Portsmouth in Rockingham County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
Colonel Tobias Lear
was born in this house in 1760.
He was George Washington’s Secretary
from 1783 to 1799.
Washington visited here in 1789.
This tablet is placed by the Society
of the Sons of the Revolution
of the State of New Hampshire,
Erected 1899 by Sons of the Revolution of the State of New Hampshire.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Communications. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, the George Washington Slept Here, and the Sons of the American Revolution series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1760.
Location. 43° 4.445′ N, 70° 45.013′ W. Marker is in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Hunking Street west of Mechanic Street, on the right when traveling west. Marker is a metal plaque mounted above eye level on the front wall of the subject house, near the southwest corner. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 42 Hunking Street, Portsmouth NH 03801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking Point of Graves (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Point of Graves (about 600 feet away); Sheafe Warehouse (about 600 feet away); Portsmouth NH Red Light District (about 800 feet away); Liberty Pole and Bridge (about 800 feet away); Portsmouth NH Marine Railway (approx. 0.2 miles away); Black Yankees and The Sea (approx. 0.2 miles away); Portsmouth Navy Yard (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Portsmouth.
Also see . . .
1. Patriot, Tutor, Secretary, and Peace Envoy: Col. Tobias Lear, Esq. (1762-1816).
Through his journal and correspondence, Tobias Lear is probably responsible for much of what we know about the personal life of George Washington. In 1786 Tobias moved to Virginia to become both secretary to Washington, and tutor to Martha Washington’s two grandchildren. At that point in time Tobias was a twenty-four year-old Harvard graduate who had studied in Europe. He continued to serve Washington as his personal confidante throughout his Presidency, and often lived with him as a member of the family. Tobias Lear was with Washington at his death, and recorded his last moments for posterity. Washington spoke his last words to him. (Submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Tobias Lear House.
The Tobias Lear House is a 2-1/2 story wood frame structure built c. 1750. It has claoboard siding, a hip roof with pedimented gable-roof (Submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Tobias Lear Tells the Tale of Washington's Death.
(This link presents the story surrounding George Washington's death, as if told by Tobias Lear.)
Greetings, traveler. I am Tobias Lear, the General’s personal secretary. Do come inside, though you have come to Mount Vernon on a most lamentable day. (Submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
4. Governor John Langdon Mansion, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
You know his stately white mansion on the corner of Pleasant and Court Streets. But have you ever gone inside? President George Washington did in 1789, and he called it the most eminent house in the city. I’m pretty certain it was Langdon who convinced Washington to take on Tobias Lear as his personal secretary. Lear was Langdon’s nephew and Tobias later married Washington’s niece, a pretty cozy arrangement. Lear’s semi-restored house is also a Portsmouth landmark. (Submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 6, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 246 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 6, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 2, 3. submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. 4. submitted on July 21, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 7, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.