(b.1705 – d. May 8, 1755) of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire was the
first male executed in New Hampshire. He was convicted of the murder
of Peter Clough, also from Hampton Falls. It appeared, upon evidence,
that a feud had subsisted between them for quite some time.
On 12 December 1754, they accidentally met at the
house of Eliphas' brother Noah Dow. They began to threaten each other,
then Clough challenged Dow to go out of the house to fight. Clough
went outside and Dow followed. Dow picked up his brother's hoe and
struck Clough with a massive blow on the side of the head which
instantly killed him.
Trial and execution
Dow was arrested and went before the Honorable
Judge Meshech Weare. He was committed to the prison in Portsmouth. "At
the February term of Superior Court, he was indicted, tried &
convicted: and sentence was pronounced upon him that he should be
hanged by the neck until he should be dead."
His sentence was ordered to be executed on March
20, 1755. Dow had two reprieves that were allowed until May 8, 1755.
Eliphas pleaded "strictly self defense" at his trial. He was the first
male to be executed in New Hampshire. Many people came out to see the
The exact location of the gallows has been debated
for some time. Some accounts have descriptions of the corner of South
and Sagamore Streets. Some historic accounts have the location of
Ward's Corner. He was hung for about three hours, between the time of
twelve noon until three in the afternoon. His body was buried in the
road a few rods from the gallows, just at the declivity of the hill.
Some written accounts have his name as Eliphaz Dow.