Archibald Harris Dunlap by Rev. W. R. Cochrane

Mr. Dunlap comes of strong, sturdy, Presbyterian stock and Scotch ancestry, of which he is a characteristic and worthy representative.

Archibald Dunlap came from the Scotch settlement in Ireland and located in Chester, N. H., in 1740, or a little earlier. He married Martha Neal, whom he found in Chester. She was of Scotch race, and her father, Joseph Neal, was among the Presbyterians that petitioned the legislature, in 1736, to be freed from paying a second tax to support a Congregational minister. The third child of Archibald was Maj. John Dunlap of Revolutionary memory. Maj. John was born in Chester in 1746; married Martha Gilmore; settled in Bedford; was a farmer on a large scale; was a manufacturer of furniture; and acquired a large property. He was a famous military man in his day; and on one occasion entertained his entire regiment at his house, at his own expense. One of the incidents of the day was the rolling out of a barrel of New England rum and setting it on end, staving in the head, and the soldiers were allowed to help themselves to their heart's content.

John Dunlap, son of Maj. John, went to Antrim when a young man, and built at the North Branch village in that town. He married Jennie, daughter of Dea. Jonathan Nesmith, of Antrim, June 26, 1807. He carried on the cabinet-making business at the Branch village many years. About the year 1812 he introduced the manufacture of ladies' and gentlemen's knit underclothing, and made looms for that purpose; and it was probably the first thing of the kind ever known in this state, and was considered a great curiosity. In 1835, Mr. Dunlap put up a factory in South Antrim,—now known as the "silk-factory." He died December 15, 1869, in ripe old age.

Hon. Archibald Harris Dunlap, son of John and Jennie (Nesmith) Dunlap, was born in North Branch village, Antrim, September 2, 1817. He passed through the usual routine of country boys in that day,—hard work the year round, except a few weeks at school in the winter. April 8, 1831, in company with his oldest brother, the late Robert N. Dunlap, of Zanesville, O., he left Antrim to strike out in the world for himself. With a small bundle of effects in one hand and a pilgrim's staff in the other, these two boys started out in the dim light of the early morning for a journey on foot to Nashua,—nearly thirty-five miles. "Harris," as every one then called him, was only thirteen and one half years old when he thus turned his back upon his pleasant cottage home and faced the battle, come as it might. This shows the stuff he was made of. The Scotch grit and zeal and powers of endurance were manifest in that first journey. Painters and poets have dwelt upon subjects far less worthy of remembrance than that boy's march of thirty-five miles, inspired only by the determination to succeed in spite of poverty and toil.

As the weary hours of the forenoon wore away, and they began to feel the strain upon their physical strength, the boys consulted together as they walked, as to what refreshments they could afford. The arguments of the occasion are not handed down; but it was decided, considering the low state of the treasury, that a "glass of brandy apiece would do the most good for the money." (The temperance reform had not reached the people then!) So at the next tavern, just above Mont Vernon, they called for the brandy,—which was brought out in one glass,—and they divided it as fairly as they could. Then they passed on to Amherst, and taking a little solid refreshment, such as a country store ordinarily affords, without brandy, and spending an hour for rest, then they started on the eleven dreary miles that lay between that place and Nashua. The younger boy said he "thought the last five miles never would come to an end;" but they did end, and Nashua was reached late in the afternoon. I have heard Mr. Dunlap say, that, however many better and wiser boys may have reached that city, certainly a more tired one never did than he! Saturday, April 9, his first day in Nashua in which he was to be so prominent, he spent in looking over the place. On the Sabbath, having been brought up to go to meeting and to the Sabbath-school, he attended Mr. Nott's church, of which he had heard in Antrim. He was turned into a side gallery with a lot of boys; but the solemnity of years was upon him as he looked on that large, strange audience on his first Sabbath of absence from home. The impression made upon him will never be forgotten. That day he cast his anchor in with that people, and it has held ever since. The strange country boy that looked and listened with so much feeling that day is now, after fifty years, one of the leading spirits in that church, while nearly all the vast audience he looked upon have passed away! The poor boy reached the highest place! He early became a member of the church; was deacon in the Olive-street church from 1855 till its recent union with the Pearl-street church; was then chosen deacon in the united or Pilgrim church; and was chairman of their building committee in the erection of the new and stately edifice of 1881.

About that time (1831) "Nashua Village" had begun to attract attention. The Nashua Manufacturing Company and the Indian Head Company were completing cotton-mills. In one of those erected by the latter company, Col. William Boardman was setting up the heavy machinery; and for him the boy of whom we write went to work for his board until he could do better. The colonel gave him his dinner, and that was the price of his first half-day's work in Nashua. But that afternoon (Monday, April 10,) Ziba Gay, Esq., manufacturer of machinery, sent for him and engaged him for the summer. The boy of thirteen years, and stranger to all, had found a place in the great machine-shop! Here he staid till the fall of the same year, when he left to enter Franklin Academy, under Prof. Benjamin M. Tyler. Remaining at this institution till the spring of 1832, he returned to Nashua and entered the service of the Nashua Manufacturing Company, where he continued till the fall of 1834. Then, being disabled from active labor by an accident, he left, and entered Francestown Academy, under charge of Prof. Benj. F. Wallace. At the close of the fall term he went home to his native town and attended the winter district school, taught by Edward L. Vose, Esq. Here, in a small unpainted school-house on the southward slope of "Meeting-house Hill," he "graduated" in the early spring of 1835. Whether the "graduating exercises" were of a "high order" the record does not say; but certainly they were as rich with promise as some of greater sound and name. And now, after all this varied and often rough experience, A. H. Dunlap was only seventeen years old! Large in body, sound in mind, fearless, independent, upright, and tested by hard discipline, he was just the man to succeed. At once he returned to Nashua and resumed his place in the mills of the Nashua company, where he remained three years. Then at the age of twenty he was made an overseer in the Indian Head mills. In this business he remained till the spring of 1847, when he was compelled to abandon it on account of failing health. Then he was in trade two years in Franklin, N. H. Then (1849) he returned to Nashua and commenced the garden-seed business, in which he has been very successful, and which he still continues under the firm name of A. H. Dunlap & Sons. "Dunlap's Garden Seeds" are known all over the land.

Mr. Dunlap has had the confidence of the people of Nashua, as shown by the many trusts committed to him, and the offices he has held in the city government. He was a representative from Nashua in the legislature of the state two years, 1869 and 1870. In 1858 he was elected railroad commissioner for three years. In 1864 he was chosen one of the presidential electors for New Hampshire, and had the honor of casting one of the electoral votes for that great and good man, Abraham Lincoln, whom all men now have learned to love and honor. He is one of the directors of the Nashua & Rochester Railroad, and is a trustee of the New Hampshire Banking Company.

He has always cherished a deep interest in his native town, and his address at her centennial celebration, in 1877, was among the best of the many able efforts on that occasion. He aided nobly, both by investigation and by gifts of money, in preparing the recently published History of Antrim.

Mr. Dunlap married Lucy Jane Fogg, of Exeter, August 12, 1841. She was the daughter of Josiah Fogg, of Raymond, and grand-daughter of Maj. Josiah Fogg, who came from Hampton and settled, in 1752, in that part of Chester set off as the town of Raymond in 1764. Maj. Fogg was prominent in Chester before the separation; and paid the highest "parish and state and war tax" in Raymond in 1777. The Fogg family is traced back in England and Wales to the year 1112 A. D. The first of the name in this country was Samuel Fogg, who came to Hampton in 1638.

The children of Hon. A. H. and Lucy J. (Fogg) Dunlap are James H., Georgie A., John F., Abbie J., and Charles H.