Fremont in Rockingham County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
Mast Tree Riot of 1734
Local lumbermen illegally cut Mast Trees reserved for the King's Royal Navy. When David Dunbar, Surveyor General, visited nearby Copyhold Mill to inspect fallen lumber, local citizens assembled, discharged firearms and convinced Dunbar to leave. Returning with 10 men, Dunbar's group was attacked and dispersed at a local tavern, by citizens disguised as "Indians."
Erected 1982 by State of New Hampshire. (Marker Number 142.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Notable Events.
Location. 42° 58.023′ N, 71° 5.496′ W. Marker is in Fremont, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (New Hampshire Route 107) and New Hampshire Route 111-A, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Marker is located adjacent to the "Welcome to Fremont" sign, at this intersection, at the southeast edge of town. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fremont NH 03044, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Meeting House and Hearse House (approx. 2.2 miles Fremont Village Cemetery (approx. 2.2 miles away); 1867 (approx. 2.7 miles away); Spaulding & Frost Cooperage (approx. 2.9 miles away); Josiah Bartlett (approx. 2.9 miles away); Kingston War Memorial (approx. 2.9 miles away); Historic Black Rocks Village / Historic Fremont, N.H.-Olde Poplin (approx. 3 miles away); John Prescott Lovering's Inn (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fremont.
Also see . . .
1. Local lumbermen felled trees meant for the King's Navy.
The area that would become Fremont (originally a part of Exeter) was a dense wilderness prior to the 1720s because of Indian attacks and the Great Spruce Swamp, which stood as a natural barrier. Eventually, settlers moved in and area quickly became known for its heavy growth of high-quality eastern white pine, and those trees were quickly reserved for use as masts for the ships of the British Royal Navy. This caused tensions between the settlers and England, because settlers also prized the wood for home construction. Tensions peaked in 1734, and this brief insurrection is considered to be one of the earliest acts of aggression against British rule in the Colonies. (Submitted on April 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Mast Tree Riot of 1734.
Lumber was so important to early residents that it was used in place of money. It was common for debts to be paid in barrel staves. So it’s no wonder that people considered trees the most valuable asset in town. To the British government, New England’s towering pine trees were perfect for masts on his majesty’s naval vessels. In 1705, an act was passed reserving the largest trees for the King’s Navy. A Surveyor General was appointed to locate any trees measuring larger than 24 inches at one foot from the base. These trees were then marked and Locals were not allowed to cut them. New Englanders resented the act and most would at some point just get fed up and cut the trees down. The boards cut from it would be milled down to less than 24 inches in width; the owner made a small fortune and no one was the wiser. At least, that’s how things went for nearly 40 years (Submitted on April 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 3, 2018. It was originally submitted on April 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 181 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.