This Week in Concord History

June 11, 1837: Samuel Coffin Eastman is born in Concord. A great-grandson of Ebenezer Eastman, Concord’s first settler, he will become a prominent lawyer, bank president, railroad man, speaker of the New Hampshire House and school board member. In 1915, when Concord celebrates the 150th anniversary of its royal charter as a parish, he will be recognized as the city’s most prominent citizen and “president of the day.”

June 11, 2003: Attorney General John Ashcroft visits Concord to meet with the state’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force, praising the officials who make up the group and thanking U.S. Attorney Thomas Colantuono and Gov. Craig Benson for their work in securing the state. “Our efforts to protect America depend on law enforcement being integrated and cooperative,” Ashcroft says at a press conference at the federal courthouse, “sharing information, and sharing understanding, from the very feet on the street in local law enforcement to those who are at the top levels of administration in national law enforcement.”

June 12, 1804: Alarmed by the frequency of escapes from local prisons, Gov. John Gilman makes the first substantive proposal for a state prison in Concord. It will be more than eight years before the prison opens on North State and Tremont streets.

June 12, 1886: The Daniel Webster statue is dedicated in front of the State House.

June 12, 1977: In Concord, William Loeb tells the Gun Owners of New Hampshire that the only way to combat “anti-gun nuts” is “to go directly to the great mass of American people and educate them on the obvious necessity of citizens owning and having guns.”

June 13, 1859: A huge fire on the southwest corner of Main and Pleasant streets in Concord consumes a bakery, several stores and the South Congregational Church. When it becomes certain that the fire will destroy the granite-and-wood Greek Revival church, the Rev. Henry Parker gives one final pull to the church bell rope, and the bell is heard above the crackle of flames.

June 13, 1957: President Dwight D. Eisenhower appoints James M. Langley, editor and publisher of the Concord Daily Monitor, to be U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. Langley will hold the job for just over two years.

June 13, 2002: In a preliminary vote, the Concord city council unanimously approves the restoration of Fire Engine 1 to Concord’s Central Fire Station.

June 14, 1831: Benjamin Brown French, a rising politico from Chester, goes to a party in Concord with future U.S. senator Charles G. Atherton and future president Franklin Pierce. His companions, both in their 20s, are “ ‘smashed’ by a pair of bright eyes, & a beautiful face,” but French “would as soon think of falling in love with an elegant piece of statuary.” He tells his diary: “Give me eyes that can pierce the very soul, & a countenance that bespeaks a mind within.”

June 14, 1962: Astronaut Alan Shepard of Derry is in Concord for the unveiling of his portrait at the State House. After a week of speeches and banquets, he says, he is glad the picture shows him in a space suit so people will know that “at least once in a while I do work.”

June 15, 1776: Three men, including Concord’s Timothy Walker Jr., write a resolution instructing Dr. Josiah Bartlett and William Whipple, New Hampshire’s delegates in Philadelphia, to join “in declaring the 13 united colonies a free and independent state.” New Hampshire will support such a declaration “with our lives and fortunes,” the resolution says.

June 15, 1799: The Concord Musical Society is incorporated “to encourage and promote the practice of sacred musick in Concord.”

June 16, 1842: The Democratic platform, as reported in Concord’s New Hampshire Patriot, rails against Whig support for broadening the rights granted to corporations. Only “an unwarranted construction of the Constitution” sanctions corporate privileges, the platform says. “If the policy of creating corporations be continued much longer, our country will (have) all the outward forms of a free Government, but . . . will in fact be governed by an oligarchy of corporations.”

June 17, 1840: On Concord’s Rumford Square, a five-acre field of trees between School and Center streets below Rumford Street, a speech by the Whig Sen. Daniel Webster draws a rousing crowd. The speech follows a “Log Cabin Procession” for Gen. William Henry Harrison.

June 17, 1863: With Union armies still faltering at the front, 30,000 people gather in Concord for the formation of the Public Loyal Union League of the state. Bands, speakers and marches are the order of the day.

Author: Insider Staff

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