The Mary Butler Story

In the History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire, by Duane Hamilton Hurd, published 1885 by JW Lewis & Co., page 787, contains the following text:

"A few days after the battle of Lexington, twelve of the inhabitants of Gilmanton, Lieutenant Ebenezer Eastman at their head, volunteered, and marched forth to the rescue.  This officer, in the absence of the captain, commanded a company at the battle of Bunker Hill, on the 17th of June.  
"There is an interesting story current in this connection, out of which the poet, B.F. Taylor, wove this popular effusion known as "Mary Butler's Ride."  She was the young wife of Lieutenant Eastman. When he hastened to the war she was left alone with a young child. Report soon reached her of the battle of Bunker Hill, and that her husband was among the killed.  She determined to know if it was but flying rumor or serious fact for her.  There were no roads, no guides, but spotted trees; no carriage to convey her; but, mounting her horse, with her infant child on the saddle before her, she struck out for her father's house in Brentwood, a distance at least of forty miles.  When she reached her father's house the news of the battle was confirmed, but no list of the killed or wounded.  Leaving her infant child, she mounted again, and on reaching Charlestown found her husband alive and well."

 
The Reenactment of the Ride of Mary Butler

Chapter members recently presented a program entitled "Mary Butler Rides Again."  Characters shown above are: (left to right) Elaine Bonnette as a soldier; Jean Bengtson as a neighbor lady; Roxana Krueger as Lt. Ebenezer Eastman, and Anne Jollimore as Mary Butler.



1775
THIS BOULDER MARKS THE SITE
OF THE LOG CABIN OF
LIEUT EBENEZER EASTMAN
AND HIS WIFE
MARY BUTLER AT THE TIME OF THE
BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
PLACED BY MARY BUTLER CHAPTER, DAR LACONIA 1922
    To see the boulder:
Take Route 106 south from Laconia, NH; at the junction of Route 106 and Route 140 (Belmont), take Route 140 east towards Gilmanton. Travel 3.2 miles on Route 140 east and on the left is Mary Butler Lane. About 100 yards in on this dirt lane (like an ATV/snowmobile path) you will find Mary Butler Boulder with a white fence on the right side of the path.



The gravesite of Mary Butler Eastman
and her husband Lt. Ebenezer Eastman.
They are buried in Copp Cemetery
on Rte. 107 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

Read about Mary Butler's heroic ride!
Published April 1874 in Scribner's Monthly.

 
   
 

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