Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Colonel Joshua Wentworth House

The Colonel Joshua Wentworth House, rarely called the Wentworth-Weinbaum House, stands at 27 Hancock Street, on the southeast corner of Hancock and Washington Streets. It is the next building west of Stoodley's Tavern. It was originally located on Hanover Street, on the north side, across from the intersection with Fleet Street.

Joshua W. Wentworth was born in 1742, the grandson of Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth. He constructed this home around 1770, which was floated down the Piscataqua River and relocated to its present location on Hancock Street in 1973. 

Colonel Wentworth married Sarah "Sally" Peirce in 1774, and they had fifteen children; however, only four of their offspring lived to adulthood. 

One of these was Ann Jaffrey Wentworth, who married Samuel Larkin in 1796. They resided in her father's former home on Middle Street until they replaced the old wooden structure with a brick mansion known as the Samuel Larkin House around 1808-1815.

Joshua Wentworth ran a counting house on the corner of Hanover and Vaughan Streets. In 1776, he received his commission as a Colonel in the first New Hampshire regiment. During the Revolutionary War, he used his skills as a businessman to serve as a New Hampshire Commissary for the state’s soldiers as well as a Navy Agent. After the War, he served as a Congressional Representative and a Councilor. He ran for President of New Hampshire in 1790 and finished second to John Langdon, then was appointed Supervisor for the United States in New Hampshire by President George Washington in 1791. He died around 1809. 

The home was later owned by Captain Thomas Brown, a shipmaster, who was the second largest contributor to the rebuilding of St. John's Church after it burned in 1806. 

These 1961 photographs were taken before the home was moved to Hancock Street to rescue it from the destruction of the North End by Urban Renewal. They are courtesy of the United States Library of Congress online Digital Collections and were part of an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) of the mansion by the American Park Service.

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