the leading man of the early settlement of
Moultonborough, was in many ways a remarkable man. Governor
William Plumer gives this sketch of him: --
Moulton) was born in Hampton of poor parents, and was bound by
his father an apprentice to a cabinet-maker. When about twenty years
old he purchased his time of his master, and set up as a trader in a
small shop in small articles of small value. By unwearied attention
to the purchase and sale of these small articles, he became an
extensive dealer in English and West India goods. His reputation as
a trader and as a man was not good. He was suspected, and not
without cause, of various kinds of unfair and dishonorable
management to acquire property.
was a man of considerable talents and of insinuating address, and
uniformly flattered the vices and folly of mankind. At his own house
he was hospitable. He was a prompt, ready man, and transacted
business with great dispatch; but those with whom he dealt most
suffered the most by him.
was a representative from Hampton several times, and sat in the
assembly several times as representative of Moultonborough and towns
classed therewith. In 1771 he was Colonel of Militia, and March 25,
1785, he was appointed Brigadier-General of the First Brigade.
was a large proprietor of extensive tracts of new, uncultivated
lands, and expended much money in forming settlements and in making
and repairing roads in those townships. These things are useful to
the state, but his improvements road-making, taxes, lawsuits, and
his debts very much embarrassed and perplexed him.
his last years he was unable to pay the demands against him, and
after his death the property he left was not sufficient to pay what
he owed. For some years previous to his death many suits, both for
and against him, were pending in the courts of law. He attempted to
corrupt judges, bribe jurors, suborn witnesses, and seduce the
counsel of his opponents. There was a period when his influence with
courts and jurors was great, and his process fatal to many; but in
1786 he was unable to get justice.
Judges and jurors were excited and strongly prejudiced against him,
and he knew the fact. In 1786 he was president of a self-created
convention which met at Rochester to take measures to procure a law
to declare certain property a legal tender for the payment of debts
and to emit paper money.
September of that year the Chester convention marched with arms to
Exeter, surrounded the house where the legislature was in session,
and tried to coerce them to pass such a law. General Moulton
strongly encouraged them to persevere; but September 18, 1787, he
died at his own house in Hampton.
Source: History of Carroll County, chapter 13, "Town of
[pertaining to the life of Jonathan Moulton as the town was named