During early 1887, Ernest Holmes's cousin John, in his "FORTITUDE" persona, expressed his opinion about what he saw as a disturbing trend in Greenland farming. In the Jan. 14 News-Letter, he wrote:
The milk business seems to be all the rage here this winter. The farmers have been getting 25 cents per [ten-gallon] can, but this month they have to sell for 24 cents. I don't think really that any of these farmers that are selling milk know whether they are making anything but milk or not, or have even reckoned the actual cost of producing milk. Now they claim that they are improving their farms by keeping so many cows. The most of them feed their cows on malt brewery grains, securing it [sic] from Portsmouth. I don't know of a farmer in town who uses the above that cuts so much hay as he did ten years ago, or before he sold milk, and when he kept less stock. There are a few farmers in town who sell milk that use principally shorts, middlings, etc., [and] hardly any malt. They hold their own. J. Clement Weeks, Nathan R. Foss & Son, James Y. Whitehorn, George E. Brackett and perhaps one or two others feed on grain. I think the farmers will wake up to the fact after a while that they are doing a great deal of hard work for a very small profit, if any. New milch cows are selling here readily, [at] prices from fifty to seventy-five dollars. James Y. Whitehorn has been dealing quite extensively in them. He superintends the buying personally, making his purchases principally in Maine, ships them here and sells them reasonably. When any one buys a cow of him he gets just what he pays for. His word is reliable, he means what he says and is careful to say what he means. He is one of the best farmers and has learnt by experience that it don't pay to sell much milk.
In the Feb. 18 paper, Holmes returned to the subject:
The Farmers are getting rid of quantities of milk, and that is about all they have got to sell from their farms. Very little planting has been done here for a few years past compared to what there used to be in former years. The milk business is on the increase, and more farmers are going into it regardless of the season of the year, whether it be winter or summer, "April or August." Our farmers, most of whom have had only a district or home school education, born and raised in Greenland, have had a pretty good faculty of getting along, but I fear they are not doing a very wise or profitable business in selling milk, at such a low price.
[From "A Pleasant Abiding Place: A History of Greenland, N.H., 1635-2000", by Paul C. Hughes and Paul F. Hughes.]
The North Church (Congregational) of Portsmouth was founded in 1671, and Samuel Haines was chosen as its first deacon. At its founding, a cemetery for Greenland was set aside on a knoll overlooking the Winnicut River, "joining to Thomas Avery's and Leonard Week's land." Greenland formed its own Congregational Parish, separate from Portsmouth, in 1706, and the first church at Portsmouth Ave. and Cemetery Lane was probably built at this time. Portsmouth granted the "Upper Parsonage" at 576 Post Road as "glebe land", to be cultivated and harvested for the financial support of the church. On March 5, 1712, William Allen, a lay preacher and probably a schoolteacher since 1707, was ordained as Greenland's first pastor.
Greenland's first schoolmaster was William Allen (1676-1760), who was hired as the town's first minister in 1707, and seems to have been expected to do two jobs for one salary. Allen was a 1703 Harvard graduate who had taught school in Portsmouth in 1704. No one else seems to have been paid for teaching in Greenland until the 1730's.
In 1677, John Keniston's house on Packer Brook was burned by Maine Indians incited by the French and he was killed. On June 26, 1696, another band of raiding Indians killed 14 people at Portsmouth Plains, near the present National Little League field, and carried off several prisoners. The Portsmouth militia found them having breakfast the next day and rescued the captives. The site of the rescue soon came to be called "Breakfast Hill", on the Greenland-Rye line. In 1717, John Keniston, grandson to the John Keniston who was killed by Indians in 1677, killed a Maine Indian on Little Bay. The following year, a jury refused to convict him.
The first recorded trial involving a crime committed in Greenland took place in June 1660, at "a Countie Court held in Portsmouth." In it, Leonard Weeks was charged with "Swareing by god & Callinge John Hall of Greenland ould dogg & ould Slave & [saying] that he would knocke him in the head: this is testifi[e]d by Thomas Peverley & Joseph Attkinson." Leonard pled guilty and was sentenced to pay ten shillings, "& to have an admonition for his reviling & threttning speeches." Weeks was tried before a jury that included his neighbor (and future father-in-law) Samuel Haines.
On October 19, 1774, King George approved an Order in Council forbidding for six months the shipping of "gunpowder or any sort of arms or ammunition" from England to America, lest they fall into the hands of the insurgents. It was December 10 before the text of the order arrived in America and was printed by the Providence Gazette, which added that, "the Earl of Dartmouth has written circular Letters to the several Governors on the [American] Continent, signifying his Majesty's Command, that they take the most effectual Measures for arresting, detaining and securing, any Gunpowder, or any Sort of Arms or Ammunition, which may be attempted to be imported into the colonies." The Gazette had obtained this information, which was intended for Rhode Island's governor, from members of the colony's General Assembly. On December 12, the Boston Evening Post reprinted the story. The next day, Paul Revere of Boston, who had ridden as far as Philadelphia on previous errands of the Massachusetts patriot leaders, rode down Post Road to explain to New Hampshire's Committee of Correspondence at Portsmouth that, with no new munitions likely to become available, it was incumbent on them to secure whatever might be within reach. On the afternoon of December 14, as Governor Wentworth reported to Thomas Gage,
about four hundred men were collected together [under the leadership of John Langdon], and immediately proceeded to His Majesty's Castle William and Mary at the entrance of this harbour, and forcibly took possession thereof,... and by violence carried away upwards of one hundred barrels of powder belonging to the King...
Needless to say, the five-man garrison could do nothing to stop them. On December 15, Wentworth wrote to Dartmouth, another group of men
went to the Castle in the night headed by Mr. [John] Sullivan, and took away sixteen pieces f cannon, about sixty muskets and other military stores, and brought them to the out-borders of the town on Friday morning the 16th. Mr. [Nathaniel] Folsome, the other delegate, came to town that morning with a great number of armed men who remained in town as a guard till the flow of the tide in the evening, when the cannon was sent in gundalows up the river into the country...
At noon on the 15th, Theodore Atkinson, Major General of the New Hampshire Militia, had ordered Capt. John Dennett to "Enlist or Impress Thirty effective men" to protect the fort from Sullivan's group. At 6 p.m., Dennett reported to Atkinson that
Pursuant to the within Warrant, we have Paraded the streets, caused the Drums to be Beat, & Proclamation to be made at all the Publick corners, & on the Place of Parade; no Person appearing to Enlist, we wait for further orders.
John Dennett, who has recently been identified as one of the participants in the December 14 raid, must have enjoyed composing his report..
Two British vessels brought troops to Portsmouth from Boston on December 17 and 19, too late to do much good. Gov. Wentworth reported to Dartmouth that, although the raids had been "begun by a few rash people in Portsmouth," many men from the surrounding towns had also been involved. "With regard to the bringing of any of them to punishment, the very transaction shows that there is not strength in the government to effect it in its present state. No jail would hold them long and no jury would find them guilty."
From "A Pleasant Abiding Place: A History of Greenland, N.H., 1635-2000", by Paul C. Hughes and Paul F. Hughes.
As early as 1893, there had been talk of
establishing a public library in Greenland. Nothing much was done until 1896
when plans were begun to open a public library. In 1897, the 800 townspeople
learned that Caroline Avery Weeks planned to erect a public library on land
belonging to the Clough Estate, next to the Methodist Episcopal Church, now the
Congregational Parish House.
The pressed brick and granite building of
colonial design was begun in July of 1897 and completed in January of 1898. The
building was accepted as a library at the March 8th town meeting, and the
official dedication was held on May 19, 1898. In the vestibule Caroline Weeks
had a bronze tablet installed that reads: "This building erected as a
memorial to George Weeks, [her deceased husband] Mary T. Weeks and J. Clement
Weeks by Caroline Avery Weeks MDCCCXCVII"
If Caroline Avery Weeks visited the
library today, she would find that it looks much the same as it did in 1898. But
there have been changes over the years. Electric lights and a modern heating
system have been added to the building along with air-conditioning. In 1977,
Revenue Sharing funds were used to convert the old dirt-floor basement into a
children’s room. This greatly increased the usable space. But one of the
biggest changes has been the installation of the computers which now provide
access to the Internet and allow us to be finally fully automated.
at Greenland Town Meeting, March, 1898
Article 6. To see if the town will vote to accept the Weeks Library building for a free public library for the town of Greenland upon the conditions named by the donor; that the property be used only for a Public Library, that the donor have the right to name a Trustee in addition to those elected by the town, that the town will maintain a Library therein and that the same shall be open at least one afternoon and evening a week.
Whereas Mrs. Caroline A. Weeks has erected and furnished a library building which she offers to donate to the town of Greenland, provided the town will accept the same upon the following conditions, namely;
That the building and grounds shall be used only for the purpose of a free public library and public reading room;
That the donor shall have the right to appoint some person to act as one of the town library trustees, in conjunction with the trustees elected by the town, as authorized by section 4 of chapter 118 of the laws of 1895, said trustee so appointed to continue in office with the right to nominate and appoint his successor, until some other person is appointed by the donor, said trustees so appointed need not be residents of the town of Greenland
That the town will appropriate annually a sufficient sum to pay a librarian and to heat and light the building in addition to the sum required by law to be raised for library purposes.
That the library shall be kept open so as to be accessible to the citizens of the town at least one afternoon and one evening of each week and as much oftener as the trustees shall determine.
Resolved that the town gratefully accepts the very handsome gift of the Weeks Library building, and hereby expresses the thanks of the inhabitants of the town to the donor for the same and their appreciation of her munificence and the great interest shown by the Trustees of the Weeks Memorial Fund for their suggestions and supervision of the building.
the conditions annexed to said gift are hereby accepted and adopted.
Frank D. Wentworth
Last Edited: July 30, 2015 Email us at email@example.com