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A Hanging in Dover

2011 June 4
by Lichen Rancourt

Too many libraries are missing a great opportunity online to represent their communities to the wider world. I am a big fan of the Dover (NH) Public Library and they did an awesome job yesterday:

This day in Dover history, June 3, 1788, is the anniversary of the first hanging in Dover. Elisha Thomas was executed for the murder of Captain Peter Drown. “In February of the year 1788 , at the tavern of Mr. Randall in New Durham, Elisha Thomas, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, got into an altercation with another man, both were badly under the influence of old New England rum. Captain Peter Drown of New Durham, a fine Revolutionary officer, tried to separate them; in so endeavoring he was stabbed by the knife of Thomas and he died a few hours later. Thomas expressed his regret and deep grief at the death of this friend whom he had not intended to wound but he was arrested, brought to old Dover goal, leaving a wife and six children at home. Some little time later, she came to Dover with the youngest child being left at a neighbor’s house, and stayed over night at the jail. In the night the house in New Durham, with the five other children in it asleep; caught fire, and four were burned to death, the oldest one alone escaping.” Check the online history section of our website for the rest of this tragic story.

Written in personal voice- check; local history – check; promotes other resources- check; provides the info instead of teasing- check.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. David Bolduc permalink
    May 6, 2012

    Lichen, came across your name on twitter as a follower of the rover and couldn’t place it, realized that we went to highschool together….Congrats on the outstanding blog and really doing something important.

  2. Lichen Rancourt permalink*
    September 29, 2013

    Somehow I just saw this comment. Thank you, David!

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