Major General John Sullivan (1740 - 1795)
John Sullivan, born 17 February 1740 in Somersworth, New Hampshire, was the son of Irish immigrants John Owen Sullivan and Margery Browne. John had an older brother, Benjamin, who served in the British Navy before the American Revolution, and Benjamin was lost at sea. His three other brothers and himself all served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and John rose to the rank of Major General. He commanded the Sullivan Expedition in 1779 against the Iroquois towns west of New England.
After the war, John Sullivan was a delegate to the Continental Congress, the 3rd Governor of the state New Hampshire, and a US Federal Judge. He married Lydia Worcester and had nine children. He was also the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire. Major General John Sullivan is a celebrated New Hampshire hero. There are many things in New Hampshire named for him including a town, a county, a bridge in Durham, among others.
Major General John Sullivan's brother James (1744 - 1808), Governor of Massachusetts, was married to Mehitable Odiorne. That is an unusual name, except along the New Hampshire seacoast. I'm also an Odiorne descendant, making Mehitable my 2nd cousin, seven generations removed. We both descend from William Odiorn and Agnes Hickins, and from their son, John Odiorne (about 1625 - 1707), who came from Sheviock in Cornwall and settled along the New Hampshire coast at what is now known as Odiorne Point in Rye, New Hampshire.
MAJOR GENERAL JOHN SULLIVAN
--- 1740 - 1795 ---
Revolutionary patriot, soldier, politician, first
Grand Master of Masons in New Hampshire, and
a resident of Durham. He left the Continental
Congress to serve under Washington from
Cambridge to Valley Forge. Commanded at Rhode
Island in 1778 and led campaign against the
Six Nations in New York in 1779. Re-entered
Congress, then served three terms as Governor
of New Hampshire. Led fight for ratification
of U. S. Constitution and became a federal
This state historical marker is on the south side of Route 4, just east of the intersection with Route 108, by the bridge over the falls at Oyster River in Durham, New Hampshire. At one end of the bridge is the memorial to General Sullivan, at the other end is the memorial to the Oyster River Massacre in 1694.
Just behind the Sullivan memorial is the John Sullivan house at 23 Newmarket Street in Durham, New Hampshire. The house is privately owned, but is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built between 1729 and 1741 by Dr. Samuel Adams, and sold to General Sullivan in 1763.
|The John Sullivan House is visible behind the memorial|
IN MEMORY OF
BORN FEB. 17, 1740
DIED JAN. 23, 1795
ERECTED BY THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
UPON THE SITE OF THE MEETING HOUSE
UNDER WHICH WAS STORED THE GUNPOWDER
TAKEN FROM FORT WILLIAM AND MARY
Another curiosity was located on the ground near this monument.... see below!
BENEATH THIS DRIPSTONE
FROM THE FORMER MARSTON HOUSE
THE PEOPLE OF DURHAM ON MAY 21, 1976
DEPOSITED A VAULT TO BE OPENED ON
THIS NATION'S TRI-CENTENNIAL IN 2076
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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo