Events at The Manse

The Pierce Manse * 14 Horseshoe Pond Lane * Concord, New Hampshire * 03301 * (603) 225-4555


The Brigade Lecture Series is a monthly lecture series that is free and open to the public. Programs are typically held at 2pm on Wednesdays each month May through October (unless otherwise noted) at the Pierce Manse, 14 Horseshoe Pond Land, Concord, NH. Seating is limited. You can download a printable event calendar here

Click Here to watch our events LIVE on YouTube!

​​September 27

Wit and Wisdom—The Forgotten Literary Life of New England Villages
Jo Radner, Freelance Storyteller and Oral Historian

Sponsored by NH Humanities  

Whatever did New Englanders do on long winter evenings before cable, satellite and the internet? In the decades before and after the Civil War, our rural ancestors used to create neighborhood events to improve their minds. Community members male and female would compose and read aloud homegrown, handwritten literary "newspapers" full of keen verbal wit. Sometimes serious, sometimes sentimental but mostly very funny, these "newspapers" were common in villages across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and revealed the hopes, fears, humor and surprisingly daring behavior of our forebears. Jo Radner shares excerpts from her newly published book of the same name about hundreds of these "newspapers" and provides examples from villages in our region.  

Before returning to her family home in western Maine as a freelance storyteller and oral historian, Radner spent 31 years as a professor at American University in Washington, DC, where she taught literature, folklore, women's studies, American studies, Celtic studies, and storytelling. She has published books and articles in all those fields. Most recently, she published Wit and Wisdom: The Forgotten Literary Life of New England Villages, about a 19th-century village tradition of creating and performing handwritten literary newspapers. Radner received her PhD from Harvard University and is a past president of the American Folklore Society and the National Storytelling Network. 

October 25

Founding Fathers: What Were They Thinking?
Richard Hesse, Prof. Emeritus, UNH School of Law
Sponsored by NH Humanities

In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia to address a wide variety of crises facing the young United States of America and produced a charter for a new government. In modern times, competing political and legal claims are frequently based on what those delegates intended. Mythology about the founders and their work at the 1787 Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. Richard Hesse explores the cast of characters called "founders," the problems they faced, and the solutions they fashioned.

Professor Emeritus at the UNH School of Law, Richard Hesse has published on a variety of legal and ethical topics. He served as a community lawyer in Philadelphia, heading a police community relations project before moving to Boston to head a national project focused on the rights of consumers. His academic concentration is on state and federal constitutional law and international human rights. Hesse has been an advocate for civil and human rights for more than 45 years and was twice awarded the Bill of Rights Award by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.


Tuesday, November 21, 10am

Official Remembrance of Franklin Pierce’s 218th Birthday

Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Old North Cemetery with NH National Guard

A graveside wreath laying will commemorate President Franklin Pierce’s 218th birthday in Old North Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire. The wreath is sent annually from the White House and commemorates the president’s date of birth and contributions serving in the country’s highest office. Members of the New Hampshire National Guard and the Pierce Brigade will lay the wreath, present the colors and a salute. Old North Cemetery is located at 141 North State Street in Concord, NH. A reception will follow at the Pierce Manse.


December 16, 10am

Wreaths Across America Ceremony honoring all veterans in the Old North Cemetery

This ceremony coincides with others across the USA remembering the service of all veterans with a Christmas wreath previously placed at each grave.

Volunteers wishing to assist in the placement of wreaths on veteran’s graves are invited to join the Pierce Brigade on Friday, December 15 at 10am in Old North Cemetery, which is located at 141 North State Street in Concord, NH.