JOHN STARK (1728-1822) American Revolution brigadier general. WASHINGTON’S NH GENERAL When it comes to New Hampshire heroes, they don’t get any bigger than Gen. John Stark. His statue stands before the state capitol and his legend looms large. Tradition says he coined the famous Granite State motto "Live free or die."

New Hampshire's most famous soldier, Gen. John Stark, the hero of Bunker Hill and Bennington, was the right man in the right place at the right time. His early training with his father in heavy farm work and lumbering operations, his later practice in hunting and trapping, his capture by the Indians and his study of their language and customs, all led to his success as a member of Rogers' Rangers in the French and Indian Wars. This in turn fostered the soldierly quality of leadership that he showed so strongly in the Revolution. He developed an ability to foresee what the enemy would do and to forestall him, thus gaining distinction among Revolutionary officers. Stark's life encompassed the whole revolutionary period, and he was instrumental in the cataclysmic events that produced a free and independent nation.