Londonderry, New Hampshire
Rockingham county. Adjoining the E. line of the county of Hillsborough. This town contains very little waste land, and it is believed, has as extensive a body of fertile soil as any town in the E. section of the state. It lies 25 miles S.S.E. from Concord and 35 S.W. from Portsmouth. Population, in 1830, 1,469.
Londonderry, which formerly included the present town of Derry, was settled in 1719, by a colony of presbyterians from the vicinity of the city of Londonderry, in the N. of Ireland, to which place their ancestors had emigrated about a century before from Scotland. They were a part of 120 families, chiefly from three parishes, who with their religious instructors came to New England in the summer of 1718. In October, 1718, they applied to the government of Massachusetts for the grant of a township, and received assurances that a grant should be made them when they should select a place for its location. After some time spent viewing the country, they selected the tract afterwards composing the town of Londonderry, at first known by the name of Nutfield. In 1719, sixteen families, accompanied by the Rev. James McGregore, one of the clergymen who had emigrated from Ireland with them, took possession of the tract, and on the day of their arrival attended religious services and a sermon under an oak on the east shore of Beaver pond. The inhabitants of Londonderry in 1720, purchased the Indian title, and although it was long a frontier town, were never molested by the Indians. They introduced the culture of the potatoe, a vegetable till then unknown in New England, and the manufacture of linen cloth, which, though long since declined, was for many years a considerable source of their early prosperity.
Rev. Matthew Clark, second minister of Londonderry, was a native of Ireland, who had in early life been an officer in the army, and distinguished himself in the defence of the city of Londonderry when beseiged by the army of King James II. A.D., 1688-9. He afterwards relinquished a military life for the clerical profession. He possessed a strong mind, marked by a considerable degree of eccentricity. He died January 25, 1735, and was borne to the grave, at his particular request, by his companions in arms, of whom there were a considerable number among the early settlers of this town; several of whom had been made free from taxes throughout the British dominions by King William, for their bravery in that memorable siege.
A company of 70 men from this town, under the command of Capt. George Reid, were in the battle of Breed's hill, and about the same number were in that at Bennington, in which Capt. David M'Clary, one of their citizens, a distinguished and brave officer, was killed. Major-general John Stark and Col. George Reid, officers of the army and the revolution, were natives of this town.