During the American Revolution (1775-1783) most of New Hampshire’s military leaders came from the inland frontier. The coastal towns depended on trade with England and on coastal trade with other parts of British North America. British authority was strongest in these coastal centers. But inland, away from rivers that gave access to oceangoing trade, it was a different story. Inland was the frontier, and wars with the French and their Native American allies had been going intermittently for more than a century. Most of New Hampshire’s Revolutionary War leaders were frontiersmen. General Stark was born at Nutfield (today’s Londonderry), New Hampshire. General Joseph Cilley was born at Nottingham. General Enoch Poor, born at Andover, Massachusetts, came north in 1755 to fight the French in Nova Scotia. Enoch Poor was later a member of the New Hampshire Provincial Congress (twice), and then a Revolutionary War leader. General Alexander Scammell, born at Mendon, Massachusetts in 1747, came north to Portsmouth and became involved with the 1774 capture of Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth harbor, and then in other Revolutionary War actions. Josiah Bartlett, born at Amesbury, Massachusetts, came north to Kingston, New Hampshire, near the coast, as an adult; and William Whipple was from Kittery, Maine, and had been in the coastal trade before the Revolution. But the great majority of New Hampshire’s military leaders during the Revolution were frontiersmen.
The State of New Hampshire’s collection of Revolutionary War leaders was created in the 1870s, as part of a process of collecting likenesses of past leaders of the state. Portraits were painted from originals by Ulysses D. and Adna Tenney.
All the war heroes except Governor Benjamin Pierce (American Rev. War hero), General John Sullivan (Am. Rev. war hero) and Franklin Pierce (Mexican War hero) are on the State House First Floor: American Revolution, north wall, State House First Floor; War of 1812, north wall, State House First Floor; Civil War, south wall, State House First Floor.
Franklin Pierce has his portrait in Representatives' Hall (Second Floor State House).
Benjamin Pierce was a governor and has his portrait with governors (State House Second Floor); John Sullivan was a governor and has his portrait in the Executive Council Chamber (State House second Floor).