“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Exeter in Rockingham County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)

Revolutionary Capital

Revolutionary Capital Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, May 7, 2010
1. Revolutionary Capital Marker
Inscription.  Founded by Rev. John Wheelwright in 1638, Exeter was one of the four original towns in the colony. Following New Hampshire’s provisional declaration of independence on January 5, 1776, it served as the capital of the new state during the period of the American Revolution.
Erected 1965 by NH Division of Historical Resources and the NH Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 032.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1721.
Location. 42° 58.858′ N, 70° 56.792′ W. Marker is in Exeter, New Hampshire, in Rockingham County. Marker is on Front Street, on the right when traveling north. Marker is in the town center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Exeter NH 03833, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Exeter NH War Memorial (here, next to this marker); Abraham Lincoln Speaks in New Hampshire (within shouting distance of this marker); The Folsom Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Exeter Town House
Looking East image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, May 7, 2010
2. Looking East
The marker stands in front of the present Exeter Town Offices.
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the First Mill At Falls of the Squamscott River (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ladd-Gilman House (about 800 feet away); Exeter NH Exeter Gas Works (approx. 0.3 miles away); Second Burial Ground (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Exeter.
Regarding Revolutionary Capital. When the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, the letterpress shop of John Dunlap printed official copies that were dispatched by horseback to the 13 colonies. Exeter’s copy finally arrived on July 16th, and it was read aloud to the waiting townsfolk. Each year, by tradition, the town holds its Independence Festival not on July 4th but on the weekend nearest July 16th.

Mysteriously, the town’s copy of the “Dunlap Broadside” was lost for many years. Then in 1985, during renovations to a building in Exeter owned by the Society of the Cincinnati, an alert workman noticed the document stashed behind insulation in the attic. Independence Festival is the one and only day each year when the irreplaceable document is put on public display.
Looking North image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Roger W. Sinnott, May 7, 2010
3. Looking North
Exeter’s historic town center includes a large gazebo-like structure known as "the Bandstand," where for more than 160 years the Exeter Brass Band has performed summer concerts. The present structure is a 1916 gift from Ambrose Swasey, a local engineer who cofounded Warner & Swasey of Cleveland, Ohio. His firm built the mountings of the great refractors at Lick Observatory in California and Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 8, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. This page has been viewed 1,361 times since then and 145 times this year. Last updated on July 10, 2014, by Kevin Craft of Bedford, Quebec. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 8, 2010, by Roger W. Sinnott of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 3, 2022