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For Teachers and Learners:
New Hampshire People and New Hampshire Culture

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This section contains documents about prominent New Hampshire people and about culture either originating in or inspired by New Hampshire.
Documents are in PDF format unless otherwise specified. They require Adobe® Acrobat® or the free utility Adobe® Reader®.

Royal Governor Benning Wentworth

Royal Governor Benning Wentworth. New Hampshire Historical Society.

Franklin Pierce and American Democracy
This document served as a companion piece to the New Hampshire Historical Society's exhibition Franklin Pierce: Defining Democracy in America that ended May 8, 2005. The occasion of the exhibition was the bicentennial of Pierce's birth, but the presentation goes beyond the mere occasion, acquainting us with the people and the ideas that defined American democracy in the politically tumultuous years between the Revolution and the Civil War.
In this document you will find basic biographical information about these people along with background information and thematic questions posed by the curators to help us understand the ideas that influenced Franklin Pierce.

Political Cartoons in New Hampshire History
Students study how cartoons can be used to make political statements. The lesson focuses on the contributions of three notable New Hampshire figures; however, it is easily adapted to other issues and other times. [HTML Version]

wentworth governorsThe Wentworth Governors: A New Hampshire Dynasty (slides)
[READ ME: Information about viewing slide shows.]
Learn about the family that dominated New Hampshire provincial politics in the 1700s. Wielding considerable power, the Wentworth governors helped shape the state as we know it today. This slide show highlights the accomplishments and the peccadilloes of the three Wentworth governors and their families. [1.5 MB]

Learning about People in New Hampshire through Many Eyes (slides)
[READ ME: Information about viewing slide shows.]
This virtual tour of the Society's long-running exhibit New Hampshire through Many Eyes has a single focus: people. Unlike the popular "Highlights of New Hampshire History" on-site tour that deals with the chronology and themes of New Hampshire's history, this virtual tour concentrates on providing information about the people portrayed or otherwise prominent in the exhibit. Notes for the slides indicate whether or not publications devoted to the individuals are available at the Society's library. The notes also list articles in Historical New Hampshire that are devoted to each subject. [1.8 MB]

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Poem "Lady Wentworth"
Longfellow's poem romanticizes the marriage between Royal Governor Benning Wentworth and his young servant, Martha Hilton—a marriage that raised eyebrows in colonial Portsmouth society. A few notes and study questions accompany the poem.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's New Hampshire Stories
While he neither lived nor was born in New Hampshire, Nathaniel Hawthorne, like many New Englanders, did have connections to the Granite State. Most notably, Hawthorne was a close friend to Franklin Pierce whom he had met while they were fellow students at Bowdoin College. Hawthorne maintained the friendship to his death—which occurred at the Pemigewasset House in Plymouth, New Hampshire, while he was on a trip with Pierce. Clearly, it wasn't the writer's first trip into the region, for his notes and sketches allude to the White Mountains. Included here are three Hawthorne stories set in the White Mountains along with a nonfiction sketch. The stories are accompanied by a few follow-up questions.
Follow-up Questions for Nathaniel Hawthorne's New Hampshire Stories
"The Great Stone Face"
"The Ambitious Guest"
"The Great Carbuncle: A Mystery of the White Mountains"
"Sketches from Memory: The Notch of the White Mountains"

"Almanacks" of Samuel Lane: Classroom Activity
Students read selections of Samuel Lane's diaries and make reasonable generalizations about the nature of life in colonial Stratham, NH. Lane, whose life spanned most of the 1700s and early 1800s, faithfully kept a diary for over sixty years! These documents tell us much about the life and times of this remarkable common man.

Mill Workers' Songs: "Hard Times" and "Poverty Knock" (lyrics)
The lyrics of these two songs present the point of view of mill girls of the 1800s.

New Hampshire and the Arts & Crafts: Background
This document provides background for teachers interested in New Hampshire's arts and crafts revival in the late 1800s and early 1900s and in the women prominent in the movement.

New Hampshire Women and the Arts & Crafts Movement: Reading List
This list of readings is for teachers wishing to read about the arts and crafts movement in New Hampshire and about the women prominent in the revival.

Who Am I (in New Hampshire History)? (slides)
[READ ME: Information about viewing slide shows.]
Can you identify these twenty notable men and women associated with New Hampshire history? This slide show provides portraits and hints to help identify these persons whose lives date from the 1600s to the present. Suggestions are given for further research, including a list of pertinent articles from the journal Historical New Hampshire. [<1 MB]

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New Hampshire Historical Society - Founded 1823