James G. (James George) Needham.

Dover, New Hampshire; its history and industries descriptive of the city and its manufacturing and business interests. Issued as an illustrated souvenir in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Foster's Daily Democrat online

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Online LibraryJames G. (James George) NeedhamDover, New Hampshire; its history and industries descriptive of the city and its manufacturing and business interests. Issued as an illustrated souvenir in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Foster's Daily Democrat → online text (page 1 of 14)
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Katharine F. Richmond

Henry C. Fall












Concise History; Old Landmarks; Present and Former Residents; Its Institutions; Buildings;
Picturesque Scenes ; Comfortable Homes ; Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Active Men; Men noted in Public, Business and Professional Life;
Its Manufacturing and Commerce ; Statements of Resources
and Advantages of Locality; Its Growth, Pros-
perity and Future Possibilities.




the publication of

a view to the welfare
of the community, Foster's
Daily Democrat presents its
connplirnents to its thousands
of readers on the twenty-fifth anniversary of
its birth- Great care has been exercised
in the preparation of this Work;, and it is to
be trusted that a perusal of its pages Will
prove it to be a work; wider in scope and
different in character frorn anything ever
before published in this city.






ON a spring day in 1623, a vessel,
name of which is now lost, landed
upon the western shore of the Piscata-
qua, two parties sent out by the company
of Laconia. One party, consisting of Ed-
ward and William Hilton (brothers), with
a few other persons, took possession of

"* 1898

Possibly other settlers came over in the
years immediately following 1623 ; but, in
1631, there were only three houses in all
that part of the Piscataqua. In that year
Captain Thomas VViggin was sent over by
the patentees; in 1632 he returned to
England, and in 1633 he came back with


the beautiful neck of land lying between
the Newichawannock and Bellamy rivers,
some six miles up the Piscataqua ; and,
with the necessaries which they had brought
with them, began the settlement, which, in

1639, received the name of Dover; in

1640, that of Northam ; and, in 1641, that
of Dover again, which it has since borne.

" about thirty settlers," some of whom
were " of good estate and some account
for religion," and others of no particular
account for either. These settlers, land-
ing at Salem, from the ship fatties, Octo-
ber 10, 1633, proceeded immediately to
Dover, and took up small lots upon Dover
Neck, " where they intended to build a

DOVER J623-J898

compact town." Captain Wiggin, by
authority from the owners in England,
distributed these lots, recorded the titles,
transacted the com-
pany's business gen-
erally, and " had
the power of a gov-
ernor hereabouts."
In the same band
came Rev. William
- Leverich, " an able
and worthy Puritan
minister." The in-
habitants immedi-
a t e 1 y erected a
REV. HANSERD KNOLLYS. meeting- house ;

trading post. He himself became major,
commander of the New Hampshire forces,
counsellor, acting president of the prov-
ince, chief justice, representative, and
speaker of the Massachusetts general

From 1633 to 1641, Dover, although
increasing in population, experienced a
succession of troubles. The original set-
tlers were Episcopalians; those of 1633
Puritans. To these discordant elements
was added the bad character of some men,
who, forced to leave Massachusetts, ac-
quired influence in this loose society. The
ill results soon appeared. Mr. Leverich
was forced to leave in 1635 for want of


and, with the tan pits, and other means
of practical crafts which soon followed,
Dover began its organized existence.

In addition to the original purposes of
the settlement (fishing), trade with the
Indians and the manufacture of lumber
soon followed. Both of these were mainly
in connection with the settlement of Rich-
ard Walderne (whose descendants bear
the name of Waldron), in 1640, or a little
earlier, at the lower falls of the Cochecho,
where the compact part of the present
city of Dover stands. He built a saw-
mill, and soon after a grist-mill ; and, for
half a century, his house was a frontier

support. Rev. George Burdett, who suc-
ceeded him in 1637, was able, ambitious,
unscrupulous, and profligate ; but, before
his character be-
came known, he
prevailed upon the
people to make
him governor ; but,
soon exposing him-
self, he fled to
Agamenticus. In
the ministry he was
succeeded by
Hanserd Knollys,
a good and pious DR> JEREMY BELKNAP.

DOVER \ 623- \ 898

man ; and by him the first church in Dover
was organized, in December, 1638. The
first meeting-house in Dover was erected
in 1634 or earlier, and stcod near the
Beck Cove, on the western slope of the
Neck. The second was built on the spot
where the remnant of the fortifications
once around it still remains. This house
was standing in a ruinous state in 1720.
The second meeting-house was probably
built a little after the year 1700, for
Mr. Sever, who was settled in 1711, and
dismissed in 1715, preached in both

The remainder of the house was subse-
quently taken down. The fourth and
present meeting-house was erected in
1829, and cost about $12,000. The par-
ish was incorporated as a parish district
from the town by an act of the Provincial

Jeremy Belknap D.D., eleventh min-
ister, was distinguished for his literary at-
tainments and beloved for his personal
character. He was an ardent patriot in
the Revolution, and by his writings and
correspondence did eminent service. He


houses. This house was sold in 1759 and
taken down the following year. It stood
on Pine Hill, on land now inclosed in the
burying-ground, very near its northern
boundary, and a little west of north of the
tomb of the Gushing family. The third
edifice erected in 1758, stood where
the present house stands. In 1829,
the parish voted to sell the old meeting-
house. The northern end was taken off
and converted by the purchaser into a
dwelling house, and now stands on the
east side of Court Street, near the brook.

published numerous works, the best known
of which is his " History of New Hamp-

In civil office Burdett was followed by
Captain John Underbill, an old Euro-
pean soldier and a refugee from Mass-
achusetts, having a strange mixture of
enthusiasm, ability, and hypocrisy. Un-
derhill was deposed in 1640 for various
crimes. Knollys was eclipsed by the su-
perior talents of Thomas Larkham, an
emigrant of 1639 or 1640, and forced to
yield. The discordant elements now


DOVER J623-J898

broke out into disgraceful contests, ended
at last by the union of Dover with Massa-
chusetts, Oct. 9, 1641, which the better


part of the people adopted as the only
cure for their difficulties. It was gladly
welcomed by the latter power, who, in-
deed, claimed a latent right to the terri-
tory by virtue of their own patent. The
town was made part of old Norfolk coun-
ty, was represented in the general
court, and was subject to the laws of
Massachusetts until New Hampshire,
in 1679, was erected into a separate

From 1641 to 1679 Dover had gen-
erally peace, ecclesiastically and civ-
illy. The Massachusetts government
bore lightly, and the clergymen were
able and excellent men. The only jar
in religious matters was that caused by
the coming of Quakerism, in 1662,
and the barbarous sentence upon
women of ten lashes upon the naked
back. Of course Quakerism flourished
with greater vigor in Dover than in
any other town in the province. In
business the town increased, having a
direct trade with the West Indies, ex-
porting principally lumber. In pop-
ulation it gained rapidly for a time ;
the tax-paying males increasing from
54 in 1648 to 142 in 1659, and 155
in 1 668. It then experienced a check,
falling to 146 in 1675, doubtless on
account of the Indian wars. In terri-

tory it embraced, in addition to its present
limits, Durham, Madbury, Lee, Somers-
worth, Rollinsford, and part of Newington,
all of which
were included
i n Dover i n
1641, when its
were defined for
the first time,
and all of which
were settled be-
fore 1660. In
civil affairs it
enjoyed virtual
s e 1 f - g o vern-
ment. The only
disturbance was
that caused by
the royal com-
missioners i n
1665, who en-
deavored to find or create a public sentiment
in opposition to the government of Massa-
chusetts Bay ; but, so far as Dover was con-
cerned, entirely in vain. A greater cause of
disturbance was the occasional efforts of
the heirs of Mason to establish their pro-


DOVER J 623- J 898







:, *



; j ;l>


DOVER \ 623- \ 898

prietary claims, efforts which developed
themselves more fully at a later period.
During this period some town votes are
worthy of copying. One was that of the
27th of November, 1648, when "It is
this [day] ordered at publique Town
meeting that Richard Pinkame shall beate
the drumme on Lord's days to give notice
for the time of meeting." This method
continued for several years. In 1665 it
was " Ordered that mr. Fetter Coffin
shall be Impowered by this meitting to A
Gree with some workman to Build a Ter-
rett upon the meeitting house for to hang

until 1828. From 1679 to lne close of
the Indian wars Dover suffered extremely.
Population, it is true, largely increased
during the latter part of the period ; thus
the number of polls in 1675 was 131, and
in 1727, 466 (Newington in both cases
being excluded). Nor did any ecclesias-
tical troubles occur, beyond the efforts of
the present town of Durham to obtain
separate authority, in which they succeed-
ed in 1716 ; and the question whether the
proper site for a place of worship was not
at Cochecho, instead of Dover Neck, which
question was settled in 1711 by having the
meetings alternate, and, in 1720, by the
JJ entire removal to the newer but tar larger
place. But the Indian wars severely

the Bell wich wee have Bought
ofCapt. Walldern." In 1657 "Charles
Buckner chosen by voet A Scoellmaster
for this town." Other schoolmasters
followed, among whom, early in the next
century, was " Master Sullefund " (Sulli-
van), ancestor of the eminent family of that
name. In 1653 the second meeting-house
was built, which was " forty foot longe,
twenty-six foote wide, sixteen foote studd,
with six windows, two doores fitt for such a
house, with a tile covering, and to planck
all the walls, with glass and nails for it."
The third church was built in 1 7 14 (whose
bell was hung on a schoolhouse near by) ;
the fourth in 1758, which last was used

impaired, for a long series of years, the
prosperity of the place.

It was a frontier town, touching the
forests which stretched away to Canada,
defending an extensive frontier, and pos-
sessing but a scattered population. In
addition to the general causes of Indian
hostility, in their own jealousy and the
machinations of the French, local differ-
ences had grown out of trading operations.
Suspicions of hostility had been so far ex-

DOVER J623-1898

cited, as early as 1667, as to lead, at that
time, to the fortification of the meeting-
house, by " intrenchments and flankarts,"


in whose inclosure sentinels paced during
divine service, and whose ruins are still
visible. On the breaking out of the gen-
eral war of 1675, there commenced a
series of attacks upon the inhabitants,
which, with occasional and sometimes
protracted intervals of peace, did not
wholly end until the treaty of Aix-la-Cha-
pelle. As most of these were petty affairs,
and of the same general character, it is
unnecessary to narrate them particularly.
Exposed houses were captured and
burned, individuals at work were killed ;
inhabitants were waylaid and shot on their
way to church ; captives were carried to
Canada, to be ransomed at a , heavy ex-
pense, or, in repeated cases,' to live and.
die there, where the blood of Dover set-
tlers is still perpetuated. On the other
hand, Indians were often surprised ; their
stores of provisions were destroyed ; the
woods were scoured by rangers, especi-
ally by parties of exasperated young men ;
and sometimes severe blows were struck.
The most destructive affair, upon what is
now Dover soil, may be more particularly

It occurred on the morning of the 28th
of June, 1689. Thirteen years before, at
a time when, although war had broken
out on the Kennebec, there was peace at
Piscataqua, 400 Indians were assembled
at Cochecho, 200 of whom were refugees
from the south of Massachusetts; and,
ignorant of the unity of the government,
thought themselves safe with Major Wal-

derne, who then commanded the forces
of that territory. Two companies of whites,
on their way to the Kennebec, stopped at
Dover, who brought with them
orders to seize all Indians re-
cently hostile, which they would
have proceeded by force to
obey ; but Walderne, knowing the
bloodshed which would follow,
dissuaded them, and contrived
a stratagem to seize them by
means of a sham fight. It was
successful ; the whole were dis-
armed, and the Southern In-
dians were sent to Boston, where
four or five were hung, and the
remainder sold into slavery.
Thirteen years passed away, dur-
ing which a relentless thirst for vengeance
was cherished. In the course of this
period former habits of trade revived, and
whites and Indians mingled freely. But
the old enmity was fostered by some of
those enslaved who had returned. On the


DOVER J623-J898

27th of June, the Indians were noticed to
be gathered in unaccustomed numbers.
Many strange faces also appeared. Some
of the people hinted to Walderne their
suspicions. " Go plant your pumpkins,
and I will tell you when the Indians will
break out," was his merry reply. That
evening, a young man told him that the
town was full of Indians. " I know the
Indians very well," said Walderne, " and
there is no danger." The Indians told him
that a number of Indians were coming to
trade next day. " Brother Walderne,"
said Messandowitt, as they sat at supper,
"what would you do if the strange Indians
come?" "I
could assem-
ble a hun-
dred men by
lifting up my
finger," was
his careless
answer. In
the evening
two squaws
applied a t
each garri-
s o n house
H card's,
O t i s ' s,
P a i n e ' s,
the two
Coffins', and
G e r rish's),
for permis-
sion to sleep
before the
kitchen fire, as had often been done
before. It was granted at Walderne's,
Heard's, the elder Coffin's and Otis's.
In the hour of deepest quiet the doors
were opened ; the Indians in waiting en-
tered. Walderne, though seventy-four
years old, defended himself with vigor
until stunned by a blow on the back of
his head. The Indians then dragged him
into the hall, placed him in his chair
upon the table, with a derisive cry, "who
shall judge Indians now?" and cut him
across the breast in turn, each exclaiming,
" I cross out my account," and finally
killed him. A messenger sent from Bos-


ton with warning of this very attack was
delayed a night at Newbury. When he
reached Cochecho the next morning, he
found four or five houses burned, four
garrisons destroyed, twenty-three persons
killed, and that twenty-nine were captives
on their way to Canada. Among these
was Christine Otis, whose romantic ad-
ventures a limited space forbids us to
recount. Other attacks were made
upon parts of what was then Dover,
disastrous still, but the intrepid settlers
never fell back for a day from their
frontier position. Among the various arts
to surprise the whites, tradition has pre-
served the
following :
The hay-
i n g made
hay upon a
meadow a
mile or
more up the
river from
t h e falls,
had piled it
into cocks
and left it.
One warm
day, when
the men
were absent
from Wal-
derne's gar-
rison (a few
rods from
the lower
falls), and
the doors were open for air, the women
noticed the haycocks floating down the
stream. They exclaimed against this
wanton mischief; but none, save one, paid
any further attention to it ; and she, as she
sat carelessly looking, was suddenly sur-
prised to see the cocks edging towards the
shore. A close inspection revealed the
cause under every haycock an Indian was
swimming. She gave the alarm ; the doors
were hastily closed, and the house secured
Justin time against the baffled savages.

In the midst of other troubles, the
Masonian controversy revived. Several
cases were tried at Dover in 1683, Wald-

DOVER J 623- J 898

derne's being the first. He made no de-
fense, asserted no title, and gave no evi-
dence. Judgment was entered against
him, and other cases followed ; but in no
case could an execution be enforced.
Riots ensued, the attempt to enforce an
execution at Dover being ended by a
woman's knocking down the officer with a
bible. Against such a spirit nothing
could be done, and the suits were sus-
pended. They again came up in 1703,
pased through various courts, and were a
source of constant perplexity to the peo-

All through the war, in Rhode Island, at
Bennington, at Saratoga, at New York,
and on every field where northern troops
were found, Dover men were in active
service ; while at sea, not a few of its
hardy sons were the followers of John
Paul Jones. The last person known to
have served with him, Dr. Ezra Green,
surgeon on board the Ranger, died in
Dover, July 27, 1847, aged 101 years and
one month, being previous to his death
the oldest living graduate of Harvard

From the close of the war of the Revo-
lution until the introduction of cotton
manufacturing, the town grew somewhat
slowly. Its population in 1 790 was 1,998 ;

pie, and great
complication i n
political affairs,
until 1746.

From the con-
clusion of the In-
dian wars to the
Revolution, noth-
ing peculiar marks
the history of
Dover. Its busi-
n e s s (including
s h i p b u il ding)
continued to increase. Its population in
1767 was 1,614, having already lost"Mad-
bury and Somersworth (including Rollins-
ford), Durham, and Lee. The population
of the original territory at that time was
5,446; of the present Dover 1,666, in-
cluding twenty-six slaves. During the
Revolution it bore its part of the burdens,
supplying largely both troops and money.
An entire regiment was enlisted at Dover
by Colonel John Waldron, under whom it
joined the army at Cambridge. The town
itself paid bounties to all who enlisted.


in 1800,2,062; in 1810, 2,228 ; in 1820,
2,871, which by 1860 had increased to
8, 1 86, the valuation at that time being
$3,629,442. It was, so far, a farming
and ship-building town. But, with the
erection of cotton mills a change came
over the place. The succession of saw-
mills, grist-mills, fulling-mills, oil-mills, and
nail factory, which had covered 181 years
ended in 1821, when the" Dover Factory
Company" was incorporated, by which,
and its successor, the " Cocheco Manu-
facturing Company," the present large

DOVER J623-J898

cotton factories and print works were
erected. To this enterprise alone must
be ascribed the steady growth and com-
mercial prosperity of Dover.

In 1841 the opening of the Boston and
Maine railroad, and the construction, a
few years after, of the Cocheco railroad
to Alton, to both of which Dover people
contributed liberally, had a marked effect
upon the business of the town. While
its local trade and interests were on the
increase, its importance as a distributing
point for interior trade declined. The
Dover- Packet Company, which had for

superseded by a city organization. With
the city government came in the use of
gas in lighting the streets and dwellings,
improved sidewalks, a police court, a
more efficient administration of the laws,
and other city institutions, quiet and or-
derly elections included. The act incor-
porating the City of Dover was signed
June 29, 1855, and was accepted by the
citizens at a town meeting held August 15,
1855. The first mayor, Andrew Peirce,
took the oath of office March 25, 1856,
and the city government was then inaugu-


many years given life and activity to the
wharves and storehouses on the river, soon
discharged its last cargo, the Landing
ceased to be the centre of business, which
from this time gathered around the rail-
road station and the streets leading to it.
In 1847 the introduction of shoe manu-
facturing for the southern and western
markets added largely to the business of
the place, employing after a few years a
large capital, and in a good season more
workmen than any other industry.

In 1855 the town government, after an
existence of 222 years, or from 1633, was

During the Civil war the part borne by
the Dover companies has emblazoned their
names on the scroll of fame. On the
evening of the President's first call the
citizens met in the city hall. The mayor,
Alphonso Bickford, presided, and resolu-
tions were unanimously adopted, com-
mending the President's action and pledg-
ing their support to the government.
Companies were formed and the patriot-
ism ot the citizens was unbounded. On
Wednesday, April i7th, 1861, by author-
ity of the Governor of the State, George
W. Colbath opened a recruiting-office in

DOVER J623-J898

our City Hall. Oji Thursday he informed
the Governor that the first company was
full. He was directed to proceed with
enlistments. On the next Monday 150
men were on the muster roll. On Mon-
day, the 29th, tbe first two companies
were to leave home, to become Companies
A and B of the First New Hampshire.
The day before they had listened to a
stirring sermon in the old First Church,
from a successor of that minister who had
preached to the soldiers here on the same
spot as they were to take up their march
to Cambridge in 1775. At ten o'clock,

1 1 th of May the choice was given to each,
three years or be discharged. Seventy-
one on that day chose the three years, and
five days afterwards the number was 104.
On the 25th that company left the city to
become company D in the gallant second
New Hampshire.

Of how many men this city furnished
during the four years that followed the
record is not perfect. Even in the im-
perfect rolls there were Dover men in each
of the first fifteen regiments and in the
eighteenth, in the cavalry, the navy, and
the marine corps. From the call of July


Monday morning, they were in line in
Central Square, 145 men in the ranks.
Four thousand people witnessed the scene,
in the streets, from windows, from bal-
conies, from the house-tops. The women
had been working day by day to supply
needed clothing, some of them whose tears
dropped as they sewed. Prayer was of-
fered by one who soon after himself went
to serve in the navy, Rev. T. G. Salter.

A third company was meanwhile formed
from the excess of enlistments. Orders
now came, however, to receive only those
who would enlist for three vears. On the

2nd, 1862, 582 names are on record.
Prior to that were all the first men of the
first eight regiments, and of the sailors en-
tering the navy before that date which
should be added. Some examination of
the rolls shows that more than 800 enlist-
ments were made by this city of 8,500
inhabitants. Dover men served in the
Shenandoah and in the first disastrous
march to Bull Run ; they were in the
Peninsula battles and marches ; in the
several battles before Washington ; in the
bloody charge at Antietam bridge. They
were in the charge up the heights of St.

i 6

DOVER \ 623-1 898

Marie. They were in the burning
woods of Chancellorsville. They were
where Lee hurled his legions against Ceme-
tery Hill at Gettysburg: in the long and
bloody march from the Wilderness to
Petersburg. They were in North Carolina.
They were with Burnside in Tennessee,
and with Sherman back of Vicksburg, and
they sailed the coast, and watched the
harbors, and manned the war boats on the

To raise and put its quota of men into
the service, under the various calls which
were issued, the city advanced upwards of

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Online LibraryJames G. (James George) NeedhamDover, New Hampshire; its history and industries descriptive of the city and its manufacturing and business interests. Issued as an illustrated souvenir in commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Foster's Daily Democrat → online text (page 1 of 14)