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Fifty years ago the gubernatorial chair perell at the siege of Louisburg-an Epof the State was occupied by one of its ping farmer who married Miss Betsey H. most distinguished citizens, a native and. Richards, daughter of Capt. Benjamin resident of the old town of Epping, Richards of Madbury. The Prescott William Plumer—a man of marked abil- homestead, where the Governor-elect was ity, who had represented New Hamp- born on the 26th of February, 1833, is shire in the Federal Senate with honor to situated something more than a mile to himself and credit to the State. A few the north west of the pleasant little vilweeks since our people, in their sover- lage of Epping Corner, and less than a reign capacity, made choice of another mile from the Plumer mansion. Here native and resident of Epping to suc- young Prescott passed his life, until ceed Governor Cheney, as their Chief about fifteen years of age, in daily labor Magistrate, in June next.
upon the farm, with the exception of the BENJAMIN F. PRESCOTT, Governor- time occupied in attending the brief terms elect, is the son and only child of Nathan of the district school, developing by honGove Prescott-a descendant of Capt. est toil the superior physical powers with Jonathan Prescott who fought with Pep- which he was endowed, and laying the
foundation for that robust manhood, which the Independent Democrat gave without which, complete success is al- President Lincoln and the measures of most unattainable in every department the Administration party was due in no of human labor.
small degree to the earnest nature and The first mental training, outside the forcible pen of Mr. Prescott. During the district school, of which he secured the latter part of Lincoln's administration he advantage, was afforded by a private received an appointment as Special school at the village, under the tuition of Agent of the Treasury, which position Samuel H. Worcester, who subsequently he held until the change of policy under became a noted teacher, and is now a well President Johnson, when he was removed known physician of Salem, Mass. After and Harry Bingham of Littleton apthis he attended several terms at the Blan- pointed in his stead. Subsequently he chard Academy in Pembroke and in the fall held the same position for a time under of 1850 he entered the preparatory course President Grant. After the death of his at Phillips Academy, Exeter, a year father in 1866, Mr. Prescott devoted in advance, remaining three full years, so much of his time and labor to the imthat in the fall of 1850, he was enabled to provement of the old homestead at Epenter the Sophomore class at Dartmouth, ping, which thereupon came into his poswhere he graduated with honor in 1859. session, though retaining his voting resAmong his class mates at Exeter was idence in Concord until some three or Jeremiah Smith of Dover, subsequently four years since. In 1872 he was chosen an Associate Justice of the Supreme Ju- by the Legislature, Secretary of State, dicial Court, and among the same at and was re-elected the following year, as Dartmouth were F. D.Ayer now pastor of he was in 1875 and 1876, holding the pothe North Church at Concord, Sullivan sition at the present time. Through his M. Cutcheon, late Speaker of the Michi- long incumbency in this office he has not gan House of Representatives, and Ly- only become intimately acquainted with man G. Hinckley of Chelsea, Vt., subse- the leading men of both parties in all quently Lieutenant Governor of that sections of the State, but has also acquired State. While at Dartmouth he was a a thorough understanding of public afmember,and at one time president, of the fairs, which qualifies him in an eminent United Fraternity literary society, and at degree for the discharge of the duties of Exeter he was a member of the Golden the Executive office, which he is to asBranch society in which he occupied the sume next June. Moreover, it will not, position of president and orator.
we trust, be improper to remark in this Soon after his graduation Mr. Prescott connection, that, in all his relations with entered the office of H. A. & A. H. Bel- the public in the performance of his duty lows, at Concord, as a student at law, as Secretary of State, he has given the where he diligently pursued his studies highest degree of satisfaction to men of until 1859, when he was admitted to the all parties, and his unfailing courtesy, as Merrimack County bar and commenced well as faithful attention to duty, has unthe practice of the profession, which he questionably drawn to his support some, continued at Concord for about two who, had any other individual been the years. In 1861, upon the appointment of candidate in his stead, would have given Hon. George G. Fogg, editor of the In- their votes to the opposite party. dependent Democrat,as Minister to Swit As is well known to many, Mr. Preszerland, he was offered the position of cott has a decided taste for historical and associate editor of the paper, which he antiquarian research, which he has inaccepted, remaining with Mr. Hadley, in dulged in no small degree. He has long charge of the paper until Mr. Fogg's re- been an active member of the New Hampturn from Europe in 1866. The period shire Historical Society, and is now First of his editorial service covered that of the Vice President of that association. He war of the Rebellion, and the develop- is also a member and Vice President of ment of the reconstruction policy of the New Hampshire Antiquarian Society Congress, and the vigorous 'support which, although established but a few
years since, has, under its earnest and which is thoroughly and tastefully finvigorous management, already acquired ished throughout, and furnished in a coran honorable position among kindred as- responding manner, with an aim to gensociations, and has at its headquarters at uine home comfort and a certain degree Contoocookville a rare and extensive col- of luxury. A choice library, rare paintlection of antiquities. About a year ago ings, curiosities and relics, gratify and Mr. Prescott was made a member of the illustrate the taste of the owner, and all Royal Historical Society of London, an the surroundings are pervaded with an honor which no other citizen of New air of refinement and prosperity seldom Hampshire enjoys. The attention of the witnessed, yet most delightful to contemSociety having been attracted to him, un- plate. The locality itself is one of the doubtedly, through his extensive corres most pleasant and picturesque to be pondence with officers and members, found in the region. In short, everywhile engaged in the work of securing thing combines to make the home of the for the State the portraits of those who Governor-elect the abode of comfort and figured conspicuously in its early history, true enjoyment. Here his accomplished which, together with those of the celeb- wife, formerly Miss Mary L. Noyes, rities of later years, most of which were daughter of Jefferson Noyes, Esq., of also obtained through his instrumental- Concord, with whom he was united in ity, constitute a collection of rare interest June, 1869, presides with true womanly and great historical value. In making dignity and grace, while his beloved this collection for the State House, Mr. mother, whose devoted affection for her Prescott has labored with a disinter- only child is fittingly supplemented by rested perseverance seldom equalled, her just pride in his successful career, is overcoming serious obstacles in many in a cherished member of the household. stances, and the success which has
Mr. Prescott is of commanding personcrowned his efforts, while a source of al appearance, standing about six feet in honest pride to every citizen of the State, height, with a large frame and full dehas redounded to his own credit and the velopment. He has a fresh and ruddy esteem in which he is held by the public. complexion, showing the free circulation
As we have said, Mr. Prescott has that comes of perfect bodily health. His spent much time and labor upon his clear hazel eyes look you frankly in the farm, bringing it under a superior state of face, while his dark hair and beard, which cultivation. He has added largely to the he wears full but well trimmed, are tingoriginal homestead, and has now about ed with gray. His mental organization three hundred acres of land, making, al- is as fresh and vigorous as his physical, together, one of the largest, as it is one with a marked development of the perof the best, farms in the town. Its ceptive powers, giving him the ready chief products are fruit, corn, hay and judgment of men, which has contributed neat stock. Of the former, several hun- in no small degree to his success. In his dred barrels of choice varieties are pro- manners he is thoroughly democratic, duced annually. When at home Mr. meeting all as equals, and with a charmPrescott is, even now, often found in the ing courtesy which puts one immediately field or the woods at work with the men, at ease, and his popularity in the social and few there are who can compete with circle is as great as in public life. In rehim in any branch of farm labor. His ligion, while his sympathies are with love of Agriculture and practical knowl- what is known as the liberal element, he edge of its requirements fits him in a contributes alike to the support of the high degree for the position to which he different denominations in his town. was appointed by Gov. Weston in 1874 as Just in the prime and vigor of life, and a member of the Board of Trustees of having attained a distinction which few the State Agricultural College.
at his age have reached, our GovernorUpon the same spot occupied by the elect may consistently look forward to a old family dwelling, Mr. Prescott erected lengthy future career of honor and usein 1875, an elegant modern residence, fulness.
EARLY SETTLERS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
BY PROF. E. D. SANBORN.
No bells, bonfires
letters of the proprietor and his agents in nounced the arrival of the little barque London, speak of sending the wives of which sailed up the “deep waters” of the some of the colonists or of supporting Piscataquack in 1623, and landed on Odi- them, at the company's expense,at home. orne's Point, the founders of a new State. The very slow progress of the settleTradition does not repeat nor history re ments at Cocheco and Strawberry Bank cord the name of the ship nor of the cap- show that the laborers were few; for tain who commanded it. The Mayflower only three houses had been built, on the and the men who landed on Plymouth Bank in seven years, and only three in Rock, in 1620, are as famous in history ten years, at the upper plantation. If as Jason and his associates, who sought families were united in these labors, six the Golden Fleece,are in ancient mythol- houses would scarcely suffice for eighty ogy. New England men never weary of persons. Why were these colonists less eulogies of forefathers' day; and they renowned than the Pilgrims of Plymouth? will, probably, never cease to commem- The previous history of the Pilgrims, orate the heroism and piety of those forty- their persecutions at home, and their restwo god-fearing men, who signed the idence in Holland made them famous. first written constitution known to hu- Religion occupied the thoughts of all man history. Still, the Plymouth Colo- Englishmen. The Pilgrims were exiles for ny, by itself, wrought no nobler or bet- conscience sake; they suffered for the ter work for mankind than the unnoticed, common liberties and rights of the whole almost unnamed colonists who founded people. New Hampshire. Massachusetts Bay set The first settlers at Portsmouth and tlers, the Puritans, eclipsed the humbler Dover were adventurers, bold, hardy, efforts of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The and resolute,like all pioneers who go into Pilgrims bore the sufferings of exile, pri- the wilderness to better their condition. vation and toil; but the Puritans at a Such is generally the character of emlater date appropriated the fame and igrants who found new states. Philosothe honor which rose from the laws, phers tell us that from the race, the epoch government and institutions of Massa- and the surroundings of a people, their chusetts. Capt. John Mason, the Propri- future history may be accurately preetor of New Hampshire, sent over fifty dicted. Here then is a problem for the Englishmen and twenty-two women, be- prophet's solution. The race is Saxon; sides eight Danes who were employed in the epoch is one of progress, enterprise, sawing lumber and making potash. This discovery and controversy, both with the number exceeded that of the Mayflower. pen and the sword. The surroundings It is not probable that all these men and are the wilderness before them and the women came in the first ship. Many of ocean behind them. The soil is rugged; them arrived several years after the first the climate is severe. Tell me, then, company of planters occupied Odiorne's thou boasting seer, what will be the fate Point. There is no reason to suppose of this handful of men, as destitute and that many women, possibly not one, helpless as though they had dropped upon came in 1623. Some writers suppose that the earth from some distant planet. Will the Hiltons and a few other leading men they die of starvation, be devoured by brought their wives with them. For, wild beasts or be massacred by savages? ten years after the first settlement, the By occupation, they were fishmongers,
farmers and mechanics. “Their several ents, there was little restraint over serbusinesses” assigned by their employers, vants but the personal influence of the were to fell the trees, till the soil, fish, so called governors. The laborers were hunt and mine. Incessant labor in these the “ hired men” of the proprietor who occupations failed to support them; and lived three thousand miles away. They the proprietors were obliged to sink their were neither masters of their time, their fortunes in the abyss of debt which these labor, nor of its rewards. If the value plantations opened. John Mason, who of plantations and mills was enhanced, was a man of mark, and would have the profit was not for them. They been distinguished in
any age, was neither owned the premises where they financially ruined; but like Phaeton, worked, nor shared the gains nor losses guiding the chariot of the sun, he fell that resulted from their labors. When from great undertakings. Instead of they became free-holders, and made comsecuring coronets and mitres for his pos- pacts or combinations” for the better terity he died the victim of disappointed government of the plantations, and the hopes :
more certain punishment of crimes, the "No son of his succeeding."
stimulus of property, liberty and suffrage The men he hired to plant his colony elevated the laborers, and fitted them to had not sufficient education, religion nor do, dare and suffer more than any other integrity to make them true to their trust. New England Colony. The people of That they were illiterate, appears from Portsmouth formed a political compact the fact that many of them could not as early as 1633, but it gained from the write their names. So little is said of crown no authority to make laws or puntheir religion that, it may be presumed ish offenders. Dr. Belknap says, that, they had none to speak of. They did not till 1640, the people of Dover and Portsattempt to gather a church, at Dover, mouth had no power of government deltill 1638. Then, they were broken up by egated from the King. At that time, they quarrels, and some of their early clergy- formed themselves into a body politic as men were fitter for the penitentiary than the people of Exeter had done the year the pulpit. At Portsmouth, no provision before. The next year, 1641, all the four was made for preaching till 1640, when a plantations formed a union with MassaGlebe of fifty acres was granted for the chusetts, and voluntarily submitted to support of an Episcopal chapel; and her jurisdiction. They were allowed Richard Gibson was the first incumbent. peculiar privileges, for in 1642, the folThe first Congregational church was lowing decree was passed by the General formed much later. The founders of Court of Massachusetts: “It is ordered Exeter and Hampton were led by clergy- that all the present inhabitants of Piscatmen, and churches sprang up with the aquack, who formerly were free there, towns themselves. That the servants of shall have liberty of freemen in their Mr. Mason were dishonest appears from several towns to manage all their town the fact that, after his death, they plun- affairs, and each town [shall] send a dered his estate, drove away his cattle deputy to the General Court, though they that he had imported at great expense, be not church members." From this date and sold them in Boston for twenty-five the laws, usages and customs of the pounds sterling a head, and appropriated larger colony became the inheritance of his goods. There was no local govern- the smaller; and the union which conment sufficiently powerful to punish tinued for thirty-nine years, was great crimes; while the proprietor ruled summation devoutly to be wished," by through agents, factors and superintend- both the high contracting parties.