Monadnock Moments

Era 3: 1763-1783

Monadnock Moments No. 80: Slavery in Cheshire County

When we think of slavery in the United States, we often think of the plantations of the deep south and of the Civil War which divided the Union.  Most people are surprised to learn that Cheshire County was the home of eighteen slaves at the time of the first census in...

Monadnock Moments No. 77: Thaddeus Parmenter and the Wolves

Thaddeus Parmenter was an early settler of Marlborough, New Hampshire, arriving there from Sudbury, Massachusetts in 1789.  He soon married and began to build a homestead and raise a family. One day a short time after he settled in town, Thaddeus carried a load of...

Monadnock Moments No. 67: Nathaniel Belknap of Dublin

Nathaniel Belknap was one or the early settlers of Dublin, New Hampshire.  His trials and tribulations in 18th century Cheshire County give us a good idea of the hardships endured by the early residents of the region. Belknap moved to Dublin from Framingham,...

Monadnock Moments No. 60: Nathan Blake’s Agreement

Blake was one of Keene’s most prominent and respected citizens for nearly seventy-five years during Keene’s early days.  He married Elizabeth Graves in 1742.  Nathan and Elizabeth spent sixty-two years together until her death in 1804. Two years later, at the age of...

Monadnock Moments No. 58: Dr. Obidiah Blake

Dr. Obadiah Blake, born in Wrentham, Massachusetts in 1719, was one of the first settlers of Keene in the late 1730s.  He was also one of the first physicians in the town, serving the region as a doctor for many years. Dr. Blake’s account book from the late 18th...

Monadnock Moments No. 51: The First Connecticut River Bridge

Prior to the 1780s there were no bridges spanning the Connecticut River.  Colonel Enoch Hale was determined to build such a bridge despite the scornful laughter of the many people who said that it could not be done. Colonel Hale, a well known and prosperous citizen of...

Monadnock Moments No. 48: Peleg Sprague, Congressman

Peleg Sprague was the first of several Keene residents to serve as a United States Congressman and the eighth New Hampshire resident elected to the U.S. Congress. Sprague was born in Rochester, Massachusetts 1756.  He graduated from Dartmouth in 1783, studied law in...

Monadnock Moments No. 38: Daniel Emerson of Marlborough

Daniel Emerson, born in Plaistow, New Hampshire in 1747, was one of the early settlers of Marlborough, having arrived in that town by 1771.  He was quite eccentric and well known for his practical jokes. Emerson’s courtship with Lucy Collins, his future wife, was...

Monandock Moments No. 35: Samuel Jones’ Leg

Samuel Jones, Jr. was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire in 1777.  His family was among the first to settle in that town in the 1770s.  Samuel and several of his brothers and sisters eventually settled in Washington, New Hampshire in about 1800 when Washington was...

Monadnock Moments No. 31: Alexander Fish’s Ear

Alexander Fish was a long time resident of Marlborough, New Hampshire.  He first came to the town after deserting from the British army during the Revolutionary War.  It is said that Fish enjoyed his liquor and retained his fighting ways even after he left the army....

Monadnock Moments No. 27: Eleazer Wilcox and The Bear

Eleazer Wilcox was an early settler of Gilsum, New Hampshire, residing there in the 1770s.  One day he met up with a bear in what has become one of the most famous wild animal encounters in the history of the region. The encounter occurred one early summer day in the...

Monadnock Moments No. 24: The Chase Tavern

During the first decades of the 19th century Keene was the home of many taverns.  When people traveled by horseback or stagecoach, they wanted to be able to stop often to warm themselves by the tavern fireplaces.  One of the most popular of the lot was the Chase...

Monadnock Moments No. 17: Crime and Punishment in Cheshire County

Early Cheshire County court records illustrate that the punishment for criminal offenses was much different in the county more than 200 years ago than it is today.  Selling convicted criminals into servitude, branding, and public whipping were accepted punishments. ...

Monadnock Moments No. 12: Ezra Carter Gets His Pay

A tale from Nelson, New Hampshire tells us of doctor Ezra Carter, an early settler of our region who treated the sick in some of our neighboring towns.  Dr. Carter was a kind, pleasant, and much beloved physician. On one occasion Dr. Carter was called to visit a sick...