About one year after moving into the large house on Fore Street (now Market Street) with her father, Katharine Moffatt was quietly married to her cousin William Whipple. The couple did not make the union public until well after people began to notice that Katharine was pregnant, at which point William Whipple joined the Moffatt household, bringing with him an impressive array of sophisticated furniture and his enslaved manservant, Prince. In 1773, the couple lost their only child, William Jr., at the age of eleven months. They raised their nephew John Tufton Moffatt until he departed for Demarara in October 1779, and their niece Mary Tufton (Polly) Moffatt until she married Nathaniel Haven in 1786 at the age of 17. Due to John Moffatt's failing eyesight and advancing deafness, he relied on his nephew and new son-in-law William Whipple to take care of the property and to help him with his business affairs. As William became increasingly embroiled in the Revolutionary cause, some of these responsibilities devolved upon Katharine, which proved her to be a savvy businesswoman. Whipple served on Portsmouth's Committee of Safety, was on the delegation sent by the town of Portsmouth to the new Revolutionary Assembly, and was chosen as one of New Hampshire's representatives to the Continental Congress in which capacity he served form 1774 until 1779.
According to family legend, after signing the Declaration of Independence William returned to Portsmouth with a handful of horse chestnuts from Philadelphia, one of which he and Prince planted in the yard in commemoration of his participation in that momentous event. The tree is still standing, some 234 years later. Whipple also held the rank of Brigadier General of the First Brigade of New Hampshire Militia. In 1777, he led the regiment to Saratoga and in 1778, he participated in the abortive Rhode Island Campaign.
In November of 1779, Prince Whipple and Windsor Moffatt (John Moffatt's slave) joined eighteen other men who described themselves as "native of Africa, now forcibly detained in slavery" to petition the legislature of the state of New Hampshire for their freedom. This petition reveals that one or more of the petitioners was not only literate, but well-versed in Revolutionary theory and language. It is possible that this petitioner may have been Prince Whipple, who accompanied William to Philadelphia and undoubtedly overheard much of the rhetoric of the Continental Congress. However, the New Hampshire legislature denied the petition and the men were not given their freedom.
Prince married Dinah Chase, a free woman in 1781, and in late February 1784, William Whipple signed his official manumission papers, allowing Prince to be a free man. Prince continued to work for Katharine Whipple. In 1790 she purchased from Samuel Hobart a parcel of land facing High Street that was adjacent to hers. She gave the use of the lot to Prince and Cuffee Whipple and their wives Dinah and Rebecca. Prince and Cuffee purchased a house and moved it to the site. It was here that Dinah Chase Whipple and Rebecca Whipple conducted the first African Ladies Charitable School.
William Whipple retired from the Continental Congress in 1779, but he did not retire from public life. he continued to serve in the state legislature and was appointed a justice of the Superior Court. When he died in 1785 at the age of only 54, his wife Katharine was devastated. She was left without a husband of the first rank who was esteemed by the entire community, and whom she loved very much. Her father, very weak and feeble, still provided for her, but she was aware that at 93 years of age, he could hardly live much longer. With great foresight, she convinced her father to convey to her a farm on the outskirts of town at "the Plains" in 1779, and in 1784 she persuaded him to bequeath to her the right to live in the mansion house for sixteen years. When John Moffatt died in 1786, he stated in his will that the house was entailed to Samuel Moffatt's eldest surviving son, Samuel R.C. Moffatt and his heirs. Samuel's wife, Sarah Catherine Moffatt, received nothing, but bequests were made to the rest of her children. The house that Sarah Catherine had been living in was sold and she was forced to move. Katharine had indeed made sure she was taken care of, perhaps to the sacrifice of her sister-in-law.
Samuel and Sarah's second daughter, Polly, had married Nathaniel Haven in 1786 and it was Haven who immediately began acting on behalf of his wife and his mother-in-law. He raised questions about how John Moffatt's estate was being handled. The feud between Sarah Catherine Moffatt and Katharine Moffatt Whipple simmered for several years until Sarah's death in 1802. Samuel's children brought suit against Katharine Whipple and eventually won their case, with Nathaniel Haven acting as their proxy and the famous orator Daniel Webster as a consulting lawyer. By the time the affair was settled, Samuel R. C. Moffatt had died, and his wife decided to sell the property. Nathaniel Haven acquired the house in 1818 and the next year conveyed it to his daughter Maria Tufton Haven Ladd, the wife of the merchant Alexander Ladd, for one dollar. The house and surrounding property would remain in the Ladd family until 1911.
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