John Parker Hale (1806 - 1873) was born at Rochester (NH). His career as a state legislator, and then as a United States Representative and Senator, is more fully summarized in "Portraits of State and National Legislators at the State House", at Portraits of State and National Legislators at the State House Second Floor.
A leading advocate for the abolition of slavery in the decades before the Civil War, Hale was expelled from the Democratic Party in 1845. Like Daniel Webster and many other Americans, the Democrats advocated "states' rights" on slavery as national policy, and they hoped to silence the abolitionists within their ranks. New Hampshire voters promptly elected Hale to the United States Senate as an Independent (served 1847 - 1853).
In 1852 New Hampshire voters again registered their dissatisfaction with the national political parties' stance of compromise on slavery by creating the Free Soil Party. Hale was the party's choice for the presidency. Hale was a powerful orator, and in the 1852 national election Hale had 155,000 votes - a sizeable number in a nation which numbered slightly more than twenty million people in 1840. The Free Soil Party was but one expression of northern states' popular dissatisfaction with the two major political parties' efforts to leave slavery to the individual states; but the fear of separation into rival pro-slavery and anti-slavery American republics prevented a national resolution of the issue. By 1856 the Free Soil Party, the Know-Nothings, the Abolitionists and other anti-slavery factions had come together to form the new Republican Party. The Republicans called for the national abolition of slavery and nominated John C. Fremont to be their leader in the 1856 national election. They lost, but in 1860 the Republicans were better organized for a national campaign. They nominated Abraham Lincoln, and won the election. The country did split into two republics, and a bloody Civil War ensued.
Hale was the father-in-law of William E. Chandler. Many years later Chandler became a United States Senator from New Hampshire. On April 14, 1890 Senator Chandler wrote Governor and Council that he wished to commission a statue of John Parker Hale, and to have that statue join Daniel Webster's statue on the State House lawn. Senator Chandler would have the Hale statue cast at the Von Miller Foundry, in Munich, Germany - the same foundry which had cast the Webster statue - to ensure that both statues would match each other in finish, and in size. On November 6, 1890, two weeks after the dedication of the statue to General Stark, Governor and Council voted to reserve a space on the State House lawn for Senator Chandler's statue of Hale. The new statue was unveiled August 3, 1892.