John Hale

Surgeon John Hale, 1st Regiment N.H. Continental Line

Dr. John Hale was born October 24, 1731 in Sutton, Massachusetts. He was the son of Jonathan and Susannah (Tuttle) Hale. He settled as a physician in Hollis, New Hampshire at about age 24.

His military experience started in the French and Indian War. He was Surgeon’s Mate for the New Hampshire Provincial Regiment under Colonel Joseph Blanchard in 1755. In 1758, Dr. John Hale became Surgeon in the same Regiment now under the command of Colonel John Hart. 

After the war, he served as Representative to the New Hampshire General Court from Hollis and Dunstable from 1762-1768.

In 1767, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in the 5th Regiment of the New Hampshire Militia. In 1775, Dr. John Hale was promoted to Colonel of that Regiment. In addition, Dr. Hale was Representative from Hollis to the New Hampshire General Court in 1775, and also was a member of the New Hampshire Provincial Congress that met in Exeter, New Hampshire in April of 1775. As a member of this Congress, he assisted in inaugurating the measures to organize the New Hampshire Regiments that fought at Bunker Hill.

In much of 1775 and 1776, Dr. John Hale was very engaged in recruiting soldiers and was involved in various councils of the state. On April 2, 1777 Dr. Hale was appointed as the Surgeon for the 1st New Hampshire Regiment, Continental Line. During the Continental Army’s encampment at Valley Forge, Dr. Hale is listed among the Regimental Staff of the 1st New Hampshire as Surgeon. Furthermore, he is marked as “Present” in January 1778, “Furlough” for February-April 1778, and again “Present” for May and June of 1778. He continued in this post until he resigned on January 11, 1780.

After his resignation, he was a member of the New Hampshire Council in 1780. When the war ended, he continued his medical practice in Hollis and enjoyed being a distinguished citizen of the town for his many years of service to his country and state. Dr. John Hale died October 22, 1791.

Dr. John Hale’s sister, Abigail, was the wife of Colonel William Prescott, who achieved great fame at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Dr. Hale’s three sons: John Hale, Jr., David Hale, and William Hale all served in the American Revolution. His sons, John Hale, Jr. served a three year enlistment in the 1st New Hampshire, Continental Line, and after his discharge studied medicine with his father and succeeded him in his practice.  

Sources: Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, (Baltimore, 1914), 204; Frederic Kidder, History of the First New Hampshire Regiment in the War of the Revolution (Albany, 1868), 111-12; New England Historic, Genealogical Society, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 31 (1877): 23; Samuel Thomas Worcester, History of the Town of Hollis, New Hampshire, from Its First Settlement to the Year 1879 (Nashua, 1879), 211; Selected Wartime Service Records for Surgeon John Hale.