New Hampshire’s Historical Inheritance: Justice David Souter’s Scary Stare

A remarkable find has come to light that will have New Hampshire history scholars rethinking the origin of slightly scary stares.

Pun Salad reported, in URLs du Jour, about Supreme Court Justice David Hackett Souter’s “slightly scary New Hampshire stare” that he “fixed” on unnamed attorneys during a recent Supreme Court argument.

Scary stares are an important a part of our New Hampshire heritage–as traditional to our state as our unique language.

I randomly selected some men of New Hampshire to demonstrate my point. Each of them has an unmistakable scary stare.  I know not what caused this intriguing synchronicity -The cold winters? -Their remarkable educational opportunities? -The overpowering existence of granite in the bedrock under their feet?  -Their unrelenting need to conserve the letter R?

Carefully review the following faces, and judge (pun intended) for yourself who has the scariest stare.

Horace Greeley (1811-1872) born Amherst, New Hampshire; journalist; editor of the New York Tribune

Gen. John Stark (1728-1822) born Londonderry, NH; military hero of the Revolutionary War

Justice David H. Souter (1939-still living), born in Melrose MA; ancestors from New Hampshire (Hackett line); resided most of his life in Weare, NH; Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Old Man of the Mountain (1805-2003) Discovered in 1805; collapsed in 2003.

Dr. Matthew Thornton (1710-1803), born Ireland, resided New Hampshire, buried Merrimack NH; patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852), born Salisbury NH; statesman, lawyer and orator.

    A blog polling option. was offered for a year, and 56 people voted.  The results are shown below. The most voters felt that Daniel Webster, not Justice David H. Souter have the scariest stare.

Bold stems of heroes, here and there,
I could discern;
Some seem’d to muse, some seem’d to dare,
With feature stern
–From “The Vision,” by Robert Burns



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