Governor John Langdon House is an exceptional Georgian mansion which George Washington “esteemed the first” in Portsmouth. Its reception rooms are of a grand scale suited to ceremonial occasions and are ornamented by elaborate wood carving in the Rococo style. John Langdon was a merchant, shipbuilder, Revolutionary War leader, signer of the United States Constitution, and three-term governor of New Hampshire. He built this impressive home to express his status as Portsmouth's leading citizen.
After Langdon's death in 1819, the house was occupied by other leading families, and at the end of the nineteenth century, Langdon descendants purchased the house and restored it to its eighteenth-century appearance. They added onto the rear of the house a substantial wing designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White to house modern necessities.
Visitors to the house learn about the history of Portsmouth through the life of John Langdon and others who lived here. The house tells the story of the early colony of New Hampshire, the glory days of the city’s mercantile boom, and the Colonial Revival movement that blossomed in Portsmouth during the early twentieth century.