Friday, March 7, 2014

America’s First Military Dog? Sgt. Beaubien

"Sergeant Beaubien" by historical artist John Buxton
depicts Rangers on patrol overlooking Lake George.
On the right is William Stark with his famous dog "Beaubien"

Captain William Stark was a member of Roger’s Rangers, and elder brother to General John Stark who was so famous during the American Revolution.  (Gen. Stark coined the famous phrase “Live Free or Die” which became the New Hampshire state motto).   Both Stark brothers were born at the Stark homestead on Stark Road in Derry, New Hampshire (then known as Londonderry).  Each brother took a different side during the American Revolutionary War, but served together in the French and Indian War.  

William Stark adopted a wolf hybrid dog from a French Canadian officer, and he named him Sergeant Beau de Bien.  He entered the dog into the muster roll of the Rangers, and he earned Sergeant’s pay as a scout.  The men called the dog “Beaubien”.  This famous dog was beloved by the Rangers and his story is now part of New Hampshire history.

“He [Beaubien]lived to a ripe old age and though he never boasted of his deeds he was considered a hero.”   History of Rogers Rangers, by Burt G. Loescher, Volume 1, pages 90-91.

A hearing was held recently in Concord at the statehouse to create a canine veteran’s day to honor service dogs.  Twelve other states have such a holiday.  Richard Holmes, the Derry Town historian recently announced at the Londonderry Historical Society meeting on 25 February 2014 that the first military dog in America was Londonderry’s own Beaubien.  His story could be the symbol of the service dogs from New Hampshire for this new holiday. 

For more information:

“Dogs could be honored with Canine Veteran’s Day”, WMUR TV, 20 February 2014

“Sgt. Beaubien was another Nutfield First" by Rick Holmes, Derry News, March 13, 2014

Sergeant Beaubien, original artwork by John Buxton

My Londonderry friend just wrote a children's book about a military dog, see this link: 

The URL for this post is 

Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. I think the day proposed should include all service animals. Consider "Cher Ami" from WW1.