New Hampshire’s General Jonathan Moulton

General Moulton

The Man

General Jonathan Moulton was considered to be one of the wealthiest men in revolutionary era New Hampshire. He was a successful soldier and businessman. He owned eighty thousands acres in the Hampton area and it is here that he built his home and fathered fifteen children. His Puritan neighbors stated that he must have sold his soul to Satan to have obtained his wealth. Jonathan Moulton was a general of consequence in the colonial wars, but a man not always trusted in other than military matters. A rumor spread that his first wife, Abigail, died before her time, and Jonathan found consolation in his bereavement by marrying her 36 year-old friend. He was fifty years old. One night, the bride was awakened when she felt a cold hand pulling on the wedding-ring that had belonged to the dead Mrs. Moulton. A voice then whispered in her ear, “Give the dead her own.” She jumped out of the bed screaming and discovered that the wedding ring had disappeared. Moulton had given his young new wife all of his deceased wife’s jewelry.

The devil visits Jonathan Bolton

How He Obtained His Wealth, So They Say

Time went on and one evening Jonathan was sitting by his fireplace and was worrying about money. He was always very fond of money. He started muttering to himself, “If only I could have enough gold, I’d sell my soul for it.”  He started hearing something coming down the chimney and an apparition of a tall, thin person all in black stood before him. “Come. You know me said this entity. Is it a bargain?” The general was in complete shock yet, at the same time, thinking about the advantages being offered to him. He asked the entity for proof and suddenly coins started appearing and falling at his feet. He wanted more proof and asked for liquor at which a container was filled with rum. This devil promised to make him the richest man in the area and presented him with a paper to sign. The agreement was that on the first day of every month Jonathan’s boots would be filled with gold. If he attempted any tricks he would pay dearly. He signed the paper and the entity disappeared back up through the chimney.

The Moulton home

Jonathan went out the next day and bought the biggest pair of jack-boots he could find. Moulton became very wealthy and the neighbors were at first amazed which turned to feelings of envy and finally suspicion. Thinking he was especially crafty, Moulton cut the soles from the boots and the floor was knee deep in money since tons of coins were emptied into the huge boots with no overflow. The devil knew exactly what Jonathan was doing and burnt the house to the ground. One story reports that eleven of his children perished in the fire. Moulton assumed the coins would have melted down and that he could recover the gold. He looked everywhere but found nothing. All of his wealth had disappeared. After he died, people again were spreading rumors that the gravesite where he was buried was causing disturbances in the cemetery. His coffin was dug up and found to be empty. In reality General Jonathan Moulton was buried on his property. The below stone is just a memorial. The exactly location of his body on his personal property remains unknown. The rebuilt Moulton House has long been referred to as the Haunted House and even written about by local poet John Greenleaf Whittier. A bedroom is said to be haunted by Moulton’s first wife and slaves who were working in the residence were convinced that the home was haunted. (more here)

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1 Comment

  1. Stephen Moulton

    I remember my grandmother telling me about this story about 60 years ago . Also showing me a small article cut out from a San Francisco newspaper years earlier.


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