook river, so called, 
which is the southeast corner of Boscawen ; from thence south, 
seventy-three degrees west, by said Boscawen, four miles; from 
thence running south seventeen degrees east, seven miles and one 
hundred rods; from thence running north seventy-three degrees east, 
about four miles, to Merrimack river; then crossing the said river, 
and still continuing the same course to Soucook river; then begin- 
ning again at the mouth of Contoocook river aforesaid, from thence 


running north seventy-three degrees east, six hundred and six rods 
from the easterly bank of Merrimack river, or till it shall come to 
the southwest line of Canterbury; from thence southeast on said 
line, two miles and eighty rods; from thence south seventeen 
degrees east, to Soucook river aforesaid ; from thence down the said 
river till it comes to where the line from Merrimack river strikes 
Soucook river." 

Provision was made for holding the first meeting 2 " for the choice 
of town officers, on the third Tuesday of August," 1765, and "the 
annual meeting, for the future, on the first Tuesday of March." It 
was also enacted that the selectmen of Concord, chosen at the first 
town-meeting, and at subsequent annual meetings " until a new 
proportion " of the province tax be made, should join with John 
Noyes and Edward Russell, of Bow proper — or the part of Bow left 
after setting off the new parish — in assessing upon the inhabitants 
both of Concord and of Bow proper, the current province taxes, as 
well as the arrears thereof for the years 1763 and 1764. 2 

The act of incorporation obtained, at last, was " humiliating," 3 
in one respect at least, "to the inhabitants of Kumford," who 
would have preferred to be expressly " erected into a town," rather 
than into a " parish of Bow " —a style of expression denoting how 
hard it was for the provincial authorities to make the concession 
so long withheld. But the people made the best of the disagree- 
able style thus given, inasmuch as Concord was essentially and 
practically a town, and order was to come again out of the munici- 
pal chaos of the last fifteen years ; during which, as in all the for- 
mer years of their settlement, they had manifested an " unanimity of 
purpose and action " 4 fitly commemorated in their new corporate 

The new apportionment of the province tax, mentioned in the act 
of incorporation, came nearly three years later. Until that time 
Concord and Bow proper were rated together. But the arrangement 
was unsatisfactory to both; and in August, 1767, the inhabitants of 
Bow, by their selectmen, complained in petition to the general 
assembly that they were " greatly abused " 5 by being so rated. In 
September a new apportionment was ordered upon an inventory to 
be taken ; and early the next year " a bill for a new proportion " was 
passed and approved, in which Bow and Concord were rated apart, 
and another disagreeable entanglement was forever relieved. 6 

The boundaries assigned to the parish of Concord differed some- 
what from those of Penacook and Kumford. The portion of the 

1 See next chapter. * Ibid, 242. 

2 Town Records, 105-6-7-8. b ibid, 245. 

s Bouton's Concord, 243. » See note at close of chapter. 


north line west of the Merrimack which was understood originally to 
have begun at the middle of the " Contoocook's mouth," now begun 
at the southerly side thereof, where the south line of Boscawen, 
incorporated by New Hampshire in 1760, had origin. Originally, 
too, the part of the north line east of the Merrimack ran easterly 
three miles to the east boundary line — the junction of the two form- 
ing the northeast angle of the old township ; now the north line ran 
eastwardly only six hundred and six rods to what was called the 
" south west line of Canterbury." Thence along this line one was 
run southeast two miles and eighty rods, to meet the original east 
line of Penacook, and the latter was thence pursued southerly to the 
Soucook river, but did not cross it as it formerly did. From the 
southern extremity of the west line, which was the original one, the 
south line coining eastward on the old course crossed the Merrimack, 
and stopped also at the Soucook without crossing it. Thus neither 
of these lines completed its original seven miles ; while the Soucook 
between their termini became a part of the boundary of Concord. 1 

By this bounding the original northeast corner of Penacook and 
Rumford — being a triangle of ten hundred and twenty-five acres, 
more or less — was left to Canterbury. This piece of land had been 
asked for by Canterbury in a petition presented to the general 
assembly in 1760, to which remonstrance had been made by the 
leading men of Rumford. 2 After Concord was incorporated the 
gore was a bone of contention between its proprietors and those of 
Canterbury, for sixteen years — or till 1781 — when a settlement was 
effected ; the former quitclaiming one hundred and fifty acres, and 
the latter eight hundred and seventy-five acres. 3 Finally, on the 
2d of January, 1784, by the act of the state legislature, the gore was 
severed from Canterbury and annexed to Concord. 4 

To give a connected and satisfactory view of the boundaries of 
Concord, it becomes necessary still further to anticipate dates. Be- 
yond the easterly line of Concord there was left to Bow a triangular 
piece of land enclosed by the Soucook river, the westerly line of 
Canterbury — afterwards Loudon — and the original east line of Rum- 
ford. This " Bow Gore " came to a point in the highland a little to 
the east of Oak hill, and contained about thirteen hundred and 
seventy-nine acres. 5 Southwestward of this was left out of Concord, 
by stopping the original south and east lines at the Soucook, a gore 
included by the prolongation of those lines and the part of the river 
between their new termini. The former of these gores was, on De- 
cember, 13, 1804, by legislative act, annexed to Concord, 6 and the 

1 See Badger's map accompanying History. * N. H. Laws, 1780-1784, p. 501. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 226-7-8. 5 Bouton's Concord, 242. 

3 Proprietors' Records (manuscript), Vol. III. « Ibid; N. H. State Papers, Vol. XXVII, 151. 


latter to Pembroke. 1 At the same time still another gore, sometimes 
called " Bow Gore " or " New Concord," lying southward of the 
south line, and enclosed by it and the Merrimack and Soucook 
rivers, was severed from Bow and united with Concord. The south 
boundary line at the " Great Bend," or " Bow," of the Merrimack, 
below the " Eleven Lots," crossing the river at two points, left on 
the Bow side a tongue of land containing about forty acres, which, 
in 1856, became a part of Concord. Thus, finally were settled the 
bounds as they have remained to the present day. 

The act incorporating Concord was declared to be " an act for 
setting off a part of the town of Bow, together with some lands ad- 
joining thereto, with the inhabitants thereon." These " adjoining " 
lands comprised that fourth part of Rumford which was not covered 
by the incubus of Bow lying obliquely over it. There were ten 
families upon that fraction of territory when the act was passed ; a 
fact showing that population had spread out to some distance from 
the main settlements along the Merrimack. Pioneers had made their 
homes on the outskirts of Rumford, especially towards the west and 
north. Thus Ezekiel Dimond had built his log house close by Hop- 
kinton, on the hill 2 which was to bear his name. There he dwelt 
having Daniel and Jonathan Chase as neighbors, and sometimes be- 
ing compelled by Indian alarms to seek refuge for himself and family 
in Parson Walker's fort, where once his good wife finished the weav- 
ing of her web, snatched from the loom at home, and borne away 
with " yarn-beam," wound about with " reed and harness." 8 To 
the northward, near " Broad Cove " of the Contoocook, was the 
home of Enoch Webster. Down the river at the " Borough," 
Richard Elliot, returning from ranger service in the recent war, 
had settled, and had erected his sawmill at the " Outlet." North- 
eastward, near the mouth of the Contoocook, the brothers, Benjamin 
and Nathaniel Rolfe, had their farm. The wild wood site of modern 
Penacook was coming under white occupation, though the occupants 
might hear at night the howling of wolves near by, and see the 
" cattle, conscious of danger," huddled " in some corner of the field," 
with the older and stronger enclosing the younger and weaker in an 
instinctive posture of defense. 4 

While the unoccupied lands were turning into farms, the first 
decided moving of that mercantile activity which was to distinguish 
Concord was felt in the principal settlement. In 1761, Andrew Mc- 
Millan, who had arrived in America at the beginning of the recent 

1 Senate Proceedings, Pamph. Ed., 146; see also note at close of chapter. 

2 Where is now (1900) the farm of Isaac N. Abbott, 
3 Bouton's Concord, 642. 

4 Ibid, 236. 

l 7 


war, in which he had served, came to Concord, and commenced trade 
in a one-story shop standing at the northwest angle of the modern 
Main and Pleasant streets. This enterprising merchant and influen- 
tial citizen carried a miscellaneous stock of dry goods and groceries, 
including, after the custom of the time, a supply of liquors and wines. 
His ledger showed sales of tea and coffee ; of sugar, pepper, and 
raisins ; of buckram, cambric, and gauze ; of broadcloth and blue 
" camblet "; of hat-crape, men's gloves and women's ditto, white and 
black; of buttons and silk thread; of chalk and powder, mugs and 
punch-bowls ; of combs, pipes, and post-paper ; of snakeroot and 
clove-water ; of rum (West India and New England), brandy, and 
wine, by the quart or gallon — sometimes, the glass — to say nothing 
of the occasional " bowl of toddy." 1 These items indicate the de- 
mands of the community, and the mention of them is suggestive of the 
wants and habits of the people. Colonel McMillan's business part- 
ner for one year — the year when Rumford became Concord — was 
Timothy Walker, Jr., the minister's only son, who subsequently 
opened a store of his own at the North End, near his father's resi- 
dence, and there continued in trade "until the beginning of the 
Revolution." 2 

There exists no record of the public school in Rumford during the 
troublous years of war and litigation, and of confusion resulting from 
deprivation of town privileges ; but it is safe to infer that school 
instruction found some support from voluntary contribution, in the 
absence of power to make a school tax. Certainly, home instruction 
was not entirely lacking, and boys and girls, with no more than six 
weeks' schooling in their lives, became, through the efforts of intelli- 
gent parents, fairly adept in reading, arithmetic, and penmanship. 
Such training, some, at least, of the ten children of Ezekiel and Miriam 
Dimond received — and not infrequently under difficult conditions ; 
as, when, on winter evenings, they lay down before the great kitchen 
fire, and in the light of blazing pitch-pine knots practised their writ- 
ing lessons upon birch bark. 

Inasmuch, too, as the minister's salary could not be met by taxa- 
tion, that charge had to be defrayed, for sixteen years, from the vol- 
untary offerings of the people, who, even amid Indian alarms and 
land litigations, would not forsake the public worship of Cod. And 
when, in 1751, the ancient log meeting-house by West's brook be- 
came too small to accommodate the worshipers, and was falling into 
decay, a way was found to secure a new one, notwithstanding the 
disability to act in the capacity of a town. Individuals, called " The 
Proprietors of the Meeting-House," purchased the acre and a half lot, 

i Bouton's Concord, 233-4-5, * Ibid, 579. 


lying eastward of and near the buiying-ground, and numbering four 
in the second range of house-lots, as " laid out to the original right 
of Nathan Fisk, alias, Zachariah Chandler/' 1 On this was erected, in 
that year, " the main body " of a house, which in time was to under- 
go much change. This structure was framed " of the best white 
oak," and " was sixty feet long, forty-six wide, and two stories 
high." 2 It was three days in "raising," commencing on the 12th of 
June. A " large gathering of people " was in attendance, and the 
women of the parish cooked and provided food " on the spot." The 
new house of worship, when made reasonably available for use, — 
though it was to remain unfinished for years, — had neither porch nor 
gallery, belfry nor spire. Its one door opened from the south upon 
an aisle that led to the pulpit on the north side. Along the aisle, and 
flanking the pulpit, "were coarse benches," on which sat the wor- 
shipers, — men and women apart ; the former, on the west side, the 
latter, on the east. The pulpit had near it the minister's pew, — the 
only pew, — and before it the " deacon's seat," on which those digni- 
taries sat confronting the congregation. Such was the Old North 
church when it was new, — an unadorned temple, but endowed with 
an untold wealth of social, moral, and religious blessings for a whole 
community dwelling upon an area of more than forty square miles. 


Captain Chandler s Scout, 1754- The following are the names of 
the men in command of Captain John Chandler : Obadiah Maxwell, 
Phineas Virgin, Moses Eastman, Edward Abbot, Jr., Jacob Potter, 
David Kimball, John Hoyt, Jonathan Fifield, Thomas Merrill. 

List of Rumford Men in Fifth Company of Colonel Blanehard"s 
Regiment, 1755. Besides the names of the officers and men of the 
company given in the text, the following complete the list: David 
Copps (sergeant), Nathaniel Morse (clerk), David Evans (corporal), 
Obadiah Maxwell, Nathaniel Rix, Jonathan Chase, Ebenezer Copps, 
Asa Kimball, Ebenezer Simonds, James Farnum, Reuben Simonds, 
Judah Trumble, Isaac Walker, John Webster. 

Rumford Men in Colonel Meserve's Regiment, 1750. Major John 
Goffe of this regiment was also captain of its seventh company, in 
which were the following persons enrolled from Rumford : Thomas 
Merrill, 2d lieutenant ; Joseph Eastman, sergeant (perhaps, of Bos- 
cawen) ; John Straw, Jonathan Fifield, James Blanchard, Paul 
Fowler, Isaac Walker, 2d, Zebediah Farnum. 

Rumford Men in Colonel Hart's Command and Elsewhere. The 
three mentioned in the text as connected with Colonel Hart's regi- 

i Bouton's Concord, 285, ' Ibid, 230. 


ment in 1758, were: Edward Abbot, Ebenezer Simonds, and Nathaniel 
Eastman. It is also known that Daniel, Joshua, Samuel, and Jacob 
Abbot, Benjamin Bradley, Amos and Stilson Eastman, Richard 
Elliot, David Evans, Benjamin Hannaford, Stephen Hoyt, Philip 
Shute, and " no doubt others," as says Dr. Bouton, " were, for some 
time, engaged in the French and Indian wars, either in the regular 
service, or as Rangers." 

Boiv and Concord in 1768. Bow, at that time, counted 48 polls ; 
Concord, 179. Bow had ,£1,500 of ratable estate, and its propor- 
tion to £1,000 of the Province tax was £3 lis. Concord showed, 
under the same heads, £6,500, and £15 10s. N. H. Prov. Papers, 
Vol. VII, U3 and 166. 

Bow Gore. This included the territory east of the Merrimack, 
about Garvin's Falls. 

Another Parcel of Bow Annexed. The parcel of Bow annexed to 
Concord in 1856 was, at that time, owned by Albert Foster and 
Leonard Bell. At an earlier date it belonged to Paul Rolfe, son of 
Benjamin Rolfe, so prominent in the early history of Concord. 

William Phillips. After the French and Indian War, Phillips 
lived for some time in Rumford. Forming an acquaintance with 
Miss Eleanor Eastman, daughter of Ebenezer Eastman, Jr., he 
married her on a forged license. Tradition says that the marriage 
took place in Lieut. John Chandler's tavern. Instead of a minister, 
the marriage service was performed by a justice of the peace. They 
had one son. About the year 1784, Phillips's wife left him and 
joined the Shakers at Canterbury. Phillips afterwards led a roving, 
unsettled life. He finally became a town charge. It was at length 
discovered that he had once gained a settlement in Northfield, and 
he was put upon that town, where he died about the year 1819, 
supposed to be nearly one hundred years old. His wife died at the 
Shaker settlement in Canterbury, November 17, 1816, aged seventy. 
Bouton s Concord, 201. 


The Parish of Concord. — The Period of the American 



By the act incorporating Concord, Samuel Emerson, of Chester, 
was appointed to call the first meeting of the parish for the choice of 
town officers, to be held on the third Tuesday of August, 1705. 
But some unexplained " accident intervening," the meeting was not 
duly called, and, of course, was not held. The general court tried 
again at the November session, and by special resolve, " directed 
and authorized the said Emerson " to call the meeting within the 
parish, "on the third Tuesday of January, 17(36." This time the 
legislative order was complied with, and the first " legal meeting of 
the freeholders and inhabitants of the Parish of Concord " was held 
"on the twenty-first day of January, 1766," 1 with Lieutenant 
Richard Haseltine, for moderator, and Peter Coffin, parish clerk. 
Certain other town officers, deemed of immediate necessity, were 
chosen ; such as, selectmen, tythingmen, surveyors of highways, a 
constable, a sealer of leather, and a sealer of weights and measures. 1 
This action served to lubricate the long disused wheels of town 
government, which were to be put into complete running order at 
the coming annual meeting in March, when the tenure of the officers 
elected at this time would expire. 

On Tuesday, the 4th of March, that first annual meeting of Con- 
cord came, and Dr. Ezra Carter was chosen moderator, and Benjamin 
Rolfe, Esq., parish clerk. The officers elected in January were, 
with a few changes and additions, rechosen ; and the official list was 
completed by the choice of fence-viewers, field-drivers, hog-reeves, 
and surveyors of lumber. After the choice of officers, the first and 
only important business transacted was a vote to raise one hundred 
pounds, lawful money, "for paying the Reverend Mr. Walker's 
salary" for one year, "from the 26th of May, 1765, together with 
other necessary charges of the parish." 2 

At a special meeting held on the 25th of March, the school was 
the main subject of action ; and it was voted " that the school shall 
be kept on the easterly side of the river, such part of the year as 
their rates for the school shall come to of the polls and estates that 

1 Town Records, 109. s Ibid, 110-11. 


lie to the northward of Sugar Ball ; also, at a place that will best 
accommodate those persons that live upon Contoocook road, north- 
ward of Nathan Colby's, and those persons that live westward of 
said road, such part of the year as their rates will pay ; also, at a 
place that will best accommodate those persons that live upon Hop- 
kinton road, westerly of Theodore Stevens, and westerly of Turkey 
river, such a part of the year as their rates will pay ; and the 
remainder of the year it shall be kept in the town street, about the 
middle way from Captain Chandler's to Lot Colby's. 1 This arrange- 
ment for " keeping the school in the several parts of the parish " was 
continued for some years. 2 The "middle way" location of the 
school " in the town street," or principal settlement, was on the west 
side of Main street, between the points of junction therewith of the 
modern Park and Centre streets; 3 Captain John Chandler's resi- 
dence being near the Bradley premises, and on the southerly side of 
the road running westerly by them ; 3 Lot Colby's, at the Eleven 
Lots. 3 Provision was also made during this year and the next, for 
letting the " interval lots," belonging to the school right, on the east 
and west sides of Merrimack river. 

The highways, also, received early attention ; for at the same 
meeting at which the school was regulated, it was " voted that each 
man " should, that year, " work rive days upon the highways," and 
the " pound " — the latter to be placed by the selectmen, where they 
should think best. One of the highway surveyors was Lieutenant 
Ebenezer Virgin, an original proprietor, a pioneer settler in East 
Concord, an enterprising man, and a valuable citizen. He died in 
office, and on the 10th of November, at a special parish meeting, 
Phinehas, the eldest of his seven children, was chosen to succeed 
him. 4 Six years later, the specific sum of sixty pounds was raised 
for making and repairing highways — being the first definite appropri- 
ation for that purpose. 

Among the matters requiring attention, under restored municipal 
order, was the province tax, which seems to have been promptly 
raised, though at first in entanglement with Bow. " For making the 
rates," the selectmen were allowed special compensation, and Benja- 
min Emery received " six pence on the pound for collecting the 
tax." 5 

It was at the annual meeting of the parish, in March, 1767, that 
Dr. Ezra Carter, presiding as moderator, performed the last of the 
many official duties entrusted to him by his fellow-citizens. His 
death occurred on the 17th of the following September, when he was 

1 Town Records, 112. * Town Records, 113. 

*Ibid, 116. "Ibid, 116. 

s See notes at close of chapter. 


only forty-eight years old. Since 1740, when, at the age of twenty- 
one, he had come up from South Hampton, with his father, three 
brothers, and a sister, to find a home in Rumford, he had successfully 
practised his profession, the regular study of which he had pursued. 
He had taken as a wife, while yet in her early teens, Ruth, the only 
daughter of the late Captain Ebenezer Eastman, and thus had con- 
nected himself with a family influential in the town. His own ability 
and usefulness as a citizen had been duly appreciated and put in re- 
quisition. As a magistrate, in the capacity of justice of the peace, lie 
had striven to reconcile the differences of his neighbors, — often throw- 
ing in his fees to accomplish the result, — so that he had come to be 
called the "peacemaker." His genial wit and pleasant conversation 
made him a social favorite ; while, as has been said of him, " when 
called to visit the sick and desponding, he never failed to administer 
with his remedies for the body a cordial to the mind." 1 " Benevolence 
and mercy " eminently characterized his life. 

The first physician of Concord soon had two successors : Ebenezer 
Harnden Goss, who married Mary, a daughter of the Reverend Timo- 
thy Walker, and subsequently served as a surgeon in the Revolution ; 
and Phillip McCarrigain, or Carrigain, of Scotch descent, and of note 
in general and surgical practice. Henceforth, the medical profession 
was ever to be well represented in Concord. 2 

It was also in the 3 r ear 1767 that Peter Green came hither from 
Worcester, and, at the age of twenty-one, opened a law office ; being 
the first representative of the legal profession to settle in Concord, 
and the only one, until sixteen years later, when Edward St. Loe 
Livermore became a resident practitioner in the parish. These two 
head the long list of Concord members of the bar. 3 

The same year the first census of the province was taken. The 
return for Concord showed seven hundred and fifty-two inhabitants, 
as follows : Sixty-two unmarried men, from sixteen to sixty ; one 
hundred and twenty-five married men, between the same ages ; eigh- 
teen men, of sixty and above ; one hundred and eighty-nine boys, of 
sixteen and under ; two hundred and four unmarried females ; one 
hundred and twenty-six married women ; fifteen widows ; thirteen 
slaves — nine male, and four female. 

The last item of enumeration is a reminder of the fact that slavery 
existed in those days north of Mason and Dixon's line, and even in 
New Hampshire. As it existed in this province, including Concord, 
it was of mild form ; and the treatment of slaves was generally hu- 

1 Annals of Concord, 35. 

2 The special chapter on the Medical Profession will supply details as to these and other 
members thereof, which, consequently, will be omitted from this general narrative. 

s See special chapter on the Bench and Bar for detailed information as to these and sub- 
sequent members of the legal profession in Concord. 


mane, and "their labor not more severe than that of white people." 1 
In Concord though the slaves were few, and the masters merciful, 
yet strange to the philanthropic sense of to-day seem the deeds of 
sale by which property in human chattels was then transferred. As 
when in 17(31, " Hannah Bowers of Billerica, widow, . . . sold 
unto Lot Colby of Rumford, ... a mulatto negro boy, named 
Salem, and . . . received forty-five shillings sterling in full con- 
sideration for the said boy." 2 Or, as again, when Benjamin Osgood 
of Concord, in 17(37, gave the following deed : " Received of Andrew 
McMillan, the sum of forty-seven pounds ten shillings lawful money, 
in full consideration for my negro boy slave named Caesar, aged 
about eleven years, which negro boy I have this day sold to said Mc- 
Millan, and promise to warrant and defend the property of the said 
negro boy to him the said McMillan, and his heirs or assigns forever, 
against the claims of any other person or persons whatsoever." 3 

In accordance, however, with the spirit and fashion of that time, 
some of the worthiest men of the parish were masters of slaves. 
Colonel Benjamin Rolfe left, at his decease, as part of his property, a 
negro, appraised, in inventory, at fifty-five pounds lawful money. 4 
Abraham Bradley paid thirty bushels of corn for Pompey, a slave, 
who became " a favorite in the family." In his will, the kind master 
gave his slave to his grandson John, with this order to his executor : 
" To take especial care that my said negro be not wronged by my 
aforesaid grandson in any way ; and if he should wrong him, I give 
him power to do him justice." Pompey was also given " the use and 
improvement of one half-acre of land, " on the family premises, " dur- 
ing his natural life." 4 The Reverend Mr. Walker once had in his 
service a good-natured, faithful man, Prince, " much attached to his 
master," and also two women, Luce and Violet, as domestics. These 
had their freedom " on the adoption of the State Constitution." 5 Lieu- 
tenant Richard Herbert bought, in 1768, for five dollars, the little 
girl Nancy, when about eighteen months old, and brought her up with 
his family. She learned to read, and used to say in after years that 
she " was treated just the same as the other children," but she sup- 
posed " she did not expect so much "; and also that " she was never 
conscious of a wish that she had been born white." 5 When she was 
fifteen years of age, the constitution of New Hampshire was adopted, 
with the declaration of its Bill of Rights, " All men are born equally 
free and independent," under which it was generally held that slavery 
in the state was abolished. The poor girl had dreaded the adoption of 
the constitution that would make her free, fearing that she might be 

1 Belknap, Vol. Ill, 281. * Bouton's Concord, 252. 

1 Bouton's Concord, 250. ° Ibid, 253. 

> Ibid, 249, 50. 


separated from her home and friends in Concord. When the fact 
was announced to her that the dreaded event had transpired, and that 
she was no longer a slave, she burst into tears, exclaiming, " What 
will become of me ! " But her late master and other friends, to her 
great joy " gathered round " to assure her that " she should remain 
in her old and only home." And there Nancy, the freedwoman, did 
remain, in the Herbert family, during the residue of a long life of 
seventy-nine years. Immediate arrangement was made for her com- 
pensation in future service ; and she was remembered in subsequent 
bequests. " She became a member of the church, and honored her 
profession. She was sensible and dignified in manners — faithful, 
affectionate and cheerful. She read much — usually the Bible. In 
her charities, she felt a particular interest in the Education Society, 
in the cause of Missions, and in all efforts for the elevation of her 
race." 1 This incident and others just cited tend to show what in- 
voluntary servitude was in Concord, and attest that though it was 
slavery, it was not oppression. 

When the " Stamp Act " was passed, John Wentworth, a nephew 
of Governor Benning Wentworth, was in England, and, as co-agent 
of New Hampshire with Barlow Trecothick, successor of John Tliom- 
linson, had presented the remonstrances of the province against the 
measure. The uncle had been governor twenty-five years, and had 
now reached the age of seventy. His administration had been, in 
many respects, a successful one, though somewhat difficult, especially 
from the two French and Indian wars. But certain charges made 
against it, including the taking of " exorbitant fees for the passing of 
patents of land," 1 had caused the English ministry to resolve upon a 
supersedure. Largely, however, through the influence of his young 
and popular nephew the veteran official was allowed to resign with- 
out censure, and in favor of that nephew. 2 So John Wentworth 
became governor of New Hampshire, and entered upon the duties of 
his office on the 13th of June, 1767. His administration fell upon 
troublous times; at its beginning the great Revolution was darkly 
looming which was to burst in " hurricane " upon its end. 3 

The change of governors was agreeable to the people of Concord, if 
for no other reason than that Benning Wentworth was one of the 
official " Proprietors of Bow " from whose contentions they had 
suffered so much. He had, to be sure, as governor, twice attempted 
to give them representation in the assembly; but that commendable 
action was hardly sufficient to render a Bow proprietor persona <ir<tt<i 

1 Bouton's Concord, 253-4. 

2 Belknap, 335. 

3 Ibid, 336. 

« Governor Wentworth's letter to a friend in 1774; Belknap, 352 (note). 


with them. The gratification felt at the accession of John Went- 
worth seems not to have been disappointed ; for, six years later, in 
an address to the governor penned by the young Benjamin Thomp- 
son — afterwards Count Rumford — and adopted in town-meeting, the 
popular appreciation found warm expression. 

Tins testimonial, presented in the spring of 1773, denotes that till 
then the administration of John Wentworth had well subserved the 
interests of the people, and had, by its prudence, tended to hold 
somewhat in abeyance that energy of revolutionary resistance which 
was, erelong, to be manifested in New Hampshire, as elsewhere. 

One generally beneficial measure, early adopted under this admin- 
istration and going into effect, with the royal sanction, in 1771, was 
the division of the province into five counties. Hitherto all courts 
had been held at Portsmouth, to the great and growing inconvenience 
of remote localities. Even now the relief afforded by this measure 
to many other parts of the province was not felt by Concord, which 
was assigned to Rockingham county with Portsmouth and Exeter, 
as shire towns — the former fifty-five miles away and the latter forty. 
Accordingly, in March, 1773, the inhabitants, in parish meeting, 
appointed Andrew McMillan to petition the general court in their 
behalf that Concord might be annexed to Hillsborough county, pro- 
vided that a term of the inferior and the superior court, each, might 
be annually held in the parish ; in other words, that Concord might 
be a half-shire town with Amherst. A petition to that effect was 
presented in January, 1774, and a hearing was ordered thereon in 
March, but before the date of hearing the governor had dissolved the 
assembly, and the petition came to naught. Revolutionary commo- 
tion was stirring in earnest, and the assembly, by its unanimous 
approbation of measures suggested by other colonies " for the security 
of the whole against the designs of those who " were " for reducing 
them to a state of slavery," 1 had alarmed the amiable governor, who 
thought it best to try the virtue of abrupt dissolution. Indeed, it 
was becoming daily more and more difficult for John Wentworth to 
reconcile duty to his king, whose commission he held, with conces- 
sion to the will of his people. 

Under the new county law jurors from Concord were, for the first 
time, impaneled in the courts, where, during the long years of the 
Bow controversy, now ended, the inhabitants of Rumford had had 
more than enough of burdensome experience as parties. In 1771 or 
1772 Ebenezer Hall and Joshua Abbot served as jurors; and, on 
August 24th of the latter year at a special town-meeting, " Mr. Lot 
Colby," as says the record, " was drawn out of the box for a juror," 

i N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 358. 


with compensation fixed at " three shillings a clay." The same pay 
was also voted to future jurors, as well as to the two who had served 
before. 1 

The desire of the people of Concord to procure amendments of 
their charter in removing the restriction upon their power to lay out 
roads, and in making " the boundaries of the parish as extensive as " 
those of Rumford had been, was not gratified. In December, 1772, 
they had desired Andrew McMillan to present to the " Honorable 
General Court a petition for those purposes." But a request for 
such reasonable legislation, which, in ordinary times might have 
found compliance, could not find it in those days of revolutionary 
ferment. For the last three provincial assemblies were preoccupied 
with momentous questions concerning the defense of American liber- 
ties, and were constantly interrupted, in consequence, by an anxious 
governor's edicts of adjournment, prorogation, or dissolution. 

Nor was Concord ever to be represented in a provincial assembly. 
( hi the first day of March, 1771, " Peter Green, Esq.," was " appointed 
agent to petition the Governor and Council for a Representative." 2 
But nothing came of it. The governor summoned to the last pro- 
vincial assembly under his administration — convoked for the fourth 
of May, 1775 — members from several newly-settled places, hitherto 
unrepresented, but he neglected older and more important ones, and 
among these the parish of Concord. Doubtless he wanted, at that 
crisis, as many men in the assembly as possible who would be more 
subservient to his anti-revolutionary purposes than any representative 
that patriotic Concord would be likely to elect. 

While the parish was making the most of its municipal privileges 
in promoting the varied interests of a well-regulated community, the 
proprietary were contributing effective efforts to the same end. As 
written in another connection, the proprietors of Rumford succeeded 
during the years between 1762 and 1775 in adjusting difficulties 
with their Bow antagonists. It is to be added, that, on several occa- 
sions, lands were laid out to requite individuals for losses incurred in 
the controversy ; but a general division of " the common lands " was 
not made till near the close of the Revolution. Preliminary steps 
thereto had been taken in 1771, but it was not until 1781 that the 
purpose was accomplished. On the 5th of December of that year a 
committee, consisting of Benjamin Emery, Timothy Walker, Jr., and 
Robert Davis, reported that they had "laid out one hundred and 
three lots." 3 The report having been accepted, " the proprietors 
proceeded at once to draw and pitch their lots ; " 3 and the same com- 
mittee received authority " to sell the remainder of the common 

1 Town Records, 131. 2 Ibid, 137. s Proprietors' Records. 


land." 1 So the proprietary lands of Concord had, at last, mostly 
come into individual ownership. Meanwhile, too, as elsewhere men- 
tioned, Massachusetts, in recognition of the trials of those who had 
planted and held the perilous outpost of her territorial claim along 
the upper Merrimack, had granted a new proprietorship of another 
Rumford, on the banks of the Androscoggin in the woods of Maine, 
by way of remuneration for " losses incurred in the controversy with 

The proprietors, on the 7th of May, 1771, chose John Kimball 
clerk ; for Benjamin Rolfe, who had held the place forty years, was 
nearing the end of life. Seven months later, on the 21st of Decem- 
ber, he died in the sixty-second year of his age. His prominent effi- 
ciency in the settlement, as a plantation, township, district, parish, 
or non-corporate organization, has been noticed on foregoing pages. 
The father, Henry Rolfe, having been a leading spirit in planting 
Penacook and incorporating Rumford, had returned ere long to his 
Massachusetts home, leaving the son, a young man of liberal educa- 
tion and of good capacity for affairs, to identify himself with a people 
whose interests he was so faithfully to serve. This son enjoyed from 
the first the confidence of his fellow-citizens, and retained it to the 
last. He held all the important offices, frequently two or more. at a 
time. He longest filled the position of town clerk, in which he was, 
upon declining further service, succeeded in 1769 by Timothy 
Walker, Jr. Though not a lawyer, Benjamin Rolfe was a capable 
legal adviser, and satisfactorily discharged the various duties of a 
civil magistrate. He also had military experience, particularly in the 
first French and Indian War, with the rank of colonel. By inheri- 
tance, and by his own industry and prudent management, he ac- 
quired a large property in lands, and, at his death, was accounted the 
richest man in Concord. 2 Colonel Rolfe had remained single till his 
sixtieth year, when he married Sarah Walker, the minister's eldest 
daughter, thirty years younger than himself. 2 The son Paul, born of 
the brief union, inherited his father's estates, inventoried at four 
thousand and eighty-two pounds lawful money. 2 Before his mar- 
riage Colonel Rolfe " lived in a one-story house " 8 at the Eleven Lots, 
but after that event he built and occupied the larger and more com- 
modious dwelling which still stands, as a venerable historic relic, and 
as part of an asylum sacred to the noble charity of relieving orphan- 
age in Concord. 

Among those who were teaching school in the parish at that period, 
such as Abial Chandler, the surveyor, Joseph Emery, Patrick Quin- 
lon and Robert Hogg, 4 with sundry " school-mistresses " whose names 

1 Proprietors' Records. s Ibid, 556. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 555. 4 See Town Accounts in Bouton's Concord, 258. 


are not recorded, was Benjamin Thompson, of Woburn, already 
spoken of as author of a congratulatory address to Governor Went- 
worth. He came to Concord in 1772, upon invitation of Timothy 
Walker, Jr. He was then a youth of nineteen, without the advantage 
of liberal education, but of a scientific and philosophic turn, which 
had been gratified, three years before, by a course of philosophical 
lectures at Cambridge. Before this, he had been set to the study of 
medicine, but only to his disgust ; he had then been put at employ- 
ment in a store, and with much the same result, till, indeed, his 
widowed mother and other friends became impressed with a belief 
that he would never fix his mind upon any regular employment by 
which he could gain a support. 1 But he tried his hand at in- 
struction in Bradford, and with better inclination and success ; 
and coming to Concord, he followed the same pursuit, to popular 

In the handsome, genial, gifted schoolmaster there was promise of 
greatness, and his generously endowed nature felt the pricking of 
concomitant ambition. By his marriage, in his twenty-first year, 
with the widow of Benjamin Rolfe, means became his with which the 
better to gratify his liking for personal display and the attractions of 
polite society. Accompanied by his wife, he journeyed to Portsmouth 
in a curricle, the most expensive carriage of that day, and won, by 
his fine manliness of presence and address, much attention in the 
provincial capital. Governor Wentworth conceived high admiration 
for the brilliant young man, and soon after commissioned him to be 
major of the Eleventh regiment of militia. This mark of esteem and 
confidence was gratifying to the recipient, who had military taste and 
aptitude. But the appointment brought with it dislike from many 
who took it as an act of gross favoritism and inexcusable supersedure. 
Besides, as the favor was conferred by a royal governor, already fall- 
ing into unpopularity for his support of the crown against the colo- 
nies, the favorite major was eyed with not a little suspicion. The 
Sons of Liberty 2 were on the alert. In their view he who was not for 
the American cause was against it, and, of that cause, Major Thomp- 
son had been heard to speak doubtfully. When, to the disgust and 
indignation of the people of New Hampshire, their governor under- 
took to render aid to General Gage, nominal governor of Massachu- 
setts, it seems that Thompson, as Wentworth's petted friend, was 
induced to lend a helping hand. That he did so is attested by the 
governor himself, in the following words of a letter written to the Earl 
of Dartmouth, on the 15th of November, 1774 : " I have been success- 

1 Annals of Concord, 55. 

3 An association of zealous friends of the American cause. 


ful in prevailing on soldiers deserted from the King's troops at Boston, 
to return to their duty, through the spirited and prudent activity of 
Major Thompson, a militia officer of New Hampshire, whose manage- 
ment the General writes me, promises further success." 2 It is likely 
that this spirited activity of the major upon the wrong side came to 
the notice of his watchful neighbors, and intensified the popular en- 
mity towards him. When, therefore, he ventured to entertain at his 
house two British officers of Gage's army in Boston, visiting Con- 
cord on furlough, patriotic feeling was so inflamed against him that, 
to avoid threatened personal violence at the hands of some of the 
more impulsive Sons of Liberty, he left his home, wife, and infant 
daughter, never to return to them. He found in his native town of 
Woburn, whither he had withdrawn, a similar intensity of feeling 
against him, rendering his stay there unsafe. He strove in vain to 
efface the mark of toryism which had been set upon him. At the 
coming of the war, the revolutionary measures leading to which he 
had not favored, the high-minded young man of twenty-two seems to 
have been ready, in good faith, to cast in his lot with his country- 
men and fight for American liberty. He offered his military ser- 
vices, but suspicion prevented acceptance. Enemies, actuated partly 
by patriotic motives, and partly by motives less praiseworthy, over- 
bore all his efforts to right himself, till finally he felt obliged to seek 
security within the British lines. 

The promise of capacity for high achievement was not to be veri- 
fied in his own land ; the field for the brilliant efforts of his versatile 
genius in science, philosophy, military affairs, statesmanship, and 
philanthropy, lay in lands beyond the sea. In England, France, and 
Germany, the Concord schoolmaster and major of the New Hamp- 
shire militia was, in forty years, to accomplish the great historic life- 
work of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford. 2 

The allusions to the militia just made suggest that in 1774 the 
military organization of the province embraced twelve regiments 
of infantry ; three new ones having been recently added to the nine 
that had existed in the time of the Seven Years' War. Concord was 
assigned to the Eleventh, and to this was ever afterwards to belong. 
Andrew McMillan was the first colonel of the new regiment, with 
Thomas Stickney as lieutenant-colonel, and Benjamin Thompson as 
major. McMillan having removed to Conway, Stickney succeeded 
him in the command of the regiment. Concord supplied two com- 
panies, of which Joshua Abbot and Abial Chandler were captains ; 
Jonathan Stickney and Ebenezer Virgin, lieutenants ; John Shute 

1 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 418. 

l See Countess Rumford in note at close of chapter. 


and Jonathan Eastman, ensigns. The names of the privates have 
not been preserved, but the number on the alarm list was one hun- 
dred and ninety. 1 Governor Wentworth, as captain-general, had 
sought to improve the militia; but he was soon to see whatever 
military spirit and discipline he had succeeded in diffusing turned 
against the crown under which he held commission, and whose 
interests he was diligent to serve. 

Revolutionary events thickened. When on the 8th of June, 1774, 
the governor dissolved the newly called assembly, because it had 
appointed a committee of correspondence to effect united action with 
the other colonies, he thought he had dissolved the committee. 2 But 
he soon found his mistake when, on the 6th of July, a body of rep- 
resentatives, summoned by that committee, convened in the legisla- 
tive chamber. Hastening thither with the sheriff of Rockingham 
county, the representative of the king pronounced this meeting of 
the people's representatives illegal, and ordered them to disperse. 
They did not disperse, but taking time to deliberate, simply ad- 
journed in due order to meet at another place. There they decided 
to request by letter all the towns and parishes of the province to 
send deputies to a convention to be held at Exeter, on the 21st of 
July instant, for the choice of delegates to a general congress ap- 
pointed to meet at Philadelphia early in September. 3 The request 
was answered by the appearance of eighty-five delegates in the first 
provincial convention at the time and place designated. 4 The names 
of the deputies are lost ; but it is probable that Timothy Walker, 
Jr., son of the minister of Concord, was in attendance. 5 Major John 
Sullivan and Colonel Nathaniel Folsom were appointed to attend 
the first continental congress, and the sufferings of the people of 
Boston under the revengeful port bill were commended to the be- 
nevolent consideration of the people of the province. 

The die of war was cast at Lexington. All have heard the oft- 
repeated story, how from the hills and valleys of New Hampshire 
straightway rushed hundreds of heroes to the scene of encounter. 
Nor were the men of Concord laggards then. Thirty-six volunteers, 
with Captain Abial Chandler at their head, were soon away for Cam- 
bridge, where they tarried a fortnight. ( )thers of their townsmen 
closely followed. Unfortunately the names of the men of Concord 
who were thus of the first to fly to arms in the American Revolu- 
tion are not upon record. Their services, however, were recognized 
the following December in the vote " That Captain Abial Chandler 
and those men who went under him to Cambridge, upon the alarm 

1 Bouton's Concord, 258, and note. *Ibid, 407. 

2 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 399-400. 6 See Town Accounts in Bouton's Concord, 259. 

s Ibid, 400*401. 


in April last, be paid by the parish at the same rates that other 
troops in this colony are paid.''' 1 

While the men of New Hampshire, " tired with zeal in the common 
cause, were thus rushing to the assistance " of their Massachusetts 
brethren, " a special convention of delegates " was hastily called 
from accessible towns to consider the measures " expedient to be 
taken at " the " alarming crisis." 2 This third convention met at 
Exeter on the 21st of April — only two days after the Lexington 
affair — with sixty-eight delegates from the nearest towns in attend- 
ance ; but by the twenty-fifth the number being swelled by accessions 
from remoter places reached one hundred and nine. Reverend Timo- 
thy Walker appeared as the delegate from Concord. The convention 
at once met one emergency by a vote requesting " Colonel Nathaniel 
Folsom immediately to take the chief command of the troops who 
have gone or may go from this government to assist our suffering 
brethren in the Massachusetts Bay." 3 Most of the measures con- 
sidered were, however, left for final decision to another " convention 
of deputies," already called by the provincial committee to be held 
on the 17th of May. 4 In compliance with this call the "freeholders 
and inhabitants of Concord " chose Timothy Walker, Jr., as a deputy 
to the proposed convention, " for the term of six months from the 
said 17th day of May current." 5 

Before this fourth convention met the last provincial assembly of 
New Hampshire convened at Portsmouth on the 4th of May. It 
contained thirty-seven members £rom as many towns. Concord and 
some other of the older and more populous places had not been 
invited by the governor to send representatives, but three of the 
newer and smaller ones — Lyme, Orford, and Plymouth — were 
favored with his writs of election, and sent members. The gov- 
ernor's address was conciliatory, but fell upon unwilling ears. Peti- 
tions complaining of the election of members from three towns 
hitherto unrepresented were read and referred to a committee of 
ominously patriotic make-up. Besides, a committee was forthwith 
appointed to request an adjournment to some time early in June 
next, in order that the members might have an opportunity of fully 
consulting their constituents respecting the several weighty matters 
necessary to be considered at the present session. The great motive 
of the assembly in seeking an adjournment was to await the action 
and advice of the coming provincial congress ; while, besides, there 
were some persons that had been elected to serve in both bodies. 
Annoying, humiliating even, though it was to the governor, that the 

1 Town Records, 148. * Ibid, 461. 

2 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 461. 'Town Records, 146. 

3 Ibid, 454. 



regular legislature should be put by to get its cue from what seemed 
to him but a rebellious organization usurping legislative functions, 
yet he deemed it best to comply with the request, and adjourned the 
assembly to the 12th of June. 

The fourth provincial convention assembled at Exeter on the 
17th of May. Never before had any like assemblage in New Hamp- 
shire contained so full and fair a representation of the people. One 
hundred and thirty-three members, 1 from one hundred and two 
towns and parishes, were in immediate attendance, though the roll 
of membership finally showed one hundred and fifty-one names. 2 
The convention proceeded promptly and boldly to its legislative 
work. At once it was ordered that a force of two thousand men be 
raised, including the volunteers already on duty in Massachusetts. 3 
The latter were largely comprised in a regiment already under com- 
mand of Colonel John Stark, who, on the 26th of April, had received 
commission from the Massachusetts Committee of Safety, to hold 
" till New Hampshire should act." < )f the force now raised a 
brigade of three regiments was constituted, with John Stark in com- 
mand of the First, Enoch Poor of the Second, and James Reid of 
the Third. 

A committee of safety was chosen, and endowed with authority 
to act as an executive body "in the recess of the Congress." 4 
A committee of supplies was also raised, upon which much responsi- 
bility rested in procuring military stores and provisions, and in bor- 
rowing money on the faith of the colony for that purpose. 5 Of this 
committee, Timothy Walker, Jr., of Concord, was a member. 

A British army was occupying Boston ; and New England troops 
had been centering about the distressed town ever since the affair of 
Lexington. The first and second regiments of New Hampshire, in 
command of Stark and Reid, having been put in order by the 
colonial congress, stood ready, at Medford, for any call to duty. 
In Stark's regiment were companies from Concord and the vicinity, 
commanded by Captains Joshua Abbot and Gordon Hutchins : the 
first having, as one of its lieutenants, Abiel Chandler; the second, 
Daniel Livermore. Captain Aaron Kinsman, then resident in Bow, 
had a company, with Lieutenant Ebenezer Eastman and a few men 
from Concord. The Concord officers and men in these three com- 
mands numbered between thirty and forty. 6 Captain Joshua Abbot 
was of good fighting stock, being the son of Nathaniel, a proprietor 
of Penaeook, and a lieutenant of rangers in the French and Indian 
War. Captain Hutchins had been a resident of Concord for three 

» N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 468-70, 
" Ibid, 665-9. 
s Ibid, 477. 

* Ibid, 478, 485. 
c Ibid, 478, 487. 
"See listfs in notes at close of chapter. 


years at the commencement of Revolutionary hostilities. In his 
store, on the west side of Main street, a few rods south of its junc- 
tion with the Hopkinton road, or Pleasant street, he had heard of 
" Lexington." Forthwith he hastened to Exeter, and returned with 
commission to raise and organize a company for six months. This 
he did ; encouraging enlistments by furnishing " on credit " supplies 
from his store to families of his hastily enlisted men, and, in conse- 
quence, suffering considerable pecuniary loss. 1 

When it was known to the investing camp that the English in 
Boston contemplated occupying Bunker Hill, an advantageous posi- 
tion in Charlestown, the Americans determined to anticipate the 
enemy's movement by seizing that height for themselves. Suddenly, 
in the early morning light of June the 17th, stood revealed on 
that coveted hilltop, an American redoubt, — the work of one short 
summer night, — a surprise and a defiance to waking foes below, 
across the Charles. Early, two hundred men of the New Hampshire 
regiments were ordered to the hill ; later, the main body marched to 
join them there, and took position in the left wing of the southerly- 
facing line of defense, along the slope between the redoubt and the 
Mystic. There they stood behind their breastwork, partly of 
doubled rail fence filled in with hay mown yesterday ; partly of 
simple stone wall, thrown up by themselves down by the river. 
Behind this bare wall, on the extreme left, were posted Captain 
Joshua Abbot, with his Concord company, and Captain John Moor, 
with the men of Amoskeag. 

When, in the blazing heat of mid-afternoon, the enemy advanced, 
with the fine regiment of Royal Fusiliers upon their right, they were 
met by so well aimed and deadly a fire from the American line — 
especially from the rudely sheltered left — that, with thinned and 
disordered ranks, they beat a precipitate retreat. Rallied and rein- 
forced, they returned to the attack, but only to be hurled back 
again in death and rout — leaving ghastly windrows of dead and 
wounded before the rail fence and stone wall. Now the shattered 
foe, having been rallied and reinforced anew, came up the hill, for 
the third time, in attempt to turn the left and right of the American 
line, by simultaneous assault. To turn the left was impossible ; the 
assault being fearfully and effectually repelled by Stark's dread 
marksmen of the Merrimack and their worthy comrades. But 
American success on the left did not decide the day ; for the 
redoubt could not be held, with failing ammunition, against the 
enemy's overwhelming numbers, stoutly defended though it was by 
Prescott and his gallant men. Retreat became inevitable — a retreat, 

i Autobiography of Levi Hutchins, 24, 88. 


defiantly closed by the men of New Hampshire, who had fought on 
the victorious left. These were the last to leave the bloody field, 
where they had sustained one third of the American loss and 
inflicted three fifths of the British. To the heroic doing of the 
militia at Bunker Hill, which, in moral significance, made defeat the 
synonym of victory, the men of Concord contributed their full share ; 
and thus had helped to justify Washington's glad prediction in view 
of the result, — " The liberties of America are safe." Of the fifteen 
slain in Stark's command on that day, William Mitchell, of Captain 
Abbot's company, was one. 

The colonial congress reassembled ten days after the event of 
Bunker Hill to continue, with occasional recesses, its important 
labors until November ; the public interests being entrusted, in re- 
cess, to the vigilant Committee of Safety, with the faithful Meshech 
Weare at its head. Of course military affairs primarily engrossed 
the attention of the congress. The regiments of Stark and Keid, 
having, after the battle of Bunker Hill, been joined by that of Poor, 
which had been retained for home duty, were posted north of Charles- 
town in the left of the American line investing Boston. These, 
including the men of Concord in the companies of Captains Abbot 
and Hutchins, were soon largely enlisted into the continental army. 1 
At Bunker Hill there had been some loss of fire-arms, equipments, 
and clothing in the New Hampshire regiments, though it was com- 
paratively small in the Concord companies. The duty of strictly 
ascertaining that loss and of making compensation therefor in behalf 
of the colony was assigned by the congress to Ichabod Rawlings (or 
Rollins) and Timothy Walker, Jr., and was faithfully and acceptably 
done. 2 In accordance with the recommendation of the continental 
congress, the militia, comprising " all men from sixteen to fifty years 
of age," was divided into twelve regiments, with Colonel Thomas 
Stickney in command of the one embracing Concord. 3 In September 
four reo-iments of minute-men were ordered to be enlisted out of 
the twelve regiments of militia, consisting of a quarter part of each 
company. The enlistments from Colonel Stickney's command were 
assigned to the third regiment of minute-men, of which Timothy 
Walker, Jr., was appointed colonel. They met for drill every fort- 
night, and stood ready for service at a minute's warning. Concord 
had at least one company in this important organization. 

It was a busy year for the colonial congress. Portsmouth, down 
by the sea, had to be provided with adequate means of defense, as 
had also the western and northern frontiers up along the Connecti- 

i See Continental Service in 1775-6-7, in note at close of chapter, 

= N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol, VII, 584-600, 

s Ibid, 577. «■ 


cut river and the Canadian border. For the latter purpose, a ranger 
regiment was organized in midsummer, and placed under command 
of Colonel Timothy Bedel. Concord was probably represented in 
this regiment, as it certainly was in another under the same com- 
mander, raised early the next year to join the northern continental 
army and help to retrieve the disasters of the Canadian campaign. 
There were Concord men in the companies of Captains James Os- 
good and Ebenezer Greene, in this regiment, for there are recorded 
the names of eighteen who were taken prisoners in May, 1776, in the 
" unfortunate affair " of " the Cedars," * a post on the St. Lawrence, 
thirty-six miles above Montreal. 

New Hampshire men, including some from Concord, had previously 
participated in the operations against Canada. They had been pres- 
ent in the unsuccessful assault upon Quebec on the last day of 1775, 
when Arnold's force, after its fearful march through the wilds of 
Maine, had made junction with that of Montgomery, advancing from 
the Hudson by way of the St. Lawrence. Of those engaged in that 
assault was Nathaniel Eastman of East Concord, who saw the gallant 
and lamented Montgomery fall at the head of the assailing force. 2 

The colony had already more than three thousand troops in service, 
when, about the 1st of December, General Washington, through 
Brigadier-General Sullivan in command on the left of the line invest- 
ing Boston, requested more men from New Hampshire on short 
enlistment. The exigency was a pressing one, for certain Connecti- 
cut troops, refusing to remain beyond the period of their enlistment, 
were about to leave a dangerous gap on the left through which the 
beleaguered enemy might escape from Boston by land. The colonial 
congress had dissolved, but the Committee of Safety promptly pro- 
ceeded to comply with the urgent request of the commander-in-chief. 
The requisition to enlist, for six weeks, thirty-one regiments of sixty- 
four men each, officers included, 3 was, in a few days, substantially 
fulfilled, and between eighteen hundred and two thousand volun- 
teers 4 had rendered again entire the American line on Winter Hill. 
Nor were these brave " Six Weeks' Men " punctilious as to the period 
of enlistment, but remained upon duty for nearly double the time, 
and until the British army was compelled to evacuate Boston, in 
March, 1776. Concord was not remiss at this exigency, but con- 
tributed a company, in command of Captain Benjamin Emery, with 
John Bradley and Moses Eastman as lieutenants. 5 

1 Bouton's Concord, 752; see Continental Service, etc., in note at close of chapter; also 
see N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VIII, 152-3, and Military History, N. H. Adjutant-General's 
Report, Vol. II (1866), pp. 286-7. 

2 Adjutant-General's Report, 285 (note). 3 N. It. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 675. 

* Mil. History, N. H. Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II (,1866;, p. 277; Hammond's Rev. 
War Rolls, Vol. I, 209. 
b Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II (1866), pp. 277-80, 


While the colonial congress of 1775 was largely occupied with 
military affairs, other matters required and received its attention. 
The provincial records, civil and judicial, were transferred from Ports- 
mouth to Exeter, now the colonial capital. A census was ordered 
and taken, whereby the number of people was found to be eighty- 
two thousand two hundred. 1 Of this number Concord had ten hun- 
dred and fifty-two. Events, moreover, forcibly directed attention to 
the subject of future government. As to this, the advice of the 
continental congress was sought, and, early in November, was given 
in a resolution recommending " to call a full representation of the 
people ; and that the representatives, if they think it necessary, 
establish such a form of government as, in their judgment, will best 
produce the happiness of the people, and most effectually secure 
peace and good order in the province during the continuance of the 
present dispute between Great Britain and the Colonies." 2 Acting 
upon this advice, the convention appointed a committee — of which 
Colonel Walker, of Concord, was one — " to report a method for rep- 
resentation." 3 On the 14th of November the committee presented a 
report, which was adopted. This provided that every legal inhab- 
itant paying taxes should be a voter ; that every person elected as a 
representative to the colonial congress should have real estate in the 
colony of the value of two hundred pounds lawful money ; that every 
one hundred families entitled a town, parish, or precinct to one rep- 
resentative, — places, each containing less than that number of fami- 
lies, being classed ; that on the basis of the recent census, eighty- 
nine representatives, authorized by their constituents to serve for one 
year, might be chosen to meet in congress at Exeter on the 21st of 
December; and, finally, that the congress should be empowered to 
resolve itself into a house of representatives, if the form of govern- 
ment assumed by the colony on the recommendation of the conti- 
nental congress, should require such action. 4 Having provided for 
duly notifying the one hundred and sixty-four towns, parishes, and 
precincts of this " method of representation," and for calling meet- 
ings of the inhabitants to carry it out, the congress dissolved on the 
15th of November, 1775. 

Accordingly, on the 5th of December, Timothy "Walker, Jr., was 
elected to represent the parish of Concord 5 in the fifth provincial, or 
second colonial, congress. Within a week after the meeting of this 
body on the 21st of December, a committee was chosen to draw up a 
plan for the government of the " Colony during the present contest 
with Great Britain." 6 The plan was presented and adopted on the 
5th of January, 1776. 

i Belknap, 363. 4 Ibid, 657-660. 

*N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 642. B Town Records, 147. 

zibid, 655. ° N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VII, 703-4. 


The watch for persons manifesting in any way a spirit inimical to 
the American cause, became more and more vigilant. Town commit- 
tees of safety were now very generally appointed to transmit to the 
colonial authorities " the names and places of abode " of all suspected 
persons, with " the causes and evidence of such suspicions/' Accord- 
ingly, at the annual March meeting of 1776, "Philip Eastman, 
Colonel Thomas Stickney, Timothy Walker, Jr., Joseph Hall, Jr., 
and Richard Herbert " were chosen " a Committee of Safety for the 
parish of Concord " during the current year. Such a committee was 
annually elected during the next three years. 1 To secure still more 
effectually united support to the cause of America, and the detection 
of all persons disaffected thereto, the continental congress, in March 
of the same year, resolved " that it be recommended to the several 
assemblies, conventions, and councils, or committees of safety, of the 
United Colonies, immediately to cause all persons to be disarmed 
within their respective colonies, who are notoriously disaffected to 
the cause of America, or who have not associated, and refuse to asso- 
ciate, to defend by arms the United Colonies against the hostile 
attempts of the British fleets and armies." 2 To carry this resolve into 
execution, the Committee of Safety, "for the Colony of New-Hamp- 
shire," by "Meshech Weare, Chairman," issued in April, to the 
selectmen of the several towns and parishes, a circular containing the 
resolution of the continental congress, and a Declaration, or Associa- 
tion Test, with the following recommendation : " You are requested 
to desire all males above twenty-one years of age, — lunatics, idiots, 
and negroes excepted,— to sign to the declaration on this paper ; and 
when so done, to make return thereof, together with the name or 
names of all who shall refuse to sign the same, to the General Assem- 
bly, or Committee of Safety of this Colony." 3 The declaration to be 
signed was in the following words : " In consequence of the above 
Resolution of the Hon. Continental Congress, and to show our deter- 
mination in joining our American brethren, in defending the lives, 
liberties, and properties of the inhabitants of the United Colonies ; 
We, the subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that 
we will, to the utmost of our power, at the risque of our lives and for- 
tunes, with arms, oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets 
and armies against the United American Colonies." 4 In Concord 
this test, or pledge, received one hundred and fifty-six signatures. 5 
Nor was there to be found one delinquent name to mar the proud 
record of patriotic unanimity. 

That bold pledge of resistance to British tyranny was but the 

> See names in note at close of chapter. 3 Ibid, 204. 

2 N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VIII, 204-5. * Ibid, 204-5. 

s N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VIII, 203-4; see, for signatures, Association Test in note at close 
of chapter. 


natural precursor of the bolder assertion of severance from the British 
empire. Indeed, the former was a sanction of the latter, and gave 
assurance that the popular conviction was fast coining to be well up 
with the advanced thought of those who, from the first, had foreseen 
and desired the independence of America. The all-important ques- 
tion of assuming independence was not much longer to tarry for 
decision. Upon that question the continental congress sought from 
the several colonies an authoritative expression of the popular will. 
New Hampshire promptly responded by her legislature. On the 11th 
of June, a committee of six — one of whom was Colonel Timothy 
Walker, of Concord — was appointed " to make a draft of a declaration 
of the general assembly for independence of the United Colonies "on 
Great Britain." On the fifteenth a declaration was reported. It was 
unanimously accepted, as " setting forth the sentiments and opinion 
of the Council and Assembly," and was ordered to be sent to the 
New Hampshire delegates in congress. It was a strong, explicit 
manifesto, which, through its appropriate preamble of reasons for 
entering upon that most important step of disunion from Great 
Britain, reached this its bold conclusion : " We do, therefore, declare 
that it is the opinion of this Assembly, that our Delegates at the 
Continental Congress should be instructed, and they are hereby 
instructed, to join with the other Colonies in declaring The Thirteen 
United Colonies a Free and Independent State ; solemnly pledging 
our faith and honor, that we will on our parts support the measure 
with our lives and fortunes." 1 

Within three weeks the continental congress put forth that Decla- 
ration of Independence — sanctioned by separate colonial action— 
which announced the birth of another power among the nations of 
the earth, and made July the Fourth ever to be sacred in the calen- 
dar of liberty. Thenceforth New Hampshire was no longer a Colony ; 
it had become a State — one of the thirteen United States of America. 

With characteristic energy, New Hampshire yielded full and ready 
military support to the cause of American liberty and independence. 
In course of the year 1776 the state had ten regiments in the field ; 
comprising the three in command of Stark, Poor, and Reid, of the 
regular, or continental, line, and seven of militia reinforcements— 
including that of Colonel Bedel, before mentioned. 2 Concord men 
were in Stark's regiment — twenty-five of them in Captain Joshua 
Abbot's company, 3 and others in that of Captain Elisha Woodbury, 
of which Daniel Livermore, of Concord, was lieutenant. 4 There 

i N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VIII, 150. 

2 Adjutant- General's Report, Vol. II (1866), p. 295. 

s See Continental Service, etc., in note at close of chapter. 

* Joseph B. Walker's address; Proceedings of N. H. Hist. Society, Vol. Ill, 66. 


were thirteen Concord men in Captain Benjamin Emery's company, 1 
belonging to Colonel Nalmm Baldwin's regiment, of which Gordon 
Hntchins had become lieutenant-colonel; and five in the company 
commanded by Captain Benjamin Sias of Canterbury, in Colonel 
David Gilman's regiment. 1 Concord also contributed eighteen men, 2 
at least, to the regiments of Colonels Isaac Wyman and Joshua 
Wingate, but their names have not been preserved. The militia 
regiments of Colonels Baldwin, Gilman, Wyman, and Wingate rein- 
forced the continental army in New York ; and some of them took 
part in the active operations of that neighborhood ; for Colonel 
Hutchins led his regiment in the battle of White Plains, fought on 
the 28th of October, 177(3. 

After the evacuation of Boston by the British army, Stark's regi- 
ment, then in the continental line, accompanied General Washington 
to New York, whence it was sent to the help of the ill-fated expedi- 
tion against Canada, originally under the conduct of Montgomery 
and Arnold. But, as Stark foresaw, efforts in that direction proved 
futile ; the only real success achieved being General Sullivan's skil- 
ful withdrawal of the invading force to Crown Point and Ticon- 
deroga. Among those who perished of the virulent smallpox which 
prevailed during and after the retreat, was Abiel Chandler, who, at 
the Lexington alarm, had led to the front Concord's first band of 
volunteers in the Revolution, and had subsequently held important 
official positions in Stark's regiment. 3 Late in the season Stark's 
regiment and others of the Northern department joined Washington's 
force on the right bank of the Delaware, strengthening the com- 
mander-in-chief for a timely retrieval of ill fortune, and enabling him 
to crown with victory the old year at Trenton, and the new at Prince- 
ton. Men of Concord helped to achieve that success which rent the 
thick cloud enveloping the patriot cause, and revealed its silver lining 
of hope. 

With the year 1777, thus auspiciously opened, the Continental 
army was reorganized and strengthened by enlistment for three 
years, or during the war. A change of commanders occurred, too, 
in the three New Hampshire regiments. Upon the resignation of 
Stark, over whom the continental congress had unjustly promoted 
Poor, a junior officer, to be brigadier-general, Joseph Cilley succeeded 
to the colonelcy of the " First." The other two regiments inter- 
changed numbering. The " Second," becoming the "Third," was put 
under the command of Alexander Scammell, as successor to Poor, 
promoted ; while Nathan Hale was made colonel of the " Third " 

1 See Continental Service, etc., in note at close of chapter. 

* Bouton's Concord, 753. 

zibid, 610 ; also, Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II (1866), pp. 265, 266. 


henceforth the " Second " —in place of Reid, disabled by blindness. 
These regiments, in a brigade commanded by General Poor, had 
rendezvous at Ticonderoga till midsummer. 1 Captain Daniel Liver- 
more of Concord commanded a company in Colonel ScammeU's regi- 
ment, containing seventeen of his townsmen. 2 

The members of the assembly for 1777 had been elected as the 
year before, but those of the council had been chosen for the first 
time by popular vote. One of the five councilors for Rockingham 
county was Colonel Timothy Walker of Concord, who had earned this 
promotion by distinguished service in the congress, and in the lower 
branch of the first legislature, and was twice to be re-elected to the 
upper house. Colonel Gordon Hutchins succeeded him as a member 
of the assembly. That council and assembly of 1777, as will soon 
be seen, had a rare and well improved opportunity to contribute war 
legislation, decisively promotive of the common cause. 

In that crucial year of the Revolution, the favorite plan of the 
British ministry to separate New England from the rest of the coun- 
try, by occupying the line of the Hudson, was seriously attempted. 
In early summer Lieutenant-General Burgoyne came out of Canada, 
over Lake Champlain, intending to co-operate with Howe and Clin- 
ton, who were to ascend the Hudson from New York. Washington, 
while thinning his own command to strengthen that of the Northern 
department, hindered Howe from effective co-operation with Bur- 
goyne. The latter advanced southward, and approached Ticonder- 
oga, where were stationed, with other troops, the three New Hamp- 
shire regiments of Poor's brigade. 3 Meanwhile, numerous companies 
were enlisted in New Hampshire, and sent forward to the relief of 
the threatened fortress. Of these was one commanded by Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Gerrish of Boscawen, containing twenty or more Con- 
cord men. This company, starting on the 5th of July, had marched 
seventy-five miles, when it was met by the news that Ticonderoga 
had been evacuated by the American forces. It was accordingly 
turned back, and discharged within the week. 4 At the evacuation 
of Ticonderoga, and the occurrence of untoward events immediately 
succeeding, the alarm in Vermont was greatly intensified, and the 
assistance of New Hampshire was earnestly sought. To meet the 
case, the legislature convened in special session on the 17th of July. 
Within three days effective measures were matured to render aid in 
preventing the encroachment and ravages of the enemy. 5 The mil- 
itia was divided into two brigades, one of which was placed in eom- 

1 Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II (1866), p. 304. 

2 See Continental Service, etc., in note at close of chapter. 
s See Continental Service in note at close of chapter. 

4 Bouton's Concord, 273-4 ; Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II (1866), p. 313. 
s N. H. Prov. Papers, Vol. VIII, 634. 


mand of John Stark, who had been for a few months in retirement — 
the supersedure put upon him by the continental congress still gall- 
ing his patriotic spirit. But now his time had come to take a 
foremost place among his country's commanders, through brilliant, 
timely achievement in his country's cause. Brigadier-General by com- 
mission from New Hampshire, he could now raise his independent 
force on John Langdon's historic pledge of means, — in cash, Tobago 
rum, and silver plate, — and could lead it to a victory that should 
have in it the fust sure guaranty of national independence at last. 

The legislature, the wise and timely action of which had rendered 
possible so momentous a result, closed its labors on Saturday, the 
19th of July. The earnest patriot who represented Concord could 
not tarry in Exeter; but forthwith riding away on horseback, he pur- 
sued his homeward course through the night, and reached his jour- 
ney's end during the religious service of Sunday afternoon. Dis- 
mounting at the meeting-house, he hurried in, and, as he passed 
up the aisle, the venerable pastor interrupted his sermon with the 
inquiry, — " Colonel Hutchins, are you the bearer of any message ? " 
" Yes," replied the eager messenger, " General Burgoyne, with his 
army, is on his march to Albany. General Stark has offered to take 
command of New Hampshire troops ; and if we all turn out, we can 
cut off Burgoyne's march." " My hearers," responded Mr. Walker, 
" those of you who are willing to go had better go at once." That 
quiet suggestion from the pulpit was as a battle-cry to the men of 
the congregation, who at once arose, and went outside. Enlistments 
were promptly offered, and preparations went on during the night. 
When Phinehas Virgin said he could not go because he had no shoes, 
Samuel Thompson, a shoemaker, assured him that he should have a 
pair before morning, and made good his word. Jonathan Eastman 
had the same want as promptly supplied. 1 

Meanwhile, Burgoyne was plodding his weary march southward, 
impeded by obstructions thrown in his way by the American army 
sullenly retreating. Having reached Fort Edward, he sent out early 
in August a detachment of Hessians and Tories, with a party of 
Indians, all in command of Colonel Baum, on an errand of various 
mischief, to the eastward, through Vermont. But Stark's New 
Hampshire volunteers had been gathering in rendezvous beyond the 
Green Mountains, and with the militiamen of that neighborhood, 
stood ready to confront the marauding foe. These, with a small 
force from western Massachusetts, and with Warner's " Green Moun- 
tain Boys," all under the skilful leadership of Stark, fought and 
won, on the 16th of August, 1777, the storied battle of Benning- 

1 Bouton's Concord, 274-5. 


On the extreme right of the enemy's entrenched line, in that bat- 
tle, was the Tory position, a heavy breastwork of logs, where the 
most desperate resistance was expected and realized. This strong- 
hold, Colonel Thomas Stickney, of the Eleventh regiment, which con- 
tained the Concord volunteers, was, with Colonel Hobart, of the 
Twelfth, ordered to attack. In face of a sharp fire, the two compa- 
nies advanced briskly upon the enemy's position through an inter- 
vening corn-field, from which, by Stark's order, the men stripped each 
a husk, and placed it beneath the hatband, " to prevent mistake," in 
" the close work " with foes " dressed like themselves " in every-day 
garb. 1 The fortification was stormed and surrounded. The Tories 
fought obstinately, but finally succumbed to the resistless onslaught 
of " bayonet and clubbed musket." x Some of the Concord men who 
were in the fight were Colonel Thomas Stickney, Lieutenant Richard 
Herbert, Elias, Jesse, and John Abbot, Philbrick Bradley, Ephraim 
Fisk, Sr., Ephraim Fisk, Jr., Abner Flanders, Timothy Johnson, 
Samuel Kinkson (or Kinsman), and John Peters. The names of 
thirty-three men known to have enlisted 2 have been preserved. It 
is probable that some of the thirty-three did not arrive at Bennington 
in season for the battle. This certainly happened in the case of the 
thirty volunteers raised by Colonel Gordon Hutchins, whose names 
are not recorded, and who, though making all due haste, reached the 
scene of action too late. 3 There was, however, to be a chance for all 
within the next two months ; for Bennington was the auspicious 
prophecy of Saratoga with its decisive battling at Bemus Heights. 
The men of New Hampshire and of Concord, in both the continental 
and the volunteer service, were to have a hand in the important 
operations of September and October, resulting in the surrender of 
Burgoyne. Some who volunteered for the Bennington expedition 
continued in the service ; while Captain Joshua Abbot headed a com- 
pany in Lieutenant-Colonel Gerrish's command, detached from the 
Eleventh regiment, in special reinforcement of the northern army at 
Saratoga. 4 

When, after the successes of Bennington and Saratoga, those sure 
pointers to the star of final victory that should rise and stand over 
Yorktown, Washington withdrew to winter quarters at Valley Forge. 
Poor's brigade, containing Concord men, went with him. Among 
these was Captain Livermore. 5 When, again, after a winter of 
gloomy suffering, the American army, in June, 1778, came up with 
the enemy marching northward from luxurious quarters in Philadel- 

1 Adjutant-General's Report, Vol. II (1866), p. 320. 

1 See Bennington in note at close of chapter. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 275. 

* See Saratoga in note at close of chapter. 

c J. B. Walker's Address, Proceedings N. H. Hist. Soc, Vol. Ill, 691. 


phia, and fought at Monmouth, Concord men were theie. When, 
still again, the same year, it was planned that a land force should, in 
co-operation with a French fleet, wrest Rhode Island from British 
grasp, and New Hampshire furnished troops to aid the undertaking, 
Concord supplied its quota of volunteers. 1 In 1779, Concord men in 
Poor's brigade did service in Sullivan's expedition against the Tories 
and Six Nations, and helped to avenge the bloody outrages of Cherry 
A" alley and Wyoming, and to prevent their repetition. In special 
levies, 2 as well as in the regular line, the men of Concord stood on 
guard at West Point, in 1780 ; and, the next year, they took part in 
that decisive Virginia campaign which resulted in the victory of 
Vorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis. Even after this triumph, 
the virtual close of the struggle for American independence, some 
men of Concord remained on military duty for yet two years, until 
the formal declaration of peace in 1783. 3 

The records of the parish during the long years of revolutionary 
struggle contain, of course, much legislation adapted to the existing 
state of war. In 1777, while thirty pounds were raised for highways, 
and sixty pounds to defray " other necessary charges," the hundred 
pounds paid by Oliver Hoyt for the " eighty-acre lot belonging to 
the school right " were appropriated " for a town stock of ammuni- 
tion " ; 4 and four hundred and sixty pounds lawful money were 
ordered to " be raised upon the ratable polls and estates in Concord 
for paying the continental soldiers raised by the parish." 4 In 1778 
it was voted that an average be made in hiring continental soldiers, 
and a committee was appointed " to examine into what every man" 
had "done in the war." 5 In 1779, Colonel Thomas Stickney, Cap- 
tain Aaron Kinsman, and Timothy Walker, Esq., were chosen " a 
committee to procure eight soldiers,"- — " the proportion that the par- 
ish " had " to raise in order to fill up the continental army." 6 In 
1780, provision was made " to give the soldiers that " had "lately 
engaged to serve six months in the continental army, ten bushels of 
Indian corn, or money equal thereto." 7 Early in 1781, a committee 
was appointed, "with discretionary powers," to raise "sixteen more 
soldiers " for the continental service. Of these some were hired from 
other places and credited to Concord. "One thousand Spanish 
milled dollars" were raised "to enable the parish to procure the sol- 
diers " 8 under this call, which seems to have been the last made upon 
it for troops in the Revolution. 

While Concord had its men at the front fighting for independence, 

1 See Rhode Island Expedition in note at close of chapter. 6 Ibid, 157-8. 

2 See list in note at close of chapter. 'Ibid, 173. 

3 See names of Rangers in note at close of chapter. " Ibid, 184. 

* Town Records, 153. s Ibid, 187-8. 


it was little inclined to brook covert hostility, at home, to the conn- 
try's sacred cause, or even lnkewarmness therein. Its committees of 
safety kept a sharp lookout for symptoms of Toryism, especially dur- 
ing the first four years of the war. Though the Association Test had 
been signed in Concord without dissent, yet by the year 1777 cer- 
tain individuals had become suspected of disaffection to the Ameri- 
can side. ( Ymsequently, after the business of the annual meeting, on 
the 4th of March, in that year, was finished, votes to the following 
effect were passed : " That this parish will break off all dealings with 
Peter Green, Esqr, Mr. John Stevens, Mr. Nathl Green, and Dr. 
Philip Caragain, until they give satisfaction to the parish for their 
past conduct ; that they be advertised in the public prints as enemies 
to the United States of America, unless " they " give said satisfaction 
within thirty days from this date ; that" they "be disarmed by the 
committee of safety until they give satisfaction to the public ; and 
that" whoever shall, before such satisfaction rendered, "have any 
dealings with " them, shall " be looked upon as enemies to their coun- 
try by this parish." : The popular feeling seems to have been espe- 
cially intense against Peter Green, for it was recommended " to apply 
to the courts of judicature to dismiss " him "from all business hence- 
forth and forever." 1 Besides, it is related that, on one occasion, his 
house was threatened with destruction by zealous West Concord 
patriots, and that the threat failed of execution only through the 
shrewd and timely intervention of Timothy Walker, Jr., and .John 
Bradley, 2 no less patriotic, but more discreet, than those who had 
planned violence. 

The severe votes passed by the parish not producing the desired 
effect, Green, the lawyer, and Stevens, the merchant, were arrested 
by the committee of safety and taken to Exeter, where they were 
lodged in jail. 3 Green, upon taking the oath of allegiance, was early 
released, and subsequently enjoyed the confidence of his fellow-citi- 
zens, whom he served in important official positions. Stevens, on 
the contrary, never would take the required oath, but lie swore that 
he was "as good a friend of his country as any one who had caused 
his arrest." 4 He, however, finally received his release by order of 
the legislature, and with it a commission as justice of the peace, in 
token of restored confidence. Later, the parish rescinded its vote 5 
" to break off all dealings " with him, but no amends could cure the 
merchant's bitter resentment, which he carried with him to his grave. 6 

1 Town Records, 154. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 272-3. 

3 See note at close of chapter. 

4 Bouton's Concord, 273, 561. 

5 Town Records, 211. 

,; See Merchant Stevens, in note at close of chapter. 


The protraction of the war, with its expenditures to be met only 
by paper money irredeemable in gold or silver, began, by 1777, to 
unsettle values, carrying up prices, and working other mischief. The 
legislature of New Hampshire, acting under advice of the continental 
congress, passed an act for " preventing monopoly and oppression " 
by regulating the prices of sundry articles of necessary or common 
use, and the compensation for various kinds of labor. In May, of 
that year, the parish of Concord appointed " Captain Reuben Kim- 
ball, Mr. Amos Abbot, Mr. John Kimball, Lieutenant Robert Davis, 
and Mr. David Hall " a committee " to carry into execution " the 
state enactment. 1 By July, the committee had performed the task 
of affixing, in accordance with the law, maximum prices to a multi- 
tude of " articles," but they could not thereby " carry into execution " 
an impracticable statute. Their report, however, has historic value, 
picturing, as it does in suggestive outline, the industries and produc- 
tions, and the means and modes of life, existent in the parish at that 

This measure, wherever tried, proved an ineffectual palliative for 
the evils produced by a financial system fundamentally wrong. The 
country was flooded with continental " promises to pay," swelled by 
state issues of the same sort, though New Hampshire issued none 
after 1777. This irredeemable paper currency, misnamed " money," 
was fast sinking to absolute worthlessness with the consequence of 
financial confusion, distress, and ruin. In 1779 another attempt was 
made, in New Hampshire and other states, to " appreciate the cur- 
rency by regulating the prices." To this end a state convention was 
held in Concord on the 22d of September, in which Major Jonathan 
Hale and Colonel Timothy Walker represented the parish. 2 Certain 
recommendations were agreed upon. In Concord, a committee was 
appointed to regulate prices as recommended by the convention. 
What further action, if any, was ever taken in the matter is not 

Within the next two years the figures of parish expenditures rose, 
as the value of paper currency fell. Thus, in the spring of 1780, 
the sum of "nine thousand pounds" 3 was voted to defray parish 
expenses for the year, including minister's salary in arrearage for two 
years. Six months later "thirty thousand pounds" 4 additional were 
raised for the same purpose. An appropriation of " two thousand 
four hundred pounds " 5 was also made for highways. In March, 
1781, "fifty thousand pounds" 6 were appropriated "for the neces- 
sary charges of the parish," exclusive of those for highways, and for 

1 Town Records, 155-8; see also specific report in note at close of chapter. 4 Ibid, 184. 
* Town Records, 177-8. » Ibid, 182. 

s Ibid, 182. <■ Ibid, 190. 


these the same allowance was made as the year before. In ( )ctober 
the item of current expenses received the addition of " one hundred 
eighty pounds hard money." ] But in 1782, when the bubble of 
inflated [taper currency had burst, and wiser financial counsels were 
beginning to prevail, the parish appropriations, estimated in "hard 
money," resumed their wonted figures. Then " four hundred and 
eighty pounds lawful silver money" 2 were voted to defray the annual 
parish expenses, and " sixty pounds lawful silver money to repair 
the highways "; while labor upon the roads was fixed at " two shil- 
lings 2 per day," instead of "six pounds," 3 the compensation of the 
two previous years. 

In 1778, amid the preoccupations and difficulties of war, an attempt 
was made to substitute, for the imperfect and temporary form of gov- 
ernment established in 1776, a new constitution. On the 26th of 
January, " the inhabitants of Concord," in parish meeting, instructed 
their representative, Colonel Thomas Stickney, " to use his influence 
at the next session of the General Assembly, that a full and free 
representation of the people of this State be called as soon as conven- 
iently may be, for the sole purpose of laying a permanent plan, or 
system, for the future government of this State." 4 In accordance 
with such expression of the popular will throughout the state, the 
legislature appointed a constitutional convention to be held at Con- 
cord on the first Tuesday of June. Thus was first officially rec- 
ognized by legislative authority the fitness of Concord, from its 
centrality and other advantages, as a place for state assembling. 
The recognition foretold that Concord would, sometime, be the cap- 
ital of New Hampshire. On the 10th of June, the convention, com- 
posed of seventy-three delegates — one being Timothy Walker, Jr., of 
Concord — assembled in the meeting-house, which, by order of the par- 
ish, 5 had been somewhat repaired for its new use. Some of the most 
distinguished men of the state — among whom were John Langdon 
and the three signers of the Declaration of Independence, Josiah 
Bartlett, William Whipple, and Matthew Thornton — served in this 
first New Hampshire constitutional convention, but their labors went 
for naught. The constitution which was finally agreed upon a year 
later contained no provision for a distinct executive, and was other- 
wise defective, if not positively objectionable, so that, when it was 
sent out to the people, it was " totally rejected." 6 When the ques- 
tion of accepting the "plan of government" was put to vote in par- 
ish meeting in Concord, " there appeared," says the record, " twenty- 
six for receiving the said plan, and twenty-five rejected the same." " 

» Town Records, 196. 6/5^,166-7. 

*Ibid, 202. (; Bouton's Concord, 277. 

» Ibid, 182, 190. '• Town Records, 176. 
« Tbid, 162. 


This close vote in Concord was more favorable to the proposed con- 
stitution than was that of most other places. 

Two years later, in obedience to a joint resolve of the legislature, 
a second constitutional convention was called to be held in Concord. 
To this, Colonel Timothy Walker was chosen a delegate. The con- 
vention first met on the 5th of June, 1781, in the hall over the store 
of " Merchant " Stevens, where were held most, if not all, of its seven 
sessions during an existence of nearly two years and a half. The 
last was held on the 31st of October, 1783, when, after the submis- 
sion of two drafts of a constitution to the people, and their rejection, 
the third was found to have been accepted, and was accordingly 
declared to be the fundamental law of the state. 

Upon the first " plan of government," as devised by the conven- 
tion, and sent to the people in September, 1781, the vote in Concord 
stood " forty-eight against, and none for it." x This rejection, how- 
ever, was accompanied by the suggestion of the following amend- 
ments : That there be "town representation;" that there be "a gov- 
ernor at the head of the legislative body ; that the governor shall 
not have a privy council ; and that the people at large shall appoint 
their militia officers." * When the second form of the constitution 
was submitted to the people by the convention, on the third Wednes- 
day of August, 1782, the voters of Concord, wishing to act with due 
deliberation upon the question of acceptance, selected a committee of 
seven, consisting of Colonel Timothy Walker, Colonel Thomas Stick- 
ney, Captain Benjamin Emery, Captain Reuben Kimball, Lieutenant 
.John Bradley, Dr. Peter Green, and Mr. Henry Martin, to consider 
the subject, and make report at an adjourned meeting. 2 When the 
matter came up for final decision, on the 16th of December, the 
plan of government, as it then stood, was rejected by all the fifty-two 
voters present; but with the amendments proposed by the commit- 
tee, " it was received by thirty." The amendments were : " That the 
governor and privy council be left out, and that there be a pres- 
ident, a legislative council, and a house of representatives ; and 
that the powers which are vested in a governor and council be vested 
in the council and house of representatives." 3 Finally, at the third 
and successful attempt of the convention to present a constitution 
acceptable to the people, Concord, in September, 1783, contributed 
to the general popular approval, a vote of two to one — or twenty 
for to ten against. 4 

In view of the difficulties experienced in constitution-making, 
provision had been made, on recommendation of the legislature, that 
the constitution of 1776, which, by its terms, could be operative only 

'Town Records, 199. 3 /6;'d,208. 

2 Ibid, 208. * Ibid, 212. 


during the war, should be continued in force till June 10, 1784, 
even if peace should come before a new plan of government could be 
provided. 1 This proved a wise precaution ; for peace was proclaimed 
on the 19th of April, 1783, — the eighth anniversary of Lexington,— 
and a little more than six months before the new form of govern- 
ment, as accepted by the people, was proclaimed by the convention 
to be the " Civil Constitution for the State of New Hampshire,''' and 
to go into full effect "on the first Wednesday of June, 1781." 2 

Meanwhile, the legislature had begun to hold sessions in Concord. 
The question of adjourning the general court from Exeter to Con- 
cord having come up at the January session, 1782, it was decided in 
the affirmative by the house, but was non-concurred in by the 
council. Thereupon, however, the house adhered to its vote, by 
twenty-seven yeas to twenty nays, and the legislature stood adjourned 
till Wednesday, the 13th of March, "then to meet at the meeting- 
house in Concord." 3 It was largely through the address and influ- 
ence of Judge 4 Walker, that the dissatisfaction of certain members of 
the legislature with the accommodations at Exeter was thus turned 
to the advantage of Concord, which that gentleman represented, and 
whose interests he always vigilantly watched. On the 13th of 
March, " sundry members of the House " —as runs the official 
record 5 — " met, according to adjournment, at the meeting-house in 
Concord, and, as it was inconvenient to hold the Court there, owing 
to the inclemency of the season, agreed to adjourn, and meet again 
forthwith in a building prepared for their reception." The place 
thus " prepared " was a room in Judge Walker's store, 6 where the 
house was accommodated ; while the council held its sessions in the 
south parlor of the minister's dwelling, a short distance north. 
Concord was also the seat of the next two successive sessions ; held, 
the one, in June, the other, in September. As to the place, in the 
first of the two adjournments, decision was made by a vote of forty- 
five yeas to twenty nays ; in the second, without opposition. 7 
Thenceforward, Concord was a frequent, though, for more than 
twenty years, not the permanent, place of legislative meeting. The 
citizens of the parish duly appreciated the actual and potential 
advantage of even the earliest legislative recognition of Concord as 
a desirable seat of the state government; and discerned in that 
recognition the ultimate fulfilment of a " manifest destiny." They 

i N. H. State Papers, Vol. VIII, 968-69-70. 
2 N. H. State Papers, Vol. IX, 918-19. 
»N. H. State Papers, Vol. VIII, 931-2. 

* Timothy Walker, Jr., had been for sometime upon the bench of the court of common 
SN. H. State Papers, Vol. VIII, 936. 
6 Ibid (note); see, also, note at close of chapter. 
» N. H. State Papers, Vol, VIII, 938, 947. 

l 9 



sought to provide suitable accommodations — among others, a becom- 
ing temporary state house. For ten years the question of finishing 
the meeting-house, so as the better to meet ordinary parish uses, had 
been frequently agitated ; 2 but, from various causes, especially the 
preoccupying demands of the Revolutionary struggle, the work had 
not been done. 2 Now, however, the new political exigency hastened 
the fulfilment of the delayed purpose. The right in the building, 
with its acre and a half of ground, held, since 1751, by individuals, 
under the style of " Proprietors of the Meeting House," — as men- 
tioned in the previous chapter, — was, in 1782, relinquished to the 
parish ; 3 and, erelong, the former structure was put in process of 
renovation 4 — a work which had made good progress in 1783, but 

was not completed 
till 1784, 5 when 
the pews were or- 
dered to be sold 
at vendue. 6 

"The meeting- 
house was fin- 
ished," writes Dr. 
Bouton, 7 " in what 
was considered a 
superior style. 
The entrances 
were at a door in 
the middle, on the 
south side, and at 
two porches, one 
at the east with a 
steeple, and the 
other at the west. 
The pulpit was 
about twelve feet 
high, with a window back of it, and over head a large sounding- 
board. ( hi the lower floor, aisles extended from the south door to 
the pulpit, and from one porch to the other, and side aisles separated 
the wall-pews from those in the body of the house. At the base 
of the pulpit, on a platform about two feet high, was a seat for aged 
men ; and in front of that, less elevated, was the deacons' seat. Sus- 

First Frame Meeting-house, with Subsequent Additions. 

4 Town Records, 201. 
6 Ibid, 216-17. 

"Town Records, 128-9. 

J Ibid, 166,202-3. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 285. 

6 Ibid; also, see Recorded Assignment of Pews in note at close of chapter. 

» History of Concord, 286-7, 


pencled from the front of the deacons' seat by hinges was a circular 
board, which served for a table on sacramental occasions. The pulpit 
stairs were on the west side, and underneath the pulpit on the east 
was a closet. The wall and body pews were square, with seats hung 
on hinges, to be raised when the congregation stood in prayer. Near 
the middle of the house were five slips or ' seats ' on each side, re- 
served for persons who did not own ' pews ' — the men sitting on the 
west side, and women on the east. The gallery was also fitted up 
with pews, considerably elevated, around the wall. A large, square 
pew opposite the pulpit was built for the singers, with a circular 
table on which to lay their books. Two large pews were finished, 
contiguous to the singers' seat — one on the east and the other on the 
west side. The other space in the gallery was laid off into slips for 
common use ; reserving — according to the custom of the times — one 
slip for negroes, near the east door of the gallery." 

But on the first day of September, 1782, the pulpit of the church, 
about to be renovated, missed its wonted preacher. On the morning 
of that Sabbath day, the Reverend Timothy Walker suddenly died 
" in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and the fifty-second of his 
ministry." 1 The congregation, gathering for accustomed worship, 
heard not the gospel from revered lips, but with sorrowful surprise, 
the tidings that those lips were sealed in death. 2 In due time came 
the funeral, conducted by a committee of the parish, when the people 
came together in a body to mourn for their lost pastor, as for a father ; 
and when with fit solemnities, and with his ministerial brethren of 
the country round to bear the pall, 3 the first minister of Concord was 
carried to his burial. 4 

The life, the close of which is here recorded, was so closely and 
prominently identified with the life of Concord, that the history of 
the latter has necessarily included largely that of the former. For 
more than fifty years, to this citizen and minister of the gospel, the 
well-being of the community in which he dwelt and for which he 
wrought, was precious even "as the apple of his eye." A round- 
about common sense was an eminent characteristic of his; and a keen 
sagacity was wont to discern the end from the beginning. Conse- 
quently, his counsel was safe ; and his methodical action tended to 
success, whether in ministerial effort, or in the cultivation of his 
farm, or in the prosecution of Rumford's case before the courts of 
Great Britain. His superiority of mental training was an advantage 
which he used to promote the interests of his fellow-citizens and 
parishioners ; and while it exalted his ideals, it did not lift him above 

i Bouton's Concord, 284. 3 Ibid, 284. 

2 Ibid, 561. « See Funeral Expenses in note at close of chapter. 


sympathy with the practical and even commonplace life of those less 
favored among whom his lot was cast. Hence, he enjoyed the affec- 
tion of the people. Weight of character and accompanying personal 
dignity won universal respect for the blue-eyed, portly parson of 
medium stature, wearing, according to the fashion of his day, the 
powdered wig, three-cornered hat, short clothes, and buckled shoes. 1 
This respect had one manifestation in the custom of his parishioners 
to remain standing after the Sabbath service, till their minister, with 
courteous bowing, had passed out of the church. The similar feeling 
used to be forcibly enough expressed by Ephraim Colby, the Revo- 
lutionary veteran and sturdy fisticuff and wrestler, when he said, 
" Parson Walker is the only man the Almighty ever made that I am 
afraid of." But the dignity of this serious man was without morose- 
ness ; and it is reported of him that " though not talkative, he was 
agreeable in social intercourse, and occasionally facetious." 1 

A " moderate Calvinist," orthodox according to the Westminster 
Catechism, and tenacious of Puritan Congregationalism, Mr. Walker 
desired to keep his people united in religious faith and practice, and 
succeeded in doing so throughout his long ministry. His preaching, 
however, was more practical than doctrinal, and was embodied in half- 
hour sermons, carefully written, and calmly, yet effectively, delivered. 
Moreover, the religion of Concord's first minister embraced love of 
his country as well as of his God. His patriotism was genuine and 
ardent ; the American cause, during its Revolutionary ordeal, — the 
actual, though not the formal, close of which he lived to see, — was 
in his prayers, and its triumph in his hopes — nay, in his faith. This 
triumph he had foreseen from the beginning of the struggle ; but 
when the tidings of Bennington came to him, he could, with fervent 
assurance, exclaim, as he did : " Blessed be God ! the country is 
saved — I can now die in peace ! " 2 And in that peace did die, five 
years later, the aged Christian and patriot. 

But the venerable pastor, whose efforts had contributed so much 
to rescue, in 1765, his municipality from chaos, did not live to see its 
legal name of Town restored. For nineteen years, Concord, much 
to the distaste of its inhabitants, held the title of " Parish of Bow," 
and, in vain, desired a restoration of " the bounds of Rumford." 
But, at last, on the second day of January, 1784, a legislative act — 
mentioned in the preceding chapter — annexed " a part of Canterbury 
and Loudon to the parish of Concord," thus partially restoring the 
ancient bounds ; while in the same act, the sensible and desirable 
provision was added, "that the Parish of Concord be henceforth 
called the Town of Concord, any law, usage, or custom to the contrary 

} Bouton's Concord, 557-8, » Annals of Concord, 44. 


notwithstanding." l Thus was restored the proper municipal desig- 
nation of which the settlement — first, as Rumford, then as Concord — 
had been deprived for the more than forty years it had been under 
the jurisdiction of New Hampshire. 


Locations. The " middle way '" location of the school " in the 
town street " was a few rods north of the modern Opera House, or 
the site of Gass's American House. . . . Captain John Chand- 
ler's residence stood upon the site occupied a century later by Ham- 
ilton Perkins, and, in 1900, by General Joab N. Patterson. 
The site of Lot Colby's residence was later occupied by Joseph S. 
Lund. Bouton's Concord, 2JJJ/.. 

Sarah, Countess of Rumford. Dr. Bouton, in History of Concord, 
573, gives the following sketch of the eventful life of this lady :— 
" She was born in the family mansion — the Rolfe house — October 
18, 1774. A portion of her early life was spent with her paternal 
grandmother, at Woburn. After the death of her mother, in 1792, 
she went to Europe, at her father's invitation, and was introduced 
into the polite and fashionable circles of Bavaria, of Paris, and of 
London. Between the death of her father and her own decease she 
visited this country two or three times ; but her principal residence 
was at Brompton, near London, in a house which she inherited from 
her father. A portion of her time she spent in Paris, where she had 
funds invested. In 1845 she returned to the spot where she was 
born, to live and — to die. Here she remained in great retirement, 
having, as her only companion and the solace of her declining years, 
a young lady whom she adopted when a child, at Brompton." [This 
young lady was Miss Emma Gannell. She afterwards married Mr. 
John Burgum of Concord, who was a native of Birmingham, England.] 
" Occasionally the countess attended public worship at the North 
church, and visited her family relatives and friends, but spent most 
of her time in adorning the grounds about her house and fitting 
things to her taste. By her habits of strict economy the property 
she inherited, together with her pension of about eight hundred 
dollars, had accumulated to a very considerable sum at the time of 
her decease — all which she disposed of by will, partly to family con- 
nections, but mostly for charitable objects. 

1. To the Rolfe and Rumford Asylum, in Concord, $5,000 

which she founded — with all her real estate, 

apprised at ... . 5,000 

2. To the New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane, 15,000 

i Acts of 1784, p. 531. 


3. To the Concord Female Charitable Society, . $2,000 

4. To the Boston Children's Friend Society, . 2,000 

5. For the Fatherless and Widows' Society, Boston, 2,000 

She left a legacy of $10,000 to Joseph Amedee LeFebre, a son of 
her natural brother, Captain LeFebre of the French army, on con- 
dition that he would assume the name of Joseph Amedee Rumford. 
The executor of her will was James F. Baldwin, of Boston, who was 
a neighbor and personal friend of the countess in youth, and her 
financial agent in later years. The paintings which she inherited 
from her father, consisting of a portrait of the Elector of Bavaria, 
and Prince Maximilian, afterwards king of Bavaria ; also, of several 
ladies of the court, and several of Count Rumford, representing him 
at different periods of life — were given to Joseph B. Walker, to de- 
scend at his decease to his son, Charles Rumford Walker. A beau- 
tiful marble monument is erected to her memory in the old burying- 
ground, near the Walker family." 

Concord Men at Bunker Hill. In Captain Abbot's company were : 
Joshua Abbot, captain ; Abiel Chandler, second lieutenant ; Jeremiah 
Abbot, sergeant ; Samuel Davis, sergeant ; Nathaniel C, Stephen, 
Reuben, and Amos Abbot ; Jonathan Bradley, Ephraim Colby, Eze- 
kiel Dimond, Moses and Stephen Hall, William Mitchell, Richard 
Flood, William Straw, Peter Chandler. — In Captain Hutchins's com- 
pany were : Gordon Hutchins, captain ; Daniel Livermore, lieutenant ; 
Benjamin Abbot, sergeant ; Simeon Danforth, corporal ; William 
Walker, corporal ; Robert Livingston, Isaac and Peter Johnson, 
Abraham Kimball, Thomas Chandler, Joseph Grace, Samuel Straw, 
Levi Hutchins, fifer; Michael Flanders, drummer ; Ezra Badger. — In 
( aptain Kinsman's company were : Aaron Kinsman, captain ; Eben- 
ezer Eastman, lieutenant ; Samuel Thompson, corporal. Most of this 
company were from other towns. — Besides those named above, there 
were at Bunker Hill the following Concord men: Jonathan Currier, 
Edward Evans, William Fifield, Timothy Simonds, and Andrew 
Stone ; but to which of the three companies they respectively be- 
longed is uncertain. — Abiel Chandler, the Concord schoolmaster 
and surveyor, who led the men who flew to the front at the Lexing- 
ton alarm, is recorded both as a lieutenant in Captain Abbot's com- 
pany and as adjutant of Stark's regiment. Adjutant- Generals Re- 
port, Vol. II (1860), pp. 265-6. — Captain Gordon Hutchins was 
wounded in the battle. His son Levi, fourteen years old, accom- 
panied him to the front as a fifer, but was not allowed by his father 
to be present in the battle, though he witnessed it at a distance. The 
youth was afterwards in service with his father in New York. See 
Autobiography of Levi Hutchins. 


Continental Service, 1775-6—7. The names of the following eight 
men were reported by Timothy Walker, Jr., and Benjamin Emery, 
selectmen, as being in the Continental service for the years 1775— '7<> : 
Jeremiah Abbot, Nathaniel C. Abbot, John Kinkson, William Straw, 
Andrew Stone, William Walker, Nathaniel Eastman, Jr., and Moses 
Hall. — Ix Colonel Timothy Bedel's regiment, operating in Canada in 
the spring of 1776, and in the companies commanded respectively by 
Captains James Osgood and Ebenezer Green, were Concord men. 
In Captain Osgood's company were : John Webster, lieutenant ; 
Richard H. Osgood, sergeant ; Hubbard Carter, sergeant ; Joshua 
Danforth, corporal ; Nathaniel C. Abbot, Nathaniel Walker, Joseph 
Lund, Joseph Giles ; Ezra, Elias, and Philip Abbot : Benjamin 
Fifield, Ezekiel Eastman, Nathan Kinsman, Benjamin Keimiston, 
Daniel Chandler, Samuel Danford, and William Simonds ; in Cap- 
tain Green's company were Irad Glines, Ebenezer Hall, and Joseph 
Chanler. Some of the above-mentioned were taken prisoners on the 
19th of May, 1776, at the fort called "the Cedars," and were 
stripped of most of their clothing, and all of their equipments and 
utensils for camp and field. Among those faring thus were Elias, 
Ezra, and Philip Abbot, and Benjamin Fifield. — In a company com- 
manded by Captain Benjamin Sias of Canterbury, and belonging to 
Colonel David Oilman's regiment, on service in New York in 1776, 
were Philbrick Bradley, Peter Blanchard, Amos Abbot, Jr., Daniel 
Carter, and Richard Flood. — In 1776 the following Concord men 
stood enrolled in Captain Joshua Abbot's company : Abiel Chandler, 
lieutenant; Ephraim Colby, ensign ; Timothy Hall, Jonathan Hasel- 
tine, Philip Page, Amos Barnes, Terence McColley, Beriah and 
Moses Abbot, Stephen Hall, Peter Chandler, John Merrill, Seth 
Spring, John Blanchard, Benjamin Powell, Hezekiah Colby, William 
Walker, Phinehas Stevens, Jonathan Johnson, Samuel Worthen, 
Moses Hall, Peter Carey, Jonathan Bradley, and Ephraim Fisk.— 
For Captain Benjamin Emery's company, in Colonel Nahum Bald- 
win's regiment, of which Gordon Hutchins was lieutenant-colonel, 
and which reinforced the Continental army in New York in 1776, 
Concord furnished the following named persons : Aaron Kinsman, 
ensign ; Israel Glines, Ezra Badger, John Carter, Jonathan Currier, 
Simeon Colby, Ephraim Kinsman, William and Ezekiel Stickney, 
Jacob Carter, Solomon Gage, Benjamin Elliot, and Bruce Walker.— 
In 1777, in Captain Daniel Livermore's company of the Third New 
Hampshire regiment, the following Concord names were enrolled : 
Robert Livingston, sergeant ; Amos Flood, corporal ; Abner Hogg, 
Phinehas Stevens, Daniel Chandler, Philip Rowell, Samuel Worthen, 
Abiel Stevens, Solomon Fisk, Obadiah Kimball, Abner and Ebenezer 



Farnum, Beriah Abbot, William and Jacob Eastman, John Straw, and 
Samuel Colby. — At Ticonderoga, in 1777, the company commanded 
by Captain Ebenezer Webster of Salisbury, and belonging to Colonel 
Thomas Stickney's regiment, contained the following named Concord 
men : Richard Herbert, lieutenant ; William Simonds, Timothy 
Bradley, Simeon Danforth ; Isaac, Elias, John, and Ezra Abbot; 
Phinehas Stevens, Ezekiel Dimond, John Peters; Nathaniel, John, 
and Stilson Eastman ; Ebenezer Farnum, Ephraim Fisk, Jr., Abial 
Hall, Isaac Chandler, Israel Glines, and Benjamin Rolfe. 

Relief of Ticonderoga. In Lieutenant-Colonel Gerrish's regiment, 
raised in Concord and vicinity, and which marched July 5th, 1777, 
for the relief of Ticonderoga, and having marched seventy-five miles, 
was met by the news of the evacuation of the fort, and turned back 
to be discharged on the 12th of July, were the following men from 
Concord: Richard Herbert, lieutenant; William Simonds, Timothy 
Bradley, John Chase ; Richard, Joseph, Nathaniel, John, and Stilson 
Eastman ; Simeon Danforth, Isaac and Elias Abbot, Daniel and 
Ebenezer Farnum, John Peters, Ephraim Fisk, Jr., Abial Hall, 
Isaac Chandler, Israel ( {lines, Phinehas Stevens, Ezekiel Dimond, 
and Benjamin Rolfe. (With these are set down the following who 
may not have belonged to Concord : Jacob Heath, Stephen Haines, 
John Cross, and Peter Blanchard.) 

Committees of Safety. The Committees of Safety for the three years 
following 1776 were: For 1777, John Kimball, Thomas Stickney, 
Reuben Kimball, Benjamin Emery, and Richard Herbert ; for 1778, 

Lie uten a n t 
Joseph II all, 
( 'aptain Josh- 
ua Abbot, 
John Kim- 
ball, James 
Walker, and 
John Chand- 
ler; in 1779, 
John Chand- 
ler, Colonel 
T h o s . Stick- 
nt'V, and Cap- 
tain Aaron 
Kins m a n . 
-Tot en Ree- 




ords, 153, 16Jf, 172. Philip Eastman, of East Concord, was chairman 
of the first committee, or that of 1776 — the members of which are 
named in the text. The committee meetings were frequently held in 
the southeast corner room on the first floor of the well-built, capacious 
house erected by Mr. Eastman in 1755 ; a house, which — it may be 
here added in passing — was to be occupied by his descendants in 
direct line to the fourth generation, and to stand, in the possession 
of Jonathan Eastman Pecker, in 1900, a finely preserved type of a 
colonial mansion, bearing the name of " Elm-Croft." 

Association Test of 1776. The following is a list of the subscribers 
to the Association Test, the words of which are given in the text : 

Reuben Kimball, Joseph Hall, Amos Abbot, jr., 

John Kimball, Richard Hazeltine, William Coffin, 

Thomas Stickney, Joseph Hall, jr., Joseph Abbot, 

Peter Green, 
Tim y Walker, jr., 
Benjamin Emery, 
John Bradley, 
Nathan Chandler, 
Aaron Stevens, 
James Walker, 
Robert Davis, 
Benj. Hanniford, 
Daniel Gale, 
David Hall, 
Simon Danforth, 
Nathaniel Abbot, 
Nathaniel Rolfe, 
Stephen ( i reenleaf , 
Samuel Thompson, 
John Gage, 
Moses Eastman, jr.. 
Jacob Carter, 
John Fowle, 


Levi x Ross, 


Jeremiah Bradley, 
Peter Green, jr., 
Amos Abbot, 
Timothy Bradley, 
Ephraim Farnum, 
Cornelius Johnson, 
Philip Eastman, 

Benjamin Fifield, 
Reuben Abbott, 
Lot Colby, 
Jonathan Eastman, 
Daniel Chase, 
David George, 
John Stevens, 
John Virgin, 
Phineas Stevens, 
Jabez Abbot, 
Benjamin Abbot, 
Ebenezer Hall, 
Henry Martin, 
Timothy Simonds, 
William Fifield, 
Reuben Abbott, jr., 
Samuel Butters, 

Jonathan Merrill, 
James Mitchell, 
Ezra Carter, 
Asa Kimball, 
Jonathan Emerson, 
Timothy Bradley, jr., 
Joseph Eastman, 
Phineas Virgin, 
William Currier, 
Ebenezer Simond, 
Dan Stickney, 
Josiah Farnum, jr., 
Elisha Moody, 
Benjamin Eastman, 
Jacob Green, 
B en j a min Farn urn , 
Ebenezer Virgin, 

Timo. Walker, [Rev.] Ephraim Potter, 

Henry Beck, 
Benjamin Rolfe, 
Oliver Hoit, 
Theodore Farnum, 
Ebenezer Farnum, 
Ephraim Farnum, 
John Steven, (?) 
Moses Eastman, 
Chandler Lovejoy, 
Samuel Kinkson, 
Caleb Buswell, 

Edward Abbott, 
Jonathan Stickney, 
Eph'm Farnum, jr., 
William Virgin, 
( )badiah Hall, 
George Abbot, 
Josiah Farnum, 
Joseph Farnum, 
Stephen Kimball, 
Daniel Hall, 
Abner Flanders, 



Daniel Abbot, 
Richard Flanders, 
Joseph Farnum, 
Isaac Abbot, 
Ephraim Abbot, 
Stephen Abbot, 
George Abbot, jr., 
Stephen Farnum, 
Daniel Farnum, 
Daniel Chandler, 
Philip Carigain, 
Daniel Carter, 
Joseph Clough, 
Richard Herbert, 
Gordon Hutchins, 
James Haseltine, 
William Haseltine, 
Simon Trumbel, 
John Chase, 
John Shute, 
Jacob Shute, 

Richard Eastman, 
Solomon Gage, 
Ezekiel Dimond, jr., 


John X Trumble, 


Joseph Colby, 
Ephraim Fisk, 
Nathaniel Green, 
Thomas Wilson, 
Isaac Walker, 
Ezra Badger, 
Richard Flanders, 
Timothy Farnham, 
Ezekiel Dimond, 
Joseph Haseltine, 
Phineas Kimball, 
Robert Ambros, 
Benjamin Sweat, 
Abiel Blanchard, 
Benjamin Elliot, 

Nathan Abbot, 
Jesse Abbot, 
Joseph Eastman, jr., 
Richard Potter, 
Timothy Symonds, 
Philip Kimball, 
Timothy Kimball, 
John Farnum, 
Ezekiel Carter, 
Richard Hood, 
Henry Lovejoy, 
Lemuel Tucker, 
Jacob Goodwin, 
George Graham, 
Jeremiah Wheeler, 
Zephaniah Pettey, 
Zebediah Farnum, 
Samuel Goodwin, 
Abner Farnum, 
Thomas Eaton. 

James Stevens, 

Bennington. Of Colonel Thomas Stickney's regiment in General 
Stark's brigade at Bennington, August, 1777, there were, from Con- 
cord : Thomas Stickney, colonel ; Richard Herbert, lieutenant ; Jesse, 
John, Elias, Ephraim, Ezra, and Stephen Abbot ; Timothy Johnson, 
Benjamin Ambrose, Philbrick Bradley, Simeon Danforth, Reuben 
Dimond, Benjamin Elliot, Theodore Farnum, Richard Flood, Abner 
Flanders, Samuel Kinsman, John Peters, Ephraim Fisk, Ephraim 
Fisk, Jr., David George, Solomon Gage, Israel Glines, Abial Hall, 
Anthony Potter, Phinehas Stevens, William Simonds, Simon Trum- 
ble, and Gilman West. Of those named above Philbrick Bradley 
was wounded in the battle. John Abbot, uncle of the subsequent 
mayor of Concord, received a ball on the breast-bone, which fell 
harmless at his feet. He was the stoutest young man in Concord, 
as well as one of the tallest, standing six feet seven inches without 
shoes. Bouton's Concord, 629. 

Saratoga. In Captain Joshua Abbot's company of volunteers that 
marched to reinforce the Northern army at Saratoga, in September, 
1777, were : Reuben Kimball, lieutenant ; James Mitchell, sergeant ; 
Moses Abbot, sergeant ; Amos Abbot, corporal ; Jacob Carter, drum- 
mer ; John Farnum ; Moses, Stilson, Jonathan, and Joseph Eastman ; 
Ezekiel Dimond, Phinehas Virgin, Daniel Farnum, Chandler Love- 
joy, Enoch Coffin, James Johnson, Reuben and Philip Abbot, Ezekiel 


Stickney, Timothy Hall, John Peters, Michael Flanders, Isaac Di- 
mond, John Sillaway, and Benjamin Rolfe. 

Rhode Island Expedition, 1778. In Colonel Stickney's regiment, 
raised for the defense of Rhode Island, were Peaslee Eastman, Jacob 
and Josiah Flanders, and Josiah Chandler. 

New Levies in 1780. These were in service six months. Of these 
were : Joshua Graham, Thomas Carr, Daniel Stickney, Aaron and 
Peaslee Eastman, John Peters, Jonas Wyman, Benjamin Thompson, 
and Jonathan Moulton. 

For Three Months' Service in 1780-81. In Captain Aaron Kins- 
man's company of Colonel Stickney's regiment were enlisted the fol- 
lowing persons : Elias Abbot, Gilman and Edward West, Reuben and 
Joseph Blanchard, Ephraim Fisk, John Dow, Keyes and Benjamin 
Bradley, Josiah Flanders, Ebenezer Gray, Elisha Virgin, William 
Eastman. — In July, 1781, the following persons enlisted with no 
special assignment recorded : Jeremiah Virgin, Jeremiah Chandler, 
Moses Read, Phinehas Ayer, Joseph Blanchard, David Eastman, 
Millen Kimball. 

Ranger Service, 1782. In Captain Webster's company for defense 
of the frontiers, were : Abner Flanders, sergeant ; Henry Eastman, 
private. — In general conclusion to the preceding notes of the pres- 
ent chapter, containing lists of Concord men, who, under various 
assignments, served in the Revolution, may be added the names of 
some whose times and places of service — with one exception — are 
not known. They are : David Davis, fifer ; Simeon Locke, John 
Thompson, Joshua Thompson (aid to Lafayette), Moses Chase, Eben- 
ezer Foss, Samuel Walker, Thomas or Benjamin Powell, Salem Colby 
(negro), Eliphalet Caswell, Nathan Shead, Thomas Pitts, Joseph 
Hale, Ephraim Hoyt, Nathan Stevens, Timothy Abbot, David Blan- 
chard, Jonathan Chase, Peter Manual, Benjamin Chase, Enoch Bad- 
ger, and Moses Reed. Possibly some of these were not citizens, but 
were only " hired " for Concord. 

Dr. Carrigain. On the 13th of June, 1777, a special committee 
of the house, appointed to consider what was the best to be done 
with " John Maloney and Dr. Callighan, persons suspected to be 
inimical to the liberties of this State," reported that " they be com- 
mitted to the gaol in Exeter for safe-keeping." Journal of House, 
State Papers, Vol. VIII, 585. There is no further record. " Dr. 
Callighan " probably meant Dr. Carrigain ; and it is reasonable to 
suppose that the good Concord doctor was not held long in durance 

" Merchant Stevens.'''' John Stevens was an Englishman by birth, 
and a gentleman of good education. He came to Concord from 


Charlestown, Mass., and went into trade with Colonel McMillan, in 
the store on the northwest corner of Main and Pleasant streets. He 
built an addition, and fitted the upper story into a hall which was 
variously used, and, occasionally, as a place of meeting for the house 
of representatives. He bought for his wife the house built by 
Stephen Farrington, and situated near what was afterwards to be the 
northwest corner of State and Pleasant streets (in 1900-'01 the site 
of the Wonolancet Club House). His purchase included the adja- 
cent field. — How the merchant was arrested and imprisoned for 
alleged Toryism is told in the text ; also that he never forgave the 
town for prosecuting him on what he declared was a false charge. 
He died on the 25th of December, 1792, in the forty-fifth year of his 
age. " Some time before he died," says Dr. Bouton, " he said to his 
wife, — ' Wife, I am a justice of the peace, and I wish you to make 
oath, before me, that when I am dead, you will see that I am buried 
between those two apple-trees [pointing them out] ; that no citizen of 
Concord shall follow me to the grave ; no minister be present ; that you 
will pay one crown apiece the four men who bear out my body and 
bury it.' His wife demurred to taking the oath, but promised to do 
as he wished. He was buried accordingly. His bearers were Zenas 

Wheeler, Job Page, Daniel Page, and . Several years 

afterwards, when the house owned by Col. William Kent was moved 
on to the spot [just west of the Farrington house] , the bones of Stevens 
were dug up, put in a box, and re-interred in the back part of the 
same lot, where they remain unknown to this day." 

Maximum Prices. The following were some of the maximum 
prices established in 1777, " to prevent monopoly and oppression," as 
mentioned in the text. Wheat could " not exceed the price of seven 
shillings per bushel ; " rye, five ; Indian corn, four ; oats, two shill- 
ings and sixpence ; potatoes, in the fall of the year, one shilling and 
fourpence — at any other season, two shillings ; butter, ninepence, per 
pound ; cheese, sixpence ; salt pork, ninepence — fresh, fourpence 
three farthings ; veal, threepence ; beef, grass-fed, threepence — stall- 
fed, fourpence ; grass-fed mutton, fourpence ; oak wood on the town 
street, eight shillings a cord ; men's neat leather shoes, nine shillings 
a pair ; women's, seven shillings and threepence ; flip and toddy 
made of New England rum, one shilling per mug or bowl ; victuals 
at the tavern, one shilling per meal; cider, at the press, eight shill- 
ings per barrel — other seasons of the year, in proportion — and three- 
pence per mug ; flax, one shilling per pound ; wool, two shillings and 
sixpence ; yarn stockings, seven shillings a pair ; English hay, of best 
quality, six dollars per load in the field ; farming labor in the best 
season, three shillings and sixpence a day — at other seasons, in pro- 


portion ; shoeing a yoke of oxen, four shillings ; a horse, steel-corked, 
seven shillings — in other ways, in proportion ; plow irons, one shill- 
ing per pound ; hoes, six shillings apiece ; chains and yoke irons, one 
shilling and threepence per pound ; carpenter's labor, four shillings 
per day ; joiner's, three shillings and sixpence ; tailor's, three shill- 
ings — the making of a full suit of woolen clothes, one pound four 
shillings ; woman's common labor, two shillings and sixpence per 
week ; wool hats, nine shillings apiece ; mason's labor, four shillings 
and sixpence ; men's half boots of the best sort, thirteen shillings and 
sixpence per pair ; tow cloth a yard wide, two shillings and sixpence 
per yard — other widths, in proportion ; the best of all-wool cloth, 
dressed fit for men's wear, three-quarters wide, nine shillings per 

Judge Walker's Store. This historic building was afterwards re- 
moved to the west side of Main street, upon a site not far from the 
junction of Main and Penacook streets, where it has stood, occupied 
as a dwelling, to the present time (1900). 

Recorded Assignment of Pews. In March, 1784, the parish raised 
a committee consisting of Captain Reuben Kimball, Colonel Timothy 
Walker, Lieutenant John Bradley, John Kimball, and James Walker, 
" to vendue the pews, and finish the meeting-house " ; with instruc- 
tion " to proceed to finish the outside of the same the ensuing sum- 
mer."— Town Records, 216-17. On the 21st of March, 1786, the 
town clerk was " directed to record the pews in the meeting-house to 
those persons who " had "purchased and paid for the same." — Town 
Records, 226. The following is the record of pews, with their re- 
spective numbers prefixed to the names of the persons entitled 
thereto, as, in substance, set down in Town Records, 229-30 : 

On Floor. No. 1. Reserved for use of minister; 2. Col. Timothy 
Walker ; 3. Timothy and Philbrick Bradley ; 4. Nathan and Jesse 
Abbot ; 5. Stephen Farnum ; 6. Lieut. Joseph Haseltine ; 7. Lieut. 
Benjamin Farnum ; 8. Capt. Richard Ayer ; 9. Lieut. Timothy Dix ; 
10. Thomas Wilson; 11. Ensign Ephraim Colby; 12. Abel Harris; 
13. Major William Duncan ; 14. Capt. Benjamin Emery ; 15. Will- 
iam Coffin; 16. Dr. Peter Green; 17. Benjamin Hannaford ; 18. 
John Blanchard ; 19. John Souther; 20. Ensign John Odlin ; 21. 
Abel Harris ; 22. Stephen Kimball ; 23. Isaac Abbot ; 24. Lieut. 
Richard Herbert ; 25. Ebenezer H. (loss and Nathaniel Rolfe, Jr. ; 
26. Col. Thomas Stickney ; 27. Lieut. Robert Davis ; 28. David 
Hall; 29. James Walker; 30. Capt. Reuben Kimball; 31. Lieut. 
Joseph Farnum ; 32. Ezra Carter; 33. Ebenezer Dustin ; 34. Rich- 
ard Haseltme ; 35. Col. Peter Green ; 36. Lieut. John Bradley ; 37. 
Ebenezer Hall ; 38. Benjamin Rolfe and Ephraim Farnum ; 39. En- 


sign John Shute ; 40. Vacant ; 41. Vacant ; 42. Capt. Joshua 
Abbot ; 43. Col. Aaron Kinsman ; 44. Robert and Jonathan East- 
man ; 45. Josiah Farnum, Jr. and Daniel Farniim ; 46. John Kim- 
ball ; 47. Lieut. Joseph Hall. 

In Gallery. No. 1. David Carter; 2. Beriah Abbot; 3. Benja- 
min Davis ; 4. Benjamin Elliot and Sarah Farnum ; 5. Benjamin 
Kimball; 6. John Walker; 7. Richard Herbert, Jr.; 8. Richard 
Ayer ; 9. Vacant; 10. Isaac Hustone ; 11. Vacant; 12. Daniel 
Chase, Jr. ; 13. Jonathan Runnals ; 14. Benjamin Kimball ; 15. Va- 
cant ; 16. Caleb Buswell ; 17. Isaac Dimond ; 18. Capt. Reuben 
Kimball; 19. John West; 20. Lieut. Joshua Thompson ; 21. Daniel 
Abbot; 22. Vacant; 23. Jeremiah Stickney ; 24. James Walker; 
25. Anthony Potter ; 26. Vacant. 

Funeral Expenses. The charges of the Rev. Timothy AValker's 
funeral, as defrayed by the parish, were as follows: Eight rings, X4 
16s.; two gallons wine, XI 4s.; a coffin, 9s. ; biers, Is. 6d. ; a horse 
to Sanborn ton, 3s. ; do to Gilmanton, 3s. ; do to Warner, 2s. 3d. ; 
digging grave, 2s.; provisions, XI 2s. 3d. ; gravestones, X4 4s. Total, 
X12 7s. 


The Town of Concord. — Post-Revolutionary Events. — Con- 
stitution of the United States. — Revised State Con- 
stitution. — Town Affairs and Progress. 


As the new constitution was to go into full effect on the second clay 
of June, 1781, a president of the state, senators, and members of the 
house of representatives were elected by the people in March. In 
Concord, Timothy Walker, who had been the first and the last to 
serve the parish as representative under the old constitution, was 
elected as the first to serve the town in the same capacity under the 
new. Of the ninety-eight votes cast for president, fifty-six were for 
Woodbury Langdon, and forty-two for Josiah Bartlett. 1 But neither 
of these candidates was chosen to the chief magistracy, the venerable 
Meshech Weare being the choice of a large majority in the state. Only 
seven of the twelve senators having been elected by the people, the 
legislature made choice of Timothy Walker as one of the remaining 
five, and Peter Green 2 was chosen by the town to succeed him in the 
lower house. 

The members elect of the two branches of the legislature convened 
at Concord on the first Wednesday of June. Their oaths of office 
were taken and subscribed before Josiah Bartlett, senior member of 
the old council, acting for President Weare of that body, 3 detained by 
illness incident to the burden of years and the weight of public 
cares long borne. Thursday, the 3d of June, was the day on which 
popular interest in the inauguration of the government under the 
new constitution was especially manifested. " The occasion/' it has 
been written, " was of great interest and importance, and attended 
with imposing ceremonies. A procession was formed, composed of 
members of the legislature, and civil authorities of the state, together 
with other persons of office and dignity ; also, of ministers of the 
gospel of various denominations, and a large body of citizens, who 
marched at the sound of music to the meeting-house. The Reverend 
Samuel McClintock, of Greenland, preached on the occasion, and a 
public dinner was given at the expense of the State." 4 

This " Election Day " was typical of a holiday, which was, with 

1 Town Records, 216-17. 'Journals of House and Senate, 1784. 

2 Ibid, 219. * Bouton's Concord, 288. 


changes, to celebrate for many a year the June organization of the 
legislative department of the state government, and especially the 
official induction of the chief executive. It was peculiarly a Concord 
day, and one anticipated with much preparation for fitly receiving 
the official guests, as well as throngs of visitants sure to be in town 
to witness and enjoy the enlivening holiday observance. Special 
interest in the day extended into all the country round about the 
capital, and "going to 'lection," in the popular abbreviation, was a 
favorite recreative feature of the people's life. 

But the town was, and for some years would be, without a settled 
minister of the gospel. In October, 1782, a few weeks after the 
death of Mr. Walker, a committee of three was appointed " to supply 
the pulpit." 1 In March, 1783, two were added to the committee. 
Later in the same year, certain arrearages of the late minister's sal- 
ary were " discharged " by leasing to his son Timothy, " for the term 
of nine hundred ninety-nine years, three acres of bog-meadow which " 
had been " laid out to the parsonage right for emendation." This 
question of salary arrearage had often been before the parish meet- 
ings, and ineffectual attempts had been made to effect a settlement. 
In March, 1782, "all former committees, chosen to settle with the 
Rev. Timothy Walker," were dismissed, and one was appointed " to 
request " him " to sue those persons who " were " delinquent in pay- 
ing his salary from the year 1749 to the year 1765." 2 The singular 
request was not complied with, and the town finally adjusted the 
matter by a lease of a portion of its parsonage land, as just 
mentioned. Another committee was selected, in March, 1785, for 
supplying the pulpit, and "one half the money raised to defray 
the expenses of the town " was appropriated to that purpose. 3 
The services of Mr. Daniel Story were temporarily employed ; 
but it is said that his Arminianism did not quite suit the ortho- 
dox views of his hearers. At any rate, in June, the committee 
was enlarged, and instructed to " procure a candidate on pro- 
bation the first opportunity." 4 At length, Mr. Jonathan Wil- 
kins, a native of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and a graduate 
of Dartmouth college, in 1779, was engaged to preach as a candi- 
date; and on the 17th of December, 1786, he received from the 
church a unanimous call to settle. The next day the call was 
seconded by the town, with the offer of a salary of one hundred 
pounds, the use of the parsonage, and two hundred pounds " towards 
a settlement." But Mr. Wilkins declined the invitation, " in con- 
formity," — as he said in his answer, — " to what appears duty and 
interest, which are inseparably connected." Though declining the 

'Town Records, 207. 3/6i'd,221. 

2 Ibid, 202. * Ibid, 222-3. 


pastorate on what he deemed an inadequate salary, he became a 
permanent resident of Concord, useful and prominent in its church 
and civil affairs. 1 

Nearly three years later, on the first day of September, 1788,— 
just six years after the death of Mr. Walker, — Israel Evans, a native 
of Pennsylvania, a graduate of Princeton, and an army chaplain dur- 
ing the Revolution, who had been preaching in Concord, as a candi- 
date, received the call of church and town "to settle in the work of 
the ministry,"' 2 with an annual salary of ninety pounds, the use of 
the parsonage, and " two hundred pounds — in materials for building 
a house — as a settlement." 2 This vote was modified at an adjourned 
meeting in October, so as to make the salary fifteen dollars more 
"in lieu of the settlement." 2 Mr. Evans did not "approve of every- 
thing in the call," 3 and did not accept until the 17th of March, 1789, 3 
and was regularly installed on the first Wednesday of July, of that 
year. 4 

In those days, financial stress, more or less severe, was felt 
throughout the country. During the last years of the Revolution, 
silver and gold had circulated largely, but had gradually, since peace, 
been returned to the countries from which necessary and unnecessary 
commodities 5 were imported ; while no general system of impost 5 
had been adopted, whereby some part of this money might have been 
retained. 5 This scarcity of money was a grievance which legislation, 
in New Hampshire or elsewhere, failed to remedy; and which also 
bred a morbid desire for inordinate issues of paper currency. In 
some localities, even in conservative New Hampshire, this desire 
manifested itself not only in misguided urgency as to its specific 
object, but also in clamorous opposition to laws obliging the payment 
of debts, and to courts and lawyers, as instrumental in enforcing 
those laws. The unhealthy sentiment ran into a high fever of 
excitement in 1786. It was determined to bring direct pressure 
upon the legislature. Thus, it was planned as an impressive stroke 
of policy, to hold a paper-money convention at Concord, during the 
early days of the June legislative session ; it being hoped that the 
personal presence of the convention might materially help to ensure 
for its petition the favor of the legislature. But a practical joke 
upset the fond hope. For when, at the commencement of the legis- 
lative session, only five delegates to the proposed convention were in 
town, sixteen members of the house, of a waggish turn, among 
whom were several young lawyers, bethought themselves to pretend 
that they, too, had been chosen as delegates from their towns. They 

1 Bouton's Concord, 291-5; also, see note at close of chapter. i Ibid, 253-4. 

2 Town Records, 243-4. 5 Belknap, 395. 
* Ibid, 251. 



succeeded in persuading the five to go into convention with them at 
once ; urging that it was of the utmost importance to present a peti- 
tion to the legislature as early as possible. Thereupon, a convention 
of the real and pretended delegates was organized, with one of the 
former for president, and one of the latter for clerk. The proceed- 
ings and debates were conducted with much apparent solemnity. 1 
A petition was framed, complaining, in most extravagant terms, of 
their grievances, and praying for a loan of three millions of dollars, 
secured by real estate — the paper thus issued to be legal tender for 
all debts ; also praying for the abolition of inferior courts, and for a 
reduction of the number of lawyers to two only in a county. 1 The 
members of the convention then marched in procession to the house 
of representatives, — some of whom, including the speaker, had been 
let into the secret, — and, with great formality, presented their peti- 
tion, which was suffered to lie on the table, and afterwards to be 
withdrawn. 1 The convention quickly dissolved ; and when other 
real delegates arrived they were exceedingly mortified on finding 
their purpose, for that time, thwarted. 

But the cause of fiat money, though having the laugh against it, 
continued to find more or less support in various quarters. County 
conventions were held, from two of which, and also from several 
towns, petitions were presented to the legislature at its September 
session held in Exeter. " To still the clamor," says Belknap, 2 " and 
collect the real sense of the people on the subject of paper currency, 
the assembly formed a plan for the emission of fifty thousand pounds, 
to be let at four per cent, on land security, to be a tender in payment 
of state taxes, and for the fees and salaries of public officers. This 
plan**- —adopted on the 14th of September — " was immediately 
printed, and sent to the several towns ; and the people were desired 
to give their opinions in town-meetings for and against it, and to 
make return of their votes to the assembly at the next session." This 
way of proceeding did not coincide with the radical views of the 
party, and an attempt was made to coerce the legislature by mob 
violence. This, however, signally failed. 

The financial craze, with its violent craving for impracticable 
measures of relief, soon after subsided. This result was forwarded 
by the refusal of the people to consent to the plan for emitting a 
paper currency, submitted by the general court in September, a few 
days before the riot at Exeter. The sense of the citizens of Concord 
upon the subject was emphatically expressed in town-meeting on the 
30th of October, 178(3, when it was voted "not to make paper money 
on any plan whatever." 3 

Belknap, 399; also, see Life of William Plumer. 

2 History of New Hampshire, 400. 

'Town Records, 228; also, see note at close of chapter. 


The financial troubles in the land, fraught with peril even to the 
stability of state governments, helped to hasten the popular convic- 
tion that the thirteen articles of confederation, adopted in 1778, 
afforded an utterly inadequate fundamental law for the thirteen 
independent states. A new constitution was felt to be requisite for 
securing, among other advantages, public and private credit as one 
of the blessings of liberty, by delegating to the congress of the Union 
certain exclusive rights, such as to coin money and emit bills of 
credit. Hence, in 1787, was framed the Constitution of the United 
States. With giant conflict of opinion, and with much of concession 
and compromise, the great instrument of Union had been adopted by 
the convention of delegates from the United States of America, over 
whose deliberations George Washington presided. Now it had to 
pass the ordeal of the conventions of the several states, the approval 
of nine of which was requisite to give it effect. ( hi the 14th of 
December the general court passed a resolution calling upon the 
people of New Hampshire to choose delegates to meet in convention 
at Exeter, on the 13th of February, 1788, "to take under considera- 
tion the proceedings of the late Federal Convention, and investigate, 
discuss, and decide upon the same." 1 Concord chose Captain Ben- 
jamin Emery " to sit in convention at Exeter." 2 

This convention, having met at the time and place appointed and 
having selected General John Sullivan, at that time chief magistrate 
of the state, for its president, occupied ten days in discussing the 
proposed constitution. There were two parties, the one for adoption 
being led upon the floor by Samuel Livermore of Holderness ; the one 
against, by Joshua Atherton of Amherst — both men of distinguished 
ability and much personal influence. The opposition manifested such 
strength that the friends of ratification deemed it fortunate that an 
adjournment till June was effected, the convention then to meet at 
Concord. Here, accordingly, it met in second session on the 18th of 
June. "The convention," as it is recorded by another, vt excited an 
interest with which the proceedings of no other deliberative body in 
this State have ever been regarded. The galleries of the church 
where it assembled were thronged with spectators, and its members 
were surrounded, not only by large numbers of their own constitu- 
ents, but by individuals from distant states, engaged, some of them, 
in watching their deliberations, and some of them, no doubt, in efforts 
to influence the result." 3 The session continued three days. Fif- 
teen amendments were recommended on the report of a commit- 
tee of fifteen, of which John Langdon, recently elected president 
of the state, was chairman. An attempt to ratify, with the pro- 

1 Town Records, 238. 3 Barstow's New Hampshire, 279-80, 

2 Ibid, 239. 


viso that the constitution should not be operative in New Hamp- 
shire without the amendments, was defeated ; and on the afternoon 
of the 21st of June, 1788, the constitution, as it came from the 
"Convention of Delegates from the United States of America, held 
at Philadelphia, on the seventeenth of September, 1787," was adopted 
by a vote of fifty-seven to forty-seven. Captain Benjamin Emery, 
the Concord delegate, voted in the negative ; but this action found, 
according to tradition, its offset in that of Judge Walker, a strong 
friend of ratification, who, anticipating a close vote, invited to dinner 
one or more delegates of the opposite opinion, and by prolonging his 
liberal entertainment beyond the hour of voting, helped to lessen the 
negative strength. 1 Indeed, a great historic act had been done in the 
old North church at Concord ; for, as announced in the triumphant 
voice of Sullivan from the chair, amid acclaims of joy from floor and 
gallery, New Hampshire had felicitously won the fadeless honor of 
being the ninth state to ratify the constitution, and thus to give it 
practical effect as the sure bond of " more perfect union," and the 
life of the nation's future government. The news from Concord, 
speeding over the country, by courier and other means, relieved the 
anxious hearts of Washington, Hamilton, Madison, and their like, 
and was welcomed by the people with the heartiest demonstrations of 

i°y- 2 

During these, as well as previous and subsequent events, there 
existed, as evidenced by the town records, considerable educational 
interest in the public mind. Thus, in 1779, in the very stress of the 
Revolution, the expense of hiring a schoolmaster was allowed with 
other accounts for "the year past." 3 When no special appropriation 
was made, sometimes, as in 1781, certain lands belonging to the 
school right were ordered to be " leased out " ; 4 while, the same 
year, it was suggested, in the warrant for a special meeting, that "the 
parish excuse those persons who have kept constant schools in Con- 
cord from paying taxes the current year." 5 In March, 1785, it was 
voted " that a public school be kept in Concord the ensuing year." 6 
Probably this school was wholly or partially supported from the gen- 
eral appropriation made " to defray the expenses of the town." 7 The 
next year forty pounds were specially appropriated for " a town 
school" 8 and, in 1789, the same amount was voted, "to be divided 
into several parts or districts, as usual." 9 From this time the annual 
appropriation was steadily increased, at short intervals, and within 
thirty years reached twelve hundred dollars, and the sum raised for 

1 Bouton's Concord, 303. 

2 See Centennial Observance of Batitication Day, 1888, in note at close of chapter. 

3 Town Records, 175. 

* Ibid, 190. i; Ibid, 220. 8 Ibid, 224. 

<* Ibid, 195-6. ■ Ibid, 221. ° Ibid, 250. 


the support of the school rose from less than two thirds of that raised 
for the supply of the pulpit to more than twice as much. 

The "house lot belonging to the school-right," located on the south 
side of the road running westerly by the Bradley estate, was, in 1 790, 
exchanged for an acre and four fifths of land owned by Lieutenant 
Robert Davis, and situated southerly of the burying-ground and 
adjoining it. 1 During the same year a schoolhouse was located on 
Main street, at a short distance easterly of the church. This was 
effected by the vote " that the pest-house be moved into the town 
street near the meeting-house for the use of a schoolhouse.' 1 The 
structure thus utilized had been erected in July, 1775, at an expense 
of forty pounds, when pestilence had suddenly entered the parish, 
amid the alarms of war. For the smallpox had been contracted by 
Dr. Philip Carrigain, on professional service in a neighboring town, 
and by him communicated to John, the son of Nathaniel West, a 
neighbor. 2 It was on Saturday that the discovery of the real nature 
of the disease was made, creating intense alarm in the community. 
On Sabbath morning "the inhabitants assembled en masse and com- 
menced the erection of a pest-house in a grove west of the residence 
of Captain Benjamin Emery," 2 and before night " the timber for a 
convenient " structure, " to consist of four rooms, had been felled, 
hewed, framed, and raised," and "the boards for covering and the 
brick for the chimney " had been " drawn to the ground." 3 To this 
house forthwith finished, the West family was removed, six or seven 
of the members of which were attacked, but all of whom recovered 
save the father. The doctor and his family of five remained in their 
own house, which was fenced off from all communication, and where 
inoculation was tried, and no death occurred. It was certainly 
a singular frugality of the citizens of Concord which has thus asso- 
ciated the story of a pest-house with that of a schoolhouse in a nar- 
rative of educational progress. 

It is interesting to note the variety of personal preference ex- 
pressed by the voters of Concord at the first election of presidential 
electors under the new Constitution of the United States, held on 
the 15th of December, 1788. All were Federalists in that they were 
in favor of George Washington for president, but they were of many 
minds as to the men who should directly express the people's choice 
in the electoral college. Hence, their two hundred and ninety-one 4 
votes were distributed among twenty-three candidates, though but 
five electors were to be chosen. There was no choice by the people 
of the state ; but of the candidates subsequently elected by the 
legislature, two, Ebenezer Thompson and John Parker, received not 

i Town Records, 259-60. s Bouton's Concord, 282. 

2 See note at close of chapter. * Town Records, 246. 


a vote in Concord ; of three, John Pickering received forty-five — the 
highest number cast for any one — John Sullivan, forty-one, and Ben- 
jamin Bellows, two. Votes were given for three citizens of Concord; 
ten for Timothy Walker, five for Peter Green, and one for John 
Bradley. 1 

A somewhat similar division occurred in voting for electors at 
Washington's second election in 1792. It may be permissible to 
add here, that, at four successive elections for the presidency of the 
state, previous to the adoption of the national constitution, John 
Langdon had been Concord's favorite candidate ; having in 1785 
received one hundred and five of one hundred and thirteen votes 
cast. During the next three years, when Langdon and Sullivan 
were rival candidates, Concord steadily gave heavy majorities for the 
former ; though, in two of them, the latter won the presidency. 
But while both of those excellent, patriotic men had their earnest 
personal following, no essential political differences then existed to 
make clearly defined political parties. 

The establishment of Printing in Concord has, for its date, the 
first year of the federal government under the administration of 
Washington. George Hough, a native of Connecticut, where he 
learned the printer's trade, and whence he had removed to Windsor, 
Vermont, and had there engaged for some time in publishing a 
newspaper, came to Concord, and, on the 8th of September, 1789, 
set up his printing-press in a small building situated on the west 
side of Main street, upon ground afterwards to be included in the 
front part of the state house yard. 2 There he did the first printing 
done in New Hampshire north of Exeter ; issuing, in October, Dodds- 
ley's Christian Economy. On the 6th of January was given to the 
public the first number of the first newspaper published in Concord, 
entitled The Concord Herald mid New Hampshire Intelligencer — a 
small weekly of four pages, each fourteen inches by nine, 8 but bear- 
ing " marks of the care and correct taste of Mr. Hough, who became 
known throughout the state as a workman that ' needed not to be 
ashamed.' " 4 The publication of this paper was continued some- 
what more than fifteen years — or until October, 1805 — but not with- 
out a change of name ; the title becoming, in 1794, the Courier of 
New Hampshire. The place of issuance had earlier been changed to 
the " Kinsman house," some rods south of the site of the subsequent 
" Eagle Coffee House," or the later " Eagle Hotel." 

On the 29th of October, 1792, Elijah Russell began the publica- 

'Town Records, 246. 

2 John Farmer's Letter; Proceedings of N. H. Press Association, January, 1882, 1883, p. 31. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 310. 

4 Asa McFarland in paper read before N. H. Printers' Association, January, 1873; Pro- 
ceedings, p. 34. 


tion of the Mirrour, printed on a sheet of fourteen inches by eight, 
and issued from an office near Hannaford's tavern at the North End. 
The terms of subscription as announced were : " Five shillings per 
annum ; one shilling only to be paid yearly in money, on receiving 
the first paper of every year, and the remainder, in country produce, 
at the market cash price, any time in the course of the year. Of 
those who cannot pay one shilling in cash, produce will be received 
for the whole, at the end of the year." These terms of subscription, 
taken as a specimen of those exacted in the earliest period of Con- 
cord journalism, though vastly easier for subscribers than publishers, 
did not secure large or promptly paying lists of the former ; for the 
newspaper appetite was yet but imperfectly formed in the mass of 
population, and expenditure for its gratification was scantily and 
tardily made. Hence, one finds John Lathrop, a post-rider, who 
carried the papers on his northerly route from Concord, urging, in 
the fall of 1791, subscribers "to pay up" by the beginning of next 
year, and persuasively suggesting that though he was ever willing to 
gratify his customers with a reasonable pay day, yet that, when " the 
earth yields her increase in abundance," it seemed to him a " happy 
presage " of punctuality among those who had " kindly become his 
debtors." "Cash, wheat, rye, or flax will be received," adds the 
post-rider ; and, " for the convenience of every one," he appoints 
"places at which the pay may be delivered." Delmcpviency still 
withstanding his accommodating offers, he puts forth the suggestive 
warning : " Delays are dangerous. Money, we all know, is always 
scarce. But when a grain debt is not paid in the season of it, the 
creditor says money. That will be disagreeable to the debtor ; and 
the post, while produce is plenty, puts off the harsh expression." 

The Mirrour existed till 1799; its conductor publishing mean- 
while, for six months of the year 1797, a literary and miscellaneous 
weekly, called The Star, and printed " in a small octavo of sixteen 
pages." After the discontinuance of the Mirrour and The Star, Mr. 
Russell, in 1801, commenced the publication of the Republican 
Gazette, as the organ of the political party supporting the adminis- 
tration of Jefferson. This paper lived two years, or until 1803 ; 
Hough's Courier, till 1805. 

When the first printing press was set up in Concord, and the first 
newspaper form worked off upon it, the population of the town, ac- 
cording to the first census of the United States, taken in 1790, was 
seventeen hundred and forty-seven— showing an increase of seven 
hundred twenty-five in fifteen years. A rudimentary postal system 
existed, under which inter-communication was somewhat expedited. 
Concord was a point whence and whither " post-riders " on horseback 


passed through the country on various lines, carrying letters, news- 
papers, and packages of light transmission. Samuel Bean rode once 
a week from Boston to Concord and back, on a route lying through 
Andover, Haverhill, Atkinson, Kingston, Exeter, Epping, Notting- 
ham, Deerfield, and Pembroke, and on return through Londonderry. 1 
About the same time and somewhat later, John Lathrop — already 
spoken of — also rode post from Concord through Boscawen and 
intermediate towns to Hanover, and thence up along the Connecticut 
river to Haverhill, returning by way of Plymouth and New-Chester, 
otherwise Hill. 1 Lathrop, if not Bean, may have been a post-rider 
under the law passed by the state legislature of 1791, establishing 
"four routes for posts to be thereafter appointed to ride in and 
through the interior of the State." 2 Two of these routes proceeded 
from Concord, passing through the principal towns westward to 
Keene, and northward to Haverhill. 3 Under this state law one per- 
son was appointed in each of the towns of Portsmouth, Dover, Exe- 
ter, Concord, Amherst, Keene, Charlestown, Hanover, Haverhill, and 
Plymouth, " to take charge of all matters conveyed by the posts " ; 4 
receiving as compensation twopence, advanced on the postage of 
every private letter or package passing through the respective offices. 4 
" The postage, which on single letters was sixpence for every forty 
miles, and fourpence for any number of miles under forty, was 
granted exclusively to the post-riders."* 5 New Hampshire assumed 
this temporary authority in postal matters for the reason, it seems, 
that the post-office department of the general government was not 
yet in complete working order; though there had been a postmaster- 
general since 1789 in the person of Samuel Osgood, and that of his 
successor, Timothy Pickering. Probably, George Hough was ap- 
pointed under the state law to take charge, in Concord, of what was 
conveyed by the posts. Certainly, in June, 1792, — the last year of 
Washington's first presidential term, — he received appointment as 
the regular postmaster of the town, with commission signed by 
Timothy Pickering, second postmaster-general of the United States. 
The first location of the post-office thus established was doubtless in 
the building before mentioned, where Mr. Hough was printing Con- 
cord's first newspaper. 

Seven months after the issue of the first newspaper in Concord, 
another step of judicious progress was taken in proceeding to the 
erection of a public building to answer, primarily, the purpose of a- 
state house, and secondarily, that of a town house. The New Hamp- 
shire legislature was then a migratory bod} r , yet there were encour- 

1 Bouton's Concord, 310. 4 Ibid, 311. 

s Barstow's New Hampshire, 2S9. c Barstow's New Hampshire, 290. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 310. ° Bouton's Concord, 588. 



aging indications that Concord would ultimately become the perma- 
nent place of session and the capital of the state. Hence, the town 
resolved to take action, and, accordingly, on the 30th of August, 1790, 
voted " one hundred pounds for building a house for the accommoda- 
tion of the General Court." 1 For the encouragement of this under- 
taking, fourteen prominent citizens 2 had subscribed five hundred and 
fifty-five dollars, " in labor and materials." The building was ordered 
to be "set on land 3 of Mr. William Stickney, near Deacon David 
Hall's." This land was given by the owner on condition that if the 
town should neglect or refuse to keep a public building on it for three 
years it should revert to him or his heirs. 4 With Captain Reuben 
Kimball as building agent, a house was forthwith erected upon a 
sloping elevation, westward of the main street, and nearer to it than 
later structures that took its place. It was one-storied, eighty feet 
long, forty feet wide, and of fifteen-feet post. Its eastern front run- 
ning lengthwise of the street, had its 
door without porch in the center, flanked 
on either side by three large windows, 
and opening inside upon "a spacious 
entry." ( )n the north side of this pas- 
sage was finished a room for the house 
of representatives ; on the south side, 
one for the senate. These rooms not 
occupying the entire width of the build- 
ing, space was left along the rear or 
westerly side for small committee rooms. 
To complete the inside arrangement, a 
stairway led from the entry to a small 
gallery overlooking the two legislative rooms. Outside, from the cen- 
ter of the roof rose a low cupola, surmounted by a vane ; both being 
the handiwork of Ephraim Potter, the sailor, as well as the versatile 
mechanic, who had already made of wood some of the first clocks used 
in Concord, and had exercised his ingenuity upon the belfry and spire 
of the " Old North Church " at the time of its renovation. 

The town-meeting, which, on the 30th of August, 5 had ordered the 
erection of the building, was the last ever held in the meeting-house ; 
for on the 13th of the following December, 6 the next meeting con- 
vened in the " Town House,"- —as the yet unfinished structure was 

1 Town Records, 262. 

2 See list In note at close of chapter; also, Bouton's Concord, 305-6. 

3 Part of the lot where later was to stand the building known as the City Hall and Court 

4 Bouton's Concord, 306. 

5 Town Records, 261-2. 
c Ibid, 262. 



Old Town House, I 790. 


called, — being the first of the long line of Concord town-meetings 
which were to be held there for more than sixty years. There, too, 
the state legislature, migratory till 1808, — permanent afterwards, — 
was to find convenient quarters, to be exchanged in 1819 for a more 
commodious capitol. Though early so far completed as to answer 
the purposes of erection, the town house was not "finished" till 1796, 
upon an additional appropriation of sixty pounds. 1 

On the 7th of September, 1791, commenced the sessions of a con- 
vention for revising the state constitution. These were held in the 
meeting-house where, seven years before, that constitution had been 
adopted ; and where, too, three years ago, the constitution of the 
United States had, by ratification, been made the fundamental law of 
the American Union. To this convention the people had chosen 
many of their ablest men ; one of whom was Timothy Walker, of 
Concord. The work of the convention, which required four sessions, 
—the longest continuing sixteen days, — was completed on the 6th of 
September, 1792, when it was ascertained that, upon a second ap- 
peal to the people, the amended constitution had been approved. 
The work as completed proved so satisfactory to the people that for 
nearly sixty years they allowed no attempt to amend. 2 The amended 
constitution went into full operation in June, 1793, when the legisla- 
ture elected under it met in Concord, and Josiah Bartlett, President 
of the state for the two preceding years, was inducted into the chief 
magistracy as Governor, being the first to wear that title in New 
Hampshire since the days of the Province. 

Hitherto, the Merrimack within the limits of Concord could be 
crossed by ferries only. In 1795 some of the public-spirited citizens 
of the thriving town bestirred themselves to substitute bridges. In 
January the legislature, in answer to a petition, granted to Peter 
Green and others the exclusive right to build and support a bridge 
between Butters's — formerly Merrill's — ferry and Concord south line, 
and prescribed the tolls for reimbursing the proprietors for expense 
incurred in building and supporting the bridge. Its stock was 
divided into a hundred shares, and was largely taken by residents of 
Concord. 3 On the 9th of March, 1795, Paul Rolfe— son of Colonel 
Benjamin Rolfe — was chosen clerk of the proprietors, and Captain 
Reuben Kimball, Major Enoch Gerrish, and Captain David Kimball 
were selected as " directors or overseers." This bridge, named " The 
Concord," was erected on the site always thus to be occupied by 
itself and similar structures, and, for nearly a hundred years, to bear 

1 Town Records, 296. 

2 How Concord voted upon the amendments does not clearly appear from the Town 
Records, pp. 272, 274. 

'Bouton's Concord, 326. 


the same name. 1 It was completed on the 29th of October, 1795, at 
an actual cost of thirteen thousand dollars, upon an estimate of ten 
thousand. 2 On that day it was opened for public use, with consid- 
erable display of popular interest. A procession, headed by Major 
William Duncan, assisted by Captain David Davis, " with music and 
a guard of four men," 2 passed over the bridge in the following order, 
as set forth in the records of the proprietors: (1) The building 
committee ; (2) The treasurer and clerk ; (3) The Rev. Israel 
Evans, with Mr. Wood and Mr. Parker, ministers of Boscawen and 
Canterbury ; (4) The proprietors ; (5) The workmen, with the 
master workman at their head ; (6) The spectators in regular order. 
The proprietors' dinner was served at William Stickney's tavern near 
the town house. Thus, " in conviviality and mirth, 1 ' as the ancient 
record has it, was spent the opening day of the first bridge to span 
the Merrimack in the town of Concord, and near the site of the first 
regularly established ferry in the plantation of Penacook. 

On the 28th of December, 1795, two months after the completion of 
Concord bridge, another legislative act incorporated Timothy Walker, 
Benjamin Emery, William Partridge, Jonathan Eastman, Joshua 
Thompson, and others, their associates, to be known as the " Pro- 
prietors of Federal Bridge," for the purpose " of building a bridge 
over the river Merrimack, at or near a place called Tucker's Ferry in 
Concord." This ferry had formerly been called " Eastman's," for 
Captain Ebenezer Eastman, its first proprietor. It was on the prin- 
cipal thoroughfare between " the Fort," or East Concord, and " the 
Street," or main settlement. The charter required the completion of 
the bridge within three years, and the payment of four hundred and 
fifty dollars to the proprietor of Tucker's ferry. At the first meet- 
ing of the corporation, held at the inn of Ebenezer Eastman, in East 
Concord, on the 18th of January, 1796, Captain Benjamin Emery 
was chosen moderator, and Stephen Ambrose clerk. The stock, as 
in the case of the other bridge, was divided into one hundred shares, 
and mostly subscribed for by citizens of the town. 3 All the requisi- 
tions of the charter having been duly complied with, the bridge was 
opened for use at a location somewhat above, or westward of, that of 
succeeding structures bearing its name. 

This bridge building in Concord was closely connected with the 
inception of the turnpike system in New Hampshire. The legisla- 
ture on the 16th of June, 1796, passed an act incorporating the 
" New-Hampshire Turnpike," being the first of fifty-three corpora- 
tions of the kind in the state. Among the corporators named in the 

1 By resolution of city council, Jan. 17, 1893, changed to " The Pembroke." 

2 Bouton's Concord, 327. 
>Ibid, 328. 


act was Peter Green, one of those to whom had been granted "the 
'exclusive right to build and support " the Concord bridge. The 
turnpike charter was enacted in answer to the prayer of a petition, 
setting forth " that the communication between the seacoast and the 
interior parts of the State might be made much more easy, conven- 
ient, and less expensive" than hitherto, "by a direct road from Con- 
cord to the Piscataqua bridge " ; but that " the expensiveness " of 
such an undertaking would render it difficult of accomplishment, 
" otherwise than by an incorporated company," to be " indemnified 
by a toll for the sums that should be expended" by it. 1 This turn- 
pike was promptly completed, running thirty-six miles, through the 
towns of Durham, Lee, Barrington, Nottingham, Northwood, Epsom, 
( Ihichester, Pembroke, and Concord, and between the Piscataqua and 
Merrimack rivers. It led well on towards Portsmouth, whose " pro- 
gress and prosperity " were then thought by many usually sagacious 
observers to be "more assured than those of Boston." 2 The southern 
terminus of the road was at the Piscataqua bridge, which spanned 
the river, with half a mile of planking, between Durham and Newing- 
ton, and was esteemed a marvel of bridge building. At the Merri- 
mack, in Concord, the turnpike had two termini : one, at Federal 
bridge, being that of the main line ; the other, at Concord bridge, 
being that of a branch diverging from the main line on the Dark 
Plains and running southwesterly to the river. 

Here, to promote convenience and succinctness of narration, a few 
facts out of chronologic order will be added as to bridges and turn- 
pikes. About 1806, the Londonderry turnpike, one of the charter 
grantees of which was William Austin Kent, was opened. It had its 
northern terminus in Concord, at or near the subsequent junction of 
West and Main streets. It extended to Massachusetts line, at or 
near Andover bridge. 3 Its course in Concord lay along the thorough- 
fare afterwards to be known as Turnpike street. Within thirty years 
after the first turnpike was chartered, the popular demand for free 
roads became urgent; and in 1824 the town authorized the select- 
men to purchase " that part of the New Hampshire Turnpike — includ- 
ing the Branch — which " lay " in Concord, for a sum not exceeding- 
five hundred dollars." 4 Subsequently, likewise, the part of the Lon- 
donderry pike lying in Concord became one of its free highways. 
But not, until they had existed more than half a century, did the two 
bridges become the property of the town, and thus free from tolls. 
The proprietors' franchise in each was at last acquired by the town, 
through the payment of fifteen hundred dollars. This occurred in 
the case of Federal bridge in 1850, when that structure, in rebuild- 

1 McClintock's New Hampshire, 456. s Afterwards Lawrence. 

2 Ibid, 457. « Bouton's Concord, 371. 


ing, found location where a bridge of that name lias ever since stood. 
Eight years later, Concord bridge also became free. 1 

While seeking corporate privileges for business enterprises promo- 
tive of material advantage, public and private, the leading minds of 
the community sought also, by similar organization, to supply good 
reading, and to encourage musical culture, for the enlightenment, 
elevation, and refinement of the people. Thus, in 1798, a legislative 
act was procured, incorporating Timothy Walker, John Bradley. 
Jonathan Eastman, and their associates, by the name of " The Pro- 
prietors of the Concord Library," and authorizing them to raise 
money by subscription, donation, and otherwise, and to hold property 
for the benefit of the library to the amount of one thousand dollars. 
This first public library in Concord, though neither a town institu- 
tion nor largely endowed, contained a fair collection of valuable 
books, and "proved highly useful for about twenty-five years." 2 
Thus, too, in 1799, a musical society was incorporated, and its organ- 
ization effected, with Timothy Walker for president, John Odlin 
clerk, Timothy Chandler, Richard Ayer, and Jonathan Eastman for 
trustees. For years this society efficiently contributed to improve- 
ment in the art ami science " of sacred music," its efforts being mate- 
rially aided by the funded gift of five hundred dollars, made by Dea- 
con Joseph Hall. 3 

Before the organization of this society Concord's third minister 
had, through the exercise of musical talent, been introduced to the 
favor of the people, and from the desk of the singing-school had gone 
to the pulpit of the town. Asa McFarland, a native of Worcester, 
Massachusetts, who was graduated at Dartmouth college in 1793, 
and was employed there the four subsequent years as preceptor of 
Moore's Charity School and as a tutor, had been wont to spend some 
of his vacations in Concord as a teacher of vocal music. 4 In 1797 
the Reverend Israel Evans resigned the pulpit and was regularly dis- 
missed after eight years' service. The "ecclesiastical council, com- 
posed of the elders and delegates of the neighboring churches," in 
dissolving " the pastoral relations between Mr. Evans and the church 
and people " of Concord, recommended him " to the churches and to 
the work of the ministry wherever God in his providence " might 
"open a door." 5 He never resumed pastoral service, but continued 
to reside in Concord till his death in the month of March, 1807, in 
the sixtieth year of his age. To mark his grave in the Old Burying 
Ground was set the first monument of marble erected there. 6 

i Sixth City Report, 24. * Ibid, 532, 582. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 329. 6 Town Records, 308. 

zibid, 532. 

e Other facts in the life and career of Mr. Evans have their place in the special chapter of 
ecclesiastical history. 


Soon after the retirement of the second minister, Mr. McFarland 
had been employed to preach as a candidate ; and in December, 
1797, received a unanimous call from the church "to settle in the 
ministry in the town." 1 With this action the town concurred on the 
28th of the same month, in a vote giving " Mr. Asa McFarland three 
hundred and fifty dollars salary yearly, and the use of all the im- 
proved land belonging to the parsonage right, and liberty to cut wood 
and timber on the out lands, as much as he " might " want for his 
own use during his carrying on the work of the ministry in the 
town." 2 To this vote twenty-two individuals entered their dissent ; 
most of whom, however, afterwards cheerfully contributed their an- 
nual tax to the salary. 3 

Mr. McFarland, having accepted the call, was, at the age of nearly 
twenty-nine years, duly ordained on the 7th of March, 1798. This 
service was superintended by a committee, consisting of Captain 
Richard Ayer, James Walker, Jonathan Eastman, Jacob Carter, and 
John Batchelder, " with power to make provision at the expense of 
the town for the council and delegates " that might attend from ten 
churches invited to participate. 4 On that ordination day Concord was 
the center of attraction for the people of towns around it, even to the 
distance of twenty miles, and the main street was thronged with 
sleighs bringing spectators and participants. Around and near the 
meeting-house were displayed refreshments for sale — not exclusive of 
" spirituous liquors." With music, a procession, comprising with 
others the ordaining council, passed from the town house to the 
meeting-house, where the sermon for the occasion was preached by 
the Reverend John Smith, the learned professor of ancient languages 
in Dartmouth college. The usual bountiful " ordination dinner " 
was served, probably at " William Stickney's tavern " ; where, as tra- 
dition positively asserts, " a splendid ball in the evening " wound up 
the exercises of the day. 5 

While the people of the town were intent upon pursuits of peace, 
two alarms of war had come, testing their readiness to aid their 
country. When, in 1794, a dangerous rebellion arose in Pennsyl- 
vania against a direct tax laid upon distillers of whiskey, and a fierce 
Indian war was raging in the West, the call for troops made by the 
general government in preparation for the worst was promptly met 
in New Hampshire. At a special town-meeting held in Concord on 
the 8th of December, it was voted " to give, in addition to the conti- 
nental pay for" the "town's quota of minute-men, so much as" 
should " make each one's pay eight dollars per month ; and that one 

1 Bouton's Concord, 320; Town Records, 313. 4 Town Records, 316. 

2 Town Records, 313. 5 Bouton's Concord, 321. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 320. 


month's pay be advanced to each man when " he should " be called to 
march." 1 The call to march never came, for the "Whiskey Rebel- 
lion " was suppressed, and the Indian war was ended by forces already 
in the field. Again, in 1797, when, during the warlike embroilment 
with France, provision was made for raising eighty thousand men, 
with Washington at their head, the military spirit of the country was 
again aroused. Concord duly heeded the call. Forty of the most 
respectable citizens enrolled themselves as continental minute-men, 
while a company of volunteers from Concord and adjoining towns 
was organized with Nathaniel Green, of Boscawen, for captain ; 
Moses Sweat, of Concord, first lieutenant ; and Israel W. Kelly, 2 of 
Salisbury, second lieutenant. Benjamin Gale, of Concord, also served 
as commissary. The town voted on the 28th of December, 1797, 
that the men enlisting should " have ten dollars with what the Con- 
gress " gave; "and if called into service " should "have one month's 
pay in advance " ; and further, that the selectmen should " give 
those persons that" enlisted "a handsome treat at the expense of 
the town." 3 How effective a stimulus to enlistment this last offer 
proved to be is not a matter of record. The company, however, after 
a short rendezvous at " Mother Osgood's tavern," marched to Oxford, 
Massachusetts, and there awaited further orders. But American 
naval prowess, the accession of Napoleon Bonaparte to power in 
France, and the wise policy of President Adams wrought peace, so 
that no active service was required of the troops called out for the 
anticipated struggle, locally called " The Oxford War." 4 

In course of these years strong party spirit was generated from the 
foreign relations of the United States. Indeed, ever since the adop- 
tion of the constitution two parties had existed ; the one strictly con- 
struing that instrument, and insisting more strenuously upon state 
sovereignty than upon a strong central government ; the other con- 
struing more liberally the fundamental law, and laying less stress 
upon " state rights " than upon a strong government of the Union. 
The former were called Republicans, the latter, Federalists. Wash- 
ington was a Federalist, and, from the popular faith in him, was twice 
elected president without party opposition. But during his second 
term a fierce partisan spirit was aroused at his determination to main- 
tain neutrality in the war between France and England, especially as 
evinced in his earnest support of the Jay treaty with England, in 
1795, by which peace, much needed by the United States, was pre- 
served with that country. This measure, the expediency of which 
time was ere long to vindicate, was opposed by the Republicans, 
sympathizing strongly with France, and favored by the Federalists, 

i Town Records, 286. 3 Town Records, 313. 

2 Afterwards a resident of East Concord. * Bouton's Concord, 323. 


with sympathies less decidedly set in that direction. Washington 
declined a third term, and, in 1796, after a warm contest, the Fed- 
eralists elected John Adams to the presidency, but by only three 
electoral votes over Thomas Jefferson, the candidate of the Republi- 
cans, who under the unamended constitution became vice-president. 
The Federalists were dominant in New Hampshire and in Concord; 
though in the latter Timothy Walker several times received more 
than twice as many votes as John Taylor Oilman, the successful Fed- 
eral candidate for governor. Thus, in the spring of 1796, the vote in 
Concord stood one hundred and forty-four for Walker and fifty-three 
for Oilman. Both these gentlemen, however, were chosen in Novem- 
ber of that year to the electoral college of New Hampshire, whose vote 
was cast for John Adams. The same party complexion was retained in 
town and state during the Adams administration, and even to a later 
period ; though in the nation at large the Federal party, by incurring 
popular odium through the enactment of the "alien and sedition 
laws," and by partially breaking with the president in his policy of 
maintaining peace with France, came to defeat in the year 1800. 
But neither then nor for some years later did "partisan politics 
become permeated by enduring heat; and only few men, not the 
mass as now, had formed the habit of diligently following up current 
political events." 1 

In 1785 a committee, consisting of Benjamin Emery, Joseph Hall, 
John Bradley, Reuben Kimball, and Joseph Farnum, was appointed 
" to lay out the Main street in Concord ; " 2 but the work was not 
completed, and the final report, with plan annexed, accepted by the 
town till 1798. 3 The width of the thoroughfare in the original 
allotment was ten rods ; but the settlers had advanced two rods on 
each side, leaving the public highway only six rods wide. In some 
eases even this width had been infringed upon by a few feet or 
inches ; and the duty of the committee had been to note the in- 
fringements, and to define accurately the course and width of the 
road by permanent metes and bounds. This duty was done along a 
distance of nearly a mile and a half from Butters' tavern or "corner" 
northward to "Judge Walker's barn." This was "the Street;" and 
by this name "the whole village was also known in town and out of 
it." 4 It was, however, as yet only "the Centre road" 5 — as occa- 
sionally designated in the records — and without sidewalks, so that 
pedestrians sometimes found inconvenience, especially in winter. 
The town sought to obviate this difficulty somewhat by voting "that 

1 Asa McFarlaBd in paper read before the N. H. Printers' Association, Jan. 17, 1872. 

2 Town Records. 222. 

3 Ibid, 320; also see Plan of Main Street in note at close of chapter. 
4 Dr. Bouton's third Semi-Centennial Discourse, June 17, 1875, p. 8. 
Town Records, 320. 


those persons who drive sleighs on Sunday be desired to keep on the 
east side of the street." l The Rev. Dr. McFarland, during the 
greater part of his ministry, was wont, at the first sleighing of each 
year, to promulgate the rule from the pulpit in these words : " Per- 
sons who drive sleighs will please keep to the right, and let those who 
are afoot have the middle of the road." And the stout, fearless 
Captain Richard Ayer, once at least, practically enforced the rule. 
Following one day in the steps of a number of women on their way 
to meeting, he saw them compelled to turn aside into the snow, by a 
loaded two-horse sleigh from out of town. The captain, indignant 
at the neglect to heed his timely call to "turn out," sprang forward, 
and with a blow of a heavy staff or club which lie carried brought 
one of the horses to its knees, while he exclaimed to the astounded 
driver: "There, turn out when you meet people on their way to 
meeting, or I will knock you down." 2 

Before the year 1800 this "centre road" had become a lively 
thoroughfare of business travel. ( )ver it passed numerous sleds or 
sleighs in winter, or wagons in summer, drawn by oxen or horses, 
bearing the varied produce of the north country to seaport marts, or 
returning homeward, laden with merchandise. On all days of the 
week, 3 and sometimes in long trains, this travel was seen streaming 
along " the street." In its necessary tarryings such well-supplied 
taverns 4 as those of Benjamin Hannaford and William Stiekney, 
Benjamin dale and Samuel Butters furnished fit "entertainment for 
man and beast." 

And here digressive mention may be made of another road in 
Concord, across the river, and beyond Oak Hill, much frequented by 
similar travel, and provided with John Hoyt\s famous inn. For 
twenty-five years was that inn a public favorite. Its spacious oven 
allowed easy entrance to a boy twelve years old, and more than 
inside room enough in which to turn around. Its capacious barn, 
stored with hay of "natural mowing," often stalled over night thirty- 
three yokes of oxen at -a "pistareen" 5 the yoke. Its solid table 
d'hote supplied fresh meats from the host's own flock and herd, 
for hearty but frugal guests, who used to bring along " their own 
bread and cheese." 

Having returned from "Hoyt's" through "the Fort," or village of 
East Concord, — where already Ebenezer Eastman had his tavern, 
and Stephen Ambrose his store, — one could count along the " main 
Street," in the first and second ranges of "home-lots" —as laid out 

1 Town Records, 313. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 322. 

3 Dr. Bouton's Commemorative Discourse, March 23, 1865, p. 29, 

4 See special chapter on Taverns, etc, 
6 About twenty cents, 



in 1726 — seventy or eighty dwelling's. These were wooden struc- 
tures, rarely, if ever, exceeding two stories. They were topped with 
the gable, gambrelled, hipped, or pent roof, and were occasionally 
painted in red or yellow. Along with them, stood the taverns and 
sundry business establishments, consisting mainly of stores devoted 
to general or special trade, and shops for mechanical industries. The 
village was one of wood, for brick did not come into use as building 
material until later years. 

Commercial enterprise, in which, at a period antedating the Revo- 
lution, Andrew McMillan, Timothy Walker, Jr., John Stevens, and 
Gordon Hutchins were pioneers, was destined never to slacken. In 
the last decade of the eighteenth century there were upon the list of 
Concord's merchants the names of William Duncan, Robert Harris, 
William Manley, David Wait, William Austin Kent, Jonathan Her- 
bert, and Jacob Abbot, general dealers ; and of John Thorndike, and 
the brothers Philip and ( )liver Carrigain, apothecaries, all duly 
licensed by the selectmen " to be retailers of wines and foreign dis- 
tilled liquors." 1 Though trade was not conducted on a large scale, 
yet it met the demands of an increasing patronage from within and 
without the town, and was fairly remunerative. Two traders, Will- 
iam Duncan and Robert Harris, seem to have been especially well-to- 
do, both from present income and past accumulation. They had both 
brought with them considerable means ; and each rode in his chaise, 
on and after coming to town. 2 Prior to 1800 that vehicle signified 
wealth, and the use of it was a luxury in which not more than two 
or three others in Concord indulged; even ordinary wagons were 
few, and people generally rode on horseback or went afoot. More- 
over, the Duncan and Harris families, which were united by marriage, 
lived in a style " reckoned genteel and fashionable," 3 and helped to 
introduce new social customs, as well as to modify those of the " old 
families," such as the Ayers, Bradleys, Kimballs, Stickneys, and 
Walkers. 3 

Another of those early merchants came into business with scanty 
means, but erelong found himself a winning competitor, and rising 
into prominence in the civil and social life of his adopted town. This 
was William Austin Kent, a native of Charlestown, Mass., who came 
to Concord in 1789, at the age of twenty-four years. The fact that 
his sister Huldah had become the wife of the Reverend Israel Evans 
suggested the step. Having served seven years as an apprentice, and 
three more as a journeyman, in tin-plate working, he at length found 
himself able, by money and credit, to purchase a set of tools, a few 
boxes of tin, a barrel of sugar, a barrel of molasses, a keg of tobacco, 

» Town Records (Appendix), 534-5. 2 Bouton's Concord, 513. 3 Ibid, 335. 


a bag of coffee, and a chest of tea. With this mechanical and mer- 
cantile outfit, he journeyed from Boston to Concord, by the tedious 
conveyance of a farmer's team ; and having reached his destination, 
he set up his modest establishment. 1 The venture proved successful. 
Within three years Charlotte Mellen became his wife and the light of 
his home — a home destined to be a noted center of " refined and gen- 
erous hospitality," and winch Daniel Webster was to declare, sixty 
years later, to have been " one of the first in all the neighborhood in 
which " he " met intelligent and cultivated society." 2 

And now, besides Kent, the mechanic as well as merchant, other 
enterprising men were plying all along the street their various indus- 
tries. Of these were David George, the hatter ; Benjamin Hanna- 
ford, the carpenter as well as taverner ; Richard Ayer and Ebenezer 
Duston, the tanners ; Daniel Gale, the blacksmith ; Elijah Russell 
and George Hough, the printers; Timothy Chandler and the broth- 
ers Levi and Abel Hutchins, the clock-makers. The first of the last 
three, a grandson of the proprietor, Captain John Chandler, was a 
skilful artisan in brass clock-making, while the last two, sons of Colo- 
nel Gordon Hutchins, carried on the same business near their dwell- 
ing-house, from the ashes of which the Phenix hotel was afterwards 
to arise. Many years before, the Reverend Timothy Walker had 
brought from England the first clock set up in Concord, and, subse- 
quently, Ephraim Potter, who had settled witli his brother Richard 
and nephew Anthony, in East Concord, near Turtle pond, made 
serviceable wooden timekeepers. But the enterprise of brass clock 
manufacture, the first of its kind in New Hampshire, was undertaken 
by Levi Hutchins at a date prior to the year 1786, when his brother 
Abel came into partnership. The business thus established was to be 
prosperously conducted by them for more than twenty years, and Levi 
could say, in his old age, with just satisfaction : " ( >ur names may now 
be seen on the faces of many time-keepers, standing in the corners of 
sitting-rooms in houses situated in all the New England states ; and 
probably there are eight-day clocks, or timepieces, of our manufacture 
in all the original states of the Union." 3 

Along with these busy workers in the various departments of busi- 
ness were to be found those who wrought capably in the professions 
of law and medicine. Not far north of the Hutchins establishment 
stood the office of Peter Green, Concord's first lawyer ; and a little 
farther on, his residence, somewhat noted for social refinement in 
those days. The proprietor, living down the imputation of Toryism, 
which had caused him some trouble in the Revolutionary time, be- 

1 Bouton's Concord, 594. 

2 Letter written to a son, George Kent, in 1853, cited in Boutop's Concord, 594- 
? Autobiography of Levi Hutchins, 121. 


came an influential and honored citizen, and having- practised suc- 
cessfully his profession thirty -one years, died in 1798 at the age of 
fifty-two. Samuel, 1 his younger brother, succeeded him, having, in 
1793, commenced professional life, which, at the bar and on the 
bench, was to continue for more than forty years. Two other tal- 
ented brothers, Edward St. Loe and Arthur Livermore, had some- 
what earlier engaged in legal practice here, the former of whom, by 
marriage with Mehetabel, a daughter of Robert Harris, became the 
father of Harriet Livermore, born in 1788, and celebrated for roman- 
tic pilgrimage and sojourn in the Holy Land. 

Now, too, Dr. Philip Carrigain still dwelt at the North End. This 
genial and popular physician had, for a generation, been pursuing 
the practice of medicine, and was to continue so to do until his 
death in 1806, at the age of sixty years. Now, also, another physi- 
cian could have been seen riding away on horseback from his home 
opposite the town house, for the fulfilment of duty on a wide circuit 
of practice. For Peter Green 2 had removed hither, in 1772, from 
his native Lancaster, in Massachusetts. With the liberal training of 
Harvard, and the due preparatory study of medicine, he entered upon 
a prosperous career, characterized by high professional ideals, and 
destined to continue for more than half a century, until it should 
close with a life of fourscore years and three. 3 

Thus the mile-and-a-half of Concord's main thoroughfare was, in 
the last years of 1700, a scene of activity in the various departments 
of human effort that mark a prosperous, enlightened community. It 
was the center, the vertebrate column, as it were, of progressive, 
elevating influences for the whole town, with its increasing popula- 
tion of two thousand souls. 4 

In 1799, a new element of brotherhood and benevolence came into 
the social life of the town. Free Masonry had received its first 
organization in New Hampshire as early as 1736, when St. John's 
Lodge was established at Portsmouth. From that time to 1789, only 
two other lodges were formed in the state, — St. Patrick's at Ports- 
mouth, and Rising Sun, at Keene. Early in July, 1789, deputies 
from St. John's and Rising Sun lodges organized the Grand Lodge of 
New Hampshire, with General John Sullivan, president of the state, 
for the first grand master. On the 23d of February, 1799, upon a 
warrant granted by the Grand Lodge, on petition of seven, for found- 
ing a lodge in Concord, a meeting was held in furtherance of the 
object, in " Union hall " at the inn of Benjamin Gale, one of the 
grantees. At the same place, on the sixth of the following May, 

1 See special chapter, Bench and Bar. 

2 See special chapter, Medical Profession. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 668. 

* The census of 1800 gave two thousand and fifty-two. 



Blazing Star Lodge was duly consecrated in appropriate services, 
conducted by Nathaniel Adams, of Portsmouth, Most Worshipful 
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire. Of the 
seven petitioners, Benjamin Gale and Moses Sweatt were residents 
of Concord. 

Thus introduced, Masonry, in its various forms and grades, was 
destined here to abide. Within the next century, the number of 
lodges was to be trebled; a Royal Arch Chapter, a Council of 
Royal and Select Masters, and a Commandery of Knights-Templars 
were to be established and maintained, with eligible halls of assem- 
bly, — the one on the site of Concord's first store, the other at 
Penacook. Moreover, Concord was to become a central rendezvous 
for the mystic Brotherhood, where the "Grand" Masonic bodies, 
comprising all the local bodies in the state, would convene in 
Annual Communication, Convocation, Assembly, and Conclave. 

But now the eighteenth century was about to lapse into the nine- 
teenth, when, on the 14th of December, 1799, George Washington 
expired ; and at the tidings of his death, a bereaved nation wept. 
When the news reached Concord, men from all parts of the town 
had met in large numbers to raise the frame of the ambitious Carri- 
gain house 1 at the North End ; but they 
straightway suspended their " work and 
went home in sorrow." 2 The national 
Congress was moved to recommend to 
the people of the United States to as- 
semble on the 22d of February, 1800, 
" to testify their grief by public prayers," 
or other suitable services. The recom- 
mendation thus to celebrate Washing- 
ton's Birthday by funeral observance, 
met with general compliance, in which 
Concord participated. The people, old 
and young, marched to the meeting- 
house, where solemn services were held. 
William Kent, 3 who, a boy of seven, had 
trudged in the procession, and who was 
to outlive all other participants in the 
event, feelingly said eighty years later : " The solemnity of the occa- 
sion, the deep mourning dress of the pulpit and galleries, in connec- 
tion with the sad countenances of the people, are vivid in my mem- 
ory to this day." 

1 In 1900 the residence of Dr. William G. Carter. 

2 Recollections of Asa McFarland, 23 (note). 

3 Son of William Austin Kent. 

The Philip Carrigain House. 

310 history of concord. 


Beacon Wilkins. This gentleman married, in 1787, Sarah, grand- 
daughter of Deacon Joseph Hall, an original settler of Penacook, 
who lived at the Eleven Lots. Mr. Wilkins had a farm on or near 
the ancient Hall premises, and lived in a house standing till a recent 
date, at the crotch of the roads, west side, near the Countess Rum- 
ford house. He was deacon of the North Church from 1811 to 
1830, when he died at the age of seventy-five years. Bouton's 
Concord, 295. 

Scarcity of Money. Money was so extremely scarce at that time, 
that John Bradley, elected representative, had great difficulty in 
getting enough to take him to Exeter ; but Judge Walker supplied 
him with means to pay his board while attending the legislature, and 
he was the only one of fourteen boarders who paid their landlord 
in full. Sometimes representatives offered the whole of their State 
scrip received for services, in payment for board, but the landlords 
preferred their private securities. On one occasion, a dozen of them 
returning home, and passing through Concord, took lodging at the 
house of John Bradley over night, without a dollar amongst them. 


It being deemed desirable that the New Hampshire Historical 
Society should celebrate, on the 21st of June, 1888, the centennial 
anniversary of the Ratification of the Constitution of the United 
States by New Hampshire, the matter of making preliminary arrange- 
ments therefor was, on the 24th of April, referred to the committee 
on orator and the standing committee, to act conjointly, and to 
report to the next adjourned annual meeting of the society, to be 
held on the 9th of May. On that day, the aforesaid committees, by 
Samuel C. Eastman, made a report recommending the appointment 
of a committee to ascertain, by circular, the feasibility of providing a 
banquet, and defraying other necessary expenses for the occasion, 
and such feasibility being ascertained, to make the necessary arrange- 
ments for the proper observance of the day. Whereupon, a com- 
mittee of three, with authority to add others, was appointed, consist- 
ing of Messrs. Samuel C. Eastman, Amos Hadley, and Joseph C. A. 
Hill. This committee subsequently added Messrs. Benjamin A. 
Kimball, Joseph B. Walker, Isaac W. Hammond, and Charles R. 
( iorning. 

Hon. James W. Patterson, of Hanover, had previously accepted 
an invitation to deliver the oration, and Mr. Allen Eastman Cross, of 
Manchester, to read a poem. 


It was ascertained by circular issued to the resident members, 
that a sufficient number would attend the banquet, and a sufficient 
sum would be subscribed to meet the necessary expenses and render 
the occasion a success. Invitations were sent to the governors of the 
thirteen original states, to the President of the United States and 
members of the cabinet, to many other persons of distinction, and to 
historical societies. Other arrangements were made for the day's 
exercises, including an elaborate banquet, with Dooling, of Boston, as 
caterer, and for after-dinner speeches by men distinguished in public 
and private life, in politics and letters. 

The regular sixty-sixth annual meeting of the society occurring on 
the 13th of June was adjourned to the morning of Tuesday, the 21st. 
At that time the society met, and having transacted the usual busi- 
ness of an annual meeting, adjourned to meet again at noon, in 
White's Opera House, to listen to the oration and poem. A fair- 
sized audience, comprising citizens of Concord and strangers, was in 
attendance. The president of the society, Hon. J. Everett Sargent, 
introduced the exercises with brief remarks. The oration was then 
delivered, and the poem read. These exercises completed, the mem- 
bers of the society, with invited guests, repaired to Chase's hall, 
where the banquet of two hundred covers was laid. The partici- 
pants of the elegant, well-served repast sat at five tables. Among 
the guests were : His Excellency Governor Charles H. Sawyer : 
President Samuel C. Bartlett, of Dartmouth college : Hon. Mellen 
Chamberlain, Hon. Robert S. Hantoul, Hon. Charles Levi Woodbury, 
Rev. Dr. Edward Everett Hale, Captain A. A. Folsom, Colonel 
Albert H. Hoyt, Hon. Nathaniel F. Safford, William B. Trask, 
Charles Carleton Coffin, of Boston; Hon. George B. Loring, of 
Salem, Mass. ; Hon. Frank B. Sanborn, of Concord, Mass. ; Rev. 
Henry A. Hazen, of Billerica, Mass. ; Hon. E. H. El well, of Port- 
land, Me. ; Hampton L. Carson, F. A. Stone, of Philadelphia ; Cap- 
tain Woolmer Williams, of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery of 
London, Eng. The resident members of the society and other citi- 
zens from Concord, Manchester, and other places were present in 
goodly numbers, and numerous ladies graced the occasion with their 

In course of the banquet, a telegram from Washington announced 
that the United States senate had, on motion of Hon. Henry W. 
Blair, adjourned in honor of the event celebrated. After dinner, 
President Sargent, at four o'clock, called to order, and introduced 
Hon. Samuel C. Eastman, of Concord, as toastmaster. Speaking- 
ensued for more than two hours, to which the following gentle- 
men, in response to appropriate sentiments, contributed: Governor 


Sawyer, President Bartlett, Rev. Edward Everett Hale, Hampton L. 
Carson, Hon. Mellen Chamberlain, Hon. Frank B. Sanborn, and Hon. 
George B. Loring. 

With "America " effectively sung under the leadership of Mr. B. B. 
Davis, the first centennial observance of Ratification Day came to a 

Dr. Carrigairi 's House. Dr. Carrigain lived at the North End, on 
the east side of Main street, and where now (1900) is the residence 
of Mr. Charles S. Parker. Mr. West lived on the opposite side of 
the street. 

Benjamin Emery's Residence. This was afterwards the homestead 
of Captain Ebenezer S. Towle, at the northwest angle of State and 
Franklin streets, and where, in 1900, was to stand the residence of 
Mr. John H. Stewart. At an early period, Captain Emery removed 
to this location from the Carrigain place, where he formerly resided. 

Subscription for Town and State House. The following were sub- 
scribers, pledging themselves to pay in labor or materials the sums 
annexed to their names, for accommodating the general court with a 
convenient house — which was also to serve as a town house : Timo- 
thy Walker and Peter Green, each, $100 ; Benjamin Emery, Thomas 
Stickney, and Benjamin Hannaford, each, $10 ; John Bradley, Robert 
Davis, Joshua Abbot, John Kimball, and Joseph Hall, each, $30 ; 
John West, $25 ; Enoch Coffin, George Hough, and James Walker, 
each, $20. 

Plan of Main Street, 1798. 

The following plan, with its key, is from Bouton's Concord, pp. 296- 

297 : 




East side — beginning at the north end: 

Judge Walker's barn — the north side of it 184 rods from the Great Elm. 

Mr. Herbert's store* — 77 rods from the Great Elm; two feet six inches on the 
road — about thirty-two feet front. 

Maj. Daniel Livermore's houset — 57 rods from the Great Elm; about nine 
inches on the road — forty feet front. 

The Great Elm — opposite Capt. Ayer's tan-yard. 

Mr. Aaron Abbot's — 99)^ rods from the corner — seven feet on the road — twenty- 
four feet front. 

Barber's shop — 87, r £ rods from the corner— eight feet on the road — fourteen feet 

Mr. Wilkins's house — 85%rods from the corner — eight feet on the road — twenty 
feet front. 

Mr. Hough's printing office — 6S^> rods from the corner — three feet four inches 
on the road — twenty-four feet front. 

* Mr. Jonathan Herbert's store still standing, occupied as a dwelling-house. 

t Formerly the residence of Dr. Bouton; on the site of John C. Thome's dwelling in 1900. 


Esq. Green's house — 67 rods from the corner — six feet three inches on the road 
— twenty feet front. 

Mr. Green's office — eighteen inches on the road — fourteen feet front. 

Mr. Hutchins's shop — 62 rods from the corner — two feet three inches on the 
road — twenty-two feet front. 

Mr. Thorndike's store — 10 rods from the corner — fourteen and a half feet on the 
road — twenty-eight feet front. 

Mr. Dustin's bark-house — three rods from the corner to the south side — seven 
and a half feet on the road — twenty feet front. 

Brick drove into the ground one rod and one link westerly of the north-west 
corner of Mr. Dustin's shop. 

Mr. Butters's corner stone — four and a half feet west of willow tree. 

West side — north end: 

Stone — twenty-six feet from the north-east corner of Jacob Abbot, Esq.'s, house, 
and 123 rods from the Great Elm. 

Mr. Gale's house — 50 rods from the corner; 10}^ feet front; north side 10^ feet 
on the road; south-east end, five feet seven inches on the road. 

Mr. Wait's store — 44 rods from corner — seven feet six inches on the road — 
twenty feet front. 

Mr. Manley's store — 30 rods from the corner — six feet four inches on road — 
thirty-six feet front. 

Corner, north of Capt. Chandler's. 

Birch pole — 2 rods and six feet from an oak stump in Mr. Jos. Abbot's land. 

School-house — S5 rods from stone at Shute's corner. 

Mr. Ladd's shop— 41 rods from stone at Shute's corner. 

South-east corner of Mr. Shute's house, six and a half feet on the road. 

Mr. Shute's shop on the road twenty-two feet. 




















L ADO'S SH0P^\£\ 




The Town of Concord. — Early Events of the New Cen- 
tury. — Becomes the Capital of the State. — The War 
of 1812. — Other Facts of the Period. 


The population of the town of Concord was, in 1800, two thou- 
sand and fifty-two, being one thousand more than in 1775, and 
seventeen times larger than that of the plantation of Penacook, in 
1730. Slow, sure, and steady had been the increase of population, 
not only amid the usual hardships of pioneer settlement, but amid 
the extraordinary perils and persecutions which have been set forth 
in previous narration. 

The enumeration of the living in the course of those seventy years 
has been better preserved than that of the dead. The death record 
for forty-four years — from 1750 to 1792 — is entirely wanting, and 
for most of the remainder of the period is scanty. But death had 
been garnering for more than two generations. Ever since 1730, the 
one burying-ground, near the meeting-house, had subserved its sacred 
purpose. Hither, according to ancient custom, the bier uplifted by 
its twelve bearers had, for many a year, been bringing from whatever 
home within the borders of the town, over whatever distance, and at 
whatever season, the beloved dead, here piously to be laid to rest. 
There had been few interments elsewhere. In 1792 Jonathan Stick- 
ney, a victim of smallpox, was buried in a secluded spot on his land, 
at the foot of Stickney hill, as subsequently were some other members 
of his family. This lot was, fifty years later, given by Charles Smart 
to the town " for a burying-ground," 1 and accepted as such. By 
1800 there had been two interments, one of which was that of Ezekiel 
Dimond, in a lot near Millville, given by Warren Bradley, 1 and later 
accepted by the town as a public burial place. 

It was on the 5th of March, 1800, that the town established its 
second public cemetery, by voting that " the selectmen vendue the 
fencing of the burying yard on the east side of the river, and charge 
the expense to the town." 2 This inclosure was located — according 
to the record — " near Jeremiah Eastman's house," and was known 
as " The Fort Burying Ground." Filled with its hundreds of graves, 
and afterwards disused for years, it was to receive, near the end of 

1 Bouton's Concord, 312, 430. * Town Records, 339. 


the century of its establishment, becoming renovation and adornment, 
in especial honor of the thirteen heroes of the Revolution asleep be- 
neath its turf, and, thus reconsecrated, was again to be committed to 
municipal keeping, as a precious historic trust. 1 The town having 
established its second public cemetery, made provision in 1804 for its 
third, by voting " to purchase''' at Horse Hill, " one acre of land of 
David Carter, for a burying yard, and fence the same." 2 In such 
action, the municipality was but carrying out the earlier enlightened 
purpose of the plantation to provide fit resting-places for the dead — a 
purpose that was to count among its appropriate results cemeteries 
bearing the names of " Millville," " West Concord," " Pine Grove," 
" Woodlawn," and " Blossom Hill." 

Meanwhile, in 1802, the meeting-house had been enlarged by Cap- 
tain Richard Ayer and other enterprising parishioners, in considera- 
tion " of the addition of pew ground," and " without any expense to 
the town." 3 Those gentlemen gave bonds to execute the work 
according to a plan, proposed by a committee of seven, namely, Jacob 
Abbot, Richard Ayer, Paul Rolfe, William A. Kent, Benjamin Emery, 
Stephen Ambrose, and Abiel Virgin, and adopted in town-meeting, 4 
on the 21st of December, 1801. The plan provided for a semi-circu- 
lar addition " projecting thirty feet in front, and divided into seven 
angles." 5 The meeting-house thus enlarged was accepted by the 
town, on the 1st of March, 1803. It was now " the most spacious 
and commodious 6 edifice of its kind in the state," capable of seating 
" eight hundred persons on the floor and about four hundred in the 
gallery," and actually accommodating, " for many years," an average 
Sabbath " congregation of about seven hundred," 6 the largest in New 

But as yet the meeting-house had no bell, though its belfry had 
long been up, surmounted by tall spire and literal weathercock. As 
early as 1800 the town had voted " to accept of a bell, if one " could 
" be obtained by subscription, and cause the same to be rung at such 
time as the town" might think proper; 7 but it was not until 1809 
that effective action was taken to supply the want. Then the select- 
men were instructed " to mark out the ground of the two front seats 
on the floor of the meeting-house for pews, and sell the same at 
public vendue, the money arising from the sale to be appropriated 
towards purchasing a bell, when a sufficient sum in addition " should 
" be subscribed " to complete the purchase. 8 The auction sale of 

1 See Old Fort Cemetery, etc., in note at close of chapter. 

'Town Records, 370. 

3 Dr. Bouton's Anniversary Sermon, 1830; Town Records, 350-1. 

* Ibid, 351-2. 

Ibid, 352. 'Town Records, 340. 

« Bouton's Concord, 325. » Ibid, 426. 


the four pews thus provided for brought a little more than three 
hundred dollars. With this sum duly swelled by contribution, the 
long desired bell was at last obtained, and at the March town-meet- 
ing of 1810 the vote was passed that it "be rung at seven o'clock in 
the morning, twelve at noon, and nine at night, except Sundays," on 
which the time of ringing was left to the direction of the selectmen. 1 
It was further voted that " the ringing of the bell and the care of the 
meeting-house one year be set up to the lowest bidder, and that the 
person bidding off the same give bonds to the selectmen for the faith- 
ful performance " 1 of duty. Sherburne Wiggin, having bid twenty- 
five dollars, became the first sexton. This place was, for the next 
two years, disposed of at vendue, Benjamin Emery, Jr., being the 
successful bidder. Afterwards, a definite sum, varying from twenty 
to forty dollars, was annually appropriated to this service, under the 
appointment of the selectmen. In 1814 the town ordered, in addition 
to the daily ringing of the bell, its tolling " at all funerals, upon 
application to the sexton. , ' 2 This practice was to be continued 
thirty-seven years, till in March, 1851, the following preamble and 
resolution, offered by Asa McFarland, were unanimously adopted by 
the town : 

" Whereas the tolling of bells on funeral occasions is productive 
of no good, and may, in case of the illness of the living, result in evil ; 
Therefore, Mesolved, That the practice be discontinued here, as it has 
generally been in other populous places."* 

With the beginning of the century, the school began to outstrip 
the pulpit in annual appropriations for support ; the sum voted to 
the former in 1800, being four hundred dollars, and to the latter, 
three hundred and fifty. Educational interest was further shown, 
the same year, in the appointment of a committee, consisting of the 
selectmen and " one man from each district where there " was " a 
school-house,' 1 to divide " the town into school-districts." 3 The 
addition of six members to the selectmen in the make-up of the com- 
mittee denotes at least that number of so-called " districts " ; while it 
may have been that two or three schools in the main village were not 
included in the selection of committeemen. Nothing practical seems 
to have resulted from this action. Indeed, it was not until 1805 that 
the state law was enacted, authorizing towns to lay out school 
districts. Accordingly, in April, 1807, another committee was ap- 
pointed, similar to that of seven years before, but with an increased 
number of members to act with the selectmen, indicating the exist- 
ence of at least seventeen localities, or districts, in which public 
schools were supported upon " orders drawn for school money annu- 

> Town Records, 434. *Ibid, 466, 494. 3 Ibid, 339. 


ally." 1 This committee, iii the following May, with Ebenezer Dus- 
ton as its chairman, and town clerk, John Odlin as its clerk, laid out 
the town into sixteen school districts, duly bounded and numbered. 2 

The general location of these was : No. 1. Horse Hill; 2. The 
Borough ; 3 and 4. West Parish ; 5. West of Long pond ; 6. Little 
pond and Ballard's hill ; 7. Hopkinton road, three miles from Main 
street; 8. Millville ; 9. South end of Main street ; 10. Middle Main 
street; 11. North end of Main street; 12. South part of East vil- 
lage ; 13. The Mountain; 14. "Snaptown," northeast part of the 
town; 15. Oak Hill road to Loudon; 16. Garvin's Falls. 3 From 
these, by division, seven other districts were subsequently formed, as 
follows: From 8, Nos. 17 and 23, the first near Hopkinton line, the 
second near that of Bow; from 9, No. 18; from 12, Nos. 19 and 22, 
the latter on the Dark Plain towards Chichester; from 2, No. 20, in 
Fisherville, or Penacook. 4 

These twenty-three districts were permanent divisions of Concord's 
territory down to a recent period, and some of them yet exist. Here, 
too, it may be added in reminder and explanation of statements made 
in a previous chapter 5 concerning the Bow gores, that the district 
numbered sixteen belonged to the southern gore, which, in 1 804, was 
severed by the general court from, the modern town of Bow and 
annexed to Concord. This action had been asked for by the former 
town and opposed by the latter. Bow, in view of liabilities incident 
to the holding of the detached gores, including this wedge of land 
that lay across the Merrimack, and between that river and its con- 
fluent Soucook, was eager to yield possession ; for already the town 
had been obliged to build a bridge over the Soucook, and was asking 
the legislature " to make a county charge " of the same. 6 Concord, 
on the other hand, did not desire the expansion of its territory over 
gores outside the original Rumford bounds which it wished to have 
restored, whereby would have been saved to it that triangular por- 
tion of its former domain, southeast of the Soucook, which was in 
1804 set off to Pembroke. 

In 1801, ten years after the regular establishment of the post-office 
in Concord, Charles, a son of Judge Timothy Walker, and a gradu- 
ate of Harvard, who was then in the practice of the law, succeeded 
George Hough as postmaster, but did not serve long. His successor 
was David George, but, as there were a father and a son of that name, 
which of the two was the first to succeed Mr. Walker has been made 
a matter of doubt, though it was probably the son, sometimes desig- 

i Town Records, 398. * Bouton's Concord, 340. 

*Ibid, 398-404. 5 Chapter VII. 

3 Bouton's Concord, 339-40. 

«8ow, in History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, 279. 


nated as "David George, Jr." At any rate, whether the father, who 
was a tailor residing just south of the burying-ground, ever served as 
postmaster or not, it is certain that the son, who was a hatter and 
had a shop on the east side of Main street, — nearly opposite its junc- 
tion with the modern Church street, — served as such from 1806 to 
1816. There, in a six by eight compartment of his shop, Mr. George 
kept the post-office, where, in the earlier years at least, a Concord mail 
might have found accommodation in one of the postmaster's "good- 
sized hats." ] Indeed, the high rate of postage, increasing according 
to distance, from the minimum of ten cents a letter for the shortest 
transmission, tended to make " correspondence rare " —as another has 
said — " and mostly of imperative necessity ; love-letters were few and 
far between." a Still, the little office, while meeting the wants of its 
locality, also had central importance in affording postal facilities for a 
wide circuit of towns, including Allenstown, Bow, Canterbury, Dun- 
barton, Henniker, Hopkinton, Loudon, New London, Northfield, Pem- 
broke, Warner, Weare, and even others more remote. 2 

An important highway improvement was effected early in the first 
decade of the century. Hitherto, "the road from the meeting-house 
to Boscawen line" had been a very " crooked " 3 one. It had run 
from the main street through a valley south of the modern Fiske resi- 
dence, and onward, near the Coffin house, to the modern Penacook 
street, and westward along that to a point beyond the Bradley prem- 
ises, whence, turning sharply northward, it skirted "John Bradley's 
land, at the west end of his dwelling-house," also " George Arlin's 
lot," and came to Wood's brook, at the southeast base of Blossom 
Hill. From this point it had run, at various angles, to West Con- 
cord, with westward deflection to the elevated site of Henry Love- 
joy's fort, and of the later residence of Levi Hutchins — premises 
destined to become public property appurtenant to the city water- 
works. Thence the road had extended northeasterly for a considera- 
ble distance, and then, turning, had passed on northwesterly to the 
"Borough," 4 and from there northeasterly again to the bridge over the 
Contoocook, within the limits of the modern Fisherville, or Penacook. 

In 1804 the selectmen, Jonathan Wilkins, John West, and Amos 
Abbot, Jr., as instructed by the town, "laid out a highway four rods 
broad, beginning at a stake and stones near Benjamin Haimaford's 
house, 5 and running north forty-nine degrees west, one hundred and 
twenty rods to Wood's Brook bridge." 6 This almost direct line of 

i Col. William Kent's Reminiscences, cited in McClintock's New Hampshire, 462. 
2 Bouton's Concord, 330. 
s Ibid, 325. 
* Ibid, 325-6. 

o On what was to become North State street, and near the residence of V. C. Hastings, in 
Town Records, 375. 


road, extended along the east side of the Bradley and Arlin premises, 
instead of the west ; the old road being subsequently relinquished 
as entire or partial compensation to the owners of the land through 
which this part of the new highway was laid. 1 From the Wood's 
brook bridge the new thoroughfare took a comparatively straight and 
northerly course to and along Rattlesnake plain and through West 
Concord — without westward deflection to the Hutchins place — "to 
the bridge over Hoyt's Brook on Contoocook plain." 2 The diver- 
gence to the "Borough" seems to have been, for the present, retained, 
as also the former course thence to the Contoocook bridge at Pena- 

This terminal bridge of the straightened highway had been built in 
1765 at the joint expense of Concord and Boscawen, although wholly 
within the latter town. It was located in a bend of the river east 
of the site of Captain John Chandler's tavern, erected in 1787, and 
known, in modern times, as Bonney's hotel, or the Penacook house. 
The Concord road, crossing the town line, reached the bridge located 
at a narrow gorge below the falls, whence the Boscawen road wound 
north and west to the left, over a steep hill, and by the tavern site 
just mentioned. 3 

By 1805 the bridge, forty years old, was becoming unsafe, and 
already the question of rebuilding it had been agitated and a new 
location suggested. In this connection a question of boundary arose. 
The language of the grants as to the line between the towns was con- 
fusing. In the original grant of Penacook (Concord) by Massachu- 
setts in 1725, the north line west of the Merrimack was described as 
" commencing where Contoocook river falls into Merrimack river." 
The probable intent of this indefinite statement was that the line 
should run from the middle of the Contoocook's mouth ; for when, 
in 1733, Massachusetts granted the plantation of Contoocook (Bos- 
cawen), its south line was described as "beginning at the middle of 
Contoocook river where it empties into the Merrimack, where it joins 
on Penacook plantation." But when Boscawen was incorporated as 
a town, by New Hampshire, in 1760, its south boundary was fixed to 
begin "at the southerly side of Contoocook river's mouth, where the 
same falls into Merrimack river." In this uncertainty of description, 
the selectmen of the two towns perambulated the line in 1797, and 
established its beginning "at a stake and stones on the southerly side 
of Contoocook river, nearly opposite the middle of the main branch 
where the same empties into the Merrimack." 4 

In 1805, pending the question whether the towns should co-operate 
"in building and supporting a bridge across Contoocook river," Con- 

'Town Records, 382. 3 Coffin's Boscawen, 92-3. 

» Ibid, 376. 4 Town Records, 306. 


cord, on the 22d of March, chose a committee, consisting of John 
Bradley, Jonathan Wilkins, and Ebenezer Dnstin, to consider the mat- 
ter with a like committee of Boscawen, and to report upon the same. 1 
The following report was agreed upon : " That the old spot where 
the bridge now stands shall be the place where a new bridge shall be 
built: and that the towns of Concord and Boscawen petition the 
General Court that the centre of the river Contoocook from the 
mouth be considered the line between said towns, until it reaches the 
present line crossing said river between said towns." 2 Boscawen 
accepted the entire report; but Concord, at a special meeting held on 
the 13th of May, accepted only so much of it as recommended the 
building and supporting of "one half of the bridge at the old place "; 
it also being voted "to raise two hundred and fifty dollars to carry 
into effect that part of the report.'* 3 The matter of petitioning the 
legislature to establish the line, as suggested in the report, not being 
approved by Concord, was left to be done by Boscawen alone, at the 
ensuing -June session of the general court. At another special meet- 
ing, held on the 25th of the following November, the town declared 
that it was " not willing that the prayer of the petition preferred" 
by Boscawen "to set off a part" of that town, "lying on the south- 
erly side of Contoocook river," and "annex" the same to Concord, 
"should be granted": and it was ordered that William A. Kent, the 
representative, should have a copy of the vote. 4 The petition was 
not granted: but the bridge was rebuilt at the old place, and Con- 
cord paid half of the expense. 

This, however, was not the last of the bridge controversy. In- 
crease of travel and transportation demanded a straighter road on 
the north side of the river, and one that should avoid the steep hill 
beyond the Boscawen end of the bridge. This demand involved the 
erection of a bridge in a new place. In 1820 Concord had again 
offered to go halves with Boscawen in repairing, or rebuilding, the 
bridge at the old place; but in 1821 the court of sessions laid out a 
road from Chandler's tavern in Boscawen, on a direct southerly line 
across the Contoocook to the locality in Concord subsequently known 
as Washington square, on condition that Boscawen should give 
security to build and maintain one half of the bridge over the river. 
Boscawen gave bond to that effect in the handwriting of Ezekiel 
Webster, and of date, .January 12, 1822. Inasmuch as the new loca- 
tion of the bridge was wholly within Concord, it was now Concord's 
turn to petition the general court "so to alter and establish the line 
between Concord and Boscawen that" it might "strike the centre of 

i Town Records, 383. 3 Town Records, 385, 

2 Coffin's Boscawen, 200. * Ibid, 386-7. 


Contoocook river at the place fixed upon to build a new bridge.'" 
But nothing more came of this petition than of Boscawen's, seven- 
teen years before ; and the bridge was built in 1823. 

Boscawen stood by her bond for years, and until another dispute 
arose as to the boundary line — in special reference, this time, to a 
factory erected by the Fishers on the north side of the river. Both 
towns claimed the soil on which the factory stood ; each appealing to 
the description of the boundary line in its charter, and Boscawen 
especially insisting upon the construction given in the perambulation 
of 1797. 1 As the towns themselves could come to no agreement, the 
selectmen of Concord, in 1837, petitioned the court of common pleas 
for the appointment of a committee "to examine and establish the 
line." The committee, consisting of John Porter, Thomas B. Merrill, 
and Henry B. Chase, finally had a hearing on the 9th of October, 
1840, at the Chandler tavern, then known as Johnson's hotel. Con- 
cord had for counsel its own lawyer, Samuel Fletcher; Boscawen 
was represented by George W. Nesmith and Ichabod Bartlett. The 
committee confirmed the old line of 1797, with more definite descrip- 
tion, and stone bounds were set up according to the decision, to mark 
the permanent settlement of the troublesome question. 2 

Boscawen refusing after this to contribute to the maintenance of 
"a bridge out of town," Concord brought suit upon the bond of 1822. 
The case went up to the superior court, with Franklin Pierce and 
Asa Fowler as counsel for Concord, and Ichabod Bartlett for Bos- 
cawen. In 1845 Judge Woods rendered the decision of the court in 
favor of Boscawen, on the ground that "the contract by which" the 
citizens of Boscawen "undertook to bind themselves to raise money 
for building the bridge was not founded upon such a consideration as 
to create a debt, and thus give the town a power to raise money." 3 
Consequently, the entire burden of maintaining the bridge over the 
Contoocook, winding in and out between the contending towns, was 
left upon Concord. 

The growing advantages of Concord, as a business and financial 
centre, received recognition in 1806, when the legislature made it the 
location of an incorporated bank, with "a capital of not less than 
twenty thousand dollars, nor more than two hundred thousand, in 
specie." The corporators, specially named in the charter, were men 
of means and influence, resident in Concord and neighboring towns ; 
those of Concord being Timothy Walker, John Bradley, Robert Har- 
ris, Richard Ayer, and William A. Kent. There had been some 
delay in obtaining the charter, primarily occasioned by rivalry between 
Hopkinton and Concord. Two petitions were presented to the gen- 

i Coffin's Boscawen, 199. • Ibid, 200. » Ibid, 647-8. 

BANKS. 323 

eral court, in 1805; one praying for a bank in Hopkinton, the other 
for one in Concord. On the 19th of December of that year the 
house committee on banks made a report, giving "liberty to the 
petitioners to unite, and bring in a bill for the establishment of a 
bank in Concord." 1 But by sixty-one yeas to seventy-nine nays the 
report was not accepted, and the petitioners had leave to withdraw. 
Five days later, however, this vote was reconsidered by eighty-six 
yeas to fifty-five nays; and, on the 27th of December, the bill brought 
in by the united petitioners, according to the terms of the bank com- 
mittee's report, was passed by the house, but on the 30th was post- 
poned by the senate till the next session. At this session, then, it 
was that, at last, the act of establishing a bank in Concord passed 
both branches of the legislature, and was approved by Governor John 
Langdon on the 17th of June, 1806. 

In organizing under the charter, a controversy arose as to the loca- 
tion and management, which, intensified by rivalry between North 
End and South End interests, resulted in the opening of two 
banks; the "Upper"' or "North End" and the "Lower" or "South 
End"; each claiming to be " The Concord Bank." Of the former, 
Timothy Walker and Samuel Sparhawk were the president and 
cashier; of the latter, Joseph Towne of Hopkinton and William A. 
Kent. For some time the rivals pestered each other not a little; the 
"Upper" making runs upon the "Lower" for the redemption of the 
bills of the latter in specie ; the " Lower " instituting suits against 
the "Upper" for issuing bills contrary to law. It is related that one 
Nehemiah Jones, in the interest of the "South End" bank, brought 
an action against Timothy Walker, in more than a hundred counts 
covering all points at issue. But his counsel, Jeremiah Mason, the 
great lawyer of his day, perceiving at last " the difficulties of the sub- 
ject," and desiring to bring about a settlement, effectually cooled the 
ardor of his client by signifying to him that "as lie had got into 
gentlemen's company he must expect to pay a gentleman's price." 
When, finally, the " disagreeable competition " 2 and unprofitable liti- 
gation ceased, the two institutions, offspring of one legislative act, 
gaining each its share of public confidence, successfully prosecuted 
business to their twenty years' limitation. The "Upper" then ob- 
tained a new charter, and took the name of " The Merrimack County 
Bank " ; while the " Lower " secured a modification and extension of 
the old charter, and retained the name of "The Concord Bank." 
The former prosperously performed its functions for forty years 
longer, and until the expiration of its third charter in 1866, when, in 
perfect solvency, it voluntarily closed its doors. The latter trans- 

' House Journal, December session, 1805. • Bouton's Copcord, 338, 



acted business for fourteen years after receiving its second grant of 
corporate power, but in 1840 succumbed in bankruptcy to the finan- 
cial stress of that period. 1 

Historic interest attaches to the places wherein these first two 
banks of Concord did business. The " Lower " bank erected, about 
the time of its opening, a brick building of two stories on the main 
street, opposite the Hutchins, or Phenix, premises. This was the first 
public edifice of brick reared in Concord; though the first residence 
of that material had been erected in 1804, at Millville, by Jacob 
( 'arter, the miller, — the builder little forecasting that it would within 
half a century become, by the enlightened giving of another owner, 
the nucleus of the famous educational establishment of " St. Paul's." 
The bank occupied the first fioor of its building, while the Blazing 
Star lodge of Free and Accepted Masons found quarters on the sec- 
ond, which bore for years the name of 
"Masonic, or Masons', Hall." Later, 
with enlargements, the building was 
for a while to be owned and occupied 
by the First National bank of Concord ; 
and later still, to be devoted to miscel- 
laneous uses. The "Tipper" bank hav- 
ing done business for twenty years in 
the former residence of Major Daniel 
Livermore, erected in 1827, upon 
southerly adjoining land, for its own 
and other uses, a three-storied, com- 
somewhat ambitious for those times" — as 
it has been characterized — and " the pride of " the North End " por- 
tion of the town." 2 It was destined to answer well its earlier busi- 
ness purposes, and to subserve conveniently its later literary uses as 
the home of the New Hampshire Historical Society — once a tenant of 
its upper rooms, but becoming at length its sole owner and occupant. 
And now the time came for the town to win, as the strongest as- 
surance of future progress and importance, the prestige of being the 
Capital of the state. For a quarter of a century after 1782 the gen- 
eral court, though migratory, had held more sessions in Concord 
than in all other places taken together, including Exeter, Portsmouth, 
Hopkinton, Amherst, Dover, Charlestown, and Hanover. Indeed, 
the real competition for the coveted prize of permanent legislative 
session became, from considerations of requisite convenience and cen- 
trality, practically confined to a region in which Concord was the 
magnetic pole of attraction. Boscawen, Pembroke, and Salisbury 

1 Bouton's Concord, 338-9. 

» Asa McFarland's Address before Board of Trade, Oct. 20, 1873, p. 8. 

The Merrimack County Bank. 

modious edifice of brick 


offered inducements, but the general court never sat in either of 
them. Hopkinton, in which several sessions had been held, became 
Concord's strongest competitor. In 1805 commenced the decisive 
contest. The legislature, having held its June session in Concord, 
convened in December at Portsmouth, in compliment to Governor 
Langdon. At this adjourned session Hopkinton was assigned as the 
place of meeting for the legislature in June, 1806. On the 18th of 
this June the house voted that the session for 1807 should be held at 
Salisbury, and a motion for reconsideration, made the same day, was 
defeated by sixty-three yeas to eighty-two nays. But the next day 
the vote came down from the senate with "Concord" substituted for 
"Salisbury." The house did not concur in the amendment, but by 
seventy-eight yeas to seventy nays, inserted "Hopkinton" for "Con- 
cord," and the vote thus re-amended was agreed to by the senate. 
The following year, 1807, on the 18th of -June, a motion made in the 
house to hold the June session of 1808 at Salisbury, prevailed by 
eighty-three yeas to seventy-two nays, and though on the same day, 
the senate having non-concurred, another vote was passed by eighty- 
nine yeas to sixty-one nays to make "Hopkinton'" the place of ses- 
sion, yet on the 19th the vote came down from the senate with 
" Concord " substituted, and in this amendment the house concurred. 
This concurrent action proved decisive as to the permanent location 
of the capital of New Hampshire. For the general court met in 
accordance therewith at Concord, in June, 1808, and no serious 
attempt was then made — or was afterwards to be made for more 
than half a century — to change the seat of the state government. 

Though the recognition of Concord as the capital of the state had 
not been given by formal declaratory enactment — nor was so to be- 
yet it was to be decisively enforced by future legislative action ; 
especially in the location of public buildings and institutions. I ne 
earliest instance of such recognition was the erection of the state 
prison, which was completed for use in 181 2. 1 This structure, built 
of granite quarried from the southerly slope of Rattlesnake hill, was 
located upon two acres of land given by Joshua Abbot, and situated 
towards the northerly end of a public highway, three rods wide, 
regularly laid out in 1809-TO, from the Hopkinton, or "Milk," 2 
road — later Pleasant street — to the modern Franklin street. 3 This 
highway, designated almost from the first as State street, with 
another two rods wide, opened at the same time, — being the part of 
the later Washington street lying between State and Main streets, 4 — 

1 See special chapter on Institutions . 

2 Reminiscences of William Kent, cited in McClintock's New Hampshire. 461. 
a Town Records, 428-9. 

*Ibid, 437-8. 


gave improved access to the prison site, then deemed "quite out 
of the way of business and population." x The land for the State 
street road was either absolutely given, or the title thereto cheer- 
fully relinquished upon slight nominal award, by public-spirited 
owners along the route, such as Benjamin Gale, George Hough, 
Thomas G. Stevens, Josiah Rogers, William A. Kent, William 
Stickney, Simeon G. Hall, Ebenezer Dustin, Richard Ayer, Abel 
Hutchms, and Peter Robertson. 2 In this movement of highway 
opening, primarily stirred by the establishment of a state institution 
in Concord, was a prophecy of that well-ordered system of streets 
which should, in the coming years, develop itself. 

Probably, from some sense of pride in the growing importance of 
the town, as well as certainly for the convenience of a majority of its 
inhabitants, a determination was manifested in 1810 to rid the main 
thoroughfare of an annoyance more rural than urban, when it was 
voted in town-meeting that, "for every swine found running at 
large, at any season in the main street between John Bradley's and 
.John Colby's, the owner be liable to the same penalty — to be re- 
covered in the same way — as for swine going at large unyoked and 
umimg in the season that the law requires them to be yoked and 
rung." 3 The next year " a penalty of twenty-five cents " was fixed 
"for each offence"; and in 1812 the prohibition was extended 
over the entire length of "road from Concord bridge to Boscawen 
bridge." 4 Four years later the ranging of swine from the first day 
of April to the first day of November was prohibited over an area 
extending from the Merrimack to a line half a mile west of the main 
street and its extension, between the line of Wood's brook bridge on 
the north, and the town line on the south ; also over " the common 
within one mile of Federal bridge on the east side of the river." 5 
This provision concerning swine was continued in force for some 
years. As early as 1807 sheep also had been restricted from run- 
ning at large on Main street, between John Bradley's and John 
Colby's, from April to November; 6 and the next year a new wooden 
pound was built a few rods north of the meeting-house, but was 
afterwards removed to Pond hill, where it stood till 1826. 7 Indeed, 
the records show that the problem of effectively restraining the 
"lawless range" 8 of domestic animals was one obstinate of solution 
in those days. 

During the first half of the period now under historical retrospect, 
the popular thought of the whole country was intent upon political 

1 Bouton's Concord. 343. * Ibid, 444, 450. 

1 Ibid, 341-2. 6 Ibid, 481. 

'Town Records, 434. e Ibid, 398. 

' Bouton's Concord, 340; also see note at close of chapter. 

» Ibid, 3i2. 


questions — some of which were of international importance, and 
involved the ultimate appeal of war, and strong partisan feeling 
pervaded the public mind. 

In 1800, the fourth presidential year, the Federal and Democratic- 
Republican parties stood in fierce array, with John Adams — serving 
his first term of the presidency — as the standard-bearer of the former, 
and Thomas Jefferson as that of the latter. Unwise legislation 
sanctioned by President Adams, though but slightly enforced, had, 
with other causes, tended to turn popular favor from him to Jeffer- 
son. But New Hampshire did not yield to the anti-Adams current ; 
and, at the March election of that year, gave John Taylor (id man, 
the Federal, or Adams, candidate for governor, ten thousand three 
hundred and sixty-two votes against six thousand and thirty-nine 
for his Democratic-Republican, or Jeffersonian, opponent, Timothy 
Walker of Concord. The latter, however, received in his own town 
one hundred and twenty-four votes against Gil man's one hundred 
and four. Without taking the sense of the people at the polls, the 
legislature, that year, chose presidential electors who supported 

In 1801, the last year of Judge Walker's candidacy for the gov- 
ernorship, he received in Concord one hundred fifty-six votes, and 
John Langdon, another Republican, twenty-three against the divided 
Federal strength of forty-four votes for John T. Gilman, and thirty- 
seven for Timothy Farrar ; a result showing Concord to have be- 
come strongly Republican. The state, however, was decidedly 
Federal ; giving Walker five thousand two hundred forty-nine votes, 
and Gilman ten thousand eight hundred ninety-eight, with four 
hundred ninety-two scattering. 

In 1802 the state remained Federal, and the town Republican ; 
but in 1803 both town and state gave Federal majorities for gov- 
ernor. So, also, they did in 1804, the fifth presidential year, when 
on the second Tuesday of March 1 — the date just assigned by law for 
annual elections — Gilman, still the Federal candidate, was elected, 
though by only two hundred and ten majority. But in November, 
though the town gave thirty majority against the Republican elec- 
toral ticket which bore the name of Judge Walker, that ticket pre- 
vailed in the state, and New Hampshire thus contributed to the re- 
election of Thomas Jefferson. 

During the first three years of Jefferson's second term the town 
and state were both Republican. In 1805 a complete Republican 
ascendency had been won in the executive and legislative depart- 
ments of the state government, which was not readily to be broken. 

iTown Records, 371, 373. 


And here it may be noted in passing, that, among the personal official 
changes wrought by this political overturn, was the election of Philip 
( 'arrigain as secretary of state in place of Joseph Pearson, nineteen 
years incumbent. The new secretary was a native of Concord, thirty- 
three years of age, and a son of the physician whose name he bore. 
He had graduated from Dartmouth, and chosen the profession of the 
law. Never has there been in New Hampshire one holding the 
office of executive, recorder more talented and versatile, more witty 
and genial, more gentlemanly in manners, and more artistic in tastes, 
than was Philip C arrigain, who, for four years, wielded his pen of 
dexterous chirography at the council board of Governor Langdon. 
He was loyal to Concord and to New Hampshire, and was the first to 
apply to the latter its popular and appropriate soubriquet, "The 
Granite State."' 1 While in office he began, under the authority of 
the legislature, the preparation of the famous Map of his beloved 
state, which was to be published ten years later ; and in aid of which 
Concord contributed Captain Edmund Leavitt's careful survey and 
map of the town. 2 

In the spring of 1808, the sixth presidential year, the Republican 
party won easily in both town and state, but in the subsequent elec- 
tions of the year the federal party rallied, securing a delegation in 
congress, and electors to cast their votes for Charles Cotesworth 
Pinckney, and against James Madison, elected as Jefferson's succes- 
sor. The Federal electors each received thirty-one majority in Con- 
cord. In 1809 Federal ascendency in the state government was 
regained, and with the help of Concord ; Jeremiah Smith, chief justice 
of the superior court, being elected governor by a small majority over 
John Langdon. Concord cast two hundred and thirty-four votes for 
Smith, and one hundred and eighty-four for Langdon. The town 
having become Federal remained so for eleven years, or until 1819. 

Within the first decade of the century, the newspapers of Concord 
began to be more distinctively political. Russell's JRepvbUean Gazette 
having been discontinued in 1803, and Hough's Courier two years 
later, William Hoit and Jesse C. Tuttle came in to occupy the vacant 
field of journalism. They commenced the Concord G-azette in July, 
1806, but suspended its publication after a trial of seven months. 
The materials of its early outfit were scanty. They had been pur- 
chased of Dudley Leavitt of almanac fame, and brought from Gil- 
manton Corner to Concord, in a two-horse wagon, carrying also two 
men. 3 The publication of the G-azette was recommenced by Mr. 
Tuttle, in June, 1807, and was continued by him and others for 

1 See the Granite State in note at close of chapter. 

2 Town Records, 382. 

3 Asa McFarland, in an Address cited in a previous chapter. 


twelve years. It was Federal in politics, had "some able writers, 
and, for a portion of the time, talented editors," 1 one of whom was 
John Kelly, afterwards of Exeter. The circulation was considerable 
during some years of its existence. From "a wretched imitation of 
an eagle, so badly engraven that its groundwork was black as ink," 
which was its vignette for several years, it was nicknamed "the crow 
paper,'" and so was habitually called by its Concord contemporary of 
opposite politics. 2 This latter newspaper had come into existence on 
the 18th of October, 1808, and was named The 'American Patriot. 
William Hoit, Concord's veteran compositor, was its publisher, the 
literary labor upon the new journal being entrusted to an "Associa- 
tion of Gentlemen," of which one was Philip Carrigain, secretary of 
state. But soon its columns were not to depend upon any such "asso- 
ciation"; an editor was to take charge of them who could help him- 
self. Within six months, Isaac Hill, who had just completed his 
apprenticeship at printing in the office of the Amherst Cabinet, came 
into ownership of the paper, and issued, on the 18th of July, 1809, 
his first number, under its new name of New Hampshire Patriot. He 
was then a young man of only twenty-one years, but he soon breathed 
into the Patriot the breath of enduring and influential life, and made 
more fully realized than ever before in New Hampshire the efficacy 
of the newspaper in moulding and guiding the popular thought. 

This master of political journalism had come to pursue his calling 
at the capital, on the persuasion of William Low, his friend and 
never-failing supporter. The latter and his neighbor, Benjamin 
Damon, had, in 180(3, removed from Amherst to Concord, where, as 
partners, they engaged in painting and chair-making. Within the 
first decade of the century, the same migration was made by several 
other "active and enterprising young men" — as Peter Robertson, 
the baker ; William Fisk, the shoemaker, resident many years at 
West Concord ; Francis X. Fiske, the successful merchant of the 
" North End " : and somewhat later, after relief from war service. 
Joseph Low, younger brother of William, and capable man of affairs, 
both private and public. These seven constituted the "Amherst 
colony," 3 as this valuable accession to the citizenship of Concord was 
often called. 

During the years 1810 and 1811 the Republican idea was vigor- 
ously propagated throughout the country, and became generally prev- 
alent, that though both France and England had wickedly violated the 
commercial rights of the United States, yet that the latter, by adding 
to other outrages, persistency in the barbarous practice of " impress- 

1 John Farmer, in Letters cited in a previous chapter. 
2 Asa McFarland, in Address already cited. 
3 Bouton's Concord, 677-8. 


ment " whereby thousands of American- seamen had been ruthlessly 
kidnapped, was the greater sinner of the two, and, as the last resort, 
should be called to account in war. This idea had to contend with 
strong Federal opposition, and nowhere with stronger than in com- 
mercial New England, where war with the vaunted " mistress of 
the seas " was especially dreaded. Hence, Madison's administration 
was bitterly assailed as hostile to American commerce, " unjust to 
Great Britain, and criminally subservient to France." 1 Isaac Hill, 
in his Patriot, condensed in a single sentence the Republican esti- 
mate of the Federal party, as one " whose principles are devotion 
to Britain, abhorrence of France, and contempt for everything Amer- 

The war cloud thickened. There was premonition of the coming- 
storm in the active hostility of the Western Indians, supposed to 
have been stirred by British influence. In 1811 General William 
Henry Harrison took station in Indiana, with a force of regulars and 
militia, to bring the hostile tribes to terms. To this force was at- 
tached the Fourth United States Infantry, in command of Colonel 
James Miller of New Hampshire. On the 7th of November was 
fought near Tippecanoe, the chief Indian town, a fierce battle, re- 
sulting in Indian defeat, but not without heavy American loss. 
The Fourth Regiment of Regulars, in which were men of New Hamp- 
shire and of Concord, was in the thickest of the fight. 2 Among 
those of Concord were the adjutant, John L. Eastman, 2 great- 
grandson of the Penacook pioneer, and the six privates, John Vir- 
gin, 3 great-grandson of another original proprietor of Penacook, John 
Elliot, John Urann, and John and James Dunlap. 4 

On the 18th of June, 1812, war was formally declared against 
Great Britain. Congress had previously made provision for detach- 
ing quotas of militia in the several states, for service as needed. 
Accordingly, Governor Langdon, upon requisition of President Mad- 
ison, had issued orders " for detaching three thousand five hundred 
from the militia of the state, and organizing them into companies, 
battalions, and regiments, armed and equipped for actual service, and 
in readiness to march at the shortest notice." 5 The draft was made 
at once, but the completion of the organization was left by Governor 
Langdon to his successor, William Plumer. The first of Governor 
Plumer's military orders that directly affected Concord was one 
issued in August, 1812, to General Asa Robertson of the Third 
Brigade, to which belonged the Eleventh Regiment, requiring him to 

1 Barstow's New Hampshire, 350. 
2 Adjutant- General's Report, 1868, pp. 25, 26. 

3 See note at close of chapter. 

4 Bouton's Concord, 346. 

5 Adjutant-General's Report, 1868, p. 6. 


detach a company of artillery for the defense of Portsmouth. The 
order was complied with, and the company put under the command 
of Captain John Leonard, of Londonderry. The roll bore the names 
of thirteen Concord men, including a sergeant and two corporals. 1 
The regiment did duty for about three months, at Jeffrey's Point, 
where was a government battery of two nine-pounders, commanding 
the western entrance of Portsmouth harbor. 

Concord early became, and during the war remained, a promi- 
nent recruiting station, and a convenient rendezvous both for sol- 
diers enlisting and enlisted into the regular service, and for troops 
on their way from Boston and other populous seaside towns to the 
Canadian frontiers. The barracks of the rendezvous had location 
in the Carrigain house on Main street, at the North End ; on the 
WTUey premises on the same street, at the South End ; and on a 
spot — also at the North End — on State street, near the site of the 
later brick schoolhouse of District Number Eleven. 2 

On the 8th of May, 1812, more than a month before the declara- 
tion of war, Lieutenant-Colonel Bedel, of the Eleventh United States 
Infantry, who was in command of "the District of New Hampshire 
for recruiting,'" established his rendezvous at Concord. He was 
under orders to recruit seven companies; and by the 18th of Sep- 
tember he had enlisted three hundred and ninety-seven men for his 
regiment, and marched them to Burlington, Vermont, 3 where the 
organization was completed the following winter. 

Captain John McNeil, of Hillsborough, — who, in higher grades of 
command, was to win distinguished honor in the war, — raised a com- 
pany for the "Eleventh," and marched it to Concord. For some 
reason — probably the rush of soldiers into town — not finding accom- 
modation for his men in the main village, he took them to East 
Concord, and quartered them for the night at the tavern of Isaac 
Emery, a Republican. Political feeling was running high, and one 
Aaron Austin, a Federalist, who kept an opposition tavern in the 
village, headed a company of his partisans in a call of no friendly 
intent upon the soldiers at Emery's hostelry. In the bar-room alter- 
cation soon ensued, and words led to blows — with Austin busy in 
the scrimmage. Soon, however, the captain appeared upon the 
scene — " a powerful man, six feet six in his stockings, well propor- 
tioned, and weighing two hundred and fifty pounds " — and, snatch- 
ing up the belligerent inn-keeper, " threw him out of an open win- 
dow upon the green." 4 The other visitants, seeing their leader thus 

1 See note at close of chapter. 

- Asa McFarland's "An Outline of Biography and Recollection." 

s Adjutant-General's Report, 1868, p. 35. 

* Ibid, p. 37. 


easily thrown out of the tight by the future hero of Chippewa and 
Lundy's Lane, incontinently withdrew. 

The Twenty-first Regiment United States Volunteers, raised in 
Maine and New Hampshire, and at first commanded by Colonel 
Eleazer W. Ripley, and subsequently, in 1813, by Colonel James 
Miller, had close relations with the " Eleventh " ; the two, indeed, 
seeming to have been consolidated 1 for a time. In the "Twenty- 
first," Jonathan Eastman, Jr., of East Concord — a great-grandson of 
Captain Ebenezer Eastman — did service as lieutenant, captain, and 
paymaster. 2 

The First Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers, enlisted 
throughout the state for one year, was organized at Concord on the 
29th of November, 1812, by the choice of certain officers of whom 
were Aquila Davis, of Warner, colonel; John Carter, of Concord, a 
Revolutionary veteran, lieutenant-colonel ; and Joseph Low, then 
of Amherst but soon to be of Concord, adjutant. These were duly 
commissioned as such by the president ; except Low, who, having 
declined the adjutancy, received commission as quartermaster. The 
regiment was ordered into camp early the next year, and thence was 
soon marched to Burlington. But near the end of January, 1813, 
congress repealed the " Volunteer Act," 1 under which the regiment 
had been raised. Consequently, disbandment ensued ; but the 
soldiers, having enlisted for one year, were held. The new law 
affected in the same manner a regiment in Maine under command of 
Colonel Denny McCobb. Some of the volunteers having enlisted 
into existing organizations of the regular service, the remnants of 
the two disbanded regiments were consolidated to form the Forty- 
fifth United States Regiment, with Denny McCobb for colonel, 
Aquila Davis for lieutenant-colonel, and Joseph Low for paymaster. 3 
The new regiment went on duty at Lake Champlain ; and when the 
term of the one year's men had expired, its ranks were soon refilled, 
especially through the efforts of Paymaster Low, who, with other 
officers, had been sent into New Hampshire to obtain recruits. 4 The 
regiment contained at least ten Concord men, including Marshall 
Baker, a lieutenant in Captain Joseph Flanders's company. 5 And 
here suggests itself, in humorous relief to dryer details, the fact 
that once, while the regiment was stationed on an island in the lake, 
Colonel Davis kept the enemy "at a respectful distance from the 
shore,' * by "mounting a formidable battery of huge guns" improvised 
"from pine logs, hewn, fashioned, and painted" into marvelous resem- 
blance to cannon of dreadful bore — a device of the Yankee lumber- 

1 Adjutant-General's Report, 1868, p. 58 * Ibid, p. 81. 

*Ibid, p. 70. * Ibid, 92. 

Bouton'a Concord, 346; also see list in note at close of chapter. 


man, which, when discovered too late, thoroughly chagrined the Brit- 
ish engineers. 1 

About five hundred soldiers had their rendezvous in Concord in 
1812 and 1813 ; 2 while many more passed through the town on 
their way to assigned posts of duty. "The place," says Asa Mc- 
Farland, 3 " suddenly derived additional consequence as a central 
and rising town. Every day was one of interest to the resident 
population. Troops were coining and going, and new faces con- 
stantly seen. The quiet and sobriety of Concord were somewhat 
invaded, and would have been more so but for the restraining influ- 
ence of some officers of the highest personal character, who were 
determined that all under their command should be kept in as com- 
plete discipline as possible. ( )f this class was one Darlington, a 
colonel, who, with his wife and a servant boy, boarded at the Stick- 
ney tavern. Colonel Darlington and his wife were people who 
deserved and received marked attention. There were other officers 
stationed here of corresponding influence." 

One disorderly affair, however, which created "great excitement," 4 
occurred at the annual town-meeting in March, 1813, when certain 
volunteers attempted to vote, contrary to the decision of the moder- 
ator, Colonel William A. Kent. The latter willingly received "the 
votes of those in the service of the United States who were inhabi- 
tants of the town at the time of their enlistment, and " had " not yet 
departed from it." 5 As he was proceeding to state the grounds of 
his opinion, that "the soldiers from the barracks who never were 
recognized as inhabitants could not be so considered for the purpose 
of electing or being elected to office," he was met "with interrup- 
tions, evidently intended to protract the meeting to a late hour. " 5 

Therefore, he determined to desist from "that attempt," and 
at once decided that the ballots of those who were not inhabitants 
" should not be received in any way or manner." 5 The following 
votes, 6 passed the next day, show what ensued upon the practical 
maintenance of the upright decision, also what was the general senti- 
ment of the citizens of the town as to the conduct of intruder and 
moderator : 

"-Voted, That the conduct of one McCoy, a volunteer in the 
service of the United States, and not belonging to this town, in 
attempting, yesterday, in defiance of the moderator of the meeting, 
to vote for state and county officers, deserves severe censure ; but his 

1 Adjutant- General's Report, 1868, pp. 70, 71. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 344. 

3 In " An Outline of Biography and Recollection." 
« Bouton's Concord, 344. 

B Reply of Colonel Kent to vote of approbation, Town Records, 459, 460. 
"Town Records, 458-9. 


act of collaring the moderator while in the exercise of his official 
duty, we consider an outrage of the most destructive character." 

"Voted, That the thanks of this meeting be given to William A. 
Kent, Esq., the moderator, for his temperate, resolute, and judicious 
conduct upon that occasion." 

In closing his speech in reply to this expression of approbation, 
the moderator thus delicately alluded to the politics of the affair : 
" The insult offered to the town by the assault on its representative, 
1 doubt not, is duly felt by my fellow-citizens ; and 1 rejoice that, 
notwithstanding the difference of opinion respecting our national 
politics, so many of those who differ from me on that part united in 
reprobating and resenting that indignity." 1 

This political excitement in Concord was accompanied by alarm 
and sorrow from another cause. A malignant scarlet fever broke out 
in the barracks, and spread thence to the homes of the inhabitants. 
Two hundred and ninety-seven persons were smitten : forty-nine 
regular soldiers, of whom seven died ; one hundred volunteers— 
twenty-four fatally ; ninety-three inhabitants, with six deaths. 2 A 
hospital was built upon the land owned by Nathaniel Abbot, west of 
the state prison, and the services of Dr. Bartley, of Londonderry, were 
employed to aid the two physicians of the town, Petei Green and 
Zadock Howe, in attendance upon the sick inhabitants. 3 The June 
following, the town provided for Dr. Bartley's compensation by 
authorizing the selectmen, " after collecting what they " could " from 
the persons whom the doctor visited, to pay, out of any money be- 
longing to the town, the remainder of the sum charged for his ser- 
vices and expenses." 4 

In the course of the years 1813 and 1814, detachments of the state 
militia were stationed at Stewartstown, on the northern frontier, but 
especially at Portsmouth on the seaboard. It was not, however, till 
1814 that Portsmouth was most seriously threatened by British 
cruisers hovering about the coast, and it was then that militia drafts 
were made, in which Concord had a share. In July of that year the 
town contributed eleven recruits for three months, with William 
Shute lieutenant, to a company commanded by Captain William 
Marshall, who had been stationed at Portsmouth for some time. In 
August, the selectmen and the captains of companies in town were 
authorized to pay those who had been drafted such compensation as 
they might think proper, and to hire all soldiers thereafter called for 
during the year, " in lieu of drafting." 5 This compensation was 
fixed by the town, early the next year, at four dollars a month for 

1 Town Records, 460. *Town Records, 462. 

1 Bouton's Concord, 345-6. B Ibid, 469. 

3 Ibid, 346. 


each soldier detached from the militia, in the service of the United 

On the 7th of September, Governor Gilman, " in view of the recent 
depredations of the enemy upon the seaboard of the United States," * 
issued a call for detachments from twenty-three regiments, and two 
days later the following supplementary one in " general orders " : 
" That the whole of the militia, including infantry, cavalry, and 
artillery, hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's warn- 
ing, completely armed and equipped according to law, and as well 
provided as possible with blankets and ammunition. And whereas 
there are a large number of men able to bear arms, who are, by our 
militia laws, exempted from ordinary military duties, they are hereby 
invited and requested, in the present alarming state of the country, 
to assemble in their respective towns, organize themselves into com- 
panies, and prepare for defence, in case it should become necessary." 

The orders to detach were promptly obeyed, and the detachments 
from twenty-three regiments were soon in Portsmouth. There they 
were organized into five regiments ami two battalions, one of the 
latter being exclusively of artillery ; the other mixed, being composed 
of infantry and one artillery company. In the First Regiment was a 
company commanded by Captain Nathaniel G. Bradley, of Concord, 
and containing ten 2 of his townsmen, engaged for three months' ser- 
vice ; and to Captain Edward Fuller's company of the Second Regi- 
ment, Concord supplied sixteen 2 three months' men. In the mixed 
battalion was Captain Peter Robertson's volunteer company of artil- 
lery from the Eleventh Regiment of New Hampshire militia. Within 
twenty-four hours after the issuance of the governor's second call, 
the members engaged their services, and forthwith marched on the 
Sabbath, by the meeting-house, over Federal bridge, and along the 
turnpike, to Portsmouth. 3 Officers and men, they numbered thirty- 
one, 4 all of Concord, and were in service from the 10th of September 
to the 29th, or twenty days. About the 1st of October the main 
body of troops stationed at Portsmouth, now out of danger, were 

The governor's appeal to military exempts, contained in his " gen- 
eral orders," issued on the 9th of September, met with immediate 
compliance in Concord. On the 10th, a preliminary meeting of men 
of both parties was held at Stickney's hall, Colonel William A. Kent 
presiding, and the following preamble and resolution were adopted : 

" Whereas, in defence of our altars and firesides, our property 
and our country, Americans can have but one opinion : 

i Town Records, 474. 3 Bouton's Concord, 347. 

'See list in note at close of chapter. * See list in note at close of chapter. 


"Resolved, That it is expedient to form a military association in the 
town of Concord, of such persons as are not enrolled in the militia, 
to be in readiness, at a moment's warning, to act under the direction 
of the commander-in-chief, for the defence of the state." 1 

A committee was raised without distinction of party to forward 
the movement. Over a hundred men, comprising some of the most 
respectable and venerable citizens of the town, were straightway 
organized into a company numbered the Sixth of Volunteers. 2 
Stephen Ambrose was chosen captain, with a full list of subordinate 
officers. The patriotic spirit thus manifested was meritorious, 
though the only service done by the company was to march, fully 
armed and equipped, through Main street, on the first day of 
October 3 — presenting an "appearance," said the New Hampshire 
Patriot, " that was accompanied with the proud conviction that this 
nation can never lie conquered when such defenders shoulder the 

By October, 1814, the war's last campaign in the North was 
closed, while that in the South was progressing towards its end 
to be reached in the early winter. From August, peace negotiations 
went on at Ghent, resulting in a definitive treaty on the 24th of 
December. Before the news of this treaty could cross the Atlantic, 
the last battle of the War of 1812 was fought at New Orleans, and 
the great American victory there won on the 8th of January, 1815, 
crowned the nation's cup of joy over the return of peace. 

As narration comes again to the days and doings of peace, certain 
facts, falling within the years of war, deserve a passing backward 
glance. In January, 1812, at the active suggestion of Elizabeth 
McFarland, the minister's wife, — pious, prayerful, and efficient in 
good works, — was established "The Concord Female Charitable 
Society," 4 — the first organization of the kind in New Hampshire, if 
not in the United States, — that worthy social and religious device 
of benevolence, which was to become the model of similar institu- 
tions in town, and, in the holy competition of charity, was to pass in 
its green old age into another century. Nor did the Society confine 
its charity at home; for, in January, 1814, joining with other women 
of Concord, it transmitted to Portsmouth nearly two hundred dol- 
lars, for the relief of women and children suffering from the calam- 
itous fire of the 22d of November, 1813. 5 

It was not until the year 1807 that the town took action looking 
towards the creation of an effective Fire Department, by choosing, on 

1 Bouton's Concord, 348. 

1 Bouton's Concord, 347-8; also see list in note at close of chapter, 

3 Ibid, 348-9. 

* Bouton's Concord, 440. 

6 J&id, 354. 


the lOtli of March, "Benjamin Kimball, Jr., Nathaniel Abbot, Sar- 
geant Rogers, Timothy Chandler, and Paul Rolfe, Fire-wards." 2 
Not long before this the town seems to have come into possession of 
an engine, or tub — but when or how is not recorded. On the 17th 
of the following June the legislature passed an act "to incorporate 
certain persons by the name of Concord Engine Company, No. 1." 
By virtue of this act, notice dated June 2"2d was issued over the 
signatures of Sherburn Wiggin and Abel Hutchins, calling a meeting 
of the members of the company at the town house, on the 3d of 
August, for the purpose of organization. 2 Xo further record of this 
movement is extant ; but the town at its next annual meeting 
elected lire-wards, as it continued to do in subsequent years. It 
seems, too, that Concord Engine Company, Xo. 1, was re-incor- 
porated in December, 1<808. 3 

During more than eighty years after the settlement of Concord, 
only three fires are recorded as having occurred within its territory. 
The first of these was caused by lightning, early in July, 1797, when 
the barn of a Mr. Partridge — probably located at the south end of 
Main street — was struck, but the resulting flames were speedily 
extinguished. 4 The second was thus described by the Mirrour : 
"On Saturday evening, Jan. 20, 1798, about ten o'clock, the inhab- 
itants of this town were alarmed with the cry of fire ! fire ! which 
broke out in the hatter's shop of Mr. David Oeorge, Jr., contiguous 
to the store of Messrs. P. & ( ). Carrigan (north end Main street). 
The anxiety of the citizens, when so much property was exposed, 
was amazing, and by their assiduous exertions and regular procedure, 
together with the assistance of some ladies, they happily extin- 
guished the destructive element with little damage to anything 
except the building. Let this, fellow citizens, excite every one to 
diligence. Query — Would it not be a good plan for every man to 
keep a good ladder and one or two proper fire buckets always 
ready? " 

The third fire occurred in 1802, consuming Ensign Jacob Carter's 
grist-mill and Thomas Vesper's carding machine, at West Concord, 
the cause being overloaded gudgeons, and the loss two thousand 
dollars. 4 

Seven years later, and two years after the adoption of the lire- 
ward system, the fourth recorded fire destroyed, on the night of 
August 17, 1809, Major Timothy Chandler's clock manufactory, 
house, barn, and outbuildings, together with two barns belonging to 

iTown Records, 395. 

2 Concord Gazette, June 30, 1807. 

3 See First Fire Engine Company, in note at close of chapter. 

4 From notes communicated by John M. Hill and Fred Leighton. 



Robert Harris, the merchant. The loss of the latter was one thou- 
sand dollars ; that of the former, five thousand, — twelve hundred 
dollars of which were generously reimbursed, since no insurance 
system yet existed, by a relief subscription from the inhabitants of 
the town. 1 

Another fire, on the loth of February, 1812, consumed a building 2 
at the North End, occupied by Mann & Robertson, traders, and 
George W. Rogers, cabinet-maker, and greatly endangered the "Up- 
per Bank," then having its quarters in the building 2 nearest on the 
south. 3 

Such reminders forcibly suggested the necessity of a better system 
of protection against fire; especially as the efficiency of the fire- 
wards had hitherto been seriously hampered through lack of adequate 
delegated authority. Hence, at the annual meeting held on the 11th 
of March, 1812, the town appointed its three lawyers, Thomas W. 
Thompson. Charles Walker, and Samuel Green, "to report at the 
next meeting a by-law for extinguishing fires." 4 At the same time, 
"one hundred dollars" were "raised to purchase fire-hooks and 
make necessary repairs of the engine." 4 

A year later, on the 10th of March, 1813, the committee reported, 
and the town adopted, a by-law prescribing the annual choice of fire- 
wards, who should have, " for the distinguishing badge of their office, 
a staff five feet long, painted red, and headed with a bright spire six 
inches long." These officers were given full powers — enforced by 
penalties — to demand assistance of any inhabitants in extinguishing 
fires or preventing their spread ; to remove property from endangered 
premises ; to direct the operations of extinguishment ; " to suppress 
all tumults and disorders" at fires; "to search and inspect all houses 
and places " where danger from fire might be apprehended, and to 
order precautionary " repairs, alterations, or removals." 5 

For years fire-wards with such powers managed the Concord fire 
department, with its one engine, till 1818, when was added the 
second, an invention of Samuel F. B. Morse, 6 — then resident in town 
as a portrait painter, — and an humbler effort of that genius which 
was yet to find out the electric telegraph. The same year were 
adopted by the town, upon report of the fire-wards, a recent act of 
the legislature relating to the prevention and extinguishment of fires, 
and an older enactment upon the same subject, — originally designed 

1 Bouton's Concord, 349. 

2 The building destroyed stood on the spot where subsequently Richard Herbert dwelt; 
the building threatened was the Livermore house, occupying the site of John C. Thome's 
residence in 1900. 

s Bouton's Concord, 353. 

* Town Records, 450. 

sibid, 455-6-7. 

c Ibid, 494; see S. F. B. Morse in note at close of chapter. 


for Portsmouth, — with the provisions of both statutes made applica- 
ble to the main village and to East and West Concord. 

The two small engines were located in the main village, and were 
each worked "by a brake, six men on each side," with twenty or 
thirty feet of hose for "delivery," but none for "suction." "At the 
cry of tire, and the ringing of an alarm bell," writes Dr. Bouton, 1 "the 
tire-wards seized their badge, — with a bine ribbon streaming from the 
apex, — the firemen sprung for their engines, to be drawn by hand, 
and the people, with pails and buckets, rushed to the scene. Then 
would be heard the word of command from a tire-ward, ringing out 
in stentorian tones — ' Form a line." Then the people, — all the people 
(whoever disobeyed did it at his peril) fell into line, — rather, two 
lines, — one to pass single buckets of water from the nearest well, 
hand by hand, to be emptied, one by one, into the ttib of the engine; 
the other, to return the buckets to be refilled. Then a stream of 
water from a half-inch pipe would be thrown upon the burning build- 
ing. Very unfortunate was it if a well, with five or six feet of water, 
should give out before the fire was got under, but so it often hap- 
pened. And if a building was so unfortunate as to be burnt up, it 
was not for want of good will and of a good sweat on the part ot 
tire brakemen, nor because the people in lines did not help all they 
could." From such beginnings the progress of the fire department 
is to be noted in the future course of narration. 

In May, 1813, Lewis Downing, a young man one month short of 
his majority, came to Concord from Lexington. Massachusetts, to 
engage in mechanical industry. The items of his capital were : Cash 
in pocket, sixty dollars: tools, valued at less than one hundred: a 
hand and a brain not to be appraised in dollars and cents. Locating 
himself in business at the north end of the main street, nearly oppo- 
site the " Upper Bank," he worked for one year entirely alone, and 
in November after his arrival completed his first "Concord Wagon," 
'•every part of the work " having been "done by hand labor," un- 
aided by any "power machinery." For the next twelve years he 
employed from three to six hands, having, meanwhile, in 1816, 
removed his shop to the "Duncan estate" at the South End, the 
permanent site of his carriage manufactory. With shop enlarged, 
and with blacksmithing, painting, trimming, and other branches of 
his industry started, he fortunately secured, in 1S2»*>, the services of 
.1. Stephens Abbot, of Salem, Massachusetts, a promising young man 
and mechanic, twenty-two years old, to assist at first in the manufac- 
ture of the " Concord Stage Coach," a vehicle to become famous 
round the world. The efficient employee constructed the first 

'Appendix to " Discourse on the Growth of Concord," June 17, 1875, pp.39, 40. 


"coach bodies" ever made in New Hampshire, and in 1828 became 
a partner in the firm of Downing & Abbot, which, for nearly twenty 
years, by its skilful and honest workmanship, achieved prosperity 
and a high and wide reputation for itself and its forty workmen, as 
well as honor and other advantages for its town. 

Such, in mere sketch, were the inception and early progress of this 
important enterprise — subjects which are fully treated in a special 
chapter; as are also the fortunes of the establishment from 1847 to 
1900; — till, in fine, the "Abbot-Downing Company," duly incorpo- 
porated, should have its capital of four hundred thousand dollars, its 
pay-roll of nearly three hundred men, and its magnificent plant, cov- 
ering six acres of that " Duncan estate," on which stood the founder's 
unobtrusive shop in 1816. 

In the first year of the war, the "Merrimack Boating Company'' 
was chartered by the legislature of New Hampshire. This action was 
promotive of a long-contemplated scheme for providing, by water trans- 
portation, cheap and convenient commercial interchange between Bos- 
ton and the north country. The scheme carried out could but prove 
particularly advantageous to Concord, as a terminus and distributing 
centre. The Middlesex canal, from Charlestown " Mill Pond " to the 
Merrimack just above Lowell, had been opened in 1803 ; while also 
a series of locks and canals to render possible the navigation of the 
river had been in process of construction. Governor James Sullivan, 
of Massachusetts, brother of the distinguished Revolutionary general 
of New Hampshire, projected the " Middlesex " ; his son, John L., 
supervised its construction, and superintended it after its comple- 
tion. Most of the locks and canals along the river were also con- 
structed under his supervision. Indeed, it was mainly through the 
energy of John L. Sullivan that the navigation of the Merrimack was 
consummated. Of the company incorporated in 1812 he had general 
control for twenty years. In the autumn of 1814, the last year of 
the war, the company's first boat arrived at Concord, 1 with only 
" a small cargo of general merchandise," as some of the locks along 
the river were not quite completed. But, with the completion of 
these, and a storehouse near Concord bridge put in order, boats, with 
regular freight from Boston to Concord, commenced running in June, 
1815 ; the first arriving in Concord on the 23d of that month. 2 

The same corporation — though after seven years bearing the name 
" Boston and Concord Boating Company " — successfully prosecuted 
this river navigation until the railroad supersedure in 1842. Twenty 
boats, of twenty tons burden each, were employed, and respectively 
manned by crews of three, who propelled them up river with " set- 

1 Bou ton's Concord, 740. * Ibid, 371. 

concord's first senator. ; 541 

ting poles," and down stream with oars, or in either direction with 
sails when the weather was fair. The entire annual freightage upon 
merchandise thus conveyed to and from Boston, averaged twenty- 
five thousand dollars. For the last twenty years of the company's 
active existence, Theodore French, one of its most capable agents, 
was in charge of the Concord Landing — a busy place iii its season ; 
with the little fleet, lading and unlading, going and coming, floating 
upon the quiet waters of the Merrimack, or threading in search of a 
safe level the "locks" along its falls and rapids. This river naviga- 
tion has further mention in a special chapter. 

During the last two years of the war, Thomas W . Thompson pre- 
sided in the lower house of the state legislature; being the first repre- 
sentative of Concord to hold the position of speaker. With Stephen 
Ambrose he represented the town in the general court for four con- 
secutive terms — a continuous length of service entirely exceptional 
for Concord members of that body. This speaker of the New Hamp- 
shire house of representatives, in 1813 and 1814, was a native of 
Boston, a graduate of Harvard, a lawyer of ability and prominence, 
a trustee of Dartmouth college, and a politician of statesmanlike 
capacity, who had been a member of the lower house of congress, 
and was to have a seat in the upper — Concord's first United 
States senator. Having in the political overturn of 1809 become 
state treasurer, he, the next year, removed to Concord from Salis- 
bury, hitherto his residence. The tall, dignified, courteous gentle- 
man filled the speaker's chair with unusual ability and success ; and, 
though a strong Federalist, won Republican approval for his upright 
performance of official duty, in the severe partisan stress of that 
day. His home was in Concord for more than ten years — a home of 
refined enjoyment, and of refining social influence. There was 
drawn the last breath of a useful, honored, and Christian life in the 
year 1821, the fifty-fifth of his age. 1 


old fort cemetery. 

Dedication of Memorial Tablet. On Monday afternoon, October 
29, 1894, occurred in East Concord the dedication of a mural 
tablet at the Old Fort cemetery, in special memory of the thirteen 
Revolutionary patriots whose mortal remains were deposited in that 
ancient burial-ground — long ago filled and disused. The execution 
of the filial and patriotic undertaking, thus celebrated, was due to 
the earnest, noble-hearted efforts of two ladies, lineal descendants of 

J See Passed Away, in notes at close ofchapter. 



Revolutionary ancestors — Mrs. Ruth Eastman Staniels, of East Con- 
cord, and Miss Annie M. Phelps, of Brookline, Massachusetts. The 
former, more than fourscore years of age, in carrying out her pur- 
pose of renovation and adornment, found in the latter a congenial 
spirit of more youthful years, ready, in filial affection and noble 
generosity, to supply the means requisite to its fit accomplishment. 
The memorial tablet, a massive, highly polished monolith of Quincy 
granite, seven feet in length, five in height, and one foot in thiek- 
ness. adorning the cemetery wall, bears this inscription : 


Timothy Bradley Reuben Kimball 

Mellen Kimball 

Simeon Locke 

Anthony Potter 

John Thompson 

Phil brick Bradley 


Jonathan Eastman 


Joseph Eastman 


Nathaniel Eastman 


Moses Eastman Joshua Thompson 

1732-1812 aid to 

David Eastman Lafayette 

1762-1S24 1750-1831 

Tins tablet erected in behalf of Matilda Hutchins Phelps by Annie M. Phelps. 

— 1SU4- 

The dedication was in charge of the local members of the New 
Hampshire Society of Sons of the American Revolution, of which 

Mr. Charles E. Staniels, son of the 
lady already mentioned, was presi- 
dent. A good number of members, 
with many ladies, were in attend- 
ance. The monolith having been 
inspected by a large party, the ser- 
vices of formal dedication took place 
in Merrimack hall, which was well 
filled with an interested audience. 
President Staniels called to order, 
and, after prayer by the Reverend 
George H. Dunlap, made the open- 
ing address, which closed with the 
following words addressed to Mayor Parsons B. Cogswell: 

"It becomes, sir, my pleasant duty to present to the City of Con- 
cord, through yourself as chief executive, and present custodian of its 
interests, this beautiful memorial in the name of the donor, Miss 
Annie M. Phelps, of Brookline, Massachusetts. it is hoped and 

The Fort Burying Ground, now Old Fort Cemetery. 



expected that as one of the landmarks of the city, it will be preserved 
and cherished for the lesson it conveys ; that its influence will be 
more than local ; inspiring to patriotism, love of liberty, and native 
land, even unto the remotest generation." 

The mayor having replied, and accepted the memorial in behalf of 
the city of Concord, addresses were made by .Joseph B. Walker, 
Amos Hadley, Thomas Cogswell, John H. Oberly, and Benjamin E. 
Badger — and the pleasant occasion itself became history. 

The Last Pound. Enclosures for the detention of stray or tres- 
passing animals having been main- 
tained from an early date, the town 
now, in 1830, authorized the select- 
men to contract for the building of 
" a pound on the Poor Farm " at 
West Concord. Zebediah W. Glea- 
son contracted for and finished the 
work, receiving, as the auditors of 
that year reported, sixty-two dollars 
and fifty cents "for building a stone 
pound." This structure, the last of 
its kind in Concord, had location on the premises mentioned, and on 
the west side of the highway (the modern North State street), where, 
though early disused, it was to stand the century through. 

The Granite State. It is said that the name "Granite State" was 
first applied to New Hampshire in a song by Colonel Carrigain, to be 
sung at the Lafayette dinner, June 22, 1825, the first stanza of which 
was — 

" North, and South, and East, and West, 
Grateful homage have expressed — 
Greeting loud the nation's guest: 

Son of Liberty ; — 
Whom tyrants cursed — whom Heav'n approved — 
And millions long have mourned and loved — 
He comes, by fond entreaties moved, 

The Granite State to see." 

The Pound. 

John Virgin. This eccentric character, commonly called " Uncle 
John," was always proud of his war service with General Harrison of 
" Tippecanoe " fame. Though in his later days he was an invalid, he 
determined to live upon his pension of ninety-six dollars a year, 
independently of everybody. For the last three years of his life he 
dwelt alone in a little hut near Sugar Ball, where he was found on 
the 24th of February, 1853, lying dead upon the floor, almost naked, 
with one hand in the stove, and with lower limbs frozen. Dr. 
Bouton (in History of Concord, 49(3-7) says of him : " He would 


occasionally visit the main village, where his haggard appearance, and 
his loud, patriotic harangues always excited attention." 

Captain Leonard's Artillery. 1812. The following Concord men 
served in ( laptain John Leonard's Artillery Company : Keser C. 
Powell, sergeant ; Samuel Powell, Jonathan Stevens, corporals ; Eben 
Flanders, musician ; Solomon Mann, James Foster, Abial Bradley, 
Jonathan Elliot, 3d, Jonathan F. Elliot, Benjamin C. Waldron, 
Ebenezer Frye, Daniel Weeks, Benjamin York. 

Captain Joseph Flanders' 's Company. 1813. The following men 
from Concord were in Captain Joseph Flanders's Company : Marshall 
Baker, lieutenant ; Ebenezer Frye, James and Samuel Emerson, Jona- 
than and John Urann, Daniel Arlin, Jonathan B. Worth, Nathaniel 
Parker, .lames Elliot. 

Captain Nathaniel Gr. Bradley's Company. 181Jf. Concord sup- 
plied the following officers and men to this company : Nathaniel G. 
Bradley, captain ; Keser C. or Keyes B. Powell, sergeant ; Joseph 
Hutchinson, Elijah Munsey, Robert Haynes, Enoch E. Bradley, 
Willey Tasker, Loammi Reed, Amos Abbot, Hazen B. Elliot, Ben- 
jamin Bradley. 

Captain Edward Fuller s Company. 181Jf. In this company were 
the following men from Concord : Reuben Osgood, corporal; John 
Farnum, David Ivnowles, Joseph Glines, Ephraim and Jerry Abbot, 
Barnard C. Elliott, Peter Powell, John Blanchard, Isaac Runnells, 
Jeremiah N. Howe, Joseph F. Dow, Joseph Tasker, William Hoit, Jr., 
Hazen Kimball, Ephraim Pettengill. 

Captain Peter Robertson's Artillery. I8I4. This company — 
officers and men — was entirely supplied by Concord, as follows : 
Peter Robertson, captain ; Samuel Herbert, 1st lieutenant ; Chandler 
Eastman, 2d lieutenant ; Walter W. Hill, Jacob Hosman, John Rob- 
ertson, William Bell, sergeants ; Jeremiah Birch, Nathaniel Parker, 
Jeremiah Elliot, William Moody, corporals ; Jeremiah Glines, Harmon 
Eastman, Samuel Hosmer, musicians; Moses Bumford, Moses East- 
man, Jonathan Elliot, Josiah Fernald, Cooper Frost, Thomas Green- 
leaf, Samuel Blanchard, Jacob Carter, Moses Dickernian, John Gould, 
Josiah Knowles, Robert Rogers, John Stanyan, John AVheeler, Charles 
Wait, Charles Whipple, Charles Herbert. 

The Company of Volunteers. With Stephen Ambrose, captain, 
other officers were chosen, as follows : Samuel Sparhawk, secretary 
of state, 1st lieutenant; Nathaniel Ballard, 2d lieutenant; Ezra 
Hutchins, ensign ; Dr. Moses Long, G. W. Rogers, Samuel Davis, 
Samuel Runnells, sergeants. A majority of the more than one hun- 
dred privates comprised some of the oldest and most respectable cit- 
izens, among whom were : John Bradley, Charles Walker, William 


9 1 r * 

Stickney, Captain Richard Ayer, Major Timotliy Chandler, Captain 
Edmund Leavitt ; Captains John, Charles, and Jacob Eastman ; Jon- 
athan Eastman, Jeremiah Pecker, Millen and Asa Kimball, Asa Gra- 
ham, William A. Kent, Isaac Dow, John George, Philbrick Bradley, 
Ballard Haseltine, John Garvin, and Daniel Clark. 

First Fire Engine Company. The New Hampshire Register for 1811 
contains the following statement: 

"Concord Engine Co. — No. 1." 

" Incorporated Dec, 1808. The annual meeting is holden on the 
first Monday of October. Daniel Greenleaf, Captain; Abel Hutch- 
ins, Clerk; James Ayer, Treasurer; Bowen Crehore, William Huse, 
Timothy Butters, Trustees.' 1 

Samuel F. B. Morse. ''Repeatedly have we been honored with 
the presence among us of the late Professor S. F. B. Morse, who, we 
are proud to say, came to us early in his illustrious career as a 
painter of portraits, and who, leaving us, carried with him not only 
the picture but the heart of the fairest of our daughters. After 
he had completed his great invention of the electric telegraph and 
entered on his wide-world fame, he came back to us, and asked the 
privilege to look once more upon the very spot where he first met 
and was introduced to the beautiful bride of his youth — Lucretia P. 
Walker." [Dr. Bouton, in "Discourse on the Growth, etc., of Con- 
cord," June 17, 1875.] 

Passed Away. During the sixteen years embraced in this chapter 
of the text, four citizens, whose names had been especially prominent 
in former narration, passed away: In 1804 — September 1 — in his 
ninety-first year, Philip Eastman, who accompanied his father Eben- 
ezer in the earliest planting of Penacook, and took a leading part 
in the business of the proprietors and in town affairs; in 1809— 
January 26 — in his eightieth year, Colonel Thomas Stickney, who 
filled places of important civil trust and duty in his town, and led 
his regiment to victory at Bennington ; in 1815 — July 16 — in his 
seventy-second year — John Bradley, conspicuous for half a century 
in town affairs, and who had served repeatedly as a representative 
in the legislature, and as a senator five years in succession, from 1804 
to 1808 inclusive ; and, in 1815, on the 8th of December, at the age of 
eighty-two, Colonel Gordon Hutchins, another honored citizen and 
Revolutionary veteran, to whose useful and patriotic services preced- 
ing pages have borne testimony. 


The Town of Concord. — The State House Erected. — The 
Toleration Act, with Consequent Separation of Church 
and Town. — Merrimack County Formed. — Other Events 
in Chronologic Order. 


The town house, which had accommodated the general court since 
1.791, came, after nearly a quarter of a century, to he regarded as 
quite inadequate to the purposes of a state house. Accordingly, at 
the June session of 1814, a committee, appointed to consider the 
subject, reported in favor of building a state house : declaring that 
all the States of the Union, except New Hampshire, had provided 
themselves with a state house, and "located a seat of government"; 
and that it was "derogatory to a respectable and independent State 
to suffer the officers of its government to sit and transact the busi- 
ness of the State in a building mean in its appearance, and destitute 
of suitable accommodations. 1 ' A committee was thereupon raised, 
consisting of John Harris, of Hopkinton, Benjamin Kimball, Jr., of 
Concord, and Andrew Bowers, of Salisbury, to sit during recess, 
designate a location, prepare a plan, ascertain the probable expense 
of erection, receive proposals therefor, and report to the next legisla- 

As instructed, the committee reported, in June, 1815, a plan, with 
an estimate of thirty-two thousand dollars for expense of a building 
of stone, according to an offer made by Stuart J. Park to complete 
the structure for that sum. The majority of the committee — being 
the members from Concord and Hopkinton — recommended the pro- 
posed building to be located in Concord, near the town house, and 
in a westerly direction therefrom. The report also announced that 
the inhabitants of Salisbury would contribute seven thousand dollars 
if the building should be located in that town. Thus, not so readily 
as Hopkinton, did Salisbury acknowledge defeat in the contest to 
become the capital of the state which had been settled in favor of 
Concord, seven years before. The legislature then appointed another 
committee to ascertain what appropriation would be made by Con- 
cord, or its citizens, should the building be located in accordance 
with the report just made. The committee found two local parties 


of townsmen — the North End and the South End — contending, one 
against the other. Each party was willing to contribute a satisfac- 
tory sum, but to do so only upon condition that its own^favorite 
site for the proposed capitol should be selected. One insisted upon 
the "Town Hall or Stickney lot;" the other upon a "piece of 
ground" down town, once belonging to Peter Green, the law} r er, and 
hence distinguished as the "Green lot." The North Enders, while 
making much of the fact that their lot had already been recom- 
mended by a legislative committee, contrasted it, as elevated, dry, 
and commanding a wide prospect, with the other, characterized by 
them as "low and wet," — a "quagmire" even, — and needing ruin- 
ous expenditure to render it fit for the purposes in view. The 
South Enders, on the contrary, strenuously insisted upon their lot, 
maintaining it to be more central, easier of access, and, consequently, 
more eligible than the "sand heap" of their rivals. This disagree- 
ment as to exact site, and the straitened condition of the treasury 
owing to the recent war, caused the state house question to go over 
to the next legislature. 

A year having elapsed, the legislature, in .June, 1816, passed a res- 
olution " that a State House, agreeably to the plan communicated by 
Stuart J. Park, be erected in the town of Concord ; the spot of ground 
to be selected, and the place on which to erect said State House to 
be located, by His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable the 
Council." The resolution also authorized the governor and council 
to appoint a committee to make contracts, and to superintend the 
erection, with instructions to begin the work as soon as practicable, 
and to employ the convicts at the state prison in hewing the stone. 
For commencing operations the sum of three thousand dollars was 
appropriated. These provisions of the resolution were to be of effect 
only upon condition that the town of Concord, or its inhabitants, 
should " convey to the State of New Hampshire " a suitable building- 
lot, " level and well prepare " the same, " give all " the necessary 
stone, and " convey " it to the lot — all to be " performed free of any 
charge or expense to the State." Having thus disposed of the mat- 
ter, without settling the hotly contested question — one rather of 
local than of public interest — whether the location of the state house 
should be " north or south of a given line on the main street in Con- 
cord," 1 the legislature, on the 29th of June, adjourned till Novem- 
ber. The resolution of 1816, however, fully confirmed that of 1807, 
whereby the session of 1808 was held in Concord, and really made it 
the capital of the state. 

Within a week after this adjournment, Governor William Plumer 

1 Life of William Plumer, cited in McClintock's New Hampshire, 542. 


and his council proceeded to take action under the legislative resolve. 
The two contending parties of townsmen had been active in efforts 
to influence opinion in and out of the legislature ; had made liberal 
subscriptions — that of the South End amounting to four thousand 
dollars — and now each bound itself to comply with the terms im- 
posed by the legislature, if its favorite site should be selected. ( )n 
the 3d of July the North End bond was presented to the governor 
and council by Charles Walker, and that of the South End by 
William A. Kent and Isaac Hill. One of the councilors, Colonel 
Samuel Quarles of ( )ssipee, had leave of absence for that day and 
was away on private business. The governor and the four remain- 
ing councilors, acting as a committee, duly examined lots and pro- 
ceeded by ballot to make selection ; no one objecting to so doing, 
though the governor asked each of the councilors if he was ready 
thus to proceed. The " Green lot " was selected by a vote of three 
to two — the governor and two of the council constituting the ma- 
jority. The next day, upon the return of Colonel Quarles, who 
favored the " Stickney lot," a motion was made to reconsider " the 
vote of yesterday, selecting a lot of land whereon to erect a State 
House,*" but it failed by the vote of three to three, which clenched 
the decision of the day before. With a sense of relief, doubtless, did 
Governor Plumer jot down in his private diary, under date of July 
4th, 1816, the brief record, " Fixed the site for the State House." 
On the following day the governor and council appointed three Con- 
cord men, Albe Cady, William Low, and Jeremiah Pecker, as a com- 
mittee on contracts and of superintendence, and adjourned till Sep- 

This committee entered upon its duties with commendable prompt- 
ness. Stuart J. Park, whose original plan of the proposed structure 
had been approved by the legislature, and whose skill as a builder 
had been tested in the erection of the state prison, was appointed 
chief architect, with Levi Brigham, of Boston, for assistant. The 
entire " plot " of two acres having been purchased as a present to the 
state, beginning was at once made to prepare it for its new use. 
Thus, Captain Peter Robertson's house, standing on the northeast 
corner, was sold to William Kent, and removed to Pleasant street ; 
the Friend's meeting-house, occupying another part, was transferred 
up State street to a location given by Benjamin Hannaford, north of 
and near the burying ground ; and preliminary steps were taken " to 
level" and otherwise transform the selected site into a park suitable 
for the state capitol. Moreover, initial steps were forthwith taken 
towards the actual construction of the building ; and the granite, 
which was to be its material, was soon beginning to be hewn by con- 


victs at the state prison, under the special oversight and instruction 
of John Park Gass, nephew of the chief architect, and afterwards 
Concord's famous taverner. On the 24th of September, 181(3, the 
corner-stone of the capitol was laid. 

Though it could not have seemed probable that, with the work 
upon the state house and its grounds thus progressing, a change of 
location could be effected, yet those who had been disappointed at 
the selection of the site were clamoring angrily thereat all the while 
till the November session of the legislature. They asserted that a 
location had never been " made agreeably to the true meaning " of 
the legislative resolve ; since — as they charged — contrary to the in- 
tention of the legislature, the governor and council had not, in 
deciding the matter, voted separately in executive board, but together 
in committee ; and since, too, this action had been taken in the ab- 
sence of one councilor, contrary to an agreement to await his return. 
Now, the case was, that with all six present, to act as a committee or 
an executive board, and with three of the five councilors in favor of 
the North End lot, the governor could, in executive board, by voting 
with the minority, in his right to negative the majority, have pre- 
vented a selection ; but, in the absence of one favoring that lot, 
the governor would have had no vote in executive board, — there 
being no majority to negative, — while in committee he had one of the 
three votes to make up the majority for the South End lot. 

During the recess the North Enders succeeded in stirring up 
considerable feeling in their favor among members of the legislature, 
so that at the November session an investigating committee was 
appointed, to whose inquiries the governor replied that he did not 
understand that any agreement had been made to delay proceedings 
on account of the absence of Colonel Quarles, and produced clear 
evidence that there was none, though the three defeated councilors, 
with less clearness and definiteness of proof, asserted the contrary. 
The governor also made answer that he and his council, in making 
the selection, had acted as a committee appointed by legislative re- 
solve, and not in their executive capacity, a statement sustained by a 
majority of the council. The house of representatives, notwithstand- 
ing an adverse report of the investigating committee, sustained the 
governor, and on the 25th of December, not only killed a resolution 
to take from the governor and council the power of appointing the 
building committee, but passed another, by a vote of ninety-one to 
seventy, appropriating four thousand dollars towards the erection of 
the building. 

Thus discouraged by adverse legislative action, the unprofitable 
controversy came to an end, and the work of construction went on 


undisturbed. By the 18th of July, 1818, such progress had been 
made that the gilded eagle to crown the dome was raised to its place 
with public ceremony. A procession having formed in front of the 
state house, under direction of Major Robertson, passed down State 
street, and returning entered the capitol, where an address was made 
by Philip Carrigain. Refreshments were served and toasts were 
drunk amid cheers and the firing of cannon, with a band, at intervals, 
playing appropriate airs. Of the toasts, the thirteenth was the cli- 
max, and in phrase patriotic enough, albeit somewhat more " spread- 
eagle " than the six-foot golden image of the bird, with partially 
expanded wings, upon the dome, ran thus : " The American eagle- 
May the shadow of his wings protect every acre of our united Conti- 
nent, and the lightning of his eye flash terror and defeat through the 
ranks of our enemies." 1 

The work went forward to its completion in 1819, with a total 
expenditure much exceeding the early estimate, and reaching nearly 
eighty-two thousand dollars, for building, furniture, fencing, prepar- 
ing the lot, supplying the stone, and hauling the same ; the last 
three items, amounting to four thousand dollars, having been con- 
tributed by citizens of Concord. In June of that year the general 
court commenced its sessions in the new capitol, 2 and Governor 
Samuel Bell, in his inaugural message, uttered these words of con- 
gratulation : " The splendid public edifice in which you now for the 
first time assemble will add another honorable testimonial to future 
ages of the enlightened public spirit and liberal views of the citizens 
of New Hampshire. It reflects honor upon the Legislature, and 
upon that enlightened Chief Magistrate under whose auspices it was 
erected, and who has now retired from an office, the duties of which 
he has discharged with honor and usefulness." 

The next year, the three Concord men, Cady, Low, and Pecker, 
who constituted the building committee, and had faithfully and suc- 
cessfully performed their responsible duties, were honorably dis- 
charged. The comely and convenient edifice, with its pleasant 
grounds, became an object of interest not only within the state, but 
in other parts of the country, so that within one year from the 1st 
of July, 1819, "six thousand eight hundred and seventy-two persons 
visited it, and were shown its apartments." It was praised by visi- 
tors, some of whom had traveled extensively, as " a very elegant 
stone edifice," and "one of the handsomest buildings in the United 
States." Praise of the capitol became even an inculcation for early 
childhood, for in a little educational work, entitled "A Book for New- 
Hampshire Children, in Familiar Letters from a Father," — the first 

1 Bouton's Concord, 376. J See frontispiece in this volume. 


of several editions of which was published four years after the com- 
pletion of the state house, — is found the following description, ex- 
pressed in simple style to suit " the infant understanding " : " The 
State House is the grandest building in New Hampshire. It is built 
of hewn stone, almost as beautiful as white marble. The body of 
the house is much higher and longer than any meeting-house you 
ever saw. The windows are of the largest glass, with mahogany 
sashes. The front of the building has a noble projection and pedi- 
ment with a large elegant door ; and the whole is set off with a most 
beautiful cupola, with a great gold eagle on the top of it. There is 
a very large and beautiful yard in front of the State House, with a 
wide and smooth gravel walk up to it. I have seen many elegant 
buildings in the course of my life ; but I never saw one so elegant as 
the State House." 

With such appreciation from abroad, and the evident natural ten- 
dency of events, the people of Concord themselves might well look 
with pride upon the capitol, and with satisfying assurance as well, 
that its erection upon their soil would date a new era of progress and 
prosperity in the history of the town. 

The strife over the location of the capitol had been warmer than 
the weather in the spring, summer, and autumn months of the year 
1816, as the designations, "the cold season " and "the poverty year," 
denote. Indeed, it had almost seemed that the polar circle had slip- 
ped to the tropic, making of the temperate zone the frigid. This 
abnormal atmospheric condition prevailed over New Hampshire and 
the rest of New England. Snow fell in June, and killing frosts came 
in every month save August. Indian corn could not ripen, the crop 
of other cereals nearly failed, apples and other fruits came to naught. 
In consequence, " there was," as Asa McFarland has recorded, " a 
real lack of food throughout New Hampshire in the autumn and 
winter of 1816—17." ! Even in Concord there was privation ; and 
the scarcity of provisions, with consequent high prices, caused some 
suffering among the poor, which the Female Charitable Society, then 
four years old, contributed to relieve. 

The same year the post-office was removed southward from the 
extreme North End, where it had hitherto been kept by David George, 
to an ancient building, soon afterwards remodeled into a dwelling by 
John West, and standing on the west side of Main street, opposite the 
site subsequently occupied by the Merrimack County bank, and later 
by the New Hampshire Historical society. The removal was made 
by Lieutenant Joseph Low, who had come from service in the recent 
war to dwell in Concord, and had succeeded to the postmastership in 

1 In "An Outline of Biography and Recollection." 


1816. After tlie completion of the state house, in 1819, he removed 
the post-office still farther southward to a store on the east side of 
Main street, opposite the foot of School, on the site of the later Rum- 
ford block, and next south of his residence. General Low, — for he 
became adjutant-general of the state in 1820, — having held the office 
of postmaster for thirteen years, was succeeded in 1829 by his elder 
brother, William, who took the office across the street to his own 
premises on the north side of School street, near its junction with Main. 
The new quarters became known as the " Old Post-Office Building," 
and were occupied by Mr. Low for eleven years, and by later post- 
masters for a dozen more. Besides these homes the post-office was 
to find, in the course of years, others at various points between a 
line at a short distance south of Centre street, and one along the 
south side of School street — but never, as during the first nineteen 
years of the century, north of the line of contention between the 
North End and the South End. 

In the spring of 181(3 the Republicans had regained control of the 
state government, and, in the autumn, at the eighth presidential elec- 
tion, they chose electors to cast eight of the one hundred and eighty- 
three votes which made James Monroe president ; Rufus King, the 
Federal candidate, having received but thirty-four. Concord, how- 
ever, was still upon the Federal side, and remained there for three 
years longer. 

The suspension of party hostilities in the national field of polities, 
which generally prevailed during the administration of Monroe, had 
a pleasant beginning in the president's tour through the Northern 
states in the summer of 1817. The appropriate demonstrations of 
honor for the man and his high office which were shown every where, 
and by all, without distinction of party, fitly inaugurated "the era of 
good feeling." That tour included Concord in its course, where the 
president's reception 1 was marked by enthusiastic cordiality, and 
where he tarried from Friday the 18th to Monday the 21st of July. 

The Dartmouth college controversy, beginning in 1815 and con- 
tinuing until 1819, has more than a passing interest in the history of 
Concord. Two of its prominent citizens, Thomas W. Thompson and 
the Rev. Dr. Asa McFarland, of the board of college trustees, were 
upon one side of the controversy, while, upon the other side, their 
townsman, Isaac Hill, in his influential newspaper, earnestly support- 
ed the cause of those who sought to change the charter of the insti- 
tution. Politics as well as religious preferences entered into the con- 
troversy and kept the question before the people for several years. In 
1815 the dissatisfaction long existing, from various causes, between 

1 See description in a special chapter. 


John Wheelock, the president of Dartmouth college, on the one part, 
and the trustees and members of the faculty of that institution on the 
other, reached an acute stage. The president memorialized the legis- 
lature, setting forth his grievances, charging the trustees with im- 
proper " acts and operations," and praying that a committee might be 
appointed "to look into the affairs and management of the institution, 
internal and external." The legislature, against the strong opposi- 
tion of the trustees, granted the prayer of the president by a vote of 
more than two to one. The legislative committee of investigation 
proceeded to duty, and, on the 16th of August, gave hearing to the 
contending parties ; but only ten days later, and with the legislative 
inquiry still pending, the trustees removed Dr. Wheelock from the 
presidency, which he had held for thirty-six years, and chose as his 
successor the Reverend Francis Brown, only thirty-one years of age, 
but of sufficient capacity for the position even in days of severest 

After this summary action of the trustees, the "College question" 
soon became a prominent one in the public mind. Its two sides had 
each strenuous partisans. Upon this new issue which had got into 
politics, Isaac Hill, the Republican editor of the Patriot, and William 
Plumer, the Republican candidate for governor in 1816, stood to- 
gether. The openly asserted views of the latter were the views of 
the Republican party. These were, that, as the college charter of 
1769 " emanated from royalty, it contained principles congenial to 
monarchy " — among others, in having " established trustees, made 
seven a quorum, and authorized a majority of those present to remove 
members " considered " unfit or incapable, and the survivors to per- 
petuate the board by electing others to supply vacancies ; " 1 that " this 
last principle " being " hostile to the spirit and genius of a free gov- 
ernment, sound policy " required " that the mode of election should 
be changed, that trustees, in future, should be elected by some other 
body of men," and that their number should be increased, so as not 
only to " increase the security of the college, but to be a means of 
interesting more men in its prosperity " ; that " the college was 
formed for the public good, not for the benefit or emolument of its 
trustees, and that the right to amend and improve acts of incorpora- 
tion of this nature " had " been exercised by all governments, both 
monarchical and republican." l The acceptance of such ideas was pro- 
moted by a prevalent impression that the management of the college 
unduly favored the "standing order,'* or Congregational denomination. 

These views were opposed by the body of Federalists, who main- 
tained that they involved an unconstitutional interference of the state 

1 Governor Plumer's message, June 6, 1816. 


with chartered rights of the college and its trustees, impairing the 

obligations of a contract, such as the charter was ; 1 that such inter- 
ference as came within the scope of Republican views would, if con- 
stitutional, " destroy the former corporation, and consequently endan- 
ger the funds belonging to the college " ; that " the college " was " in 
a prosperous condition, and no necessity " existed " for any legisla- 
tive interference whatever " ; and that " the inevitable tendency " of 
such interference was " to make the highest seat of literature and 
science in the state subject to every change and revolution of party, 
than which nothing could be more destructive to its welfare.'.' ] 

The Republican party having won a complete victory in the state 
election, the legislature met in June with a majority ready to adopt 
the recommendations of Governor Plumer upon the college question. 
On the 27th of June an act was passed to " amend the charter, and 
enlarge the corporation of Dartmouth College." By this, and a sup- 
plementary act passed at the following November session, provision 
was made for increasing the number of trustees from twelve to 
twenty-one, and for creating a board of twenty-five overseers ; appoint- 
ments to either board or the filling of vacancies to belong to the gov- 
ernor and council. The name of the corporation was also changed 
from Dartmouth College to Dartmouth University ; and it was also 
expressly provided that perfect freedom of religious opinions should 
be enjoyed by students and officers of the university. 

Against this enactment Thomas W. Thompson and Asa McFarland 
had, in behalf of the trustees, presented and urged able remon- 
strances. Moreover, the idea of establishing a new college at Con- 
cord, on principles of the most liberal religious toleration, and under 
the full control of the state, was favorably entertained by many — an 
idea which, it had been vainly hoped by the trustees and their friends, 
might work such a division of sentiment among their opponents in 
the legislature as would prevent such radical adverse legislation as 
was actually accomplished in 1816. The idea of creating such a col- 
lege, and locating it near the center of the state, was to survive the 
Dartmouth controversy ; for in 1822 a law was passed levying a tax 
of one half of one per cent, upon banking capital to create a Literary 
Fund for the endowment of such an institution. Some years later, 
however, or in 1828, the college idea was given up, and the fund, 
already accumulated or thereafter to accumulate, was ordered to be 
distributed to the towns for the use of common schools — and thus 
Concord missed becoming a university town. 

In the August following the passage of the college university act, 
a majority of the old board of trustees, including President Brown, 

1 Protest of minority in house, June 28, 1816. 


declined to convene with new members whom the governor and coun- 
cil had appointed to complete the filling of the university board ; they 
also removed William H. Woodward, a fast friend of Dr. Wheelock, 
from the office of secretary and treasurer, and formally refused to 
accept the provisions of the recent statute, or in any way to act under 
it. They were determined not to do anything whereby the college 
could be construed as merged in the university ; for they were reason- 
ably confident that, without their consent, the act of June could not 
be constitutionally enforced, and such merger wrought. Hence, 
when a quorum of the university trustees convened, on the "2 2d of 
February, 1817, " at the hall, commonly called Masons' Hall, over 
the Bank, at the southerly end of the Main Street, in Concord, in the 
county of Rockingham," as the governor expressed it in his summons, 
Dartmouth college was not represented by trustees or faculty. Where- 
upon, the university trustees removed by vote President Brown and 
three other trustees of the college, including Dr. McFarland of Con- 
cord, together with two professors, all of whom had refused to appear 
then and there as summoned. Dr. Wheelock, though lying on his 
death-bed, and within seven weeks of his end, was elected president 
of the university, with his son-in-law, Professor Allen, to act in his 
stead ; William H. Woodward was chosen secretary, and the faculty 
was filled by the choice of two professors, one of whom was Nathaniel 
H. Carter of Concord. Thus Dartmouth University was organized. 
Now, the trustees and faculty of Dartmouth college, upon being 
cited to appear at the meeting just mentioned, had at once deter- 
mined to take decisive action towards testing their rights, and the 
constitutionality of the college act, by bringing suit against their late 
secretary and treasurer for the recovery of " books of record, original 
charter, common seal, and other corporate property of the college. " 
Forthwith, they entered in the court of common pleas for Grafton 
county, at the February term of 1817, their famous action, "The 
Trustees of Dartmouth College v. William H. Woodward/' They 
temporarily surrendered to the university authorities the college 
buildings, but they took with them most of the students to other 
quarters, where was pursued the usual collegiate work for two years, 
pending the final decision of their case in the supreme court of the 
United States. That decision came in 1819, reversing that of the 
highest court of New Hampshire, and declaring the legislation of 
1816 in question, unconstitutional, and consequently null and void. 
Dartmouth university was no more ; but Dartmouth college still 
lived — and would live with a long future of blessing and honor ever 
opening before her. So ended the controversy which had widely, 
deeply, and, to some extent, unprofitably, excited the public mind in 


New Hampshire; unduly stirring up, by the bitter invective of 
newspaper and other discussion, personal, political, and religious 
animosities — to which fact, fortunately, allusion only is necessary 


Rather, belongs here mention of a gifted sun of Concord — the 
"accomplished scholar and gentleman,"' 1 Nathaniel Haseltine Carter 

who held the "Professorship of Languages" in the short-lived 

Dartmouth university. He came to that position at the age of 
thirty, having been born on the 17th of September, 1787, at the 
homestead on the Iron Works road, near Turkey river, upon the 
farm many years later to be named the "Moreland." His father, 
Joseph Carter, being a man of some financial means, had been able 
to assist in gratifying the desire of his son for liberal educational 
training, academic and collegiate. He had been graduated at Dart- 
mouth in 1811, and then for six years had taught in various places- 
including his native town — till called to the university. When that 
institution ceased to exist he removed to the state of New York, 
where he read law, but soon found journalism more congenial to 
his finely cultured literary tastes. His newspaper — The New York 
Statesman — which he conducted in Albany and New York city, 
" under the auspices of DeWitt Clinton " 2 and other leading men of 
that day, was eminently distinguished for ability, " candor, and lit- 
erary merits." 2 His reputation as an accomplished writer of prose 
was enhanced by his two volumes of " Letters from Europe," em- 
bodying the observations of a journey made in the years 1825 and 
1826. Moreover, he had poetical genius, and his thought was accus- 
tomed to seek expression in verse, the musical and inspired strains 
of which suggest that he had found a loving muse beside his "native 
stream " — that " scene," as he has sung, of his " boyhood's earliest 
dream." In 1824 he, who five years before had been of the faculty 
of the rival university, delighted Dartmouth college with his thought- 
ful, elaborate poem, entitled " The Pains of Imagination," read before 
the Phi Beta Kappa society of his Alma Mater. This effort, with 
other poetry, found publication in book form three years later. But 
his life was not to be long ; his winters had to be spent in the sunny 
Antilles. In the autumn of 1828 Mr. Carter paid his last visit to 
his native and beloved town, where he was received with cordial wel- 
come and marked respect and honor. ( )f one incident of that visit, 
Dr. Bouton, who was then in his early pastoral service, has thus 
written: "He attended church for the last time in the old North 
meeting-house, where his pale face, emaciated form, and brilliant eye 
attracted the notice and awakened the sympathy of the preacher, to 

» Alumni of Dartmouth College, 152. 2 Bouton's Concord, 585. 


him then a stranger." 1 Again, and in farewell, he trod "the wild 
and sylvan shore " of the little river, dear to him, and to which, in 
touching- apostrophe, he addressed his finest poem, entitled "To My 
Native Stream " —a production which has, to the appreciative imagi- 
nation, cast over the commonplace stream such charm of beauty as 
only true poetic genius can. Now he had bidden farewell to the 
home of his childhood and youth, and in the autumn of the next year. 
by the advice of his plrysicians, sailed for the south of France. On 
the second day of January, 1830, soon after his arrival at Mar- 
seilles, and in the forty-third year of his age, he breathed the last 
breath of a life of rich fruition and richer promise. 

The question of religious toleration, incidentally arising in the col- 
lege controversy, had for some time been agitated throughout the 
state. Under the ancient statute of 1714, virtually reaffirmed in 
1791, "the Congregational clergy had been originally settled by the 
towns or parishes where they preached, and the inhabitants of the 
towns were all taxed for their support." 2 With increase of popula- 
tion and of dissent from the faith and practice of the "standing 
order," this system, which had been of good intention and of good 
results in the earlier days of practical unanimity in religious views, 
gradually outgrew its usefulness and became oppressive. The scope 
and intent of the system were to compel attendance upon " the pub- 
lic worship of God on the Lord's day," under the preaching of a 
tk settled minister," to whose salary, agreed upon by a majority in 
town-meeting, the attendant must contribute in taxation ; non-com- 
pliance with these requisitions to be tolerated only on proof that 
one was " conscientiously of a different persuasion," and " constantly 
attended public- worship according to that persuasion." Such strin- 
gency of requisition, with its growing tendency to provoke resistance, 
involving burdensome litigation and other harassments, could not but 
give way before liberal and enlightened thought. The demand for 
more reasonable legislation slowly grew more and more imperative 
through the advancing years. At length, in 1816, the Reverend Dan 
Young of Lisbon, a Methodist minister, and for five successive terms 
a member of the state senate, presented a bill in that body, repealing 
the old laws, and providing that houses of worship should be built, 
and ministers of the gospel hired, exclusively by voluntary associa- 
tion. At that session, and the two annual sessions following, the 
measure failed of enactment. But the number of its friends steadily 
increased till, in 1819, it passed in a perfected form presented by Dr. 
Thomas Whipple, of Wentworth, a leading member of the house of 
representatives. It passed at the first legislative session held in the 

1 Bouton's Concord, 585. 2 Life of William Plnmer, 185. 


new capitol, and after as able a discussion as would ever take place 
within its walls. 

This Toleration Act prescribed that all religious denominations in 
the state might form societies of voluntary membership, having all 
the corporate powers necessary to raise money by taxes upon the 
polls and ratable estate of the members for providing houses of pub- 
lic worship and for supporting the gospel ministry. But in con- 
sequence of a remarkable unanimity of religious sentiment existing 
in Concord for long years from the beginning, the compulsory 
support of the gospel never produced the dissatisfaction and con- 
sequent troubles experienced in many other places. Dissent came 
late, and with gradual and comparatively unaggressive approaches. 
Denominational uniformity was scarcely rippled by the quiet pres- 
ence of a small society of Friends that existed here after 1805, 
and worshipped in its own meeting-house after 1814. It was not 
until 1816 that Philbrick Bradley opened his house on the "Moun- 
tain " to the yet unorganized Methodists for occasional preach- 
ing. In course of the two years next preceding the passage of the 
Toleration Act, two church organizations were effected here — one by 
the Episcopalians, the other by the Calvinistic Baptists : the former, 
in 1817, with eighteen members; the latter in 1818, with fourteen. 
Nor was there any hurry in Concord to dispense with the old sys- 
tem ; for it was not till the 9th of March, 1825, — nearly six years 
after the passage of the Toleration Act, — that the town, at the 
written request of the Rev. Dr. McFarland himself, then in failing- 
health, annulled by vote his " civil contract with the town," at the 
end of his twenty-seventh ministerial year. Though thus, after 
ninety-five years, the town in its corporate capacity ceased to pro- 
vide for the support of the ministry, yet it voted that " the Rev. Dr. 
McFarland have leave to cut firewood sufficient for his own use, on 
the Parsonage land the current year; and also have," for the same 
time, " the use of the improved lands " belonging to the town. Nearly 
two years later, on the 18th of February, 1827, came to its end, in its 
fifty-eighth year, the life of Concord's third minister, so diligently and 
fruitfully blessing church and town for more than a quarter of a cen- 

The minister's request that his contract with the town should be 
closed had been made on the 11th of July, 1824, whereupon a new 
society was organized under the Toleration Act, on the 29th of the 
same month, composed of two hundred and twenty-three taxable mem- 
bers — including " nearly all the descendants of the original settlers 
living in town." 2 During the following autumn, Nathaniel Bouton, 

1 See Change of Constitution, etc., of Society in note at close of chapter. 


twenty-five years of age, a native of Xorwalk, Conn., a graduate of 
Yale, and very recently of Andover Theological seminary, served 
upon invitation seven weeks as a candidate for the pulpit. On the 
24th of December he received from the church a unanimous call to 
become its pastor. This call, having been six days later unani- 
mously concurred in by the society, was accepted ; and at a council 
held on the 23d of March, 1825, the pastoral relation of Dr. Mc- 
Farland having been dissolved, the Reverend Nathaniel Bouton was 
ordained to the ministry of the First Congregational Church and So- 
ciety of Concord — a ministry to continue more than forty years with 
a church and society whose years would be measured in centuries. 
But the detailed story of the " Old North," and of other chnrches 
—either of the same or of different faith and practice — for the ensu- 
ing three fourths of a century will be told in a special chapter of this 

The minister's salary of seven hundred and fifty dollars — being- 
more than twice that which had hitherto been usually paid — indi- 
cated that voluntary associated contribution would more liberally 
support the gospel ministry than would compulsory town taxation — 
a fact that proved universally true. And it may be worth noting 
here, that the town had, under the old system, sometimes practically 
recognized the principle of voluntary contribution in eking out an 
inadequate ministerial salary. Thus, for years after 1811, in mak- 
ing appropriation to supply the pulpit, about one hundred and fifty 
dollars were added to the usual three hundred and fifty, with the 
proviso that " no person be compelled to pay his proportion " of the 
sum additional. 1 

Under the new order of things a committee, consisting of William 
A. Kent, Joseph Walker, and Abel Hutchins, was appointed in 
March, 1826, " to take into consideration the subject of selling the 
interest or right the town " might " have in the meeting-house, to 
the First Congregational Society in Concord." 2 The subsequent 
report of the committee estimated the town's interest in the meeting- 
house at two hundred dollars ; in the land on which the meeting- 
house stood, measuring six rods, north, south, east, and west, to the 
original reserve for a road, at three hundred dollars ; and in the bell, 
at three hundred dollars. The estimate was accepted, and the 
town's interest was accordingly sold to the society for eight hun- 
dred dollars. 3 The claim of three hundred dollars for the bell was, 
however, subsequently relinquished; and in 1829 the town ordered 
the remaining five hundred dollars to be divided among the incorpo- 
rated religious societies, as was the interest of the Parsonage Fund. 

i Town Records, 469. s Bouton's Concord, 387. 

•Town Records (manuscript). 


It will be recollected that along with the original allotment of 
lands on the west side of the river, in 172(3, to the hundred proprie- 
tors, special assignments were made for the " Minister," the " Par- 
sonage/' and the "School" — each containing a "house-lot" of an 
acre and a half, and a "home-lot" of six acres, more or less. To the 
one hundred and three allotments grants were severally made in 
after years from the common and undivided lands, under such titles 
as the "Twenty Acres' Division," the "Emendation Lots," the 
"Eighty Acres' Division," the "Twenty Acres' Grant," and the 
" Last Division." The "Parsonage" allotment was entirely distinct 
from the " Ministerial ; " and its " house-lot," which, in part, became 
by lease, in 1820, 1 the site of the schoolhouse in the Eleventh School 
District, was never occupied as the home of the minister. The 
Parsonage lands, however, contributed to the support of the minis- 
try. It having now become necessary, under the operation of the 
Toleration Act, to make some disposition of those lands lying in 
various parts of the town, a committee was raised in March, 1826, 
consisting of Joseph Walker, Robert Davis, and Jeremiah Pecker, to 
sell them, and to secure the proceeds of the sales as a permanent 
f Lm d — the interest of which should " be applied to the purposes for 
which said lands were reserved." 2 Promptly, on the twenty-second 
of the following April, the committee sold at auction most of the 
lands 3 for #5,335.61. This sum constituted the original Parsonage 
fund, but was subsequently increased — mainly by land sold — to 
$5,623.01.4 l n 1828 the town established by vote the following 
rule for disposing of the interest annually accruing upon the fund : 
" That the selectmen request each man in town to designate annually 
the incorporated religious society in Concord, which supports the 
preaching of the gospel, to which his proportion of the interest of 
the ministerial fund — according to the amount of his tax on poll 
and estate — shall be paid ; that the selectmen divide the interest 
accordingly ; " and that, in case any persons did not choose to desig- 
nate to what society their proportion should go, the same should be 
divided equally among all the societies. 

The next year William A. Kent, Robert Davis, and Joseph Low 
were appointed to invest the principal of the fund in bank or 
other public stocks, as they should judge it to be for the interest 
of the town. Thirteen shares of Concord bank stock were taken at 
$1,326.25. This was lost, about the year 1840, through the failure 
of the bank ; but with other investments — including a loan to the 
town of #3,231.99 on certificates of the selectmen, the fund amounted 

1 Bouton's Concord, 369. 

= Ibid, 387. 

'See Sale of Parsonage Lands in note at close of chapter. 

* Asa Fowlers Report in Proceedings of Town Meeting, 1851, p. 26. 


in 1850 to $4,296. 76. 1 The town loan was subsequently increased 
to $3,896.16. Thus the interest upon the fund came from an assumed 
municipal debt, and reached annually the sum of about two hun- 
dred and eighty dollars. This had to be raised by general taxation, 
and distributed to fifteen or more religious societies, and in sums so 
small as to be of little benefit. Indeed, the advantage derived hardly 
compensated the trouble of apportionment — a trouble that was con- 
stantly increasing with the influx of new taxpayers and the establish- 
ment of new religious societies. Besides, there was reason to doubt 
the legality and constitutionality of the system that really compelled 
the taxpayers to contribute to the support of religious societies of 
which they were not members, and of religious persuasions not their 
own. It was, therefore, wisely determined, about the year 1875, to 
dispense with appropriation and distribution under the head of the 
parsonage fund, and to close all accounts therewith. 

AVhen, in 1825, the Toleration Act went into effect in Concord, 
the population of the town was about three thousand ; the census of 
1820 counting two thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight inhabi- 
tants against two thousand three hundred and ninety-three in 1810, 
and three thousand seven hundred and two in 1830. Its rank in 
population was the sixth in the state ; Portsmouth, Dover, Gilman- 
ton, Sanbornton, and Londonderry being in advance. But in the 
prestige that attracts and the qualities that promote healthy growth 
and eminent prosperity, the town was second to none. Long a legis- 
lative center of the state government, it had now become a judicial 
one; for in 1823 the county of Merrimack was formed of twenty- 
three towns severed from the northerly parts of Rockingham and 
Hillsborough counties, with Concord designated as the shire town. 
Thus had come, at last, long-desired relief, — especially for the Rock- 
ingham towns, — from the inconvenience of attending courts in places 
so remote as Exeter and Portsmouth. Hopkinton, which had been 
a half-shire town of Hillsborough county, but was now within the 
new jurisdiction, retained the old jail till 1852, when the new one 
was provided within the limits of Concord. 2 

The citizens of the new county seat, who had given six hundred 
and twenty-two votes in the affirmative to six in the negative, upon 
the question of forming the county of Merrimack, were not backward 
in complying with the terms imposed by the legislature as to provid- 
ing accommodation for the courts. The following vote was forthwith 
passed in a special town-meeting : " That the town so far comply with 
the act of the legislature of June session, 1822, as to remove the 
town-house back, turn it end to the road, raise it one story, ami com- 

1 Asa Fowler's Report in Proceedings of Town Meeting, 1851, p. 26. 
2 Bouton's Concord, 492. 


plete it to the acceptance of the justices of the superior court — pro- 
vided Mr. Stickney will give the land which may be necessary for 
this purpose ; and provided, also, that one third of the expense of 
removing and repairing said house be defrayed by individual sub- 
scription." : Jeremiah Pecker, Robert Davis, and Joseph Low were 
appointed superintendents of the work, and eight hundred dollars 
were appropriated towards carrying it out. 1 Straightway the one- 
storied structure, which for more than thirty years had served as 
a town house, and during a part of that period as a state house, 
was moved westward a short distance up the slope, to stand, in 
a more eligible location, capped by its second story, and with its 
modestly colonnaded " end " turned " to the road," or Main street. 
The second story accommodated the courts of the new county. The 
north and south rooms of the first story — as the building originally 
stood facing eastward lengthwise — now became one town hall. The 
former of the two rooms, and the larger, had been both a representa- 
tives' and a town hall. It had also been used for other purposes, 
secular and religious ; notably among the latter being the regular 
Sunday evening services held there in course of the ministry of Dr. 
McFarland, at which the faithful pastor was accustomed to preach 
his third sermon for the day, after the delivery of his two stated dis- 
courses from the pulpit of the " Old North." 2 The other room, or 
the senate chamber, had also been variously occupied, particularly, 
however, as it seems, for select schools. Thus, the Reverend Joshua 
Abbot, a native of Concord, and a son of Captain Joshua Abbot, con- 
ducted there, for a few years, a school on the Lancasterian system, as 
he subsequently did at Norfolk, Virginia, where he died in 1824. Of 
the system, a Concord pupil, writing in old age, briefly says, " that it 
combined pleasure with instruction." 3 

The one room resulting from the union of the two was to answer 
the specific purpose of a town hall in the transaction of municipal 
business for thirty years more, though at an increasing disadvantage, 
from proving too small to accommodate the steady increase of the 
voting population. But it answered other purposes, and many. " In 
this room," as one has racily said, " were enacted scenes that assumed 
all the characteristics of the kaleidoscope. It was, emphatically, a 
free hall. In it were enacted all kinds of transactions, from a free 
tight to a conference meeting; from a prosy sermon to a violent polit- 
ical harangue. All kinds of religions were inculcated and enforced 
there. The old hall welcomed all kinds of isms, at all times, upon 
all subjects, and upon all occasions." 

1 Bouton's Concord, 370. 

* Ibid, 583. 

3 Woodbridge Odlin, in Concord Monitor, March 28, 1884. 


In the new upper room of the building was held, in January, 
1824, the first term of the Superior Court of Judicature for Merri- 
mack county— the first, too, of any duly established court of law 
ever held in Concord. The town supplied one of the justices of that 
court in the person of Samuel Green, spoken of in an earlier chapter. 
During the session, an association of the Merrimack County bar was 
organized, and the event was celebrated by a supper served at the 
Columbian hotel, then in charge of John P. Gass. This general 
sketch will not dwell upon the participation of Concord in the doings 
of bench and bar in that first court house, for thirty years, and 
thenceforward, in the second, but leaves that subject to be especially 
treated in its own chapter. 

After the war, and in course of the two terms of Monroe's adminis- 
tration, the Federal party became disbanded, and the Republican party 
was dominant in the state without organized opposition for most of 
that period. But by 1823 some division had come into the Repub- 
lican ranks, and at the state election of that year two candidates 
for governor, one regular and the other irregular, were in the field. 
Large numbers of former Federalists voted for Levi Woodbury, the 
irregular nominee, who was elected over Samuel Dinsmoor, the regu- 
lar. The Republicans of Concord were divided in their support of 
the nominees, and, as the New Hampshire Patriot, then in sole occu- 
pancy of the field of political journalism at the capital, was vigorously 
advocating Dinsmoor's election, Woodbury's friends had determined 
to have a newspaper to represent their views. Hence, on the 6th of 
January, 1823, the New Hampshire Statesman had appeared. 1 The 
next year (1824) Judge Woodbury was again a candidate, but, there 
being no choice by the people, the legislature elected his competitor, 
David L. Morril, then of Goffstown, but afterwards of Concord. 

The tenth presidential election came in 1824, with its four candi- 
dates : John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford, 
and Henry Clay — all bearing the Republican name. In Concord, the 
Patriot advocated the election of Crawford, while the Statesman and 
the Concord Register, 1 another newspaper recently started by the 
veteran George Hough, and edited by George Kent and George Kim- 
ball, supported Adams, for whom New Hampshire went. Jackson 
stood highest on the electoral count, with Adams standing next ; but 
the choice of president having been thrown into the national house 
of representatives, Adams was elected. 

During the heated political contest, amid the loud and discordant 
campaign cries for and against Adams and Crawford, Clay and Jack- 
son, General Lafayette arrived on his last visit to America. In his 

1 See additional particulars in special chapter on Journalism, etc. 


triumphal progress through the twenty-four states of the Union, the 
harsh voices of partisan politics, whenever and wherever the patriot 
of two hemispheres appeared, became softened and attuned to harmo- 
nious acclaims of welcome. His visit to the capital of New Hamp- 
shire was an event long anticipated, and for which due preparation 
had been made by state and town authorities. How the elaborate 
programme of reception on the 22d of June, 1825, was carried out is 
specifically told in a special chapter. 

In the presidential campaign of 1828, early begun and warmly 
prosecuted, political parties became more distinctly defined — one, as 
the Adams, or National, Republican ; the other, as the Jackson, or 
Democratic, Republican. The Adams party contained many that had 
been Republicans, as against Federalists, under the old classification. 
For instance, in Concord, such former Republicans as Adjutant- 
General Joseph Low, Jacob B. Moore, — the latter associated with 
Isaac Hill in the conduct of the Patriot till 1822, — Richard Bartlett, 
secretary of state, Samuel Sparhawk, cashier of the upper bank, and 
General Robert Davis, found themselves in party affiliation with 
such former Federalists as William A. Kent, Stephen and Robert 
Ambrose, Richard Bradley, Benjamin Gale, Abel, Charles, and 
George Hutchins. The Jackson party was largely made up of old- 
time Republicans; of whom in Concord were such as Isaac Hill, 
William Low, Francis N. Fiske, Abel Baker, Jeremiah Pecker, and 
Jonathan Eastman. Its newspaper organ was the New Hampshire 
Patriot. The other party was supported by the Concord Register 
and the New Hampshire Statesman separately till 1826, when the 
two newspapers were united. In September of that year, also, 
Jacob B. Moore, a printer and bookseller, commenced the publication 
of the New Hampshire Journal, that should more definitely represent, 
than did the Statesman and Register, the views of such of the Adams 
party as were not originally Federalists. The new venture in jour- 
nalism proved a success ; and with the business push and editorial 
ability of the publisher, aided by the capable pen of Richard Bartlett, 
the Journal, with its four thousand subscribers, became the strong 
antagonist of the Patriot in the eleventh presidential contest. The 
intense heat of that contest was felt in New Hampshire, and espe- 
cially in its capital. The newspaper press on opposite sides of the 
taut-drawn party line " gave no uncertain sound " ; and the fierce 
blows dealt were fiercely returned. A corresponding antagonism 
existed in the community. " I have not known a time," has written 
Asa McFarland, "when the people of Concord stood in such hostile 
attitude on each side the dividing line as in 1827, 1828, and 1829. 

. . . There was a cessation of that harmony which has been, 


and still is, a delightful element in Concord society, and that causes 
the name of the city to be in the highest degree appropriate." 

Politics developed able journalism ; but, outside the newspaper, 
considerable literary activity was manifested within the last decade 
of the period under review. This activity took a strong historical 
turn, yet with many miscellaneous diversions, such as the efforts of 
Nathaniel H. Carter — already noticed — and the productions in prose 
and verse of George Kent, Philip Carrigain, Richard Bartlett, and 
Mary Clark. 

In 1821, John Farmer, a native of Chelmsford, .Massachusetts, 
came from Amherst to Concord, at the age of thirty-two, and engaged 
in business with Dr. Samuel Morril as an apothecary. But the 
druggist had a genuine aptitude for antiquarian, genealogical, and 
historical research, in which he labored with conscientious zeal and 
eminent success. His work was of incontrovertible authority, crown- 
ing his life of only forty-nine years with unfading honor. In Con- 
cord he found appreciative and congenial companionship. His lit- 
erary connection was especially close with Jacob B. Moore, " a 
gentleman of much ability as a writer, well read in general litera- 
ture,'' 1 fond of historical investigation, and a capable printer and 
journalist. The two, in collaboration, prepared the " Gazeteer of 
New Hampshire," which was published in 1823, and became the 
model of many similar productions. The next year, appeared the 
"Annals of Concord," the pioneer history of the town, prepared by 
Mr. Moore with important material supplied by Mr. Farmer ; the 
publication having been encouraged by the town in its vote authoriz- 
ing the purchase of a sufficient number of copies to supply each 
family with one. Somewhat later, the same industrious collaborators 
gave to the public their valuable " Historical Collections " —a treas- 
ury of antiquarian wealth. 

Moreover, John Farmer, Jacob B. Moore, George Kent, and 
Richard Bartlett attested their literary activity by co-operating with 
William Plumer, Levi Woodbury, Ichabod Bartlett, Samuel D. Bell, 
Salma Hale, and other intellectual spirits of that day, in the estab- 
lishment of the New Hampshire Historical Society, the object of 
which should be " to discover, procure, and preserve whatever may 
relate to the natural, civil, literary, and ecclesiastical history of the 
United States in general, and of" New Hampshire "in particular." 2 
They were of the original thirty-one members of that society, formed 
at Portsmouth on the 20th of May, 1823, incorporated by the legis- 
lature on the thirteenth of the following June, and duly organized, 
under a constitution, in the council chamber at Concord, on the 

'Asa McFarland's Address before N. H. Printers' Association, 1872, pp. 39, 40. 
2 Constitution of the Society. 


evening of the very clay of incorporation. The society found in 
Concord not only its permanent home, but also literary talent ready 
to aid in promoting its worthy purposes. John Farmer became, in 
1825, its corresponding secretary, and for the remaining thirteen 
years of his life, dignified the office by eminent ability of service. 
All the while, too, he was enriching the Society's Collections with 
the fruits of diligent research, and doing other important work along 
his favorite lines of effort, whereby his own fame became widespread 
and reflected honor upon the society which he loved and served so 
well, and which was never to lose, in its long succession of member- 
ship through future years, the earnest, well-directed literary spirit of 
its founders. 

There was also manifested a growing intellectual interest in the 
general mind of the community. In 1830 four bookstores existed, 1 
providing for school wants, and supplying the larger public de- 
mand for miscellaneous reading. A reading-room, supported b} r 
the contributions of seventy subscribers, was opened on the 24th of 
May, 1827, in the second story of a building occupying the site of 
the later Sanborn's block. 2 Then there was "The Concord Mechanics' 
Association," consisting of fifty master mechanics, having a library, 
in 1830, of nearly one hundred volumes for the use of its members 
and their apprentices. At the annual meeting of this organization, 
on the 6th of January of that year, Richard Bartlett delivered an 
address, and the following list of officers was chosen: George Hough, 
president; Timothy Chandler and Isaac Eastman, vice-presidents; 
Jacob B. Moore, treasurer and librarian ; Lewis Downing, Benjamin 
Barker, William Restieaux, and David Allison, directors. 3 

Literary amusement, in the form of dramatic entertainments. 4 
enlivened Concord in July, 1828, — in the very heat of summer 
and of a hotter presidential canvass. It was then that Gilbert cV 
Trowbridge of Boston presented a series of plays at " Grecian hall *' 
of the Eagle Coffee House, or at "Theatre Concord," as the bills 
had it. The plays presented Monday evening, July 28, were Shake- 
speare's " Othello," and a farce entitled " The Young Widow." The 
performances were continued during the week, exclusive of Satur- 
day. The company consisted of John Gilbert, Mr. and Mrs. Trow- 
bridge, Mr. and Mrs. Ashley, and two or three others. Gilbert was 
then only eighteen years of age, and was soon to make upon the 
boards of the old "Tremont" in Boston his first appearance in 
regular acting — the debut to a famous career of more than sixty 

1 Directory. 

2 Bouton's Concord, 202-3. 

3 Newspapers; Bouton's Concord, 408. 

4 See First Dramatic Entertainment, in note at close of chapter. 

schools. 367 

years upon the stage in Europe and America. The company, 
having been urged to return in the fall, did so ; being, as they an- 
nounced, " impressed with grateful recollections of the indulgence 
experienced from their friends and the inhabitants of Concord." 
This second engagement began on the 17th of November, and con- 
tinued until the last week in December. The small orchestra was 
led by the noted violinist, Abraham Pushee, of Lebanon. The 
leading people of the town very generally gave this experimental 
theatre their patronage ; and strangers dwelling fifty miles away 
sometimes came to attend it. 

Soon after the second theatrical presentation, two home dramatic 
societies were formed : the " Evergreen Fraternity, 1 ' composed of 
lads, and the " Myrtle Wreath,' 1 of young men. The theater was, 
for a time, much in favor. But it had its enemies; for, in 1831, a 
resolution was adopted in town-meeting " respectfully " requesting 
"the selectmen not to grant a license permitting any theatrical corps, 
circus, caravan, or any showmen to exhibit, or to be exhibited, 
within the limits of the town during " the ensuing year. Histori- 
cally, however, this sweeping resolution has more interest, as naming 
the forms of popular amusement then prevalent, than as causing any 
general or permanent desistance therefrom. 

Among the subjects demanding at this period the attention of the 
the community, the School was prominent, and the public interest 
therein was healthy and well directed. The annual appropriation 
increased twenty-five per cent, in the course of fifteen years ; rising 
from one thousand dollars to twelve hundred and fifty. This con- 
tinued until 1829, to be distributed among the districts, according t