Health and Longevity in 18th & Early 19th Century New Hampshire

Instances of Longevity in New-Hampshire, with the places of residence, and the time when each person died, and their ages.

YEAR DIED | NAME  | TOWN | AGEold postcard couple in rowboat
1732 William Perkins, of New-Market 116
1736 John Buss, of Durham 108
1739 James Wilson, of Chester 100
1754 William Scoby, of Londonderry 110
1754 James Shirley, of Chester 105
1765 Elizabeth Hight, of Newington 100
1772 Howard Henderson, of Dover 100
1775 William Craige, of Chester 100
1775 Mrs. Craige (his wife) of Chester 100
1775 Mrs. Lear, of Portsmouth 103
1775 Mrs. Mayo, of Portsmouth 106
1787 Robert Macklin, of Wakefield 115
1789 Mrs. Ulrick, of Hollis 104
1790 Mrs. Hayley, of Exeter 101
1791 Jacob Green, of Hanover 100
1791 Widow Davis 102
1791 James Shirley, of Chester 100 Continue reading

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New Hampshire’s Post Road and Post Office History

Today much of our communication is transmitted electronically. It was only a few decades ago that all of our correspondence, documents, and bills were delivered by human hand to our doorsteps. In colonial America, post roads influenced what people knew about current events, and houses along this road were considered prime real estate.  By ‘post road, ‘ I mean those byways specifically designated for the delivery of  mail or correspondence.

These roads were different from those of the New Hampshire turnpike system that I have written about previously.  The history of New Hampshire’s (and America’s) post roads is older than that of the United States Post Office.   Continue reading

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When Windham NH Toasted the Fourth of July in 1825

Re-enactment Rev battleOn Monday the 49th Anniversary of American Independence was celebrated at Windham with the usual demonstrations of joy, gratitude, and festivity. In consequence of the unfavorable weather in the forenoon many who had intended to join in the celebration were prevented.

But having cleared up about noon–a large assembly had collected by one o’clock P.M. from that and the neighboring towns. A procession was formed and conducted to the meeting house by Capt. Perkins A. Hodge, Marshal of the day–The exercised were–the declaration of Independence read by Samuel Armor Esq.–Prayer by The Rev. Samuel Harris–Oration by Isaac McGaw Esq. Ode composed for the occasion by the “Rustic Bard” and sung by the choir belonging to Windham.

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Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient: Piermont NH’s Nathaniel Churchill Barker (1836-1904)

A sketch of Sergeant Nathaniel C. Barker from Boston Herald (Boston MA), Thursday, October 14, 1897, page 9.

A sketch of Sergeant Nathaniel C. Barker from Boston Herald (Boston MA) in 1897, when he received his Medal of Honor.

The town of Piermont is celebrating the 250th anniversary of its founding this year (2014).   According to the Gazeteer of Grafton County NH by Hamilton Child, in 1880 Piermont had a population of 752 souls. By 2010 it had only 38 more residents for a total of 790.

Nathaniel Churchill Barker was born in that tiny New Hampshire town on 28 September 1836, the son of carpenter, Samuel Barker and his wife Sally Jackson. He received at least a basic education in the local schools before his family moved to Manchester, NH, evidenced by the diaries that he kept during the Civil War. Of the 3,464 Medals of Honor awarded to date, 1522 were awarded during the American Civil War. One of these recipients was Nathaniel C. Barker.  Continue reading

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New Hampshire Glossary: Steeplejack (and Steeplejill)

A chance encounter with a blog story about a Baltimore Steeplejack suddenly raised my

DETAIL OF CUPOLA - South Meeting House, Meeting House Hill, facing Marcy Street, Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., NH; HABS, Library of Congress.

DETAIL OF CUPOLA – South Meeting House, Meeting House Hill, facing Marcy Street, Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., NH; HABS, Library of Congress.

awareness of an interesting New England occupation–a steeplejack.  And yes, I know steeples can be found outside of the northeast, but we probably have more per capita. If you think of the typical, quintessential New Hampshire town, in your mind’s eye you envision at least one white church spire.

From the moment that the first church steeple was erected in New Hampshire, so came the need for men to repair or replace them.  It was dangerous work in a day without cranes or sturdy metal ladders.  Continue reading

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