Provincial? Richard Waldron was prominent in Boston and beyond, too

Although he is best known for his persecution of the three Quaker women missionaries and his mock war game that captured hundreds of Natives, which led in time to the devastating attacks on Cochecho Village and Oyster River as well as decades of violence ending in 1763 with the French and Indian War, Major Richard Waldron (or Walderne, in its alternative spelling) could easily be the subject of a fat biography of his own, if a very resourceful historian would rise to the challenge.

His influence and power ranged far beyond his mills at the great falls of the Cochecho River. He was Speaker of the Massachusetts General Court, or Assembly, for multiple terms and even owned a substantial house in Boston. His ships ranged the seas, where two of his children died doing commerce. And there are good reasons I call him a perfect villain in my book Quaking Dover.

Through him, though, I sense that Dover had some solid connections with the powers in Boston, rather than existing just an outpost on the frontier. It alters my perception of sparsely settled colonial New England.

Just how did he amass so much wealth, especially? Were his leadership skills mostly along the lines of a bully or did he have some sophisticated means of influence?

It’s fair to ask if anyone else cast such a long shadow over New Hampshire’s course or how he would stack up in comparison to better known Boston figures.

Let me be clearer, he could be the subject of a hot book or movie or maybe a mini-series.

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