1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of por.

The Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 1) online

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Literature, History, and State Progress.



H. H. Metcalf, [Publisher.

1877 - 8.





VOL. I. APRIL, 1877. NO. 1.


We launch our little bark upon the literary waters, freighted with humble yet
earnest hopes for the accomplishment of some measure of benefit, through instruc-
tion, entertainment or pleasure, for the sons and daughters of New Hampshire, at
home and abroad, more tban for anything of distinction or profit for ourselves.
We have long entertained the opinion that some publication, different from the ordi-
nary newspaper which is devoted generally, and almost necessarily, to the record of
current events and partisan political discussion— a publication recording and present-
ing regularly to the people something of the facts of our history, of the lives and
achievements of our representative men, of the development of our material re-
sources, the upbuilding of our industries, and the moral, social and educational
progress of the people, together with a fair proportion of what is more properly
known as literary matter, would be welcomed and supported by the people of New
Hampshire, and would become, to some extent at least, an instrument of good. To
meet as far as may be the existing want in this direction we have commenced the
publication of the Granite Monthly. We shall make it peculiarly a New Hamp-
shire Magazine, and we hope, by devoting our own best efforts to the work, and by
the assistance and co-operation of able writers, and sympathizing friends of the
enterprize, to make it worthy the consideration and patronage of the reading pub-
lic in our State, and especially of those who cherish that laudable sentiment of
State pride which is keenly alive to every thing touching the honor, prosperity and
progress of New Hampshire, as illustrated in the successful achievements of her
children in every field of effort or enterprise. If we shall succeed in strengthening
in the hearts of any of our people that sentiment to which we allude, or in contrib-
ing in any way to the material prosperity of the State, through the instruction or
entertainment of its children, we shall have found our reward and be abundantly



Fifty years ago the gubernatorial chair
of the State was occupied by one of its
most distinguished citizens, a native and
resident of the old town of Epping —
William Plumer — a man of marked abil-
ity, who had represented New Hamp-
shire in the Federal Senate with honor to
himself and credit to the State. A few
weeks since our people, in their sover-
reign capacity, made choice of another
native and resident of Epping to suc-
ceed Governor Cheney, as their Chief
Magistrate, in June next.

Benjamin F. Prescott, Governor-
elect, is the son and only child of Nathan
Gove Prescott — a descendant of Capt.
Jonathan Prescott who fought with Pep-

perell at the siege of Louisburg — an Ep-
ping farmer who married Miss Betsey H.
Richards, daughter of Capt. Benjamin
Richards of Madbury. The Prescott
homestead, where the Governor-elect was
born on the 26th of February, 1833, is
situated something more than a mile to
the north west of the pleasant little vil-
lage of Epping Corner, and less than a
mile from the Plumer mansion. Here
young Prescott passed his life, until
about fifteen years of age, in daily labor
upon the farm, with the exception of the
time occupied in attending the brief terms
of the district school, developing by hon-
est toil the superior physical powers with
which he was endowed, and laying the


foundation for that robust manhood,
without which, complete success is al-
most unattainable in every department
of human labor.

The first mental training, outside the
district school, of which he secured the
advantage, was afforded by a private
school at the village, under the tuition of
Samuel H. Worcester, who subsequently
became a noted teacher, and is now a well
known physician of Salem, Mass. After
this he attended several terms at the Blan-
chard Academy in Pembroke and in the fall
of 1850 he entered the preparatory course
at Phillips Academy, Exeter, a year
in advance, remaining three full years, so
that in the fall of 1850, he was enabled to
enter the Sophomore class at Dartmouth,
where he graduated with honor in 1859.
Among his class mates at Exeter was
Jeremiah Smith of Dover, subsequently
an Associate Justice of the Supreme Ju-
dicial Court, and among the same at
Dartmouth were F. D.Ayer now pastor of
the North Church at Concord, Sullivan
M. Cutcheon, late Speaker of the Michi-
gan House of Representatives, and Ly-
man G. Hinckley of Chelsea, Vt., subse-
quently Lieutenant Governor of that
State. While at Dartmouth he was a
member,and at one time president, of the
United Fraternity literary society, and at
Exeter he was a member of the Golden
Branch society in which he occupied the
position of president and orator.

Soon after his graduation Mr. Prescott
entered the office of H. A. & A. H. Bel-
lows, at Concord, as a student at law,
where he diligently pursued his studies
until 1859, when he was admitted to the
Merrimack County bar and commenced
the practice of the profession, which he
continued at Concord for about two
years. In 1861, upon the appointment of
Hon. George G. Fogg, editor of the In-
dependent Democrat, as Minister to Swit-
zerland, he was offered the position of
associate editor of the paper, which he
accepted, remaining with Mr. Hadley, in
charge of the paper until Mr. Fogg's re-
turn from Europe in 1866. The period
of his editorial service covered that of the
war of the Rebellion, and the develop-
ment of the reconstruction policy of
Congress, and the vigorous support

which the Independent Democrat gave
President Lincoln and the measures of
the Administration party was clue in no
small degree to the earnest nature and
forcible pen of Mr. Prescott. During the
latter part of Lincoln's administration he
received an appointment as Special
Agent of the Treasury, which position
he held until the change of policy under
President Johnsoii,when he was removed
and Harry Bingham of Littleton ap-
pointed in his stead. Subsequently he
held the same position for a time under
President Grant. After the death of his
father in 1866, Mr. Prescott devoted
much of his time and labor to the im-
provement of the old homestead at Ep-
ping, which thereupon came into his pos-
session, though retaining his voting res-
idence in Concord until some three or
four years since. In 1S72 he was chosen
by the Legislature, Secretary of State,
and was re-elected the following year, as
he was in 1875 and 1876, holding the po-
sition at the present time. Through his
long incumbency in this office he has not
only become intimately acquainted with
the leading men of both parties in all
sections of the State,but has also acquired
a thorough understanding of public af-
fairs, which qualifies him in an eminent
degree for the discharge of the duties of
the Executive office, which he is to as-
sume next June. Moreover, it will not,
we trust, be improper to remark in this
connection, that, in all his relations with
the public in the performance of his duty
as Secretary of State, he has given the
highest degree of satisfaction to men of
all parties, and his unfailing courtesy, as
well as faithful attention to duty, has un-
questionably drawn to his support some,
who, had any other individual been the
candidate in his stead, would have given
their votes to the opposite party.

As is well known to many, Mr. Pres-
cott has a decided taste for historical and
antiquarian research, which he has in-
dulged in no small degree. He has long
been an active member of the New Hamp-
shire Historical Society, and is now First
Vice President of that association. He
is also a member and Vice President of
the New Hampshire Antiquarian Society
which, although established but a few


years since, has, under its earnest and
vigorous management, already acquired
an honorable position among kindred as-
sociations, and has at its headquarters at
Contoocookville a rare and extensive col-
lection of antiquities. About a year ago
Mr. Prescott was made a member of the
Royal Historical Society of London, an
honor which no other citizen of New
Hampshire enjoys. The attention of the
Society having been attracted to him, un-
doubtedly, through his extensive corres-
pondence with officers and members,
while engaged in the work of securing
for the State the portraits of those who
figured conspicuously in its early history,
which, together with those of the celeb-
rities of later years, most of which were
also obtained through his instrumental-
ity, constitute a collection of rare interest
and great historical value. In making
this collection for the State House, Mr.
Prescott has labored with a disinter-
rested perseverance seldom equalled,
overcoming serious obstacles in many in-
stances, and the success which has
crowned his efforts, while a source of
honest pride to every citizen of the State,
has redounded to his own credit and the
esteem in which he is held by the public.

As we have said, Mr. Prescott has
spent much time and labor upon his
farm, bringing it under a superior state of
cultivation. He has added largely to the
original homestead, and has now about
three hundred acres of land, making, al-
together, one of the largest, as it is one
of the best, farms in the town. Its
chief products are fruit, corn, hay and
neat stock. Of the former, several hun-
dred barrels of choice varieties are pro-
duced annually. When at home Mr.
Prescott is, even now, often found in the
field or the woods at work with the men,
and few there are who can compete with
him in any branch of farm labor. His
love of Agriculture and practical knowl-
edge of its requirements fits him in a
high degree for the position to which he
was appointed by Gov. Weston in 1874 as
a member of the Board of Trustees of
the State Agricultural College.

Upon the same spot occupied by the
old family dwelling, Mr. Prescott erected
in 1875, an elegant modern residence,

which is thoroughly and tastefully fin-
ished throughout, and furnished in a cor-
responding manner, with an aim to gen-
uine home comfort and a certain degree
of luxury. A choice library, rare paint-
ings, curiosities and relics, gratify and
illustrate the taste of the owner, and all
the surroundings are pervaded with an
air of refinement and prosperity seldom
witnessed, yet most delightful to contem-
plate. The locality itself is one of the
most pleasant and picturesque to be
found in the region. In short, every-
thing combines to make the home of the
Governor-elect the abode of comfort and
true enjoyment. Here his accomplished
wife, formerly Miss Mary L. Noyes,
daughter of Jefferson Noyes, Esq., of
Concord, with whom he was united in
June, 1869, presides with true womanly
dignity and grace, while his beloved
mother, whose devoted affection for her
only child is fittingly supplemented by
her just pride in his successful career, is
a cherished member of the household.

Mr. Prescott is of commanding person-
al appearance, standing about six feet in
height, with a large frame and full de-
velopment. He has a fresh and ruddy
complexion, showing the free circulation
that comes of perfect bodily health. His
clear hazel eyes look you frankly in the
face, while his dark hair and beard, which
he wears full but well trimmed, are ting-
ed with gray. His mental organization
is as fresh and vigorous as his physical,
with a marked development of the per-
ceptive powers, giving him the ready
judgment of men, which has contributed
in no small degree to his success. In his
manners he is thoroughly democratic,
meeting all as equals, and with a charm-
ing courtesy which puts one immediately
at ease, and his popularity in the social
circle is as great as in public life. In re-
ligion, while his sympathies are with
what is known as the liberal element, he
contributes alike to the support of the
different denominations in his town.

Just in the prime and vigor of life, and
having attained a distinction which few
at his age have reached, our Governor-
elect may consistently look forward to a
lengthy future career of honor and use-




No bells, bonfires nor cannon an-
nounced the arrival of the little barque
which sailed up the "deep waters" of the
Piscataquack in 1623, and landed on Odi-
orne's Point, the founders of a new State.
Tradition does not repeat nor history re-
cord the name of the ship nor of the cap-
tain who commanded it. The Mayflower
and the men who landed on Plymouth
Rock, in 1620, are as famous in history
as Jason and his associates, who sought
the Golden Fleece, are in ancient mythol-
ogy. New England men never weary of
eulogies of forefathers' day; and they
will, probably, never cease to commem-
orate the heroism and piety of those forty-
two god-fearing men, who signed the
first written constitution known to hu-
man history. Still, the Plymouth Colo-
ny, by itself, wrought no nobler or bet-
ter work for mankind than the unnoticed,
almost unnamed colonists who founded
New Hampshire. Massachusetts Bay set-
tlers, the Puritans, eclipsed the humbler
efforts of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The
Pilgrims bore the sufferings of exile, pri-
vation and toil ; but the Puritans at a
later date appropriated the fame and
the honor which rose from the laws,
government and institutions of Massa-
chusetts. Capt. John Mason, the Propri-
etor of New Hampshire, sent over fifty
Englishmen and twenty-two women, be-
sides eight Danes who were employed in
sawing lumber and making potash. This
number exceeded that of the Mayflower.
It is not probable that all these men and
women came in the first ship. Many of
them arrived several years after the first
company of planters occupied Odiorne's
Point. There is no reason to suppose
that many women, possibly not one,
came in 1623. Some writers suppose that
the Hiltons and a few other leading men
brought their wives with them. For,
ten years after the first settlement, the

letters of the proprietor and his agents in
Loudon, speak of sending the wives of
some, of the colonists or of supporting
them, at the company's expense, at home.
The very slow progress of the settle-
ments at Cocheco and Strawberry Bank
show that the laborers were few; for
only three houses had been built, on the
Bank in seven years, and only three in
ten years, at the upper plantation. If
families were united in these labors, six
houses would scarcely suffice for eighty
persons. Why were these colonists less
renowned than the Pilgrims of Plymouth?
The previous history of the Pilgrims,
their persecutions at home, and their res-
idence in Holland made them famous.
Religion occupied the thoughts of all
Englishmen. The Pilgrims were exiles for
conscience' sake; they suffered for the
common liberties and rights of the whole

The first settlers at Portsmouth and
Dover were adventurers, bold, hardy,
and resolute, like all pioneers who go into
the wilderness to better their condition.
Such is generally the character of em-
igrants who found new states. Philoso-
phers tell us that from the race, the epoch
and the surroundings of a people, their
future history may be accurately pre-
dicted. Here then is a problem for the
prophet's solution. The race is Saxon;
the epoch is one of progress, enterprise,
discovery and controversy, both with the
pen and the sword. The surroundings
are the wilderness before them and the
ocean behind them. The soil is rugged ;
the climate is severe. Tell me, then,
thou boasting seer, what will be the fate
of this handful of men, as destitute and
helpless as though they had dropped upon
the earth from some distant planet. Will
they die of starvation, be devoured by
wild beasts or be massacred by savages?
By o.e-cupation, they were fishmongers,


farmers and mechanics. "Their several
businesses" assigned by their employers,
were to fell the trees, till the soil, fish,
hunt and mine. Incessant labor in these
occupations failed to support them ; and
the proprietors were obliged to sink their
fortunes in the abyss of debt which these
plantations opened. John Mason, who
was a man of mark, and would have
been distinguished in any age. was
financially ruined; but like Phaeton,
guiding the chariot of the sun, he fell
from great undertakings. Instead of
securing coronets and mitres for his pos-
terity he died the victim of disappointed

hopes :

"No son of his succeeding."

The men he hired to plant his colony
had not sufficient education, religion nor
integrity to make them true to their trust.
That they were illiterate, appears from
the fact that many of them could not
write their names. So little is said of
their religion that, it may be presumed
they had none to speak of. They did not
attempt to gather a church, at Dover,
till 1638'. Then, they were broken up by
quarrels, and some of their early clergy-
men were fitter for the penitentiary than
the pulpit. At Portsmouth, no provision
was made for preaching till 1640, when a
Glebe of fifty acres was granted for the
support of an Episcopal chapel; and
Richard Gibson was the first incumbent.
The first Congregational church was
formed much later. The founders of
Exeter and Hampton were led by clergy-
men, and churches sprang up with the
towns themselves. That the servants of
Mr. Mason were dishonest appears from
the fact that, after his death, they plun-
dered his estate, drove away his cattle
that he had imported at great expense,
and sold them in Boston for twenty-five
pounds sterling a head, and appropriated
his goods. There was no local govern-
ment sufficiently powerful to punish
great crimes ; while the proprietor ruled
through agents, factors and superintend-


ents, there was little restraint over ser-
vants but the personal influence of the
so called governors. The laborers were
the " hired men" of the proprietor who
lived three thousand miles away. They
were neither masters of their time, their
labor, nor of its rewards. If the value
of plantations and mills was enhanced,
the profit was not for them. They
neither owned the premises where they
worked, nor shared the gains nor losses
that resulted from their labors. When
they became free-holders, and made com-
pacts or "combinations" for the better
government of the plantations, and the
more certain punishment of crimes, the
stimulus of property, liberty and suffrage
elevated the laborers, and fitted them to
do, dare and suffer more than any other
New England Colony. The people of
Portsmouth formed a political compact
as early as 1633, but it gained from the
crown no authority to make laws or pun-
ish offenders. Dr. Belknap says, that,
till 1640, the people of Dover and Ports-
mouth had no power of government del-
egated from the King. At that time, they
formed themselves into a body politic as
the people of Exeter had done the year
before. The next year, 1641, all the four
plantations formed a union with Massa-
chusetts, and voluntarily submitted to
her jurisdiction. They were allowed
peculiar privileges, for in 1642, the fol-
lowing decree was passed by the General
Court of Massachusetts : "It is ordered
that all the present inhabitants of Piscat-
aquack, who formerly were free there,
shall have liberty of freemen in their
several towns to manage all their town
affairs, and each town [shall] send a
deputy to the General Court, though they
be not church members.'''' From this date
the laws, usages and customs of the
larger colony became the inheritance of
the smaller ; and the union which con-
tinued for thirty-nine years, was " a con-
summation devoutly to be wished," by
both the high contracting parties.




"Marry that old man! Never! I'll
starve first. He may foreclose the mort-
gage and turn us out doors as soon as
he pleases to, but I will never be his wife,

"Heavens and airth, child, who you
talking about? You don't say Peter
Greenleaf wants you for a wife, do you?"

"I don't say any thing about it, Aunt
Jane. Where in the world did you come
from? I am glad to see you, but I didn't
know there was any body to hear me.
Don't tell, Aunt Jane."

"I won't" replied the unexpected visi-
tor. "Don't you be afraid. I've kept a
good many secrets in my day, and I'll
keep yours. I come over this morning a

purpose to talk with you and see if I
couldn't help you. If I only had the
money, I'd pay up that mortgage and
done with it. Then, the old man might
whistle. 'Spose your grandma'am could
not help doin as she did, but 'twas a
master pity."

"She would have paid part of it before
now, if Regis hadn't been sick and the
cow died. She talked about it only a
few days before she died, and told me
if she left us suddenly, I must do the
best I could. She said there was a letter
in the little bureau that would explain
all about the mortgage, but I haven't
wanted to read it yet. I can pay part of
the interest by winter, but Mr. Green-
leaf says he must have the whole, and I
can't pay the whole."

"Well, child, don't give up. It's been
awful discouragin' weather, dark days
and heavy fogs, and every thing all
damped through ; but 'taint always ;goin
to be so. We've got to have Indian Sum-
mer, yit. Your grandma'am was a
curous manager ; else she'd never made
so much out of five acres of pasture land
and an old sheep barn. That was all
there was here when she bought it, and
now, there ain't no land in town that
gives better crops ; and there ain't no

house that's more comfortable. I've
wished a good many times, I had her
faculty ; but I hain't, though I'm reck-
oned tolable for plannin'. "Where's

"At work for Mr. Beman."

"He's a smart boy."

"Yes, he is, and a good boy, too. If

he was older we could do better."

"Yes, but he'll grow old fast enough.
He's twelve and you're eighteen, and
you two are left without a blood relation
in the world nigher than a second cousin.
That's what your grandma'amj told me
the last time I see her 'fore she died so
sudden. I can't make the way clear, all
through, but don't you marry a man you
don't want to. That's the worst thing a
woman can do, and there's always a
curse follows it. I married a poor man,
and I ain't goin' to say he wa'nt shif-
less, for he was, and everybody knew it;
but I loved him and he loved me, and so
I could put up with his ways, though
they wan't just what they ought to be.
When John and I was together, we never
felt as though we wished somebody else
was in either of our places. I wouldn't
advise you nor anybody else to marry a
shitless man ; but I did, and I never was
sorry. Peter Greenleaf's wife didn't
have a poor mau nor a shifless man, but
she had a harder time than I did ; and I
hope if he marries again, he'll get some-
body that'll stand up for her rights.
There he is, sure's you're alive, comin'
over the hill. Want me to git out of
"Perhaps it would be best, but please

don't leave the house."
"I won't, and don't you be afraid.

Manage to make him say if the interest's

paid, he'll wait for the rest. He thinks

you'd make a purty piece of household

furnitur, and some way he got a grudge

against your gran'ma'am. I misdoubted

how t'would turn out, when I knew she

got the^ money of him ; but the Lord

reigns, and t there can't nobody hinder his



People wondered why Mrs. Bradshaw
mortgaged her place, while she alone
knew that to save her grand-children
from their father she had sent him a stip-
ulated sum of money, which might have
purchased but temporary safety had not
death claimed him and so relieved her of
further anxiety.

In her thankfulness for this mercy she
thought comparatively little of the obli-
gation she had incurred, although her
family arrangements were made with
reference to the liquidation of the debt.
She lived even more frugally than be-
fore; but sickness and other untoward
events had made it impossible for her to
do this. For three years not even the

Online Library1884 numbers of the Bay state monthlyBe the first and subjects of first 10 volumes and List of porThe Granite monthly, a New Hampshire magazine, devoted to literature, history, and state progress (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 58)