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Eliphas DOW





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Argument
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 12, 1754
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1705
Victim profile: Peter Clough
Method of murder: Beating with a hoe
Location: Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, USA
Status: Executed by hanging on May 8, 1755

Eliphas Dow (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 public execution.

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.



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