By John M. Holman
"HEAR YE! . . . HEAR YE! . . . HEAR YE!"
'WINNACUNNET SHALBEE CALLED HAMPTON!'
The historical spectacular pageant "THE DRAMA OF WINNACUNNET" has come to a website near you.
In case you missed the presentation of this historical event in 1938 at the Tuck Memorial Field, the entire script of this pageant which tells the story of the founding of Hampton, New Hampshire in 1638, has been reproduced on the Lane Memorial Library's website
The pageant was written by Eloise Lane Smith and produced by The John B. Rogers Producing Co. of Fostoria, Ohio and the cast was comprised of residents of the town of Hampton, including the following: Robert Batchelder, Carl Bragg, Doris Bragg, Philip Toppan along with a cast of hundreds.
The Foreword as written by Ms. Smith is as follows:
"The incidents in "The Drama of Winnacunnet" are selected from events in the history of Hampton that seemed to have dramatic interest. They are also peculiar to Hampton and could not authentically be presented in a pageant in any other place. "The Drama of Winnacunnet" is designed to commemorate the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of the town.
"The names of characters in the production, as well as the dates and happenings in old Hampton, through three centuries, are as accurate as I could ascertain by historical study.
"In writing Episode III, I was greatly assisted by papers in the possession of the Little family, owners of the General Moulton House. These records helped remove the shrewd General from the realm of myths and legends to that of reality.
"Episode IV is intended to briefly summarize the leading events and personalities in Hampton during the last century. It is also an attempt to indicate the tempo of life in 1888. This Episode has less dramatic action than the preceding scenes in order to suggest by contrast the fears and hopes of the colonists, during the wars of the 18th century, and the machine age of the 20th century.
"I am grateful to the librarians of the New Hampshire State Library, the New York State Library, Harvard University, and Skidmore College for the loan of books about early New England. I also thank the Hobbs and Toppan families of Hampton for the use of many documents.
"My appreciation is extended to all members of the Pageant Committee, the Producing Company, the Cast, the Rev. Herbert Walker, and others, who generously aided in the presentation of "The Drama of Winnacunnet".
ELOISE LANE SMITH
The original pageant was presented on August 23 and 24, 1938 at the Tuck Memorial Field beginning at 8:45 p.m. & tickets were 50 cents each and children 25 cents.