Category: new hampshire

Mark Twain in a rocking chair on a porch with his cat, Dublin, New Hampshire, September 1906

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Portrait of a handsome young man from Littleton, New Hampshire.


Morning Mist Rising Plymouth New Hampshire

Thomas Cole (1801-1848), 1830.

American Revolutionary War veteran George Fishley. Famous in New Hampshire as “the last of our cocked hats”. Circa 1850

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“Muklug”, one of the Siberian Huskies being trained to carry machine guns at the Chinook Kennels at Wonalancet, New Hampshire, 1942.

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Oney Judge (circa 1773-1848)

Art by Soks Gemma (facebook, instagram)

Oney Judge was born at Mount Vernon around 1773.  Her mother was an enslaved black woman and
her father was a white indentured servant.
At age 10, Oney began working at the Mansion where she became a favorite
of Martha Washington.  

In 1790, Oney was living in the then capitol city of
Philadelphia with the Washingtons.  Oney was
regularly returned to Mount Vernon and never stayed in Philadelphia for six full
months in a row.  Staying in Philadelphia
long term would have freed Oney under Pennsylvania’s 1780 Act for the Gradual
Abolition of Slavery.

On May 21, 1796, Oney left the Washington’s Philadelphia
home and never returned.  She had
recently learned that she would be given to Elizabeth Parke Custis upon Martha
Washington’s death, a plan she found intolerable.  After her escape, Oney relocated to Portsmouth, NH.  

By September 1, she had been recognized by Senator John
Langdon’s daughter, a friend of the Washingtons.  Joseph Whipple, Portsmouth’s collector of customs, refused to
force Oney to return but told the Washingtons that she was willing to return if
they would guarantee her freedom after their deaths.  Washington refused Oney’s offer, writing “it
would neither be politic or just to reward unfaithfulness.”

In March 1797, Washington’s
nephew Burwell Basset Jr. travelled to New Hampshire on business and tried to
convinced Oney to return to Virginia with him.
After she refused, Burwell made plans to kidnap her.  Burwell told John Langdon of his plans and
the Senator sent word to Oney, warning her to flee.  

In January, 1797, Oney
married a free black sailor named Jack Staines.
The couple had three children: Eliza, Will, and Nancy.  Widowed in 1803, Oney and her children struggled
to support themselves.  Although she was
never recaptured, Oney Judge was legally a slave for the rest of her life.  Oney died in 1848 and had no grandchildren.