Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chapter 21: The Hannah Dustin Memorials

The Five Memorials to Hannah Dustin in America.

First Memorial: 1874: Penecook Island: First Memorial Statue to a Woman in America.

It was erected in 1874, primarily as a tribute to Motherhood, as exemplified by Hannah Dustin. Huge crowds overwhelmed the island on the day of it's dedication, with speeches presented all day long.
It was the first publicly-funded statue in New Hampshire.
Note the one bare foot, the hatchet and that she is holding a cluster of scalps.
The base of the New Hampshire statue reads as follows:

Westerly side facing the tracks:

"Heroum Gesta Fides-Justitia. Hannah Duston Mary Neff, Samuel Leonardson March 30, 1697, Midnight.

Easterly side facing the river :

March 15 1697 30. The War-Whoops-Tomahawks-Fagot and Infanticides were at Haverhill, the ashes of the camp-fires at night and ten of the tribe are here. Northern side: honors 23 donors

Southerly side:

Statua 1874
Know ye that we with many plant it;
In trust to the state we give and grant it,
That the tide of time may never can't it
Nor mar, nor sever;
That Pilgrims here may heed the Mothers,
That truth and faith and all the others
With Banners high in glorious colors,
May stand forever
(Personally I think that is the worst poem I have ever seen.)

Second Memorial: 1879: Duston Monument Erected in Haverhill Massachusetts
(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2436

The monument stands on the site of the Second Church, of which Hannah Duston became a member in 1724.
(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2433

The original small axe or hatchet held by Hannah Duston can be found today in the Haverhill Historical Society. The Duston hatchet is not a tomahawk. It is usually called a biscayan or biscayenne, a common trade item of the late seventeenth-century New England frontier.
(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2435

There are four plaques on the base of the Hannah Duston Haverhill Statue:
1. The capture of Hannah Duston and Mary Neff

(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2437

2. Thomas Dustin Defending his children:
Hannah Duston's husband defending the Duston children
(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2438 3.

3. Sleeping Abenaki Indians
(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2440

4. The Escape of Hannah Dustin, Mary Neff and Samuel Lenorson (Lennardson) down the Merrimac River
(Photography by Joseph R. Modugno)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD2441

Third Memorial: 1908: Boulder in Memorial to both Hannah and Martha, placed on the site of Hannah's son Jonathan's home.
(Be sure to enlarge these and check out the ladies in hats. The dedication events must have lasted for hours, it just amazes me that the women spent the day wear those huge heavy hats. I have had an opportunity to try on similar hats of that era, and let me tell you, those hats are very heavy. VERY VERY heavy!)
Old Postcard of the Jonathan Duston House Site, Monument Street, Haverhill, MA.
The Duston boulder (location of the home of Jonathan Duston with whom Hannah lived in her final years.)
Local history tells us that Haverhill's immense Duston boulder marks the site of Jonathan Duston's home, where Mrs. Duston lived her final years with a son. Haverhill public library records say it took 30 horses with 14 drivers to haul it to the present location.
Its weight is estimated at from 30 to 60 tons. Hannah Duston died at this location in 1736.

Fourth Memorial: A mill stone placed on the shores of the Merrimack River where Hannah, Mary and Samuel beached their canoe upon their return to Haverhill.

I can not remember when this memorial was dedicated, but I think it was 1982. Or 1928, based on the date inscribed on the top. If any one out there reading this knows, please leave a comment!
Fifth Memorial: The Site of James Lovewell's Home, where Hannah, Mary and Samuel rested on their way home from captivity.

Then there are the more, um, shall we say, unique tributes:
There is a Hannah Dustin Health Care Center, a Hannah Dustin Rest Home, and a Hannah Dustin Elementary School, that a few years ago was under discussion for renaming due to the controversial elements of Hannah's story.

Wonder why they didn't think of re-naming it Thomas Dustin then?

Anyway, there are apparently a couple of train engines christened "The Hannah Dustin":
And Hannah Dustin Memorial Parking
(Parking in memory of Hannah? A memorial parking lot? Oh wait, I get it, it is the parking lot where you leave your car before walking over to the bridge to the Penecook Island.)
After seeing all these memorials, we got a little punchy. We later went to the coast for a sea food dinner, and there was a statue of a woman looking out to the ocean.
Bernie quipped: "Oh look, it's "Hannah goes to the Sea Shore!"

But it is this final tribute that has left us in stitches:

The 1973 collectible "Hannah Dustin" Jim Beam bottle:

"4/5 quart 180 month old 86 proof. Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey."
We all knew Hannah was a Christian woman.

And know we can say with confidence that Hannah Dustin was also "Spirit-filled."


Julie said...

Jill, fascinating! but I have a few questions.
1.Do you know why one of the ladies in the amazing hats has her hand up?
2.That poem was truly bad..Did you check the whiskey bottles to see if they were empty?
3.The expression on Hannah's face is very hard -it is easy to imagine that was her expression when she scalped the Indians. Was it meant to portray that?
4. Did they really have to put the scalps in her hand??
5. I thought the hatchet she used was lost by her children playing with it? Is it a duplicate in the museum?

Thank-you, Jill... now I am looking forward to the last post where you share your opinions.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Hi Julie! We both have questions!
1. I don't have any information about the hat ladies, or anyone at the gathering. The pictures were on a site that sells old pictures, and there were pictures there of the horses hauling the boulder as well. Somehow when I went back to get those horse pictures they were no longer on the site. Darn!
I do not believe anyone from my immediate family was at that event.
2.I noticed the people in the picture had their heavy coats off, so perhaps that October day warmed up Indian Summer style. Maybe a nip or two was taken, inspiring the Beam Co. at a later time. The bottle shape is of the first memorial, and my family owns one of the bottles. I'll have to ask my folks if the bourbon is still in the bottle, it could have evaporated. We're not much on drinking the hard stuff.
3. The expression on the second statue was far more expressive than the first statue. The posture, the body in full swing is pretty dramatic. Interesting that the two statues were created very close together time wise, yet have such different emotional delivery.
4. The first statue with the scalps was pretty weird by today's standards, especially since it was a statue to Motherhood, a big theme after the Civil War in the US, and Queen Victoria and all. Maybe I can stretch to think she looks a tad dazed in the first stature, like the scalps are just "there", whereas the second statue really captures an expression of fury. In person you can almost feel the swing momentum in her arm-a powerful piece of art.
5. I wondered about the conflicting statements about the hatchet being lost and also being in the museum. Since Samuel also used a hatchet, it is possible that there were a few hatches associated with the event.
There is one more detail about the second statue: Havehill commissioned the statue to be place on a location on a street that they named Monument Way. They couldn't pay the bill on the statue, so it was recarved and is now used as a Civil War Memorial in another town, and when it rains it is possible to see some of the former work. The is no momument on Monument Way in Haverhill, the statue that is there now is on a different street.
The final chapter IS coming, it is just harder to condense my thought that I thought it would be. Hannah's statement still just blows me away...

Becky said...

I like the Hannah Dustin Rest Home tribute. Do they find themselves frequently checking their hair lines as they sleep? I might have a tendency to avoid that place. Her statues make her look like a stern woman; a biblical woman who was one not to be reckoned with!
Otherwise, I think that you should be very proud of the hatchet weilding, scalp handling woman! She really was an amazing woman.

Julie said...

Jill, thanks for elaborating on the points I raised! I have found your story so captivating...the evening I read about Hannah's escape I couldn't sleep all night.. pondering...I'm sure you understand!! (smile) I really hate the questions that will never be answered because the only people who could answer them are gone!The lady with her hand up makes me sooo curious wondering what she wanted to say...or was she drying her underarms....? ha-ha
(I was wondering if the person who wrote the poem drank the whiskey!!)
I will try to be patient waiting for your last chapter..

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Julie-the one I am curious about was the woman photographer. Since it wasn't she taking the picture that we are looking at, who was the photographer, and what happened to the pictures the woman photographer took. Her outfit was striking, and I imagine her hiking along in her long skirt, hat and perhaps carrying the camera and tripod? I'd also love to have the notes from whatever the speaker is speaking on.
Oh, and I tend to look like the second Hannah statue in the face when I get really disturbed by things that are not going well.

Anonymous said...

It all makes for fascinating reading. I searched and tried to find "Chapter 1" and couldn't find it... does it exist? I guess you're telling us about Hannah because there is some family connection, but I would like to read the first posts.
I'm also curious about the woman with the camera on the tripod, a heavy hobby. I wonder if there were many women photographers at the time...

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Thanks for catching that Cristina. I didn't think to label the series until later, and didn't happen to add the first chapter. I have included it now in the Dustin family saga. I wrote in on March 6th, the day before the baby was born.

Anonymous said...

Jill I always knew you were of sturdy stock! Love you, Gail C.

Unknown said...

Hey Jill,

Great page on Hannah Duston! I learned a lot from it, and I live in the next town over from her hometown. I also teach a few blocks from where she spent the night in Nashua, NH on the way home, and drive by the Duston Garrison house often when I take a certain shortcut. It's right in the middle of a rural-ish resiential area, and before I did this research, I didn't think twice of it!

Nice job, the research will go to good use in my classroom...


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article. I am the 9th great grandson of Hannah. All the women in the family keep a hatchet in the kitchen

Vee said...

The comment above has me chuckling. My iPad keeps booting me to the curb, but I will be tenacious and keep reading. In one of the photos of the reunion, I enjoyed seeing the lady with her tripod.

Vee said...

Oh...now I also see that you were intrigued by the photographer/s as well!

Dale D said...

This is awesome. Thank you for all the information. Hannah would be my 8th great grandmother. My wife and I just visited the east coast with our 2 youngest kids, Jordan and Hannah. Yes, I named my daughter after her. Anyway, thanks for the info.