Woodman Speaker Series: Paul Timmerman on New Hampshire’s General John Stark
The Woodman Museum is excited to announce its March Woodman Speaker Series event, which will explore the extraordinary life of New Hampshire native General John Stark and his integral connection to American independence. The talk will take place on March 27 at 7pm at the museum’s Woodman House (182 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820). The event is free to members and $5 for non-members.
John Stark (August 28, 1728 – May 8, 1822) was a New Hampshire native, born in Londonderry, who served as an officer in the British Army during the French and Indian war and a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He became widely known as the "Hero of Bennington" for his exemplary service at the Battle of Bennington in 1777. Few men contributed as much to the American victory in the Revolutionary War but have been as little recognized as a New Hampshire farmer and lumberman John Stark. But although his life is not well known, a few words he wrote live on as the New Hampshire state motto: “Live Free or Die.” He served as a captain of rangers with Robert Rogers in the French and Indian War, and as a colonel and general in the Revolution at Bunker Hill, Trenton, Princeton, Westchester, Springfield, Saratoga, Ticonderoga and West Point. But his greatest achievement was at Hoosick, N.Y., in what became known as the Battle of Bennington. The Battle of Saratoga and the surrender of Burgoyne on 17 October 1777 was the turning point of the American Revolution, but the Battle of Bennington on 16 August set the stage. At Bennington John Stark commanded a force of militia and Green Mountain Boys, everyday men from Vermont and New Hampshire facing professional European soldiers. In a daring and complicated attack, Stark routed an entrenched enemy and almost entirely destroyed it. It was the beginning of the end of the British invasion from Canada until then a juggernaut that could not be stopped. Stark was the quintessential citizen soldier proud, resourceful, independent. He was unschooled and rough around the edges, a New Hampshire frontiersman.
Woodman Museum Chairman and docent Paul Timmerman, a resident of Dover, will discuss the life and times of John Stark and his vital contributions to the war effort during the American Revolution. Timmerman, a Civil War enthusiast, states that, “John Stark, although not well known outside of New Hampshire, had a significant influence on the outcome of the Revolutionary War.” Timmerman, who has recently volunteered to serve as chairman, is also an avid historian and Civil War reenactor with the 1st NH Light Artillery group. He has also spearheaded a recent endeavor to restore the Woodman Museum’s rare ‘Napoleon’ Civil War cannon, one of few in in existence in a near-complete state.