John Stark

(August 28, 1728 - May 8,1822 )

John Stark was a general who served in the American Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Born in Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1728, he was eight years old when he and his family moved to Derryfield (now part of Manchester), where he lived for the rest of his long life. Stark was married to Elizabeth "Molly" Page, with whom he had 11 children.

Stark enlisted as a second lieutenant under Major Robert Rogers during the French and Indian War. As part of the daring Rogers' Rangers, Stark gained valuable battle experience and knowledge of the Northern frontier of the American colonies. At the end of the war, Stark retired as a captain and returned to Derryfield.

The Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 15, 1775 signalled the start of the American Revolutionary War, and Stark returned to military service. On April 23, 1775, Stark accepted a Colonelcy in the New Hampshire Militia and was given command of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment and James Reed of the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment also outside of Boston. As soon as Stark could muster his men, he ferried and marched them south to Boston to support the blockaded rebels there. He made his headquarters in the confiscated Isaac Royall House in Medford, Massachusetts.

John Stark was one of the Jury that found John André guilty for spying and in helping in the conspiracy of Benedict Arnold to surrender West Point, New York to the British.

Stark became widely known as the "Hero of Bennington." After serving with distinction throughout the rest of the war, Stark retired to his farm in Derryfield. It has been said that of all the Revolutionary War Generals, Stark was the only true Cincinnatus because he truly retired from public life at the end of the war. In 1809, a group of Bennington veterans gathered to commemorate the battle. General Stark, then aged 81, was not well enough to travel, but he sent a letter to his comrades, which closed "Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils." The motto Live Free or Die, became the New Hampshire state motto in 1945. Stark and the Battle of Bennington were later commemorated with the 306-foot tall Bennington Battle Monument in Bennington, Vermont.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

John Stark 01

John Stark 01
Live free or die; Death is not the worst of evils.

John Stark 02

John Stark 02
Live free or die; Death is not the worst of all evils.

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