Governor John Wentworth Mansion - Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 43° 04.430 W 070° 45.169
19T E 357300 N 4770504
Quick Description: Marker for historic mansion which served as the home of the last Royal Governor of New Hampshire in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Date Posted: 6/24/2012 9:18:12 AM
Waymark Code: WMEPT0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 2

Long Description:

From historical marker:

Governor John Wentworth Mansion

New Hampshire's last Royal Governor, John Wentworth, was never provide with a specially-built exeutive mansion in Portsmouth.  Instead he occupied this "Small Hut with little comfortable Apartments" on Pleasant Street, and satisfied his gentlemanly architectural ambitions by constructing an elegant but never-completed estate on the shores of Smith' Pon (now Lake Wentworth) at Wolfeborough, New Hampshire.

This Pleasant Street House was built in 1763 for merchant Henry Appleton.  About a year later, Mark Hunking Wentworth, the father of Governor John Wentworth, purchased teh propterty for 4000 pounds.  In 1767, the newly-arrived governor took up his residence here, and remained in the house until the outbreak of hostilities in New Hampshire.  Diagonally across the road was another parcel of land that belonged to the house, with a stable and coach house in which the governor kept his carriages and the fine horses for which he was famous.

At the time the house was built and for a number of years thereafter, the land adjuscent to it was largely unoccupied by houses. The shores of the mill pond to the south and west were predominately fields and gardens.  The land of the Wentworth House itself once extended westward 127 feet to the Pleasant Street Cemetery, and carried this full width 430 feet back to the shores of the pond.

In many respects, John Westworth was the best governor New Hampshire ever had.  He divided New Hampshire into counties, sponsored a complete survey and mapping of the province, tried to enforce uniform forestry policies, established Dartmouth College, pressed for internal improvements like the laying out of new roads and construction of Portsmouth's first lighthouse, improved the qualities of horses in the region, and materially aided in the compilation of Belnap's History of New Hampshire.

In June, 1775, however, Wentworth offered hospitality to Co. John Fenton, an up-state royalist who had tried to dissuade the inhabitants of Grafton County from any revolutionary actions.  Fenton's presence enraged the Portsmouth mob, who, in the words of the governor's wife, "stove at the House with Clubs, brought a large Cannon and placed it before the Door, and swore to fire through the House."  At length, Fenton surrendered for trial, and Wentworth and his family left this house that night, never to return.  John Wentworth later became Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia.

Marker Name: Governor John Wentworth Mansion

Marker Type: Local/Unofficial

Marker Location: Portsmouth

Official Marker Number: Not listed

Date Marker Established: Not listed

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