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Langdon, John - History

Langdon, John - History



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Langdon, John (1739-1805) Signer of the Constitution: Born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on December, 1739; Langdon received a common school education and became a successful merchant. In 1774, he joined John Sullivan and others in removing armament and military stores from Fort William and Mary in Portsmouth Harbor. Langdon was a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775, but resigned in June of 1776 to become a navy agent. The next year, when he was speaker of the financially-strapped New Hampshire Assembly; he gave all his money to equip a brigade. That brigade, under the leadership of Gen. John Stark, went on to defeat the Hessians at the Battle of Bennington. Active in the war effort, Langdon took part in the Battle of Stillwater, and commanded a company in Saratoga and on Rhode Island. In 1779, he was Continental Agent in New Hampshire, and served as president of the state convention. Langdon served in the Continental Congress and the state legislature before he was sent as a delegate to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention. There he took part in the creation of the Constitution, and signed the document. After he convention, Langdon became Governor of New Hampshire and US Senator. In 1801, he was chosen to be president of the Senate so that electoral votes for President of the United States could be counted. A Democratic-Republican, he was appointed by President Jefferson to become Secretary of the Navy, an offer he declined. After his service in the Senate, Langdon returned to New Hampshire to serve as Governor from 1805 to 1812, except for one year. Although he was offered the nomination for Vice President, Langdon refused, because of his age and illness. He spent the rest of his life in retirement, and died on September 18, 1819, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Langdon, John

LANGDON, JOHN (d. 1434), bishop of Rochester, a native of Kent, and perhaps of Langdon, was admitted a monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, in 1398. Afterwards he studied at Oxford, and graduated B.D. in 1400 according to his epitaph he was D.D. He is said to have belonged to Gloucester Hall, now Worcester College ( Wood , City of Oxford, ii. 269, Oxf. Hist. Soc.) According to another account he was warden of Canterbury College, which was connected with his monastery but this may be an error, due to the fact that a John Langdon was warden in 1478 (ib. ii. 288). He was one of twelve Oxford scholars appointed at the suggestion of convocation in 1411 to inquire into the doctrines of Wycliffe ( Wood , Hist. and Antiq. Univ. Oxf. i. 551). Their report is printed in Wilkins's 'Concilia,' iii. 339-49. Langdon became sub-prior of his monastery before 1411, when he preached a sermon against the lollards in a synod at London ( Harpsfield , Hist. Eccl. Angl. p, 619). On 17 Nov. 1421 he was appointed by papal provision to the see of Rochester, and was ​ consecrated on 7 June 1422 at Canterbury by Archbishop Chicheley ( Stubbs , Reg. Sacr. Angl. p. 65). After his consecration he appears among the royal councillors ( Nicolas , Proc. Privy Council, iii. 6), and after 1430 his name constantly occurs among those present at the meetings. He was a trier of petitions for Gascony in the parliament of January 1431, and for England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland in that of May 1432 (Rot. Parl. iv. 368n, 388) In February 1432 he was engaged on an embassy to Charles VII of France (Fœdera, x. 500, 514). In July following he was appointed one of the English representatives at the council of Basle, whether he was intending to set out at the end of the year he was at the same time entrusted with a further mission to Charles VII (ib, x. 524, 527, 530). Langdon was, however, in England in March 1433, and for some months of 1434 ( Nicholas , Proc. Privy Council, iv. 154, 177, 196, 221). On 18 Feb. 1434 he had license to absent himself from the council if sent on a mission by the pope or cardinals, and on 3 Nov. of that year was appointed to treat for the reformation of the church and peace with France (Fœdera, x. 571, 589). Langdon had, however, died at Basle on 30 Sept. It is commonly alleged that his body was brought home for burial at the Charterhouse, Loudon, but in reality he was interred in the choir of the Carthusian monastery at Basle (see epitaph printed in Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. ix. 274). His will, dated 2 March 1433-4, was proved 27 June 1437.

Langdon is said to have been a man of great erudition, and to have written: 1, 'Anglorum Chronicon.' 2. 'Sermones.' Thomas Rudborne, in his preface to his 'Historia Minor,' says that he had made use of Langdon's writings ( Wharton , Anglia Sacra, i. 287).

[Bale, vii. 68 Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 466 Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 380 Rymar's Fœdera, orig. ed. Godwin's De Præsulibus, p. 534, ed. Richardson Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 666 authorities quoted.]


References

  • Allen, G. Benda C.J. et al (1961). Lancet corr. 1, 775.
  • Beighton, P. & Beighton, G. (1986). The man behind the syndrome. Springer Verlag.
  • Bendyshe, T. (1865). The Anthropological Treatises of Johan Frederich Blumenbach. Longman Roberts and Green.
  • Brain, R. (1967). In Woltstenholme, G.E.W., Porter, R. (Eds.). Mongolism. CIBA Foundation.
  • Brush, E. (1891). In Keating, J. M. & Young, J. (Eds.) Cyclopaedia of Diseases of Children. Pentland
  • Crookshank, F. G. The Mongol in Our Midst 1924, Keagan Paul, Trench Traubner Company, London.
  • Down, J. Langdon (1879*). Address Christian Union, June 27.
  • Down, J.L. (1862). Observations on an Ethnic Classification of Idiots. Lond Hosp. Rep. 3, 259 - 262*
  • Down, J. Langdon. (1876). The Education and Training of the Feeble in Mind*. London: HK Lewis
  • Down, J. Langdon (1887). Mental Afflictions of Childhood and Youth. J& A Churchill, London.
  • Down, R. (1909). Discussion of Paper by G Shuttleworth BMJ, 2, 665*
  • Down, R. (1905). Notes and News. J Ment Sc, 52, 188 - 9.*
  • Goodheart, J.F. (1888). The Diseases of Children. JA Churchill
  • Hill W Bertram. Mongolism and its Pathology Quart J Med (1908). 2, 49-68. Lancet. Editorial comment 1961, 2, 935.
  • Ireland, W.W. (1887). On idiocy and imbecility. D&A Churchill.
  • Little, W.G. (1862). On the Influence of Abnormal Parturition Difficult Labours, Premature Birth and Asphyxia Neonatorum on the Mental and Physical Conditions of the Child, Especially in Relation to Deformities. Trans. Obst. Soc, 3, 293-347.
  • Penrose L S. (1961). Mongolism. Brit. Med. Bull, 17, 184-189.
  • Shuttleworth, G.E. (1886). Clinical Lecture on Idiocy and Imbecility. BMJ, 1, 183-6.
  • Tanner, T.H. & Meadows, A. (1879). Diseases of Infancy and Childhood. Renshaw, London.
  • Treadgold, A. (1903). Amentia Practitioner, 2, 354-382.
  • Ward, O. Conor. (1997). Langdon Down's 1864 Case of Prader Willi Syndrome. J. Roy. Soc. Med, 90, 694-6.
  • Ward, O. Conor. (1998). John Langdon Down, a caring pioneer. Royal Society of Medicine Press, London.
  • Ward, O. Conor. (in press). John Langdon Down (1828 - 1896). In F. Clifford Rose (Ed.). A Short History of Neurology, Butterworth.

*John Langdon Haydon Down changed his name by deed poll in 1868 to John Langdon Haydon Langdon-Down.


John Langdon (1741 - 1819)

John Langdon was born June 26, 1741, on the family farm located at the head of Sagamore creek, a short distance east from Sagamore road, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. [1] John was the third child and second son of Captain John Langdon, Sr. and Mary Woodbury Hall. His father was a landowner, farmer and local ship builder. His mother was from two prominent New Hampshire mercantile families and descended from Thomas Dudley, Massachusetts Bay colony's second governor.

John Langdon's great grandfather, Tobias Langdon, Sr., was born about 1631 in Sheviock, Caradon, Cornwall, just a few miles from the port city of Plymouth. He emigrated to New England in his early 20's and settled north of Boston near the mouth of the Piscataqua River, which became a major sea port. In June 1656, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Sherburne, a 1632 immigrant from Hampshire operator of the first Piscataqua ferry and owner of a tavern [aka "an ordinary" ] where he served food at "8d a meale" (8 pence). In 1658 John had an acre of land granted to him. [2]

Young John Langdon attended the local grammar school (Major Hale's School) in Portsmouth. When still a teenager, he served an apprenticeship as a clerk for a nearby merchant, Daniel Rindge. He and his older brother, Woodbury (b. 1739), apprenticed themselves to local naval merchants. John planned a mercantile sea-trading career and was very successful, trading along the New England coast down to Virginia, to the British West Indies and to England. At just 22 years old he was already captain of the Andromache, sailing to Barbados [3] four years later he bought his first merchant vessel, engaging in the so-called "Triangle Trade" between England, Portsmouth and the Caribbean. Before he was 35 he had become one of the area's wealthiest citizens. [4]

On February 3, 1776, in Portsmouth, he married his distant cousin Elizabeth, born 1759, the only daughter of John Sherburne and Elizabeth Moffatt. They had just one daughter, Elizabeth Langdon, born December 4, 1777, in Portsmouth. She married Thomas Elwyn July 16, 1797, in Portsmouth NH. They had several children and lived in Portsmouth. [5]

England's increasingly-restrictive tax policies hurt Langdon's shipping interests and his colony's economy. Proud of New England 's accomplishments, like his older brother, he entered politics hoping to take control over America's economic affairs away from London. From 1772 he joined a number of patriot committees and assemblies designed to further cooperation among the colonies so as to present a united front facing English bureaucrats and the crown. In December 1774 he led an armed group that confiscated ammunition from the English garrison guarding Portsmouth's harbor after learning that King George III had banned further exports of arms and powder to British North America. It was the first armed colonial action against British troops and, with the Boston Tea Party, signaled the start of the American Revolution.

John Langdon participated in the Second Continental Congress in 1775-76 in Philadelphia but gave up his seat, returning to New Hampshire where he joined his colony's House of Representatives, while devoting most of his energy and money to building three colonial naval frigates, including the "Ranger," put under the command of John Paul Jones. In 1777, after British victories in New York and Pennsylvania, he used his personal fortune to equip a military expedition to defend New England, commanding a company called "Langdon's Light Horse Volunteers" that helped defeat General Burgoyne's army at Saratoga. He also saw action in Rhode Island. At the same time he was continental agent for New Hampshire and Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1777-1782).

With America's independence won, John Langdon first turned his attention to organizing local government in his New Hampshire home, serving two terms as "President of New Hampshire," between 1785 and 1789. [6] In 1784 he built a beautiful Georgian-style mansion in Portsmith as his primary residence. [7] He also participated in the USA's founding Constitutional Convention in 1786-1787 and signed the new Constitution. Although a Jeffersonian, not a Federalist, he supported the Constitutional framework of government and worked hard to ensure New Hampshire's ratification. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify, marking the 2/3-of-the-13-States majority required for that historic document to become the law of the land.

In November 1788 he was elected to the US Senate the Senate in turn elected John Langdon as the first President pro tempore of the United States Senate. [8] In this role he oversaw the first national Presidential election and was given the honor of personally informing his friend, General George Washington, of his victory. On April 30, 1789, John Langdon administered the oath of office to President Washington and Vice President John Adams, now a duty of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (not yet appointed then).

In 1801 Langdon resigned his US Senate seat and returned to the New Hampshire state legislature, serving from 1801 to 1805, before serving six one-year terms as Governor during the period June 1805 - June 1812. In 1805 Dartmouth University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Law degree. In 1812 he refused James Madison's request that he be nominated for Vice President of the United States, citing his advancing years. He retired from public service to his elegant Portsmouth mansion on Pleasant Street and died there September 18, 1819. He was buried on September 20 in the Langdon family vault at Portsmouth's North Cemetery. [9]

Death

Stories about John Langdon

Although less well known than his contemporaries and colleagues like John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, or George Washington, John Langdon of New Hampshire was an important American patriot and contributor to the success of both the American Revolution and the government of the United States, under its 1787 Federal Constitution. The following two stories told about him demonstrate the depth of his commitment to the American cause of "Liberty and Justice for All".

In 1777 at one of the lowest morale times of the entire Revolutionary War, after significant British victories and a real threat by General Burgoyne to split the colonies by occupying New York and the Hudson Valley, John Langdon stood up in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, meeting in Exeter, and said:

"I have two thousand dollars in specie, I will pledge my plate for as much more, I have eighty hogsheads of Tobago rum which will be sold for the service of the State. The country shall have it all, if we succeed in establishing our liberty I shall be repaid if not, property is of no value. " [11]

This courageous speech, which John Langdon backed with cash, allowed New Hampshire to equip a vounteer company, led by General John Stark, that helped defeat the British at Bennington in August 1777 and later contributed to General Burgoyne's decisive defeat at Saratoga that autumn. Saratoga was a key factor in France's decision to ally itself with the American rebels, an important contribution to the final American victory in 1783.

The second story of John Langdon's moral integrity and dedication to liberty is less well known and less public. From 1790 to 1800, during George Washington's Presidency, the US capital was in Philadelphia. Washington and his wife, as well-to-do Virginians, had always held black slaves at their Mount Vernon estate and plantation. When elected President, they naturally selected some household slaves to accompany them. A young mulatto woman named Oney Judge, whose father had been an English indentured servant, was chosen by Martha Washington as her pesonal maid. [12]

In 1788 Pennsylvania had adopted an anti-slavery law that stated that any slave-holder who established residence and kept his or her slaves for 6 continuous months in the state would lose them and they would be free. To get around this, President Washington began the practice of rotating his domestic slaves at least once a year back to Virginia. In 1796, when it was Oney's turn to be sent back, she escaped to Portsmouth NH by boat. New Hampshire opposed slavery and no one would send her back to it.

In 1798, however, George Washington asked his nephew, Burwell Bassett Jr., who was going to New Hampshire on business, to kidnap Oney Judge and any children she might have (under Virginia law they too were slaves) there. When Senator Langdon found out about this plan from Bassett himself, who mentioned it at a dinner party, he secretly sent word via one of his household staff to Oney to warn her. His warning gave her time to escape from Portsmouth, gaining refuge with a free black family in another New Hampshire town. Bassett had to return to President & Mrs. Washington without her, much to his and the President's dismay. It was a small incident but one that foreshadowed the rising tensions between the free abolitionist North and the slave-holding South, a conflict that would require a second, much bloodier, war on American soil to resolve. Again, John Langdon acted on the side of Liberty despite the personal cost of his friendship with the President.


History of Down's Syndrome

Down's Syndrome is a genetic condition which is the commonest identifiable cause of intellectual disability, accounting for almost one third of cases. It occurs equally in all races with an overall incidence rate of approximately 1 in 800 births.

Conor Ward (Republic of Ireland)

John Langdon Down (1828 - 1896) and Down's Syndrome

The designation Down's syndrome originated in the decision by the Editor of the Lancet in 1961 to opt for this description for the condition previously described as Mongolian Idiocy. A group of 20 of the world's leading geneticists had written suggesting that the condition be known henceforth as Langdon Down Anomaly, Down's Syndrome, or Anomaly or Congenital Acromicria. The designation was confirmed by the World Health Organisation in 1965.

Langdon Down was a brilliant medical student in the London Hospital and after two years as the hospital obstetric resident he was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Royal Earlswood Asylum for Idiots in Redhill, Surrey in 1856.

While in post he also identified other disorders including Prader Willi Syndrome. In 1866 he opened his own private residential centre in Normansfield. This catered for a wide range of intellectual disabilities. His main publication on intellectual disability was in the Lettsomian Lectures which he delivered for the Medical Society of London in 1887.

John Langdon Down was the youngest son of a village grocer in Torpoint in Cornwall. He worked in his father's shop until he was 18 years old. Having first qualified in pharmacy he entered the London Hospital Medical School at the age of 25 where he was a triple gold medallist. Immediately after taking his degree he was appointed Medical Superintendent of the Royal Earlswood Asylum of Idiots. In parallel he was appointed Assistant Physician at the Royal London Hospital.

At Earlswood he was influenced by Dr John Conolly, the reformer of psychiatric hospitals and Official Visitor to Earlswood. Conolly wished to pursue the correlation between the external contours of the skull and specific intellectual and psychological characteristics.

Langdon Down began by examining the palates and tongues of the residents and in his 1862 report he said "in 16 cases the tongue presented a sodden appearance and exhibited transverse furrows on its dorsal surface in all these patients one is able to trace a marked physiological and psychological agreement. So much do they resemble one another that they might readily be taken for members of the same family. Twelve appear to have very large tongues which in most cases interfered with speech." This was the first indication that he had identified a specific group of patients with unique physical characteristics.

He pursued the project for the identification of skull shapes in several ways. In 1862 and in 1865 he photographed a large number of patients. Over 200 of his black and white negatives have survived. In his definitive publication in what he described the ethnic classification of idiots in 1866, he pointed to the physical features of patients whom he described as Caucasian, Ethiopian, Malayan, American Indian and Mongolian. It was the last of these categories which encompassed the first description of what is now known as Down's syndrome.

He wrote: "It is to this division I wish, in this paper to draw special attention. The very large number of congenital idiots are typical mongols. So marked is this that when placed side by side it is difficult to believe that the specimens compared are not children of the same parents. The number of idiots who have arranged themselves around the Mongolian type is so great and they present such a close resemblance to one another in mental power that I shall describe an idiot member of this racial division selected from the large number who have fallen under my observation.

The face is flat and broad and destitute of prominence. The cheeks are roundish and extended laterally. The eyes are obliquely placed and the internal canthi more than normally distanced from one another. The palpebral fissure is very narrow. The tongue is long, thick and much roughened. The nose is small. The skin has a slight dirty yellowish texture and is deficient in elasticity, giving the impression of being too large for the body." He went on to observe that the co-ordination was poor, the circulation is feeble and there is a tendency to delay in development during the winter, suggesting that in some of his patients there was concurrent thyroid deficiency.

He noted that this group of patients responded very well to training, doing better than would be expected. Their life expectancy however was below average and there was a tendency for the development of tuberculosis.

In 1876 he specifically identified the fold of skin at the inner corner of the eyes which he described as epicanthic folds and he also noted that the ear was usually placed further back in relation to the head and face than in normal children.

It was not until 1959 that Lejeune and colleagues discovered the extra chromosome 21 which was the underlying abnormality in Down's syndrome. Very little new was added to the clinical description of the condition apart from the description of single transverse crease in the palm noted by John Langdon Down's son Reginald in 1908 and the characteristic grey spots on the iris of the eye noted by Brushfield in 1924.

Article published in 2002. Reviewed in 2019 content continues to be relevant.


Govenor John Langdon House

Governor John Langdon House is an exceptional Georgian mansion which George Washington &ldquoesteemed the first&rdquo in Portsmouth. Its reception rooms are of a grand scale suited to ceremonial occasions and are ornamented by elaborate wood carving in the Rococo style. John Langdon was a merchant, shipbuilder, Revolutionary War leader, signer of the United States Constitution, and three-term governor of New Hampshire. He built this impressive home to express his status as Portsmouth's leading citizen.

After Langdon's death in 1819, the house was occupied by other leading families, and at the end of the nineteenth century, Langdon descendants purchased the house and restored it to its eighteenth-century appearance. They added onto the rear of the house a substantial wing designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White to house modern necessities.

Visitors to the house learn about the history of Portsmouth through the life of John Langdon and others who lived here. The house tells the story of the early colony of New Hampshire, the glory days of the city&rsquos mercantile boom, and the Colonial Revival movement that blossomed in Portsmouth during the early twentieth century.

Open
Friday &ndash Sunday, June 1 &ndash October 27
11:00 a.m. &ndash 5:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.
Closed July 4

The Governor John Langdon House is a Historic New England property.

Top photo: Governor John Langdon House - Governor John Langdon House is an exceptional Georgian mansion which George Washington &ldquoesteemed the first&rdquo in Portsmouth. Its reception rooms are of a grand scale suited to ceremonial occasions and are ornamented by elaborate wood carving in the Rococo style.

Bottom photo:Entry hall - The ornate carvings and large dimensions both inside and outside the house are unmistakable symbols of John Langdon&rsquos wealth and status. This stairway is attributed to Piscataqua joiner Ebenezer Clifford, although the house construction was supervised by local master joiners Michael Whidden and Daniel Hart. The latter two men were also employed by Langdon at his shipyard. While the traditional Georgian design of a wide center hallway, running the length of the house with a center arch is easily recognized in Portsmouth, the elaborate woodwork can only be found in the Langdon House. The balusters framing the stairway are of a traditional Portsmouth design and feature fluted spiral and fluted turnings.


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    Connections: A World History, Third Edition is also available via REVEL ™ , an immersive learning experience designed for the way today's students read, think, and learn. Learn more .

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    • UPDATED! Coverage of early migration to the Western hemisphere and recent historical developments.
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    John Mitchell Langdon, 1852-1950 [RG4241.AM]

    John Mitchell Langdon, son of (Joshua) Milton and Anna (Mitchell) Langdon was born in Janesville, Rock County, Wisconsin in 1852. With his family, he came to the Salt basin area of Lancaster County in 1858. Milton Langdon manufactured salt in the early 1860s and later became the first Lancaster County treasurer. In 1872, the Langdon family moved to Seward County, settling in "A" Pct., in what was known as the Oak Grove settlement. Here Milton went into the lime and brick manufacturing business. In 1882, two years after the death of his father, John M. Langdon moved to Seward where he purchased a home and took care of his mother until her death in 1884. He married Lucy Manning daughter of Edward and Alice Manning on December 10, 1885. One daughter, Grace, was born to them.

    SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

    This collection consists of one box of manuscript material arranged in two series: 1) Reminiscences and 2) Genealogical material. This collection relates primarily to John Langdon's memories of life on the Nebraska frontier in the late 1850s, 1860s and early 1870s when his family was among the earliest settlers in Lancaster County. The reminiscences of Series 1 were written by John M. Langdon in the 1940s. Recalling life around the salt basin area of Lancaster County, Langdon described hardships experienced by the pioneers, the frontier environment, lifestyles of early settlers, and experiences with Indians. Langdon's writings are either in handwritten or typescript form. All of the reminiscences are photocopies from the original handwritten or typescript version. The Genealogical Material (also photocopies) of Series 2 consists of lineage sheets and correspondence pertaining to the Langdon and related families.

    Note: See the photo component [RG4241.PH] for related images.

    Series 1 - Reminiscences (photocopies)

    1. Listing of John M. Langdon writings
      General information of family (typescript)
      Letter to Grace Langdon (handwritten)
      Shooting The Dip (3 versions: 1 handwritten and 2 typescripts)
    2. Making or Building a Dug-Out (handwritten and typescript)
      The Flood (typescript)
      Protecting a neighbor (typescript)
      A Tense Moment (typescript)
      Fruits, Vegetables and Wild Life (typescript)
      Playing With the Indian Boys (typescript)
    3. An Indian Scare (handwritten)
      An Old Time Blizzard (typescript)
      Treachery and Revenge (typescript)
      In Out of the West (typescript)
      A Sunrise Service (typescript)
      Raw Hide Creek (typescript)
      Learning to Swim (typescript)
      Lost on the Prairies (typescript)
      The Scout (typescript)
      Buffalo Saddles (handwritten and typescript of excerpt)
    4. The Salt Basins (handwritten and typescript of excerpt)
      Mother's Heating Store (typescript)
      Getting Settled in a New Country (typescript)
      Father and Mother Go Calling (typescript)
      The Passing of the Indian (handwritten and typescript of excerpt)
    5. The Passing of the Indian, Part II (handwritten and typescript of excerpt)
      The Buffalo (typescript)
      Buffalo Meat (typescript)
      A Buffalo Stampede (typescript)
      The Homesteader (typescript)
      The Scout (typescript)
      How a Salt Furnace Was Made (typescript)
      Fishing (typescript)
    6. The Settlement (handwritten and typescript of excerpt)
      During a Blizzard (typescript)
      How people Freeze to Death (handwritten and typescript of excerpt)
      An Old-Fashioned Fireplace (typescript)
    7. The Indian's Bow and Arrow (typescript)
      Father and Mother Go Calling (handwritten)
      The Indian and His Family (handwritten)

    Series 2 - Genealogical Material (photocopies)

    ADDED ENTRIES:

    Bison -- Nebraska
    Frontier and pioneer life -- Nebraska
    Indians of North America
    Lancaster County (Neb.) -- History
    Langdon, John Mitchell, 1852-1950
    Langdon, (Joshua) Milton, 1823-1880
    Langdon family
    Lincoln (Neb.) -- History
    Reminiscences
    Saline lands -- Nebraska
    Sod houses -- Nebraska


    Langdon, John - History

    Langdon, who stood out at the Convention despite his late arrival, was a politician and businessman who had enthusiastically backed the patriot cause during the War for Independence He also enjoyed long and fruitful careers in New Hampshire and national politics.

    Langdon was born in 1741 at or near Portsmouth, N.H. His father, whose family had emigrated to America before 1660, was a prosperous farmer who sired a large family. The youth's education was intermittent. He attended a local grammar school, worked as an apprentice clerk, and spent some time at sea. Eventually he went into the mercantile business for himself and prospered.

    Langdon, a vigorous supporter of the Revolution, sat on the New Hampshire committee of correspondence and a nonimportation committee. He also attended various patriot assemblies. In 1774 he participated in the seizure and confiscation of British munitions from the Portsmouth fort.

    The next year, Langdon served as speaker of the New Hampshire assembly and also sat in the Continental Congress (1775-76). During the latter year, he accepted a colonelcy in the militia of his State and became its agent for British prizes on behalf of the Continental Congress, a post he held throughout the war. In addition, he built privateers for operations against the British—a lucrative occupation.

    Langdon also actively took part in the land war. In 1777 he organized and paid for Gen. John Stark's expedition from New Hampshire against British Gen. John Burgoyne and was present in command of a militia unit at Saratoga, N.Y., when the latter surrendered. Langdon later led a detachment of troops during the Rhode Island campaign, but found his major outlet in politics. He was speaker of the New Hampshire legislature from 1777 to 1781. In 1777, meantime, he had married Elizabeth Sherburne, who was to give birth to one daughter.

    In 1783 Langdon was elected to the Continental Congress the next year, to the State senate and the following year, as president, or chief executive, of New Hampshire. In 1784 he built a home at Portsmouth. In 1786-87 he was back again as speaker of the legislature, and during the latter year for the third time in the Continental Congress.

    Langdon was forced to pay his own expenses and those of Nicholas Gilman to the Constitutional Convention because New Hampshire was unable or unwilling to pay them. The pair did not arrive at Philadelphia until late July, by which time much business had already been consummated. Thereafter, Langdon made a significant mark. He spoke more than 20 times during the debates and was a member of the committee that struck a compromise on the issue of slavery. For the most part, his sympathies lay on the side of strengthening the national Government. In 1788, once again as State president (1788-89), he took part in the ratifying convention.

    From 1789 to 1801 Langdon sat in the U.S. Senate, including service as the first President pro tem for several sessions. During these years, his political affiliations changed. As a supporter of a strong central Government, he had been a member of the Federalist Party, but by the time of Jay's Treaty (1794) he was opposing its policies. By 1801 he was firmly backing the Democratic-Republicans.

    Because New Hampshire did not provide funds, its two delegates, John Langdon and Nicholas Gilman, did not arrive at the Convention until July 23, 1787, and had to pay their own way. Rhode Island was the only State not represented, as this extract from a Philadelphia newspaper also indicates. ( Pennsylvania Journal (Philadelphia), May 30, 1787. Library of Congress.)

    That year, Langdon declined Jefferson's offer of the secretaryship of the Navy. Between then and 1812, he kept active in New Hampshire politics. He sat again in the legislature (1801-5), twice holding the position of speaker. After several unsuccessful attempts, in 1805 he was elected as Governor and continued in that post until 1811 except for a year's hiatus in 1809. Meantime, in 1805, Dartmouth College had awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree.

    In 1812 Langdon refused the Democratic-Republican Vice-Presidential nomination on the grounds of age and health. He enjoyed retirement for another 7 years before he died at the age of 78. His grave is at Old North Cemetery in Portsmouth.

    Drawing: Pastel (ca. 1795-1800) attributed to James Sharples, Sr. Independence Nation al Historical Park.


    Langdon, John - History

    Date of Birth: June 26, 1741

    Date of Death: September 18, 1819

    Schooling: Local schools, Honorary LLD from Dartmouth 1805

    Occupation: Ship builder/owner, Public Security Interest, Leading and Investments, Merchant

    Prior Political Experience: Continental Congress 1775-1776, New Hampshire Legislature 1777-1781 & 1786-1787, New Hampshire Senate 1784, Confederation Congress 1787, Governor of New Hampshire in 1785

    Committee Assignments: Committee of Slave Trade, Committee of Trade, Committee of Assumption of State Debt

    Convention Contributions: Arrived July 23, present through the signing of the Constitution. Arrived too late to participate in the debate over representation of states. Helped draft the compromise on the slave trade. William Pierce stated that "Mr. Langdon possess a liberal mind, and a good plain understanding." [Editor's Note: Mr. Pierce left the Convention on July 2 and never returned. Mr. Langdon did not arrive until July 23. Accordingly, it is difficult to tell when and how Mr. Pierce's character sketch was written.]

    New Government Participation: Supported the ratification of the Constitution. Served as Senator (1789 - 1801) for New Hampshire. Secretary of the Navy during the War of 1812.

    Biography from the National Archives: Langdon was born in 1741 at or near Portsmouth, NH. His father, whose family had emigrated to America before 1660, was a prosperous farmer who sired a large family. The youth's education was intermittent. He attended a local grammar school, worked as an apprentice clerk, and spent some time at sea. Eventually he went into the mercantile business for himself and prospered.

    Langdon, a vigorous supporter of the Revolution, sat on the New Hampshire committee of correspondence and a nonimportation committee. He also attended various patriot assemblies. In 1774 he participated in the seizure and confiscation of British munitions from the Portsmouth fort.

    The next year, Langdon served as speaker of the New Hampshire assembly and also sat in the Continental Congress (1775-76). During the latter year, he accepted a colonelcy in the militia of his state and became its agent for British prizes on behalf of the Continental Congress, a post he held throughout the war. In addition, he built privateers for operations against the British—a lucrative occupation.

    Langdon also actively took part in the land war. In 1777 he organized and paid for Gen. John Stark's expedition from New Hampshire against British Gen. John Burgoyne and was present in command of a militia unit at Saratoga, NY, when the latter surrendered. Langdon later led a detachment of troops during the Rhode Island campaign, but found his major outlet in politics. He was speaker of the New Hampshire legislature from 1777 to 1781. In 1777, meantime, he had married Elizabeth Sherburne, who was to give birth to one daughter.

    In 1783 Langdon was elected to the Continental Congress the next year, to the state senate and the following year, as president, or chief executive, of New Hampshire. In 1784 he built a home at Portsmouth. In 1786-87 he was back again as speaker of the legislature and during the latter year for the third time in the Continental Congress.

    Langdon was forced to pay his own expenses and those of Nicholas Gilman to the Constitutional Convention because New Hampshire was unable or unwilling to pay them. The pair did not arrive at Philadelphia until late July, by which time much business had already been consummated. Thereafter, Langdon made a significant mark. He spoke more than 20 times during the debates and was a member of the committee that struck a compromise on the issue of slavery. For the most part, his sympathies lay on the side of strengthening the national government. In 1788, once again as state president (1788-89), he took part in the ratifying convention.

    From 1789 to 1801 Langdon sat in the U.S. Senate, including service as the first President pro tem for several sessions. During these years, his political affiliations changed. As a supporter of a strong central government, he had been a member of the Federalist Party, but by the time of Jay's Treaty (1794) he was opposing its policies. By 1801 he was firmly backing the Democratic-Republicans.

    That year, Langdon declined Jefferson's offer of the Secretaryship of the Navy. Between then and 1812, he kept active in New Hampshire politics. He sat again in the legislature (1801-5), twice holding the position of speaker. After several unsuccessful attempts, in 1805 he was elected as governor and continued in that post until 1811 except for a year's hiatus in 1809. Meanwhile, in 1805, Dartmouth College had awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree.

    In 1812 Langdon refused the Democratic-Republican Vice-Presidential nomination on the grounds of age and health. He enjoyed retirement for another 7 years before he died at the age of 78. His grave is at Old North Cemetery in Portsmouth.


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