By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | December 21, 2018
Andrew Howard, of Rochester, NH, robbed and murdered Miss Phebe Hanson, aged sixty-three years, at her home in the Meaderboro district of Rochester, NH, on Tuesday, September 19, 1843.
That is really a Rochester story. Milton residents appear here only peripherally, as members of an “indignant” crowd of 10,000 onlookers, who were present outside the Dover jail for the November 1845 execution of the murderer.
The Exeter News-Letter says that the gallows had been erected and preparations all made for the execution of Andrew Howard, at Dover, (N.H.) before the Governor arrived with a reprieve. The people who had come from Barrington and Bowpond, Squannemagonic and the Dock, the Three Ponds and Crown Point, Barnstead and the Bear country, to see the sight, were very indignant at the interference of the Governor. The Dover Gazette estimates that there were 10,000 strangers in that town on that day (Weekly National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), November 29, 1845).
Apart from the indignation, which was quite strong (many subsequent demonstrations), our principal interest lies in the names of the places from which the 10,000 people came. Barnstead and Barrington are obvious. Three Ponds is Milton. The Dock is the Puddle Dock district of Farmington, Squannemagonic is the Gonic district of Rochester, and Bow Pond and Crown Point are districts of Strafford. Bear Country remains a mystery.
The murderer Howard was eventually hanged at the Dover jail at 1:40 PM, Wednesday, July 8, 1846. He was then twenty-three years of age.