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April 15, 2013

N.H. patriots gave plenty to the American Revolution

New Hampshire's patriots deserving of recognition, remembrance today

New Hampshire doesn’t celebrate Patriots Day.

Maybe it should.

The Battle of Lexington and Concord made a revolutionary change in the lives of Granite Staters.

Hampstead native Nathan Hale fought in the battle, according to “A Memorial History of the Town of Hampstead,” published in 1903.

Hale would become a colonel in the Continental Army and died while a captive of the British. His more famous cousin, also named Nathan, would be hanged for spying on the British.

Londonderry native George Reid, who lived in what is today Derry, went to Boston after Lexington and Concord.

“He was at Bunker Hill and on George Washington’s staff at Yorktown,” Derry historian and author Rick Holmes said.

A New Hampshire chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named for his wife, Molly.

“Gen. John Stark said if ever a woman was fit to be governor of New Hampshire, it was Molly Reid,” Holmes said.

Londonderry and leadership went together during the Revolution.

Stark came from the Derry portion of Londonderry, too. He’s recognized as a hero of the war, but also as the author of New Hampshire’s motto.

People recognize his words, “live free or die,” from the license plates. The rest of his thought: “Death is not the worst of evils.”

Matthew Thornton of Londonderry signed the Declaration of Independence. Another signer, Josiah Bartlett of Kingston, had his home burned to the ground by British sympathizers.

“In the American Revolution, no one of the colonies exhibited a more resolute and determined spirit of resistance to the oppression of Great Britain than New Hampshire,” according to “The History of Hillsborough County,” published in 1885. “And in no town of the State was this spirit more pronounced than in Pelham.”

The history goes on to say “the town sent eighty-six true men to the war.”

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