Live Free or Die
The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809. Stark was New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War. His poor health forced him to decline an invitation to a reunion of the Battle of Bennington. He sent his toast by letter:
- Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.
The motto was enacted at the same time as the state emblem, on which it appears.
- "CHAPTER 3 STATE EMBLEMS, FLAG, ETC". www.gencourt.state.nh.us.