Sunday, November 23, 2008

General John Stark's Motto

Question: General John Stark is credited with the phrase known today as the NH motto. What is it?

Live Free or Die
Adopted as the state motto by the NH Legislature in 1945, it is probably the best-known of all state mottos, in large part because it speaks to a belief that is thoroughly ensconced in the American ideal.

The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809. Stark was New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War. Poor health forced him to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington and to send his toast by letter:

Starks Toast: "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."

The motto was enacted at the same time as the state emblem, on which the motto appears.

"A Heroes Tribute"

Order cards or a signed print or poster of this image

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