Historical New Hampshire, Volume 75, Nos. 1 & 2, 2022
Authors Michael J. Birkner and Mike Pride are well-known New Hampshire historians, long-standing friends, and former colleagues at the Concord Monitor. In this issue of Historical New Hampshire, the two writers present a pair of articles that explore the state’s history at critical moments, albeit nearly 100 years apart.
Birkner’s photo essay, “Bringing Out the Vote,” captures the spirit of the state’s first modern presidential primary election, highlighting the quirkiness and fun of political campaigning at the birth of retail politics. Birkner traces the pivotal roles of Granite Staters throughout the presidential campaign of 1952, including the New Hampshire primary, the tumultuous Republican National Convention, and the eventual inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Photographers E. Harold Young of Pittsfield and Whitman Levansaler of Concord captured these events in two remarkable collections of rarely seen images. Given the current precariousness of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, this photo essay reminds us how it all got started in the Granite State.
Pride’s article, “‘The Great Army of the Sick,’” follows the story of Civil War nurse Harriet P. Dame, who spent the winter of 1862–63 caring for wounded and sick New Hampshire soldiers in Washington, D.C., hospitals. Dame’s network of aid workers, many of whom were women serving as volunteers, kept track of the state’s ailing men, corresponded with their families, and all too often oversaw their burial. Pride’s research provides a window on an aspect of the Civil War that does not usually receive much attention: the story of what happens to men after the guns stop firing. Pride’s article, and his recently published book on which the article is based, No Place for a Woman: Harriet Dame’s Civil War (Kent State University Press, 2022), relied on a caché of Dame’s letters that were acquired by the New Hampshire Historical Society in 2019.
Authors: Michael J. Birkner and Mike Pride
Editor: Elizabeth Dubrulle
Illustrations Editor: Joan E. Desmarais
(Softcover; 96 pages)