Page images

Soil and Productions.] On the fea-coaft, and many places inland, the foil is fandy, but affords good pafturage. The intervals at the foot of the mountains are greatly enriched by the frefhets which bring down the foil upon them, forming a fine mould, and producing corn, grain, and herbage in the most luxuriant plenty. The back lands, which have been cultivated, are generally very fertile, and produce the various kinds of grain, fruits, and vegetables, which are common to the other parts of NewEngland. The uncultivated lands are covered with extenfive forefts of pine, fir, cedar, oak, walnut, &c.

Manufactures. As this flate is the living magazine of mafts and naval timber, and affords every other material neceffary for fhip-building, that bufinefs may here be carried on extenfively, and to very great advantage. Indeed much was done in this way before the war. A number of merchant veffels, and fome frigates were built annually, and fold in Europe; and in the time of the war, a feventy-four gun fhip was built at Portfmouth. Since the peace, this business has been revived.

Trade. The principal trade of New Hampshire was formerly to the Weft-India fugar-iflands, to which they exported all the various kinds of lumber-hories, cattle, sheep, poultry, falted provifions, pot and pearl' ashes, dried fish, &c and received in return, rum, fugar, molaffes, cocoa, &c. Their thips were ufually fent to the Weft-India iflands for freight to Europe, or to the Bay of Honduras, for logwood; and from thence to Europe, where they were fold. They alfo exported mafts, yards, and fpars for the roval navy of Great-Britain.

Population, Character, E. No actual cenfus of the inhabitants has been lately made. In the Convention at Philadelphia, in 1787, they were reckoned at 102,000.

There is no characteristical difference between the inhabitants of this and the other New-England States. The ancient inhabitants of New-. Hampshire were emigrants from England. Their pofterity, mixed with emigrants from Maffachusetts, fill the lower and middle towns.

Emigrants from Connecticut compofe the largeft part of the inhabitants of the western towns, adjoining Connecticut river. Slaves there are none, Negroes, who were never numerous in New-Hampshire, are all free by the first article of the bill of rights.

Iflands. The Ifles of Shoals are the only iflands in the fea, belonging to New-Hampshire. They are convenient for the Cod-fifhery, which was formerly carried on there to great advantage, but the people are now few and poor.

Indions. There are no Indians in the ftate. The fcattered remains of former tribes, retired to Canada many years fince.

Confitution. The Conflitution of the ftate which was adopted in 1784, is taken, almoít verbatim, from that of Maffachusetts. The principal differences, except fuch as arife from local circumftances, are the following: The tiles of the Conftitutions, and of the fupreme magiftrates in each fate, are different. In one it is GOVERNOR of the COMMONWEALTH Of Maffachusetts,' in the other, PRESIDENT of the STATE of New-Hamp



[ocr errors]

shire.' In each ftate, the fupreme magiftrate has the title of His ExCELLENCY.'

The Prefident of New-Hampshire, like the Governor of Maffachusetts, has not the power of negativing all bills and refolves of the fenate and houfe of reprefentatives, and of preventing their paffing into laws, unless approved of by two-thirds of the members prefent. In New Hampshire the Prefident of the State prefides in the fenate', in Maffachusetts the fenate choose their own Prefident.

There are no other differences worth mentioning, except it be in the mode of appointing militia officers, in which New Hampshire has greatly the advantage of Mailachusetts. See Maffachusetts.

Colleges, Academies, &c.] In the townfhip of Hanover, in the western part of this ftate, is Dartmouth College, fituated on a beautiful plain, about half a mile east of Connecticut River, in latitude 43° 33'. It was named after the Right Honorable William Earl of Dartmouth, who was one of its principal benefactors. It was founded by the late pious and benevolent Dr. Eleazer Wheelock, who, in 1-69, obtained a royal charter, wherein ample privileges were granted, and fuitable provifion made for the education and inftruction of youth, of the Indian tribes, in reading, writing, and all parts of learning which fhould app ar neceffary and expedient for civilizing and chriftianizing the children of Pagans, as well as in all liberal arts and fciences; and alfo of English youths and any others. The very humane and laudable attempts which have been made to chriftianize and educate the Indians, have not, through their native untractableness, been crowned with that fuccefs which was hoped and expected. Its fituation, in a frontier country, expofed it, during the late war, to many inconveniencies, which prevented its rapid progrefs. It flourished, however, amidst all its embarraffments, and is now one of the moft growing feminaries in the United States. It has, in the four claffes, about 150 ftudents, under the direction of a Prefident, two Profeffors, and two Tutors. It has twelve Trustees, who are a body corporate, invefted with the powers neceffary for fuch a body. The library is elegant, containing a large collection of the most valuable books. Its apparatus confits of a competent number of useful inftruments, for making mathematical and philofophical experiments. There are three buildings for the ufe of the ftudents; one of which was erected in 1786, and is not yet finifhed. It is one hundred and fifty feet in length, and fifty in breadth, three ftories high and handfomely built. It has a broad paffage running through its centre from end to end, interfected by three others. In front is a large green encircled with a number of handfome houfes. Such is the falubrity of the air, that no inftance of mortality has happened among the ftudents fince the first eftablishment of the College.

At Exeter, there is a flourishing Academy, under the inftruction of Mr. William Woodbridge; and at Portfmouth a Grammar-School. All the towns are bound by law to fupport schools; but the grand jurors, whose bufinefs it is to fee that thefe laws are executed, are not fo careful as they ought to be in prefenting fins of omiffion.

Churches, &c. The churches in New Hampshire are principally for congregationalifts; fome for Prefbyterians and Baptifts, and one for Epifcopa


M 3

lians. Minifters contract with their parishes for their fupport. No parish is obliged to have a minifter; but if they make a contract with one, they are obliged by law to fulfil it. Liberty is ever given to any individual of a parish to change their denomination; and in that cafe they are liberated from their part of the parish contract.

Damage fuftained in the late war.] The enemy never entered NewHampshire. This is the only flate that efcaped their ravages. Their loffes of men and fhips, damage by depreciation of money and lofs of bufinefs, were felt in proportion as in other states.

Hiftory.] The firft difcovery made by the English of any part of NewHampshire, was in 1614, by Capt. John Smith, who ranged the fhore from Penobscot to Cape Cod; and in this route, difcovered the river Pifcataqua. On his return to England, he published a defcription of the country, with a map of the coaft, which he prefented to Prince Charles, who gave it the name of NEW ENGLAND.

In 1621, Capt. John Mafon obtained from the council of Plymouth, a grant of all the land from the river Naumkeag (new Salem) round Cape Ann, to the river Merrimak, up each of thofe rivers, and from a line connecting the furtheft fources of them inclufively, with all iflands within three miles of the coaft. This district was called Mariana. The next year, another grant was made to Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Mafon jointly, of all the lands between the Merrimak and Sagadahok, extending back to the great lakes of Canada. This grant, which includes a part of the other, was called Laconia.

Under the authority of this grant, in 1623, a fettlement was made at Little Harbour, near the mouth of the Pifcataqua.

In 1629, fome planters from Maffachufetts-Bay, wishing to form a fettlement in the neighbourhood of Pifcataqua, procured a general meeting of the Indians, at Squamfcot falls, where, with the univerfal confent of their fubjects, they purchafed of the Indian chiefs, for a valuable confideration, a tract of land comprehended between the rivers Pifcataqua and Merrimak, and a line connecting thefe rivers, drawn at the distance of about thirty miles from the fea-coaft, and obtained a deed of the fame, witnessed by the principal perfons of Pifcataqua and the Province of Main.

The fame year, Mafon procured a new patent, under the common feal of the council of Plymouth, of all lands included within lines drawn from the mouths and through the middle of Pifcataqua and Merrimak rivers, until fixty miles were compleated, and a line croffing over land connecting thofe points, together with all islands within five leagues of the coaft. This tract of land was called New-Hampshire. It comprehended the whole of the above-mentioned Indian purchase; and what is fingular and unaccountable, the fame land which this patent covered, and much more, had been granted to Gorges and Mafon jointly feven years before.

In 1635, the Plymouth company refigned their charter to the king, but this refignation did not materially affect the patentees under them, as the feveral grants to companies and individuals were moftly confirmed, at fome fubfequent period, by charters from the crown.

In 1640, four diflinct governments had been formed on the feveral branches of Pifcataqua. The people under thefe governments, unprotected by


England, in confequence of her own internal distractions, and too much divided in their opinions to form any general plan of government which could afford any profpect of permanent utility, thought beft to folicit the protection of Maffachufetts. That government readily granted their requeft, and accordingly, in April, 1641, the principal fettlers of Pifcataqua, by a formal inftrument, refigned the jurifdiction of the whole to Maffachusetts, on condition that the inhabitants fhould enjoy the fame liberties with their own people, and have a court of juftice erected among them. The property of the whole patent of Portfmouth, and of one-third of that of Dover, and of all the improved lands therein, was referved to the lords and gentlemen proprietors and their heirs for ever. These refervations were acceded to on the part of Maffachusetts, and what is extraordinary, and manifefted the fondnefs of the government for retaining them under their jurifdicton, a law, of Maffachusetts, declaring that none but church members fhould fit in the general court, was difpenfed with in their favour. While they were united with Maffachusetts, they were governed by the general laws of the colony, and the conditions of the union. were ftrictly obferved. During this period, however, they had to ftruggle with many difficulties. One while involved together with Maffachusetts, in a bloody war with the Indians; and repeatedly disturbed with the warm difputes occafioned by the ineffectual efforts of Mafon's heirs to recover the property of their ancestor. Thefe difputes continued until 1679, when Mafon's claim, though never cftablished in law, was patronized by the crown, and New-Hampshire was erected into a feparate government. Maffachusetts was directed to recal all her commiffions for governing in that province, which was accordingly done. The first commiffion for the government of New-Hampshire, was given to Mr. Cutt, as prefident of the province, on the 18th of September, 1679.

In the year 1691, Mafon's heirs fold their title to their lands in NewEngland, to Samuel Allen, of London, for £2750. This produced new controverfies concerning the property of the lands, which embroiled the province for many years.

In 1692, Colonel Samuel Allen was commiffioned governor of NewHampshire. Eight years after he came over to America to prosecute his claim, but died before the affair was concluded.

The inhabitants about this time fuffered extremely from the cruel barbarity of the Indians; Excter, Dover, and the frontier fettlements, were frequently furprized in the night-the houses plundered and burnt-the men killed and fcalped-and the women and children either inhumanly murdered, or led captives into the wildernefs. The first fettlers in other parts of New-England were alfo, about this time, harraffed by the Indians, and it would require volumes to enumerate their particular fufferings.

In 1737, a controverfy, which had long fubfifted between the two governments of Maffachufetts and New-Hampshire, refpecting their divifional line, was heard by commiffioners appointed by the crown for that purpofe. Thefe commiffioners determined that the northern boundaries of Maffachusetts fhould be a line three miles north from the river Merrimak as far as Pantucket falls, then to run west 10° north, until it meets New-York line. Although Matlachusetts felt themfelves aggrieved by this decifion, and attempted feveral ways to obtain redrefs, the line has M 4


[ocr errors]

never been altered, but is, at prefent, the divifional line between the two ftates. Douglafs mentions, That the governor of Massachusetts, for many years, was alfo governor of New-Hampshire, with a diftinct commiffion.' This must have been many years after New-Hampshire had been erected into a separate government in 1679. He adds that NewHampshire entered a complaint to the king in council against the joint governor, relative to fettling the boundaries between the two provinces. This complaint was judged by the king to have been well founded, and therefore a feparate governor for New-Hampshire was commiffioned anno 1740.'

Although New-Hampshire was under the jurifdiction of the governor of Maffachusetts, yet they had a feparate legiflature. They ever bore a proportionable fhare of the expences and levies in all enterprizes, expeditions, and military exertions, whether planned by the colony or the crown. In every ftage of the oppofition that was made to the encroachments of the British parliament, the people, who ever had a high fenfe of liberty, cheerfully bore their part. At the commencement of hoftilities, indeed, while their council was appointed by royal mandamus, their patriotic ardour was checked by these crown officers. But when freed from this reftraint, they flew eagerly to the American: ftandard when the voice of their country declared for war, and their troops had a large fhare of the hazard and fatigue, as well as of the glory of accomplishing the late re



[blocks in formation]


Between f41° 20′ and 42° 50′ North Latitude.
2° and 5° 30′ East Longitude.

Boundaries.] BOUNDED northwardly by New-Hampshire and Vermont; weft by New-York; fouthwardly by Connecticut, Rhode-Ifland, and the Atlantic; eaft by the Atlantic and Maffachufetts Bay.

Rivers.] Merrimak river, before described, runs through the northeaftern part of this flate. Charles river rifes from five or fix fources, on the fouth-eaft fide of Hopkinton and Hollifton ridge. The main ftream runs north-eaft, then north and north-eastwardly, round this ridge, until, in Natick township, it mingles with Mother-Brook, which is a confiderable branch of Charles river. The river thus formed, runs weftward, tumbling

« PreviousContinue »