Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: General Moulton

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General Moulton

Gen. Jonathan Moulton was an active participant in that bloodless fight. Foregoing the comforts of his easy competence, he had spent many long years of Indian warfare and the Revolution in the defense of his country; and now, his native New Hampshire on the threshold of a new and glorious career, could he stand tamely by and see her very life threatened by a contemptible mob of two hundred?

We have met General Moulton often in these pages; but here let us pause and take our leave of him, for we shall meet him no more. Though he knows it not, the first anniversary of this time shall be his burial day. We have seen him a prominent business man at home, energetic and public-spirited. We have seen him honored year after year to represent his townsmen in the Legislature. We have seen him the intrepid commander, in responsible positions, amid the perils of war. We have never seen him false to his trust or incompetent in its execution. A certain reticence and lofty bearing in the mast ship affair once aroused the displeasure of fellow-citizens; and perhaps the same qualities, with his general characteristics as a man in advance of his age, and shrewd in business may have held the envy and dislike of many through life. It is said that news of his death was carried to the hay-makers, on the marsh; and the cry: "General Moulton is dead!" was passed along from mouth to mouth for miles in no regretful tones. And yet one cannot believe he would have been so honored and trusted through a most critical period of our history, had he been unworthy. Let us rescue his memory from the opprobrium with which tradition has invested it.

General Moulton was rich in lands. In a descriptive circular, dated "Hampton, in the State of New Hampshire, one of the United States of America, Jan. 24, 1785," he announced "his advertisement of lands published in Ireland, of this date," said lands "consisting of about 80000 Acres, half of which are now offered for sale;" and set forth inducements for purchase and settlement. Eight towns, he said, contained the principal part of his land-Moultonborough, New Hampton (the "small gore," adjoining his township of Moultonborough, which he had modestly asked of Governor Wentworth, after presenting him a fat ox), Tamworth, Eaton, Burton, Chatham, Orford and Piermont. Especially was he desirous of forming a new town, Center Harbor, from parts of the two first mentioned. "Should any gentleman or Company be induced from the foregoing proposals to embark for America," everything needed would be supplied on reasonable terms.

The circular is ancient in typographic appearance, but very modern in brag.

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