Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The Brackett House stood on the north side of State Street, between Fleet and Church Streets.
The house was named for Dr. Joshua Brackett, a Portsmouth physician who resided here during the Revolutionary War years until his death in 1802.
Dr. Brackett graduated from Harvard in 1752 and briefly served as a religious minister. Determined to become a physician, he studied under Portsmouth’s Dr. Clement Jackson, the father of Dr. Hall Jackson. He married Hannah Whipple in 1760. Hannah was a sister of General William Whipple, who signed the Declaration of Independence and lived in the Moffatt-Ladd House. When the Revolution began, he was named Judge of the Maritime Court for New Hampshire.
Thirty years after graduating Harvard, in 1783, Dr. Brackett was elected an honorary member of the Massachusetts Medical Society. In 1791, Harvard bestowed him a Medical Doctorate. That same year, the New Hampshire Medical Society organized and elected him the first Vice President, and he served as their President from 1793 to 1799.
The old photograph above was published in C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. The Brackett House is the one on the right, just east of the Davenport House. It's grounds once extended from State Street to Congress Street; however, it was demolished sometime after 1902, and the location is now a bank parking lot.