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Gen. John Stark

Revolutionary (1728 - 1822)

John Stark is best known for popularizing the NH state motto "Live Free or Die". NH born and bred, Stark was possibly the best military leader in Granite State history. He fought with Robert Rogers in the French and Indian Wars. He commanded a large force of NH men at the Battle of Bunker Hill. He won the Battle of Bennington, which some historians say led to the British loss at Saratoga and turned the tide of the Revolutionary War. The son of Glasgow immigrants, Stark was born in Londonderry, NH and moved to Derryfield (Manchester) where he is buried and his home still stands. When not soldering, Stark was a farmer. He and his wife Molly raised 10 children and Stark lived to age 94.

"Live free or die," he said.
"Death is not the worst of evils."

More Famous NH People



Framers of Freedom: John Stark
Short biography on sums up the life of NH's most famous soldier

Famous Figures of New Hampshire
Portraits in the Concord, NH state capitol building and the official state of NH biography sketch

Hero of Vermont
A key figure in the Battle of Bennington, Stark gets a high rating from the Green Mounting state too

John Stark, the Forgotten Revolutionary
A student report by Elisabeth Adams

Stark Family Collection
Items archived at the University of NH Library from direct descendants of John and Molly Stark


NH at Bunker Hill
Our essay on the forgotten importance of NH at ths famous Revolutionary War battle

The Decisive Day Has Come
Battle of Bunker Hill from the Massachusetts Historical Society web site

Battle of Bennington
Includes map and pictures

Battle of Bennington, August 16, 1777
Arguably the turning point of the American Revolution

Events Preceding the Battle of Bennington
From the society of the Sons of the American Revolution

The British Campaign of 1777
Timeline from the online Arrmy ROTC course at Worcester Polytechnic tracing Burgoyne's forces

Portrait of Stark at Bennington

John Stark Flag
1776 flag from the Battle of Bennington (scroll down)

Bennington Flags for Sale

Stark's State Motto
The NH state motto (and license plate) attributed to Gen. Stark. This is the officeial NH state web site

Live Free or Die
Story of the state motto. (Note: This article is reprinted from another source and carries a political agenda.)

Flying the Stark Flag
A message from the Governor of New Hampshire

List of Washington's Generals
Personal web page lists how many of the generals were Masons, including Stark

Molly Stark: The Real Story of a Heroine


Stark Statue in Washington
Duplicate of NH statehouse statue given to US Capitol Statuary Hall in 1894

John Stark House
We've not been able to find an official site yet, but this relates to an elm tree in front of this historic house in Manchester, NH

Picture of Stark House, Manchester, NH
This one comes right from American Memory section of the Library of Congress web site

History of Manchester, NH
With a nice clickable portrait of Gen Stark

Bennington Battle Monument

Bennington Museum, VT
Home of a fascinating Bennington flag with a detailed history of the flag online

Bennington Monument History
A book about the 306 foot monument

New Hampshire Statehouse
Has a statue of John Stark (see engraving at top of page) in front of the state capitol building in Concord, NH and two portraits

Stark's Knob Historic Reservation
Preserved area in NY is both a volcanic site for geological study and historic location connected with Battle of Saratoga

Fort at No 4
Stark assembled his troops here in Charleston, NH before the Battle of Bennington

Battle of Bennington Site
A homemade overview site

Molly Stark State Park, Vermont

Molly Stark Cannon, New Boston, NH

Molly Stark House, Dunbarton, NH

Stark's Journey
Historic marker in Charleston, NH

Stark's Hometown, Londonderry, NH

Stark's Grave
in Manchester, NH on Find-a-Grave

Grave of Gen. Stark
Essay by NH historian Bruce Heald from the Laconia Times


Fort Stark, Newcastle, NH
The official NH state web page

Much More on Fort Stark
Much more detail on the fort named in honor of Stark from A superb resource, but beware of ad consoles.

John Stark Society of New Hampshire
Key source of information for Stark enthusiasts (but beware of console pop-up windows)

John Stark Family Genealogy Page

Stark Family Genealogy Notes

Molly Stark Tavern, New Boston, NH

The Molly Stark Trail, VT

John Stark Regional High
Meet "The Generals" of Weare, NH on Stark Highway

Stark, NH
Official Coos Country name change report

Stark County, Illinois

Stark County, Ohio

Starke County, Indiana

Starkville Community, Mississippi


Search for out of print books on Bibliofind

Anderson, Leon W, Major General John Stark: Hero of Bunker Hill and Bennington, 1972

Dean, Leon W, Stark of the North Country, Farrar, 1941

Moore, Howard Parker. A Life of General John Stark of New Hampshire. Howard Parker Moore author and publisher, c.1949.

Proceedings in Congress on the Acceptance of the Statues of John Stark and Daniel Webster Presented to the State of New Hampshire, Washington, DC, 1895

Richmond, Robert P. John Stark: Freedom Fighter, Dale Books, Waterbury, Ct, 1976

Stark, Caleb, Memoir and Official Correspondence of Gen. John Stark, Eastman, 1860

See More NH People

Photo: Engraving of statue of John Stark located at NH Statehouse in Concord, NH
Copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

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