Sightseeing in Concord, New Hampshire – Exploring the U.S.A – One State Capital at a Time
and Homeschooling our Way across America
Welcome to Concord, New Hampshire!
Before our sight-seeing adventures in New Hampshire began, Belle and Buddy were given the assignment of researching the geography and history of New Hampshire. This is what they discovered:
- The New England Colony of New Hampshire was founded in 1623. It was founded by colonists who wanted to leave the colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, due to religious or political reasons.
- The colony was named after the English country Hampshire.
- By 1640, the New Hampshire colony had four towns: Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, and Hampton.
- The area which would become Concord was not settled until 1659. A town was founded in 1727, but this town was not called Concord until 1765.
- During the American Revolutionary War, no battles were fought in the New Hampshire colony; however, many volunteers from this colony fought for their independence from Britain.
- In 1776, six months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the colony of New Hampshire wrote its own constitution. With this act, New Hampshire became the first British colony to become self-governing.
- New Hampshire was the 9th state to approve the Constitution in 1788.
While my students were busy researching history and geography of New Hampshire, I spent some time researching sight-seeing adventures in Concord. I made our family a list of possible sites, which were listed in no particular order.
- The New Hampshire State House
- The McAuliffe-Shepherd Discovery Center
- The Pierce Manse and President Franklin Pierce’s Tomb
- The Capital Center for Arts
- The Museum of New Hampshire History or the New Hampshire Historical Society
- The Kimball Jenkins Estate or the Mary Baker Eddy Historic House
- The Susan N McLane Audubon Center and Silk Farm Wildlife Sanctuary
- The Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests
when our dream seed for this road trip adventure was planted, our family discussed touring as many state capitol buildings as possible.
Thus far, we have traveled to six states; however, this is only our second visit to a state capitol. (If you just joined the journey, during our first week on the road, we had the chance to tour the state capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.)
The New Hampshire State House
Outside the granite fence in front of the capitol building, we found a state of . . .
Franklin Pierce. Wanting to know more about the 14th president of our country, we consulted Don’t Know Much about the Presidents and listened to a You Tube video. Click here if you would like to hear about Franklin Pierce in a 10 minute video.
Inside the granite fence and on the capitol grounds, we found three more statues.
Gen. John Stark. Remember the “Hero of Bennington”. If not, you can read more and see pictures of the Bennington Monument, which we visited in Vermont. (I personally like the statue of Stark in Vermont better than this statue in New Hampshire.)
From the epigraph on the base of this statue, we learned that Gen. Stark was also involved in the Battle of Bunker Hill. After Buddy consulted Everything You Need to Know about American History, he discovered that the phrase “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” was spoken by Captain Israel Putnam at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. During my research, I stumbled across New Hampshire’s motto: “Live Free or Die”, which was reportedly a quote by Gen. John Stark.
From additional research, we learned the following about John P. Hale:
- was a lawyer and a politician.
- Hale’s political career included: U.S. Representative from NH from 1843 to 1845); U.S Senator from NH from 1847 to 1853 and from 1855 to 1865.
- was the first senator to make a stand against slavery.
- In 1850, Hale voted against the Fugitive Slave Act.
- was a leading member of the Free Soil Party. In American Government class, Belle was given the assignment to research the Free Soil Party, which Gary and I didn’t remember from our American Gov. class.
- In 1852, Hale was an unsuccessful candidate for President of the United States.
- If you liked to know about John P. Hale’s connection to Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, click here and scroll to the bottom of the screen.
Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.
I mistrust the judgment of every man in a case in which his own wishes are concerned.
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.
A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.
As for Daniel Webster’s political career, he served:
10 years as a member of the House of Representatives representing New Hampshire; and
- 19 years as a U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts.
- as the 14th U.S. Secretary of State and
- the 19th U.S Secretary of State. Belle was given the assignment to research which three presidents Webster served under.
- Webster attempted to serve his country three times as President of the United States.
Webster was not only a leading American statesman but also one of our nation’s most prominent conservatives. After studying Webster, Gary and I couldn’t help but wonder: Where are the Daniel Webster’s of today?
I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.
Wisdom begins at the end. -Daniel Webster
With a full post on American History and American government, I’ll meet you back in front of the New Hampshire State House next time, so we can complete our self-guided tour of the capitol building.