Kurt's Historic Sites

Concord, New Hampshire capitol

New Hampshire

Admission to the Union Sequence in Admission Sequence in Capitols I Have Visited
June 21, 1788 9th admitted 2nd visited

Photographed February 19, 2005.

The first state capitol I visited apart from the one in my native Rhode Island was that of New Hampshire, located on North Main Street in Concord. It was designed by architect Stuart J. Park and made predominantly of granite from the northern part of Concord. Costs of labor were reduced by having prison inmates handle the stone cutting, shaping, and facing.

This is the oldest state house in the U.S. where the bodies of the legislature meet in their original chambers. The first legislative sessions were held here in 1819.

Photographed February 19, 2005.
Photographed February 19, 2005.

The lone New Hampshire native to become U.S. president was Franklin Pierce, who was in office from 1853 to 1857. Though he was a northerner, Pierce was sympathetic to the views of whites in the South who wished to expand and perpetuate the institution of slavery. He feared that the actions of abolitionists or those who sought merely to prevent slavery’s expansion would tear the nation in two. History has not treated President Pierce well, but in November 1914 he received a statue on the grounds of the statehouse. It was sculpted by Augustus Lukeman.


Sources Consulted and Further Reading

Pride, Mike. “Franklin Pierce statue was criticized even before its creation.” Concord Monitor. June 16, 2020. https://www.concordmonitor.com/Franklin-Pierce-statue-34783278.

State of New Hampshire. “A History of the State House, New Hampshire Almanac.” Accessed February 14, 2022. https://www.nh.gov/almanac/state-house.htm.

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