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THE YEAR 1830; 





TO THE YEAR 1874; 


Professor in Dartmouth College. 





Entered according to act of Congress in the year 1875, by 


in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

Mtrror OmcB: JOHN B. CLARKE, 



The best historian is he who represents with the greatest fidelity the life 
and spirit of the age he describes. It is not sufficient that what he records 
should be true " for substance ; " it should be relatively as well as absolutely 
true. " History," says Cicero, "is the light of truth." As truth is immuta- 
ble, we should naturally infer that an impartial historian, like Thucydides, 
might write "for eternity;" but, while the facts of the past remain un- 
changed, the opinions of succeeding generations concerning them are modi- 
fied by the progress of knowledge. Hence all history needs frequent revis- 
ion. The oldest records receive the severest criticism. The study of the 
Sanscrit language has shed a flood of light on the affinities and migrations o£ 
early nations. The mythologies and traditions which connect the Orient 
with the Occident have fallen before the victorious march of comparative 
philology. The interpretation of the Rosetta stone, the Ninevite slabs and 
the Babylonian cylinders has restored the lost records of Egypt and Mesopo- 
tamia. The labors of Crtampollion, Lepsius, Layard, Rawlinson, Smith and 
Cesnola have made monumental records more valuable than existing history. 
Every generation receives a new version of old traditions respecting classic 
lands. Greece and Rome often appear in a new dress, and the public ap- 
proves of these antiquarian researches; IVIodern history is subjected to the 
same searching analysis. Readers of the present day are not satisfied with 
the estimate which historians have placed upon the English, French and 
American Revolutions. The motives of men are now deemed better indices 
of character than their actions. The progress of nations depends more upon 
opinions and institutions than upon sieges and battles. The camp and the 
court yield to the imperial sway of new ideas. The rise of Puritanism, in 
the age of Elizabeth, left a deeper impression upon English history than the 
dispersion of the Spanish Annada. The rise of Methodism better deserved 
the notice of the annalist than the battles of Marlborouirh. All writers of 

history must, therefore, look for the origin of great events in the current 
opinions of the age when they occurred. Impressed with these convictions, 
the writer of the following pages has attempted to reproduce the history of 
>fcw Hampshire and trace its institutions, social, political and religious, to 
their true origin. The influence of illustrious men, of distinguished families, 
of dominant parties, of prevailing creeds, has been carefully investigated and 
briefly portrayed. The progress of the state in arts, arms and learning has 
not been overlooked. 

Public opinion seems to call for a new history of the state, i. Because 
all the histories previously written are out of print. 2. Because no ex- 
isting history covers the entire ground. 3. Because the progress of events 
has thrown new light upon the past. 4. Because the history of New Hamp- 
shire is rich in deeds of daring, suffering and heroism surpassing fable. 
5. Because the men of every age require the records of the past to be re- 
vised for their use. 


Chapter I. Characteristics and Symbols of Different Epochs of Civil- 
ization, 9 

Chapter II. Causes of European Enterprise in the Fifteenth and Six- 
teenth Centuries, ii 

Chapter III. The Agents of Modern Enterprise, 13 

Chapter IV. The Results of Modern Enterprise, 14 

Chapter V. Aborigines of America 17 

Chapter VI. Title to the Soil, 22 

Chapter VII. English Chartered Companies 24 

Chapter VIII. Colonies Ancient and Modern 25 

Chapter IX. Early Explorers of the New England Coast, . . .27 

Chapter X. Proprietors of New Hampshire, 29 

Chapter XI. First Settlers of New Hampshire, 32 

Chapter XII. Political and Pecuniary Condition of the Plantations /(J Q 

from 1631 to 1641, 40 

Chapter XIII. Social Condition of the Early Colonists, . . -47 

Chapter XIV. Early Laws of Massachusetts, 49 

Chapter XV. Early Laws of New Hampshire 51 

Chapter XVI. Early Churches of New Hampshire 53 

Chapter XVII. Elements Af Popular Liberty, 55 

Chapter XVIII. Condition of New Hampshire after its Union with 

Massachusetts, 58 

Chapter XIX. Moral Epidemics, 60 

Chapter XX. Philip's Indian War, 65 

Chapter XXI. Revival of Mason's Claim ' . .74 

Chapter XXII. Organization of the New Government, . . -76 
Chapter XXIII. Administration of Justice in the Early History of 

New Hampshire, . . . ' . . . .81 

Chapter XXIV. Administration of Cranfield, S3 

Chapter XXV. Government under Dudley and Andros, . . .87 

Chapter XXVI. King William's War 89 

Chapter XXVII. Civil Policy of New Hampshire during King Wil- 
liam's War, 94 

Chapter XXVIH. Queen Anne's War, 97 

Chapter XXIX. Administration of Governor Shute, .... loi 


Chapter XXX. Emigrants from Ireland, 103 

Chapter XXXI. Origin of the Militia System in 

Chapter XXXII. Lieutenant-Governor Wentworth's Administration, . 118 
Chapter XXXIII. New Hampshire an Independent Royal Province, 118 

Chapter XXXIV. King George's War, 119 

Chapter XXXV. Revival o£ Mason's Claim 128 

Chapter XXXVI. The Representatives of New Towns, . . . 129 

Chapter XXXVII. The Last French War 130 

Chapter XXXVIII. Close of the War and Return of Peace, . . 141 
Chapter XXXIX. Controversy about the Western_Boundary, . . 143 

Chapter XL. Origin of the Revchrrttmafy^VVar, 144 

Chapter XLI. Officers and Ministers in New Hampshire in 176S, . 151 
Chapter XLII. Origin of Dartmouth College, ... . 152 

Chapter XLIII. Early Settlements in Cohos 156 

Chapter XLIV. The Wentworths in New Hampshire, . . . 160 
Chapter XLV. Commencement of Hostilities with England, . . 165 

Chapter XLVr. The Baltle of Bunker Hiil, 167 

Chapter XLVII. Formation of a New Government, .... 169 
Chapter XLVIII. Movements of the Arniv under Washington, dur- 
ing the year 1776, ... . . 172 
Chapter XLIX. Secession in New Hampshire during the last Century, 174 
Chapter L. Military Oper.itions in 1777: Battle of Bennington, . . 1S2 

Chapter LI. Capture of Burgoyne, 1S6 

Chapter LII. Employment of Savages by the English, . . .188 
Chapter LIII. Congregationalism in New Hampshire, . . . 191 

Chapter LIV. Rise of Different Denominations 196 

Chapter LV. Insufficiency of the State and General Governments pre- 
vious to the Adoption of the New Constitutions, . 198 

Chapter LVI. Treatment of Loyalists 200 

Chapter LVH. Heavy Burdens Imposed on the People by the War, 

and the Consequent Discontent, .... 203 

Chapter LVIII. Captain John Paul Jones 206 

Chapter LIX. General John Sullivan, 207 

Chapter LX. The New Constitution and the Parties Formed at its 

Ratification, 209 

Chapter LXI. Condition of New Hampshire after the Adoption of 

the New Constitution, 213 

Chapter LXII. Lands Held by "Free and Common Soccage." . . 217 

Chapter LXHI. Internal Improvements 218 

.Chapter LXIV. Administration of President Bartlett, . . . 224 

^Chapter LXV. Corn-Mills and Saw-Mills 225 

Chapter LXVI. Administration of John Taylor Gilman, . . . 228 
Chapter LXVII. The Early Farm-House with its Furniture and Sur- 
roundings, 235 

Chapter LXVIII. Development of Political Parties 234 

Chapter LXIX. Political Influence of the Clergy of New Hampshire, 238 


Chapter LXX. Puritan Influence in New Hampshire, .... 245 
Chapter LXXI. Internal Condition of New Hampshire from 1805 to 

1S15, 247 

Chapter LXXII. Causes of the Second War with England, . . 249 
Chapter LXXIII. Record of New Hampshire during the War for 

Sailors' Rights, 252 

Chapter LXXIV. The Hartford Convention, 25S 

Chapter LXXV. Domestic Affairs in New Hampshire Preceding and 

During the War for "Sailors' Rights," . . . 259 

Chapter LXXVI. Restoration of Peace, 263 

Chapter LXXVII. Dartmouth College Controversy 26S 

Chapter LXXVIII. The Caucus System, 2S6 

Chapter LXX IX. The Toleration Act 2S7 

Chapter LXXX. Decline of "The Era of Good Feelings," . . 2S9 
Chapter LXXXI. Local Matters in New Hampshire during the Ad- 
ministration of Monroe and Adams, . . . 292 
Chapter LXXXII. Character of Hon. Benjamin Pierce, . . . 300 
Chapter LXXXIII. Population of New Hampshire at Different Pe- 
riods, 302 

Chapter LXXXIV. Money Coined and Printed 303 

Chapter LXXXV. Discovery and Settlement of the White Mountain 

Regions, 307 

Chapter LXXXVI. The Rivers of New Hampshire, . . . .311 
Chapter LXXXVII. Climate and Scenery of New Hampshire, . . 317 

Chapter LXXXVIII. The Isles of Shoals, 323 

Chapter LXXXIX. Influence of Distinguished Families in New 

Hampshire 326 

Chapter XC. The Livermore Familj', 328 

Chapter XCI. the Pickering F.imily 329 

Chapter XCII. The Wj;ave Family 331 

Chapter XCIII. The Bartlett Family 334 

Chapter XCIV. The Webster Family, 335 

Chapter XCV. The Bar of New Hampshire, 33S 

Chapter XCVI. Jeremiah Smith 339 

Chapter XCVII. Ezekiel Webster • . 340 

Chapter XCVIII. Daniel Webster, 34J 

Chapter XCIX. Ichabod Bartlett, 343 

Chapter C. Levi Woodbury 345 

Chapter CI. Common School Instruction 346 

Chapter CII. Academies, 352 

Chapter CIII. Agriculture 35- 

Chapter CIV. Commerce of New Hampshire, 

Chapter CV. The Press, 

Chapter CVI. Banks 300 

Chapter CVII. Manufactures 372 

Chapter CVIII. Railroads, .-g 

Chapter CIX. Geology of New Hampshire, ...'.' '395 
Chapter CX. The Flora and Fauna of New Hampshire, . . .* 404 
Chapter CXI. Undecided Questions in New England History, . . 405 
Chapter CXII. Proper Names in New Hampshire, . . . *. 410 



The temple and the palace are the true symbols of the earliest 
civilization known to history. The king and priest occupy the 
foreground of every old historic picture. The king holds the 
key of power ; the priest the key of knowledge ; and the com- 
mon people are their slaves. The sculptured temples of Elora, 
the buried palaces of Nineveh and Babylon, the magnificent 
ruins of Karnac and the pyramids of Egypt are all monuments 
of royal and sacerdotal oppression. Fear and force then ruled 
the world. The Greeks are the only people of all antiquity that 
made reason supreme in government and religion, ancl thus 
raised the masses of their population from bondage to free- 
dom. They worshiped beauty in the works of nature and in 
the creations of the imagination, and embodied their loftj' ideals 
in sculpture, painting, architecture, poetry, oratory and philoso- 
phy. For a time their bema and theatre became the represen- 
tatives of human progress. Their culture was the inheritance 
of the race ; for they liave been the teachers of all succeeding 
generations. The light of their civilization shone on Rome. 
Reason once more triumphed over brute force. Horace says : 

"When conquered Greece brought in her captive arts, 
she triumphed o'er her savage conquerors' hearts; 
Taught our rough verse in numbers to refine. 
And our rude style with elegance to shine." 

Rome absorbed the blood and treasure of the nations and 
made herself, through war and law, the mistress of the world. 
For twelve hundred years, the camp and forum were the sym- 
bols of her civilization. In the days of her decline Christi- 
anity became a ruling power in the earth ; and during the dark 
ages the monasteiy and castle embodied the power and wisdom 
of Christendom. The histor)- of the monk and the baron is the 
real history of Europe for a thousand years. In England, be- 
tiveen the conquest, A. D. 1066, and the reign of King John, 
during a period of one hundred and fifty years, five hundred and 


fifty-seven religious houses, of all kinds, were established. Hen- 
ry VIII. confiscated three thousand religious houses that yielded 
revenue ; and the castles in his reign were probably as numer- 
ous, for eleven hundred and fifteen were built in the brief reign 
of Stephen. The population of England was then about tsvo 
and a half millions. The religious houses were all richly en- 
dowed. They owned large landed estates, commodious and im- 
posing buildings, with respectable libraries, when a manuscript 
was worth more than a small farm. A single monastery has 
been known to feed five hundred paupers daily for years. At 
that time there was no other provision for the poor. The cas- 
tles of the nobles were impregnable fortresses, surrounded by 
walls and moats, and defended by squadrons of mailed war- 
riors. The feudal system regulated the tenure of land. The 
king and his liege lords owned the entire territory of the king- 
dom ; hence the large landed estates of the English nobility, 
which are often equal, in extent and population, to one of our 
counties. The conquering Normans ruled with an iron sway, 
in church and state ; and the conquered Saxon served with 
abject humility, in war and peace. When the monastery and 
castle lost their imperial power cannot now be accurately de- 
termined. "It is remarkable," says Macaulay, "that the two 
greatest and most salutary social revolutions which have taken 
place in England, that revolution which, in the thirteenth century, 
put an end to the tyranny of nation over nation, and that revolu- 
tion which, a few generations later, put an end to the property of 
man in man, were silently and imperceptibly effected. They 
struck contemporary observers with no surprise and have received 
from historians a very scanty measure of attention. They were 
brought about neither by legislative regulation nor by physical 
force. Moral causes noiselessly effaced, first the distinction be- 
tween Norman and Saxon, and then the distinction between 
master and slave. None can venture to fix the precise moment 
at which either distinction ceased." The gentle influences of 
the gospel proved to be more potent agents of reform than mailed 
barons with their retainers, or Cromwell with his "ironsides." 
.Soon after the union of the Norman and Saxon and the abolition 
of serfdom, the popular mind in Europe was stimulated to in- 
tense activity, by the invention of printing and the mariner's 
compass, by the revival of classical learning and the formation 
of the modern languages. Erom these causes arose the refor- 
mation which gave birth to the Puritans, who founded in the 
wilderness "a church without a bishop and a state without a king" 
and, from that hour, made the school-house and "meeting-house" 
the symbols of modern civilization. Before these modest rep- 
resentatives of American progress the temple and palace, the 


camp and forum, the monastery and castle, all bow down, like 
the sheaves in Joseph's dream, and make obeisance. 



Europe owes her love of liberty to the Greeks, her obedience 
to law to the Romans. On the shores of the /Egean Oriental 
despotism first met, upon the battle-field, European indepen- 
dence. The right triumphed ; and Marathon is dear to us to- 
day, because there the cause of humanity was vindicated. Had 
the setting sun, on that memorable day, gilded the victorious 
banners of Persia, Grecian art, literature, oratory and liberty had 
never existed ; and, for the next two thousand years, Zoroaster 
and the Magi, instead of Socrates and the philosophers, might 
have been the educators of our race. The history of Marathon 
and Yorktown will never lose their interest, down 

"To the last syllable o£ recorded time;" 

because a contrary result, in either case, would have changed 
the destinies of the world. They were decisive battles in the 
history of freedom. The same is true of the battle of Zama, 
where Roman civilization won the victory for the advancing ages, 
and made Rome the world's lawgiver. All ancient history ter- 
minates in the "eternal city ;" and from it all modern history 
takes its departure. Rome has conquered the world three 
times : by her army ; by her literature ; and by her jurisprudence. 
Her last victory was the chief of the three. Roman literature 
has developed modern mind ; Roman law has governed it. For 
nearly a thousand years after the irruption of the Northern bar- 
barians, Grecian literature was but little studied in Western 
Europe. Constantinople was its home. After the fall of that 
city in 1453, her scholars were exiled ; and learning followed the 
course of the sun. The seer of that day might have used, by 
prolepsis, the words of Berkeley ; 

"Westward the course of empire takes its way. " 

The revival of learning awoke the European mind to intense ac- 
tivity. The noble ideas of Grecian liberty and Roman law took 
root in a virgin soil and brought forth abundant fruit. With this 


new-born zeal for study came additional means of gratifying it. 
An obscure German, by the invention of movable types and the 
press, rendered the universal diffusion of knowledge possible. 
Next to the invention of letters stands that of printing. It has 
enlarged indefinitely the bounds of knowledge and given a new 
impulse to everything great and good in modern civilization. 
"If the invention of ships," says Lord Bacon, "was thought so 
noble, which carrieth riches and commerce from place to place, 
liow much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass 
through the vast seas of time and make ages so distant to par- 
ticipate of the wisdom, illuminations and inventions, the one of 
the other. " Prior to the use of t\'pes, it required nearly a year's 
labor to copy a bible ; and the price of such a manuscript varied 
from two hundred to one thousand dollars of our money ; and 
that, too, when its value was ten or twenty times as much as it 
now is. Some German mechanics and a wealthy goldsmith nam- 
ed John Faust, of the city of Mentz, in quest of gain, invented 
and executed this great work of human progress. The Bible was 
the first book printed. It was offered for sale, by Faust, in Paris. 
So astonished were the Parisians to find numerous copies of the 
bible, exactly alike, that they accused the seller of employing 
magic in their multiplication. He was supposed to be in league 
with the Devil ! Strange that the loyal subjects of the Prince 
of darkness should have so mistaken their master's character. 
Faust was imprisoned, as a magician, and was only released on 
confession of his valuable secret. This is supposed to be the 
origin of the popular legend, entitled: "The Devil and Dr. 
Faustus ; " or, as he is called by the illiterate, " Dr. Foster. " It 
was a copy of this bible which kindled Luther's zeal for reform 
in the church. He first saw it, in the monastery of Erfurt, where 
he was in training for a monk. Dr. Staupitz, a man of rank in 
the church, happened to be there inspecting the convent and, ob- 
serving Luther's admiration of the discovered bible, ga\'e him 
the copy for his private study. He read it twice in course of 
every year. He wrote thus of it : " It is a great and powerful 
tree, each word of which is a mighty branch ; each of these 
branches have I shaken, so desirous was I to learn what fruit 
they every one of them bore, and what they would give me. " 
This was one of Gutenberg's private copies of the Latin Vulgate. 
It could be read only by scholars. It was printed about 1450, 
with metal tj'pes, every one cut separately, with the imperfect 
tools then in use. It was a folio of six hundred and forty-one 
leaves. Schoeffer, the associate of Gutenberg, introduced cast 
types and thus perfected the art of printing. The study of the 
bible made Luther the champion of the reformation. He em- 
bodied his new opinions in ninetj'-five theses, which he nailed to 


the door of the church of Wittenburg ; and some one has said, 
very justly, that the blows of his hammer shook all Christendom. 
Thus, an Augustine monk, denouncing the corruptions of Ca- 
tholicism, introduced a schism in religion and changed the entire 
foundations of human government. Civil liberty was born of 
religious liberty. 

Nearly contemporary with the publication of the bible was 
the practical use of the mariner's compass. That property of 
the magnet which gives polarity to the needle was known sev- 
eral centuries before the discovery of America. But navigators 
were slow to employ this unerring guide in traversing the seas. 
The French and Italians both claim the invention of the com- 
pass, which opened to man the dominion of the sea. "The 
common opinion," says Hallam, "which ascribes the discoveiy 
[of the polarity of the magnet] to a citizen of Amalfi, in the 
fourteenth century, is undoubtedly erroneous." It was, with- 
out dispute, in general use during the fifteenth centurj', by the 
Genoese, Spaniards and Portuguese. Soon after the discovery 
of America, Vasco de Gama sailed round the " Stormy Cape, " 
opened a new passage to India and changed the whole commerce 
of the world. The story of his perilous voyage, "married to 
immortal verse, " still lives in the Epic of the Portuguese Cam- 
oens. These potent causes, the revival of classical learning, the 
invention of printing and the compass, and the reformation in 
the church, all contributed to awaken the common mind in Europe, 
to give new force and intensity to public opinion, and to impart 
increased energy to national enterprise. 



Men of action and men of thought have existed in all ages. 
In the oriental world, the men of action became warriors ; the 
men of thought, priests. The sculptured slabs that lined the 
walls of the temples and palaces of buried Nineveh and Baby- 
Ion show us nothing of Asiatic life but sieges and battles, pomps 
and sacrifices. The blood of men Hows upon the field, the blood 
of beasts upon the altar ; enslaved people come before their rul- 
ers laden with tribute and offerings. In Greece, the cradle of 
liberty, and in Rome, the birth-place of law, men of affairs and 


men of reflection appeared as statesmen and philosophers, con- 
suls and jurisconsults. In the dark ages, the baron and monk 
controlled the people in " body, mind and estate. " After the 
decline of feudalism, the abolition of serfdom and the rise of 
free cities, political power was centralized ; and hereditary mon- 
archs became its representatives. With the emancipation of 
mind, by the revival of learning and religion, came improved agri- 
culture, enlarged commerce and multiplied manufactures. Then, 
monarchs, merchants and mechanics became the originators of 
great enterprises and the heralds of material progress. Mon- 
archs lent their names, merchants their funds and mechanics 
their hands to the discovery and settlement of a new world. 
Mechanics built and manned the ships, merchants furnished 
supplies and wages, and monarchs gave charters and patents to 
the explorers and colonists. These royal parchments were about 
as useful to the navigators and pilgrims as were the gilded figure- 
heads that adorned the prows of their ships. Yet, as society 
was then constituted, they were as necessary to successful enter- 
prise as " the cunning hand and cultured brain " of the artisan, 
or the gathered treasures of merchant princes. Kings furnished 
neither men nor means, yet they claimed the lion's share of the 
profits. Isabella is a noble exception to the parsimonious and 
mercenary character of European rulers. Her wise and gen- 
erous patronage of Columbus shines out, amid that night of 
ignorance, like a solitary star through the rent clouds of a mid- 
night storm. 




In the infancy of science, as in that of the church, " not many 
wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, were 
called." The inventors, discoverers and explorers of the world 
have been found oftener among artisans and sailors than among 
scientists and philosophers. Such were Watt and Arkwright, 
Fulton and Stevenson, Franklin and Morse. Columbus, poor 
and friendless, leading his little boy through the streets of Mad- 
rid, beseeching one monarch after another to become god- 
father to the progeny of his teeming brain, and linally receiv- 
ing, from the generous queen, a suit of clothes to render his 



preseiit.ition at court possiDle, shows, very plainly, that the 
kingdom of science, Hlce the kingdom of Heaven, "cometh 
not with observation. " "Genius finds or makes a way. " The 
eloquence of the veteran sailor won the ear of royalty, and a 
woman became the sole patroness of the most memorable mari- 
time enterprise in the history of the world. A continent was 
discovered. But the main land was not first reached by Col- 
umbus. The American continent was discovered by English 
merchants. The parsimonious Henr)' VII. gave a patent to 
John Cabot, a Venetian merchant living at Bristol, empower- 
ing him and his three sons to sail into the Eastern, Western or 
Northern sea, with five ships, at their own expense, to search for 
new lands and undiscovered treasures. The avaricious king, 
who contributed nothing but his sign manual to their commis- 
sion, required these private adventurers to pay into his exchequer 
one fifth of all their profits. Such kings deserve to be remem- 
bered as examples of unmitigated selfishness. The Cabots 
reached the continent nearly fourteen months before Columbus 
on his third voyage touched upon the main land. A new patent 
was issued, in 1498, to John Cabot, less favorable to the explorer 
than the former; and "the frugal king was himself a partner in 
the enterprise. " Sebastian Cabot, one of the bravest, noblest 
and purest of England's sons, explored the whole northern coast 
of America from Albemarle Sound to Hudson's Bay, in latitude 
67° 30 north. The ocean was his home. He followed the seas 
for half a century, and in extreme old age was so fond of his 
profession that his last wandering thoughts and words revealed 
his ruling passion. The fame of these first explorers of the New 
World kindled a love of adventure in all the states of Western 
Europe. The great Viionarchs of that age suspended, for a time, 
their thoughts of war and indulged in dreams of avarice. They 
were eager to occupy the lands, to work the mines and appropri- 
ate the fruits of a continent which private enterprise had revealed. 
They issued patents, commissioned captains and furnished ships 
for new discoveries. Italians, Portuguese, Spaniards, French 
and English swarmed in all the waters that wash the eastern 
coast of North America. Like insects in the summer's sun, 

"a thousand ways 

Upward and downward, thwarting and convolv'd, 
The quiv'ring nations sport. " 

For a time, the fame of Columbus was eclipsed. Slanderous 
tongues defamed his character, envious rivals wore his laurels, 
cruel hands manacled his limbs, ungrateful sovereigns withheld 
'his reward, and an Italian adventin-er gave his own name to the 
new continent. Scarcely one of earth's great benefactors has 
been more unkindly treated than Columbus. Death, which usu- 
ally extinguishes envy, did not wholly silence rival <~lainis. OH 


traditions have been revived to rob him of the originality of con- 
ceiving as well as executing this great plan of discovery. From 
very remote times there existed rumors of an unexplored land 
beyond the pillars of Hercules. Greek and Roman writers made 
frequent allusion to it. Plato, 400 B. c, speaks of an island 
larger than Lybia and Asia, called Atlantis, far off in the ocean, 
which was suddenly submerged by an earthquake. The Car- 
thaginians and their ancestors, the Phoenicians, were the most 
distinguished navigators of all antiquity. There can scarcely be 
a doubt that the Phoenicians sailed round the Cape of Good 
Hope ; but that abates not one tittle of the glory of Vasco de 
Gama, who performed the same exploit more than two thousand 
years later. Tradition also reports that Hanno, the Cartha- 
nian, sailed westward from the Pillars of Hercules for thirty 
days in succession ; but, unfortunately, there is no existing record 
of his voyage. The historian ^^lian, 200 B. c, contains an 
extract from Theopompus, a writer in the time of Alexander the 
Great, in which he alludes to a continent in the West, densely 
populated and exceedingly fertile, with gold and silver in unlimi- 
ted abundance. In a work ascribed to Aristotle similar allus- 
ions are found. Seneca, the Roman philosopher, uttered a kind 
of prophecy of its future discoveiy. He wrote : "The time will 
come, in future ages, when the Ocean will loosen the chains of 
nature and a mighty continent will be discovered. A new Tiphys 
[or pilot] will reveal new worlds and Thule shall no longer be 
the remotest of lands. " This was a happy conjecture which 
time has confirmed. 

The earlier traditions were chiefly composed of such stuff as 
dreams are made of, and belong rather to the realms of imagin- 
ation than history. The Northern nations of Europe, in "the 
dark ages, can furnish better claims to priority of discovery. 
The .Scandinavians, from their earliest histor)^ w^ere all seamen. 
The Northmen were the terror of all Europe long before they ' 
became its conquerors. The Saxons, Jutes and Angles, in their 
native homes, were pirates. They came in ships to England in 
the fifth century. Invited by the Celts as allies, they remained 
as rulers. The Danes, some centuries later, imitated their ex- 
amples, and for a time governed the island. Some eight or 
nine hundred years ago, the Nor\vegians repeatedly visited 
the American continent. This assertion, like every thing old, 
is questioned ; yet the preponderance of evidence seems to con- 
firm it. These old sea-kings visited and explored all the north- 
ern shores, from Greenland to Rhode Island, and possibly still ■ 
farther south. They wintered, repeatedly, in a land which they 
named Vinland, or wine land, from the abundance of grapes that 
grew there. These were brave old vikings, who deserve a bet- 


ter name than that of pirates. That word, however, from its 
etymology, may yet raise them to the rank of explorers. Ban- 
croft rather discredits the Icelandic historian who claims this 
discoveiy for his ancestors. He says : " The nation of intrepid 
mariners, whose voyages extended beyond Iceland and beyond 
Sicily, could easily have sailed from Greenland to Labrador ; no 
clear historic evidence establishes the probability that they accom- 
plished the passage. Imagination had conceived the idea that 
vast uninhabited regions lay unexplored in the West ; and poets 
had declared that empires beyond the ocean would one day be 
revealed to the daring navigator. But Columbus deserves the 
undivided gloiy of having realized that belief. " 



The origin of the primitive inhabitants of the new world is 
still an unsolved problem. No subject of human research has 
been more fruitful in theories ; none less satisfactory in results. 
Of all the divisions of our race, according to color, the red men 
may claim a very early origin and a widely extended dominion. 
They have flourished in Mongolia, Madagascar, China, Hindoo- 
stan, Egypt, Etruria and Palestine ; and with the inhabitants of 
all these countries, the Indians, in their arts, customs and com- 
parative anatomy, present stronger analogies than with the white 
or black races. But with no one of them can they be identified. 
Says Dr. Palfrey : " The symmetrical frame, the cinnamon color 
of the skin, the long, black, coarse hair, the scant beard, the 
high cheek bones, the depressed and square forehead set upon a 
triangular conformation of the lower features, the small, deep- 
set, shining, snaky eyes, the protuberant lips, the broad nose, the 
small skull, with its feeble frontal development, make a combina- 
tion which the scientific observer of some of these marks in the 
skeleton, and the unlearned eye turned upon the living subject, 
equally recognize as unlike what is seen in other regions of the 
globe." Every science that throws light upon the origin and 
affinities of races has been questioned, but the oracles are 
dumb, or " palter with us in a double sense." We, to-day, know 
no better whence they came than did the first explorers who 
pronounced the natives " to be of tall stature, comely pro- 


portion, strong, active, and, as it should seem, very healthful." 
To them the Indians looked like earth-born aborigines, retaining 
the solid structure and firmness of their kindred hills. There was 
no sick, decrepit nor feeble person among them. Their war- 
riors were brave, cunning and apparently invincible. 

Their strength, beauty and valor were greatly exaggerated. 
Upon further inquir)', it was found that none but the most robust 
constitutions could survive the hardships to which their infancy 
was exposed ; that a majority of every tribe died 3-oung ; that 
the number of births among them hardly equaled that of the 
deaths ; and that only the finest and healthiest specimens of the 
race were preserved. The reason of the absence of diseased and 
deformed persons arose from the fact that such were either borne 
down by the hardships of savage life or left to die, unpitied and 
alone. The same is true of those decrepit by age. They were 
often exposed by their children and left to perish by starvation. 
Of the sick, it has been aptly said : " Death was their doctor, 
and the grave their hospital." Privation, imprudence and the 
pestilence have often swept away whole tribes. More of the 
aborigines of North America have probably fallen by disease 
than by war. On the first arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth 
the adjacent territory was literally desolated by an epidemic. 
In profound peace they have often suffered most. Their indo- 
lent and filthy habits induced disease. Their remedies were, for 
the most part, mere charms and incantations ; and consequently 
they "died like sheep." The Indians of our day know almost 
nothing of vegetable remedies. They make use of amulets and 
consecrated medicine-bags as curative agents ; and yet, civilized 
men often have recourse to these savages to learn the healing 
art' and, in their simplicity, acquire a knowledge of " simples." 
Sometimes a veritable Indian doctor appears among us, with 
more brass than copper in his face, and, by his gravity and so- 
lemnity in consulting the astronomical signs, in watching the 
"stellar influences," and in gathering herbs and balsams by 
moonlight, imposes upon the unwar}', and relieves his patients, 
not of their diseases, but of their money. Their skill, speed, 
strength, valor, wisdom and eloquence have all been greatly 
over-estimated. The American Indians are capable of great ef- 
forts, when strongly excited, and sometimes show respectable 
reasoning powers ; but they are neither able to endure sustained 
and continued labor of mind nor body. Their physical and 
mental powers are undeveloped and weak. They are more re- 
markable for agility than strength. They are fleet of foot for 
limited journeys, and possess almost a canine sagacity of pursu- 
ing game. When reduced to slaveiy, they droop and die. As 
trained soldiers they are always inferior to the whites. They 


succeed better in ambuscades and sudden onsets than in 

pitched battles. 

The aborigines, in their untutored state, possessed neither sci- 
ence nor culture. In writing they never advanced beyond rude 
pictorial inscriptions and hieroglyphics. Their implements were 
made of stone ; their vessels of clay. Their languages abound 
in metaphors and symbols. They multiply compounds and ex- 
press a whole sentence in one long word ; hence, philologists de- 
nominate their languages agglutinative or holophrastic. As in- 
struments of thought, they are worthless. The Indians are nat- 
urally stolid and taciturn, not eloquent. Lofty oratory is as rare 
among them as e.xalted genius. Some of their speeches have 
been preserved. They were mostly made at treaties, where the 
red man, with subdued pride, yielded to the claims of the impe- 
rious white man. Consequently they breathe a sorrowful spirit. 
They are usually pathetic and touching, sometimes lofty and dig- 
nified, often bold and magnanimous. They seldom discourse, 
except on grave and momentous occasions, and then with evi- 
dent preparation. 

Their religion is peculiar. The tribes of North America liave 
no public worship. In this respect they differ from the Aztecs 
of Mexico and Central America. They held common assemblies 
and reared public altars where their horrid rites were celebrated. 
The religion of the northern tribes is chiefly private and particu- 
lar ; each man entertaining his own superstitious notions respect- 
ing his relations to his Deities. " The Indian god," says Mr. 
Schoolcraft, " exists in a dualistic form ; there is a malign and a 
benign type of him ; and there is a continual strife, in every pos- 
sible form, between these two antagonistical powers, for the mas- 
tery over the mind. Legions of subordinate spirits attend both. 
Nature is replete with them. \A'hen the eye fails to recognize 
them in material forms, they are revealed in dreams. Necro- 
mancy and witchcraft are two of their ordinarj' powers." The 
Great and Good Spirit, so much talked of by Indian admirers, as 
corresponding to Jehovah of the Jews, seems to receive far less 
notice from them than liis malignant antagonist. The great ob- 
ject of their worship is to propitiate or avert evil demons. They 
literally pay divine honors to devils. All diseases are the work 
of evil spirits ; hence incantations and exorcisms are among their 
most potent remedies. They are fatalists with regard to their 
own destiny. Evei-y event is unalterably determined by fixed 
laws ; hence they never blame their medicine men for failing to 
make good their splendid promises. They believe in the im- 
mortality of the soul. Departed spirits go to the islands of the 
blest to be compensated for the evils suffered in this world. 
Their mytliology is a chaos of wild and incoherent fancies. 


Some portions of it have been gracefully illustrated by Mr. Long- 
fellow, in that unique poem entitled " Hiawatha." 

Their manners and customs have been graphically portrayed 
by Mr. Cooper in "The Last of the Mohicans." Their virtues 
have been eulogized by Mr. Catlin, who visited forty-five tribes 
for the purpose of painting the portraits of their chiefs. He 
says : " In all these little communities, strange as it may seem, 
in the absence of all jurisprudence, I have often beheld peace, 
happiness and quietness reigning supreme, for which even kings 
and emperors might envy them. I have seen rights and virtues 
protected and wrongs redressed. I have seen conjugal, filial 
and paternal affection, in the simplicity and contentedness of 
nature." His picture is painted in bright and glowing colors. 
While reading his honest praise, we for the moment feel inclined 
to adopt the reasoning of Rousseau and denounce civilized life 
as a state of degradation and long for the return of that age of 
primeval innocence when 

"Wild in the woods, the nol.le savage ran." 

Catlin's climax of Indian woes is thus stated: "White men, 
whiskey, tomahawks, scalping knives, guns, powder and ball, 
small-po.x, debauchery, extermination." There is a dark side to 
this picture, which the early settlers of New England saw to 
their sorrow. They tried to live peaceably with the Indians and 
could not. The apostle anciently prayed to be delivered from 
"unreasonable and wicked men." Such were the savages of 
New England, when the Puritans first set foot upon its shores. 
The Indians of our day have, undoubtedly, been cheated by pol- 
iticians, robbed by speculators and demoralized by adventurers. 
The strong have deceived and oppressed the weak ; the craft}' 
have cheated the simple ; the Christian has corrupted the sav- 
age ; and the words in which Bryant has expressed the lament 
of an Indian chief are fearfully true : 

" They waste us — ay — like April snow. 
In the warm noon, we shrink away; 
And fast they follow, as we go 
Towards the settiiy; day. 
Till they shall fill the land and__we 
Are driven to 

But there is no propriety in imputing modern vices and crimes 
to our ancestors. The Massachusetts colonists sincerely sought 
to civilize and christianize the red man. In a few years more 
than four thousand praying Indians were gathered into churches 
by Eliot and Mahew ; but, true to their natural instincts, when 
war came they joined the enemies of the colonists and were ex- 
terminated. When, therefore, the Indian eulogist points to the 
decaying and retreating tribes of the South and West and tri- 
umphantly asks : " Where are the Indians of New England ? " I 


answer, with all confidence, Extinct by the Providence of God — 
through improvidence and crime their own executioners ! 

New Hampshire, during colonial times, was possessed by as 
many as twelve different tribes of Indians, taking their names 
from some local peculiarity of the lands or streams where they 
had their homes. Many of these names remain to this day, like 
the old Celtic names in England, and mark the abodes of the 
primitive inhabitants, while not a solitary descendant of theirs 
lives within the limits of the state. Nashua, Souhegan, Amos- 
keak, Swamscott, Merrimack, Winnipiseogee and Ossipee are of 
Indian origin. The meaning of these names has been variously 
given by different philologists. Such etymologies can rarely be 
trusted. When foreigners first began to write Indian words as 
they heard them from the savages, it was difficult to determine 
their true sounds. It was rare for two authors to represent the 
same name by the same letters. Winnipiseogee, it is said, has 
been spelled in forty different ways. A few Indian names of 
rivers and mountains have, probably, been rightly interpreted. 
These enduring names are the only memorials the red men have 
left upon the physical features of the state. 

Mr. Hubert Hare Bancroft, of San Francisco, is preparing an 
elaborate work on " The native Races of the Pacific States of 
North America." The first volume, an octavo of 797 pages, 
treats of the wild Indians alone. Of these he enumerates six 
great families and more than seven hundred tribes, living in pre- 
historic times, west of the Rocky Mountains. His purpose is 
to delineate the character of the various races of aborigines 
from the Arctic ocean to the Caribbean sea. His library of In- 
dian lore amounts to about eighteen thousand volumes. As 
these books all belong to modern times, it is doubtful whether 
the collation of them will satisfactorily answer these great ques- 
tions : Are the natives of America of one race ? Are they a 
degraded people, or do they occupy now their highest plane of 
development .' Did they build those mighty structures whose 
ruins exist to-day in Central America and Mexico ? If the red 
men of the North were a distinct race, did they belong to the 
stone or bronze age ? Mr. Bancroft, will, undoubtedly, throw 
great light upon the habits, customs and mythology of the abor- 
igines of our country ; but no research of his, no critical sagac- 
ity, can tell us whence they came or what was their primitive 
condition. He evidently joins the ranks of Indian advocates. 
He says : " Left alone, the natives of America might have un- 
folded into as bright a civilization as that of Europe." All his- 
tory teaches a different lesson. Savages do not rise by their 
unaided efforts. Mr. Parkman, commenting upon Mr. Bancroft's 
conclusions respecting the proper mode of dealing with our 


Indian tribes, who now number about three hundred thousand 

souls, says : 

" A word touching our recent Indian policy. To suppose that presents, 
blandishments and kind treatment, even when not counteracted b}' the fraud 
and lawlessness of white men, can restrain these banditti from' molesting 
travelers and settlers is a mistake. Robbery and murder have become to 
them a second nature, and, as just stated, a means of living. The chief ene- 
mies of peace in the Indian country are the philanthropist, the politician and 
the border ruffian; that is to say, the combination of soft words with rascal- 
ity and violence. An Apache, a Comanche, or an Arapahoe neither respects 
nor comprehends assurances of fraternal love. In most cases he takes them 
as evidence of fear. The Government whose emissaries caress him and 
preach to him, whose officials cheat him, and whose subjects murder him, is 
not likely to soothe him into ways of peace. The man best fitted to deal 
with Indians of hostile dispositions is an honest, judicious and determined 
soldier. To protect them from ruffians worse than themselves, strictly to ob- 
serve every engagement, to avoid verbiage, and speak on occasion with a de- 
cisive clearness, absolutely free from sentimentality, to leave no promise and 
no threat unfulfilled, to visit every breach of peace with a punishment as 
prompt as circumstances will permit, to dispense witli courts and juries and 
substitute a summary justice, and to keep speculators and adventurers from 
abusing them — such means as these on the one hand, or extermination on the 
other, will alone keep such tribes as the Apaches quiet. They need an officer 
equally just and vigorous; and our regular army can furnish such. They 
need an army more numerous than we have at present ; and as its business 
would be to restrain white men no less than Indians, they need in the execu- 
tive a courage to which democracy and the newspaper sensation-monger are 
wofuUy averse. Firmness, consistency and justice are indispensable in deal- 
ing with dangerous Indians, and so far as we fail to supply them we shall fail 
of success. Attempts at conciliation will be worse than useless, unless there 
is proof, manifest to their savage understandmg, that such attempts do not 
proceed from weakness or fear." 




The right of property, in a new country, is based on discov- 
ery, conquest or occupation. If occupation gives the best title, 
the Indians certainly owned this continent ; for they possessed 
it, from the frozen north to Patagonia. In a countiy previously 
unexplored, cultivation would seem to be good evidence of own- 
ership. It is a dictate of justice that any man may appropriate 
and till so much of nature's wilderness as is necessary for his 
support. " Moreover, the profit of the earth is for all : the king 
himself is ser\'ed by the field," says the wise man. The Indians 
possessed, by metes and bounds, only a few acres of the entire 


continent. It would not seem reasonable that God designed 
that one half the earth should remain a wilderness ; and that 
every roving hunter should hold a park of his own, and retain 
it for his sole use, when the rest of the world was crowded with 
inhabitants. Is it in accordance with natural justice, that a sin- 
gle lordly savage should roam over thousands of acres, while 
hundreds of other men, better than himself, were suffering for 
food ? Were the wild beasts his as well as their lairs and feed- 
ing grounds ? Had no stranger a right of warren in these pri- 
meval forests ? Was the red man the sole proprietor of the soil 
and of the game that fed upon it ? He was fust there, and ac- 
cording to the law of nations owned it by discovery. He had 
the best title to that portion of the territory which he had culti- 
vated that political philosophy ever devised. Possibly, if the 
history of the aborigines could be recovered, he owned it by 
conquest, for the mounds and remains of art testify to an earlier 
occupation of the country than that of the red men. Accord- 
ing to that body of rules made by the strong for the weak, called 
International Law, the Indian was the rightful owner of the soil ; 
but his title, being only vague and presumptive when tested by 
natural justice, could be easily vacated by purchase or conquest. 
The New England colonists did generally purchase their lands 
from the Indians. They paid but small sums and in articles of 
little value to themselves, yet the Indians prized them highly ; 
and they alone had a right to judge of the worth of their terri- 
tory and of the price of the goods given in exchange for it. 
They sold willingly and received the pay with joy. The settlers 
of New Hampshire were perhaps less careful than others to ex- 
tinguish the Indian claim, because chartered companies and 
royal proprietors assumed the ownership of the soil. And here 
we may ask, what right had European monarchs to grant lands 
more extensive than their own kingdoms ? King James I. of 
England gave away territories ten times larger than his own lit- 
tle realm, on the plea that English navigators had visited the 
shores of the new world and thus acquired, by discovery, a title, 
not only to all the coast but to all the land that lay behind it, 
even to the Pacific Ocean. His charters extended from sea to 
sea and from " the river to the ends of the earth." Human gov- 
ernments are said to be of divine origin, because justice, reason, 
conscience and inspiration all unite to enforce obedience to 
them ; but neither justice vindicates, nor reason demonstrates, 
nor conscience approves, nor scripture confirms a title to new 
territory- because it has fallen under the eye of an exploring nav- 
igator or been marked by the foot-prints of an invading army. 
But the public good seemed to require some rules called laws, 
expressly or tacitly approved by the nations of Christendom, to 


regulate the conduct of explorers ; and this international code 
was usually dictated by the strongest. So the world has ever 
been governed ; for there is not a kingdom or state on earth that 
is not based on conquest ; not a rood of land occupied by man 
that was not wrested from previous owners by force. " I have 
observed," said the infidel Frederick the Great, " that Provi- 
dence always favors the strong battalions." 




" A belt of twelve degrees on the American coast, embracing 
the soil from Cape Fear to Halifax, except perhaps a little spot 
then actually possessed by the French called Acadia, was set 
apart by James I. in 1606, to be colonized by two rival compa- 
nies." He divided this territory into two nearly equal parts ; 
the one, called North Virginia, extending from the forty-first to 
the forty-fifth degree of north latitude ; the other, named South 
Virginia, from the thirty-fourth to the thirty-eighth degree. The 
district lying between these limits was open to both companies ; 
but neither was allowed to make settlements within one hundred 
miles of the other. The northern portion was granted to a 
company of " knights, gentlemen and merchants " from the west 
of England called "the Plymouth Company;" the southern half 
to a company of " noblemen, gentlemen and merchants," mostly 
residing in the Capital and called " the London Company." 
The king was the sole governor of these immense territories, 
because he retained in his own hands the appointment of all 
officers both at home and abroad. He also, like a feudal lord, 
exacted homage and rent. One-fifth of all the precious metals 
and one-fifteenth of copper were to be returned to the royal 
treasury. So this English Solomon, who was called by Sully 
" the wisest fool in Christendom," granted lands to which he had 
no title and exacted rents to which he had no claim. Not an 
element of popular liberty was introduced into these charters ; 
the colonists were not recognized at all as a source of political 
power ; they were at the mercy of a double-headed tyranny com- 
posed of the king and his advisers, the Council and their agents. 
But liberty, like hope in Pandora's box, lay at the bottom. The 
Council of Plymouth received a new charter dated November 3, 


1620, granting all the lands between the fortieth and forty-eighth 
degree of North latitude, and from sea to sea. This territory 
was called " New England in America." The Council held this 
immense area " as absolute property, with unlimited jurisdiction 
and tlie sole power of legislation." 



It was a beautiful custom of the Greeks to send from home 
their young adventurers, with a public consecration, under the 
guardianship of their tutelary divinities. The colonists departed 
as the childi-en, not as the subjects, of the state. Their political 
relations at home were exchanged for those of filial affection 
and religious reverence abroad. They owed to their native land 
nothing but patriotism and allegiance. In their new homes they 
built temples and dedicated them to the gods their fathers wor- 
shiped, and honored them with ancestral rights. Priests from 
the metropolis ministered at the new altars. The sacred fire, 
that was kept constantly burning on the sacred hearth of the 
colony, was taken from the altar of Vesta in the Council Hall of 
their old home. The colonies often surpassed the parent state 
in wealth and commerce ; and thus the mother recei\-ed both 
honor and profit frojn the child. The colonial system of the 
Greek republics was, in every instance, a sort of family com- 
pact, limited in its scope and national in its purpose. Their 
motives were too low, their views too contracted, for the promo- 
tion of universal civilization. They did not emigrate, like our 
ancestors, to secure civil liberty or to enjoy religious freedom. 
There was nothing in the religion or culture of that age to in- 
spire high purposes or to create the energy necessary for their 

The colonies of Rome were purely military. Their sole ob- 
jects were power and dominion. Emigrants from Rome, se- 
lected by the government and forced from home, settled in the 
conquered provinces and governed them by force, exacting men 
for Roman armies and tribute for the Roman treasury. Extor- 
tion and rapacity followed in the train of conquering armies, and 
the provinces were often depleted and exhausted by Republican 
and Imperial indictions. Taxation and slavery rained the coun- 


try ; and the heart of the metropolis beat more faintly as the 
extremities grew weaker. The colonies lived with the mother, 
flourished and fell with her. They were mere instruments of 
power, not agents of progress. 

The dark ages had no colonies. It was the business of the 
lord to fight, of the serf to toil. There was no surplus popula- 
tion. War devoured the people and their substance, and there 
was no cogent reason for emigration. All known countries were 
alike ; and, until free cities arose, liberty had no home in Eu- 
rope. After those causes which have already been enumerated 
had operated to awaken the public mind and stimulate enter- 
prise, modern colonies began to be formed. The Spaniards took 
the lead in the planting of colonies upon the newly discovered 
continent and islands. The West India settlements were made 
by them, for the investment of capital in large estates, to be cul- 
tivated by slaves. The owners seldom occupied the soil they 
cultivated ; and they did not feel at home on their own planta- 
tions. Like the Irish absentee land-owners, they lived in luxury 
at the capital or in foreign lands, and extorted the means of 
their enjoyment from their poor dependants by means of mid- 
dle-men or overseers. This fact accounts even for the present 
depressed condition of the West Indies. In Mexico and South 
America, they sought chiefly for the precious metals, and when 
mining became unprofitable their colonies declined. 

The French colonies on this continent have never been very 
flourishing. They have increased in numbers and remained sta- 
tionaiy in culture. This is due partly to the influence of race, 
but still more to that of religion. The French population con- 
stitutes to-day the majority in Lower Canada. They are an ig- 
norant, bigoted and priest-ridden people, opposed to progress, 
material, moral and intellectual. They are averse to change in 
laws, customs and the processes of labor, even when it would be 
manifestly for their good. Their chief interest is in the church ; 
and education and legislation must yield to its dictation. This 
principle is the corner-stone of the papacy. Pius IX., the so- 
called Vicar of Christ upon earth, in his recent Encyclical letter, 
writes : 

" Neither must we neglect to teach that royal power is given to some men 
not only for the government of the world, but, above all, for the protection 
of the church ; and that nothing can be more advantageous or more glorious 
for kings and governors than to conform themselves to the words which our 
most wise and courageous predecessor, Saint Felix, wrote to the Emperor 
Zeno, ' to leave the church to govern herself with her own laws, and to allow 
no one to put any obstacle in the w.ay of her liberty 1 ' In fact, it is certain 
that it is for their interest, whenever they are concerned with matters relat- 
ing to God, scrupulously to follow the order which he has prescribed, and 
not to prefer but to subordinate the royal will to that of the priests of 


The New England colonies differed, in origin, purpose and re- 
sults, from those of all other nations ancient and modern. The 
Pilgrims came to this countiy to make a permanent home. The 
motives that prompted their emigration were religious rather 
than secular. Not gain but godliness drove them into the wil- 
derness. In the words of the noblest orator among their de- 
scendants, " A new existence awaited them here ; and when they 
saw these shores, rough, cold, barbarous and barren, as they then 
were, they beheld their country. That mixed and strong feeling 
which we call love of country, and which is in general never ex- 
tinguished in the heart of man, grasped and embraced its proper 
object here. Whatever constitutes country, except the earth and 
the sun, all the moral causes of affection and attachment which 
operate upon the heart, they brought with them to their new 

The New England colonies were chiefly devoted to the culti- 
vation of the soil. This is the true secret of their unparalleled 
success ; for agriculture is the oldest of all arts, the parent of 
all civilization and the support of all permanent prosperity. 
The Creator ordained it in the beginning as the chief occupa- 
■ tion of man. Commerce and manufactures are its legitimate 
offspring. These elements of national greatness are the natural 
fruits of colonial industry. They have made the American peo- 
ple invincible ; for " a threefold cord is not easily broken." 



After the voyages of the Cabots, above described, the Por- 
tuguese Caspar Cortereal, a. d. 1500, and the Florentine Ver- 
razzano, A. d. 1524, in the employment of the French visited the 
same coasts. Thus was laid the foundation of a future quarrel 
respecting the title to these territories. In 1602, Bartholomew 
Gosnold, a bold adventurer from England, who had previously 
been a companion of Sir Walter Raleigh in his attempts to col- 
onize Virginia, sailed across the Atlantic in a small bark, and 
in seven weeks reached the continent near Nahant. He dis- 
covered Cape Cod and, with four men, landed upon it. This 
Cape was the first land in New England ever trod by the feet of 
men from old England. Gosnold planned a colony, but it failed. 


The French now became dangerous rivals of the English in ex- 
ploring these territories ; consequently a new love of adventure 
sprung up in our fatherland. Merchants of Bristol raised one 
thousand pounds and sent out tv/o small vessels under the com- 
mand of Martin Pring, or Prynne, in April, 1603. Pring visited 
the coast of Maine and examined the mouths of the Saco, Ken- 
nebunk and York rivers. He also visited the Piscataqua, being 
the first navigator who approached the territory of New Hamp- 
shire. He saw "goodly groves and woods and sundry sorts of 
beasts, but no people." In his first voyage he commanded the 
Speedwell, a ship of fifty tons and thirty men, and the Discoverer, 
a bark of twenty-six tons and thirteen men. This visit was in 
June, and the wilderness was robed in its best attire. They 
explored the Piscataqua for twelve miles but concluded " to pierce 
not far into the land. " Pring made a second voyage, and explor- 
ed more accurately the coast of Maine. 

In 1605, some English noblemen sent out George Weymouth 
on an expedition of discovery. He visited the coast of Maine 
also, and decoyed on board five of the natives, whom he carried 
to England. Three of these Indians he gave to Sir Ferdinando 
Gorges, then governor of Plymouth. Gorges took them to his 
house and educated them, "for three full years," that he might 
learn from them the history of their native land. Sir John Pop- 
ham, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, united with Gorges 
in fitting out a new expedition. In May, 1607, two ships sailed 
from Plymouth, with two of these Indians on board as guides and 
interpreters. They planted a colony whose brief history is more 
fully set forth in the next chapter. They named their first fort 
St. George. The celebrated French explorer, Champlain, is said 
to have visited the harbor of Piscataqua in July, 1605, and to 
have discovered the Isles of Shoals. He landed upon the shores 
of the river, probably at Odiorne's Point, which he called " Cape 
of Islands," and made presents to some savages whom he found 
there. If this report be authentic, he probably was the first 
white man who set foot upon the soil of New Hampshire ; for we 
have no evidence that Pring, in 1603, left his ship for the land. 

The next adventurer that appears in the field of historical vis- 
ion, on the shores of New Englana, is the famous John Smith, 
whose whole biography surpasses the creations of the imagina- 
tion. He wa*s from 1606 to 1615 the most illustrious of Ameri- 
can explorers. He claims, justly perhaps, "to have brought 
New England to the subjection of Great Britain. " In 1614 he 
examined the coast from Penobscot to Cape Cod and made a 
map of the adjacent countiy, which he presented to Prince 
Charles, who adopted the name which Smith had given to it, 
and it was called " New England. " On this voyage he visited 


the mouth of the Piscataqua and described it as " a safe harbor 
and a rocky shore." Pring, as above related, entered the same 
river in 1603 ; but the greater fame of Smith gave more im- 
portance to his description and excited new interest in the lands 
he visited. Several years, however, elapsed before other e.xplor- 
ers turned their prows to the same shores and entered the deep 
waters of the Piscataqua. Smith also discovered the Isles of 
Shoals and named them " Smith's Isles. " This name ought to 
have been retained. The substitution of another robs the dis- 
coverer of his true glory and, as in the case of Columbus, gives 
to a subaltern the honor of the leader. 

Capt. John Smith, himself the noblest of adventurers, says 
in his description of New England : 

"Who would live at home idly, or think in himself any worth only to eat, 
drink and sleep, and so die ? or by consuming that carelessly his friends got 
worthily .' or by using that miserably that maintained virtue honestly } or, for 
being descended nobly, pine with the vain vaunt of great kindred, in penury? 
or (to maintain a silly show of bravery) toil out thy heart, soul and time 
basely, by shifts, tricks, cards and dice ? or by relating news of others' actions 
shark here and there for a dinner or a supper, deceive thy friends by fair 
promises and dissimulation in borrowing where thou never intendest to pay, 
offend the laws, surfeit with excess, burden thy country, abuse thyself, despair 
in want and then cozen thy kindred, yea, even thine own brother, and wish thy 
parents' death ( I will not say damnation) to have their estates ? though thou 
seest what honors and rewards the world yet hath for those who will seek 
t^hem and worthily deserve them. " 



In every nation, community and tribe are found men of action 
and men of reflection, adventurers and quiet stayers-at-home. 
Those who emigrate explore new countries and subdue them, 
found new states and govern them. Such men are usually pro- 
gressive. Among them have been found the heroes, law-givers, 
inventors and discoverers of the world. The passive members of 
the household or state, who prefer to "abide by the stuff, " repair 
and adorn the old homesteads, till their " natal soil " and live on 
its fruits, promote the arts of peace and accumulate wealth. Both 
classes are necessary to the highest civilization. The discovery 
of a new continent stirred the ocean of life, through all Christen- 
dom, to its vei7 depths. All classes were seized with the "ac- 
cursed hunger of gold. " Kings and nobles were moved by 


ambition as well as avarice. In England, merchants, traders, 
factors and adventurers sought to found families and acquire 
landed estates. Even the pauper and criminal classes were 
swept into the great western tide. Like David of old, each 
leader had his retainers. " Eveiy one that was in distress, 
and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discon- 
tented, gathered themselves unto him, and he became captain 
over them." 

Sir Humphrey Gilbert first attempted the colonization of Amer- 
ica, but failed to make a permanent settlement. Sir Walter l^a- 
leigh and Sir Richard Grenville were likewise unsuccessail. Sir 
Ferdinaudo Gorges is by many regarded as "the Fathei of 
English Colonization in America. " The voyages of Gosnold in 
1602, of Pring in 1603, and of Weymouth in 1605, were under 
the guidance and patronage of Gorges. As early as 1606, 
through his influence a charter was obtained of King James, 
under whose authority he planted a colony at the mouth of the 
Sagadahoc, now Kennebec, of which George Popham, brother 
of the Chief Justice of England, was president. It was named 
Popham in honor of the chief justice, who with Gorges was 
greatly instrumental in procuring the charter, though their own 
names did not appear in it. Two ships and one hundred and 
twenty men sailed from Old Plymouth, England, May 31, 1607, 
O. S., to plant a colony on the coast of Maine. The charter 
under which these planters acted gave to them "' the continent 
of North America, from the thirty-fourth to the forty-fifth degree 
of north latitude, extending one hundred miles into the main 
land, and including all islands of the sea within one hundred 
miles of the shore. " 

Gorges and the Earl of South Hampton petitioned for th^ 
charter. It was granted to "the Council of Virginia." No copy 
remains. This charter took precedence of all others. This col- 
ony failed, the governor died within a year of his landing, and 
the colonists returned to England in 1608, in a ship of their own 
building, the first ship built on this continent. This colony, so 
brief in duration, was of great importance to England, because 
it gave to the government the plea of title by occupancy prior 
to the French. Gorges says : " The planting of colonies in 
America was undertaken for the advancement of religion, the 
enlargement of the bounds of our nation and the employment 
of many thousands of all sorts of people." It is doubted to 
this day, whether profit or piety, gain or godliness, was the 
stronger motive in Gorges. Mr. Poor, his eulogist, gives him the 
credit of planting Plym"Uth. He obtained a charter for the 
Pilgrims November 3, 1620. They sailed under the Virginia 
charter, and Gorges sent the new one to them. Ferdinando 


Gorges and John Mason were active members of the Council of 
Plymouth. Gorges was a man of superior intellect and daunt- 
less courage. During the reign of Elizabeth he was associated 
with Raleigh, the scholar, statesman, warrior and "flower of 
courtesy," in his attempts at colonizing Virginia. He was also 
the friend of Essex, who was first the object of the queen's 
love, then the victim of her rage. Gorges was involved in some 
of the illegal plots of Essex and, like Bacon, whom Pope calls 

"The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind," 

became the accuser of his benefactor and thus lost favor with the 
people. In 1604 he was made Governor of Pl3anouth, in Eng- 
land. Here his restless spirit chafed in confinement. He had 
his eye constantly fixed on the New World. Through his agency 
John Smith was employed, by the Council of Plymouth, to ex- 
plore New England. Gorges also fitted out an expedition of 
his own, "under color of fishing and trade," commanded by 
Richard Vines, in 1616, to gain more accurate knowledge of the 
country and its inhabitants. "This course," says Gorges, "I 
held some years together, but nothing to my private profit ; for 
what I got in one way I spent in another, so that I began to 
grow weary of that business, as not for my turn till better times." 
Into these few lines is crowded the history of many noble 
enterprises, planned by wise heads and executed by brave 
hearts, which yielded no profit to the originators but greatly en- 
riched posterity. 

While Gorges was becoming despondent, under repeated 
losses, he became acquainted with Captain John Mason, who 
had been Governor of Newfoundland, who v.'as also " a man 
of action " and a kindred spirit. The union of these leaders 
kindled new enthusiasm. They immediately sought and obtained 
a grant of land in New England, to be the basis of their pro- 
spective nobility. Copies of several charters still exist, differ- 
ing in dates and origin, both from the king and Council of Ply- 
mouth, covering territoiy which included a large portion of New 
Hampshire as it is now bounded. Dr. Belknap quotes one 
which granted " all the land from the river Naumkeag, now 
Salem, round Cape Ann, to the ri-\-er Merrimack ; and up each 
of those rivers to the farthest head thereof ; then to cross over 
from the head of the one to the head of the other, with all the 
islands lying within three miles of the coast." This grant shows 
the profound ignorance of the geography of the countr}', both of 
grantors and grantees. They doubtless thought that the Naum- 
keag had its origin far in the interior of the country, and that 
the Merrimack through its whole course flowed eastward. The 
territor}' thus granted was called Mariana, probably meaning 
the sea-board. The usual mode of describing territory in those 


charters was to make the coast between the mouths of two riv- 
ers the southern boundery, then follow up those rivers sixfy 
miles for the eastern and western boundaries, then unite these 
two points in the rivers by a straight line to complete the de- 
scription. So " the Province of Maine " was granted by King 
James to Gorges and Mason, on the tenth of August, 1622, 
bounded by the rivers Sagadahoc, now Kennebec, and the 
Merrimack. A patent from the Council of Plymouth, of the same 
date, covering the same territory, is said to be in existence. Ijiii: 
Palfrey says : "In the same year [1622] the Council granted to 
Gorges and Mason the country bounded by the Merrimack, the 
Kennebec, the ocean and the river of Canada, and this territory 
was called Laconia." It was so named from the /a/ies lying 
within these boundaries. By other historians it is said to extend 
"back to the great lakes and the river of Canada." What lakes 
are meant by this vague description it is imposible to say ; nor 
can the limits of that grant be determined. The Council gave 
what they never owned, set bounds which had never been seen, 
fixed lines that had never been surveyed and laid the foundation 
for countless quarrels in future years. Under such auspices the 
colonization of New Hampshire commenced. 



Soon after the grant of Laconia was made to Mason and 
Gorges, they united with themselves merchants from six of the 
principal cities of England and formed the " Company of La- 
conia." They resolved to plant a colony on the Piscataqua river 
to mine, trade and fish there. In the Spring of 1623 they sent 
over several persons, with provisions and tools of every descrip- 
tion necessary to make a permanent home. The exact date of 
their arrival can not be ascertained. "No glories blaze round 
the bark of the earliest dwellers at Piscataquack." Even the 
name of the captain of that "nameless bark" is lost. The 
State of New Hampshire lives to prove his existence. Among 
the first immigrants were David Thompson, a Scotchman, and 
Edward and William Hilton, who had been fishmongers of Lon- 
don. This company of settlers formed two divisions. Thomp- 
son and his men made their home near the mouth of the westerly 


branch of the Piscataqua, where "Little Harbor" opens into 

" the great and wide sea." 

On Odiorne's Point, near " Little Harbor, " the first framed 
house erected in the state was built. The first settlers were 
sent by the Laconia Company, " to found a plantation on Pis- 
cataqua river, to cultivate the vine, discover mines, carry on the 
fisheries, and trade with the natives." The house first built, un- 
der the direction of David Thompson, was called " The Manor 
House ; " afterward, " Mason Hall ." The cellar and well still 
exist, to tell their own storj'. At the second Portsmouth cen- 
tennial, in 1823, Mr. Haven said: 

" Two hundred years ago, the place on which we stand was an uncultivated 
forest. The rough and vigorous soil was still covered with stately trees, 
which had been for ages intermingling their branches and deepening their 
shade. The river, which now bears on its bright and pure waters the treas- 
ures of distant climates, and whose rapid current is stemmed and vexed by 
the arts and enterprise of man, then only rippled against the rocks and re- 
flected back the wild and grotesque thickets which overhung its banks. The 
mountain, which now swells on our left and raises its verdant sides 'shade 
above shade,' was then almost concealed by the lofty growth which covered 
the intervening plains. Behind us, a deep morass, extending across the 
northern creek, almost enclosed the little ' Bank' which is now the seat of so 
much life and industry." 

From a beautiful poetic apostrophe to this ancient stream, I 
will quote a single stanza : 

" Through how many rolling ages 

Have thy waters, broad and tree, 
In their grandeur and their beauty, 

Swept their current to the sea! 
Thou hast seen the tangled wildwood, 

Where the lonely wigwam rose ; 
Thou hast echoed the wi!d war-whoop 

When red men met their foes! " 

These noble words, with the voice of the "sounding sea," 
which now rolls " sucfi as creation saw her, " (for 

*' Time writes no wrinkles on her azure brow, ") 

carry us back, not merely to the infancy of our republic, but to 
the first "upheaval " of our continent. It is enough, however, to 
stand where our ancestors first landed, and commenced the im- 
proving labors of ages yet to come and generations yet unborn. 

In 1631, "the Great House" was built by Humphrey Chad- 
bourne, about three miles up the Piscataqua from " Mason 
Hall." The ground was then covered with strawberries, which 
circumstance, for thirty years, caused that territory on which the 
compact part of the city is now built to be called " Strawberry 
Bank." This house was also the property of John Mason. In 
1646 it passed into the hands of Richard Cutt; and at his de- 
cease, in 1676, it becaine the property of his brother. President 
John Cutt, who, in 1680, bequeathed it to his son .Samuel. In 
1685 it was in ruins. So fell " the Great House." 


On the north side of Little Harbor still stands the house of 
Benning Wentworth, who was for twenty-five years Governor of 
the Royal Province of New Hampshire. It is a very irregular 
old pile, apparently built in several parts, rising one above an- 
other, or attached as L's to the original structure. There are in 
the house several very valuable pictures, handed down as heir- 
looms to the decendants of the first owner. There is a good 
portrait of the Earl of Strafford, who was beheaded in the time 
of Charles I. It is copied from an original painting by Van- 
dyck. The face is a very striking one, sliowing the energy, de- 
cision and severity characteristic of the man. He was one of 
the "great men" of that century, though, unfortunately, the sup- 
porter of an imbecile and treacherous king. There is also a 
full-length likeness of Richard Waldron, jr., the son of that 
brave old man who at Dover was hacked to pieces by the In- 
dians. Mrs. Hancock, likewise, graces those old and crumbling 
walls, with a face and figure as beautiful and graceful as Hebe. 

Mr. Brewster, in his " Rambles about Portsmouth," has given 
us the best description extant of the early settlement of that 
city. He writes as follows : 

" A few rods southwest of the fort, at Odiorne's Point, they erected their 
fish flakes, which gave the name of Flake Hill to the knoll. During the first 
few years of the existence of the colony, the people suffered every hardship ; 
and, not being acclimated, many of them were carried off by disease. The 
graves of such are still to be seen, a few rods north of the site of the fort ; 
and it is worthy of remark that the moss-covered cobble-stones at the head 
and foot of the graves still remain as placed by mourners two hundred and 
fifty years ago, while a walnut and a pear tree, each of immense size, and 
possibly of equal age with our state, stand like sturdy sentinels, extending 
their ancient arras over the sleepers below." 

Odiorne's Point, where Thompson and his party settled, is a 
peninsula, in the town of Rye. It is at all times nearly sur- 
rounded by water, and in the highest tides actually becomes an 
island. Here the colonists reared the first house and other 
stmctures necessary for labor and defence. They manufactured 
salt for the curing of fish, cultivated the land and traded with 
the natives. 

The Hiltons went up the Piscataqua eight miles, to a place 
which they called "the Neck," a point of land formed by a 
tributary entering the principal river. The land was then cov- 
ered, to the water's edge, with dense forests, beneath whose 
shades wild beasts had their lairs. The rivers abounded with 
fish and fowls. Here the brothers resolved to make their home. 
The place was called, successively, Hilton's Point, Cocheco, 
Northam and Dover. 

Thompson, the overseer of the settlement at I/ittle Harbor, 
became discontented ; and, in the Spring of 1624, removed to 


an island in Massachusetts Bay, wliich lias ever since borne 
his name. 

These two plantations owe their existence to ardent enthu- 
siasm, extravagant expectations, and liberal contributions of 
Gorges and Mason. For several years they made little pro- 
gress ; and the expense of maintaining them far exceeded the 
income they yielded to the proprietors. 

The new movement that was made in 1631, in the settlement 
of "Strawberry Bank," advanced slowly; and, after the lapse of 
thirty years from the arrival of the first settlers in the Piscataqua, 
Portsmouth contained only fifty or sixty families. The Indians 
in the vicinity remained at peace for several years, and quietly 
hunted the wild beasts of the woods, whose skins they bartered 
with the settlers for such goods as they needed. In 1628 the 
colonists were alarmed at meeting the natives, in the forest near 
Dover, hunting with fire-arms. Upon inquiry, they learned that 
they had been sold by Thomas Morton, who had gathered 
around him a dissolute company of disorderly persons and out- 
laws, at a place since called Braintree, but named by him "Merry 
Mount." Morton was seized by the magistrates of Plymouth, 
and sent a prisoner to England. Future generations were made 
bitterly to rue the day when this heedlfss wretch first put fire- 
arms into the hands of the savages. It does not appear that 
Mason and Gorges made any effort to extinguish the title of the 
natives to the lands they occupied. These roaming red men 
were not supposed by them to have any rights which white men 
were bound to respect. Those who actually occupied the soil 
thought differently. Hon. Charles Bell, in his semi-centennial 
discourse before the New Hampshire Historical Society, says : 
"There is abundant ^-idence still surviving to show that every 
rood of land occupied by the white men, for a century after they 
sat down at Piscataquack, was fairly purchased from the Indian 
proprietors and honestly paid for." 

In 1638, a settlement was begun on Swamscot river, by a small 
company of emmigrants from Massachusetts, who had been ban- 
ished on account of heresy. Religious opinions then controlled 
politics and legislation. The questions of creeds were then 
more prominent than those of rights. It was oftener asked. What 
shall I believe ? than. What shall I do ? 

The leader of these Massachusetts exiles, John Wheelwright, 
was a man of superior endowments and high culture. He was 
educated for the ministr)', but adopted Puritan opinions ; hence 
he emigrated to Boston, in 1636, three years after "the learned, 
mild and catholic Cotton," who immediately became, according 
to Puritan usage, a teacher in the church of which Mr. \Mlson 
was pastor. Mr. Wheehvright was at once made a freeman in 


the State, and a member of that Boston church which was styled 
"the most glorious church in the world, both for their faith and 
order and their eminent gifts of utterance and knowledge." It 
was agreed that the occupants of Mount Wallaston, now Quincy, 
which was deemed an appendage of Boston, should constitute 
a separate church, and that Mr. Wheelwright should become 
their pastor. 

A new actor now appears upon the stage. In 1634, Mrs. Anne 
Hutchinson, wife of William Hutchinson, came to Massachusetts 
from Alford, near Boston, England. She was a woman of su- 
perior endowments and held peculiar religious views. She says : 
" After our teacher, Mr. Cotton, and my brother, Mr. Wheelwright, 
were put down, there was none in England that I durst hear." 
She therefore followed Mr. Cotton to America. Mr. Wheel- 
wright soon followed her and became her disciple. Mrs. Hutch- 
inson came in the very vessel which bore a copy of the royal 
commission for calling in the charters of the colonies. At such 
a time local divisions, for any cause, were dangerous. Win- 
throp thus alludes to her, in his history : " One, Mrs. Hutch- 
inson, a member of the church of Boston, a woman of ready wit 
and bold spirit, brought over with her two dangerous errors ; ist, 
that the person of the Holy Ghost dwells in a justilied person ; 
2d, that no sanctification can help to evidence to us our justifi- 
cation. From these errors grew many branches ; as first, our 
union with the Holy Ghost, so as a Christian remains dead to 
every spiritual action, and hath no gifts nor graces, other than 
such as are in hypocrites ; nor any other sanctification than the 
Holy Ghost himself." This belief was called "Antinomianism." 
Mrs. Hutchinson soon formed a powerful party, who favored her 
views. She became a bold and caustic critic of the clergy who 
opposed her views, and denounced them as under a " covenant 
of works." She held assemblies twice a week, for a time, for 
those of her own sex, at which nearly a hundred hearers were in 
attendance. Governor Vane adopted her views. All the mem- 
bers of the Boston church, except five, became her followers. 
Among these five were Mr. Wilson, the pastor, and Winthrop, 
late governor of the colony. The countrj- towns opposed her. 
The controversy became fierce ; friends were estranged and the 
public peace endangered. When Wilson, the pastor, rose to 
speak, Mrs. Hutchinson and her partisans rose and walked out. 
Mr. Cotton was the colleague of Wilson, and was the favorite of 
the new zealots. An Indian war was impending; and when a 
force was ordered to take the field for the salvation of the settle- 
ments, the Boston men refused to be mustered, because they 
suspected the chaplain, who had been designated by lot to ac- 
company the expedition, of being under "a covenant of works." 


The colony was reduced to a state bordering on anarchy, by 
the eloquence and zeal of one factious woman. Eveiy church, 
in every town of Massachusetts, and the " Great and General 
Court" were divided and distracted by the abstract questions 
that grew out of this discussion. 

"On the occasion of these dissentions in the churches," the 
General Court proclaimed a fast. Mr. Wheelwright was ap- 
pointed to preach the sermon. The excitement was increased. 
The contending factions became more violent. Mr. Wheelwright 
was charged by his opponents with the heresy of "antinomiaiiism." 
A majority of the church were his partisans ; it would not, there- 
fore, be for the public good that they should ivy the offender. 
The elders and civil magistrates succeeding in bringing the ac- 
cused before the General Court, it was decided that in case of 
"manifest heresy, dangerous to the state," the Court could pro- 
ceed without the previous action of the church. Mr. Wheel- 
wright was arraigned, heard and adjudged guilty of sedition and 
contempt. The Boston church petitioned, and this act was re- 
garded as an insolent contempt of court, to be punished by dis- 
franchisement and banishment. Ne.xt a synod of all the churches 
was called to settle differences. They sat and condemned eighty- 
two errors of opinion. How marvelous must have been the sub- 
tlety of those divines to detect so many heresies in " the most 
glorious church in the world." The Court felt obliged, on ac- 
count of the public welfare, to disfranchise and banish Mr. 
Wheelwright. Many of his friends shared his fate. Some re- 
moved to Rhode Island ; others followed their leader to Exeter. 
Mrs. Hutchinson, the prime mover of this "constructive trea- 
son," of course was involved in the general condemnation of her 
tenets. She is called by one historian " the master-piece of 
woman's wit;" by another, a woman "of a bold and masculine 
spirit;" by another, "the American Jezebel." 

It is not probable that, in a heated controversy like this, 
the blame was entirely on one side. Gov. Winthrop and the 
other fathers in church and state pleaded that unity of feeling 
was at that time essential to their very existence. The king 
stood ready to seize their charter, and no plea at court was 
stronger than the existence of dissensions on matters of relig- 
ion. The savages were conspiring for their destniction, and 
divided counsels and divided forces would ensure their ruin. 
Mr. Palfrey, himself a Unitarian clerg}'man and an eminent 
politician, vindicates the conduct of the Puritans, on the ground 
that the right of self-defence, in a government, is paramount to 
all others ; and when the State is imperiled, the rights of indiv- 
iduals must be sacrificed. Mr. Bancroft leaves the reader to in- 
fer that he disapproves of the measures of the Puritans with 


reference to Mrs. Hutchinson. He shows that her principles, 
adopted in Rhode Island, there yielded " the peaceable fruits of 
righteousness." She, in her new home, so won the hearts of the 
young men to her views, and by her eloquence and pretended 
inspiration so moulded the social and political life of the new 
plantation, that, to the leaders in Massachusetts, it " gave cause 
of suspicion of witchcraft." It may be doubted whether a more 
eloquent, persistent and influential woman ever lived. On a 
wider theatre she would have produced greater results ; in these 
little colonies she was stronger than the clergy and came near 
defeating the magistrates. 

Mr. Wheelwright and his exiled friends came to Exeter in 
July, 1638. They determined to make a permanent settlement 
on the banks of the Swamscot ; accordingly they purchased the 
land they wished to occupy of the Indian sagamores who then 
possessed it. For two centuries there has been much discus- 
sion about an earlier deed given to Mr. Wheelwright, dated May 
17, 1629, by four Indian chiefs, then residents within the terri- 
tory of the Laconia Company. Mr. James Savage, the best 
authority in early American history that New England has pro- 
duced, in his appendix to the first volume of Winthrop's Histoiy 
of New England, has presented unanswerable arguments against 
the genuineness and authenticity of the Wheelwright deed of 
1629. Recently, Rev. Dr. Bouton, the State Historian of New 
HamjDshire, has proved beyond a doubt that deed to be a for- 
gery. In his view, there is not one particle of evidence that Mr. 
Wheelwright was then, or for several years after, either a visitor 
or resident in this country. When Mr. Wheelwright came to 
the Swamscot, in 1636, the Indians seemed to be the only per- 
sons in the territory who could give any valid title to the soil. 
Other eminent writers have presented very able arguments in de- 
fence of the deed. Cotton Mather, writing to George Vaughan, 
Esq., in 1708, respecting the Indian deed to Wheelwright, says: 

" All the wit of man cannot perceive the least symptom of a modern fraud 
in your instrument. The gentleman whot litt upon it is as honest, upright 
and pious a man as any in the world ; and would not do an ill thing to gain 
a world. But the circumstances of the instrument itself, also, are such Uiat 
it could not be lately counterfeited. If it were a forgery, Mr. Wheelwright 
himself must have been privy to it ; but he was a gentleman of the most un- 
spotted morals imaginable; a man of most unblemished reputation. He 
would sooner have undergone martyrdom than have given the least conniv- 
ance to any forgery." 

The fraud must have occurred after his death if at all. This 
will relieve Mr. Wheelwright of all complicity with it. 

There was then no representative of the grantor or grantee 
upon the continent. The Council of Plymouth was dissolved ; 
Mason, to whom they granted the territory, was dead, and his 


heirs, being minors, did not for the next thirty years after his de- 
cease renew tlieir claim. Tlie crown had no representative in 
New England. Had this little handful of men been dropped 
from the clouds, like rain, upon this wilderness, they could 
scarcely have been more independent. They had no govern- 
ment. For one year they were governed by a sense of natural 
justice. If any form existed, it was a mere verbal agreement. 
At the close of one year, on the 4th of July, 1639, '^^^y solemnly 
subscribed a written instrument, which they called a " combina- 
tion." This infant constitution is deeply imbued with Puritan- 
ism. It shows religion still in the ascendency. As this agree- 
ment of the settlers of E.xeter was the first written constitution 
in New Hampshire, it deserves to be copied entire. It is as 
follows : 

"Whereas it hath pleased the Lord to move the heart of our dread sov- 
ereign Charles, by the grace of God king, &c., to grant licence libertye to 
sundry of his subjects to plant themselves in the westerne parts of America, 
We, his loyal subjects, brethren of the church in Exeter, situate and lying 
upon the river Piscataqua, with other inhabitants there, considering with 
ourselves the holy will of God and our necessity, that we should not live 
without wholesom lawes and civil government among us, of which wc are 
altogether destitute; do, in the name of Christ and the sight of God, com- 
bine ourselves together to erect and set up among us, such government 
as shall be, to our best discerning, agreeable to the will of God, professing 
ourselves subjects to our sovereign lord King Charles, according to the lib- 
ertyes of our English colony of Massachusetts, and binding ourselves sol- 
emnly by the grace and help of Christ, and in his name and fear, to submit 
ourselves to such godly and christian lawes as are established in the realm 
of England, to our best knowledge, and to all other such laws which shall, 
upon good grounds, be made and enacted among us, according to God, that 
we may live quietly and peaceably together, in all godliness and honesty. 
Mo. S. D. 4. 1639." 

Under this organic law both rulers and subjects were bound 
by the most solemn c5aths which the English language could ex- 
press, to discharge their respective duties with justice and fidel- 
ity, in the fear of God. The very next year, Dover and Ports- 
mouth made similar covenants ; and thus, within two years, three 
constitutional governments were formed in the infant Republic 
of New Hampsliire. 



163I TO 164I. 

In 1629 Captain Mason procured a new patent from the 
Council of Plymouth, including the large part of the territory 
called Laconia, previously granted jointly to Mason and Gorges. 
It is described as extending from " the middle of the Piscataqua 
up the same to the farthest head thereof, and from thence 
northwestward until s'xty miles from the mouth of the harbor 
were finished ; also, through Merrimack river to the farthest 
head thereof, and so forward up into the land westward until 
sixty miles were finished ; and from thence to cross over land 
to the end of sixty miles accounted from Piscataqua river, to- 
gether with all islands within five leagues of the coast." It is 
impossible to understand why this grant was made, nor to fol- 
low, intelligibly, the metes and bounds affixed to it. It covers 
less area than the preceding grant and gives no new privileges 
to the grantee. Mason and Gorges are said to have divided 
their former grant between themselves; Gorges taking the un- 
occupied lands east of the Piscataqua, which he called Maine, 
and Mason holding, under his new patent, the territory recently 
granted, which he named New Hampshire, in honor of Hamp- 
shire or Hants in England, which had been his old home. The 
settlers within the limits of Mason's patent also divided into 
Upper and Lower Plantations and procured of the Council pa- 
tents for their respective territories. To the west-country ad- 
venturers was assigned " all that part of the river Piscataqua 
called or known by the name of Hilton's Point, with the south 
side of said river up to the falls of Swamscot and three miles 
into the main land for breadth." 

This grant was made to Edward Hilton. It included, within 
its limits, Dover, Durham, Stratham and a part of Newington and 
Greenland. The London adventurers, with similar prudence, se- 
cured from the Council a grant " of that part of Laconia on 
which the buildings and salt-works were erected, situated on 
both sides of the river and harbor of Piscataqua, to the extent 
of five miles westward by the sea-coast, then to cross over to- 
wards the other plantation in the hands of Edward Hilton." 
This vague description included Kittery, in Maine, and the 
towns of Portsmouth, Newcastle, Rye, with a part of Newing- 
ton and Greenland. I Captain Thomas Wiggin was appointed 
agent of the Upper Plantation, and Captain Walter Neal agent 


of the Lower Plantation. About the same time, Humphrey 
Chadbourne built " the Great House," as it was called, on the 
bank of the main river, about three miles from its mouthn This 
plantation had a saw-mill at Newichewannoc falls (now Ber- 
wick) which Chadbourne, at a later period, managed for them. 
The English proprietors of these lands sent over several cannon, 
for the common defence, which their agents planted on Great 
Island at the mouth of the harbor, on a high rock, about a bow- 
shot from the shore. Here it was intended to build a fort. It 
was presumed that " the redoubling noise of these great guns, 
rolling in the rocks, would cause the Indians to betake them- 
selves to flight." But they soon learned to distinguish between 
the harmless roar and 

— " the terms of weight 
Of hard contents, and full of force in-g'd home. 

The planters came near to open war on account of the occu- 
pation of a point of land in Newington by Captain Wiggin, 
which was equally convenient for the Upper Plantation. Cap- 
tain Neal threatened, Captain Wiggin persisted, and an appeal to 
arms was imminent, when mutual friends interposed and ad- 
justed he dispute. No blood was shed ; and yet, by a negative 
process adopted by some etymologists, it was called " Bloody 

Upon the cessation of hostilities by land, a new foe ap- 
proached their shores by sea. A famous pirate, named Dixy 
Bull, rifled the fort at Pemaquid and captured several boats 
along the shore, thus greatly alarming the settlers on the Piscata- 
qua. The two plantations united in fitting out four pinnaces and 
shallops, with forty men, to chase and conquer the pirates. Be- 
ing joined by a bark, with twenty men, from Boston, they went 
to Pemaquid in pursuit of the enemy. A storm arose, which 
scattered Neal's little fleet, like that of ^neas of old, and drove 
the pirate eastward beyond their pursuit. This Lilliputian navy 
returned in a shattered condition to the " deep waters " of the 
Piscataqua. The peril of such an enterprise was greater than 
that of Minos or Pompey in chasing, in different ages, pirates 
from the Mediterranean Sea. The next year, 1633, the proprie- 
tors of the Upper and Lower Plantations adjusted their bound- 
ary lines, and made compromises where they encroached upon 
one another. They also laid out the town of Hampton, though 
no settlement was made there for several years. The company 
of Laconia ordered these surveys and gave names to the towns, 
agreeing with Wheelwright that his plantation upon the Swam- 
scot should be called Exeter. When the agents of these planta- 
tions were appointed, it was agreed that their " several busi- 
nesses should be trading, fishing, tillage, building and the mak- 
ing of salt." These ordinary pursuits did not satisfy Mason 


and Gorges. Their whole fortunes were embarked in these en- 
terprises and, hitherto, they had received no adequate returns. 
The colonies were not self-supporting. The proprietors paid 
their laborers wages, supplied them with provisions, clothes, 
utensils, medicines, articles of trade, tools for building, hus- 
bandry and fishing, and stocked their farms with domestic ani- 
mals of all kinds. Meal was imported from England ; grain 
from Virginia, which was sent to Boston to be ground. The 
lands were but slightly improved ; the lakes were unexplored ; 
no mines were discovered but those of iron, and that was not 
wrought. Vines were planted but yielded no fruit. The inter- 
ests of the colonies were declining. The planters sold their 
betterments to the proprietors, who in the midst of all these 
discouragements did not 

— "bate one jot 
Of heart or hope ; but still bore up and steer'd 
Right onward.'* 

Mason, with a merchant's hopefulness, made new investments, 
expecting rich returns in some remote future. Gorges, with a 
statesman's ambition, saw with his mind's eye, in the long vista 
of coming years, principalities, dominions, and possibly thrones, 
for himself and his heirs. Both these worthy gentlemen ex- 
pected rich treasures from the mountains. The Spaniards had 
been enriched by the mountains of Mexico and Peru ; why 
should not the mountains of New Hampshire prove equally rich 
in the precious metals ? The most romantic tales had been cir- 
culated respecting the natural beauty, fertility and resources of 
the " North Countrie." There were lovely lakes, noble rivers, 
" goodlie forests and faire vallies, and plaines fruitfull in corn, 
vines, chesnuts, wallnuts, and infinite sorts of other fruits." In 
fact, the country abounded in everything that could delight the 
eye or please the taste. Gorges himself penned a glowing de- 
scription of the natural scenery ; the wild beasts that invited 
the hunter, and " the divers kinds of wholesome fish " that 
would tempt old Izaak Walton to leave the Elysian fields, if he 
could " drop a line " to these finny tribes. 

In June, 1642, Darby Field, with two Indian guides, first as- 
cended the White Mountains. In August of the same year 
another party, led by Thomas Gorges and Richard Vines from 
Maine, set out, on foot, to explore the "delectable mountains." 
They penetrated the desert wilderness and climbed the rugged 
sides of the "White Hills" from the East. They gave a very 
extravagant and incoherent description of what they saw. Their 
imaginations ran riot in marvelous inventions. They described 
them as "extending a hundred leagues, on which snow lieth all 
the year." On one of these mountains they found a plain of a 
day's journey (it must have been a Sabbath day's journey). 


whereon nothing grew but moss ; and, " at the further end of 
this plain, a rude heap of mossy stones, piled up on one another, 
a mile high, on which one might ascend from stone to stone, like 
a pair of winding stairs, to the top, where was another level of 
about an acre with a pond of clear water." The country beyond 
was said to be "daunting terrible." They named those moun- 
tains the " Chrystal Hills." Their provisions failed them be- 
fore the beautiful lake was reached ; and, though they were 
within one day's journey of it, they were obliged to return home. 
So the men of that age died without the sight. It is passing 
strange that men, reputed honest, could make such a wild re- 
port of regions that required no 'inventions to make them at- 
tractive and wonderful. No gold was discovered, though the 
proprietors confidently e.xpected to find it. Even the colonists 
were smitten with the "accursed hunger." They neglected agri- 
culture, the only true source of national wealth, and sought for 
riches in the sea, the forests and the mountains. The line and 
the musket were more used than the plow and hoe. During ten 
years of toil and privation they had hardly encroached at all 
upon the wilderness. 

In 1634 the proprietors appointed Francis Williams governor. 
" He was a discreet, sensible man, accomplished in his manners, 
and was very acceptable to the people." Laborers and materials 
for building, ammunition, military stores, tools of every descrip- 
tion and all necessary supplies were again forwarded from Eng- 
land. The first neat cattle imported into the colonies were from 
Denmark, large in size, yellow in color. Shortly after the ap- 
pointment of the new governor, the Pl}'mouth Council was re- 
quired to surrender its charter to the king. The members of 
the Council in England, nobles and merchant princes, had grown 
indifferent to its welfare ; Mason and Gorges hoped for greater 
favors from the king than from the Council of Plymouth. Mason 
was the open enemy of the charter ; Gorges feebly defended it ; 
but both these proprietors were willing to take their chance in a 
lottery for the distribution of the territory of New England. 
The different provinces, from the Penobscot to the Hudson, were 
accordingly assigned, by lot, to the twelve living members of the 
Corporation, and the colonists were left without house or home 
on the soil they had subdued and cultivated. Enemies and fa- 
natics at home traduced them ; the corporators abroad deserted 
them ; the royal party oppressed them. Englishmen above the 
rank of servants were forbidden to go to New England ; ships 
bound thither were detained in the Thames, because of "the de- 
parture of so many of the best, such numbers of faitMul, free- 
born Englishmen and good Christians." A squadron of eight 
ships was detained by the Privy Council in May, 1638. It is 


said that Hampden and Cromwell were on board this fleet. Thus 
the foolish king detained at home the axe that was prepared for 
his own neck. A special commission was appointed by the Crown 
to govern the New England colonies. The hand of Laud, the 
Ahithophel of Charles, was in all this, who hoped that by agents 
of his own nomination he could dictate laws and regulate the 
church of this new world. The Massachusetts colonists pre- 
pared for the worst. They were determined to fight for their 
hearths and homes in the wilderness. "We ought," said min- 
isters and people, "to defend our lawful possessions, if we are 
able ; if not, to avoid and protract." 

The charter was annulled in 1635. By this act the English- 
men of Massachusetts, and those colonies of New Hampshire 
tliat held land by their grants, had no rights and no property 
there. Massachusetts and New Hampshire belonged, by lot, to 
Gorges, Mason and the Marquis of Hamilton. The colonists, 
of course, were greatly alarmed, but not injured. The royal 
power was waning; the king could not execute his own decrees ; 
the church could not inflict its own penalties. The rack, the 
dungeon and the scaffold, those bloody steps that lead up to the 
temple of liberty, were fast going into desuetude. Their work 
was done. The colonies lived on, under their own charter, which 
was a royal grant, distinct from that of the Council of Plymouth, 
as though "the great swelling words of vanity" uttered in West- 
minster Hall were but the lying oracles of a worthless idol. 
"The Lord frustrated the design" of their enemies. Mason 
was the chief instigator of these assaults of state and church 
upon Massachusetts. His sudden death near the close of this 
year of trials weakened the power of the accusers. Gorges 
cared not to aid them. Mason, some time before his death, be- 
sides retaining, as he supposed, all his former grants, purchased 
of Gorges a portion of Maine. It lay, three miles in breadth, 
on the northeast side of the Piscataqua, from its mouth to its 
farthest head, including the saw-mill at Newichewannoc falls. 
Gorges and Mason had expended their whole fortunes on these 
plantations. Gorges thus enumerates some of his trials and losses : 

" I began when there was no hopes, for the present, but of losse ; in that 
I was yet to find a place, and, being found, it was itselfe, in a manner, dread- 
ful! to behoulders; for it seemed but as a desart Wildernesse, replete oncly 
with a kind of savage People and overgrowne trees. So as I found it no 
mean matter to procure any to go thither, much Icsse to reside there ; and 
those I sent knew not how to subsist, but on the provisions I furnished them 
withall. I was forced to hire men to stay there the winter quarter at ex- 
tream rates." 

This was certainly a hard case for one who hoped to become 
"lord of the manor" in this new world, and to have a multitude 
of serfs to do his bidding. Mason fared no better. His im- 


mense estate was swallowed up in outlays, supplies and wages ; 
and at his death his New Hampshire claim was valued at ten 
thousand pounds. By will he devised his manor of Mason Hall 
to his grandson, Robert Tufton, and the residue of New Hamp- 
shire to his grandson John Tufton, requiring each to take the 
name of Mason. His widow could not continue the supplies to 
agents and factors which her husband had furnished, and they 
divided the goods and cattle among themselves, the agents tak- 
ing the lion's share. Many of the settlers departed, and those 
who remained kept possession of the lands and buildings and 
claimed them for their own. 

Mason and Gorges established no government over their col- 
onies. They had ruled them precisely as a company of laborers 
is directed, by agents and superintendents. Civil wrongs had 
no redress but public opinion. The two plantations, for the 
present being thrown upon their own resources, proceeded to 
form a constitution for themselves. The inhabitants of Dover, 
by a written instrument signed by forty-one persons, — the exact 
number that signed the first written organic law known to his- 
tory, in the Mayflower, — agreed to submit to the laws of England, 
and such others as should be enacted by a majority of their num- 
ber, until the royal pleasure should be known. The date of the 
Portsmouth "combination" is uncertain. Some time in 1640 
the inhabitants of that plantation entered into a political coven- 
ant and chose Francis Williams, who had been sent over by the 
proprietors for that purpose, governor, and Ambrose Gibbins 
and Thomas Warnerton assistants. 

The first settlements at Hampton were made under the aus- 
pices of the Massachusetts colony. The place was called by the 
Indians Winnicunnat. The extensive salt-marsh in the vicinity 
first attracted the attention of stock raisers. On the third of 
March 1635 — 6, the General Court of Massachusetts ordered 
the settlement of a plantation at Winnicunnet, and authorized 
Mr. Dumer and Mr. John Spencer " to presse men to build a 
howse," which was soon after built, and called "the Bound 
Howse," probably to fix the northern boundary of that state. 
The site of the house is now in Seabrook, nearly half a mile 
north of the present line of Massachusetts. The expense of 
building was to be paid from the treasury of the colony or "by 
those that come to inhabit there." The architect of the famous 
house was Nicholas Easton. It was finished in 1636. In 1638, 
emigrants from Norfolk, England, were permitted by the General 
Court to settle there, and at this date the plantation contained 
fifty-six inhabitants. 

in 1641, four distinct settlements had been made within the 
present limits of New Hampshire — Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter 


and Hampton. These were little democracies governed by the 
people living within the respective limits of each. Hampton 
was, by its origin, attached to Massachusetts. Portsmouth and 
Dover were not sufficiently strong to maintain independent gov- 
ernments. They naturally gravitated to the older colony on the 
Bay. For about one year the proposed union was discussed by 
the people ; and finally, on the fourteenth of April, 1641, it was 
consummated by a legal instrument signed by commissioners 
in presence of the only legislative body on the continent having 
even a show of authority for such an act. The new citizens were 
received with extraordinary favor. The test of church member- 
ship, as a qualification for the freeman's franchise, was dispensed 
with in respect to the New Hampshire voters. Her citizens were 
permitted to vote and hold office without regard to religious quali- 
fications. They were admitted, also, to equal rights and priv- 
ileges, political and judicial, with the freemen of Massachusetts.! 
They were exempted from all public charges, except such 'as 
should arise among themselves or for their own peculiar benefit. 
They enjoyed their former liberties of fishing, planting and sell- 
ing timber. They were allowed tosend two deputies to the Gen- 
eral Court ; and officers were named in the instrument of union, 
who were authorized to appoint magistrates in the New Hamp- 
shire towns. After the lapse of a year Exeter joined the new 
union. This act was probably delayed on account of the sen- 
tence of banishment which still hung over the head of their re- 
vered pastor, Mr. Wheelwright. He immediately withdrew from 
the newly acquired sovereignty of Massachusetts and retired, 
with a few faithful followers, to Wells, Maine, and there gathered 
a new church. The government of Massachusetts became at 
once supreme in New Hampshire and continued in force thirty- 
eight years. The government of England was too much dis- 
tracted, at that time, to give any attention to her colonies. The 
throne was tottering ; the church was rent into sects ; and civil 
war was about to drench the whole land in fraternal blood. 
Massachusetts had obstinately refused to surrender her charter, 
though often required to do so. Under the royal seal she had 
claims to vast territories yet unoccupied. She the more willingly, 
therefore, encouraged the union with New Hampshire, because 
of her constructive title to the soil. One clause in the royal 
charter bounded her territory by a line drawn from east to west, 
"three miles to the northward of Merrimack river or of any and 
every part thereof." This was sufficiently indefinite to make 
them owners of all the land that joined them, in all the patents 
of Mason- and Gorges. The political marriage of these sister 
republics was consummated without opposition, for there was no 
one to forbid the bans. 




In most of the early settlements in New England families 
were the basis of the state. Husbands, wives and children emi- 
grated from fatherland together. So the Pilgrims founded New 
Plymouth. We find but few allusions to the presence of women 
in the plantations of Cocheco and Strawberiy Bank. Mr. Quint 
says "the only settlers at Cocheco, in the spring of 1623, 
were Edward Hilton, William Hilton and Thomas Roberts and 
their families." Mr. Farmer, in his Memoir of Winthrop Hil- 
ton, says : "Whether Edward Hilton, at the time of his arrival, 
was married or single does not appear." It is not probable 
that many of these colonists brought their wives and children 
with them. It appears from existing correspondence between 
them and Capt. Mason, that the proprietors contributed quar- 
terly to the support of their wives at home. In a letter of 
Thomas Eyre to Mr. Gibbins, dated May, 163 1, this paragraph 
occurs : " Your wife, Roger Knight's wife, and one wife more, 
we have already sent you, and more you shall have as you write 
for them." In a schedule of goods sent to the colonists in 1632, 
we find "24 children's coates," showing the need of such gar- 
ments in the infant state. Among the emigrants sent in 1634 
there were twenty-two women. In a letter of Ambrose Gibbins 
to Capt. Mason, dafed .-lugust 6, 1634, we find the following 
sentences : " A good husband with his wife to tend cattle and to 
make butter and cheese will be profitable ; for maids, they are 
soone gonne in this countrie." These allusions show that do- 
mestic life was pretty thoroughly established within ten years 
after the first company came. All the ages repeat the history of 
the first : " It is not good for man to be alone." 

" The earth was sad, the garden was a wild ; 
And man the hermit sighed, till woman smiled." 

It is hardly credible that these little communities lived for ten 
years without some form of worship, still the records of that 
time make no mention of it. Among the articles sent over in 
1633 we find "one communion cup and cover of silver, and one 
smaH communion table cloth." In another inventory, near the 
same date, we find "two service books" and a "psalter." 
These entries show that " divine service" and " the Holy Com- 
munion " were deemed essential to their welfare. 


The same agent, Mr. Gibbins, writes to Capt. Mason under 
date of July 13, 1633, that some of his laborers had neither 
"meat, money nor clothes." For himself, wife, child and four 
men, he had but half a barrel of corn, and only one piece of 
meat for three months. The men were working for four and 
six pounds a year. The money for wages was also wanting, yet 
the proprietors were constantly writing that they were incurring 
great debts and large risks and receiving absolutely nothing in 
return. It was a hard case both for the proprietors and for the 

Poverty and hardship, however, did not curb the passions 
of the people. Crimes of the darkest dye were not uncom- 
mon. Officers, both in church and state, were the slaves of 
lust and avarice. George Burdet, after holding the position 
both of governor and minister at Cocheco, was convicted of 
adultery at Agamenticus ; Capt. John Underhill, governor of 
that plantation, confessed the same crime. Hanserd Knollys, 
or Knowles, is called by some historians an Anabaptist and an 
Antinomian. Winthrop also calls him " an unclean person." 
In England he was persecuted for non-conformity. In this 
country he was a zealous Puritan. Thomas Larkham, a church- 
man, came to Dover in 1640. He admitted to the church "all 
that offered, though never so notoriously immoral or ignorant, if 
they promised amendment." He assumed to rule both church 
and state. Parties were formed by the friends of the two con- 
tending clerg}'men. They resorted at first to spiritual, finally 
to carnal, weapons. A civil war was prevented by the interposi- 
tion of magistrates from Portsmouth. The two leaders, Knol- 
lys and Larkham, left the scene of action about the same time. 
Knollys, in 1640, went into voluntary exile, and his name 
passed into history with some charges of heresy attached to it. 
He has found an able vindicator in Rev. Alonzo Quint, who 
fearlessly maintains that he was neither a Baptist nor an Anti- 
nomian. Mr. Larkham privately took ship for England, in 
1641, to avoid the shame of a scandalous crime which he had 
committed. Rev. Stephen Bachiler, the founder of Hampton, 
was accused of bigamy by his third wife whom he left behind 
him, when in his old age he went to England and took a fourth 
wife. Thomas Warnerton, who was associated with Gibbins in 
the government of Strawberry Bank, was guilt)' of almost every 
crime possible to a man in his condition. He was killed in a 
lawless foray upon the Port of Penobscot in Maine, in 1644. At 
the house of a friend he is said to have drunk " a pint of kill- 
devil, alias Rhum, at a draught." If the proprietors had sent 
over less " aqua vita;" rum, beer and tobacco, the standard of 
morals, doubtless, would have been higher in the plantations. 


After the death of Capt. Mason, his property was stolen by 
his agents. About " one hundred head of great cattle," valued 
at t\venty-five pounds each, were driven to Boston and sold by 
Capt. Norton who was a thief and a robber. These cattle were 
"very large beasts of a yellowish color and said to be brought 
by Capt. Mason from Denmark." After the desertion of the 
plantation by Capt. Norton, " the rest of the stock, goods and 
implements belonging to Capt. Mason were made away with by 
the servants and others." 

The worst passions of men often rage in times of the greatest 
calamities. History teaches us that in times of pestilence, 
earthquakes and conflagrations, the living rob and plunder the 
dead and dying ! When penalties are removed, violence and 
theft prevail. Lawless men always follow the train of civil- 
ization as it moves forward into the wilderness. Such has been 
the fact from the first to the last new settlement in America. 



Historians, jurists and critics of high authority have main- 
tained that the colony charter of Massachusetts constituted the 
first settlers a corporation and gave them no higher powers than 
are usually granted tc^such bodies. "They had no authority to 
inflict capital punishment, to establish courts of probate and ad- 
miralty, to create a house of representatives, to levy taxes, nor to 
incorporate towns, colleges, parishes and other like organiza- 
tions." No political government can exist without these rights ; 
consequently, from the natural law of self-preservation, they af- 
firm that the colonists from the beginning assumed these powers 
and continually exercised them, till their charter was recalled by 
Charles II., in 1684. It was, say they, a bold step in the Pil- 
grims to transport their charter across the ocean ; it was a still 
bolder step to usurp powers which were never delegated to them. 
Other authors equally able, possibly superior, vindicate the Puri- 
tans from all these charges and show conclusively, from the 
charter itself, that they were guilty of no usurpation in establish- 
ing a firm government beneath the fegis of the royal charter. 
Prof. Joel Parker, the successor of Story in the Cambridge Law 
School and, by general consent, the ablest jurist New Hampshire 


has produced, lays down and proves, by very cogent logic, the 
following proposition : 

1. "The charter is not and was not intended to be an act for the incor- 
poration of a trading or merchants' company merely. But it was a grant 
which contemplated the settlement of a colony, with power in the incor- 
porated company to govern that colony." 

2. " The charter authorized the establishment of the government of the 
colony, within the limits of the territory to be governed, as was done by vote 
to transfer the charter and government." 

3. " The charter gave ample power of legislation and of government for 
the plantation or colony, including power to legislate on religious subjects, 
in the manner in which the grantees and their associates claimed and exer- 
cised the legislative power." 

Armed with such plenary powers by their charter, they pro- 
ceeded to exercise them, according to their best judgment, in pro- 
viding for the political safety and religious welfare of themselves 
and their posterity. 

By the charter, the supreme authority was vested in a gover- 
nor, a deputy-governor and eighteen assistants, to be chosen by 
the freemen from their own number, who constituted " the Court 
of Assistants." The freemen at first constituted the General 
Court. At their first meeting, in 1630, they voted to delegate the 
legislative and executive powers to the Court of Assistants. Iii 
1634, in consequence of the great increase of immigrants, the 
freemen revolutionized their infant democracy and ordered two 
deputies from each town to represent them in the General Court. 
These deputies were required to be of the orthodox religion. 
None but church members could be Freemen. So the church 
controlled the state. The congregational form of church gov- 
ernment was established by law. The militia system was among 
the earliest institutions of the colony. Every male, above six- 
teen years of age, was required to appear in arms once every 
month ; at a later date this drill was limited to six days. The 
inhabited territory was divided into towns, whose magistrates 
were denominated " Select Men." These miniature states devel- 
oped a spirit of republican independence and educated the peo- 
ple to self-government. 

The administration of justice was exceedingly simple, direct 
and efficient. The court of assistants was at first the chief 
judicial bench. With the rise of counties came county courts, 
held by magistrates nominated by the freemen and confirmed 
by the General Court. The assistants exercised the powers of 
justices of the peace. The jurors were chosen by the freemen. 
The legal processes were simple and intelligible to all. The 
practice of holding up the right hand, instead of kissing the 
bible, was introduced by the Puritans. Slavery was recognized 
by law. Captives in war, and even insolvent debtors, were sold 
into servitude. The stocks, pillory and whipping-post were trans- 


ferred from their native land ; and even torture was allowed, 
provided it was not '■''barbarous and inhuman." Here is a dis- 
tinction witliout a difference ! 

Heresy was punished by excommunication, disfranchisement, 
banishment and death ; the reviling of magistrates and elders, 
by fines and whipping. The aristocracy, in church and state, 
was very sacred. Sumptuary laws were enacted against excesses 
of every kind in food, drink and dress. As early as 1630, the 
governor discouraged the drinking of toasts. Laws were made 
against tobacco, immodest fashions, costly apparel and exorbi- 
tant prices of goods ; but all these rules failed to secure the re- 
sults sought by the legislators. The morals of the age were 
relatively high but not absolutely pure. The Roman poet said 
rightly : " You may expel nature by violence ; but she will return 
and reign victorious over artificial restraints." 



After the union of New Hampshire with Massachusetts, the 
laws, customs and religion of the larger and older became those 
of the weaker and younger colony. Dr. Belknap has given an 
excellent summary of the laws adopted by Massachusetts. John 
Cotton, one of the first ministers of Boston, an eminent divine 
who came to the colony in 1633, left the impress of his mind 
and creed upon the entire system of laws first adopted by the 
colony. They were founded, chiefly, on the laws of Moses. 
He maintained " that the government might be considered as a 
theocracy, wherein the Lord was judge, lawgiver and king ; that 
the laws which He gave Israel might be adopted, so far as they 
were of moral and perpetual equity ; that the people might be 
considered as God's people, in covenant with him ; that none 
but persons of approved piety and eminent gifts should be 
chosen rulers ; that the ministers should be consulted in all mat- 
ters of religion ; and that the magistrate should have a super- 
intending and coercive power over the churches." By these 
principles human opinions were subjected to the civil ruler, 
and the church and state were indissolubly united. The only 
safeguard against the worst religious despotism known to his- 
tory was, that these laws must be adoptecl by a majority of the 


freemen. The clergy, of course, had a commanding influence 
in the state, because none were voters but church members ; 
none were church members but those who had been elected by 
a majority of the church ; none were propounded but those ex- 
amined and approved by the elders ; and none were examined 
but those who were recommended by the pastors and teachers. 
Here was a hierarchy of unlimited power ; but the theatre of 
its action was small and the props that supported it very weak. 
Slavery, according to the old Roman law, was pronounced " con- 
trary to nature," except when the result of capture, in war or 
for crime. Its alleviations were then those of the Mosaic code. 
Blasphemy, idolatry, witchcraft, adultery, unnatural lusts, mur- 
der, man-stealing, false witness, rebellion against parents and 
conspiracy against the commonwealth were made capital crimes. 
The drinking of healths and the use of tobacco were forbidden. 
The intercourse of the sexes was regulated by strict laws. The 
ceremony of betrothing preceded marriage. Sumptuary laws 
regulated dress, equipage and expenditures. Women were ex- 
pressly forbidden to wear short-sleeved and low-necked gowns ; 
and men were obliged to cut their hair short, that they might not 
resemble women. This was an old custom of the Puritans, who, 
from their close-cropped hair, contrary to the custom of the cav- 
aliers, who wore long, flowing locks, were called ^'■round-heads." 
This sobriquet is said to have originated with the queen of 
Charles I., who, on seeing Mr. Pym, the leader of the Long Par- 
liament, passing the palace, said to the king, "who is that 
' round-headed ' man in the street below ? " No person not 
worth two hundred pounds was allowed to wear gold or silver 
lace, or silk hood and scarfs. Offences against any of these 
laws were presentable by the grand jury, and, when not capital 
in their nature, were punished by fines, imprisonment, the stocks 
and whipping. In brief, these judicial Solomons undertook to 
regulate the thoughts, words, deeds, dress and food of every 
man, woman and child in the colony. The law was designed to 
be omnipresent. The population of the four settlements in New 
Hampshire at the period of the union was about one thousand; 
that of all New England twenty thousand. 

Note. — Occasionally we read of some of the customs of the days of the Puritans, which 
are veir interesting. At Dunstable, Mass., in 1651, dancing at weddings was forbidden ; in 
1660, William Walker was imprisoned a month for courting a maid without the leave of her 
parents; in 1675, because *' there is manifest pnde appealing in our streets" the wearing of 
long hair or periwigs and "superstitious ribbons" was forbidden: also, men were forbidden 
to keep Christmas, as it was a Popish custom." In 1677, a "cige" was erected near the 
meeting-house for the confinement^ of Sabbath breakers, and John Atherton, a soldier, was 
fined forty shillings for wetting a piece of an old hat to put into his shoes, which chafed his 
feet while inarching. 




The energetic proprietors of New Hampsliire and Maine were 
not moved to plant colonies in the wilderness to extend the area 
of freedom or promote the interests of religion, but to aggran- 
dize their houses and increase their private fortunes. Mason 
and Gorges were not democrats but royalists ; not Puritans but 
Cavaliers ; not Independents but Episcopalians. The men they 
hired to fell the trees, till the soil, fish, hunt and mine, in the 
new world, were not exiles for conscience' sake, but from love 
of gain. No provision was made by masters or servants for the 
preaching of the gospel. No man cared for their souls. The 
first churches were formed at Hampton and Exeter. Hampton 
claims precedence in time ; for, when the place was incorporated 
as a plantation, in 1635, some of the grantees were already 
" united together by church government." " The original mem- 
bers of the church and the first settlers of the town, generally, 
were Puritans ; many of them were from the county of Norfolk, 
England, where christians of this class were very numerous." 
They brought a pastor with them. They soon erected a church 
of logs, where, literally shrouded "in a dim religious light," they 
paid their vows to the Most High. The first pastor of this first 
born church of a new state, and the father of the town, was 
Rev. Stephen Bachilpr, an ancestor, on the mother's side, of 
Daniel Webster. The settlement at E.xeter, the same year, be- 
gan its existence by the organizing of a church and the found- 
ing of a state. Eight members of the church of Boston fol- 
lowed Rev. John Wheelwright in his compulsory exile, and at 
once formed themselves into the first church of Exeter. These 
were all Calvinists of the straitest sect. Thus the leaven of 
Puritanism was hidden in two of the four rising towns of New 
Hampshire ; and in process of time, through the influence of 
Massachusetts, the whole lump was leavened. The History of 
the New Hampshire Churches, by Rev. R. F. Lawrence, gives a 
graphic account of the origin of the first church in Portsmouth. 
I will quote a passage: "'Therefore, Honorable and worthy 
countr\'men, ' said Captain Smith to the New Hampshire colo- 
nists, ' let not the meanness of the word fish distaste you, for it 
will afford you as good gold as the mines of Potosi, with less 
hazard and charge, and more certainty and facility.' This 


discloses, in the briefest manner, the origin of Portsmouth, for 
that lofty and self-forgetting devotion to great principles which 
baptized many of the early settlements lining the New England 
coast never set its seal on the brow of Strawberry Bank. The 
first colonists, fishmongers of London, more intent on trade than 
religion, arrived three years after the Pilgrims at Plymouth. 
They first settled at Little Harbor, nor was it until seven years 
that houses began to dot the ridge which ran along from Pitts 
street to Chapel Hill, then called 'the Bank.' Here the church, 
with its wholesome discipline and heavenly comforts, found no 
early home. Though a chapel and parsonage seem to have been 
built, no regular provision was made for a settled ministry until 
1640, when twenty of the inhabitants deeded to some church 
wardens fifty acres for a glebe. " The first preacher was Rich- 
ard Gibson. " He was wholly addicted to the hierarchy and 
discipline of England, and exercised his ministerial function ac- 
cording to the ritual." He remained in office but a short time, 
and was succeeded by several temporaiy preachers till the people 
built a new meeting-house and, in 1658, called and settled Rev. 
Joshua Moodey from Massachusetts. He was a devout, earnest 
and impressive preacher ; yet the original tendencies of the col- 
onists were so strong that it required thirteen years of assiduous 
labor for him to gather a church. Finally, in 1661, the civil 
authorities invited several churches to assist in the formation of 
the first church in Portsmouth, and " in the ordination of offi- 
cers therein. " 

Dover was settled in 1623 ; after the lapse of seven years only 
three houses had been erected. Its progress vifas very slow for 
ten years, and, during all that time, there was no public religious 
instruction. After the territory passed into the hands of Puritan 
owners, they sent out from the west of England some colonists 
" of good estate and of some account for religion," and with them 
a minister of their own faith. William Leveridge, an O.xford 
graduate, "an able and worthy Puritan minister," came to Dover 
in 1633, and remained about two years ; then, for want of ade- 
quate support, removed to Boston. He was succeeded by George 
Burdett, a churchman, politician and an intriguing demagogue. 
His popular talents made him governor, and, in that capacity, 
he opened a correspondence with Archbishop Laud, the bitter 
enemy of the Puritans. He not only deceived the people over 
whom he ruled, but violated the laws he had sworn to execute. 
He committed a heinous crime, in consequence of which he left 
the Plantation and went to Agamenticus, in Maine. In ]u\y, 
1638, Hanserd KnoUys, a graduate of Cambridge, came to Bos- 
ton. He had received episcopal ordination, but had joined the 
Puritan party. At the invitation of " some of the more re-_ 


ligious," he came to Dover. Dr. Quint thus states the con- 
dition of affairs when he arrived : 

" When KnoUys came to Dover, in 163S, hefound a settlement originated 
under Episcopal auspices, tiiougli enlarged under other influences ; a people 
mixed in their character, none of them emigrants for conscience' sake, and 
none of them Puritans of the Bay type ; the settlement a refuge for men 
who could not endure the Massachusetts rigor ; no church organized after 
fifteen years of colonial life, and a minister who, in spirit a churchman, was 
corresponding with Archbishop Laud, and who was supported by a portion 
of the people. ' Of some of the best minded' Knollys gathered a church. 
But it was in the midst of a people who had generally no love for Puritan- 
ism. Burdett left the town, but ' another churchman, ' Larkham, came in, 
and by appealing to the looser elements succeeded in superseding Knollys." 

Such was the origin of the first four churches of New Hampshire. 



In England, cities, boroughs and parishes have e.xisted from 
time immemorial ; but no such political organizations as towns. 
The Pilgrim fathers found Holland divided into townships, which 
regulated their own internal affairs through municipal officers of 
their own selection. Of Holland Motley says : " It was a land 
where every child went to school ; where almost every individual 
inhabitant could read and write ; where even the middle classes 
were proficient in mathematics and the classics, and could speak 
two or more moderrf languages." Their industry and economy 
are noticed with high commendation. The Pilgrims probably 
gained from the Hollanders some of their excellent notions res- 
pecting local legislation and public schools. 

Town organizations in New England are the purest democ- 
racies the world has ever known. They constitute the chief 
safeguard to our national liberties. The militia, the town, the 
school and the church are the corner stones of the temple of 
liberty. Through their agency, we obtain free men, free thought, 
free opinions and free speech. The town organizations in New 
Hampshire grew naturally out of the plantations. The limited 
number of settlers in each locality produced mutual dependence, 
a community of interests and frequent deliberations upon the 
common welfare. Each of the first four plantations became a 
town when they made their " combinations " for the purposes of 
local government and mutual safety. The town-meeting which 


grew out of these infant states was as purely democratic as the 
ecclesia in ancient Athens. Here the whole body of freemen 
met in deliberation ; and as there then existed no religious or 
property qualifications for suffrage in New Hampshire, nearly 
every adult man was a voter, and every such voter was person- 
ally interested in the decrees of this popular assembly. After the 
union with Massachusetts, these town-meetings assumed new 
importance. In them the local power was delegated to a board 
of selectmen, and the legislative power was conferred on depu- 
ties who were to represent the towns in the General Court at 
iJoston. This delegation of power to representatives laid the 
foundation of the state and national republics. But the town 
meeting was the freeman's school. There he learned to delib- 
erate and to discuss and decide questions of public interest. 
"Town-meetings," says De Tocqueville, "are to liberty what 
primary schools are to science : they bring it within the people's 
reach; they teach men how to use and how to enjoy it." In 
these democratic assemblies, the planters resolved to defend their 
homes against the incursions of savages, the aggressions of pro- 
prietors and the prerogatives of monarchs. This element of 
popular liberty was so important through the whole colonial his- 
tory of New England, that it has been affirmed with great truth, 
that the American Revolution had its birth in the town meetings 
and school-houses of the scattered colonists. The king's com- 
missioners of the revenue, writing from Boston in 1768, com- 
plained of New England town-meetings, in which they said : 
"The lowest mechanics disscussed the most important points of 
government, with the utmost freedom." The cry of the Court 
party was : " Send over an army and a fleet to reduce the dogs 
to reason." 

In 1647, Massachusetts established a system of free schools. 
Scotland had some years earlier set up a system of parochial 
schools under the control of the Presbyterian church, which in that 
country was united with the state. These schools were designed 
to educate all the children of each parish. The New England sys- 
tem was more liberal than the Scotch and was under the super- 
vision of the government and not of the church. It is the first 
establishment of schools without tuition, open to all and free to 
all, known to history. The formation of districts in each town 
for the purposes of general education, near the beginning of 
the present century, furnished another occasion for the local ad- 
ministration of these schools by all the freemen residing in each 
district. The school-house became a Hall of Legislation for the 
little community that built and owned it ; and here taxes were 
imposed, rules adopted and committees chosen for the govern- 
ment and maintenance of the school. 


The church, like the school and town, became a seminary of 
liberty. Most of the early churches were congregational in 
government and discipline. All questions of interest in the 
church were decided by major vote ; and the congregation gave 
their voice in the same way when a pastor was called and set- 
tled. Most of the early ministers were settled by the towns 
where they officiated ; of course the entire body of the freemen 
was called upon to vote for or against the candidate. 

Thus all local affairs pertaining to law, learning and religion 
were debated and decided by the votes of the towns in purely 
democratic assemblies. The power of the press was soon ad- 
ded to these other educational forces. The first newspaper in 
New Hampshire was issued on the seventh of October, 1756, at 
Portsmouth. It was called the New Hampshire Gazette and 
Historical Chronicle. It was owned and published by Daniel 
Fowle, till the year 1784. Other editors succeeded him, who 
have continued the paper to the present day. Other journals 
of a similar character were soon published, till in process of time 
the press became the most potent political educator in the state. 

Trained in a similar school, the town-meeting of Providence, 
R. I., thus addressed their friend. Sir Henry Vane, who is styled, 
"under God, the sheet anchor of Rhode Island": "We have 
long been free from the yoke of wolvish bishops ; we have sit- 
ten dry from the streams of blood spilt by the wars of our na- 
tive countiy. * * * We have not known what an excise 
means ; we have almost forgotten what titles are. We have long 
drunk of the cup of as great liberties as any people that we 
can hear of under the whole heaven." 

Note.— Colonel Charles H. Bell, President of the New Hampshire Historical Society, has 
:i well-preserved copy of the first book printed and published in the state. It is entitled 
"Good News from a Far Country, in Seven Discourses; Delivered in the Presbyterian 
Church in Newbury, by Jonathan Pannv, A. M., and Minister of the Gcsple there, and now 
Published at the desire of Many of the Hearers and Others." " Printed in Portsmouth by 
Daniel Fowle, 1756." The book, with a modern binding, is in excellent condition, and 19 
printed upon clear type and good paper and is easily read. 




The growth of New Hampshire was not very rapid for many 
years after its political union with an older and more prosperous 
state. The four original plantations continued to be the centres 
of population and influence. From them went forth small col- 
onies and began settlements in the adjacent territories, which in 
process of time became independent, so that nearly twenty sep- 
arate towns have been incorporated from the territory first in- 
cluded within the bounds of Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter and 
Hampton. The laws, customs and religion of Massachusetts 
immediately took root in the soil of New Hampshire. Exeter 
and Hampton were at first annexed to the jurisdiction of the 
courts of Ipswich, till the establishment of a new country called 
Norfolk, which embraced the four settlements of New Hamp- 
shire, with Salisbury and Haverhill in Massachusetts. This 
county then included all the territory between the Merrimack 
and Piscataqua. Salisbury was the shire town ; though Dover 
and Portsmouth each had separate courts in which magistrates 
of their own presided. An inferior court, consisting of three 
justices, was established in each town, with jurisdiction in all 
cases under twenty shillings. Here were the germs of the Su- 
preme Court and Court of Common Pleas. For a few years the 
associate magistrates were appointed by the General Court. In 
1647, the towns of Dover and Portsmouth were allowed in joint 
meeting to choose the associates ; so that a democratic element 
was early introduced into the New Hampshire courts. In 1649, 
the assembled wisdom of the two colonies condemned as sin- 
ful the wearing of long hair, and the magistrates declared their 
detestation and dislike of the practice " as a thing uncivil and 
unmanly, whereby men do deform themselves, and offend sober 
and honest men and do corrupt good manners." 

The heirs of Capt. Mason now began to assert their claims 
10 the territory of New Hampshire. The eldest grandson of 
Mason died in infancy. His brother Robert Tufton became 
of age in 1650. After the lapse of two years, Mrs. Mason 
sent over an agent named Joseph Mason to regain possession of 
her husband's estate. He found Richard Leader occupying 
lands at Newichewannoc and brought a suit against him in the 


court of Norfolk. A question arose whether the land in dis- 
pute were not within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. An 
appeal was made to the General Court, who ordered a survey of 
the northern boundary of their patent to be made. Two com- 
petent surveyors, with Indian guides, proceeded up the Merri- 
mack to find its most northerly head. The Indians affirmed 
that it was at Aquedoctan, the outlet of the Winnipiseogee lake.* 
The latitude of this place was found to be forty-three degrees, 
forty-three minutes and tvvelve seconds. Experienced seamen 
were then sent to the eastern coast who found a point of an 
island in Casco Bay to be in the same latitude. A line was 
then drawn through these two points, from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific ocean, which was declared to be the northern boundary 
of Massachusetts, within which the whole claim of Mason was 
included. After thus throwing the asgis of their protection over 
this immense territory, with a show of generosity they granted 
to the heirs of Mason "a quantity of land proportionable to his 
disbursements, with the privilege of the river. " The agent made 
no further effort to recover Mrs. Mason's estate, but returned 
home, hoping that the government of England would interpose. 
As the Mason family had always belonged to the royalist party, 
they expected no relief during the commonwealth and the pro- 
tectorate of Cromwell. After the restoration of Charles II., 
Robert Tufton, who now took the sirname of Mason, petitioned 
the king for redress. The attorney-general reported that "Rob- 
ert Mason, grandson and heir of Capt. John Mason, had a good 
and legal title to the province of New Hampshire." This decis- 
ion was made in 1662. The king did not act decisively in the 
matter till 1664, when he appointed commissioners "to visit the 
several colonies of New England, to examine and determine all 
complaints and appeals in matters civil, military and criminal." 
Imperial power was here delegated. The commissioners were 
authorized to decide matters of the highest moment " according 
to their good and sound discretion." Of course such dictation 
was offensive, in the highest degree, to the colonists. The com- 
missioners were treated with great coolness. No public honors 
awaited their arrival in any town. They passed through New 
Hampshire, taking affidavits and listening to the complaints of 
disaffected persons. Among these was one Abraham Corbett, 
of Portsmouth, who had been censured by the general court for 
the assumption of power under the king, which they thought 
was inconsistent with their chartered rights. Corbett drew up a 

*NoTE. — It is said that there are more than forty different modes of spelling the name of 
this lake. There is no uniformity of the orthography of Indian names among early writers. 
Each person endeavored to represent in letters the sounds which his ear caught from native 
lips; hence it is extremely difficult to trace the etymology of Intiian names. The name of the 
lake is now often written and pronounced Winnipesaukee. 


petition, praying for a separate government for New Hampshire. 
A few seditious persons signed it ; tlie majority opposed it. The 
commissioners were haughty and supercilious. They threatened 
heavy penalties for disobediance to the king's mandates. The 
people were alarmed. They appealed to the General Court for 
an opportunity to exculpate themselves from all participation in 
the sentiments expressed in the petition. Commissioners from 
Massachusetts visited Dover and Portsmouth and from the as- 
sembled people received assurances of their entire satisfaction 
with the present government. Exeter did the same through their 
minister Rev. Mr. Dudley. Corbett was arrested and brought 
before the governor and magistrates of Massachusetts, "to answer 
for his tumultuous and seditious practices against the govern- 
ment," and was fined and disfranchised. Lest this bold vindi- 
cation of their rights should seem disloyal to the king, they pro- 
ceeded at once to obey his order respecting the fortification of 
the harbors. Every male inhabitant of Portsmouth was required 
to work one week, between June and October, on the fortifica- 
tions on Great Island. In other respects the decrees of the 
royal commissioners were little heeded. After their business was 
completed they were recalled by the king, who was greatly dis- 
pleased at the treatment they had received, and, by letter, com- 
manded the colony to send agents to England, promising to hear 
in person '■ all allegations, suggestions, and pretences to right oi 
favor on behalf of the colony." Here was, undoubtedly, a con- 
flict of authority. They were disobedient to the king because, as 
they maintained, his commission invaded their chartered rights. 
They pleaded " a royal donation, under the great seal, as the 
greatest security that could be had in human affairs." We can 
easily forgive them for that particular act of disloyalty. 



Cicero remarks : " There is no opinion so absurd that it may 
not be found in some one of the philosophers." Culture is no 
safeguard against errors of opinion. The most learned are often 
the most erratic. Astrology and alchemy originated with schol- 
ars and men of science. In past ages, both the wise and igno- 
rant have been disposed to ascribe whatever was mysterious or 


inexplicable to spiritual agents. Hence, evil demons and those 
who pretended to deal with familiar spirits have held an impor- 
tant place in the popular creeds of all nations. Magicians, wiz- 
ards and sorcerers have addressed themselves with immense 
advantage to the love of the marvelous in men ; and thus impos- 
ture has been enriched at the expense of popular credulity. 
The mind has its diseases as well as the body ; and, like 

— *'the thousand natural shocks 
That flesh is heir to,'* 

they are contagious. They spread by involuntary sympathy. 
We, from our exalted throne of Sadduceeism, wonder at the su- 
perstition and credulity of our fathers. Many volumes have 
been written upon the Salem witchcraft. The ink is now hardly 
dry, that has recorded the pious horror of pantheists, positivists 
and liberal christians, concerning this sad delusion. 

*"Tis true 'tis pity, 
And pity 'tis 'tis true," 

that such abominations should be committed anywhere under 
the light of day, or in the gloom of night ; and, it is especially 
grievous that religious men should perpetuate them. But it is 
nothing strange that the Pilgrims and their children believed in 
witchcraft, when it was the transmitted creed of all the preced- 
ing ages. The Bible taught it ; the Church preached it ; the 
law punished it, and the people feared it. The ignorant are 
usually the greatest dupes of such delusions. On this point I 
will quote the words of the late President Felton : 

" Our fathers knew this better perhaps than we. Their earliest care was to 
secure the benefits of learning to their posterity. The measures they took to 
carry into practical effect this illustrious purpose were suggested partly by a 
love of solid scholarship as warm as ever animated the heart of students 
since their day, and partly by their firm belief that learning was to be the 
great arm of their warfaVe against the Adversary of mankind. 

Milton, in describing the conflict of Michael with the Prince of Darkness, 
says : 

*' The griding sword, with discontinuous wound 
Passed through him ; but the ethereal substance closed 
Not long divisible." 

For spirits, he afterwards adds, 

" Cannot but by annihilating die." 
Earlier than our fathers engaged in the struggle, Luther drove out the 
Foul Fiend who haunted his cell and broke in upon his pious labors, by 
hurling an inkstand at his Mephistophclian head. The battle was not fin- 
ished by the learned weapons our fathers forged and wielded. The same 
Ancient Adversary, cloven down by .Michael, battered and bespattered by 
Luther's inkstand, has stood the tug of war with modern science and educa- 
tion. Hut he has been driven from the open field; he has been humbled into 
a "fantastic Duke of dark corners;" and finally, in our own day, he has lost 
all the glory of the "archangel ruined;" he has dropped even the Mediaeval 
terrors of tail, hoof and horn; he has become a mean, contemptible and 
sneaking Devil. His greatest exploits are to rap under tables for silly women 
and sillier men ; to spell out painfully, by the help of whispers and winks 


and explanations of self-deluded bystanders, and with many an orthographic 
blunder (for he has not learned pJwnography yet) a name or two in as many 
hours ; to construct awkward and unmeaning messages, and convey them 
from the spirit-world to gaping fools around, by joggling tables' legs. Re- 
duced to this most shabby and pitiable condition of Devilhood, I think the 
armory of learning our fathers left us, if we burnish it up and use it aright, 
will soon dislodge him from his crazy quarters, and disarm, if not annibi^iate 

The first victim of the law against witches in New England 
was Margaret Jones of Charlestown. She was executed in 1648. 
The charges against her were that her touch was malignant, pro- 
ducing vomitings, pain, and violent sickness ; that the medicines 
which she administered, as a doctress, though harmless in their 
nature, produced great distress ; that her ill will towards those 
who rejected her medicine prevented the healing of their mala- 
dies ; that some of her prophecies proved true ; and that she 
nourished one of those little imps of Satan called incubi. The 
persons accused at first were old, wrinkled and decrepit women. 
The witnesses were mischievous children and malignant fanatics. 
Spectral evidence, ocular fascination, apparitions, and other un- 
real creations of a diseased imagination were adduced as proofs 
of guilt. " A callous spot was the mark of the Devil ; did age 
or amazement refuse to shed tears, were threats after a quarrel 
followed by death of cattle or other harm, did an error occur in 
repeating the Lord's prayer, were deeds of great physical 
strength performed, — these all were signs of witchcraft." In 
1656, Goodwife Walford was arraigned before the court of as- 
sistants at Portsmouth, on complaint of Susanna Trimmings. 
The complainant testified that on her return to her home, on the 
thirtieth of March, she heard a noise in the woods like the rust- 
ling of swine. Soon Goodwife Walford appeared and asked a 
favor. On being refused, Mrs. Trimmings adds ; " I was struck 
as with a clap of fire on the back, and she vanished toward the 
water side, in my apprehension in the shape of a cat." Other 
testimony of a similar nature was produced, but it does not ap- 
pear that the accused was convicted. The complaint was prob- 
ably dropped at the next session of the court. The next trial 
for witchcraft was at Hampton, September, 1680. A jury of 
twelve men, on examination of the corpse of the child of John 
Godfre, found, under oath, grounds of suspicion that the child 
was murdered by witchcraft. Rachel Fuller, wife of John Ful- 
ler, was arraigned and tried for the supposed crime ; and as no 
record is found of the verdict, it is presumed that she was ac- 
quitted. This subject seems to have slept in New Hampshire 
till the great excitement in Salem in 1692 and 1693. IBut as 
there were no newspapers to publish the doings of Satan either 
in pandemonium or in Massachusetts, New Hampshire was but 


little disturbed by the unjust accusations and judicial murders of 
another state. 

Unice Cole of Hampton was reputed to be a witch. Her 
name has been " married to immortal verse " in Whittier's "Tent 
on the Beach." It appears from the records of Hampton that 
eight persons were drowned in sailing from that town to Boston, 
on the eighth of August, 1657. Their fate was supposed to be 
connected, in some way, with the mysterious words of Unice 
Cole as the vessel rounded the point where her cottage stood. 
A few stanzas from the poet illustrates her supposed agency in an 
event which the recorder denominates "the sad hand of God." 
This very phrase reveals the pendulous motion of the human 
mind from faith to superstition. The poet thus writes : 

" Once, in the old colonial days, 

Two hundred years ago and more, 
A boat sailed down through the winding ways 

Of Hampton river lo that low shorei 
Full o£ a goodly company 
Sailing out on the summer sea. 
Veering to catch the land breeze light, 
With the Boar to left and the Rocks to right 

*Fie on the witch!' cried a merry girl, 

As they rounded the point where Goody Cole 
Sat by her door with her wheel atwirl, 

A bent and blear-eyed, poor old soul. 
*Oho!' she muttered, 'Ye' re brave to-day! 
But I hear the little waves laugh and say, 
The broth will be cold that waits at home; 
For it's one to go, but another to come! ' 

* She's curs' d,' said the skipper ; * speak to her fair; 

I'm scary always to see her shake 
Her wicked head, with its wild gray hair 

And nose like a hawk and eyes like a snake.' 
But merrily still with laugh and shout. 
From Hampton river the boat sailed out. 
Till the huts and the flakes on Star seemed nigh 
And they lost the scent of the pines of Rye. 

Goody Cole looked out from her door: 

The Isles of Shoals were drowned and gone. 
Scarcely she saw the Head of the Boar 

Toss the foam from tusks of stone. 
She clasped her hands with a grip of pain, 
The tear on her cheek was not of rain ; 
' They are lost ! ' she muttered, ' boat and crew ! * 
' Lord, forgive me, my words were true !'" 

The first enactment by Massachusetts against Quakers, who 
are denominated " a cursed sect of heretics," was made in Octo- 
ber, 1656. The penalties, from time to time, were increased 
from banishment to scourging, imprisonment and death. All 
these penalties were inflicted upon the Quakers for several years 
in succession. The law-makers of Massachusetts regarded tol- 
eration as " the first born of abominations ; " they also imagined 
that their political safety was endangered by a diversity of reli- 
gious opinions in the state. New Hampshire, influenced by the 


opinions and laws of the elder colony, subjected Quakers to ar- 
rest and punishment by whipping. In the winter of 1662, three 
Quaker women were sentenced to be whipped through eleven 
towns, with ten stripes apiece in each town. In answer to a 
petition of the inhabitants of Dover, the General Court of Massa- 
chusetts commissioned Richard Waldron (then spelled Wal- 
dern) to act in execution of the laws against Quakers in that 
town. Accordingly, under date of December 22, 1662, that 
magistrate issued his warrant as follows : 

"To the Constables of Dover, Hampton, Salisburj-, Newburv, Rowley, 
Ipswich, Windham, Lynn, Boston, Roxbury, Dedham, and until these vaga- 
bond Quakers are out of this jurisdiction : You are hereby required in the 
King's Majesty's name, to take these vagabond Quakers, Anna Colman, Mary 
Tompkins and Alice Ambrose, and make them fast to the cart's tail, and 
drawing the cart through your several towns, to whip them upon their naked 
backs not exceeding ten stripes apiece, on each of them in each town, and so 
convey them from Constable to Constable till they are out of this jurisdic- 
tion, as you will answer it, at your peril, and this shall be your warrant. 

Richard Waldron." 

In the first three towns above named this cruel decree was 
literally executed. The victims of persecution were then res- 
cued by Walter Barefoot, under pretence of delivering them to 
the constables of Newbury ; but in reality for the purpose of 
sending them out of the province. When we see the name of 
the patriot and hero, Richard Waldron, appended to such a 
barbarous mandate, we blush for the imperfections of man in 
his best estate and cry out with Madame Roland, " Oh, Liberty ! 
what crimes are committed in thy name." The interposition of 
such an unprincipled intriguer as Walter Barefoot, to rescue 
these victims of popular hate and legal vengeance, shows what 
strange contradictions are found in human nature. This kind 
act is said to have been almost the only redeeming trait in the 
character of Barefoot 




When the Pequots were exterminated in 1637, by Massachu- 
setts, the settlements of New Hampshire were too remote to feel 
the shock of arms. From that time the people of New England 
lived in peace with the Indians for thirty-eiglit years. It might 
be expected that old feuds would have been forgotten in that 
lapse of time. It is supposed that the native population of New 
England in 1620 was about fifty thousand. Of these four or 
five thousand resided in New Hampshire. They generally dwelt 
in the valleys of the rivers, and at such points as presented the 
best opportunities for fishing. Civil war and pestilence had 
greatly reduced the number of the aborigines on all the Atlantic 
coast. The tribes were numerous, but the men were few in each. 
There were as many as four sachems residing in the eastern and 
southern parts of the state, who acknowledged a qualified alle- 
giance to Passaconaway, the great sagamore of the Penacooks. 
His home was near the present capital of the state. Concord 
at its first settlement was named Penacook. Passaconaway was 
renowned for his sagacity, duplicity and moderation. He was 
also a famous magician. The neighboring tribes believed that 
he could make water burn, trees dance, and turn himself into a 
flame. He was always jealous of the whites, but was restrained 
from attacking them by fear. At a great Indian festival held in 
i56o, this aged sagamore made his farewell speech to his as- 
sembled subjects. He prophesied a general war, but entreated 
them to remain neutral. " Hearken," said he, "to the last words 
of your father and friend. The white men are sons of the morn- 
ing. The Great Spirit is their father. His sun shines bright 
about them. Sure as you light the fires, the breath of heaven 
will turn the flames upon you and destroy you. Listen to my 
advice. It is the last I shall be allowed to give you. Remem- 
ber it and live." This certainly was excellent advice. It is 
probably embellished a little in the translation by some one who 
greatly admired Indian eloquence. Several versions of this 
speech are extant, all differing in quantity and quality. All we 
can say respecting it is, that it is true "for substance." He told 
them, furthermore, that he had been the bitter enemy of the 
English, and, by his arts of sorcery, had tried his utmost to pre- 
vent their settlement and increase, but could by no means suc- 



ceed. In the war which soon followed, the Penacooks were the 
only Indians in New Hampshire who remained quiet. Wono- 
lanset, the son and successor of Passaconaway, resisted the soli- 
citations of Philip to avenge his own wrongs and those of his 
race. He even withdrew, with his people, from their homes, that 
he might not be drawn into the quarrel. 

There exists among historians a great diversity of opinion 
respecting the character and conduct of Philip, the author of a 
widespread and desolating war in New England. Some writers 
class him and some other Indian chiefs, such as Pontiac, Te- 
cumseh and Black Hawk among the truly great heroes of earth. 
They regard him as the victim of fortune and not the dupe of 
folly. By such critics he is regarded as the projector of a vast 
and comprehensive plan of exterminating the English and ele- 
vating the Indians. His liberal policy embraced the entire In- 
dian race. By his eloquence and perseverance he aroused most 
of the neighboring tribes to a sense of their oppression and en- 
enlisted them in "freedom's holy war." The contest with them 
was for liberty or death. All men admire patriotism ; we may 
not justly withhold it from one who attempted the liberation of 
his race. He was defeated. He fell "from great undertakings," 
not like Phaeton for want of skill, but like Cato for want of 
means. Such are the conclusions of the Indian eulogists. They 
are sentimentalists, who, like Rousseau, prefer savage to civil- 
ized life, and deem the native wilds and noisy falls preferable to 
cities and factories ; or they are authors or artists, who, like 
Schoolcraft and Catlin, share the home of the Indians that they 
may find materials to exalt the race by history and painting. 
Such benefactors, of course, were loved and honored by the na- 
tives. The history of Massasoit, the father of Philip, shows 
that it was easy and useful to the natives to maintain peace with 
the English. For forty years that chief faithfully kept the treaty 
made with the Plymouth colonists a few months after their ar- 
rival. Philip was of a jealous, restless, ambitious and treacher- 
ous temper. Mr. Palfrey denies that his views were wise, saga- 
cious, patriotic, or comprehensive. He concludes his estimate 
of his character, as follows : 

"And the title of King, which it has been customary to attach to his name, 
disguises and transfigures to the view the form of a squalid savage, whose 
palace was a sty ; whose royal robe was a bear skin, or a coarse blanket, alive 
with vermin ; who hardly knew the luxury of an ablution ; who was often 
glad to appease appetite with food such as men who are not starving loathe ; 
and whose nature possessed just the capacity for reflection and the degree of 
refinement which might be expected to be developed from the constitution of 
his race, by such a condition and such habits of life. * * The Indian 
King Philip is a mythical character." 

It is probable that Philip came to the resolution to engage in 


war with some reluctance. It is said that he wept at what he 
regarded as the fatal alternative, and that his young braves ex- 
ceeded their leader in their love of vengeance and eagerness for 
the fight. This wily chief soon found many of the adjacent 
tribes rallying to his standard. He put himself at their head 
and engaged in open war. Hostilities commenced in Swansey, 
Massachusetts, in June 1675. Just before this attack, the Ind- 
ians of Maine, called the Tarrateens, were e.xcited to violence by 
the reckless and foolish conduct of some American sailors, who 
accidentally met the wife of Squando, sachem of the Pequawketts, 
crossing the Saco with her little child in her arms. They had 
heard that Indian children could swim as naturally as the young 
of brutes, and determined to try the experiment. They wan- 
tonly upset the canoe. The child sank ; the mother immediately 
dived and recovered it, but the child soon died. The Indians 
were justly enraged, and ascribed the death of the young child 
to this brutal treatment. Squando, the father, became the in- 
veterate foe of all the whites and eagerly sought revenge. 
His fame was great as a magician, and this gave him a powerful 
influence over the tribes of Maine and New Hampshire. Other 
wrongs done to the Indians by the scattered settlers in Maine 
were alleged as the cause of active hostilities in that state. 

Within twenty days after Philip made his first attack, the whole 
country for two hundred miles in extent was in a blaze of war. 
The greatest terror everywhere prevailed. The Indians, dis- 
persed in small parties, robbed and murdered the unprotected 
settlers in Maine. They approached New Hampshire in Sep- 
tember, 1675, and made their first onset on Oyster River, now 
Durham. Here they burned two houses, killed two men in a 
canoe, and took two aaptive. These soon made their escape. 
Another party lay in ambush, on the road frbm Exeter to Hamp- 
ton, where one man was killed and another captured. They con- 
tinued their march eastward and attacked a house in Berwick, 
where fifteen women and children were collected. All were 
saved but two small children who could not climb the fence near 
the house. They owed their escape to the intrepidity of a girl of 
eighteen. As the Indians came up, she shut the door and held 
it while the others fled. The Indians chopped down the door 
with their hatchets, and entering knocked down the brave girl, 
whom they left as dead, and pursued the fugitives. The heroine 
recovered of her wounds ; yet no historian has recorded her 
name. All the towns on the Piscataqua, ^nd the settlements in 
Maine, were in the utmost distress and confusion. Business 
was suspended. Every man was obliged to provide for his own 
safety and that of his family. The only method of protection 
was to desert their homes and retire to garrisoned houses, and 


from convenient places of observation watch for the lurking foe. 
Thus they were on their guard night and day, subject to the most 
fearful alarms, and every moment expecting assaults. From a 
work entitled "Old Homes of New England," we extract the 
following description of a house still standing in Durham, built 
by Capt. John Woodman for a garrison, its present occupants 
being the sixth or seventh generation of the same name dwell- 
ing in it. 

" It was the citadel of the early settlement. Round about it, from ten to 
thirty rods distant, may yet be distinguished the cellars of houses which 
mouldered at periods beyond the memory of any man living, clustering near 
by that the occupants might speedily take refuge within its defences when 
menaced by Indian raids. It stands on rising ground, three quarters of a 
mile from Oyster River, commanding a view of the valley of that branch, by 
which goods were brought from Portsmouth. It is constructed of solid white 
pine logs a foot thick, some of them two feet in depth as high up as a few 
feet above the second floor, thus forming a parapet to serve as a breastwork, 
the roof being of moderate pitch, for use in some exigencies of Indian war- 
fare, this mode of construction having been adopted in similar strongholds 
in other places. On this upper tier of logs now rests a frame building, fin- 
ishing out the second story and attic. It has in front the projection common 
to such houses, to beat off assailants and prevent thcni from setting fire 
from below. Its small windows and various port-holes and look-outs were 
provided with heavy blocks of wood to protect the iiimates from the enemies' 
bullets. It has all been changed now, covered with clapboards and other- 
wise modernized. It is commodious and sufficiently elegant for present needs 
but as originally constructed it must have proved a formidable defense 
against the weapons and methods of Indian warfare. 

As the fisheries in the neighborhood were the best along the coast for sal- 
mon, shad, and whatever products of the sea Indians chiefly delighted in, it 
was natural that their temper should have been stirred to the quick, exasper- 
ated by the indifference manifested by the settlers to their earlier claims. If 
they wreaked resentment by frequent massacre and cruelties peculiarly sav- 
age, their sense of wrong was aggravated by their want of power to drive off 
the intruders or compel redress. Recent events of greater immediate inter- 
est have blotted out the memory of these baptisms of blood, and the legends 
that have floated down to us are too horrible for relief. Certainly no part of 
the country was more constantly harassed, nowhere were more needed for- 
tresses of strength. The Indians' own castles were girded about by thick-set 
palisades, and this outer defense was likewise adopted by the settlers for 
their garrison-houses. They well answered their purpose, and Belknap men- 
tions an instance when upon alarm the inhabitants of Durham took refuge in 
their fort. The Indians, some hundreds in ntmiber, invested it, but unable to 
make any impression upon its solid walls, and themselves exposed to a gal- 
ling fire from tjie port holes and roof, which rapidly reduced their force, were 
obliged to retreat." 

In October, 1675, the Indians made a second assault on Ber- 
wick. Lieutenant Roger Plaisted sent out from his garrison 
seven men, to make discoveries. They fell into an ambush 
and three of the number were slain. The next day Plaisted, 
with twenty men, went out to recover the dead bodies. They 
were again surprised ; most of the men fled. Plaisted and two 
of his sons, with one faithful friend, disdained to fly and were 


killed. Here was displayed heroism far above that which wins 
honors upon the tented field. The next day Captain Frost came 
from .Sturgeon Creek and buried the dead. Before the close of 
the month the mill of Capt. Frost was burned and an assault 
made upon his garrison. He had only three boys with him ; 
but by keeping up a constant fire and running hither and thither, 
giving loud commands, as to a multitude, he saved his house and 
the murderous savages retired. They then moved down the 
river, plundering, burning and killing as they found people un- 
guarded, till they reached Portsmouth. There they were terri- 
fied by the firing of cannon, and fled. They soon after appeared 
at Dover, Lamprey River and Exeter, committing outrages and 
filling the inhabitants with constant alarm. At the end of No- 
vember it was ascertained that more than fifty persons had been 
killed between the Kennebec and Piscataqua. This was a large 
number, when we reflect that a town then rarely contained more 
than twenty or thirty men. The Indians had lost ninety of 
their men. 

The winter was severe ; the snow was four feet deep in De- 
cember. The Indians were suffering from famine and sued for 
peace. They came to Major Waldron and expressed sorrow for 
their cruelties and promised to be quiet and peaceable in future. 
By his mediation a peace was made with the whole body of 
eastern Indians, which continued till the next August, and prob- 
ably would have continued longer had the eastern settlers been 
more thoughtful and conciliatory toward this irritable and capri- 
cious race. But, during these seven months of quiet, captives 
were restored and general joy pervaded every heart in the east- 
ern colonies. 

Meantime Massachusetts was suffering terrible desolation from 
the ravages of Philip's subjects and allies. The towns of Brook- 
field, Deerfield, Mendon, Groton, Rehoboth, Providence and War- 
wick were burned in rapid succession. Lancaster was laid in 
ruins and Mrs. Rowlandson carried away captive. At Northfield 
Captain Beers was defeated and twenty of his men slain. At 
Muddy Brook, in Deerfield, Captain Lothrop and more than 
seventy young men, the pride of Essex County, were surprised 
and murdered. Other similar disasters occurred in other towns. 
The whole land was shrouded in gloom and every heart was 
pierced with sorrow. Philip withdrew to a great swamp in 
Rhode Island, apparently satiated with blood. There he con- 
structed a rude fortification, enclosing six hundred wigwams. 
He had large supplies and deemed himself impregnable. But 
the troops of Massachusetts forced an entrance, burned the wig- 
wams and slew a thousand of his braves. This was the ruin of 
the savage warrior. His men that escaped the sword in the 


swamp were hunted like wild beasts in the woods. Their vic- 
tories were everywhere turned into defeat. Soon Philip himself, 
the cause of all these disasters, was captured and slain. With 
his death the hopes of the allies went out like a candle, and the 
land, for a time, enjoyed repose. Many of the followers of 
Philip fled for protection to the tribes of New Hampshire. 
They tried to identify themselves with the Penacooks, Ossipees 
and Pequawketts who had agreed upon terms of peace. But 
they could not remain concealed. Some of them were arrested 
and punished. 

In August, 1676, hostilities were renewed, through the agency 
of these strange Indians. Massachusetts sent two companies 
under Captain Joseph Syll and Captain Hawthorne, to aid the 
people of New Hampshire. At Cocheco, on the sixth of Sep- 
tember, they found about four hundred mixed Indians at the 
house of Major Waldron, with whom they had made peace and 
whom they regarded as a friend and father. The two captains, 
recognizing among them many of the murderers of their breth- 
ren, desired to seize them and hold them as prisoners for pun- 
ishment. The Major dissuaded violence and had recourse to 
stratagem. He proposed a sham fight, in the English style, the 
next day. They consented ; and after first discharging their 
muskets, they were quietly surrounded and disarmed. A sepa- 
ration was then made of friends and foes. VVonolanset and the 
Penacooks, with other friendly Indians, were dismissed in peace. 
The strange Indians, who were fugitives from justice, were sent 
as prisoners to Boston, where seven or eight of them were hung, 
and the rest, to the number of about two hundred, were sold 
into slavery in foreign lands. 

Many regard the conduct of Major Waldron as an act of 
treacher}'. The Indians certainly looked upon it as a breach of 
faith which they never forgave. For fifteen long years they 
nursed their vengeance and finally wiped out their scores in the 
blood of the brave old councilor. The condition of Major 
Waldron was one of fearful responsibility. The government 
under which he lived demanded of him the sacrifice he made. 
The strange Indians really had no claim on him for mercy. 
They were disguised criminals mingling with innocent peace- 
makers. Their hands were reeking with the blood of women 
and children ; and although for the moment he consented to in- 
clude them in the treaty with his friends, still the law lequired 
that they should be separated. He was overruled by the repre- 
sentatives of the government and surrendered to their power 
those whom he had previously consented to protect. Major 
Waldron undoubtedly desired to treat these oudaws according to 
the rules of war. He wished to withdraw them from the enemy 


and to save them alive ; but while his treaty was yet incomplete, 
the agents of the government under which he was acting came 
and refused to confirm wliat he had promised. They were or- 
dered " to seize all who had been concerned with Philip in the 
war." Here was a sad dilemma for the peacemaker. He could 
not act on either side without giving offence. If he surrendered 
the Indians, he must incur their perpetual displeasure ; if he 
did not surrender them, he exposed himself to the charge of 
treason to his own government. He decided to obey his superi- 
ors. Most men, even those who condemn him, would have pur- 
sued a similar course. His case was not unlike that of General 
Sherman, when he made terms of surrender for the rebel army. 
The government was dissatisfied with the conditions he pro- 
posed and the enemy accepted, and required the stipulations 
to be changed. The General hesitated not to obey the new 
and more stringent requisitions. Let him who is disposed to 
censure one of the greatest and best men of our early history 
put to himself this question : How should I have acted in like 
circumstances ? 

After the surrender of these fugitive Indians, the Massachu- 
setts companies, with some of Waldron's and Frost's men and 
eight Indian guides from Cocheco, marched eastward in quest of 
the enemy. The eastern settlements had been destroyed or 
abandoned ; no enemy was found, and the expedition proved 
fruitless. Rumor had published a report of the assembling 
of a large body of Indians near the Ossipee ponds, where 
they had intrenched themselves in a strong fort which a few 
years before they had hired English carpenters to build for them 
as a defence against the Mohawks. The companies set out on 
the first of November, 1676, furnished with abundant supplies. 
They traveled four days through the wilderness and met no liv- 
ing man. They found the fort, but it was deserted. A scouting 
party was sent about eighteen miles above, but the enemy was 
nowhere found. The companies returned to Berwick after nine 
days of profitless labor. A Penobscot Indian named Mogg put 
them on this false scent. He came to Boston under pretence of 
making peace for his tribe. In that capacity he was trusted, but 
he proved a traitor to the English, and boasted of his success in 
deceiving them into a covenant of peace. When the treachery 
of Mogg was discovered, hostilities were again renewed. A 
winter expedition was fitted out. Two hundred men, including 
sixty Natick Indians, sailed from Boston on the first week of 
Februar)', under the command of Major Waldron. At Kenne- 
bec he built a fort and left it under the command of Captain 
Davis. At Pemaquid he held a conference with the Indians 
respecting the delivery of prisoners for a ransom, and came 


near being surprised by the treacherous savages while conferring 
with them. Their fraud was discovered and summarily pun- 
ished. They returned to Boston on the eleventh of March, hav- 
ing killed thirteen Indians and taken some valuable property 
without loss to themselves. 

As there seemed to be no immediate prospect of peace, the 
government resolved to employ in their service the Mohawks 
who had long been the inveterate enemies of the eastern tribes. 
They hesitated for a time respecting the propriety and rectitude 
of this act. The Mohawks "were heathen," but the example of 
Abraham in forming a confederacy with the "heathen" Amonites, 
in recovering his kinsman Lot from the hands of their common 
enemy, confirmed them in their purpose. Their doubts were al- 
layed by the Scripture precedent ; messengers were dispatched 
to the Mohawks and they were eager and ready for a fight with 
their ancient adversaries. This alliance with savages proved a 
misfortune to the English, for they murdered, indiscriminately, 
those who were friendly and those that were hostile to the whites, 
and their conduct, it is thought, diverted, in later years, the 
friendly Indians to the side of the French. The eastern Indians 
were excited to new ferocity by the incursions of the Mohawks. 
Scattered parties were robbing, plundering, burning and murder- 
ing in the vicinity of Wells and Kittery, and even within the 
bounds of Portsmouth. These outrages continued for nearly a 
year. Repeated expeditions were sent against them. The Ind- 
ians were often superior in the fight. In one instance, in a bat- 
tle at the mouth of the Kennebec, Capt. Sweet and sixty of liis 
men were left dead or wounded on the field. The summer of 
1677 was passed in constant alarms and fights. During the au- 
tumn and winter following the Indians remained inactive, though 
they were masters of the situation. 

In the spring of 1678 commissioners were appointed to make 
a formal treaty of peace with Squando and other eastern chiefs. 
They met at Casco, now Portland. It was stipulated in the 
treaty that the inhabitants should return to their native homes 
on condition of paying one peck of corn, for each family, annu- 
ally, to the Indians, and one bushel to Major Pendleton who was 
a great proprietor. The Indian title to the lands of Maine was 
thus recognized, and the settlers were humiliated by the pay- 
ment of tribute to their savage foes. It was the best treaty that 
could then be made. The war had lasted three years ; and while 
Philip had been slain and his allies dispersed, the eastern Ind- 
ians had become formidable. Famine was staring the colonists 
in the face ; their foes were too remote and too much scattered 
to allow of systematic warfare ; therefore, they cheerfully sub- 
mitted to these degrading conditions. In Maine they virtually 


acknowledged the supremacy of the aborigines. New Hamp- 
shire retained its independence, though gjeatly crippled in 
wealth and men. 

The whole burden of the war fell upon the colonists. They 
were too proud or too wary to ask aid of England, lest by so 
doing they should encourage royal encroachments. Massachu- 
setts had long been accused of aiming at independence of the 
crown, and New Hampshire was in full sympathy with her sister 

During all this period of sorrow and distress the air and the 
earth were full of signs, omens, portents and wonders. Modern 
science had not yet banished superstition. People were too 
much occupied to study nature's laws. They had not leisure to 
become wise and they were too much distracted to be rational. 
A majority of the men at that age believed the atmosphere to be 
peopled with spirits who brought with them 

"Airs from heaven or blasts from hell." 

Our fathers could, conscientiously, say with Alonzo, in the play : 

"Methought the biltows spoke, and told me of it : 
The winds did sing it to me, and the thunder, 
That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounced'* 

the coming woe. 

" Philip's war commenced in June, 1675, and lasted three years. 
Six hundred of the inhabitants of New England were cut off, 
twelve or thirteen towns utterly destroyed, and six hundred build- 
ings consumed by fire. It is computed that about one man in 
eleven, out of all capable of bearing arms, was killed, and ever)' 
eleventh family burnt out ; that one eleventh of the whole militia 
and of all the buildings of the United Colony were swept off by 
this war. " 

An extract from a letter of Major Waldron, dated April 18, 
1677, reveals the distress occasioned by Indian depredations in 
New Hampshire and Maine : 

"nth instant, 2 men more kill'd at Wells. 12th, 2 men, one woman 
and 4 children killed at York & 2 houses burnt. 13th, a house burnt at Kit- 
tery and 2 old people taken captive by Simon and 3 more, but they gave ym 
their liberty again without any damage to their psons. 14th, a house sur- 
prised on south side Piscatay and 2 young women carried away thence. i6th, 
a man killed at Greenland and his house burnt, another sett on fire, but ye 
Enemy was beaten off & ye fire put out by soine of our men who then recov- 
ed, also, one of the young women taken 2 days before who sts there was but 
4 Indians ; they run skulking about in small p'ties like wolves. We have 
had p't's of men after them in all quarters w'ch have sometimes recovered 
something they have stolen, but can't certainly say they have killed any of 
ym; Capt ffrost is after them in Yorkshire." 

It would require the most exalted christian excellence to love 
such enemies, or spare them when once captured. 

Note.— Major Waldron was one of the great men in the early history of New Hampshire. 
He held, at different times, every important ofBce in the Province. He acted in every public 


station with great fidelity, sometimes with unpardonable severity. He was at first commander 
of the militia, then speaker of the assembly, councilor, acting governor, and the only chief 
justice of New Hampshire who ever sentenced a citizen for high treason. Edward Gove, of 
Hampton, was tried by him for rebellion. His sentence was drawn up in the barbarous lan- 
guage of the old Encilish law. He was ordered *'to be carried back to the p'ace from whence 
he came, and from tnence to be drawn to the place of execution and there hanged by the 
neck, and cut down alive;" and it was further ordered "that liis entrails be taken out and 
burnt before his face, and his head cut off, and lus body divided into four quarters, and his head 
and guarters disposed of at the King's pleasure." This horrible decree was commuted to 
impnsonment, and the zealous opponent of a tyrannical governor was finally pardoned and 
his property restored. 



We, who live in "ceiled houses," with better furniture than 
kings could command three hundred years ago, can scarcely 
conceive of the hardships endured by our ancestors in New 
Hampshire during the first century after its settlement. From 
the day when Philip first lighted the torch of war, in 1675, there 
were continued hostilities, with brief intervals of peace, for fifty 
years ; and the citizen who had lived through that period had 
endured "hardness as a good soldier" longer than the Roman 
veteran when he was released from active service. But our 
fathers found no discharge in that war. They were compelled 
to fight on for their hearths and altars ; for their children and 
country. There fell upon them, at once, a storm of woes such 
as can scarcely be paralleled in history. Indians lay in wait for 
their blood ; proprietors sought to rob them of their property ; 
monarchs usurped their government ; pestilence thinned their 
ranks ; famine wasted their strength, and Frenchmen sent sav- 
ages to murder their families. This combination of destructive 
agents might be very aptly symbolized by the flying and creep- 
ing things that devoured the land of ancient Israel, when the 
prophet exclaimed : " That which the palmer-worm hath left 
hath the locust eaten ; and that which the locust hath left hath 
the canker-worm eaten ; and that which the canker-worm hath 
left hath the caterpillar eaten." Still, they gained skill, energy 
and courage from these very disasters. Like the oak upon 
Mount Algidus, to which the poet compares ancient Rome, they 
derived strength from the veiy axe that pnmed their branches. 
While the Indian war was raging with its utmost fury, in 1675, 
Robert Mason again renewed his claim to New Hampshire and 


petitioned the king for redress. The question was submitted to 
the king's legal advisers, one of whom was the learned Sir 
William Jones ; and they reported " that John Mason, Esquire, 
grandfather to the petitioner, by virtue of several gi-ants from 
the Council of New England, under their common seal, was in- 
stated in fee in sundry great tracts of land in New England, by 
the name of New Hampshire, and that the petitioner, being heir- 
at-law to the said John, had a good and legal title to said land." 
The colony of Massachusetts was immediately summoned to 
answer, before the king, to the charge of usurping jurisdiction 
over territory owned and claimed by the heirs of Mason and 
Gorges. Edward Randolph, the kinsman of Mason, a man of 
great energy and ability, was the bearer of the king's letter. On 
his arrival in Boston, he made known his mission to Governor 
Leverett, who read the king's letter to the Council, and they 
responded, in brief, that " they would consider it." Randolph 
then passed through New Hampshire, informing the people of 
his business. Occasionally a disaffected person was ready to 
complain of the government of Massachusetts, as in all well 
regulated communities and families there is usually some one 
who is ready to be the "accuser of his brethren." The great 
majority of the people, however, were highly incensed against 
the royal messenger. The inhabitants of Dover, in town-meet- 
ing, "protested against the claim of Mason, declaring that they 
had, bona fide, purchased their lands of the Indians, recognized 
their subjection to the government of Massachusetts under 
whom they had lived long and happily, and by whom they were 
now assisted in defending their estates and families against the 
savage enemy." How much is revealed by this pathetic protest ! 
Had Mason then been put in possession of the entire state of 
New Hampshire, it would not have sold at auction for a sum 
sufficient to defray the expenses of that single Indian war, then 
raging. Major Waldron was appointed to petition the king in 
their behalf. The people of Portsmouth, likewise, appointed 
four of their citizens to " draft " a similar petition for them. 

The governor of Massachusetts reproved Randolph for en- 
deavoring to excite discontent among the people. He replied, 
" if he had done amiss, they might complain to the king." 
After a brief stay of six weeks he returned to England, charg- 
ing the magistrates of Boston with oppression, and calling on 
the king to free the people of New Hampshire from their gal- 
ling yoke. After his departure the Council of Massachusetts, 
with the advice of the elders of the church, sent agents to Eng- 
land to answer, in person, to such allegations as might be made 
against them. On their arrival a hearing was ordered before 
the chief justices of the king's bench and common pleas. The 


agents disclaimed all tide to the land claimed by Mason, and 
asserted the right of jurisdiction only over that portion of 
the territory within the limits of the charter of Massachusetts. 
The judges declined to determine the ownership of the soil ; but 
decided that neither the proprietor nor Massachusetts had the 
right of jurisdiction over New Hampshire. It was accordingly 
decreed that the four towns of Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter and 
Hampton were beyond the bounds of Massachusetts. This 
opened the way for the establishment of a separate government 
for New Hampshire. The secretary of state therefore informed 
the colony of Massachusetts that it was the king's pleasure that 
the two colonies should be separated ; and that all commissions 
issued by Massachusetts within the limits of New Hampshire 
should be null and void. The claimant, however, was obliged 
to declare, under his hand and seal, that he would demand no 
back rents due prior to the separation ; and that he would con- 
firm to all settlers their title to their lands and houses on con- 
dition of their payment to him of sixpence in the pound of the 
entire value of their property. On these terms a commission 
was issued on the eighteenth of September, 1679, under the royal 
seal, for the government of New Hampshire as a royal province. 
The union with Massachusetts, which had existed for thirty-eight 
years, was arbitrarily dissolved, contrary to the expressed wishes 
of all the parties interested. This union had been pleasant and 
profitable to both colonies, and was sundered with the special 
regret of the citizens of New Hampshire. It was the more un- 
welcome to them because it was planned to favor the claim of 
Mason, and thus deprive them of their property and their gov- 



The Stormiest period of our colonial history was during the 
reign of the Stuarts, the most impracticable and unfortunate of 
royal families. Every one of them was innocent of any design 
to promote the independence of the colonies ; their blunders 
helped them ; their ruin saved them. Charles the First attempt- 
ed to patch up for himself "a madman's robe" of power, but utterly 
failed; so that it was truthfully said of him, "nothing so be- 


came him in his life as the leaving of it." Charles the Second, 
the meanest and most profligate of all the English monarchs, val- 
ued power and wealth only as they contributed to his pleasures. 
He lived "in wantonness," a pensioner of the hereditary foe of the 
English church and English liberty, and died in the Catholic 
communion, showing that his whole life was a " practical lie." 
This man, 

" Whose promise none relied on, " 

instituted for New Hampshire a new form of government. The 
royal commission was brought to Portsmouth on the first day of 
January, 1680. It ordained a president and council, with very 
liberal powers, to represent the king and constitute the executive 
branch of the government. John Cutts (often written Cutt) was 
appointed president, and Richard Martyn, William Vaughan and 
Thomas Daniel of Portsmouth, John Oilman of Exeter, Chris- 
topher Hussey of Hampton and Richard VValdron of Dover 
councilors, with permission to choose three other qualified per- 
sons out of the several parts of the province, to be added to 
them. The president was to nominate a deputy who was to 
preside in his absence. The council was authorized to admin- 
ister justice, with the right of appeal to the king when the sum 
in dispute exceeded fifty pounds. They also regulated the 
militia and appointed officers. They were required to issue writs 
for the calling of a popular assembly to establish their allegiance, 
assess taxes and provide for the public defence. The king, how- 
ever, retained the right to annul all laws that he did not ap- 
prove. He could also discontinue the representation of the peo- 
ple at his pleasure. The whole constitution was artfully con- 
trived to give a show of great popular liberty and at the same 
time leave the king the supreme ruler of the land. Charles 
hated parliaments as did his " martyred " father ; he therefore 
provided for the suspension of the representative branch of the 
provincial government, in case they should beome insubordinate. 
Liberty of conscience was allowed to all Protestants ; but special 
favor was shown to the church of England. 

This commission was brought to Portsmouth by the same 
Edward Randolph who had made himself so offensive to the 
people on a former mission in behalf of the heirs of Mason. A 
more unwelcome messenger could not have been found. The 
people were dissatisfied with the change ; and the officers named 
in the commission received with manifest reluctance the honors 
conferred upon them. These men were all artfully selected to 
make the government acceptable to the people. They were the 
most trusted and honored men of the province. They had serv- 
ed the people faithfully, in war and peace, during their connec- 
tion with Massachusetts, and enjoyed the confidence and respect 


of all the freemen. The number of voters in Portsmouth was 
seventy-one ; in Dover sixty-one, in Hampton fifty-seven ; and in 
Exeter only twenty. On the twenty-second day of January, the 
councilors took the oaths of office. They chose three other per- 
sons to fill the places designated in the commission. The coun- 
cil was organized by appointing Martyn treasurer and Roberts 
marshal. The president nominated Waldron as his deputy. 

A few disaffected persons only approved of the new order of 
things ; the mass of the people looked upon themselves as en- 
snared by the royal charter. They were deprived of the priv- 
ilege of electing their rulers, which the other colonies of New 
England still enjoyed, and they expected their titles to their prop- 
erty soon to be called in question. A general assembly was sum- 
moned. The persons who were judged qualified to ^^ote were 
named in the writs ; and the oath of allegiance was adminis- 
tered to every voter. A fast was proclaimed to ask the divine 
blessing on the approaching assembly and " the continuance of 
their precious and pleasant things." The first meeting of the 
assembly was held at Portsmouth on the sixteenth of March. 
Prayer was offered and a sermon preached by Rev. Joshua 
Moody. This custom of listening to an election sermon became 
an established custom in New Hampshire in the next century. 
Among the first acts of this new legislature was the preparation 
of a letter to the general court at Boston, expressing in the most 
ample terms their gratitude for their kind protection and ex- 
cellent government. This was accompanied with the assurance 
t'iiat the separation was compulsory and was by them submitted 
to with reluctance. The hope was expressecl that they might 
still be united for the common defence against a common enemy. 
The world's history furnishes few examples of a union so har- 
monious and mutually acceptable to both parties as that between 
these infant states. The assembly then proceeded to frame a 
code of laws. The following preamble, full of the spirit of in- 
dependence, was first enacted: "That no act, imposition, law or 
ordinance should be made or imposed upon them, but such as 
should be made by the assembly and approved by the assembly 
and council." They then proceeded to enumerate fifteen crimes 
punishable with death. Idolatry and witchcraft were among 
them. They in fact merely re-enacted the laws of Massachusetts, 
under which they had been living for so many years. The spirit 
of these was derived from the Mosaic code. The other penal 
laws were such as have, in the main, been continued to this day. 
To prevent future controversies, the boundaries of towns and 
grants of land were to remain unaltered. Juries were to decide 
disputed claims. The president and council constituted the su- 
preme court, with a jury when the parties so elected ; and three 


inferior courts were constituted at Portsmouth, Dover and Hamp- 
ton. One company of infantry was enrolled in each town, one 
company of artillery at the fort, and one company of cavalry, 
all under the command of the veteran Major Waldron. So the 
new administration was opened under the same laws which pre- 
vailed during the recent union with Massachusetts. There were 
but slight changes in any of the departments of the government. 

Soon, however, the royal arm was stretched out, not for pro- 
tection but for robbery. The people were very jealous of the 
least infringement of their rights. The king's tirst aggressive 
act was in the imposition and collection of duties on trade. Ed- 
ward Randolph had been appointed the royal surveyor of ports 
and collector of revenue throughout New England. He made 
proclamation that .all vessels should be entered and cleared by 
him. In the execution of his commisssion he seized a vessel 
belonging to Portsmouth. The master complained of this act 
to the council. Randolph was summoned to answer to the com- 
plaint, but assumed an air of insolence toward the court. He 
was, however, fined and compelled to ask pardon, publicly, for 
the insult offered to the council. He appealed to the king. 
His deputy Walter Barefoot, having published a decree that all 
vessels should be entered and cleared by him, was also indicted 
and fined. The king's officers were decidedly unpopular ; and 
the king's income from the commerce of the colony was a minus 
quantity. Randolph met with no better success in Boston. His 
name and office were everywhere odious. In December, 1681, 
Mason arrived from England, with a mandamus from the king to 
admit him to a seat in the council. He was accordingly allowed 
to sit. He soon revealed the object of his mission. He wished 
to constrain the peop^le to take leases of him. He assumed all 
the powers of a proprietor, forbidding the cutting of wood and 
timber and threatening to sell their houses for rents due. The 
citizens petitioned for protection and the council forbade Mason 
and his agents to act independently of the laws. Mason re- 
fused to sit longer in the council ; and when they threatened to 
deal with him as an offender, he published a summons to the 
president and several members of the council to appear before 
his majesty in three months. This was deemed a "usurpation ", 
and he escaped arrest by fleeing to England. 

While these events were in progress the President Cutts died, 
and Major Waldron, his deputy, succeeded him. The first presi- 
dent was universally beloved by the people. He was a man of 
integrity and patriotism, and his memory is still cherished in 
the towns where he lived. The place where his ashes repose 
is still pointed out in the populous part of the city, where was 
once the orchard of the opulent merchant. The death of the 


president produced some changes in the council : Richard Wald- 
ron, jr., was elected to fill his father's place ; Anthony Nutter 
was chosen in the place of Mr. Dalton deceased. Henry Dow 
was made marshal instead of Roberts who resigned. During 
the brief period remaining of this administration nothing worthy 
of special notice occurred, except a second seizure of a vessel 
by deputy-surveyor Barefoot and a second fine of twenty pounds 
imposed upon him by the council. 

At this date there was little to encourage immigration ; and, 
if possible, less to cheer the hearts of the permanent residents. 
The exports of the province, consisting chiefly of lumber, were 
in little demand in the other plantations. Importations were 
small, as the ships that entered the harbor at Portsmouth 
usually sold their cargoes elsewhere and came there empty to be 
filled with lumber. The fisheries had declined ; and none were 
then cured in New Hampshire. One passage from a communi- 
cation made to " the Lords of Trade " in England, by the coun- 
cil, deserves especial notice. It is to us truly touching in its 
tone : 

" In reference to the improvement of land by tillage, our soil is generally 
so barren and the winters so extreme cold and long, that there is not pro- 
vision enough raised to supply the inhabitants, many of whom were in the 
late Indian war so impoverished, their houses and estates being destroyed 
and they and others remaining still so incapacitated for the improvement of 
the land (several of the youth being killed also), that they even groan under 
the tax or rate assessed for that service, which is, a great part of it, unpaid 
to this day." 

They speak in this letter of the insufficiency of the armament 
of the fort on Great Island. It consisted of eleven small guns. 
" These were bought and the fort erected at the proper charge of 
the towns of Dover and Portsmouth at the beginning of the 
first Dutch war, about the year 1665, in obedience to his maj- 
esty's command, in his letter to the government under which the 
province then was." His majesty's foreign wars taxed heavily 
these poor colonists ; but his majesty's exchequer paid none of 
their bills. It was a glorious privilege to live under a king. 




In the infancy of a state the laws are few, the processes of 
justice simple ; and the bench is guided in its decisions by equity 
and common sense, rather than by precedents. Until 1641 the 
several plantations of New Hampshire, being voluntary associa- 
tions and with but small populations, secured substantial justice 
by agents and officers appointed by the several companies. After 
the union with Massachusetts in 1641, regular courts were organ- 
ized which continued till 1680, when the colony was made a sep- 
arate government and a new code of laws and new courts were 
ordained by an assembly chosen by the people. A superior 
court was established and three inferior courts to be holden at 
Dover, Hampton and Portsmouth. The president of the prov- 
ince, the council, consisting of ten members, and the assem- 
bly constituted the supreme court. This was evidently mod- 
eled after the English parliamentary court organized for the 
trial of offences against " the peace and dignity of the state." 
A jury was allowed, if the parties desired it. Either party, if 
dissatisfied, could appeal to the king in council, if the amount 
in dispute exceeded fifty pounds. During the administrations of 
the royal governors, the courts were often modified by such ar- 
bitrary rulers as Cranfield, Barefoot and Andres. In some 
instances, law and justice were synonymous with a dictator's de- 
crees. Councilors and judges were removed, with cause or 
without, as the governor's prejudices determined. A new organi- 
zation of the courts was made by the legislative assembly in 
1699, which continued in vogue without material change till 
177 1. Justices of the peace in their respective towns were au- 
thorized by this enactment to hear and try all actions of debt 
and trespass, where title to real estate was not involved, if the 
matter in issue did not exceed forty shillings. Either party was 
allowed to appeal to a higher court when dissatisfied. " After 
the temporary constitution was formed, in Januar)', 1776, judges 
were appointed on the 27th day of the same month by the leg- 
islature for the courts of the several counties, and of the supe- 
rior court of judicature. It would appear that the jurisdiction 
of the courts was not changed beyond a few technicalities, so as 
to conform more correctly to the new formed and independent 
government ; and so remained during the war with England." 


An act was passed January 5, 1776, in reference to the several 
courts, which reads thus : " All which courts shall respectively 
hold and exercise like jurisdiction and authority within their 
respective counties, in all matters and causes arising within such 
counties as the Superior Court of Judicature, Inferior Court of 
Common Pleas, and Court of GeneraJ Sessions of the Peace, 
heretofore respectively held and exercised within this colony, or 
by law ought to hold and exercise." In March, 1791, the state 
was divided into five counties, and the courts were modified to 
suit this new division. 

The lirst settlers of Strawberry Bank and Hilton's Point were 
bold, hardy and independent adventurers. They sought the wil- 
derness from motives of gain rather than of godliness. Profit, 
not, piety prompted them to roam. They sought to live by trade 
rather than by toil. When they " bade their native land good 
nirilit," they left behind them the restraints of society, education 
and religion. For the first ten years of their residence in their 
new homes, no records of the administration of justice exist. 
It is probable that the local governors, who represented the pro- 
prietors and the property of the plantations, were somewhat ar- 
bitrary in their treatment of offenders. Doubtless crimes were 
perpetrated and punished ; for in the smallest communities bad 
men are always found. " I have chosen you twelve," said our 
Savior, " and one of you is a devil." This is a pretty fair ratio 
of knaves and cheats to the good and true men of every age. 
We expect about one in twelve to betray his trusts and de- 
fraud his creditors ; and a progressive people increases rather 
than diminishes this average. Only ten years after the first set- 
tlement at Little Harbor, crimes of such enormity were com- 
mitted that the local governor dared not punish them. In Octo- 
ber, 1633, Capt. Wiggen wrote to the governor of Massachu- 
setts requesting him to arraign and try a notorious criminal 
The governor intimated that he would do so if Pascataquack 
lay within their limits, as was supposed. This is said to be the 
first official intimation that Massachusetts claimed to own New 
Hampshire. Other petitions of the same kind followed ; and 
New Hampshire criminals were tried and sentenced by Massa- 
chusetts courts. Sometimes a prisoner escaped to his own col- 
ony, and men of the baser sort there protected him against the 
officers of the law. After the union of the two colonies in 1641, 
the courts of Massachusetts, superior and inferior, were estab- 
lished in New Hampshire. Substantial justice was administered 
and the land had rest. No period of our colonial history was 
so free from harassing litigations, civil and criminal, as that 
passed under the jurisdiction of the Bay State. After the ad- 
vent of royal governors, controversies were multiplied, violence 


usurped the place of law ; and, as in the iron age of the old 
poets, Justice, "last of the celestials," left the land. Law-suits 
respecting land titles, royal tribute and the king's pines pro- 
voked the hostility of the people, and mobs prevented the exe- 
cution of the decrees of royal courts. The Revolution put an 
effectual estoppel to such suits. Under the new government 
the people created their own courts and compelled suitors to 
obey their mandates. It deserves notice, however, that under 
the various governments of the colony and state, for two hun- 
dred years, very few of the justices were eminent for their knowl- 
edge of law. " Under the colonial government," says Hon. 
William Plumer, " causes of importance were carried up, for de- 
cision in the last resort, to the governor and council, with the 
right in certain cases — a right seldom claimed — of appeal to 
the king in council. As the executive functionaries were not 
generally lawyers, and the titular judges were often from other 
professions than the legal, they were not much influenced in 
their decisions by any known principles of established law. So 
much, indeed, was the result supposed to depend on the favor 
or aversion of the court, that presents from the suitors to the 
judges were not uncommon, nor perhaps unexpected." Possi- 
bly the learned Chancellor of King James I. was not, after all, 
the "meanest of mankind." 



Mason had now learned from experience that the people, if 
governed by officers of their own choice, would never admit his 
title to their lands. He therefore besought the king to appoint 
a new president who would favor his claims. Mason, by sur- 
rendering one-fifth of the quit-rents to the king for the support 
of a royal governor, procured the appointment of Edward Cran- 
field as lieutenant-governor and commander-in-chief of New 
Hampshire. Avarice was Cranfield's ruling passion ; and the 
proprietor approached him through that avenue by mortgaging 
to him the whole province for twenty-one years as security for 
the payment of one hundred and fifty pounds per annum to the 
new governor. Thus Cranfield became personally interested in 
Mason's claim. His commission was dated May g, 1682. It 


granted almost unlimited powers. The members of the old 
council were retained and three new members were nominated, 
including Mason. Very soon after entering upon his office, 
Cranfield suspended from the council the popular leaders, Wal- 
dron and Martyn. The people soon learned that Cranfield was 
clothed with extraordinary powers ; and that both their liberty 
and property were in peril. He could veto all acts of the legis- 
lature and dissolve them at his pleasure. The judges also were 
appointed by him. At the first session of the assembly, which 
he called in November, he with royal condescension restored 
Waklron and Martyn to the council ; acting arbitrarily, both in 
their suspension and restoration. The assembly generously 
voted two hundred and fifty pounds for his support. This sop, 
for the hour, filled the gaping jaws of this greedy Cerberus ; but 
the ne.xt session, a few months later, he summarily dissolved, be- 
cause they refused to raise further sums for the support of the 
government. This act created at once popular discontent. A 
mob collected in Exeter and Hampton, headed by Edward Gove, 
a member of the dissolved assembly, and with noise and confu- 
sion declared for " liberty and reformation." Gove passed from 
town to town, calling on the people to rise ; but the majority 
were not ready for revolt. Gove, finding his cause unsupported, 
surrendered himself to the officers of the government, was tried 
for treason and condemned to death. His rash followers were 
pardoned. He was not executed, but was sent to London and 
imprisoned in the tower. 

On the fourteenth of February, 1683, the governor called on 
the inhabitants of New Hampshire "' to take their leases from 
Mason within one month," with threats of confiscation in case 
of neglect to do so. Very few persons complied with this requi- 
sition. The courts were then arranged so as to secure a verdict 
in every case for Mason. The notorious Barefoot was made 
judge ; the council was filled with the creatures of the governor; 
the juries were selected from those who had taken leases of the 
proprietor. With matters thus arranged, Mason commenced 
actions of ejection against the principal inhabitants of the sev- 
eral towns. No defence was made. The verdict in every case 
was for the plaintiff, and he was legally put in possession of the 
forfeited estates ; but, so strong was the popular hatred against 
him, he could neither keep nor sell them. The government 
became a mere instrument of oppression. The citizens were 
harassed beyond endurance. The people, as a forlorn hope, re- 
solved to petition the king for protection. This was done in se- 
cret. Nathaniel Weare of Hampton was appointed their agent 
to present their petition to his majesty. The remainder of this 
turbulent administration was a series of collisions with the assem- 


bly, the people and the pulpit. Cranfield was a perverse, arrogant, 
impracticable schemer ; and repeated failures in his high-handeel 
measures made him desperate. He undertook to rule without 
the assembly, and thus involved himself in difficulty with the 
home government. While he remained in office he succeeded 
in making everybody unhappy and uncomfortable. He owed 
the Rev. Joshua Moody a special spite. He determined to 
bring this sturdy independent to terms. Accordingly he issued 
an order in council, requiring ministers to admit all persons of 
suitable years and not vicious to the Lord's supper ; and their 
children to baptism ; and that if any person desired baptism or 
the sacrament of the Lord's supper to be administered accord- 
ing to the liturgy of the church of England, it should be done. 
The train was now laid for an explosion, and this Guy Fawkes 
held the matches. The governor himself, with Mason and 
Hinckes, appeared in Mr. Moody's church the next Sabbath, de- 
siring to partake of the Lord's supper, and requiring him to 
administer it according to the liturgy. He at once declined to 
do so. Moody was arraigned for disobedience to the king's 
command. He made a suitable defence, pleading that he was 
not episcopally ordained and therefore not legally qualified for 
the service demanded. The governor gained over several re- 
luctant judges and Moody was sentenced to " six months' im- 
prisonment, without bail or mainprise." Mr. Moody was imme- 
diately taken into custod)', without taking leave of his family, 
and held in durance for thirteen weeks. He was released then, 
by the interposition of friends, under charge from the governor to 
preach no more in the province. He was therefore invited to take 
,-charge of a church in Boston, where he remained till 1692, when 
his persecutors had* been removed. Mr. Moody was far in ad- 
vance of his age in toleration. He did not believe in hanging 
Quakers or witches ; but chose rather to rescue them from their 
persecutors. For these reasons, the memorj' of that good man 
is still cherished in all the churches where he was known. 

Mr. Brewster, in his "Rambles about Portsmouth," says : " In 
thirty years, Mr Moody wrote four thousand and seven hundred 
sermons ; or two and one-half each week. In those days ser- 
mons generally occupied one hour." The people had not then 
approached that limit of brevity in pulpit performances pre- 
scribed by an eminent English judge ; his rule for the length of 
a sermon was, " twenty minutes, with a leaning to mercy." 

The governor, being foiled in all his plans, proceeded to levy 
and collect taxes without the sanction of the assembly. His 
officers were resisted ; they were assailed with clubs in the street 
and scalded with boiling water in the houses. In process of time 
the agent of the colony was heard in England, and the lords of 


trade decided that Cranfield had exceeded his instructions and 

the king granted him leave of absence, rewarding his loyaUy with 
an office in Barbadoes. So the colony was relieved of one tyrant 
to give place to another ; for Walter Barefoot, his deputy, reign- 
ed in his stead. Cranfield seems not to have possessed one 
element of nobility of character or generosity. He was deceitful 
and treacherous, as well as vindictive and malicious. His suc- 
cessor, during his short administration, walked in his steps. He 
continued the prosecutions instituted by Mason, and allowed 
persons to be imprisoned on executions which the lords of trade 
had pronounced illegal. The ser\-ice.of these writs was attended 
with peril to the officials. In Dover, the rioters who resisted the 
sheriffs were seized during divine worship in the church. The 
officers were again roughly handled, and one young lady knock- 
ed down one of them with her bible. Both Barefoot and Mason 
received personal injuries, at the house of the former, from two 
members of the assembly who went thither to converse about 
these suits. Mason was thrown upon the fire and badly burned; 
and Barefoot, attempting to aid him, had two of his ribs broken. 
Mason commenced the assault. It was an unseemly quarrel for 
a prospective baron and an actual governor. During the year 
1655 a treaty was made with the eastern Indians which was 
observed by them for about four years. In 1686, Mason, having 
hitherto been defeated in his attempts to recover the cultivated 
lands of the state, turned his attention to the unoccupied por- 
tions. He disposed of a large tract of a million acres, on both 
sides of the Merrimack, to Jonathan Tyng and nineteen others, 
for a yearly rent of ten shillings. The purchasers had previously 
extinguished the Indian title. He also leased for a thousand 
years, to Hezekiah Usher and his heirs, " the mines, minerals 
and ores " within the limits of New Hampshire, reserving to 
himself one-fourth of the "royal ores" and one-seventeenth 
of the baser sort. 




Kings and royal governors seem to have been ordained of 
God to set up, maintain and perpetuate "a scliool of affliction" 
for the New England colonists, who certainly were meet for the 
kingdom of heaven, if "much tribulation" could fit them for it. 
Charles II., in the latter part of his reign, grew more rapacious ; 
he could scarcely become more wicked. He seized every char- 
ter, at home and abroad, which impeded his despotic march. 
The royal charter of Massachusetts had for nearly a century 
shielded her against the assaults of savages, corporations and 
monarchs, a clima.x of human ills such as few rising states are 
ever called to endure. Their "anointed king," as they defer- 
entially called him, resolved to take that province under his own 
protection. Randolph was the malicious " accuser of his breth- 
ren," who stimulated the avaricious monarch to lie in wait for 
the innocent. He traversed the ocean like a shuttle, eight times 
in nine years, to effect "a consummation so devoutly to be wish- 
ed." He succeeded ; and the charter was declared forfeited. It 
was never surrendered. The people resolved " to die by the hands 
of others rather than their own." New England was henceforth 
to be under one president. This was in one respect favorable ; 
for there would be fewer wolves " to cover and devour " the flock. 
The king died before his arbitrary plans were consummated. 
His brother, James II., was more bigoted and cruel than his 
predecessor. No agent of his has a single bright page in history. 
His officials were all men " after his own heart" ; and no Judas 
or Nero ever possessed less of the "milk of human kindness." 
It is not strange that the reputation of William Penn has suf- 
fered at the hands of Macaulay, for being known as the friend 
of such a monster. He appointed Joseph Dudley president of 
New England in May, 1685 ; and, about one year and a half 
later, the infamous Andros, whose reputation for meanness is 
only eclipsed by that of his contemporary, Judge Jeffreys. He 
was styled " Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Ter- 
ritory and Dominion of New England. " These men were both 
armed with frightfully inquisitorial powers. No right, privilege 
or franchise was safe from their grasp. They were virtually em- 
powered to make laws and e.xecute them ; to assess ta.xes and 
collect them. Where popular assemblies were ordained, they 


could easily evade their use or decrees. The provinces were 
now in the hands of tyrants, whose only object was to enrich 
themselves and increase their power. The press was restrained, 
liberty of conscience invaded, excessive taxes levied and landed 
titles annulled. Sir Edmund Andros began, with fair professions 
and conciliatoiy measures, to lure the unwary into his snares. 
His true character was soon revealed ; and he became an object 
of popular aversion. Mason had obtained a decision in the 
king's court against Vaughan, who had appealed from the judg- 
ment rendered against him in New Hampshire. This armed the 
proprietor with new powers, and he proceeded to vindicate his 
claim to the soil with new energy. But in the midst of his pros- 
ecutions Mason was arrested by death, in the fifty-ninth 3'ear of 
his age. He left two sons, John and Robert, as heirs of all his 
quarrels. His life was full of trouble and destitute of honor 
or profit. 

While the political heavens were shrouded in deepest gloom, 
as the people gazed upon the storm in an agony of despair, they 
suddenly beheld 

" a sable cloud 

Turn forth her silver lining on the night." 

The despotism of James H. had gone beyond the people's en- 
durance. They had arisen in their might and driven the perjured 
tyrant from his throne and realm. The arrival of this intelli- 
gence filled the people with joy. Andros imprisoned the man 
who brought the news. The people of Boston rose in arms, 
arrested the governor, Andros, and his principal adherents, and 
sent them as state prisoners to England, to await the decision of 
the new government. The people of New Hampshire were for 
a time left without a responsible government. A convention 
was called, composed of deputies from all the towns, to deliber- 
ate upon their exigencies. At their meeting in January, 1690, 
after some unsatisfactory discussion of other plans, they resolved 
on a second union with Massachusetts. A petition to this effect 
was readily granted by their old ally, till the king's pleasure 
should be known. The old laws and former officials for a time 
resumed their sway ; but this union was brief. The king was, for 
some reasons, averse to the people's wish. Their old adversaries, 
the heirs of Mason, were again in the field. They had sold their 
claim to Samuel Allen of London for seven hundred and fifty 
pounds. Through his influence the petition was not granted ; 
and the same Allen was made governor and his son-in-law, John 
Usher, lieutenant-governor. Thus the people of New Hamp- 
shire were again furnished with a governor, a creature whom 
they little needed and greatly hated. Again war, pestilence and 
famine were at their doors. The Indians were upon the war 


path ; the governor was exercising the vocation of a civil rob- 
ber, and the small-pox was raging in the land with fearful deso- 
lation. The times were dark ; their souls were tried ; their hearts 
were sad ; but their trust was in God. 



When James II. was expelled from England he fled to France, 
and the king of that country espoused his cause. This led to a 
war between England and France which lasted from i68g to the 
peace of Ryswick, in 1697. It was called " King William's War." 
The English colonies were all involved in it. The English king 
not only brought woes upon them by his accession to power, but 
entailed them by his abdication of it. It is difficult to see why 
such scourges of mankind are permitted to live. The patriarch 
so felt when he exclaimed, " Wherefore do the wicked live, be- 
come old, yea, are mighty in power ? " The philosophic poet 
answers the question by another equally puzzling : 

"If storms and earthquakes break nnt heaven's design, 
why then a Borgia or a Catiline?" 

The Indians had, for some time previous to the English Rev- 
olution, shown signs of hostility. Some of those Indians who 
bad been seized, contrary to treaty stipulations, thirteen years 
before, by Major VV^aldron and others, had returned from slav- 
ery. They did not appeal in vain to the love of vengeance so 
characteristic of the red men. A confederacy was formed be- 
tween the tribes of Penacook and Pigwackett [or Pequavvkett]. 
They determined to surprise the Major and his neighbors, with 
whom they professed to live on terms of friendship. They were 
also excited to war by the emissaries of the Baron de Castine, a 
French nobleman who had settled as an Indian trader on lands 
between the Penobscot and Nova Scotia to which both the French 
and English laid claim. This representative of an ancient noble 
house had made his home with savages, and established in his 
house a harem of Indian women. He furnished the Indians 
with muskets and thus stimulated them to fight. Under pretence 
of punishing some violation of the laws of neutrality, Andros 
visited the house of the baron and plundered it, in the spring 
of 1688. Castine, of course, was exasperated at this act of folly 


and roused the Indians, who were his devoted friends, to avenge 
his wrongs. Otlier causes were alleged for the rising of the In- 
dians. Some, doubtless, were just ; for the early settlers of 
Maine were not very punctilious in keeping their treaties with 
the natives. The Indians, with cause or without it, were deter- 
mined to shed blood. On the evening of the twenty-seventh of 
June, 1689, two squaws entered the house of Major Waldron, 
then eighty years of age, and asked permission to lodge by the 
fire. This hospitality was granted. In the night they rose, un- 
barred the gates and gave a signal for the conspirators to enter. 
The brave old man, roused by the entrance of the crowd, seized 
his sword, and for some time defended himself. He was finally 
stunned by a blow upon the head. They then cut off his nose 
and ears, placed him in a chair on a table in his own hall and 
mocked him, shouting, " Judge Indians again ! " Making sport, 
too, of their debts to him for goods he had sold them, they 
gashed his aged breast with their hatchets, and each fiend cried 
out, " Thus I cross out my accounts ! " At length, the venerable 
old councilor, whose "natural force was not abated" by age, 
reeled and fell from the loss of blood, and died amid the exulta- 
tions of his torturers. The assassins burned his house and 
those of his neighbors ; and, after butchering twenty-three inno- 
cent citizens, stole away to the wilderness. Such is Indian war- 
fare. It has less nobility and magnanimity in it than the assaults 
of a beast of prey. 

Some historians affirm that every act of treachery and cruelty 
recorded against the red man has its parallel in the history of 
civilized warfare. This may be true, but these acts of white 
men are the exceptions not the rule. If modern nations always 
violated treaties whenever a powerful ally could be secured ; if 
it were their habit to begin hostilities without previous notice, 
to fight from coverts and ambuscades, to fall upon their ene- 
mies by stealth when alone and unarmed, to scalp and torture 
their captives, to dash infants against trees and rocks and com- 
pel women to wade, for hundreds of miles, through deep snows, 
barefoot and half clad, — then, and then only, would the cases be 
parallel and the character of the red men would be fairly vindi- 
cated. The defence set up for the barbarities of that night of 
horror in Dover is that Major Waldron had, many years before, 
broken his pledge of peace wiih some of these Indians. Sup- 
pose the charge to be true, in all its length and breadth, how- 
does that excuse the wanton cruelties inflicted on his neighbors, — 
on innocent women and helpless children ? The recital of the 
horrors of that fearful visitation even now fills the mind with 
terror. We shudder at the picture which the imagination pre- 
sents of that dreadful scene. The captives, men, women and 



children, with the scalps of the dead, were carried to Canada 
and sold to the French. The history of some of those captives 
surpasses fable. Sarah Gerrish, the granddaughter of RIajor 
VValdron, was taken with the rest. In the journey, on foot, her 
escape from perils of flood, fire and starvation was almost a 
miracle. She was purchased by a lady in Canada, who treated 
her kindly and educated her in a nunnery. A single act of 
gratitude is recorded on that eventful night. The life of a wo- 
man was spared through the intervention of an Indian whom she 
had protected when " the strange Indians " were seized thirteen 
years before. 

Companies of armed men were immediately sent out in search 
of the invaders. Captain Noyes was sent to Penacook and 
Captain Wincal to Winnipiseogee, but they could do little more 
than destroy the standing corn of the Indians who had fled. 
Massachusetts sent men in large numbers to the eastward, but 
little was accomplished by them. While these forces were on 
their march, the Indians, lurking in the woods about Oyster River, 
surprised eighteen men at work and killed seventeen of them. 
They also attacked and burned a house heroically defended by two 
boys, who refused to surrender till a promise was made to spare 
the lives of the family. They perfidiously murdered three or 
four of the children, impaling one upon a sharp stake before the 
eyes of his mother. 

In the beginning of the year 1690, Count de Frontenac, gov- 
ernor of Canada, eager to annoy the English and gain renown 
with his sovereign, Louis XIV., sent three parties of French and 
Indians into the American settlements. These murderous bands 
carried death and desolation along their whole march. One 
company, numbering fifty-two men, came to Salmon Falls in the 
month of March. Here they succeeded in surprising the vil- 
lage. Thirty-four of the bravest were killed and the remainder, 
numbering fifty-four, mostly women and children, were taken 
prisoners. The houses, barns and cattle were burned. The 
captives suffered untold miseries in their dreary march to Can- 
ada. One man was roasted alive ; and while the fires were 
kindling around him, pieces of his own flesh were hewn from his 
body and hurled in his face. Children were dashed against trees 
because their mothers could not quiet them. These marauders 
were pursued by one hundred and forty men, who were hastily 
gathered from the neighboring tovvns, and a drawn battle was 
fought in the woods. Only two Indians were killed and the rest 
escaped. In the following May, the Indians attacked Newing- 
ton, burning the houses, kilting fourteen people, and capturing 
six. In July, they attacked and killed eight men while mowing 
in a field near Lamprey River. They also attempted to take a 


garrison at Exeter, but were repulsed. A bloody battle was 
fought on the sixth of July in Lee, in which fifteen brave men 
were killed and several wounded. In the march of the enemy 
westward, from Lamprey River to Amesbury, they killed forty 
people. Life and property were everywhere insecure. No one 
knew an hour beforehand where the blow would next strike. 
No person could enjoy a quiet meal or an hour's rest. The air 
was full of groans and the ground was strown with the dead. 

The advent of these savage bands from Canada turned the 
eyes of the colonists to that country as the source of their ca- 
lamities. They resolved to invade that country. Every nerve 
was strained to fit out a suitable fleet. The command was given 
to Sir William Phipps, a patriot and an honest man, but incompe- 
tent to such hazardous service. Two thousand men were placed 
on board. They did not reach Quebec till October. .Sickness 
invaded the troops ; they became discouraged and the enterprise 
was given up. The New England ships were scattered on their 
return, by storms ; one was wrecked. The remnant of the 
troops, with the governor, returned in May. For some time after 
this repulse the colonies aimed only to protect their frontiers. 
For a season hostilities in Maine were suspended by a treaty 
with the Abenaquis. They brought in ten captives and settled 
a truce till May i, 1691. In June, they assaulted a garrison at 
Wells, and were repulsed. They then began to commit murders 
at Exeter, Rye and Portsmouth. They continued these desul- 
tory attacks for many months, till the commencement of the 
year 1693, when they became comparatively quiet. Their means 
were spent, not their rage. Their diminished resources, not their 
extinguished hate, arrested them. Their braves were in captiv- 
ity and they could only recover them by treaty. Accordingly they 
came to Pemaquid and entered into a solemn covenant to aban- 
don the French and become subjects of England ; to perpetuate 
peace and refrain from private revenge ; to restore captives and 
to give hostages for the due performance of their engagements. 
This truce was hailed with joy by the people of New Hampshire. 
Their trade had been nearly ruined ; their harvests had been de- 
stroyed ; their homes burned ; their friends tortured and slain ; 
and at one time they were so despondent as to contemplate the 
desertion of the province. There were neither men, money nor 
provisions for the garrisons. The province owed four hundred 
pounds but had nothing with which to pay the debt. Massachu- 
setts aided them but little, because of their domestic feuds in 
politics and the general devotion of the people to the prosecu- 
tion of witches. 

The peace with the Indians was of short duration. In less 
than a year, solely through the influence of the French Jesuits, 


they were again on the war path. New Hampshire, then the 
Niobe of our infant republics, was once more called to weep for 
her slaughtered children. Oyster River was again the object of 
Indian fury. Ninetj'-four persons were killed and carried away. 
Twenty houses were burned, five of which were garrisoned. 
The atrocities of this campaign, if possible, exceeded those of 
former years. The young wife of Thomas Drew was taken to 
Norridgewock ; there, in winter, in the open air, in a storm of 
snow "she brought forth her first born son," whom the Indians 
immediately destroyed. The sufferings she afterwards endured 
in captivity are almost incredible. She was at length restored 
to her husband, and lived to the age of eight}'-nine years. The 
Jesuit historian of France relates, with exultation, that these 
atrocious deeds had their origin with the French missionaries. 
He also lauds the heroic daring of Taxus, the bravest of the 
Abenaquis, in executing these fearful massacres. The scalps 
taken in this whole foray were sold in Canada to Count Fron- 
tenac. During the year 1695 there was little movement among 
the Indians. In 1696, they again resumed hostilities and visited 
the towns of New Hampshire. On the twenty-sixth of June 
they made an attack on Portsmouth Plain and took nineteen 
prisoners. Captain Shackford, with a company of militia, im- 
mediately went in pursuit of them and overtook them between 
Greenland and Rve, while they were taking their morning meal. 
He recovered all the prisoners. The place has ever since borne 
the name of " Breakfast Hill." Other towns suffered from In- 
dian invasions during this and the following year. After the 
peace of Ryswick, in 1698, Count Frontenac informed the In- 
dians that he could no longer support them in a war against the 
English, with whom his, nation had made peace. He therefore 
advised them to bury the hatchet and restore their captives. 
They soon assembled at Casco and entered again into solemn 
covenant to observe and do all that they had promised in pre- 
vious treaties. This treaty they kept till the French needed 
their services again. This fact shows what stimulated the In- 
dians to their deeds of blood and violence. 

The French have often been commended for their kind treat- 
ment of the red men. Their conduct has been contrasted with 
that of the English. They always live in peace with the Indians ; 
the English generally oppress them. There is some truth in 
the charge. The French easily assimilate with the Indians. 
They descend to their level. They often intermarry with them, 
and their offspring usually inherits all the vices and none of the 
virtues of the parents. The " half-breeds " are the worst speci- 
mens of humanity extant. Amalgamation always degrades the 
superior race ; never elevates the inferior. The French are aiso 



praised for their missionary labors. Many of their priests have 
been self-denying and devoted servants of Christ among the In- 
dians, but during the French and Indian wars they inspired 
the red man with ferocity rather than forgiveness ; they made 
him hate rather than love his enemy ; they taught him " to keep 
no peace with heretics " and made him, with his savage nature, 
"two-fold more the child of hell " than themselves. The chief 
cause of the hostility of the Indians to the English settlers was 
the destruction of the game and fish by the building of mills 
and the planting of colonies. In Canada the progress of civil- 
ization has been so slow, that the forests still rise and the rivers 
still flow in the solitude of primeval nature. The Indians, there- 
fore, have never removed. 



The assault of foes without usually arrests the feuds of fac- 
tions within a state. It was not so with New Hampshire during 
King William's war. The governor was hostile to the interests 
of the people. James Usher, Esquire, though an American by 
birth, had little sympathy with the province he was called to 
govern. He had been a friend of Andros and was personally 
interested in Mason's claim. The transfer from Mason to Allen 
was only a change of name. The claim was just as odious as 
ever. Usher lacked tact, skill and common sense. He was 
conceited, imperious and insolent. Those qualities, in such a 
crisis, were peculiarly ill-timed and offensive. He was illiter- 
ate ; his speeches were coarse and reproachful as well as incor- 
rect. He was zealous in the enforcement of Allen's title, which 
the people were resolved to resist even unto death. He also 
busied himself in determining the boundaries of the state and 
of the separate towns. In 1694, he granted a charter to twenty 
petitioners from Hampton for the town of Kingston. During 
his administration Newcastle was separated from Portsmouth, 
and Stratham united with E.xeter. To his repeated calls for 
money, the plea of poverty was rendered. To his urgent de- 
mand for the renewal of the duties on wines and spirituous liq- 
uors, they replied that the exposed state of the countr}' required 
all their available resources. His employer, Allen, failed to pay 


his salary as he promised. His aggressive policy upon the peo- 
ple moved them to petition King William to supersede him by 
the appointment of William Partridge of Portsmouth lieutenant- 
governor. This change was made in January, 1697, much to 
the mortification and chagrin of Usher. He submitted to the 
change with an ill grace. He and Allen, who had come to Amer- 
ica to assume the reins of power, labored to break up the gov- 
ernment by the change of councilors. These controversies 
continued till the Earl of Bellomont became governor of New 
England. He was a nobleman of liberal culture, enlarged views 
and pleasing manners. He was a friend of the people, " a rare 
bird " among royal governors in these gloomy times. Governor 
Bellomont came to New Hampshire on the last day of July, 1699. 
It was his only visit to the state. His speech to the Council 
and Assembly of the Province of New Hampshire reveals the 
political and social relation of the people at that time. He 
says : 

" I am ver)' sensible of the great sufferings you have sustained all this 
last war, by this province being frontier towards the Eastern Indians — a 
cruel and perfidious enemy in their own nature, but taught and encouraged 
to be more so by the Jesuits and other Popish missionaries from France, 
■who were not more industrious, during the war, to instigate their disciples 
and proselytes to kill your people treacherously, than they have been since 
the peace to debauch those Indians from former subjection to the crown of 
England: insomuch as at the present they seem to have departed from their 
allegiance to the Crown and revolted to the French. I have taken such 
measures as quickly to find out whether these Indians will return to their 
obedience to the Crown or not. * * Upon report of his Majesty's engin- 
eer, whom I sent to view the fort on Great Island and the harbor of this 
>own, I find the situation is naturally well disposed ; but the fort so very 
weak and unable, that it requireth the building a new and substantial one to 
secure you in time of war. You will do well to take this matter into consid- 
eration as soon as may be, This Province is well situated for trade ; and 
your harbor here on the Piscataqua river so very good that a fort to secure 
it would invite people to come and settle among you ; and as you grow in 
number, so will your trade advance and flourish ; and you will be useful to 
England, which you ought to covet, above all things, not only as it is your 
duty, but as it will also be for your glory and interest." 

This last sentence is very significant. It reveals the entire 
policy of the mother country toward her colonies. To promote 
English interests was both their duty and their glory. It was 
honor enough for these poor New England planters to toil and 
die to aggrandize the power that drove them from home. 

Allen's commission continued in force till Bellomont arrived. 
H(' ruled but one year, and Partridge, who had been removed to 
make room for hiin, was restored as lieutenant-governor ; and the 
councilors who had refused to sit with Usher and Allen resum- 
ed their places. From the date of Bellomont's administration, 
for forty-two years, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Vv-ere 


ruled by the same royal governors. The other departments of 
the government were distinct, each having its own courts, coun- 
cils and legislatures. The administration of the accomplished 
and popular favorite Bellomont was very brief. He died at New 
York in March, 1701, universally lamented. The people could 
heartily say what the courtly Roman poet addressed to the ab- 
sent Augustus : 

" Returu, oh gentle prince, for, thou away. 
Nor lustre has the sun, nor joy the day. 

Before the Earl's death, Allen began to agitate his claims to 
the soil. The people, weary of strife, were inclined to compro- 
mise. The settlement of this apparently interminable dispute 
was near its conclusion when Allen died. His son and heir 
revived the controversy. King William died in 1702. Queen 
Anne ascended the English throne. A change of rulers in "the 
old country" usually produced a modification of government in 
the new. Joseph Dudlej-, who had formerly been president of 
New England, was appointed governor of Massachusetts and 
New Hampshire. The assembly of the latter state conciliated 
him with a gift, and afterwards voted him a fi.xed salarj^, as the 
queen required. The suits which Allen originated had not yet 
been settled. His appeals to the English crown were still unde- 
cided. After Allen's death in 1705, his son Thomas renewed 
the suit, and on petition to the queen he was allowed to bring a 
writ of ejectment in the New Hampshire court. The entire his- 
toiy of the controversy was reviewed, but the verdict was for the 
defendants. An appeal to the queen's counsel was taken, but 
before a hearing was had Allen died. His death ended the suit, 
and his heirs did not renew it during the lifetime of that genera- 
tion. There is probably no controversy on record that involved 
so many parties, continued so many years and created so many 
law-suits as Mason's claim to New Hampshire. Kings and 
queens, nobles and plebeians, proprietors and councilors, courts 
and legislatures, for nearly a century, were constantly agitating 
the question of the right of soil of this wild, rough and rocky 
state. Generation after generation of claimants died, but still 
the controversy lived. Judges of the king's bench and of the 
state courts again and again decided cases at issue, but still the 
spirits which avarice had conjured up " would not down at their 
bidding." The people outlived their prosecutors, and the fire 
went out for want of fuel. 

In 1730 certain queries were addressed by the Lords of Trade 
and Plantations in London to the Legislature of New Hamp- 
shire. From the answers officially made to those queries, we 
glean the following facts : The number of inhabitants was about 


ten thousand whites and two hundred blacks. The militia con- 
sisted of eighteen hundred men, in two regiments of foot and one 
company of horse in each. The trade of the province was lum- 
ber and fish. Five vessels .belonged to the province, of about 
one hundred tons each. The ships from other provinces and 
countries visiting New Hampshire averaged about four hundred 
tons burden. Only about forty of the provincials were sailors. 
British goods via Boston to the amount of five thousand pounds 
sterling were annually imported. A considerable trade was kept 
up with the West Indies, whence rum, sugar, cotton and molasses 
were brought. The revenues of the province were three hundred 
and ninety-six pounds, by excise. The other expenses of govern- 
ment, amounting in all in times of peace to fifteen hundred 
pounds, were raised by direct taxes. 

Dr. Dwight, in 1796, thus records his impressions of the early 
planters in New Hampshire : 

"Their land was granted over and over again, in successive patents; and, 
witli tlie different patentees, they had many perplexing disputes. Their cli- 
mate was more severe and their soil less fruitful than that of Massachusetts 
and Connecticut. They were more divided in their principles and less har- 
monious in their measures than the people of those colonies. At the same 
time they had no stable government of sufficient rigor to discourage dissen- 
sions. They were not a little' perplexed by loose ministers and magistrates ; 
such as always withdraw from regular, well-principled society to indulge their 
mischievous dispositions in rude, imperfect communities. The Indians in 
their neighborhood at the same time were formidable, while the settlers were 
few, feeble and incompetent for their own defence. The government of 
Great Britain paid them, for many years, very little attention." 



William HI., during the last year of his life, resolved on a war 
with France and Spain for the balance of power in Europe. By 
the will of Charles II. of Spain, the crown of that country fell 
to Philip of Anjou, nephew of Louis XIV. The acquisition of 
such a kingdom, with its numerous dependencies, would render 
the French monarch, then the head of the Bourbon family, a 
dangerous neighbor. The Emperor of Germany, the king of 
England and the Netherlands formed a "grand alliance" to 
arrest such a perilous growth of power. When Queen Anne 
came to the throne, she adopted the policy of her predecessor, 



and declared war in May, 1702, against France. It was called 
"the war of the Spanish Succession." This war cost England an 
immense sacrifice of life, with sixty-nine millions of pounds ; 
and yet it was continued so long ttiat the parties in the quarrel 
had changed places, and when peace was concluded the Bour- 
bon was allowed to sit on the throne of Spain. Louis abandoned 
the Pretender and yielded to England Newfoundland, Hudson's 
Bay and St. Christopher's. Spain gave up to her Gibraltar and 

"Yet reason frowns on war's unequal game, 
Where wasted nations raise a single name ; 
And mortgaged states their grandsires' wreaths regret, 
From age to age in everlasting debt." 

The English colonies were involved in this accursed strife. The 
scattered inhabitants in the wilds of New Hampshire were com- 
pelled to fight for their life and liberty, to prevent a miserable, 
imbecile Bourbon from sitting on the Spanish throne ! The In- 
dians fought for the French. A congress of chiefs met Governor 
Dudley at Casco, in June, 1703, and in lofty language pledged 
their fidelity to the colonists. "The sun," said they, is not more 
distant from the earth than our thoughts from war." Yet within 
six weeks the whole eastern frontier was in a blaze ! Not a house 
from Casco to Wells was passed by. " Neither the milk-white 
brows of the ancient nor the mournful cries of tender infants " 
were pitied. Cruelty became an art. The prowling Indian 
lurked near every dwelling. The farmer at his toil, the wor- 
shiper at the altar, the mother beside her cradle and the in- 
fant slumbering in it were the victims of the merciless savage ; 
and all this to determine who should be king of Spain ! Again 
and again was every town in New Hampshire visited and the 
shocking atrocities of former years repeated. The men culti- 
vated their fields with arms at their sides or within their reach ; 
the women and children shut themselves up in garrisoned houses, 
and sometimes, when their husbands and sons had been mur- 
dered, heroically defended themselves. No night passed without 
posting sentinels ; no day without careful search for concealed 
foes. Not a meal was taken with quiet repose. It was impossi- 
ble to enjoy the meagre comforts which "fire, famine and slaugh- 
ter " had spared. Their very dreams were terrific ; because, in 
them, the scalping-knife seemed to flash before their eyes and 
the war-whoop to resound in their ears. To most men a prema- 
ture death would be preferred to such a life. It was one long 
protracted agony of apprehension, alarm, terror and suffering ! 
The French missionaries were regarded as the authors of all 
these outrages ; hence our fathers naturally hated them. They 
also became willing to exterminate the natives, as this seemed 
the only means of preserving themselves. The Indians disap- 



peared as soon as their homes were invaded ; they could not en- 
dure regular warfare. Hence a bounty was offered for Indian 
scalps : ten pounds to regidar soldiers ; twice that sum to volun- 
teers ; and to hunting parties, who scoured the woods as for 
wild beasts, " the encouragement of fifty pounds per scalp " was 
offered. This lesson was taught by the French. They rewarded 
the Indians for the scalps of white men. Companies were often 
sent from New Hampshire in pursuit of the Indians ; but they 
seldom met with success. It was easy for the natives to hide in 
the boundless forests of Maine and New Hampshire. The brave 
Col. Hilton, in 1705, with two hundred and seventy men, went on 
snow-shoes to Norridgewock, on the Kennebec, to attack the 
enemy in their winter quarters ; but the expedition proved un- 

' successful. In 1707 the colonists resolved to attack Port Royal 
in Acadia. The conquest of this stronghold seemed essential 
to the security of their trade and fishery. New Hampshire fur- 
nished her quota of troops ; but the expedition was a failure, 
owing to a quarrel between the military and naval officers. Such 
a defeat dislieartened the people. 

Meantime the Indians were constantly making inroads upon 
the settlements. Every town lost valuable citizens who were cut 
off by the prowling savages. Durham and Dover lay in the track 
of the Indians from east to west ; and they were oftener assailed 
than other towns. " Exeter," says Judge Smith, escaped hostil- 
ities till i6go. I have drawn a circle, round our village as a 
centre, twent\'-five miles in diameter. The number of killed and 
captives within this circle, during a period of forty years, ex- 

'ceeded seven hundred." In 1710 the brave Winthrop Hilton 
fell, while at work in his own woods. He was "among the most 
fearless of the brave, the most adventurous of the daring." " His 
sharp black eye and his long bright gim struck terror into the 
hearts of the savages." They thirsted for his blood. He and 
his men were armed ; but their guns were wet, and no defence 
could be made. Col. Hilton was the grandson of Edward Hil- 
ton, who is, by manj^, regarded as the founder of New Hampshire. 
He settled at Dover in 1623, where he resided for fifteen or 
twenty years, and then removed to Exeter. His grandson was a 
man who served faithfully "his God and his country." The 
people of the whole province mourned for him, as for a father. 

During the same year, 17 10, the English nation resolved to aid 
the colonies in the conquest of Acadia, a name that had almost 
passed from the memories of men till Longfellow gave it im- 
mortality in his story of Evangeline. It was called, by the 
French,- Acadie. The English furnished six ships of war, the 
New Englanders thirty, with four regiments of soldiers. In six 
days they reached Port Royal, vifhich immediately surrendered ; 


and the place was called Annapolis in honor of the queen. This 
success encouraged the English and their colonies to attempt the 
conquest of Quebec. Magnificent preparations were made for a 
siege. The English sent fifteen ships of war and fifty-six trans- 
ports. The veteran troops of Marlborough were selected for the 
enterprise. When joined by the New England conscripts, the 
army numbered, according to Dr. Belknap, si.\ thousand and five 
hundred men ; but from an estimate of the commander, quoted 
below, there were about twelve thousand men. A fleet so nu- 
merous, so well equipped and so well manned had never sailed 
from Boston harbor. Sir Hoveden Walker was appointed ad- 
miral. By his obstinacy or ignorance, in countermanding the 
orders of the pilots, the expedition failed. In a dark and stormy 
night in August eight ships were wrecked and eight hundred and 
eighty-four men were drowned. The admiral thought this disas- 
ter providential ; otherwise, says he, had they reached Quebec, 
"ten or twelve thousand men must have been left to perish of 
cold and hunger ; by the loss of a part, Providence saved all the 
rest." This is turning one's stupidity to good account. This 
failure excited the Indians to renewed effort. Exeter, Durham 
and Dover again suffered from the sleepless vengeance of the 
skulking foe. But the time of deliverance was at hand. The 
peace of Utrecht, concluded in April, 17 13, suspended for a 
season the use of the hatchet, scalping-knife and fire-brand. 
As soon as the French ceased to aid the Indians, their chiefs 
were prompt to make peace. Immediately after the proclama- 
tion of peace, a vessel was sent to Quebec to bring home the 
captives. When she returned with her precious freight, multi- 
tudes thronged the beach, to witness the landing of long lost rel- 
atives. Mothers peered with anxious gaze into the crowd to de- 
tect the lineaments of their children. Long absence and strange 
costumes had so changed the forms and faces of loved ones 
that they could not be recognized. When they became known, 
parents and children, husbands and wives, welcomed one another 
with warm embraces and gushing tears. The captives had for- 
gotten their native tongue ; so that they were compelled to gaze 
upon faces once familiar in mute ecstasy. Some of the cap- 
tives failed to return. They had intermarried with the Indians 
and had become attached to their wild and careless mode of life. 
They preferred the wigwam in Canada to the cot where they 
were born. Such are the vicissitudes of war ; and such are the 
changes, wrought by habit, on plastic natures. 

During the continuance of the war, the civil government pur- 

• sued the even tenor of its course, with general satisfaction to all 

parties. Its chief business was to assess taxes and collect them ; 

to raise men and money, which was no easy task in a country 


long wasted by war. Governor Dudley showed untarnished loy- 
alty to the crown and commendable moderation toward the peo- 
ple. The assembly represented him to the home government 
as "a prudent, careful and faithful governor." He was more 
acceptable to the people because he was opposed to the claims 
of Allen. Usher, the lieutenant-governor, grew more patriotic 
during the war, but not more popular. The assembly could 
never be persuaded to vote him a salar}'. While on duty, he 
complained of insufficient accommodations. He declared that 
"negro servants were much better accommodated in his house 
than the queen's governor was in the fort." Usher was avari- 
cious, but that was the common attribute of all royal governors ; 
he was fond of power, yet no patriotic Brutus slew him " be- 
cause he was ambitious." During this war, paper money, "the 
cheap defence of nations " in distress, came into general use. 
The first newspaper in the colonies was established in Boston, 
in 1704, by Samuel Green, and called the "Boston News-Letter." 
In 1720 the "Boston Gazette " was issued ; in 172 1 the "New 
England Courant." 



In October, 1715, Eliseus Burgess was appointed Governor of 
Massachusetts and Kew Hampshire. He remained in England, 
and the executive power in the province devolved on the lieu- 
tenant-governor, George Vaughan. He was a native of the 
state, the son of Major William Vaughan who acted a very 
prominent part in resisting the claims of Mason and Allen. 
His son had been the agent of the province in England, and 
had thus become known to some of the ministers of the crown. 
His appointment was deemed a compliment to the state, because 
he was a son of one of her popular leaders. He was, unfortu- 
nately, but ill fitted for his responsible station. His first official 
act rendered him unpopular. The general court, when sum- 
moned by him, refused to raise money by impost and excise for 
a longer time than one year ; therefore he dissolved them. At 
the next session he recommended " the establishment of a per- 
manent revenue to the king;" but the people preferred the old 
custom of raising taxes. New Hampshire at this time was well 


provided with governors. Dudley had retired, without resigning, 
expecting to be superseded. Burgess did not condescend to 
visit the state ; and Samuel Shute was appointed Governor-Gen- 
eral of New Hampshire. Shute entered upon his duties in Oc- 
tober, 1716. He abandoned the policy of Vaughan, but intro- 
duced another element of discord by dismissing six of the old 
councilors and appointing six in their places, all from Portsmouth. 
The fanners were jealous of these commercial rulers and peti- 
tioned for a more equal distribution of the public honors. There 
was also in Portsmouth a local quarrel respecting the erection of 
a new parish ; and the parochial difficulty was carried into the 
council. Money was very scarce. A proposition was made to 
issue ten thousand pounds in bills on loan ; after some disagree- 
ment of the two houses, the ne.xt assembly issued fifteen thousand 
pounds, on loan, for eleven years, at ten per cent. \ contro- 
versy also arose between the two highest officials. The lieuten- 
ant-governor claimed that he was the true and sole e.xecutive 
when the governor was absent from the state. He therefore 
declined to obey his superior when the mandate came from his 
home in Massachusetts. The town of Hampton adopted the 
views of Vaughan, which subjected the town to a summons from 
the governor to answer for a libel. They gave bonds for their 
future loyalty. The offending subaltern was removed and John 
Wentworth, Esq., was appointed in his place. He was the grand- 
son of Elder William VVentworth, who came to E.xeter in 1639, 
and was the founder of a very distinguished family, who for sev- 
eral generations exercised a controlling influence in the govern- 
ment of the state. This aged servant of God, then over eighty, 
was sleeping in a garrisoned house in Dover when the Indians 
attacked that town, in 1689. The barking of a dog awoke him 
just as the Indians were opening the door. He threw his body 
against the door and expelled the intruders ; then, lying upon 
his back, held the door with his feet rill his cry alarmed the peo- 
ple. The balls that were aimed at him passed through the door, 
but above his body. Thus was the good man saved. His 
grandson was commissioned by George I., Mr. Addison then 
being secretary of state. Mr. Wentworth had long been engaged 
in mercantile pursuits ; and, by his practical skill and natural 
good sense, was eminently fitted for the responsible station he 
was called to fill. After an interval of peace, the state was 
recovering its prosperity. Her resources began to be developed. 
Her forests, iron mines and fisheries were attracting the atten- 
tion of capitalists and corporations. The white pines of New 
Hampshire were in demand for the masts of ships in England, 
and were allowed to enter her ports free of duty. Numerous 
laws had been made to protect such trees. A law of 1708 pro- 


hibited the cutting of pines that were twenty-four inches in 
diameter. The royal navy needed them ; and ought not the 
forests of New Hampshire to yield a revenue to the king ? 

It was difficult at this date to determine who owned the uncul- 
tivated lands. The assigns of Allen still claimed them, and the 
colonists had, many years before, admitted that claim. Within 
the boundaries of the towns the citizens owned the timber. 
Hence the people were desirous of establishing new townships. 
The manufacture of tar and turpentine became a source of profit ; 
but a few merchants monopolized the business, and at one time 
three thousand trees, prepared for use, were destroyed in the 
night. This source of income was soon e.xhausted by the rapid 
destruction of the trees. The culture of hemp was also intro- 
duced ; but it failed to be profitable or was soon abandoned for 
the raising of crops for food. The manufacture of iron received 
legislative encouragement, and a strip of land two miles in width, 
north of Dover, was given for iron works. It was forbidden to 
be carried out of the province, under penalty of a heavy fine. 

During the year 17 18 the Indians began to make attacks upon 
the settlements in Maine, under pretence of seeking redress 
for the wrongs inflicted on them by the whites. They com- 
plained that continual encroachments were made upon their 
hunting grounds by settlers, which drove off the game ; that 
the building of mills and dams on the rivers destroyed their 
fisheries. Governor Shute had held a conference with them the 
preceding year, and had promised that trading-houses should be 
established among them, and that a smith should be sent to them 
to keep their guns in repair. The unhappy contentions at home 
prevented the fulfillment of this promise ; and this failure was 
imputed to treachery. The Indians kept no records ; and of 
course deeds which t^iey had given for parcels of land could not 
be certified to their minds. They denied their solemn covenants 
or charged that the instruments were signed when they were 
drunk, or that no equivalent was given. Thus a new purchase 
must be made every few years, or they would complain that they 
had been wronged. When they consented to the settlements of 
the whites, and to the erection of mills, they knew not that their 
game and fish would be driven away. After learning this they 
hated the whites and sought to kill them. The French in their 
neighborhood ever encouraged this hostility and supplied them 
with arms. They were charmed, too, with the labors of French 
missionaries. They loved the pomp and ceremonies of the 
Catholic worship, which required no self-denial. With all the 
e.xtravagant eulogies which have been heaped upon Jesuit mis- 
sionaries in America, it may be doubted whether the natives 
have been made wiser or better by their conversion to Roman- 


ism. The Indians of Central America and Mexico are all nom- 
inal Christians ; and more degraded specimens of our race can 
scarcely be found on earth. They walk in the Catholic proces- 
sions and worship images, paying devout reverence to a doll 
lifted on high to represent the Virgin Mary ; but they have no 
knowledge of duty or virtue. The English, from the first land- 
ing on the continent, regarded the soil as theirs by jdiscovery 
and the inhabitants as subjects of their king. In war they treat- 
ed them as rebels, in peace as dependents. They were required 
to acknowledge their allegiance to the British crown. The 
French treated them as allies and equals. The Jesuits lived 
among them as friends and spiritual guides. One of their 
sachems, being asked why they so loved the French, replied, 
" Because the French have taught us to pray to God, which the 
English never did." The French did more : they cherished their 
hatred of the English ; they stimulated their love of vengeance ; 
they used them as their own favored allies in war. The Jesuits 
early established a mission among the Abenaquis. Sabastian 
Rasle, a man of culture, refinement and benevolence, left all the 
comforts of civilized life for a home in the Indian village of 
Norridgewock, on the Kennebec. Here he built a church and 
adorned it with costly decorations. A bell was bought, from 
Canada, to call the Indian hunters and warriors to matins and 
vespers. The most glowing accounts have been given of the 
success of Father Rasle in christianizing these rude savages. 
The innocence, confidence and devotion of Eden returned again 
to bless these wigwams in the primeval forests. By his charming 
conversation, rapt devotion and unselfish beneficence, he won the 
hearts of the natives and swayed them at his will. Dr. Belknap 
gives us the other side of this beautiful moral picture. He says 
of Father Rasle : 

" He even made the offices of devotion serve as incentives to their feroc- 
ity, » » « With this Jesuit the Governor of Canada lield a close corres- 
pondence ; and by him was informed of everything transacted among the 
Indians. By this means their discontent witli the English, on accoimt of 
their settlements made at the eastward, was heightened and inflamed ; and 
they received every encouragement to assert their title to the lands in ques- 
tion and molest the settlers by killing their cattle, burning their hay, robbing 
and insulting them." 

The wrongs done to the Indian by those eastern settlers were 
chiefly imaginary ; in a great measure the creation of the French 
Jesuit. In the winterof 1 721 Colonel Westbrooke was sent to Nor- 
ridgewock to seize Rasle. He escaped ; but they took his strong 
box in which were found letters confirming all their suspicions 
of his hostility to the English. The Governor of Canada was 
deeply implicated in exciting these Indians to acts of violence. 
The Indians were greatly exasperated at the attempt to seize 


their spiritual guide. The next summer they resumed their old 
practices of waylaying and murdering men, women and children 
in all the towns they had been wont to visit. In Dover, in June, 
1724, they entered the house of Mr. Hanson, a non-resistant 
Quaker, killed and scalped two little children and took his wife, 
with her infant, her nurse, two daughters and a son, and carried 
them off. These prisoners were all sold to the French as slaves, 
in Canada. The sad father converted all his property into gold 
and went through the wilderness to ransom his wife and chil- 
dren. He obtained all but his eldest daughter, and returned. 
But the loss of this child wrung his heart with anguish. He 
returned to Canada again ; but fatigue and sorrow wasted his 
strength, and he lay down and died in a strange land. These 
outrages being repeated for two years, the colonists resolved to 
destroy Norridgewock. Captains Moulton and Haimon, both 
of York, with one hundred men surprised the village, killed the 
Jesuit and eighty Indians, and brought away the spoils. 

The success of the expedition to Norridgewock and a pre- 
mium of one hundred pounds offered for scalps called out sev- 
eral volunteer companies to visit Indian villages. One company, 
commanded by Captain John Lovewell of Dunstable, became 
famous in New Hampshire history, both for its success and de- 
feat. It consisted at first of thirty men, afterwards of seventy. 
It made three expeditions into the eastern part of the state. 
Two were successful ; the last disastrous. On the second foray 
they killed ten Indians encamped for the night in the town of 
Wakefield, near a pond since called " Lovewell's pond." On 
their return to Dover they enjoyed a triumph such as no Ro- 
man consul ever received. It was a cordial, sincere and grate- 
fiil outpouring of the people's gratitude. In Boston they re- 
ceived the bounty whith had been promised. Thus encouraged, 
Lovewell and his brave men marched the third time into the 
wilderness. He had forty-six men. They went to Ossipee pond, 
and on its west shore built a fort. Here the surgeon, one sick 
man and eight guards were left. The remaining thirty-four 
marched northward twenty-two miles, to another pond, where 
they encamped. In their explorations they were discovered by 
two parties of Indians, numbering forty-one men, under the com- 
mand of the sachem Paugus, who had been scouting on the 
Saco and were returning to the lower village of Pequawkett, 
about a mile and one half from the pond. Lovewell and his 
men, before their march round the pond, had left their packs 
without guard, on a plain at the southeast end of the pond. 
Following their trail, the Indians found those packs and thus 
learned their weakness. They lay in ambush to surprise them 
on their return. Captain Lovewell and eight of his men fell at 


the first fire of the Indians. The survivors retreated a little and 
renewed the fight. They had no food nor drink. At noon their 
savage foes, by signs and infernal yells, indicated an order for 
their surrender. They declined their request and fought on " till 
the going down of the sun." The war-whoop grew fainter, the as- 
saults less vigorous ; the Indians were greatly weakened ; Pau- 
gus * was slain. They retired at the coming on of evening, car- 
rying with them their dead and wounded, leaving the whites 
masters of the field. Only nine of Lovewell's men were free 
from wounds. Of the injured, eleven were able to walk. It 
was the hardest problem of the entire struggle to dispose of 
those who could not move. It would be certain death to re- 
main with them ; and they had no power to remove them. They 
were compelled to leave their disabled and dying companions to 
fall into the hands of their merciless foes. Ensign Robinson 
requested them to lay his loaded gun by his side, that he might 
kill one more Indian. After the moon arose they returned to 
their fort. It was deserted. A fugitive from the batrie had re- 
ported to the guard the probable defeat of their friends. They 
therefore abandoned the fort and went home. They left some 
provisions there, which greatly relieved the distressed soldiers. 
Lieutenant Farwell, the chaplain, who had in his pocket the 
record of their march, and one other person perished in the 
woods from loss of blood and privation. The others, after se- 
vere suffering, came in one by one to their old homes and were 
kindly cared for by friends and the public. Colonel Tyng of 
Dunstable, with a company of men, went to the scene of action 
and buried the dead. This was one of the fiercest and bloodiest 
battles ever fought with the Indians. They had the advantage 
of numbers and of an ambuscade. Some writers estimate their 
number as high as eighty. Hence they fought with uncommon 
bravery and fury. 

[From the Boston Centinel.] 


The sc'.ne of 1725 of a desperate etuounier with the savages. 

Ah 1 where are the soldiers that fought here of yore ? 
The sod is upon them, they'll struggle no more, 
The hatchet is fallen, the redman is low : 
But near him reposes the arm of his foe. 

The bugle is silent, the war-whoop is dead ; 
There's a murmur of waters and woods in their stead; 
And the raven and owl chant a symphony drear, 
From the dark-waving pines o'er the combatants' bier. 

• There is a tradition tliat John Chamberlain, one of the sharp-shooters of the age, shot 
Paugus. For some time they attempted to shoot one another from their coverts ; but their 
guns were foul and only flashed in the pans. Being known to one another, they agreed to go 
down to the water, cleanse their guns and renew the fight. _ Finding that Paugus was too 
expeditious for him Chamberlain did not wait to withdraw his ramrod, nor to prime his gun, 
(for the well worn piece would prime itself, by the aid of a sharp blow of the tiand,) but fired 
and drove both the rod and the ball through the heart of his foe. 


The light of the sun has just sunk in the wave, 
And a long time ago sat the sun of the brave. 
The waters complain, as they roll o'er the stones, 
And the rank grass encircles a few scattered bones. 

The names of the fallen the traveler leaves 

Cut out with his knife in the bark of the trees. 

But little avail his affectionate arts, 

For the names of the fallen are graved in our hearts. 

The voice of the hunter is loud on the breeze, 
There's a dashing of waters, a rustling of trees, 
But the jangling of armour hath all passed away, 
No gushing of life-blood is here seen to-day. 

The eye that was sparkling no longer is bright ; 
The arm of the mighty, death conquered its might ; 
The bosoms that once for their country beat high, 
To those bosoms the sods of the valley are nigh. 

Sleep, soldiers of merit, sleep, gallant of yore. 
The hatchet is fallen, the struggle is o'er. 
While the tir-tree is green and the wind rolls a wave ; 
The tear-drop shall brighten the turf of the brave. 

Massachusetts and New Hampshire united, other colonies re- 
fusing to act, in sending commissioners to the governor of Can- 
ada to remonstrate with him for his conduct in e-xciting the Ind- 
ians t(5 war. Theodore Atkinson was sent on the part of New 
Hampshire. On their arrival they recited the complaints of the 
colonists to the Marquis de Vaudreuil. He, at first, denied the 
allegations and assumed an air of offended dignity. Mr. Atkin- 
son then produced his letters to Father Rasle confirming all his 
charges. His tone was then softened and he consented to the 
redemption of prisoners, si.xteen of whom were ransomed at an 
exorbitant price, and terms were agreed upon for the recover)' of 
ten more. The governor requested the commissioners to hold 
^ interview with the Indians. A delegation came but could not 
be persuaded to propwse reasonable terms of peace, because 
Father LeChase, a Jesuit, controlled them. The commissioners 
then returned with the ransomed captives. 

The Indians made one more attack upon citizens in Dover. 
Their purpose was to recover the family of the Quaker Hanson, 
who had been redeemed by the father. They killed one man and 
shot another named John Evans, stripped, scalped and beat him 
with their guns, till he was thought to be dead. But after this 
inhuman torture he recovered and lived fifty years. A peace 
was finally concluded with the Indians in December, 1725, 

Massachusetts and New Hampshire bore the entire e,\pense 
of this war. It must be remembered that, if we admit all the 
charges of the Indians against the eastern settlers. New Hamp- 
shire never wronged them in any particular. No charge was 
brought against their citizens e.xcept that they belonged to a 
hated race. Bradford in his History of Massachusetts says: 


"There are no proofs that the people of Maine committed acts 
of injustice or aggression on the natives ; and there was no 
other cause to be assigned for their work of destruction than 
that false statements were made to them of the views and de- 
signs of the English." 



Ireland was subjected to the arms of Henry II., in 117 1-2. 
He left the Irish princes in possession of their territories, and 
bestowed some land on English adventurers, appointing Earl 
Richard de Clare, surnamed "Strongbow," seneschal of the 
kingdom. This division of imperial power disturbed the peace 
of the island and led to repeated rebellions. In the reign of 
James I. the Earl of Tyrone raised the standard of insurrection ; 
and, after being once pardoned, renewed the conflict, was de- 
feated and fled to Spain. A large tract of land in the province 
of Ulster was confiscated and offered on liberal terms to new 
settlers. James, being by birth a Scotchman, induced a colony of 
his countrymen from Argyleshire to settle in Ulster, in 1612. 
They were Scotch Presbyterians. During the next twenty years 
many clergymen of that denomination, with their flocks, emi- 
grated to Ireland and added strength and prosperity to the col- 
ony. They of course became objects of intense hate to their 
Irish neighbors, who only waited a convenient opportunity to 
rise and avenge their wrongs. In 1641, they attempted to ex- 
terminate the entire Protestant population of Ireland ; and so 
far succeeded that forty thousand of them were suddenly mas- 
sacred in different parts of the island. Some authorities place 
the number as high as two hundred thousand. " No age, no sex, 
no condition, was spared. But death was the slightest punish- 
ment inflicted by the rebels ; all the tortures which wanton 
cruelty could devise, all the lingering pains of body, the anguish 
of mind, the agonies of despair, could not satiate the revenge of 
the Irish." This rebellion 

"dragged its slow length along" 

till, in 1649, the sword of Cromwell avenged the blood of slaugh- 
tered saints, and, by making a solitude, conquered peace. After 


the restoration in 1660, James, tlie brother of Charles, a bigoted 
Catholic, was appointed Viceroy of Scotland. The Scotch Pres- 
byterians were the objects of his hatred and persecution. He 
let loose upon them the dogs of war, and among them such 
monsters of cruelty as James Graham of Claverhouse. " The 
chief of this Tophet upon earth, a soldier of distinguished cour- 
age and professional skill, but rapacious and profane, of violent 
temper and obdurate heart, has left a name, wherever the Scot- 
tish race is settled on the face of the globe, which is mentioned 
with a peculiar energy of hatred." This persecution drove 
multitudes into exile. Large numbers fled to Ireland to join 
the remnant of their brethren whom the knives of Catholic 
assassins had spared. Among these were many of the immediate 
ancestors of the " Scotch Irish " who came to this country in 
1718 and settled, the next year, in Londonderry. One century 
later an unknown poet thus commemorates their arrival at 

"In the summer one thousand seven hundred eighteen, 

Our pious ancestors embark'd on the Ocean ; 
OppressM by the minions and dupes of their king, 
They quitted sweet Erin with painful emotion. 
On the wide swelling wave, 
All dangers they brave. 
While fleeing from shackles prepar'd for the slave, 
In quest of a region where genius might roam, 
And yield an asylum as dear as their home. 

**Undaunted they press'd to their prime destination, 
Allur'd by the prospects that Freedom display' d, 
And such was the warmth of their fond expectation, 
That dangers unnumber'd ne'er made them afraid. 
How seiene was the day, 
And how cheerful and gay, 
Were those pilgrims when anchored in old Casco bay ; 
Their prayers, like incense, ascended on high, 
4 And fond acclamations then burst to the sky." 

One hundred and, twenty families constituted this band of 
exiles. They suffered terribly from the cold and famine during 
the first winter. They were relieved by supplies from Boston. 
Early in the spring of 1719, sixteen families of this company, 
with Rev. James McGregore as their pastor, selected a tract of 
land above Haverhill, then called Nutfield, and immediately be- 
gan a settlement. It was afterwards named Londonderry from 
their old home in Ireland. These people were industrious, eco- 
nomical, thrifty and virtuous. They had sufficient property to 
enable them to build comfortable houses and provide for the 
profitable culture of the soil. They introduced the Irish potato 
and the manufacture of linen into New Hampshire. In every 
house was heard the hum of "the little wheel," turned by the 
foot of the spinner. Great profits accrued from this branch of 
domestic industry, and it was soon introduced into other towns 
and states. Their numbers increased so rapidly that in four 
years after the formation of their church it numbered two hun- 


dred and thirty members. Their pastor, Rev. James McGregore, 
was a wise and good man. He died in 1729, aged seventy-two. 
His name is still held in affectionate remembrance by the de- 
scendants of those early settlers of Derry. This Scotch-Irish 
population, which contributed greatly to the good order, good 
laws, good habits and good works of the state, flowed into adja- 
cent towns and into other states. Chester, Harrytown, after- 
wards called Derryfield and now Manchester, were partially 
settled by them. The number of their descendants in 1842 
was estimated at twenty thousand. 

The first settlers of Londonderry found great difficulty in 
securing an act of incorporation. They first petitioned Gover- 
nor Shute for a grant and failed, because their true character 
was not understood. They then applied to Massachusetts and 
to the agent of Allen for a title ; but were told that the lands 
were in controversy and their request was denied. They then 
obtained a deed of their territory from the grandson of Rev. 
John Wheelwright who purchased of the Indians. Finally, in 
1722, New Hampshire, having learned the worth of these new 
citizens, gave them a grant of a township ten miles square. 
The lines were so vaguely described that the claims of other 
towns and other owners have not been entirely adjusted to 
this day. 

The grantees of Londonderry were actual settlers, farmers 
who came to live on the soil and improve it. Chester was set- 
tled about the same time, but the owners were non-residents. 
They sold shares in the town as the shares of a railroad are 
sold. The settlers paid rent for their lands. Some grew weary 
of the annual payments and abandoned their claims ; others 
sold their right for a small price. The inhabitants were not 
homogeneous. Some of the Londonderry people came there 
and settled. They differed in religion and habits from those of 
English origin. " They had different modes of living. The 
Irish ate potatoes ; the English did not. The Irish put barley in 
their pot liquor and made barley broth ; the English put beans 
in theirs and had bean porridge. Intermarriages were consid- 
ered improper." In process of time they became assimilated. 

Professor Park, in his obituary of Dr. S. H. Taylor, thus al- 
ludes to the eminent men who have descended from the Scotch 
emigrants of 17 19, and in subsequent years : 

"Among teachers are McKeen of Bowdoin and Aiken of Union College; 
Professors Jarvis Gregg, W. A. Packard, Joseph McKeen, Rev. James 
Means and Dr. S. H. Taylor. Among clergymen are Rev. David McGregor, 
son of the first pastor of Londonderry, ancestor of a large and distinguished 
family; Rev. Samuel T.aggart of Colerian, Mass. ; Rev. James Miltimore of 
Newburyport ; Rev. Rufus Anderson of Wenham, who, at the close of his 
life, was preparing a historical work on 'Modern Missions to the Heathen,' 


and whose son, Dr. Rufus Anderson of Boston, is the historian of Missions 
under the care of the American Board; Rev. Silas McKeen of Bradford, 
Vt.; Rev. Dr. Morrison and Rev. James T. McCqllom. Among the jurists 
and statesmen are John Bell, member of the Provincial Congress; John and 
Samuel Bell, both Governors of New Hampshire, and Judge Jeremiah Smith. 
Among the military men are General George Reid and General John 
Stark. Of those who have become eminent in New Hampshire, si,\ have 
been Governors of the state ; nine have been members of Congress ; five, 
Judges of the Supreme Court ; two, members of the Provincial Congress 
and one of these was a signer of the Declaration of Independence." 




During the first years of the existence of the Upper and 
Lower Plantations, the agents appointed by the proprietors 
united in themselves both civil and military power. They had 
arms for offence and defence ; but were not called upon to use 
them till 1631, when they called out the militia to settle the title 
to a point of land in Newington, claimed by both agents, which 
was afterwards called " Bloody Point," although no blood was 
shed. In 1632, Capt. Walter Neal, with forty armed men, un- 
der the lead of the Massachusetts colony, pursued, "with four 
pinnaces and shallops," the famous pirate Dixy Bull. No sold- 
ier by profession joined the colony till 1631. Then one "soldier 
for discovery " was sent over by the company. For several years 
after this unsuccessful " naval expedition" there was little call 
for arms and munitions of war; still, as early as 1635 nearly 
half the invoice of imported goods consisted of weapons of war. 
In 1640, when the Dover factions, following the rival clergj'men 
Larkham and Knollys, were raising tumults and threatening 
bloodshed, Francis Williams, governor of the Lower Plantation, 
being appealed to, sent a company of the militia to the Neck 
and "quelled the riot." After the union of New Hampshire 
with Massachusetts, in 1641, the laws of the elder colony con- 
trolled the military organizations of the younger ally. During 
the wars that followed with tlie Indians and French, every man 
became a soldier and every house was made a garrison. The 
facts are related in another portion of this work. When New 
Hampshire became a royal province, in 1679, "the militia was 
organized and was made to consist of one company of foot in 


each of the four towns of Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter and Hamp- 
ton, one company of artillery at the fort, and one troop of 
horse. Richard Waldron of Dover was appointed to the com- 
mand of these troops with the rank of major." The fort then 
contained eleven guns of small weight and power, purchased at 
the expense of Portsmouth and Dover. Until 1718, the organ- 
ization of the militia was left to the governor and council. In 
the French and Indian wars, most of the troops were volunteers. 
Some were "impressed" according to old English custom. The 
first militia law, in 17 18, required all persons from sixteen to 
sixty years of age, except negroes and Indians, to perform mili- 
tary service. Each captain must call out and drill his company 
four times each year. The arms of the soldiers and penalties 
for neglect of duty or disobedience to orders were minutely 
specified. This law was amended in 17 19, so that a warrant or 
" warning " under the hand and seal of the commanding officer 
was "a sufficient impress" to render the delinquent liable to a 
heavy fine in case of disobedience. The common punishments 
for minor offences were, at the discretion of the commander, 
" the bilboes, laying neck and heels, riding the wooden horse or 
running the gauntlet." The number of men in active service 
was constantly increasing as the perils of the country multiplied. 
In 1679 six companies were deemed sufficient for the defence of 
the province ; in 1773 twelve regiments were enrolled and ready 
for duty when called. In 1775, when the government assumed 
a new form, the militia laws were subjected to revision. In 
1776 a new act was passed, providing for two classes of soldiers 
—a Training Band and an Alarm Band. The first band con- 
tained all the able-bodied men in the province, except persons 
in official station, negroes, mulattoes and Indians, from the age 
of sixteen to fifty. The alarm band included men from sixteen 
to sixty-five not assigned to the other division. These were to 
be called out, on sudden emergencies, by drum-beats and beacon 
lights. When soldiers were needed, if volunteers failed to en 
list the quotas were filled by draft from those enrolled. This 
law mentioned every article of the soldier's equipment. It re- 
mained in force during the Revolutionary war. 




Governor Shute left the province in 1723, and the duties of 
the executive devolved on Mr. Wentworth. During the war with 
the Indians he managed the affairs of the state with great pru- 
dence and discretion ; and the people showed their respect for 
him by frequent grants of money. He conducted the treaty with 
the Indians in person, at Boston. On his return, the assembly 
in their address of congratulation said that " his absence seemed 
long ; but the service he had done them filled their hearts with 
satisfaction." As soon as peace returned the next great topic 
of public interest was the boundary line between Massachusetts 
and New Hampshire. If New Hampshire had been a Paradise, 
its possession could not have been more eagerly sought by nu- 
merous suitors. The Indians claimed it ; the assigns of Mason 
claimed it ; Massachusetts claimed it ; and the actual settlers 
claimed it. Everybody wished to own the state ; few cared to 
aid it. When money was to be made, all were active ; when 
money was to be paid, all were passive. Massachusetts claimed, 
according to the terms of her original charter, all the lands from 
three miles northward of the Merrimack at its mouth to its 
source, including a large part of the entire state. There had 
been a controversy about this line for many long years ; but 
when war was at thej^r doors it slept. Both provinces were now 
anxious to get possession of the soil. New Hampshire was 
alarmed ; she was about to be absorbed by her more powerful 
neighbor. She numbered only ten thousand inhabitants ; Massa- 
chusetts had one hundred and twenty thousand. The contend- 
ing states proceeded to lay out towns. Massachusetts, under 
pretence of rewarding the brave soldiers who survived Love- 
well's fight, assigned them large tracts of land within the territory 
claimed by New Hampshire. Nine townships were thus laid out 
on the banks of the Merrimack. The smaller state was equally 
busy. Epsom, Chichester, Gilmanton and Bow were granted. 
The last named town was partially within the tract claimed by 
Massachusetts. So many grants were made that settlers could 
not be found to occupy them. The chief result of this legisla- 
tion was an expensive and tedious litigation, which lasted 
many years. 

On the twenty-ninth of October, 1727, a violent earthquakeoc- 


curred. Flashes of light were observed to accompany a heavy 
roar resembJinp; distant thunder which announced the shock. 
The sea was in deep commotion. The earth shook and trembled. 
Chimneys were cleft asunder, and " the pewter on dressers rat- 
tled, and in some instances was thrown down." .Several lighter 
shocks were felt during the following night. During this }-ear 
George I. died ; and the assembly, which had continued its own 
existence five years, was according to custom dissolved. A new 
assembly was summoned by writs issued in the name of George 
II. The people disliked long terms of office ; and, as early as 
1724, had attempted to limit the sessions of the assembly to 
three years. In 1727 the triennial act was passed and received 
the governor's sanction. The freehold estate of a representa- 
tive was fixed at fifteen hundred pounds ; that of an elector at 
fifty pounds. This was the first organic law enacted by the peo- 
ple independent of commissioners and royal orders. But there 
were defects in the provisions of this law which led to much 
controversy in future. The house then proceeded to reform the 
courts ; the council were opposed and the governor dissolved 
the assembly. The same persons, for the most part, were re- 
elected ; the same speaker was chosen, whose election the gov- 
ernor vetoed ; and under the new speaker a stormy session was 
held. Crimination and recrimination passed between the speaker 
and the house ; till, finally, in a fit of indignation, the house re- 
solved to petition the king to annex them to Massachusetts. The 
coming of a new governor for a time arrested these unhappy feuds. 
William Burnet, son of the Bishop of Sarum, so well known as 
an author and the intimate friend of William III., had been ap- 
pointed Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He 
was a highly accomplished scholar and statesman. He had been 
governor of New York and New Jersey where his administration 
rendered him the favorite of' the people. It was the policy of 
the English cabinet to secure permanent salaries for their pro- 
vincial governors. Massachusetts long refused to comply with 
this reasonable requisition. New Hampshire voted t\vo hun- 
dred pounds sterling for the annual salary of the governor, and 
the allowance made from it by him to the lieutenant-governor. 
Burnet visited New Hampshire but once before his death. He 
was succeeded by Jonathan Belcher. He was a native of Bos- 
ton, eminent as a merchant and possessed of a large fortune. 
He was courteous to strangers, faithful to friends and severe to 
enemies. The appointment was generally popular, but proved to 
be fruitful in controversies. His first quarrel was with Went- 
worth, whom he accused of duplicity because he wrote a compli- 
mentary letter to himself and Shute at the same time, not know- 
ing which would be his superior in office. Belcher limited his 



perquisites, crippled his influence and removed his son-in-law, 
Theodore Atkinson, from oiBce. This hostility to Wentworth led 
to the formation of a party hostile to the governor. But Went- 
worth was removed by death, December twelfth, 1730. By his 
excellent character and judicious administration of public af- 
fairs, in war and peace, he won the confidence of the people, 
and left an untarnished reputation as the best possible legacy 
to his fourteen surviving children. Two had died before him. 

He was succeeded by David Dunbar, an Irishman by birth, 
and a bankrupt colonel of the British army. He was needy, 
greedy and arrogant. He possessed no qualifications that fitted 
him for his new position. He immediately joined the oppo- 
sition to Belcher and thus lent his influence to secure a sepa- 
rate government for New Hampshire. She was in danger of be- 
ing made an appendage of a sister state. Belcher and his 
friends favored the union with Massachusetts ; the people op- 
posed it. The objections urged to an independent existence 
were its poverty, sparse population and limited resources. There 
were less than two thousand houses in the whole state. Lumber 
and fish constituted their principal exports. The entire revenue 
of the state, from duties and excise, was only four hundred 
pounds, while the government expenses were fifteen hundred. 
Still the idea of political sovereignty delighted the people. The 
opposition, therefore, saw the necessity of enlarging the state 
and increasing her income. They sought, first of all, to deter- 
mine her boundaries. Every inch of the soil of New Hamp- 
shire was covered by conflicting claims. Massachusetts claimed 
the largest and best part of it. Her claim was founded on her 
charter given by William and Mary, which substantially covered 
the same territory which was granted by the first charter of 
James I. New Hampshire, like the horse in the fable, invited a 
royal rider to aid in the expulsion of her foe from her domains. 
After the failure of a joint committee from both provinces, who 
met at Newbury in 1731 to settle the long and complicated dis- 
pute, New Hampshire petitioned the king to decide the contro- 
versy. John Rindge, a merchant of Portsmouth, was appointed 
their agent in London. Being obliged to return home in 1732, 
he left the business with John Tomlinson, who proved to be a 
zealous, persistent and efficient agent of the state. He fur- 
nished twelve hundred pounds from his private purse to defray 
the necessary expenses of the agency. After this he was, if 
possible, twelve hundred-fold more earnest in securing a victory 
for the state ; otherwise he had no responsible debtor. The posi- 
tion of Governor Belcher was a delicate one. He was the chief 
magistrate of both provinces ; he must offend one of them. He 
favored Massachusetts. He probably acted honestly, but gained 


the good will of neither party. He was the target for the mis- 
siles of archers on everjr side. He was persecuted by slanders, 
forgeries and perjuries, at home and abroad. Every species of 
intrigue was adopted by the contending parties to gain their ob- 
ject. Speculators, projectors, adventurers, courtiers, officials, 
proprietors, politicians and some honest men were parties to the 
quarrel. Usually self-interest was the source of the water that 
drove the mill. Arguments and sophistries were used, which 
if successful would greatly have injured those who advanced 
them. Even the claims of Mason and Allen were revived by 
both parties. This was simply suicidal, not patriotic ; 

" But as some muskets so contrive it, 
As oft to miss the mark thev drive at, 
And though well aimed at duck or plover, 
Bear wide and kick their owners over." 

In England the controversy was referred to the Lords of 
Trade. They recommended a board of twenty commissioners, 
five of whom should be a quorum, selected from the neighboring 
royal provinces, to sit at Hampton on the first of August, 1737. 
According to the royal decree, they met at the time appointed. 
The assemblies of the two states convened at the same time, that 
of Massachusetts at .Salisbury, that of New Hampshire at Hamp- 
ton Falls. With the utmost vigilance and jealousy they watched 
one another. Skillful advocates acted for the states. The alle- 
gations were patiently heard and considered, and a verdict ren- 
dered which decided nothing. It was only hypothetical, based 
on the question whether the hew charter of Massachusetts con- 
veyed the same territory as the old ; if so, Massachusetts was 
the victor ; if not. New Hampshire. So the controversy was no 
less, but the costs were much greater. After long and angry 
altercations both parties, being weary of fighting and paying for 
it, agreed to make the king their umpire ; and the stupid Guelph, 
who hated " boetry and books," became something more than a 
figure-head to the ship of state. His decision took everybody 
by surprise. He pleased New Hampshire and offended Massa- 
chusetts. George II. assumed that when the first charter was 
given neither grantor nor grantees knew the northern course of 
the Merrimack. Where it was known on the south its origin 
seemed to be in the west, and not in the north ; therefore he 
decided that the northern boundary of Massachusetts should be 
a curved line, following the course of the river at three miles' 
distance on the north side, beginning at the Atlantic ocean and 
ending at a point due north of Pawtucket Falls, now Dracut, 
thence due west to his majesty's other governments. As the 
eastern line of "his other governments " was not then establish- 
ed, this little clause in due time yielded new disputes. By this 
decision New Hampshire gained a large accession of territory 


beyond all she had sought. "It cut off from Massachusetts 
twenty-eight townships between the Merrimack and Connecticut 
rivers, besides large tracts of vacant land which lay intermixed, 
and districts from si.x of their old towns which lay north of the 
Merrimack river," besides lands west of the Connecticut which 
were then of doubtful ownership. 

While the states were contending about the lines which sepa- 
rated them they became widely separated in feeling, and the 
harmony of those "good old times" when they fought together 
against kings, Indians and proprietors was for a time interrupt- 
ed. The governor and his deputy still pursued one another v;ith 
unrelenting hate. They fought on no common theatre. States 
and cabinet ministers were their allies. Dunbar, as surveyor- 
general of the woods, was so vigilant in arresting wood-cutters 
and confiscating boards that had been sawed from royal pines, 
that he was personally assailed by the irritated owners. He was 
mobbed at Exeter, and he accused, unjustly, the governor of 
connivance at the escape of the rioters. His letters and those 
of other personal enemies had weight at court, for the king was 
as fond of the royal pines as Charles II. was of the royal oak. 
Possibly he saw them " in his mind's eye " when he gave the 
territory on which they grew to New Hampshire. Dunbar re- 
turned to England where he was imprisoned for debt, but he was 
still a favorite of the court and escaped this "durance vile" for 
another office more profitable than that he had abandoned. 

The enemies of Belcher succeeded in persuading the king first 
to censure, then to remove him from office. On his return to 
England he was able to justify himself and regain the royal favor. 

In 1732, the first Episcopal church was erected in Portsmouth, 
called Queen's ChapeU It was consecrated in 1734, and Rev. 
Arthur Brown became rector of the society. In 1735 a fearful 
epidemic raged in New England, called the "throat distemper." 
It resembled the modern diphtheria. It raged for more than a 
year. Children, for the most part, were its victims. At Hamp- 
ton Falls it was very fatal. Twenty families lost all their chil- 
dren. In the whole province one thousand persons, most of 
whom were under twenty years of age, died of this terrible dis- 
ease. It extended from Maine to Carolina, and was not modi- 
fied by seasons. It has appeared in the state not less than six 
time since, but never with such general mortality. Its true cause 
is still unknown. 

It deserves special notice that no public execution occurred in 
New Hampshire during the first one hundred and sixteen years 
of its existence. Many of the great criminals in early times 
escaped by flight. Some were pardoned, others had their sen- 
tences commuted. For smaller offences, whipping, the pillory, 


fines and imprisonment were deemed sufficient. On the twenty- 
seventli of December, 1739, two women, Sarah Simpson and 
Penelope Kenny, were hung in Portsmouth for the murder of an 
infant. This event constituted an era in the judicial history of 
the state. 



After George II. had settled the boundaries of his two royal 
provinces, he determined to set up a new political boundary and 
make New Hampshire independent of Massachusetts and only 
dependent on himself. Accordingly, in 1741, he appointed a 
governor who was to be solely enjoyed by New Hampshire. He 
nominated Penning Wentworth, Esq., son of the late lieutenant- 
governor, who so long and successfully administered the afTairs 
of the province. Penning Wentworth was a merchant of good 
repute, but bankrupt by reason of the failure of the Spanish 
government to pay him, as she agreed, for a large consignment 
of timber for the royal navy. The refusal of Spain to do justice 
in the premises was one cause of the war between that kingdom 
and England. Mr. Wentworth thereby became a national man ; 
and through the influence of the zealous and efficient agent of 
New Hampshire, Mr. Tomlinson, he obtained this new position. 
The assembly voted him, at first, a salary of two hundred and 
fifty pounds ; and afterwards doubled it, when a state loan of 
twenty-five thousand pounds had been issued, by royal license, 
for ten years. 

The year 1743 was distinguished by the visit of the great 
English preacher Whitefield. He preached at Portsmouth dur- 
ing his stay there of three weeks, with marked success. In 1744 
he again labored in the same city with great zeal and earnest- 
ness, in spite of a severe illness ; but, as he himself expressed 
it, "he felt a divine life, distinct from his animal life, which 
made him laugh at his pains." The great revival of religion at- 
tending and following the steps of this remarkable man aroused 
new interest in the cause of education. From it, remotely, 
sprang Dartmouth College. The converted Indians supplied the 
school of Eleazar Wheelock at Lebanon with pupils in 1762, and 
in 1766 one of them, Samson Occum, then a preacher, visited 


England to obtain funds for the permanent establishment of 
" Moor's Charity School." He succeeded in raising a large 
amount through the influence of VVhitefield, received the pat- 
ronage of the queen, and the noble institution thus endowed 
was removed in 1769 to Hanover, N. H. 




Ever since the conquest, in 1066, for more than eight centuries, 
England and France have been political rivals. For more than 
one third of that long period they have waged open war against 
one another. The chief causes of hostility have been avarice, 
ambition and the balance of power. The people who fought 
their bloody battles and paid the debts that were rolled up in 
prosecuting them had very little interest in the causes or results 
of these national contests. The colonists of both countries 
fought for the supremacy of fatherland, and gained as their re- 
ward taxation and tyranny. In 1744, after about thirty years of 
armed truce (it could hardly be called peace), open war again 
raged between France and England. It was waged to deter- 
mine what one of several claimants should sit upon the throne 
of Austria. In such a worthy cause the people of New England 
engaged heart and soul. It has been the custom of all nations, 
since lawless piracy passed into legitimate commerce, to secure, 
in various waters, harbors, islands and strongholds for the pro- 
tection of their ships. This has been the special policy of those 
nations who have aimed at supremacy upon the seas. So Eng- 
land to-day has naval defences in all parts of the world. She 
controls Hong Kong, Bombay, St. Helena, Gibraltar, Jamaica, 
the Musketo Coast and Vancouver's Island. A neutral ship 
can scarcely sail in any waters without passing under the 
guns of England. Webster, in language never surpassed in 
beauty and force, speaks of her as '" a power which has dotted 
over the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and 
military posts ; whose morning drum-beat, following the sun and 
keeping company with the hours, circles the earth daily with 
one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of 

Liy the treaty of Utrecht, in 17 13, England received from 


France Nova Scotia and Ne^vfoundland and ceded to her the 
little barren island of Cape Breton, which is separated from 
Nova Scotia by the narrow channel of Canso. This place 
has fewer attractions than almost any other portion of the habit- 
able globe. Its winters are so long and cold that no vegetation 
comes to maturity. Storms and tempests assail it, icebergs float 
around it, and perpetual fogs rest upon it. As early as 1501 
French mariners from Brittany gave name to this desert island, 
"from their remembrance of home." Its fine harbors and its 
facilities for defence constituted its only value to a commercial 
nation. ( )n the southeast side of this island, commanding an 
excellent harbor, with deep waters nearly six miles in length, the 
French had built the city of Louisburg. This had been fortified 
by twenty-five years of toil, at an immense expense ($5,250,000). 
The city had all the defences of an ancient capital, high walls, 
moat and draw-bridge, flanked with towers and bastions, and 
defended by heavy batteries. It seemed impregnable. This 
city England and her colonies resolved to capture. The enter- 
prise, resting, as it did, mainly on New England, seemed per- 
fectly Quixotic. William Vaughan, son of Lieutenant-Governor 
Vaughan of Portsmouth, claimed the merit of suggesting it. He 
certainly bore a conspicuous part in the capture of the city. At 
the eastern extremity of Nova Scotia, England owned a small 
island called Canso. The French from Cape Breton took 
this by surprise, before the news of war had reached New Eng- 
land. They destroyed the fort and buildings on the island ; and 
carried eighty men prisoners to Louisburg. These men, after a 
few months, were dismissed on parole and sent to Boston. They 
brought to Governor Shirley an accurate account of the city and 
its defences. He solicited aid from England to conquer it. The 
towns of Massachusetts were eager for the tight. Her legisla- 
ture, by a majority of only one vote, determined to undertake 
the e.xpedition. William Vaughan was in Boston when the de- 
cision was made ; and, full of enthusiasm, expressed in person 
the plan of Governor Shirley to the legislature of New Hamp- 
shire, then in session at Portsmouth. 'J'hey at once approved 
the enterprise, and New Hampshire furnished three hundred 
and four men, to whom the celebrated Mr. Whitefield gave as a 
motto : " Nothing is to be despaired of, with Christ for a leader." 
Other colonies assisted, but New England alone furnished men. 
William Pepperell of Kittery commanded these volunteers. Their 
rendezvous was at Canso. Through fogs and storms they 
reached their destination in safety ; but were compelled to re- 
main there some time, on account of the fields of ice that were 
floating southward. Here Commodore Warren's squadron met 
them. He had been ordered to that point by the English govern- 


ment. The united forces waited three weeks for the ice to disap- 
pear and yet were not discovered by the enemy so near them. 
Various ingenious plans were proposed for tlie capture of the 
city ; but finally they resolved to attempt it in the ordinary way. 
On the last day of April, 1745, one hundred vessels, bearing only 
eighteen guns and three mortars, and carrying the New England 
troops, sailed into the bay of Chapeau-Rouge in sight of the 
frowning battlements of Louisburg. Her walls were defended 
by one hundred and eighty-three pieces of heavy ordnance and 
si.xteen hundred men. One-fifth of this number were deemed 
suflicient to repel any attacking force. The besiegers were not 
tacticians, but farmers, fishermen, mechanics and lumbermen. 
But they had been inured to toil and privation in the Indian 
wars. They could do and dare all that might become men. 
Besides the guns in the city, the harbor was defended by two 
batteries, containing in both sixty heavy cannon. Yet the New 
England troops landed at once, and " flew to the shore like 
eagles to the quarry." The French wiio came down to repel them 
were driven into the woods. On the next day William Vaughan 
of New Hampshire led four hundred volunteers, chiefly from his 
own state, by the city, which he greeted on passing with three 
cheers, and took his stand near the northeast harbor. Here 
he set fire to some French warehouses. The smoke, driven by 
the wind into the royal battery, so annoyed the gunners that 
they spiked their cannon and retired to the city. Vaughan hired 
an Indian to creep through an embrasure and open the gate. 
He then entered and wrote to the Generalissimo as follows : 
" May it please your honor to be informed that, by the grace of 
God and the courage of thirteen men, I entered the royal bat- 
tery about nine o'clock, and am waiting for a reinforcement and 
a flag." Vaughan hfeld the fort against those who came, to the 
number of one hundred, to retake it. 

The preparations for the siege continued fourteen days. Dur- 
ing all the nights the troops were employed in dragging the 
heavy guns, on hastily formed sledges, across a deep morass. 
Though wading in deep mud, they brought them all safely within 
cannon-shot of the city. Several unsuccessful attacks were 
made upon the defences of the city ; finally it was resolved to 
breach or scale the walls. These were so strong that there was 
almost no probability of success. At length, on the fifteenth of 
June, it was announced in the city that a French ship-of-war of 
sixty-four guns, laden with supplies, had been decoyed into the 
midst of the English fleet and captured. This discouraged the 
garrison. They could not long hold out with their present sup- 
plies. The governor, Duchambon, a weak and irresolute officer, 
sent a flag of truce ; and terms of capitulation were agreed upon 


and the city was surrendered. Probably an enterprise was never 
undertaken whicli promised so little and yielded so much. The 
men, on entering the city, were astonished at their own temerity 
in the attempt. They could impute their success only to a divine 
interposition. They never could have taken the city by assault ; 
and it is probable that the siege would have soon been raised by 
the arrival of fresh supplies. They had been favored by the 
weather during their whole stay on the island ; which, soon after 
the surrender of the city, became so severe as to peril life in the 
morass where they had been at work. 

The news of this victory was received with universal joy 
throughout the colonies, and with unfeigned surprise in Europe. 
Pepperell and Warren were made baronets, and parliament reim- 
bursed to the colonies the expenses of the expedition. New 
Hampshire received, for her share, sixteen thousand three hun- 
dred and fifty-five pounds sterling. Vaughan, the most noble 
hero of the siege, obtained no recognition from the Court, and 
died in obscurity, while attempting to press his claims upon the 
royal notice in London. Warren, the English Admiral, claimed 
the honor of this victory ; and, under oath in the admiralty court, 
testified that himself "did subdue the whole island of Cape 
Breton." Still it is quite manifest to the candid reader of the 
history of that expedition, that probably it never would have 
been undertaken, and certainly never would have been success- 
ful, but for the skill, energy and heroic daring of New Hampshire 
men ; and of the New England volunteers, William Vaughan, 
not William Pepperell, was the soul of the whole enterprise 

The conquest of Louisburg led to more enlarged plans of in- 
vasion. Shirley, full of enthusiasm and prompted by patriotism, 
conceived the plan of wresting from the French their entire pos- 
sessions on this continent. He met Warren and Pepperell at 
Louisburg after their victory, and consulted them concerning 
the feasibility of his plan. He then wrote to the British minis- 
try urging it upon their notice. His proposition seemed wise ; 
the British secretary of state, the Duke of Newcastle, in April, 
1746, sent a circular letter to all the governors of the colonies, 
as far south as Virginia, to raise as many men as they could 
spare and form them into companies of one hundred each and 
hold them ready for action. It was his purpose that the New 
England troops should meet the British fleet and army at Louis- 
burg, and thence proceed up the St. Lawrence to Quebec. The 
soldiers from New York and the southern provinces were ordered 
to meet in Albany, to march thence to Crown Point and Mon- 
treal. The colonies were to meet all the necessary expenses and 
depend on England for a reimbursement. In New Hampshire 
there was some delay, because the governor had no authority 



without the royal consent to issue bills of credit to meet the de- 
mands of the army. Shirley, the moving spirit of the whole en- 
terprise, persuaded Wentworth to rely on the English honor to 
pay the bills, as they had done in case of Louisburg, and issue 
the sum required. It was thought by some persons that, although 
New Hampshire and Massachusetts had their own governors, 
one mind controlled both. Hew Hampshire voted to raise and 
support one thousand men and two ships of war. Col. Atkinson 
was appointed commander. The New Hampshire troops were 
ordered to march to Albany ; but the small-pox prevailing there, 
they diverted their course to Saratoga. It was feared that Nova 
Scotia and Cape Breton would be captured by the French. Or- 
ders were therefore issued for the troops from New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts and Rhode Island to sail for that region and 
"drive the enemy out of Nova Scotia." But before this decree 
could be executed, a report come that a large fleet from France 
had arrived at Nova Scotia under the command of Duke D'An- 
ville. The people of New England now began to fear a war on 
their own shores and possibly the conquest of all their territory. 
Hence every hand was employed in self-defence. Old forts 
were repaired ; new ones were built ; and all the strongholds 
were strengthened. A new battery of sixteen heavy guns was 
added to the fort at the entrance of Piscataqua harbor ; and 
another of nine thirty-two pounders placed at the extremity of 
Little Harbor. While these works were in progress, news was 
brought by some prisoners released from the French, that great 
distress and confusion prevailed on board their fleet. The of- 
ficers were divided in council. English letters which had been 
intercepted by a French cruiser were brought to Chebucto, a 
bay near Halifax, wl;^ere the fleet lay. An English fleet was ex- 
pected to follow the F'rench to America. So these letters in- 
formed them. This news created dissension among the officers. 
The men were wasted by pestilence ; eleven hundred were buried 
at Halifax and hundreds more in the sea ; the fleet was crip- 
pled by storms ; and under such circumstances they could do 
nothing. The commander, utterly dispirited, committed suicide ; 
and the second in command, in a fit of insanity fell on his own 
sword. They resolved, however, to attack Annapolis, but as they 
sailed from Chebucto they were overtaken by a storm ; some of 
their ships were wrecked and the rest returned home. So ended 
this magnificent plan of conquest. The result only finds a par- 
allel in the dispersion of the Spanish Armada in the reign of 

During all this time the English had been unaccountably re- 
miss in action. Seven times the fleet sailed from Spithead, and 
seven times returned. Only two English regiments ever reached 


Louisburg. The whole summer was wasted and nothing accom- 
plished. The colonies were in an agony of suspense, and were 
sending their forces to different points, where the danger seemed 
imminent, without advantage to any one. After the cloud of 
peril from France was dissolved, Colonel Atkinson marched 
with his regiment to the shores of lake Winnipiseogee. There 
they passed a winter in plenty, with no foe near them. They 
were without discipline, without employment, and. soon without 
morals. They spent their time in sporting, hunting and fishing. 
Some deserted ; all became weary of this listless mode of life. 
The following summer was spent in idleness and disorder till 
they were finally disbanded. But, during all this period of inac- 
tion, the frontiers of New England were harassed beyond en- 
durance by the French and Indians. Before the adjustment of 
the boundary between the two states, many townships had been 
granted, both by Massachusetts and New Hampshire, within the 
limits of the latter state as fixed by George II. The valleys of 
the Merrimack, Ashuelot and Connecticut rivers had been ex- 
tensively explored and settled. As late as 1745 many of these 
towns were known only by their numbers, by Indian names, or 
by local peculiarities. For example, Charlestown was called 
Number-Four ; Westmoreland, Great Meadow ; Walpole, Great 
Fall ; Hinsdale, Fort Dummner ; Keene, Upper Ashuelot ; and 
Swansey, Lower Ashuelot. On the Merrimack, Concord was 
known as Penacook ; Pembroke, Suncook ; Boscawen, Contoo- 
cook ; Hopkinton, New Hopkinton ; Merrimack, Souhegan-East ; 
and Amherst, Souhegan-West. On the Piscataqua and its 
branches were the towns of Nottingham, Barrington and Roch- 
ester. All these settlements* were on the frontiers of the state 
as it was then occupied ; and were peculiarly exposed to hostile 
attacks from the savages, both Indian and French, for they dif- 
fered but little in their mode of warfare. The French had more 
knowledge and of course were more criminal. They were ever 
ready to 

" Cry HavoCt and let slip the dogs of war, " 

and the innocent were torn and mangled without pity. The 
people of New Hampshire were willing to receive all the new 
territory which the king decided to give them ; but they were not 
willing to defend it. They maintained that the towns granted 
and the forts built by Massachusetts ought to be protected by 
her. The defence of her own frontiers required this. On the 
west side of Connecticut river stood Fort Dummer. Hinsdale, 

* A line drawn from Rochester to Boscawen, Concord, Hopkinton, Hillsborough, Keene 
and Westmoreland constituted the frontier of the New Hampshire selllemenls. These towns 
were the points of attack by the Indians in **King George's War." In these and adjacent 
towns about one hundred persons were killed, wounded or captured during the war from July 
5i 1745. 10 Ju'ie "Zi >749- 


on the east side, had in common the same name. Massachusetts 
had erected and maintained this border defence till the royal de- 
cision gave it to New Hampshire. The assembly declined to pro- 
tect this post, because of its remoteness and the expense. It was 
also without access by regular roads. The governor dissolved 
the assembly that refused this reasonable expense and called 
another, whom he eloquently besought to assume the burden. 
They also refused ; and Massachusetts undertook the defence 
of this and other posts established above it on the Connecticut. 

All the horrors and atrocities of former Indian wars were re- 
newed. There was no safety for private houses. Every oc- 
cupied house must be turned into a garrison. No field labor 
could be performed with safety. Harvests were destroyed, 
houses burned, cattle killed and men, women and children in- 
humanly massacred or dragged into slavery. No man walked 
abroad unarmed. It was unsafe to step out of the stockade to 
milk a cow or feed an animal. The lurking foe seemed omni- 
present. They were scattered in small parties along the whole 
frontier. When people wanted bread, they were obliged to visit 
the mills with an armed guard. Indians often lay in ambush 
about the mills. The upper towns on the Connecticut and Mer- 
rimack were all visited. Some of them were decimated ; others 
lost only one or two inhabitants. 

The year 1746 was memorable in the history of Concord, then 
called Rumford. This region, in early times, had been the home 
of the far-famed Passaconaway the great sachem of Penacook. 
It was therefore a favorite resort of the Indians, both in peace 
and war. From an address delivered by Mr. Asa McFarland, on 
the occasion of the erection of the Bradley monument, the fol- 
lowing description of Concord, as it then was, is copied : 

"Where pleasant villages have grown up, north of us, set a few houses 
and give a garrison to each of these outposts. Immediately west o£ this 
monument let there be a few lots reserved from barrenness, and a guard-house 
there also. Over our broad intervals, let a few acres be under culture ; and 
just as well tilled as would naturally be the case in a new and terror-stricken 
frontier town. Let thick forests clothe most of the soil, and animals dwell 
therein which make night hideous. Let bears rustle in the farmer's corn- 
field, and wolves howl around his sheep-folds ; let moose and deer go down 
at noon to drink at a stream, from the far distant sources of which the species 
now tlee before the huntsman." 

Such was the settlement which hostile Indians approached, ou 
Sunday, August 10, 1746. Capt. Ladd, from Exeter, had come 
with his company to Rumford to protect the citizens. The Con- 
cord and Exeter soldiers united numbered about seventy. The 
men, not excepting the clergyman, worshiped with arms at 
hand and sentinels stationed without. The Indians dared not 
make their attack on the Sabbath. The next day eight of the 


company were sent out on the Hopkinton road to perform some 
special service. About three-fourtlis of a mile from the settle- 
ment they fell into an ambuscade, and five of their number 
were killed and hewn to pieces by the Indians. On the twenty- 
second of August, 1837, Richard Bradley, a descendant of 
Samuel Bradley the leader of that heroic band of martyrs, 
erected a fitting monument to their memoiy on the spot where 
they fell. This is a noble granite shaft which, being cut from 
" the everlasting hills, " will, without doubt, transmit the history 
of their patriotism to the latest posterity. 

It was a favorite practice of the Indians to carrv their prison- 
ers away to Canada. They received a reward from their sale ; 
and the French, by the exorbitant prices demanded for their 
redemption, paid the expenses of the war. The prospect of an 
expedition to Canada, in 1746, induced many soldiers who were 
on duty on the frontiers to enlist in the army of invasion. The 
protection of those exposed towns being withdrawn, the inhabi- 
tants were obliged to leave their farms to be pillaged, their houses 
to be burnt. They buried some articles of property and carried 
others with them ; but the most of their goods were left to be 
appropriated or destroyed by the enemy. In the spring of 1747 
Massachusetts resumed her protection of these deserted forts 
and towns. In March of that year, Capt. Phineas Stevens, who 
commanded a company of rangers, numbering thirty men, came 
to Number- Four and took possession of it. It was a common 
stockade fort made of the trunks of trees about fourteen feet in 
length, set in the ground. It covered about three-fourths of an 
acre. Within ten days after the arrival of Capt. Stevens, this 
fort was surrounded by a mi.xed army of French and Indians, 
numbering from four to seven hundred men. A simultaneous 
attack was made on all sides, under the command of an experi- 
enced leader. Gen. Debcline. When the ordinary modes of as- 
sault failed, they attempted to burn it. Says Capt. Stevens in 
his report : 

"The wind being very hi;;h, and everything exceedingly dry, they set fire 
to all the old fences, and also to the log house about forty rods froin the fort, 
to the windward, so that in a few minutes we were entirely surrounded by 
fire, — all which was performed with the most hideous shouting from all quar- 
ters, which they continued in the most terrible manner till the next day at 
ten o'clock at night, without intermission; .and during that time we had im 
opportunity to eat or sleep." 

Among other modes of assault, they loaded a carriage with 
combustibles, rolled it up to the paling, and thus set the fort on 
fire. But even this failed to do its work. The French officer 
then demanded a surrender through a flag of truce accompanied 
by fifty men. The men within unanimously resolved to fight. 
Finding the fort impregnable, the enemy left it. Only two of its 


brave defenders were wounded. This was the most gallant 
achievement of the whole war. Commodore Sir Charles Knowles 
was so highly pleased with the conduct of Capt. Stevens, that he 
presented him with an elegant and costly sword as a reward of 
his bravery. The township, when incorporated, took the name 
of Charlestown in commemoration of this act of justice from 
Sir Charles. 

The lower towns did not escape attacks. Hopkinton, Con- 
cord, Suncook, Rochester, Nottingham, Winchester and Hins- 
dale all lost some of their valued citizens. The war was carried 
on with great want of skill and energy, if not with positive in- 
difference, by the English. After the failure of Shirley's pro- 
posed invasion of Canada, they made no aggressive movements. 
It was suspected, by some persons, that England allowed this 
dangerous enemy to harass the colonies, that they might feel 
more keenly their dependence on the mother country. This was 
the expressed opinion of Peter Kalm, a Swedish traveler. They 
were already enforcing that restrictive policy in trade which, in 
after years, led to the Revolution. The colonies were required 
to buy and sell only in English ports. If they discovered any 
silver or gold, it was the" perquisite of the king. In fact, they 
were making their children perfect through sufferings ; and bit- 
terly did they rue their neglect of them in after years. 

The Indians killed fewer of their captives than in former 
years. They valued their redemption money too highly. They 
also discontinued some of their former modes of torture, such 
as roasting their prisoners by a slow fire, cutting out their tongues, 
cutting off their noses, and carving away morsels of their flesh 
to be thrown in their faces. They compelled none to run the 
gauntlet ; they even showed pity to the sick and feeble. This 
does not indicate th^ existence of compassion, but a develop- 
ment of avarice. They wished to save their captives that they 
might sell them for money. 

Near the close of 1748, a treaty of peace was concluded be- 
tween England and France, at Aix la Chapelle. " Humanity 
had suffered without a purpose, and without a result." No ques- 
tion in dispute had been settled. Neither party had made any 
acquisition of wealth or territory. England yielded up Cape 
Breton, whose conquest had shed such glory on the colonial 
arms, and received in return Madras. The spirit of war slum- 
bered only a few years, and all the old questions in dispute 
were again revived in the subsequent " French and Indian war.'' 
The fruit of King George's war, to the colonists, was debt, dis- 
grace and degradation. The soldiers, accustomed to camp-life, 
carried its loose morality into rural life and society lost its purity, 
industry and economy. 




While the controversy was pending respecting the boundaries 
of New Hampshire before the king, in 1738, the wise politicians 
of Massachusetts found a lineal descendant of Capt. Mason, 
who bore the name of John Tufton Mason. A claim was set up 
for him to the lands originally granted to his ancestor, on a plea 
of a defect in the sale made by John and Robert Mason, in 
1691, to Samuel Allen. The purchaser then thought that he 
was dealing with honest men and securing a valid title to the 
premises deeded to him. But in that conveyance, by a fiction 
of law, the lands were supposed to be in England instead of 
New Hampshire, so that they might be under the control of the 
king's court. Possibly Mr. Allen chose tliat it should be so. 
This fiction, however, was the means of vacating the title, and 
the estate reverted to the heirs of Mason. In the excitement 
of parties, intriguing politicians resolved to gain by purchase 
what they feared they should lose by litigation. They first pur- 
chased that portion of Mason's grant that lay within the juris- 
diction of Massachusetts for five hundred pounds. Tomlin- 
son, the vigilant agent of New Hampshire, hearing of this ne- 
gotiation, approached Mr. Mason, who had been sent to London 
to promote the interests of Massachusetts, and proposed to buy 
his claim on New Hampshire. He offered to sell it to the 
assembly of the state for one thousand pounds in New England 
currency. The bargain was not immediately closed but left for 
future controversy. After the final adjustment of the lines, in 
1741, Mason returned to America, but did not urge the sale of 
his claim for several years. In 1744 it was brought belore the 
assembly by Gov. Wentworth, but the intense excitement about 
the Louisburg expedition prevented definite action upon it. 
Mason himself joined the expedition. On his return, in 1746, 
he notified the assembly that he should sell to others if they 
failed to close the bargain immediately. After discussion, they 
accepted his terms ; but it was too late. On the very day of 
their acceptance he conveyed the property, by deed, to twelve of 
the leading men of Portsmouth, for fifteen hundred pounds. 

This deed led to long and angry disputes between the pur- 
chasers and the assembly. They at one time agreed to sur- 
render their claim to the assembly, provided the land should be 


" granted by the governor and council." The assembly were 
jealous of these officials and would not accept the offer. The 
people murmured, and the legislators threatened ; but the new 
proprietors stood firm. They proceeded to grant new townships 
on the most liberal terms, asking no reward for the land occupied 
by actual settlers, only insisting on immediate improvements in 
roads, mills and churches. They reserved in eveiy town one right 
for a settled minister, one for a parsonage and one for a school, 
and fifteen rights for themselves. This generous conduct gained 
them friends and they soon became popular with all parties. 
The heirs of Allen threatened loudly to vindicate their claim, 
but never actually commenced a suit. So the matter ran on, 
under this new proprietorship, till the Revolution, like a flood, 
swept away all these rotten defences and gave to actual settlers 
a title, in fee simple, to their farms. 



When war was at their doors, and the scalping-knife gleamed 
above their heads, the people gave no heed to domestic quarrels 
or "private griefs." They fought till the foe disappeared, then 
public war was exchanged for political contests. The governor 
and the legislature were seldom in harmony. The chief magis- 
trate was the representative of the king, the assembly of the peo- 
ple ; hence mutual jealousies and mutual hostility sprang up. 
Governor Wentworth had resolved to protect those towns and 
forts that had been acquired from Massachusetts by the new 
boundary line. He introduced into the legislature of 1748 six 
new members, from towns that had been cut off from Massachu- 
setts. The house refused them seats. Here was open war be- 
tween the executive and the legislative branch of the govern- 
ment. Precedents were cited to sustain both parties. The tri- 
ennial act of 1727 was deficient, because it did not decide who 
should issue the writs that were necessary to the election of new 
members. The house claimed that they alone should determine 
who should sit with them in making laws. The governor main- 
tained that the right to send representatives was founded on 
royal commissions and instructions ; and that he, acting under 
the king's direction, alone held the right of issuing writs for new 


elections. The controversy was suspended during the war. At 
its close, in 1749, it assumed new importance. 

For three years the governor and council waged incessant 
war with the assembly. The public interests were neglected. 
The treasurer's accounts were not audited ; the recorder's office 
was closed ; and the soldiers, who had so heroically defended 
the frontiers of the state, were unpaid. The public bills of 
credit depreciated from fifty-six to thirty per cent; and the gov- 
ernor's salary declined in the same ratio. The excise could 
neither be farmed nor collected. No authenticated documents 
could be obtained ; in a word, no public business could be trans- 
acted. The people were suffering a sort of papal interdict, un- 
der a royal governor and a democratic legislature. An attempt 
was made to remove the governor ; but he had the ear of the 
English minister and the papers were not presented. The peo- 
ple again agitated the project of annexation to Massachusetts ; 
but all desperate remedies failed, and in due time the parties 
became weary of the fight. In 1752 a new assembly was called. 
They met in better temper. Moderate councils prevailed ; a 
popular speaker was elected. Meshech Weare, a man of rising 
merit, in favor with both parties, occupied the chair. A re- 
corder was chosen, who entered at once upon his duties ; the 
treasurer's accounts were settled ; the governor's salary was in- 
creased ; and an era of good feelings commenced. Thus the 
new representatives gained their seats, and tlie public business 
again commanded the attention of the assembly. 



If any thing could show the folly of war for the adjustment 
of national boundaries, or for the balance of power, it would be 
that absurd clause of the treaty of Aix la Chapelle, which de- 
clares that "all things should be restored on the footing they 
were before the war." Cape Breton, "won by Americans, was 
given up by England." The conquest of Louisburg was ascribed 
to divine interposition ; what, then, was the restoration of it to 
France ? The glory of a great victory was forever eclipsed by 
an inglorious surrender of the prize. The peace, however, was 


only nominal. The fires of war for a season slumbered, only to 
blaze with intenser heat on a wider theatre. The contest in pre- 
vious wars had been for the Atlantic coast, for barren islands and 
unproductive promontories that might serve as safeguards of com- 
merce. Now, the destiny of a continent hung in the scale. The 
policy of France was grand and comprehensive. She already 
possessed the St. Lawrence, the lakes and the adjacent territo- 
ries. She looked with anxious solicitude toward the great valley 
of the Mississippi. By planting her colonies in the rear of the 
English and com.manding the great water communications of the 
north and west, she confidently expected to be mistress of the 
continent. The French already had settlements in Canada and 
Louisiana. By establishing a chain of forts from the St. Law- 
rence to the mouth of the Mississippi, they could then extend 
their power both east and west. 

The colonies of England received grants of territory from sea 
to sea. The honor of the mother country and the interests of 
her colonies were at stake. The Earl of Holderness, secretary 
of state, wrote to the governors of the American colonies re- 
commending union for their mutual defence. Accordingly seven 
colonies sent delegates to Albany, to consult for the common 
welfare and to secure the friendship of the Six Nations. The 
commissioners from New Hampshire were Atkinson, Wibird, 
Sherburne and Weare. The Six Nations were represented at 
the conference and received presents from the convention and 
private donations from the New Hampshire delegates. A plan 
of union was adopted, on the fourth of July, 1754, just twenty- 
two years before the Declaration of Independence. The name 
of Franklin appears in both. He drew up the plan of union, 
but it failed. It was ^ejected in America because it yielded too 
much power to the king ; in England, because it gave too much 
to the people ! The English ministry, fearing to allow the colo- 
nists to control so great a war, resolved to conduct it with their 
own armies, making the colonial militia their allies. 

New England was again called upon to resist the depreda- 
tions of Indians. They appeared in August, 1754, at Baker's 
town on the Pemigewasset, and killed a woman and took several 
captives. They committed similar outrages at Stevens' town and 
at Number- Four. From this town eight persons were carried into 
captivity; Mr. James Johnson, his wife and three children were 
among them. Mrs. Johnson was delivered of an infant the next 
day, whom she named " Captive." Tlie fate of Johnson was ex- 
ceedingly distressing. He was paroled at Montreal, to secure 
money for the redemption of his family. The severity of winter 
prevented his return within the limits of his parole. On his ar- 
rival he and his family were imprisoned, his money confiscated 


and, in addition to these calamities, all the family were attacked 
by the small-pox. His wife and children were released after 
eighteen months of suffering. Mr. Johnson was held in prison 
three years and, strange to say, on his return to Boston was im- 
prisoned there under suspicion of being a spy ! 

Number-Four and Fort Dummer again petitioned New Hamp- 
shire for protection and were refused. They then applied to 
Massachusetts and received aid. In the spring of 1755, the 
English planned three expeditions : one against Fort DuQuesne, 
another against Niagara, and a third against Crown Point. For 
the last expedition New Hampshire raised five hundred men, 
under command of Colonel Joseph Blanchard. 

Here it becomes necessary to recite the historj' of- some of 
the prominent actors in those stirring scenes that followed. No 
history of New Hampshire would be complete without a bio- 
graphical sketch of General John Stark. His life is identified with 
the most remarkable events of its records in the eighteenth cen- 
tury. Fie was of Scotch descent. His father, Archibald Stark, 
came to Nutfield (now Londonderry) in 1721. He, about fif- 
teen years later, having lost his house by fire, removed to a 
place then called Harrytown, and settled upon a lot a short 
distance above the Falls of Amoskeag. He had four sons, Wil- 
liam, John, Samuel and Archibald, all of whom were officers in 
"the seven years' war." John Stark was born at Londonderry, 
in 1728. At the age of twenty-four, in company with his brother 
William, David Stinson and Amos Eastman, he went on a hunt- 
ing expedition to Baker's river, in the town since called Rum- 
ney. Baker's river flows into the Pemigewasset. It was so 
named from Capt. Thomas Baker, who in 1720 led a scouting 
party into that region and destroyed a company of Indians. 
Their chief, Wattanummon, fell by Baker's own hand.* Game was 
abundant in this region, consisting of beavers, bears, catamounts, 
wolves and wildcats. In about six weeks of forest life this 
party had collected furs valued at five hundred and sixty pounds 
sterling. On the twenty-eighth day of April, 1752, John Stark, 
while collecting his traps, was surprised by ten Indians. His 
brother William and Stinson were in a canoe upon the river. 
The Indians fired upon them and killed Stinson. William Stark 
escaped, possibly by his brother's hardihood in striking up the 
guns of the Indians as they fired. For this act of daring they 

*The following account of that battle is taken from a published letter of M. B. Goodwin, 
Esq., dated Plymouth, May 3, 1875: 

From the cupola of this hotel you look down upon the junction of Baker^s river with the 
Pemigewasset, which was the scene of a bloody drama in the early history of this state, the 
destruction of an I ndian village which was planted there one hundred and sixty-three years a^o. 
The first-pale faces of whom history preserves any account, who visited this place, was the 
company of "Marching Troops against the Enemy at Cohos" under Captain Thomas Ba- 
ker. They left Northampton in the early summer of 1712, struck up the Connecticut to 


beat him severely. He and Eastman were taken to lake Mem- 
phremagog, the headquarters of the St. Francis tribe. There 
they were compelled to run the gauntlet. The young braves 
stood in two lines armed with clubs or sticks, with which they 
beat the captive as he passed, who carried in his hands a pole 
six or eight feet long, surmounted with the skin of an animal. 
Eastman, in his transit, was nearly beaten to death. Stark used 
his pole with such vigor, swinging it right and left, that he es- 
caped with slight injury. This feat pleased the old Indians who, 
as spectators, enjoyed the sport at the expense of their young 
warriors. They then directed Stark to hoe their corn. He at 
first carefully hoed the weeds and cut up the corn by the roots ; 
finally he threw his hoe into the river, saying, " it was the busi- 
ness of squaws, and not of warriors, to hoe corn.*' This gave 
the Indians still greater pleasure and they adopted him by the 
title of "Young Chief." Afterwards he was a favorite, and in 
his old age still testified to the uniform kindness of his captors. 
He was shortly redeemed by Capt. Stevens, who was sent to re- 
cover Massachusetts prisoners. His ransom was fixed at one 
hundred and three dollars j that of his friend Eastman at sixty. 
The state never repaid either sum. 

"Lower Cohos" now Haverhill, thence over the height of lands to the source of what from 
this expedition took the name of Baker's river, and so down the stream to its junction with 
"the west branch of the Merrimack" as the Massachusetts records has it — now the Pemige- 
wasset river. At the confluence of these two streams, in the "Crotch," they found "the 
Enemy" — "the terrible tawnies, as old Cotton Mather called the " original proprietors." 
On detecting traces of the savages. Baker sent forward scouts who, on getting ^near the 
junction, discovered a sequestered Indian village with their clusters of wigwams in circles 
upon the interval, the corn of their scanty husbandry freshly springing from the surrounding 
fields. The budding and blossoming spring was distilling its iragrance, the rule being to put 
in the crops "when the oak leaf became as large as a mouse's ear." The squaws were busy 
at their work and the little ones were gamboling like lambs along the banks. But a few war- 
riors were at home, the most of them being in pursuit of game. The reconnoitering party 
came back and reported what tfcey had seen. 

Captain Baker at once put his company in motion, silently crept upon the unsuspecting vil- 
lage, and poured upon them their deadly musketry ; some fell, the rest fied into the forests. 
Their wigwams were set on fire, their rich furs, stored in holes like the nests of bank swallows 
along the shores, were destroyed, and crossing hastily to the southerly shore of Baker's river 
they pushed with the utmost speed down the Pemigewasset, with the yells of the maddened 
warriors ringing from the hills behind them. They had destroyed the headquarters of the 
Pemigewas^ets, the royal residence of Walternumus their sachem, situated on what is the 
upper outskirts of Plymouth village. The spot now answers well to the description yvhich 
history and tr-adition give ; and the multitude of Indian relics which have been found in the 
locality makes it certain. The town has a pleasant name, but Pemigewasset would have 
been better. ' 

When Baker had retreated some six miles down the road, the infuriated savages led by Wal- 
ternumus were upon them, and they were compelled to give battle in a dense forest at a pop- 
lar plain in what is now Bridgewater. In the heat of the battle the sachem and Baker were 
conirontetl. They both fired at the same instant ; the sachem leaped into the air with a yell, 
falling dead with a ball through his heart, and Baker's eyebrow being grazed by the sachem's 
ball. In the dismay and momentary retreat of the Indians at the loss of their chief^ Baker 
pushed down the river with the utmost speed, and the Indians were soon upon their heels. 
Whep amved at the brook now known as the outlet of Webster Lake, in Franklin Village, 
the company, utterly exhausted with hunger and fatigue, came to a halt in despair. A friendly 
Indian belonging to tlie company saved them. He directed each man to build a fire, cut a 
number of sticks, bum the ends as though used for roasting meat, leave them by the fires and 
hasten forward. Their pursuers were immediately upon the scene, and counting each stick 
as representing a man they followed no more, concluding the pale-faces loo strong for them. 
Perhaps the original name of Baker's Town, which Salisbury bore, arose from this event 


In March, 1753, Mr. Stark became the guide of an exploring 
party to the Coos territoi-y. In 1754 he again guided Capt. 
Powers with thirty men, sent by governor Wentworth, to the Up- 
per Coos, to remonstrate with the French who were said to be 
erecting a fort there. They found no French ; but visited the 
beautiful intervals where Newbury and Haverhill are now sit- 
uated. They were the first English explorers of this region. 
Upon the breaking out of " the seven years' war," Stark was 
made second lieutenant in "Rogers' Rangers" attached to Blan- 
chard's regiment. These men were rugged foresters, every man 
of whom, as a hunter, "could hit the size of a dollar at the dis- 
tance of a hundred yards." They were inured to cold, hunger 
and peril. They often marched without food, and slept in winter 
without shelter. They knew the Indians thoroughly. They 
were principally recruited in the vicinify of Amoskeag Falls. 
Their early habits had accustomed them to face wild beasts, 
savage men and fierce storms. In the summer of 1755, Rogers 
and his men were ordered to visit Coos and erect a fort. A sub- 
sequent order directed them to Fort Edward, on the east of the 
Hudson, about forty-five miles north of Albany. They arrived 
there in August, a short time before the attack made by Baron 
Dieskau on Johnson's provincial army at the south end of lake 
George. The French were defeated with the loss of their leader. 

The camp of Johnson was attacked on the eighth of Septem- 
ber. A party from Fort Edward discovered some wagons burn- 
ing in the road. Capt. Nathaniel Folsom, with eighty New 
Hampshire men and forty from New York, went out to recon- 
noitre the place. They found the wagoners and cattle dead ; 
but no enemy was near. Hearing the report of guns toward 
the lake, they hastened to the scene of action. On their march 
they found the baggage of the French under a guard, whom they 
dispersed. Soon the retreating army of Dieskau appeared in 
sight, and Folsom, posting his men behind trees, kept up a well 
directed fire till night. The enemy retired with great loss. Only 
six of the New Hampshire troops were killed. The French lost 
their ammunition and baggage, with a large number of men. This 
regiment then joined the regular army, and its men were em- 
ployed as scouts. 

Another regiment was raised in New Hampshire, commanded 
by Col. Peter Oilman. These were also employed in the same 
service. Their familiarity with savage warfare, their skill in the 
use of arms, their courage and enterprise, rendered them the 
most efficient soldiers in the army. In autumn these regiments 
were disbanded and returned home. The three expeditions 
planned this year all signally failed. 

By the operations near Crown Point, which alone could claim 


one successful battle, the Indians were roused to greater violence. 
The whole frontier was undefended. As early as 1752 it was in 
contemplation to extend the settlements of New Hampshire up 
the Connecticut river to the rich meadows of Cohos, as the 
region was then called. A party was sent, in the spring of 1750, 
to explore this region. The Indians watched their movements 
and suspected their purpose. A delegation of the St. Francis 
tribe was sent to remonstrate against this proposed occupation 
of their best lands. They came to Number-Four and complained 
to Capt. Stevens of this new encroachment. He informed the 
governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire of their mis- 
sion, and they discouraged the new enterprise. It was then 
laid aside. Two other Indians also came to Canterbury, where 
they were entertained more than a month. They carried off two 
negroes, one of whom escaped. This fact revealed their treach- 
ery. The next year, 1753, Sabatis, one of the two who captured 
the negroes, with a companion came again to Canterbury, and 
being reproved for his former treachery he and his friend became 
insolent and threatened violence. They were treated to strong 
drink till they became nearly helpless, then were decoyed into 
the woods and slain. The murderers were arrested and carried 
in irons to Portsmouth, but were rescued by a mob. This un- 
punished murder of the two Indians was never forgiven. . No 
treaties, conferences or presents could induce them to say, " the 
blood was wiped away." 

This fresh incentive, added to their natural ferocity, prompted 
them to renew their old depredations, robberies, burnings and 
murders in Hopkinton, Keene, Walpole, Hinsdale and other 
frontier towns. At Bridgman's fort they surprised three families, 
fourteen in all, and carried them to Canada. One of them, the 
wife of Caleb Howe* by her sufferings and intrepidity gave rise 
to a narrative called " The Fair Captive." After the failure of 
the campaigns of 1755, and the death of Braddock, Governor 
Shirley was raised to the chief command. He planned another 
expedition to Crown Point. Another regiment was called for 
from New Hampshire. Nathaniel Meserve was appointed Col- 
onel. But before .Shirley's plan was executed, he was super- 
seded by Lord Loudon. He was characterized by a " masterly 
inactivity." Franklin said of him : " He was entirely made up 
of indecision. He was like St. George on the signs, always on 
horseback, but never rode on. " The plan of the campaign 
for 1756 was nearly the same as that of the preceding year. 
Crown Point, Niagara and Fort du Quesne were the posts to be 
won. Though the two nations had been fighting for a year, 
war was not declared against France till May 17, 1756. The 
dilatory motives of Lord Loudon strongly contrasted with the 


activity of Montcalm. In the winter of 1756, Rogers was again 
called upon to enlist and command a corps of rangers. John 
Stark was appointed one of his lieutenants. No great military 
enterprise was undertaken this year. " The rangers were con- 
stantly on foot, watching the motions of the enemy, cutting off 
their supplies and capturing sentinels at their posts. They some- 
times used the scalping-knife, in retaliation for the cruelties of 
the French and their savage allies." In Januar)', 1757, a detach- 
ment of the rangers marched from Fort William Henry to in- 
tercept supplies of the enemy. They were partially successful ; 
but, on their return, about three miles from Ticonderoga, they 
were attacked from an ambush, by a force double their own. 
Then followed one of the most desperate and bloody battles of 
the entire war. Rogers was twice wounded ; Captain Spikeman 
was killed ; and Lieutenant Stark, being then senior commander, 
by his almost incredible efforts saved the crippled company 
from annihilation. In the reorganization of the corps, he was 
appointed captain of one company. Once, by his vigilance and 
foresight. Stark saved Fort William Henry from capture. It was 
on the seventeenth of March, 1757. A French army of twenty- 
five hundred men advanced upon that post, presuming that the 
Irish troops would be celebratuig St. Patrick's day, as they were, 
but the rest of the army under Stark's command were ready for 
action ; and the enemy was repulsed with great loss. In the fol- 
lowing August the same fort was surrendered to the Marquis de 
Montcalm, under express stipulations that the garrison should be 
allowed the honers of war and be safely escorted to Fort Ed- 
ward. The Indians were dissatisfied with the terms of surrender. 
They hung upon the rear of the retiring army, which amounted 
to about three thousand. They at first began to plunder ; soon 
they raised the war-whoop and rushed like fiends upon the un- 
armed troops. They butchered and scalped their helpless vic- 
tims, mingling their inhuman yells with the groans of the dying. 
Of the New Hampshire regiment, eighty fell in this inglorious 
massacre. Montcalm made no effort to stay the slaughter. It 
is difficult to account for his indifference to honor, fame and 
treaty covenants. His memory can never be relieved from the 
weight of condemnation which all good men of all time will 
heap upon it. The very shores of that " Holy Lake " echo to- 
day with curses upon his inhumanity. Montcalm, in his letter 
to the minister, as quoted by Mr. Bancroft, did attempt the res- 
cue of the English, crying out to the Indians, " Kill me," using 
prayers and menaces and promises, " but spare the English who 
are under my protection." He also urged the troops to defend 
themselves, escorted more than four hundred who remained of 
the captives on their way, and ransomed those whom tlie Ind- 
ians had carried off. 


Thus ended the magnificent preparations of this year. Losses 
and defeats stained the entire records of the English and colo- 
nial history for three years. The home government was regen- 
erated by the elevation of "the great Commoner," William Pitt, 
to the premiership of England. He said, with conscious power, 
" I can save this country and nobody else can." " His presence 
was inspiration ; he himself was greater than his speeches." 
He gave to the colonies equality of military rank in offices be- 
low that of colonel, and cheered them with the prospect of a 
reimbursement of their expenses. Near the close of the year 
1757 two hundred and fifty recruits were raised in New Hamp- 
shire, placed under Major Thomas Tash, and stationed at Num- 
ber-Four. Thus, for the first time, this post was occupied by 
New Hampshire troops. The state was then in a condition of 
extreme despondency. Great losses of men, stores and forts 
discouraged the people. The provisions they had gathered with 
severe toil, and borne like beasts of burden to their military 
posts, were possessed by the enemy, who in plenty danced 
around the scalps of their murdered brethren. But the spirit of 
Pitt awoke them from their midnight dream of desolation. He 
called on them for men, as many as their numbers would allow 
them to raise, promising arms, ammunition, tents, provisions 
and boats from England, and assuring them that he would earn- 
estly recommend the parliament " to grant them a compensa- 
tion" for other expenses. Thereupon the assembly of New 
Hampshire cheerfully voted to raise eight hundred men for the 
year. The regiment of Colonel John Hart served at the west, 
under Abercrombie. Colonel Meserve with one hundred and 
eight carpenters embarked for Louisburg to recapture a city dis- 
gracefully given up in 1748. At this place General Amherst 
commanded. This body of mechanics were seized with the 
small-pox, which was the common scourge of armies in those 
days. All but sixteen were rendered unfit for service by it. 
Colonel Meserve and his eldest son died of this disease. Me- 
serve was a shipwright by profession, a skillful, energetic and 
excellent citizen and officer. Lord Loudon presented him a 
piece of plate while he served in his army, acknowledging 
"his capacity, fidelity, and ready disposition in the service of 
his country." 

Louisburg was again taken, but the attack on Ticonderoga was 
unsuccessful. It was one of the saddest defeats of the war. 
The plan, at the outset, promised success. On the morning of 
July fifth, 1758, the whole army of sixteen thousand men em- 
barked in bateaux upon Lake George for Ticonderoga, a place 
situated on the western shore of Lake Champlain about eighty 
miles north of Albany. The order of march presented a 


splendid military show. The regular troops formed the centre ; 
the provincials the wings. Rogers' Rangers played a very im- 
portant part in the siege. The attack continued for three days ; 
but resulted in the final defeat of the English, with the loss of 
Lord Howe and nearly two thousand soldiers killed, wounded 
and prisoners. England mourned the loss of her brave com- 
mander and her gallant soldiers ; the colonies wept for sons, 
brothers and fathers. It was their own soil that drank the blood 
of their kindred. 

But better days were in the future. The sun yet rode in 
brightness behind the clouds. The next year's labors were 
crowned with glorious success. The English army felt the stim- 
ulus of young blood in her commander. They had been re- 
lieved by Pitt " of a long and melancholy list of lieutenant-gen- 
erals and major-generals," whose dilatory habits of routine 
rested like an incubus upon the army. The premier now re- 
solved on vigorous action. Niagara, Ticonderoga and Quebec 
were the points of assault. The campaigns were all successful. 
On the Plains of Abraham, " the battle-field of empire," was 
fought the battle which decided the destiny of this continent. 
It was then and there determined whether despotism or democ- 
racy, Catholicism or protestantism , should govern the souls and 
bodies of men in America. The brave Wolfe and the gallant 
Montcalm were the representatives of these opposing elements 
of civilization. They both fell lamented by many brave men ; 
but progress was decreed for this continent in the eternal pur- 
poses, and God employed that nation to promote it which time 
and history have proved to have been best fitted for the work. 
This was one of the decisive battles of the world. A contrary 
result would have changed the whole current of human civiliza- 
tion. Here was a conflict of ideas, and not the mere encounter 
of brute forces. Pitt himself recognized the divine interposition 
in his triumph. "The more a man is versed in business," said 
he, "Jhe more he finds the hand of Providence everywhere." 
" America rung with exultation ; the towns were bright with illu- 
mination, the hills with bonfires ; legislatures, the pulpit, the 
press, echoed the general joy; provinces and families gave 
thanks to God." 

But the war, for New Hampshire, was not ended. The St. 
Francis Indians remained to be chastised. They were the sav- 
age .rangers of the old French wars with England. They had 
built a village of forty wigwams at the confluence of the St. Law- 
rence and St. Francis rivers. To this place they had brought 
the plunder obtained by numerous savage forays into New 
Hampshire. A Catholic church had been erected there by French 
Jesuits. A bell brought from France called the dusky worship- 


ers to matin and vesper services. Wax candles shed a " dim 
religious light " on the altar, on crosses, pictures and a silver 
image of the Virgin Mary. A small organ aided the rude 
choir in their devotions. A Catholic friar "of good Jesuitical 
qualities" regulated both church and state in this little republic 
of freebooters and assassins. The last act of these savages that 
provoked General Amherst to order an attack upon them was 
the detention of Captain Kennedy as a prisoner, whom he had 
sent with a flag of truce to negotiate a peace. On the thirteenth 
of September, 1769, Captain Rogers received the following 
orders : 

" You are this night to join the detachment of two hundred men who 
were yesterday ordered out, and proceed to Missisquoi Bay, from which you 
will proceed to attack the enemy's settlement on the south side of the St. 
Lawrence, in such a manner as shall most effectually disgrace and injure the 
enemy and redound to honor and success of his Majesty's arms. Remem- 
ber the barbarities committed by the enemy's Indian scoundrels on every oc- 
casion where they have had opportunities of showing their infamous cruel- 
ties towards his Majesty's subjects. Take your revenge ; but remember that 
although the villains have promiscuously murdered women and children, of 
all ages, it is my order that no women or children should be killed or hurt. 
When you have performed this service you will again join the army wherev- 
er it may be." 

This was one of the most difficult and perilous enterprises 
ever undertaken by mortal man. The march lay for hundreds 
of miles through an unbroken wilderness. The enemy was 
before and behind them ; but Rogers and his Rangers never 
quailed before dangers. The company immediately left Crown 
Point, embarked in bateaux and rowed north on Lake Cham- 
plain to Missisquoi Bay. Here they left their boats and provis- 
ions with a trusty guard and entered the lonely wilderness. 
After two days' march they were overtaken by the guard they 
had left at the bay with the intelligence that four hundred French 
and Indians had seized their boats and provisions, and that two 
hundred of them were now on the trail of the explorers. They 
still pressed on, and on the twenty-second day after leaving 
Crown Point the Indian village was discovered from the top 
of a tall tree, about three miles distant In the evening Major 
Rngers and two of his men, disguised like Indians, passed 
through the village. They found the Indians in the greatest 
glee, celebrating a wedding. Rogers wrote in his journal : " I 
saw them execute several dances with the greatest spirit." The 
Rangers, by various calamities, had been reduced to one hun- 
dred and forty-two men. These, being divided into three sections, 
advanced against the slumbering Indians at three o'clock in the 
morning. " The Rangers marched up to the very doors of the 
wigwams unobserved, and several squads made choice of the 
wigwams they would attack. There was little use of the mus- 


ket ; the Rangers leaped into the dwellings and made sure work 
with the hatchet and knife. Never was surprise more complete." 
After destroying the foe they set fire to the houses. They burn- 
ed all but three, which they reserved for their own use. The 
lurid glare from these smoking huts revealed a horrid spectacle. 
It showed more than six hundred scalps of white men elevated 
on poles and fluttering in the wind to grace the infernal orgies 
of the preceding day. Many women and children probably per- 
ished in the flames ; only twenty were taken, and none were 
intentionally killed. Two hundred Indian warriors were slain. 
This was accomplished with the loss of one private, a Stock- 
bridge Indian, and the wounding of one officer and six Rangers. 
The village abounded in wealth, the accumulation of years of 
robbery. The Rangers took with them such treasures as they 
could conveniently carry. Among them were two hundred guin- 
eas in gold and a silver image of the Virgin weighing ten pounds. 
When this work of vengeance was complete the greatest perils 
of the war awaited them. Three hundred French and Indians 
were upon their trail. The enemy were well supplied with pro- 
visions ; the victorious Rangers were dying of hunger. Rogers, 
learning that his path was ambushed, resolved to return by way 
of the Connecticut river. General Amherst had ordered sup- 
plies to be forwarded for their use to the mouth of the Ammon- 
oosuc river. For eight days they marched in a body towards 
the sources of the Connecticut. At length they reached Lake 
Memphremagog, where their provisions were utterly exhausted. 
They then divided into three parties, under skillful leaders, in- 
tending to rendezvous at the mouth of the Ammonoosuc. One 
company was overtaken by the enemy. Some were killed ; seven 
were captured ; but two of these escaped. On their arrival at 
the place of rendezvous they found no provisions. Lieutenant 
Stevens, who had been sent with succor, waited two days for the 
Rangers, then departed leaving no food. Major Rogers, with 
Captain Ogden and an Indian boy, embarked on a raft of dry 
pine trees to float down the Connecticut to Number-Four. He 
thus describes his perilous voyage : 

"The current carried us down the stream, in the middle of the river, where 
we kept our miserable vessel with such paddles as could be split and hewn 
with small hatchets. The second day we reached White River falls, and 
very narrowly escaped running over them. The raft went over and was lost ; 
but our remaining strength enabled us to land and march by the falls. At 
the foot of them Capt. Ogdcn and the Ranger killed some red squirrels and 
a partridge, while I constructed another raft. Not being able to cut the 
trees I burnt them down, and burnt them at proper lengths. This was our 
third day's work after leaving our companions. The next day we floated 
down to Watoquichie falls, which are about fifty yards in length. Here we 
landed and Captain Ogden held the raft by a withe of hazel bushes, while 
we went below the falls to swim in, board and paddle it ashore ; this being 


our only hope of life, as we had not strength to make a new raft. I suc- 
ceeded m securing it; and the next morning we floated down within a short 
distance of Number-Four. Here we found several men cutting timber, who 
relieved and assisted us to the fort. A canoe was immediately dispatched 
up the river with provisions, which reached them in Cobs four days after, 
which, according to my agreement, was the tenth after I left them. Two days 
after I went up the river with two other canoes, to relieve others of my party 
who might be coming this way." 

The several parties in moving westward toward the place of 
destination suffered untold horrors from cold and hunger. Win- 
ter was approaching. Rogers reached the Ammonoosuc on the 
fifth of November. Other parties came in later. They sub- 
sisted on roots, nuts, birch bark and such small animals as they 
could kill. They devoured their leather straps, their cartouch 
boxes, their moccasins and even their powder-horns after they 
had been sodden in boiling water. The weak in mind went mad ; 
the weak in body died. They even ate the bodies of their mur- 
dered comrades ! To such fearful sufferings were those heroic 
Rangers subjected to free the people of New Hampshire from 
their relentless foes who had, from the first history of the state, 
hung like a dark cloud upon its northern horizon. 



After the capture pf Quebec, the rest of Canada fell an easy 
prey to the invading army. That city was the key to all the 
French possessions ; and by its fall the English became masters 
of all the northern portion of the continent. For the service of 
the war in 1760, New Hampshire raised eight hundred men, who 
were commanded by Colonel John Goffe. Their place of ren- 
dezvous was at Number- Four ; thence they opened a road 
through the wilderness directly to Crown Point. They then pro- 
ceeded with the English army down the lake, and captured with 
little opposition the forts of St. John and Chainblee. Montreal 
was surrendered without fighting. This event completed the 
campaign. After fifteen years of an.xiety, toil and privation, 
peace returned to New Hampshire. Captives were restored and 
the joy was heightened by the subjection of the Indians and 
their treacherous allies to the power of England. The e.xpenses 
of the war had been paid in paper money, the last resort of a 
people in distress, a substitute for the precious metals easy to 


make but hard to pay. It always depends for its value on pub- 
lic opinion ; and always becomes depreciated as the national en- 
thusiasm declines. Paper money had been issued several times 
before, in periods of great distress ; but it never commanded 
the confidence of the people. In 1755, paper bills were issued 
under the denomination of " new tenor ;" of which fifteen shil- 
lings were equal to one dollar. The same expedient was adopted 
in the two following years ; but a rapid depreciation of these 
bills followed, and they continued to decline till silver became 
the standard of value, in 1760. During the continuance of ac- 
tive operations in war the harvests were bountiful, and there 
was little suffering for food at home or in the army ; but during 
the years 1761 and 1762, there was a severe drought and the 
crops were cut off so that it became necessary to import corn. 
At the time of this drought, in the summer, a fire raged in the 
woods of Barrington and Rochester with intense fury for weeks, 
destroying a large amount of the best timber. It was only ar- 
rested by the rains of August. Pitt, the greatest premier in 
English history, showed himself "honorable " in practice as well 
as in title. As he promised before the war, he recommended a 
reimbursement of the expenses of the colonies ; and by his per- 
sonal influence obtained it. His administration gave to Eng- 
land new life ; to her colonies new hope. Both countries for a 
time enjoyed unparalleled prosperity. Pitt was popular at 
home and abroad, except with the narrow-minded, wrong-headed 
Guelph who wore the crown. George III. hated the minister 
who had added to his dominions nearly a third part of the hab- 
itable globe. The monarch stood in awe of his subject. His 
rush-light policy became invisible amid the solar blaze of Pitt's 
imperial genius. The king removed him from office, attempted 
to silence him with "a peerage and a pension;'" and, when the 
spirit he had evoked "would not down at his bidding," longed 
for the hour " when decrepitude or age should put an end to 
him as the trumpet of sedition." Thus the Commons lost their 
wisest counselor ; the colonies their staunchest supporter. 




It was a favorite theory of the Philosopher of Malmesbury, 
that war is the natural state of mankind. If we class the feuds, 
factions and contentions of political parties under the head of 
war, history abundantly confirms his theory ; for when public 
warfare ceases, domestic strife begins. It would seem that con- 
troversy, about men or measures, creeds or policies, is a neces- 
sary concomitant of political existence. When the seven years' 
war ended by the definitive treaty of peace at Paris, in 1763, a 
quarrel sprung up at once between New Hampshire and New 
York respecting the ownership of Vermont. Both states claimed 
it by royal grants. Charles JI. conveyed to his brother James 
" all the land from the west side of Connecticut river to the 
east side of Delaware bay. New York claimed Vermont under 
this grant. George II., in deciding the boundaries of New 
Hampshire, allows her line to extend westward " till it meets 
with tlie king's other governments." New York, in her contro- 
versies with Connecticut, had tacitly permitted the boundaries 
of that colony to extend to a line drawn twenty miles east of 
Hudson's river. Massachusetts had claimed the same bound- 
ary, though denounced by New York as an intruder. On this 
disputed territory the governor of New Hampshire proceeded 
to lay out towns and receive large fees and presents from grant- 
ees for his official sfervices. Thus his coffers were replenished 
and his private estate largely increased. He preferred men 
from other states to those of his own, because they were 
" better husbandmen " and more liberal donors. During the 
year 1761, sixty townships, six miles square, were granted on the 
west, and eighteen on the east side of the river. The governor, 
with a wise regard to his descendants, reserved grants to himself 
and heirs of five hundred acres in each township, freed perpet- 
ually from taxation. The whole number of grants made on the 
west side of the river within four years amounted to one hun- 
dred and thirty-eight. The land fever rose to a fearful height. 
Speculators swarmed on every hand. The governor, proprietors 
and middle men became rich, while the settlers were fleeced, 
and received for their money imperfect titles and a legacy of 
lawsuits. New York resisted these grants and oppressed the 
settlers who received them. They appealed to the king to set- 


tie the question. He in the plenitude of his wisdom, with ad- 
vice of council, declared " the western banks of Connecticut 
river, where it enters the province of Massachusetts Bay, as far 
nortii as the forty-fifth degree of latitude, TO BE the boundary 
line between the two provinces of New Hampshire and New 
York." One controversy was closed by this decree, and another 
was opened. The western bank of the river was declared to be 
the boundary between the states. The actual settlers on the 
disputed territory claimed that the operation of this decision 
was future ; the government of New York assumed that it was 
retrospective and applied to the past. This led to litigations as 
long continued as the war of Troy. The arm of power, as usual, 
triumphed, and the innocent tillers of the soil paid the penalty 
of defeat. 




Want is a universal stimulant. AH animated nature moves in 
obedience to it. Artificial wants give birth to civilization. Where 
men are satisfied with mere existence, without comforts or lux- 
uries, there is no progress. Tacitus tells us of a race of men 
that subsisted by the chase and, to escape at night the teeth 
and claws of the creatures they hunted by day, swung them- 
selves to sleep in cradles made by interlacing the branches of 
tall trees ; and they asked no favors of gods or men. They dis- 
appeared when a better race occupied the soil. Necessity creates 
wants and constrains men to supply them. Climate determines 
the kind of shelter, the amount of clothing and the quality of 
food which men need for the protection of life. By a natural 
law, therefore, the northern man in the temperate zone is made 
vigorous, industrious and progressive ; the tropical man in the 
torrid zone is made effeminate, indolent and stationar)'. But 
with accumulated wealth comes luxury. The rich and powerful 
supply their pleasures at the expense of the poor and industrious. 
This fact is beautifully illustrated by Archdeacon Palcy : " If 
you should see a ilock of pigeons in a field of corn ; and if (in- 
stead of each picking where and what it liked, taking just as 
much as it wanted and no more) you should see ninety-nine of 


them gathering all they got into a heap, reserving nothing for 
themselves but the chaff and the refuse ; keeping this heap for 
one, and that the weakest, perhaps worst, of all the flock ; sitting 
round and looking on, all the winter, whilst this one was devour- 
ing, throwing aboutand wasting it ; and, if a pigeon more hardy 
and hungry than the rest touched a grain of the hoard, all the 
others instantly flying upon it and tearing it to pieces ; if you 
should see this, you would see nothing more than what is every 
day practised and established among men." So by the accident 
of birth, the feeblest and worst person in the nation, often a 
child, an idiot, a madman or a fool, is set on high to rule over 
others, to live on their earnings and to own them, "body, mind 
and estate." Kings never have enough. They are always in want ; 
they want sailors and soldiers to fill their armies and man their 
ships ; they want money to pay their expenses and gratify their 
tastes. To us who have learned that the people alone own their 
estates and tax them as they choose, it seems absurd even to 
read of the claims of a hereditary dunce like George III., in- 
sane half his life and unreasonable the other half, upon the ter- 
ritory, productions and inhabitants of half a continent. We 
read with astonishment that the tall pines of the unexplored 
forests were called " the king's timber ; " and the unsunned mines 
in the recesses of the earth, " the king's treasure ;" and the ex- 
cise and imposts raised from the productive industry of the peo- 
ple, " the king's revenue." Kings have brought nothing to 
America but wars and taxes. All that the English kings did for 
their colonies is expressed in three sentences in Colonel Barre's 
indignant reply to Minister Grenville : " They planted by your 
care ! No ! your oppression planted them in America. * * * * 
They nourished by your indulgence ! They grew by your neg- 
lect. ***** They protected by your arms ! They have 
nobly taken up arms in your defence." The whole speech de- 
serves to be inscribed in letters of gold upon the walls of every 
legislative hall in the country. 

When England no longer needed the arms of Americans to 
subdue her enemies, she began to seize their wealth to replenish 
her treasury. For more than a quarter of a century previous to 
the peace of Paris, England, under the specious plea of "regu- 
lating commerce," had been indirectly taxing her colonies. As 
soon as they had any trade worthy of the name, it was burdened 
with duties. The mother country' required all their exports to be 
carried to her markets ; and if they sought to import goods from 
other nations, they were at once burdened with duties so hea\'y 
as to become prohibitory. The restriction laid upon manufact- 
ures were so minute and oppressive as to savor of feudalism. 
As Pitt said, the colonies " were not allowed to manufacture a 


hob-nail." In 1750, parliament positively forbade the manu- 
facture of steel and the erection of certain iron works. These 
regulations of trade, restrictions on commerce and prohibitions 
of art created discontent but no rebellion. But, in 1764, the 
king began to feel the want of more money. The expenses of 
" the seven years' war " had added to the national debt more than 
three hundred millions of dollars. The colonies had been bene- 
fited by the conquest of Canada and the subjugation of the Ind- 
ians. Therefore they must pay for the expenses of those bat- 
tles which they had fought and the victories which they had won. 
The pretence for taxing America was " to defray the expenses of 
protecting, defending and securing it." Another motive lay 
beneath this cloak. England had become jealous of the rising 
independence of her colonies. It was feared that they might 
shake off their allegiance to their dear mother. They must 
therefore be taught to know their place. This could be clone 
in no better way than by taxing them without their consent. 
Resolutions passed both houses of parliament to quarter troops 
in America and support them at the expense of those who were 
to be overawed by them ; also, to raise money by a duty on for- 
eign sugar and molasses and by stamps on all papers legal and 
mercantile. The stamp act was introduced in 1764. The fram- 
ers of it boasted that it would execute itself, because all un- 
stamped papers would be illegal ; and all controversies respect- 
ing such papers would be decided by a single judge, who was 
a crown officer, in the admiralty courts. But, 

"The best laid schemes o'mice and men 
Gang aft a-gley. " 

Neither the law nor its executive officers could accomplish the 
work. The heavy duties previously imposed on imported goods 
led, first, to a contraband trade ; secondly, to the disuse of all ar- 
ticles so taxed. English cloths were no longer worn ; domestic 
manufactures supplied their place. The rich gave up their lux- 
uries ; the poor their comforts. Patriotism supplanted all other 
passions, affections and appetites. Life, domestic and public, 
seemed to be regulated with sole reference to the defeat of Brit- 
ish legislation. This interruption of trade proved very injuri- 
ous to England and stimulated her legislators to severer meas- 
ures. Then came the stamp act, which it was thought could be 
evaded by no domestic pledges or political unions. The an- 
nouncement of this law led to more decided opposition. Asso- 
ciations were formed to resist it, called " Sons of Liberty." They 
adopted the words of Pitt as their motto : " Taxation and repre- 
sentation are inseparable." The final passage of the bill was 
on the eighth of March, 1765. It was soon after approved by 
the king. On the night of its passage, Franklin, then in Lon- 


don, wrote to Charles Thompson : " The sun of liberty- is set ; 
the Americans must light the lamps of industry and economy." 
His correspondent replied : " Be assured we shall light torches 
of quite another sort." The spirit of this remark breathed from 
all lips. The people were roused to determined resistance. 
They resolved that the stamps should neither be distributed nor 
used. George Meserve, Esq., son of Colonel Meserve who 
died at Louisburg, a native of Portsmouth, was appointed stamp- 
distributor for New Hampshire. He was in England at the time 
of his appointment. He soon returned. On his arrival in Bos- 
ton, he found the very air filled with curses against the law and 
imprecations upon its agents. Upon the recommendation of 
his friends, he resigned his office. The people of Portsmouth, 
hearing of his arrival, hung his effigy in hay-market. It was ac- 
companied by those of Lord Bute and the Devil. These images 
hung through the day ; and at night were carried with great 
tumult through the town and burned. When Mr. Meserve 
reached his native town, he was immediately surrounded by a 
crowd, and compelled publicly to resign his office so odious to 
his townsmen. 

The stamped paper intended for use in New Hampshire 
reached Boston on the thirtieth of September. As there was no 
one present authorized to receive it, Governor Barnard placed 
it in the Castle. The law was to go into operation on the first 
of November. That inauspicious day was regarded as an occa- 
sion of mourning. The New Hampshire Gazette was lined with 
black. The bells tolled ; the colors on the ships were at half- 
mast ; the people from the neighboring towns flocked to Ports- 
mouth ; and in the afternoon a funeral procession was formed, 
and a coffin inscribed "Liberty aged 145, stampt," was carried 
through the streets, Vith all the parade of a military funeral ; 
but, under pretence of remaining life, it was not interred, but 
brought back in triumph, with a new motto, " Liberty revived." 
After this manifestation of disorder, associations were formed 
in all the leading towns to aid the magistrates in preserving the 
peace. The governor and the crown officers remained quiet. 
They dared not meet the popular storm. All the business of 
the state was transacted as though no stamps were required to 
make it legal. 

Petitions, numerously signed, were sent to England for the re- 
peal of the act. There had ever been a formidable opposition 
to the measure in parliament. The ablest men of the country 
were the friends of America. Hence it was not ver}' difficult 
to procure the repeal of the offensive law. Pitt, the greatest 
statesman of his age, said : " My position is this ; I will main- 
tain it to my last hour, — taxation and representation are insepar- 


able. This position is founded on the laws of nature ; it is 
more — it is in itself an eternal law of nature ; for whatever is 
a man's own is absolutely his own : no man has a right to take 
it from him without his consent ; whoever attempts to do it at- 
tempts an injui-y ; whoever does it commits a robbery. I am of 
opinion that the stamp act ought to be repealed, totally, abso- 
lutely and immediately." It was repealed on the eighteenth day 
of March, 1766; and the American people for a time mani- 
fested a joy extravagantly disproportioncd to the occasion. Only 
one tooth of the British lion had been extracted. His jaws were 
yet strong to mangle his victim. England still claimed "the 
right to bind America in all cases whatsoever." She had only 
lifted her hand to gain strength for a firmer and deadlier grasp. 

The new governor of New Hampshire, John Wentworth, ar- 
rived at Charleston, South Carolina, in March, 1767, and jour- 
neyed thence by land to Portsmouth. He was received with 
unbounded demonstrations of joy and respect by the citizens 
and magistrates. The general court met in September, and 
voted a salary of seven hundred pounds with an allowance for 
house rent. His salary as surveyor of the woods was also 
seven hundred pounds. Governor Wentworth came into power 
at the most critical period in the history of our country. There 
was a temporary lull in the storm of opposition, at his arrival ; 
but a sense of wrong still rankled in the hearts of the people. 
The law requiring the colonies to maintain the troops quartered 
among them still remained in force. The changes of ministers 
were frequent during these troublous times. A new administra- 
tion was formed, in July, 1766, with William Pitt, the friend of 
America, at its head. He was now the Earl of Chatham. He 
sat with the lords and not with the commons. The voice that 
had rung across seas and continents, in defence of freedom, had 
become weak ; the eagle eye, which could gaze unblenched upon 
the very sun of power, had lost its lustre ; that manly form, 
whose presence could awe the most august legislative assembly 
on earth, was bowed with age and disease. Pitt was no longer 
master of the occasion. He was too ill to attend the sessions 
of parliament ; too irresolute to enforce his opinions upon the 
king. In his absence his colleague, Mr. Townsend, introduced 
another bill for the taxing of glass, paper, painters' colors and 
tea. It was readily passed and received the king's approval. 
This was met with the most determined opposition in America, 
by assemblies, associations and individuals. In Boston, mobs 
were frequent ; the governor and other magistrates were assaulted 
and fled to the castle for safety. The arrival of seven hundred 
British troops, from Halifax, was a new cause of tumult, disor- 
der and violence. Collisions took place between the citizens 


and soldiers and even between the boys and the soldiers. Though 
the British parliament censured, with great severity, the rebel- 
lious spirit of the legislatures and people of the colonies, still 
they deemed some concessions necessary. Accordingly, on the 
fifth of March, 1770, the very day of the murder of four citizens 
in Boston by the British soldiers, Lord North proposed the re- 
peal of all duties imposed by the act of 1767 except that on tea. 
This measure was carried against a violent opposition. By the 
reservation of tea, the English government determined to adhere 
to the right to tax her colonies. In Boston, the tea when im- 
ported was destroyed ; in New Hampshire, it was, by the advice 
of the governor and magistrates, reshipped, without disorder, 
and sent to Halifax. This act was repeated ; and the second 
cargo, like the first, left the port ; but not till the consignee's 
house was assaulted and he had appealed to the governor for 
protection. The citizens, in town meeting assembled, interposed 
their vote to secure its reshipment. The colonies were a unit in 
their resistance to taxation without representation. The adher- 
ents of the government were a small minority in every state. 

The crisis was approaching, and the people seemed resolved 
to meet it. The colonial assemblies had appointed " committees 
of correspondence " and proposed a continental congress. The 
assembly of New Hampshire, in May, 1774, appointed a similar 
committee. The governor, who was anxious to defeat that meas- 
ure, dissolved it. He appeared in person and ordered the sheriff 
to bid all persons " to disperse and keep the king's peace." 
They heard hirn respectfully and, after lie retired, adjourned to 
another house, where they wrote letters to all the towns to send 
deputies and money for their fees, to Exeter, for the purpose of 
choosing delegates to Jhe general congress. They also appoint- 
ed a day of fasting and prayer, to be observed in all the churches, 
on account of the gloomy state of public affairs. The day was 
devoutly observed ; and the other requests were complied with. 
The money was conscientiously raised and eighty-five delegates 
were sent to Exeter, where they chose Nathaniel Folsom and 
John Sullivan, Esquires, to represent New Hampshire in the 
proposed congress, which met at Philadelphia in the September 
following. Contributions were also raised for the relief of the 
citizens of Boston who were suffering from the suspension of 
business in consequence of the Boston Port Bill. The gover- 
nor's influence was gone. He attempted secretly to aid Governor 
Gage in building barracks for his soldiers in Boston, by sending 
carpenters from New Hampshire ; but even his own relatives 
denounced him as " an enemy to the community." At this 
dark hour of his official life, he wrote to a friend : " Our atmos- 
phere threatens a hurricane. I have strove in vain, almost to 



death, to prevent it. If I can at last bring out of it safety to 
my country and honor to our sovereign, my labors will be joy- 
ful." Alas! "Othello's occupation was gone." Royal gover- 
nors were no longer reeded in America. The people had re- 
solved to govern themselves. They had ceased to plan and had 
begun to act. 

An order had been raised by the king in council, prohibiting 
the e.xportation of gunpowder to America. A British ship of 
war was also ordered to I^ortsmouth to take possession of Fort 
William and Mary. The people anticipated its arrival and, un- 
der the leadership of Major John Sullivan and John Langdon, 
on the fifteenth of December, 1774, proceeded to Newcastle, 
entered the fort, took the captain and his five soldiers pris- 
oners and carried away one hundred barrels of gunpowder. 
The ne.xt day another company removed fifteen cannon, with 
the small arms and stores from the fort. The gims, powder 
and military stores were secreted in the adjacent towns, and 
afterwards were used in defence of the country. At a sec- 
ond convention of deputies held at Exeter, in January, 1775, the 
heroic leaders of this attack on the fort, Major Sullivan and 
Captain Langdon, were chosen delegates to the next general 
congress to be holden at Philadelphia in May following. Mr. 
Brewster, in his " Rambles about Portsmouth," gives a detailed 
account of the capture of the fort and the removal of the pow- 
der and guns. He makes Captain Thomas Pickering the chief 
actor in this bold enterprise. He first suggested it to Major 
Langdon. He was the leader of the boats' crews that seized 
the fort. He first waded ashore, from his own boat, about mid- 
night. " The rest of the company landed unperceived by any 
one, when Pickering, in advance of the main body, scaled the 
ramparts of the fort and seized the sentinel with his muscular 
arm, took his gun and threatened death if he made the least 
alarm. Signals of success were given to the company, which 
soon had charge of the sentinel, while Captain Pickering entered 
the quarters of Captain Cochran ; and before he was fairly 
awake, announced to him that the fort was captured and he was a 
prisoner." This narrative is based on traditions current among 
the descendants of Captain Pickering. It shows, if true, that Ma- 
jors Sullivan and Langdon were not the leaders, but associates, 
in one of the most daring achievements of the Revolution. 




According to a Register of New Hampshire published for 
1768, we find the following account of its civilians and clergy- 

John Wentworth, Esq., Governor. 

John Temple, Esq., Lieutenant-Governor. 

Hon. Theodore Atkinson, Daniel Warner, M. H. Wentworth, 
James Nevin, Theodore Atkinson, jr., Nathaniel Barrell, Peter 
Livius, Jonathan Warner, Daniel Rindge, Diniel Pierce, and G. 
Jaffrey, Esquires, Councilors. 

Hon. Theodore Jaffrey, Esq., Secretary. 

Hon. George Jaffrey, Esq., Treasurer. 

Hon. Peter Gilman, Esq., Speaker of the House. 

The House consisted of thirty-one members, representing 
thirty-two towns. Portsmouth sent three representatives ; Do- 
ver, Hampton and E.xeter, two each. 

Superior Court of Judicature : Justices — Hon. Theodore At- 
kinson, Chief Justice ; Thomas Wallingford, Meshech Weare and 
Leverett Hubbard, Esquires, Associates ; Wyseman Claggett, 
Esq., Attorney-General ; Mr. George King, Clerk ; Thomas 
Pecker, Sheriff. 

Inferior Court of Common Pleas : Hon. Daniel Warner, John 
Wentworth, Clement March and Peter Livius, Esquires, Justices; 
Hunking Wentworth' Clerk. 

John Wentworth, Esq., Judge of Probate ; William Parker, 
Esq., Register. 

Daniel Pierce, Esq., Register of Deeds. 

Mr. Eleazer Russell, Postmaster for Portsmouth. 

Wyseman Claggett, Esq., Notary Public. 

Hon. William Parker, Deputy Judge of Admiralty. 

Mr. John Sherburne, Register. 

Hon. James Nevin, Collector of Customs. 

Robert Trail, Comptroller. 

Leverett Hubbard, Surveyor and Searcher. 

John Tucker, Naval Officer ; Eleazer Russell, Deputy. 

Eight practising attorneys are mentioned. Si.\ty-eight minis- 
ters of the gospel are registered. Eight regiments of militia 
were then in existence. Eighty justices of the peace are enu- 
merated, including all the state officials above named. In 1800 


the number was 472; in 1815 about one thousand had been 
commissioned. It deserves notice, that in 1768 the principal 
offices were confined to a few families ; and frequently one man 
served his state in several important capacities. 



Dartmouth College grew out of the Christian enterprise and 
missionary spirit of the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock. A pastor 
greatly beloved, a preacher of rare gifts, possessor of a hand- 
some competency by patrimony and marriage, his influence, tal- 
ents and means he devoted with ardor to Christian and philan- 
thropic ends. Settled over a Congregational society, at Leba- 
non, Conn., but not receiving a full support from the society, he 
thought it right to employ a portion of his time in other than 
parish labors ; and like Eliot and Brainerd, animated with a deep 
desire for the christianization and civilization of the Indians, he 
opened a school, about the year 1740, in his own house, for the 
education of Indian youth, receiving also English youth, whom 
he hoped would become missionaries among the Indians. His 
work soon attracted the attention of the philanthropic and be- 
nevolent. Mr. Joshua Moor, of Mansfield, who owned a house 
and two acres of land adjoining Mr. Wheelock's residence, pre- 
sented them to the latter for the occupancy of his school, to 
which, in commemoration of the donor, he gave the name of 
"Moor's Indian Charity School."* 

Other benefactors, in the colonies (one of the largest of whom 
was Sir William Johnson) and in the mother country, gave con- 
tributions to further the objects of the school. A board of gen- 
tlemen of the highest character was formed in England to re- 
ceive the contributions made in Great Britain for the object, e.\- 

* It is an interesting f.ict that the celebrated Mohawk chief, Joseph Brant (Thayendane- 
gea), was, with Samson Occiini, among the first of Dr. Wheelock's pupils. The correspon- 
dence between Dr. Wheelock and Sir William Johnson was quite active upon the subject of 
the school, and Joseph was himself employed as an agent to procure recruits for it. _Thus 
in a letter from Sir William to the Doctor', dated Nov. 17, 1761, he says — " I have given in 
charge to Joseph to speak in irvy name to any gqpd boys ( Indian) he may see, and encourage 
them to accept the generous offers now made to them, which he promised to do, and return 
as soon as possible, and that without horses." — Stone's Life 0/ Branty vol. 1st, page 21. 


cept those made in the northern part of the realm, for which the 
Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge 
acted as almoners. At the head of the English board was the 
eminent and excellent William, Earl of Dartmouth, secretary for 
the colonies, himself a liberal donor, and using his influence to 
secure gifts from other quarters, the king himself cheerfully and 
generously responding. At about the same time, and significant 
of the esteem entertained towards him abroad, Mr. Wheelock 
received from the University of Edinburgh the title of Doctor 
of Divinity. 

With that prudential wisdom always a characteristic of his 
movements. Dr. Wheelock secured increasing public confidence 
in his undertaking by inviting a few gentlemen of the highest 
standing in Connecticut to act as a Board of Trust, supervising 
his management of the school and its funds. In carrying out 
the objects he had in view, particularly in preparing missionaries 
for the Indians, the need was soon felt of a more extended course 
of education, and Dr. Wheelock, with the approval of the board 
of trust in Connecticut, and also of friends in Great Britain, 
engrafted a college course of instruction upon that already estab- 
lished in the school. This led to the contemplation of a change 
of locality, for Yale being already established it did not seem 
best to have another college within the bounds of the Connecti- 
cut colony. As soon as the proposed change became known 
several places sought for the institution. Liberal offers came 
from more than one town in Western Massachusetts. The city 
of Albany made generous offers. One liberal proposal was made 
for its transfer to the banks of the Mississippi. But none, on 
the whole, were so inviting as those from the province of New 
Hampshire, seconded by the excellent, large-hearted colonial 
governor of New Hampshire, John Wentworth. After a care- 
ful inspection by Dr. Wheelock, in company with one or two of 
his trustees, of many different localities in the province, the town 
of Hanover, about midway in the valley of the Connecticut 
between the northern and southern boundaries of New Hamp- 
shire, was selected as the site for the new college, and the name 
of Dartmouth was given to it in honor of the pious and illustrious 
English earl who had been so serviceable a patron of the 
Indian school, the germ, of which the college was the flower. 
Through the services of Sir William Johnson and Governor 
Wentworth a royal charter was obtained for the college in 1769, 
from George the Third. 

In the latter part of the summer of the following year the 
transfer of the institution was made. The long and tedious 
journey, as roads were then, of a couple of hundred miles, was 
made by a part of Dr. Wheelock's family in a coach which had 


been presented to him ; but by the rest, with all the students, on 
foot ; the company, numbering some seventy in all, wending 
their way along the streams and through the forests, driving a 
few swine before them, the meat most easily raised in the new 
settlements. So they moved on — that novel spectacle of a col- 
lege turned emigrant-pioneer settler — up into the then northern 
wilderness, for Hanover had barely been entered by settlers ; 
not a half dozen years had elapsed since the first family had 
located within its limits, and the primeval forest had to be felled 
where Dr. Wheelock erected the first log structures. 

One reason which had led to the selection of the new site was 
its nearer proximity to the Indian tribes Dr. Wheelock hoped to 
benefit. Neither previously nor subsequently, however, did the 
results of his efforts in behalf of tlie Indians realize his hopes, 
although it is difficult to conceive how those efforts could have 
been more wisely or energetically conducted. Apart from other 
causes, the French and Indian war proved very unpropitious in 
its influence in keeping pupils away from the school before its 
removal from Connecticut ; and afterwards the Revolutionary 
War, in which the Indians were again arrayed against the colo- 
nists, was similar in its effects. Still, with all that was untoward 
and disappointing. Dr. Wheelock's efforts for the Indians did 
accomplish much good ; nor is its amount to be measured alto- 
gether by the one hundred and fifty or more Indian youth who 
were under his instruction ; although such instances as the cele- 
brated Colonel Brant and the eloquent preacher Joseph Occum, 
both of whom, as mentioned on the preceding page, were among 
his Indian pupils, sufficiently attest the value of his educational 
efforts for the Indian. He originated a large amount of mis- 
sionary labor, reaching in its influence the Mohawks, Delawares, 
Mohegans, Narragansetts, Oneidas, Senecas, and others, besides 
the varied good which resulted in his awakening and giving form 
to benevolent interest and sympathy, both in this country and 
abroad, towards our Indian tribes. 

Dr. Wheelock lived only nine years after the founding of the 
college, and was succeeded in the presidency by his son, who 
continued in office tliirty-six years. 

There have been, including its present energetic head, seven 
presidents of the college, all with but a single exception clergy- 
men, and, as a body, conspicuous for their pulpit and administra- 
tive abilities ; alike eminent as preachers and divines, and suc- 
cessful as executive officers. 

Near the close of the last century a Medical Department be- 
came connected with the college, which, from the first, has been 
distinguished by having among its lecturers some of the most 
honored names of the medical profession in our Northern States. 



A Scientific Department has been in successful operation for 
twenty-one years. In accordance with an act of tlie legislature, in 
1866, establishing "The New Hampshire College of Agriculture 
and the Mechanic Arts," and authorizing its location at Hanover, 
in connection with Dartmouth College, this new department has 
been organized and put in operation. Two magnificent edifices, 
especially for this department, have already been erected, and a 
valuable farm, contiguous to the college grounds, is also in the 
possession of the department and available for its purposes. 
Through the liberality of General Sylvanus Thayer the means 
have been furnished for establishing in the college an especial 
"School of Civil Engineering," designed mainlv as a supplemen- 
tary post-graduate course. The valuable Astronomical and Me- 
teorological Observatory was established mainly through the lib- 
erality of the late George C. Shattuck, LL.D., of Boston. The 
libraries of the institution contain about fifty thousand volumes. 
Fifty-seven permanent scholarships, besides other funds, are avail- 
able for the gratuitous assistance of students. 

The college may be said to have been fortunate in the class of 
students frequenting its halls, since they have not been so much 
those soit to college as those who have sought college advantages. 
Hence, perhaps, is the explanation why its graduates have to so 
great an extent been efficient workers in after life. Says one 
long familiar with the operations and influence of the institution, 
though himself a graduate of Yale : 

"The whole country is indebted to Dartmouth College, as may be seen from 
its Triennial Catalogue, and facts known to all. It has sent forth more than 
nine hundred able ministers of the gospel, who have done good service to the 
churches in all parts of the land, and many of our best foreign missionaries, 
like Goodell, Temple, Poor, Spaulding and Wright. It has furnished thir- 
teen governors of statjs, thirty-one judges of courts, and several of these 
chief-justices of states, and one chief-justice of the United States; four cab- 
inet otiicers, five diplomatic agents abroad, that have done honor to their 
country; more than fifty members of Congress, eighteen United States Sen- 
ators, eighty-nine college professors, and thirty-one presidents of colleges. 
It has filled seventeen theological chairs and thirteen medical chairs with its 
graduates, to say nothing of more than one thousand medical gentlemen of 
skill, and distinguished men in all the walks of life." 

A hundred years have passed since the founding of the col- 
lege ; its friends may appeal to its history thus far as giving in- 
creasing illustration and emphasis to the words of Mr. Webster, 
in his celebrated plea for his Alma Mater before the supreme 
court of the United States : 

"Dartmouth College was established under a charter granted by the prov- 
incial government ; but a better constitution, or one more adapted to the con- 
dition of things under the present government, in all material respects, could 
not now be found. Nothing in it was found to need alteration at the Revo- 
lution. The wise men of that day saw in it one of the best hopes of future 
times, and commended it, as it was, with parental care to the protection and 
guardianship of the government of the state." 




All the northern portion of the state, which, in 1773, received 
the name of Grafton county, was originally called Cohos or Ca- 
wass. As late as 1760, there was no settlement by white men 
in the Connecticut valley above Charlestown, and only three 
towns were settled south of this point. Hinsdale was settled in 
1683, Westmoreland in 1741 and Walpole in 1752. These towns, 
except Walpole, were settled by emigrants from Massachusetts ; 
for until 1741 the north line of that province was supposed to 
include these towns. Hinsdale (Fort Dummer) and Charles- 
town (Number- Four) were military posts maintained most of the 
time by the province of Massachusetts, to guard the frontiers 
against the Indians. In 1754, Captain Peter Powers of Hollis, 
N. H., was appointed by the government of that province to 
lead an exploring party into the Cohos region. They left Rum- 
; ford (now Concord) on the fifteenth of June. 1754, and pene- 
' trated through the wilderness as far north as Northumberland, 
then returned and encamped on what is now the " Common," at 
Haverhill Corner, on the sixth of July, 1754. During " the seven 
years' war," no further attempt was made to explore or settle 
the Cohos country. In 1761, when the colonies no longer feared 
the forays of the French and Indians, the spirit of emigration re- 
vived in the older towns, and some brave men and braver wo- 
men ventured into these unoccupied regions of the north. War 
had revealed to them the " Cohos Meadows." The " Little Ox 
Bow " on the east of the Connecticut, and the " Great Ox Bow " 
on the west side, were then " cleared interval." The Indians 
had cultivated them in their imperfect way, for the raising of 
corn. They still occupied these meadows, but were now friendly 
to the whites. They had formerly resisted the encroachments 
of the English upon these rich lands. The country abounded 
with game, bear, deer, moose and fowls. The streams yielded 
the best of fish, salmon and trout. The soil was fertile and 
easily tilled. While the Indians were strong and were backed 
by the French, they allowed no pale-f.aces to make even a tem- 
porary stand in this region. Major Rogers and his rangers had 
humbled them ; the last war had made them English subjects, 
and they with silence and sorrow permitted new comers to live 
among them. Haverhill and Newbury derived their names from 


Colonel James Bailey of Newbury, Mass., and Captain John 
Hazen of Haverhill, Mass., who first planned the settlement of 
these towns. The work was begun in 1761. For the next ten 
years, settlements advanced into the interior and northern por- 
tions of the state quite rapidly. 

Mr. Webster, in his autobiography, says : " Previous to the 
year 1763, the settlements of New Hampshire had little or no 
progress into the country for sixty or seventy }'ears, owing to 
the hostility of the French in Canada and the neighboring In- 
dians, who were under the influence of the French." Salisbury- 
was one of those towns granted by Benning Wentworth, and was 
at first called Stevenstown, from one of the proprietors. Set- 
tlements were made in it as early as 1750. It was incorporated 
in 1768. Among the early settlers was Ebenezer Webster, the 
father of Daniel and Ezekiel Webster. He, with his wife, " trav- 
eled out of the road or path, for it was no better, and they were 
obliged to make their way, not finding one, to their destined 
place of habitation." " My father," adds Mr. Webster, " lapped 
on a little beyond any other comer, and when he had built his 
log cabin and lighted his fire, his smoke ascended nearer to 
the North Star than that of any other of his majesty's New 
England subjects. His nearest civilized neighbor, on the north, 
was at Montreal." 

Coos is an Indian name signifying "crooked," and is said to 
have been given originally to a bend in the Connecticut river 
and the territory on either side of it, including in New Hamp- 
shire the towns of Lancaster, Northumberland and Stratford ; 
and in Vermont, Lunenburg, Guildhall and Maidstone. Lan- 
caster was granted and incorporated in 1763, by Benning Went- 
worth. The proprietors were David Page and sixty-nine others. 
Besides these seventy shares, six others were reserved for the 
governor and for public uses. The settlers came into this un- 
broken wilderness in 1764. There was then no mill for the 
grinding of corn nearer than Charlestown, a distance of one 
hundred and ten miles. About thirty years after the first settle- 
ment, a Congregational church was formed and Rev. Joseph 
Willard installed as pastor. His salary was eighty pounds per 

All the towns founded in the wilderness, in our countr\', have 
a common history. The description of one is almost identically 
the description of all. The later settlements escaped the Indian 
wars, but in other respects the toils and triumphs, the joys and 
sorrows, the sufferings and successes, were nearly identical. 
Here is the picture of a new settlement drawn by a master's 

" Soon the ax gives its clear, metallic ring through these valleys. The 


giant Anaks of the forest creak, groan, stagger and come thundering to 
the ground. Fires roar and rush through the dry fallow. In the dim night, 
flames gleam from either side across the creek. .Smoke obscures the sun, 
giving the day the mystic hue of Indian summer. The sprouting hay grows 
rank among the stumps. The reapers sing as they bind the tall and golden 

Rude but pleasant homes rise along these hill-sides. The buzz of the 
wheel, the stroke of the loom, tell of domestic industry, of the discreet and 
beautiful women, once so aptly described by a king's mother. Hearts are 
knit for life, while fingers are busy in knitting the woolen or flaxen fibre. 
Nuptials are celebrated in homespun. Little children look out the windows 
and run ^mong the trees. The town-meeting is called. The school-house 
goes up. The master is abroad. Mutual necessities and hardships among 
neighbors awaken mutual interest and hospitalities. Each has a helping 
hand to rear up a house for the new comer, to sow and harvest the fields of 
a sick brother. The funeral, as it files through the woods to the final rest- 
ing place, calls out a long and sympathetic procession. It does not cost the 
living the last pittance to bury their dead. Those scant in pocket can afford 
to die. Poor laws are superseded by the laws of kindness and reciprocity. 

Gone is that Arcadian age I Gone " the men, famous for lifting up a.xes 
against the thick trees I" 

The (brave) forefathe 

From Charlestown to Haverhill, more than seventy miles, 
there was no road, only a bridle path, indicated by marked trees- 
This was often hedged up by fallen trees or made impassable by 
freshets. Mr. Mann, one of the first settlers of Orford, trav- 
eled over this path in 1765. " At Charlestown he purchased 
a bushel of oats for his horse and some bread and cheese for 
himself and wife and set forward, Mann on foot — wife, oats, 
bread and cheese and some clothing on horseback." Clare- 
mont then contained two families ; Cornish, one ; Plainfield, 
one ; Lebanon, three ; Hanover, one ; and Lyme, three. Think 
of the loneliness, the privation, the hardships of these first oc- 
cupants of the wilderness. No sounds broke the silence of the 
primitive forests but the howling of the winds, the crash of fall- 
ing trees or the growl of beasts of prey. A rude cabin was 
their only shelter ; game or fish, for a time, their principal food, 
and water from the spring their only beverage. The wife lived 
alone while the husband was abroad felling trees or securing 
food. Comfort was unknown. Consider, also, the royal con- 
descension that inserted in the charters of these new towns such 
provisions as these : " As soon as there shall be fifty families 
resident and settled, they shall have the liberty of holding two 
fairs annually ; also, a market may be opened and kept one or 
more days in each week as may be thought most advantageous 
to the inhabitants." 

Two classes of persons, with very distinctly marked charac- 
ters, penetrated these northern wilds. The leaders were men of 
intelligence, energy- and property. They had two objects in view ; 


to furnish permanent homes for themselves and their posterity 
and to acquire wealth by the rise of their lands. They in a few 
years had comfortable houses with good furniture for that day. 
They were men of strong religious principle and early made 
provision for the preaching of the gospel. They brought with 
them some domestic animals, such as cows, swine and sheep ; 
and were soon able to supply their tables with meat. There 
was another class, so poor as to need help to reach their new 
homes. They came on foot bearing all their property upon their 
shoulders. Such persons needed guides and overseers ; and 
had not men of more enterprise furnished them shelter, food and 
work, they must have perished. The fare of all classes, at first, 
was scanty. Their buildings were made of logs. When food 
became more plenty, they ate meat once in a day. Porridge of 
beans, pease or milk furnished their other meals. Bowls, dishes 
and plates were usually of wood. The more wealthy used pew- 
ter and tin. 

In the summer of 1770 the Connecticut valley, from North-* 
field, Mass., to Lancaster, N. H., was visited by a species of 
army worm which devoured most of the standing crops and re- 
duced the people nearly to starvation. In their maturity, the 
worms were as long as a man's finger and as large in circumfer- 
ence. The body was brown, with a velvet stripe upon the back 
and a yellow stripe on each side. They marched from the north 
or northwest and passed to the east and south. They were the 
most loathsome and greedy invaders that ever polluted the earth. 
They covered the entire ground, so that not a finger's breadth 
was left between them. In their march, they crawled over houses 
and barns, covering every inch of the boards and shingles. 
Every stalk of corji and wheat was doomed by them. The in- 
habitants dug trenches ; but they soon filled them to the surface 
and the remaining army marched over their prostrate compan- 
ions. They continued their devastations more than a month ; 
then suddenly disappeared, no one knows how or where. Eleven 
years later a second visitation of the same worm was made, 
but they were then few in number. Potatoes and vines were 
not eaten by them. Pumpkins were abundant and were very use- 
ful in sustaining the lives of men and animals during the autumn. 
The atmosphere was also black with flocks of pigeons, which 
were caught in immense numbers, and their meat dried for 
winter use. The feathers were used for bedding. Before this 
time, only straw or the bare floor had formed the couches of the 
poorer classes. 

In 1 77 1 a great freshet occurred in the Coos countiy. The 
rich meadows of Newbury and Haverhill were not only sub- 
merged by water, but, in some places, buried two or three feet 


in sand. Thus they lost their crops for that year, and the use 
of their fertile lands for several years to come. Cattle, sheep, 
swine and horses were swept away ; and, in some instances, fam- 
ilies were caught in the dwellings by the tide, and were saved 
with great difficulty by boats. Severe suffering followed this 
sudden flood, the greatest, perhaps, known on the Connecticut 



Wentworth is a name of distinction in English history. "The 
ancient and honorable family of Wentworths," says Thoresby, 
in his history of Leeds, "which for six hundred years hath borne 
the honor of knighthood, was seated four years before that in 
the county of York. The ancient and chief seat of this princi- 
pal branch of this noble family hath been for many ages at 
Wentworth Woodhouse, in the wapentake of Strafford, whence 
they spread into other parts." Thomas Wentworth, the Earl of 
Strafford, who, next to Cromwell, was the greatest man of the 
English Revolution, belonged to this family. He was beheaded 
on the twelfth of May, 1641. The great ancestor of the Went- 
worths of New Hampshire was VViUiam Wentworth, who, ac- 
cording to " Burke's Peerage and Baronetage," emigrated from 
the county of York, the ancient home of the race, to Boston in 
1628 (it should be 1638), and removed subsequently to New 
Hampshire in 1639. He became a preacher of the gospel, and 
is known in history as Elder Wentworth. He first preached at 
Exeter. He also lived and preached at Dover. When the Ind- 
ians attacked that town in i68g, Elder Wentworth, then over 
eighty years of age, was sleeping in Heard's garrison. He was 
awaked by the barking of a dog, just as the Indians were enter- 
ing. He sprang to the door, forced out the savages, and falling 
on his back placed his feet against the door, and thus prevented 
their entrance till his call for help alarmed the people who were 
near. The balls shot at tiie door passed through it and above 
his body, leaving the heroic veteran unharmed. " This bold 
act," says Judge Smith, "will embalm the name and memory of 
this brave old man and sincere Christian as long as our records 


shall endure ; and will give him a renown greater, far greater, 
and more widely spread, than the good fortune of having so 
many governors among his descendants. His was true glory. 
The good fortune may happen to any man." He died at Do- 
ver, at the age of ninety. John Wentworth, his second son, was 
lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire from 1717 to 1729. 
The character of Lieutenant-Governor John Wentwortth is thus 
drawn by Rev. John M. Whiton : 

" From his father, Elder Wentworth, he received a christian education, 
which exerted much influence on his subsequent life. P'or a time he fol- 
lowed the seas and commanded a ship, in which he carefully maintained the 
morning and evening worship of God. As a merchant, his integrity, benev- 
olence and public spirit procured him general esteem. He was charitable to 
the poor, courteous and affable to all, and attentive to the institutions of re- 
ligion. For the most part of a period of thirteen years, some of them 
marked with the perplexities of an Indian war and a high degree of party 
excitement, he conducted the affairs of the province with singular wisdom 
and moderation ; and with the exception of a controversv between him and 
the Assemblv, near the close of his administration, to the satisfaction of the 
people. He possessed their confidence and affection while living, and car- 
ried with him their respect when he descended to the grave." 

His family consisted of si.xteen children. One of his sons, 
Benning Wentworth, was governor of New Hampshire from 1741 
to 1766. For twenty-five years, in stormy times and during two 
bloody wars, he sat at the helm of state, and perhaps adminis- 
tered her affairs as well as most men could or would have done 
in the same circumstances. He succeeded in pleasing neither 
king nor people. He was virtually superseded, though time 
was courteously given him for resignation. He was succeeded 
by his nephew John Wentworth, who had appeared at court to 
present the petition of the province against the stamp act. He 
thus became acquainted with men in power, and by his courtly 
manners won their ftivor. His intercession prevented the cen- 
sure and removal of his uncle and secured for him the oppor- 
tunity of retiring with credit. Mohn Wentworth was commis- 
sioned as Governor of New Hampshire and " Surveyor of the 
King's Woods in North America." The king had a great fond- 
ness for timber. His father, Mark Hunking Wentworth, was a 
merchant who amassed a large fortune by foreign trade. He 
was also a member of the council and one of the Masonian 
proprietors who purchased Mason's claim to the unoccupied 
lands of New Hampshire^ His son John was the last, and 
perhaps the most illustrious, of the royal governors. He was a 
graduate of Harvard, and was distinguished for his love of 
learning. After his flight from the country, his estate was con- 
fiscated except what was required to pay his debts. His father, 
fearing that the estate would prove insolvent, with great gen- 
erosity relinquished his claims to his son's property, that other 


creditors might not be losers by him. He was the largest cred- 
itor of all. 

John Wentworth had been trained to mercantile pursuits in 
early life. The distinguished family to which he belonged were 
devoted to merchandise. This was the most direct road to 
wealth and power. The people of Portsmouth received and 
handled all the exports and imports of the province, hence 
many of them became rich. It was the scat of the legislature 
and of the courts, till in 1770 the province was divided into 
five counties by the legislature. Several sessions passed before 
the points of difficulty respecting boundaries and privileges 
could be adjusted. In 1771, the king gave his approbation of 
the division, and separate courts were established in Rocking- 
ham, Hillsborough and Cheshire. The counties of Strafford 
and Grafton, being sparsely settled, were attached in the judi- 
cial circuit to Rockingham, till the governor and council should 
deem them competent to exercise separate jurisdictions. This 
was so ordered in 1773. The counties, except Cheshire, were 
named by the governor in honor of English noblemen who 
were his personal friends. 

In 177 1, paper currency, which had been from its origin a 
perpetual nuisance, was abolished and silver and gold became 
the legal tender in all business transactions. The predecessor 
of John Wentworth, the Hon. Benning Wentworth, had amassed 
a large fortune ; a portion of it by questionable means. He 
virtually sold grants of townships to scheming proprietors ; and 
reserved in each five hundred acres to himself. After his death 
the title to much of his estate began to be disputed. The gov- 
ernor himself proposed in council the question, " Whether the 
reservation of five hundred acres in several townships, by the 
late governor, Benning Wentworth, in the charter grants, con- 
veyed the title to him ? " Seven of the eight councilors an- 
swered the question in the negative, and the reserved lands were 
offered to private settlers. 

The dissenting councilor, Peter Livius, being dissatisfied be- 
cause, in the reappointment of justices of the common pleas for 
the new counties he had been omitted by the governor, resolved 
to procure his removal. He proceeded to England, with six 
specific charges of maladministration, and presented them to 
the lords of trade. A long and tedious examination followed, 
records and witnesses were examined, and the governor was, af- 
ter an appeal, triumphantly acquitted on every charge. But the 
case was carried from the lords of trade, who were inclined to 
report the charges verified, to a committee of the privy council, 
and before this high tribunal the governor was justified. That 
the decision was righteous appears from the general approbation 


of it by the people and the Icjis'^-turc at home. Till this period 
the governor's fame had suffered no eclipse. This was in 1773. 
He had uniformly endeavored to promote the public welfare by 
encouraging commerce, constructing highv/ays, establishing courts 
and fostering learning. He signed the charter of Dartmouth 
College, contributed liberally to its funds, attended its first com- 
mencement, and took a deep interest in its welfare. 

It is to be regretted that a man so noble in character, so gen- 
erous in action, so pacific in temper, should have fallen on evil 
times ; but he did not appreciate the character of the people he 
ruled. He hoped for reconciliation and labored to promote it ; 
but he could no more resist the on-rush of the revolution, than 
the Danish Canute could stay the tide of old ocean. 

Doctor Dwight in his travels, says of him : " Governor Went- 
worth was the greatest benefactor of the Province of New 
Hampshire, mentioned in its history. He was a man of sound 
imderstanding, refined taste, enlarged views and a dignified 
spirit. His manners, also, were elegant and his disposition en- 
terprising. Agriculture, in this province, owed more to him 
than to any other man. He originated the formation of new 
roads and the improvement of old ones. All these circum- 
stances rendered him very popular, and he would probably 
have continued to increase his reputation, had he not been pre- 
vented by the controversy between Great Britain and her colo- 
nies. As the case was he retired from the chair with an unim- 
peachable character, and with higher reputation than any other 
man who, at that time, held the same office in the country." 

John Wentworth performed his last official act on the Isles of 
Shoals, in September, 1775. He had previously retired to the 
fort and put himself^ under the protection of the Scarborough, a 
British ship of war, where he remained till the fort was dis- 
mantled. He then went to Boston. From that city he came as 
near to Portsmouth as he could with safety, to adjourn the re- 
bellious assembl}'. His house had been pillaged after he re- 
tired to the fort. Wentworth was the last, and probably the 
best, of the royal governors. He aimed to be loyal to the king 
and true to the people. But the two things were incompatible. 
He possessed business tact, executive energy, a pacific temper, 
and a cultivated taste. In ordinar}' times he would have made 
a popular and successful governor ; but, at the perilous crisis of 
his administration, no man could serve two masters. If he was 
true to the king, he was false to the people. Still, during a 
considerable portion of his official life, he was highly acceptable 
to his fellow-citizens. He went to England soon after leaving 
the province, and was there created a baronet and appointed 
lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick. 


John Wentworth of Somersworth, a contemporary of the gov- 
ernor, was in public Hfe more than thirty years. He was dis- 
tinguished as an officer in the militia, a legislator and a judge. 
John Wentworth, jr., his son, was also one of the staunchest whigs 
of the Revolution. No man of that troublous period has a 
purer and nobler official record. He died in 1787, aged 42. 

After the flight of Governor Wentworth, the people of New 
Hampshire were without a responsible government. They ac- 
cordingly proceeded, in January, 1776, to form a constitution to 
remain in force during " the unhappy and unnatural contest with 
Great Britain." In the following June, on the fifteenth day of 
that month, they made and published the following Declaration 
of Independence : 

" Whereas it now appears an undoubted fact, that notwith- 
standing all the dutiful petitions and decent remonstrances from 
the American colonies, and the utmost exertions of their best 
friends in England on their behalf, the British Ministry, arbi- 
trary and vindictive, are yet determined to reduce by fire and 
sword our bleeding country to their absolute obedience ; and 
for this purpose, in addition to their own forces, have engaged 
great numbers of foreign mercenaries, who may now be on their 
passage here accompanied by a formidable fleet to ravish and 
plunder the sea-coast ; from all which we may reasonably ex- 
pect the most dismal scenes of distress the ensuing year, unless 
we exert ourselves by every means and precaution possible ; and 
whereas we of this colony of New Hampshire have the example 
of several of the most respectable of our sister colonies before 
us for entering upon that most important step of disunion from 
Great Britain, and declaring ourselves FREE and INDEPEND- 
ENT of the crown thereof, being impelled thereto by the most 
violent and injurious treatment ; and it appearing absolutely 
necessary in this most critical juncture of our public affairs, 
that the honorable the Continental Congress, who have this im- 
portant object under immediate consideration, should be also in- 
fo-'med of our resolutions thereon without loss of time. We do 
hereby declare that it is the opinion of this assembly that our 
delegates at the continental congress should be instructed, and 
they are hereby instructed, to join with the other colonies in de- 
claring the thirteen united colonies a free and independent 
state — solemnly pledging our faith and honor, that we will on 
our parts support the measure with our lives and fortunes, and 
that in consequence thereof, they, the continental congress, on 
whose wisdom, fidelity and integrity we rely, may enter into and 
form such alliances as they may judge most conducive to the 
present safety and future advantage of these American colo- 
nies : Provided, the regulation of our internal police be under 
the direction of our own Assembly." 




The colonial legislatures claimed entire and exclusive author- 
ity in all matters relating to their own domestic and internal 
affairs. They denied the right of any power on earth to tax 
them but themselves. The British government maintained that 
the King of England, with advice of parliament, " had, hath 
and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make 
laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the 
colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever." On 
this principle, mother and daughter separated. The mother 
made concessions, adopted measures of conciliation, and re- 
duced the duties to a mere nominal sum ; still, so long as the 
principle was asserted, the rebellious daughter remained obsti- 
nate. Had the tax levied been but one penny per annum for 
each colony, the resistance would have been equally determined. 
Indeed, there can scarcely be a doubt that seven years of pa- 
tience, instead of seven years of fighting, with the ablest states- 
men and orators of England as friends of America, might have 
secured to the colonies absolute equality of political rights. Had 
the patriots of that age so waited and so acted, we their descend- 
ants might to-day have been the subjects of a hereditary mon- 
arch. Our counties might have been the property of counts, 
and our independent yeomen who own their farms and till them, 
who choose their p/istors and support them, who make their 
laws and obey them, might have been the dependents of some 
"born gentleman," like the Duke of Sutherland, who with great 
condescension visits his peasants twice a year and gives them 
advice, builds roads and allows them to walk in them, founds 
churches and sends them rectors, provides cottages and requires 
of the tenants a rent which abridges the commonest comforts of 
life. The colonies were determined to be free. They deemed 
all concessions a snare, and experience has proved that they 
judged wisely. The English government, finding that the colo- 
nies would not submit, resolved to subdue them. 

In April, 1775, there were three thousand royal troops in 
Boston, under General Gage. The business of that city had 
been ruined by adverse legislation. Traders had no business, 
citizens no bread. " An exceeding great and bitter cry " went 
up through the land. The adjacent towns not only sent food to 
Boston, but collected stores for the coming war. A magazine 


of provisions and ammunition had been established at Concord, 
Mass. General Gage, on ihe nineteenth of April, sent troops 
to destroy it. A company of provincial militia had assembled 
at Lexington to resist the British troops. Major Pitcairn, on 
seeing them, rode forward in front of his columns and cried, 
" Disperse, ye rebels ! lay down your arms and retire." As the 
men whom he called rebels did not obey, he gave orders to fire, 
and seven Americans fell and nine were wounded. The rest re- 
tired pursued by the British. This was the first bloody act of 
that great drama which was destined to free a continent. The 
British regulars succeeded in destroying or removing most of 
the stores, but they paid dearly for this trilling result. They 
lost, before their return, two hundred and seventy-three men, 
killed, wounded and missing, while the provincials lost only 
eighty-eight 1 The last tie to the mother country wars broken. 
Reconciliation was now impossible. The news of the first 
bloodshed was borne on the v/ings of the wind to every hamlet, 
to every dweller within the limits of the thirteen colonies. Men 
sprang to arms as though moved by a single impulse. They 
made solemn pledges with one another to do or die, " to be 
ready for the extreme event." Almost with one voice, they 
echoed the burning words of Henry : " Give me libert)', or give 
me death I" 

The people of New Hampshire were so inured to war, that 
they never could be wholly unprepared for it. An old law re- 
quired every male inhabitant, from si.\teen to sixty years of age, 
to own a musket, bayonet, knapsack, cartridge-box, one pound 
of powder, twenty bullets and twelve flints. Every town was re- 
quired to keep, in readiness for use, one barrel of powder, two 
hundred pounds of lead and three hundred flints, besides spare 
arms and ammunition for those who were too poor to own them. 
Even exempts, as old as the discharged Roman veterans, were 
obliged to retain their arms. The militia was regarded as the 
right arm of the public defence. It was organized into com- 
panies and regiments and subjected to frequent drills under their 
officers. In most of the townships laid out by proprietors or 
royal governors, a " training ground " was as commonly reserved 
as a parsonage. Like the Jews of old in restoring and guarding 
their broken walls, they " made their prayer " and " set their 
watch." Volunteer companies also enlisted for the defence of 
the country. After the first blood was shed, every means that 
could convey the intelligence to the eye or ear was used to spread 
the alarm. Beacons were lighted, drums beaten, guns fired, and 
Ibels rung to warn the people of their danger. 

" Then there was hun-ying to and frc ; in hot haste " 

men made ready their armor, women prepared their clothes and 
buckled on their harness. 




The first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, on the 
fifth day of September, 1774. All the colonies were represented. 
Fifty-five members attended, each colony having sent as many 
as it pleased. In this congress there was no distinction be- 
tween*the large and small colonies ; each had one vote, because, 
as General Sullivan said, " a little colony has its all at stake as 
well as a great one." This congress published a " bill of rights," 
which was equivalent to bringing against Great Britain a bill 
of wrongs. A great gulf was thus fixed between the two coun- 
tries. The second congress assembled in the same city, on the 
tenth of May, 1775, after the first blood had been shed at Lex- 
ington, and continued in session until the close of the Revolu- 
tionary war and the adoption of a definite form of government. 
By this congress, Washington was chosen generalissimo of the 
American troops, on the fifteenth of June, 1775, and the Dec- 
laration of Independence passed July fourth, 1776; and they 
assumed the name and title of "The United States of America." 
The same congress appointed three major-generals, Artemas 
\\'ard, Charles Lee, and Philip Schuyler ; one adjutant-general, 
Horatio Gates ; and eight brigadier-generals, of whom John Sul- 
livan of New Hampshire was one. The people of the New 
England states did not wait to be summoned to the defence of 
their country. When they heard of her peril, they snatched their 
firelocks from the smoke-stained walls, and hastened to " the 
camp of liberty." 

The veteran Stark, after the French and Indian war, settled 
in Starktown, afterwards called Dunbarton, and there culti- 
vated his farm and cared for his mills. The news of the battle 
of Lexington reached him in his saw-mill. He immediately went 
to his house, changed his dress, mounted his horse and hastened 
to the theatre of war. On the road, he called his patriotic 
countrymen to arms. He was known to many of them, and his 
name was a tower of strength. Medford was named as a place 
of rendezvous. There in the hall of a tavern, afterwards called 
" New Hampshire Hall," he was chosen, by hand vote, colonel 
of the assembled militia. A regiment containing thirteen com- 
panies was soon formed and reduced to tolerable discipline by 
their commander. On the twenty-third of April, only four days 


after the battle of Lexington, two thousand men, from almost 
evei^ t(iwn in New Hampshire, had reported themselves at head- 
quarters for duty, and were desirous "not to return till the 
work was done." Some of these, however, returned ; others were 
formed into two regiments under the authority of Massachusetts. 
In May, on the meeting of the Provincial Congress of New 
Hampshire, they voted to raise two thousand men to be formed 
into three regiments. The commanders of these were John 
.Stark, James Reed and Enoch Poor. These were the first col- 
onial regiments, out of Massachusetts, that were placed under 
the command of General Ward, v.'ho had been recently ap- 
pointed commander-in-chief of the forces of that colony. Gen- 
eral Putnam held a subordinate command. 

Colonel Prescott, who, like Marshal Ney, deserves to be styled 
"the bravest of the brave," was detailed with one thousand 
men to throw up a breastwork of earth on Breed's Hill, on the 
night of the si-xteenth of June. Bunker Hill had been proposed 
by the committee of safety, but Prescott " received orders to 
march to Breed's Hill." On the morning of the seventeenth of 
June, Stark's regiment, then at Medford, and Reed's, near 
Charlestown neck, were ordered by Ward to march to Colonel 
Prescott's aid. In marching over Charlestown neck, where the 
soldiers were exposed to the constant' fire of an English man-of- 
war and two floating batteries. Captain Henry Dearborn, walk- 
ing by the side of Stark, suggested the propriety of a more rapid 
march to escape the balls of the enemy. Stark replied : " C3ne 
fresh man in action is worth ten tired ones, " and continued to 
move with the same measured step, through the shower of iron 
hail that was constantly falling around them. Ne.xt to Prescott, 
Stark brought the largest number of men into the field. The 
position of the New Hampshire troops was at a rail fence, about 
forty yards in the rear of the redoubt, toward the Mystic river. 
Newly mown hay, that lay upon the ground, was stuffed between 
the rails to form a very imperfect breastwork. A regiment of 
Welsh fusileers was opposed to Stark's troops. They marched 
up the hill with se\'en hundred men. The next day only eighty- 
three appeared on parade. The destructive fire of Stark's men 
had nearly annihilated a regiment that had gained renown at the 
battle of Minden. When the redoubt was abandoned by Col- 
onel Prescott, because his men had neither bayonets nor ammu- 
nition with which to contniue its defence. Stark drew off his 
forces in good order, without pursuit by the enemy. " On the 
ground where the mowers had swung their scythes in peace 
the day before, the dead," relates Stark, " lay as thick as sheep 
in a fold." The New Hampshire troops during the action twice 
drove back the foe in their front, and held them in check while 


the little band were retreating from the breastwork, before they 
left the exposed position they had so " nobly defended." Of 
the Americans in that memorable battle, one hundred and forty- 
five were killed and missing, and three hundred and four wound- 
ed, from about fifteen hundred in all. Stark's regiment lost fif- 
teen killed and missing , and si.xty were wounded. Of Reed's 
regiment, three were killed, one missing, and twenty-nine wound- 
ed. General Gage reported the killed and wounded of his own 
army at one thousand and fifty-four. The number engaged was 
double that of the Americans. 

Dr. Warren, the Hampden of the American Revolution, though 
holding a high commission in the Massachusetts army, fought as 
a volunteer ; and, after passing through the blood and smoke of 
the fight at the redoubt, was killed during the retreat by a 
British officer, who borrowed the gun of a private to do this deed 
of blood. Major Andrew McClary, one of the bravest of New 
Hampshire's sons, fell by a chance shot of a cannon, as the re- 
tiring army was marching over Charlestown neck. 

"The battle of Quebec," says Mr. Bancroft, "which won half 
a continent, did not cost the lives of so many officers as the 
battte-Tjf-fiunker Hill which gained nothing but a place of en- 
campment." If there be trutli in history, the moral effect of 
that day is due quite as much to the bravery of the New Hamp- 
shire troops as to that of the " Spartan band" from Massachu- 
setts, under the command of Colonel Prescott, of whom it is 
said, " his bravery could never be enough acknowledged or ap- 
plauded." This battle taught the British to respect American 
character and to fear American valor. " A yankee rabble " had 
become "an invincible army." 



After the flight of John VVentworth and the dissolution of the 
royal government. New Hampshire for a time was without any 
regularly constituted rulers. The convention that met at Exeter 
in May, 1775, was the spontaneous creation of the towns, acting 
upon their own authority. This convention, in which one hun- 
dred and two towns were represented by one hundred and thirty- 
three members, established post-offices and appointed commit- 


tees of supplies and of safety. The general direction given to 
these committees was like that given to the Roman consuls in 
times of peril : " That they should take care that the republic 
received no detriment." In fact, these extemporized officers 
were supreme in power as they were supposed to be unerring in 
wisdom. Their instructions, however, were renewed from time 
to lime till the six months for which the assembly was elected 
expired. The provincial records were seized by authority of this 
assembly. Three different issues of bills were made during this 
year, amounting in all to forty thousand pounds. These bills, 
signed by the treasurer were for a time received at their full 
value. I3esides the three regiments at Cambridge, a company 
of artillery was raised to man the forts, and a company of ran- 
gers who were stationed on the Connecticut river. Two other 
companies were held in readiness to march whenever they should 
be needed. The whole militia constituted twelve regiments. 
The field officers were appointed by the convention ; the inferior 
officers were chosen by the companies. Four regiments were 
denominated "minute men," because they were required to go 
at a minute's warning to the field of danger. During the follow- 
ing winter, sixteen companies of New Hampshire militia, of 
sixty-one men each, supplied at headquarters the place of the 
Connecticut forces whose time had expired. They served till 
Boston was evacuated. 

When the time came for the convention to be dissolved by 
limitation, they asked direction of the continental congress then 
in session, with respect to their duty. They were advised to call 
a new convention for the purpose of establishing a permanent 
government for the province. They finally ordered every town 
of one hundred families to send one representative, and one 
additional representative for every additional hundred families. 
They also decreed that each elector should possess real estate 
valued at twenty pounds, and each candidate for election one 
of three hundred pounds. A census had been previously order- 
ed which showed the entire population of the province to be 
eighty-two thousand two hundred souls, and the number of rep- 
resentatives eighty-nine. The representatives were to be paid 
by their respective towns and to continue in office one year. 
They met at Exeter on the twenty-first of December, 1775, and 
assumed the name of the House of Representatives of New 
Hampshire. The men who composed this body were not states- 
men nor lawyers, only citizens of " large round-about common 
sense." They of course made some mistakes in framing or- 
ganic laws for a sovereign state. They selected a council of 
twelve to constitute an upper house. These elected their own 
president. No act could be valid till it had passed both houses, 


and all money bills must originate with the house of represen- 
tatives. They omitted to establish an executive branch of the 
new government. Hence the two houses while in session were 
obliged to provide for this service, and during adjournments to 
delegate it to committees of safety numbering from six to six- 
teen. Meshech VVeare, " an old, tried and faithful public ser- 
vant," was chosen president of the council, also president of 
the executive committee of safety, and in 1776 was appointed 
chief justice of the supreme court. All these offices he held 
during the war. 

Such an accumulation of high and responsible trusts has rarely 
rested upon one man by a popular election. The highest 
confidence was reposed in his integrity and patriotism. The 
hatred of royalty was so intense that every trace of it was swept 
away. The sign-boards that bore the royal face were torn 
down ; pictures and coats-of-arms in private houses were re- 
moved or reversed ; the names of streets that bore the words 
" king " or " queen " were changed, and even the half-pence that 
bore the image of George III. were refused in payment of dues. 

This assembly established, anew, the courts, made paper 
money a legal tender, passed a law against counterfeiters, and 
changed the name of the '" colony " or " province " to that of 
"the State of New Hampshire." They also built a ship of war 
for the infant navy of the country at Portsmouth. It was com- 
pleted in sixty days after the keel was laid, bore thirty-two guns 
and was called the " Raleigh." 

I quote the fqllowing facts from the pen of Hon. G. W. 
Nesmith : 

"The Convention of 177S made the office of councilor elective by the 
people ; Rockingham county choosing five of the number, Strafford two, 
Hillsborough two, Cheshire two, and Grafton one. 

There was another convention called to revise the state constitution, in 
1781. It had nine sessions, continuing its own existence for the term of two 
years. Its president was George Atkinson. General Sullivan was its secre- 
tary. We have the address of this convention before us, issued in May, 
1783, from which it appears that the convention had twice recommended, 
among other things, to give the executive arm of the government more 
power and efficiency, by creating the office of governor. 

This amendment was twice submitted to the people, and as often rejected 
by them. The convention, however, recommended that the president 
should be elected by the people. This amendment was adopted, and for the 
first time, in 17S4, Meshech Weare was elected by the people to the office 
of president of the State ; but on account of bad health he resigned this 
office before the expiration of the political year. John Langdon, General 
Sullivan and Josiah Bartlett severally afterwards were elected president, 
until March, 1793, when our present constitution went into force, and Josiah 
Bartlett was chosen goz'ernor." 



YEAR 1776. 

The year in which the independence of the colonies was de- 
clared was a period of great calamities. The United States 
began their political existence without resources to sustain it ; 
without men, food, clothes or tents for their armies, or money 
for their wages. Boston was evacuated on the seventeenth of 
March, 1746, and the British army, consisting of about seven 
thousand men, accompanied by some fifteen hundred families of 
loyalists, sailed immediately for Halifax. On the nineteenth of 
the same month, Washington sent five regiments, under General 
Heath, to New York ; and having fortified Boston, soon fol- 
lowed his advance guard and made New York his headquarters. 

In March, 1776, the two houses of the legislature of New 
Hampshire, sitting at Exeter, published their new " Flan of Gov- 
a-nment,''' and appointed all necessary officers, judicial, military 
and civil, for the administration of state affairs. They also as- 
signed good and sufficient reasons for this step ; but at the same 
time made this declaration respecting a possible restoration of 
harmony: "We shall rejoice if such a reconciliation between 
us and our parent state can be effected as shall be approved by 
the continental congress." The Declaration of Independence, 
brought by express to Exeter in the following July, was re- 
ceived with unljounded joy. It was read to the assembled citi- 
zens of that town by the patriot, John Taylor Gilman, and pub- 
lished in other towns, with bonfires, bells, drums and other 
demonstrations of exultation. The New Hampshire delegates 
who signed that declaration, the most important ever published 
in human history, not even excepting Magna Charta, were Jo- 
siah Bartlett, William Whipple and Matthew Thornton. The 
writing of their names on that paper made them immortal. 

The legislature continued in service the three regiments of 
the preceding year with their commanders. These followed 
General Washington to New York. They also raised a fourth 
regiment in the western part of the state, which was destined for 
service in Canada. It was commanded by Colonel Bedel. The 
other three regiments, soon after their arrival in New York, 
were placed under the command of General .Sullivan, who was 
sent to reinforce the American troops that were retreating from 


Quebec before a superior force. That invasion had proved dis- 
astrous. One detachment of New Hampshire troops had been 
previously captured by a body of Englisli and Indians, at a place 
called ^^ The Cedars" forty miles above Montreal. Colonel Bedel 
of New Hampshire was stationed with about four hundred men 
and two cannon at the narrow pass of the cedars. This pass 
was about forty-five miles above Montreal, and General Thomas, 
at Sorel, was about as far below. Bedel left his post at the ap- 
proach of the enemy, under pretence of securing a reinforce- 
ment. The post was left in the care of Major Butterfield who, 
from cowardice, as some affirm, surrendered without a blow. 

From the Memoir of General John Stark the following facts 
are taken. After the evacuation of Boston, Colonel Stark was 
ordered, with two regiments, to proceed to New York, where he 
remained till May, when his regiment with five others were or- 
dered to march by way of Albany to Canada. At the mouth of 
the Sorel he met the retreating army commanded by General 
Thomas. This officer died of the small-po.x and the command 
devolved on General Arnold, who employed himself in plunder- 
ing the merchants of Montreal for his private emolument. He 
was soon superseded by General Sullivan, who planned an expe- 
dition against Trois Riyieres, which proved a failure, as Colonel 
Stark had predicted. Va retreat became necessary. It was con- 
ducted with great skifT and prudence by General Sullivan, and 
the army, weary and worn, thinned by the small-pox and the bul- 
lets of the enemy, reached St. Johns without loss of men or 
property. Here everything was burnt, and the army proceeded 
in boats to Isle aux Noix. Colonel Stark was the last to leave 
the shore, as the advanced guard of the enemy approached the 
smoking ruins. On the eighteenth of June, 1776, the army en- 
camped upon the I>sle aux Noix ; and, before the enemy could 
procure boats to pursue them, they had again embarked and 
safely landed at Crown Point. The New Hampshire troops un- 
der General Sullivan were, on the first of July, stationed at Ti- 
conderoga and Mount Independence. General Gates became 
their superior officer. About one third of them had died of 
small-po.x and putrid fever. Jin war, disease often destroys more 
men than the weapons of the foe. When the danger of an at- 
tack on Ticonderoga, for that season, was passed, these troops 
marched south and joined the retreating army of Washington. 

On the twenty-seventh of August, 1776, occurred the disas- 
trous battle on Long Island, in which five hundred Americans 
were killed and wounded, and eleven hundred made prisoners 
A portion of the New Hampshire troops were in this engage- 
ment, under General Sullivan, who was himself captured by the 
enemy. Washington found it necessary to abandon New York 


and all the strongholds in the vicinity. He retreated with the 
mere skeleton of an army, less than three thousand men, giving 
up successively to the pursuing foe Newark, New Brunswick, 
Princeton and Trenton, till af^er three weeks of intense suffer- 
ing, on the seventh of December, he reached the Delaware. 
The ne.xt day, the remnant of the American army, pinched with 
cold and hunger, crossed that river in boats and sat down in 
despair on the soil of Pennsylvania. After a few days of rest, 
Washington resolved to recross the Delaware and attack the 
Hessians at Trenton, while they were keeping Christmas and 
given up to feasting and drunkenness. The plan succeeded, and 
the most important victory of the war was achieved. It gave new 
life to the exhausted soldiers and the despairing country. Gen- 
eral Sullivan and Colonel Stark, with the New Hampshire troops, 
contributed largely to this happy result. The term for which 
the New Hampshire men enlisted had expired ; and through the 
influence of Stark they enlisted for another period of six weeks, 
that they might once more meet the British veterans in the field. 
Colonel Stark led Sullivan's advance guard ; and we can hardly 
doubt that the brave conduct of his men, on that memorable 
day, secured the victory. The same troops were also engaged 
in the battle of Princeton. These were the " times that tried 
men's souls." Stark's men served during the six weeks of their 
new enlistment ; and two regiments of militia which had been 
sent by New Hampshire to reinforce the army of Washington 
remained till the following March. 



Vermont adopted an independent government in 1777. Prior 
to 1749 no towns had been chartered in her territory by either of 
the states claiming jurisdiction over it. Benning Wentworth was 
then governor of New Hampshire and had been authorized, by 
a royal commission, to make grants of townships in Vermont. 
He first chartered Bennington, which he named for himself. He 
then wrote to the governor of New York to ascertain if his 
grants would interfere with any previous titles granted by that 
state. In April, 1750, Governor George Clinton wrote as follows : 
" This province [New York] is bounded eastward by Connecticut 


river; the letters patent from King Charles II. and the Duke of 
York expressly granting " all lands from the west side of the Con- 
necticut river to the east side of Delaware bay." Other letters 
passed between the two governors ; but Wentworth refused to 
listen to arguments adverse to the claims of New Hampshire 
and proceeded to grant other towns in the disputed territory,^ to 
the number of one hundred and thirtj'-eight. Fourteen thou- 
sand acres had been assigned to the king's officers in reward for 
faithful services. In 1764, in consequence of an appeal made to 
the king by the two provinces, his majesty decided in favor of 
New York. For a time the government of New Hampshire 
ceased in Vermont. New York would consent to no compro- 
mise. She regarded all grants made by Governor- Wentworth as 
null and void. She enacted laws hostile to the claims of the set- 
tlers, who were at once roused to opposition. Hence arose a 
controversy which resulted in the independence of Vermont. 
As early as 1776 a convention of delegates from the New Hamp- 
shire Grants, having met at Dorset, showed by their votes their 
determination to be a separate state. In 1777 a constitution was 
formed, and the delegates assembled at Windsor and, for the 
first time, enacted laws for their government. They assumed 
the name of the " State of Vermont." Sixteen towns on the 
east side of the Connecticut river petitioned to be admitted to 
the new state. They alleged that the original grant to John 
Mason did not include their territory, and, inasmuch as their ex- 
istence depended on a royal commission which was now annulled 
by the Revolution, they were free to choose their own rulers. 
Thfcir petition was referred to the freemen of Vermont (who met 
at Bennington, June 11, 1778). They decided (thirty-seven 
towns, out of forty-nine represented, voting for the resolution) 
that these si.xteen towns and any others that might choose to 
unite with them should have leave to do so. 

These towns were Cornish, Lebanon, Dresden (a name then 
given to a district belonging to Dartmouth College), Lyme, Or- 
ford, Piermont, Haverhill, Bath, Lyman, Apthorp (now divided 
between Littleton and Dalton), Enfield, Canaan, Cardigan (now 
Orange), Gunthwaite (now Lisbon), Morristown (now Franconia), 
and Landaff. Opposition to this union soon arose in the towns 
and in the state of New Hampshire. Meschech Weare, then 
president of the province, remonstrated with the officers of the 
new state of Vermont, against this dismemberment of New 
Hampshire. Only ten of the towns sent representatives to the 
next session of the Vermont legislature. 

The terms of admission of these New Hampshire towns also 
led to a controversy in the legislature of Vermont, and a minor- 
ity withdrew from that body, after protesting against the action 


of the majority in refusing to receive tlie sixteen towns on equal 
terms witli themselves. 

The dissenting members called a convention of all the towns 
in New Hampshire and Vermont who favored the union, to meet 
at Cornisli, N. H., in December, 1778. The records of this con- 
vention have not been preserved. They made four propositions 
by which the controversy might be settled : i, by committees 
from the towns of the two states ; 2, by arbitrators selected from 
other states ; 3, by reference of the whole matter to congress for 
their adjudication ; 4, by the formation of a new state from the 
towns on both sides of the river. The legislature of Vermont, 
in February, 1779, took measures to dissolve this troublesome 
union, and sent a committee to the legislature of New Hamp- 
shire in session at Exeter, in April, 1779, to inform them of this 
result A committee from the Cornish convention had preceded 
Mr. Allen, the representative of Vermont. 

The legislature of New Hampshire was not disposed to yield 
one iota of its jurisdiction on either side of the river ; but re- 
solved to acquiesce in the decision of congress respecting the 
independency of the towns on the west side of the Connecticut. 
Vermont was now troubled on every side. New Hampshire 
claimed her entire territory ; New York also claimed it ; Massa- 
chusetts claimed a portion of it, and congress was adverse to her 
independence. Congress, however, sent a committee to inquire 
into the condition of the New Hampshire Grants. They went, 
returned and reported ; but no record is made of their report. 
Finally the contest became alarming ; the peace of the country 
was endangered by these adverse claims. Congress again con- 
sidered the subject and advised the various parties to submit all 
their disputes to the decision of congress. They did not seem 
to suppose that the freemen who tilled the soil of Vermont and 
bore the burdens of its defence had any rights which they were 
bound to regard. The resolutions related chiefly to those states 
that claimed the territory. Meantime the settlers were advised 
to be quiet. But they had declared their independence and were 
determined to maintain it. In December, 1779, Governor Chit- 
tenden and council sent a spirited memorial to congress, vindi- 
cating their claims to a separate political existence and profes- 
sing their purpose to defend them. They also declared their 
willingness to bear their full share of the burdens of the national 
war against Great Britian. Congress several times attempted 
to hear and decide the question in dispute, but never acknowl- 
edged the existence of Vermont as a state, nor allowed her del- 
egates to be heard by them, except as private citizens. After 
about one year's consideration of the matter they finally post 
poned it. But the people whose interests were involved, in New 


Hampshire and Vermont, refused to allow the matter thus to 
rest. The settlers in the southeastern part of Vermont prefer- 
red the jurisdiction of New York. As congress had left their 
case undecided, they moved to form a new state out of the towns 
on both sides of the Connecticut. As no unity of views existed 
in the disaffected towns, a convention of delegates from both 
sides of the river was called to meet at Walpole, November 15, 
1780, to compare opinions. 

Committees from both sides of the river conferred together, 
and reported th::t a union of all the towns granted by New 
Hampshire was desirable and necessary, and they recommended 
the calling of a convention, in which every town interested should 
be represented, to meet at Charlestown, N. H., on the third Tues- 
day of January, 1781. Three parties were now in the field : Ver- 
mont, her recreant sons who preferred some other jurisdic- 
tion to that of the state, and the citizens of New Hampshire 
living in the towns upon the river. They were all intensely ex- 
cited, and eager for victory. The delegates from the disturbed 
towns met at Charlestown according to notice. Forty-three 
towns were represented from the two states. No journal of the 
convention exists. The result of their deliberations was favora- 
ble to the government of Vermont. Twelve delegates from New 
Hampshire protested and withdrew. A committee was appointed 
to confer with the legislature of Vermont which was to meet at 
Windsor during the next month, and the convention adjourned 
to meet at Cornish while the legislature of Vermont should be 
in session. 

A petition came to the legislature of Vermont, at the same 
session, from the settlers west of the Green Mountains, desiring 
union with Vermon^ and protection from that state. Both peti- 
tions received a favorable response. They voted to receive all 
towns east of the Connecticut to the distance of about twenty 
miles, if two thirds of said towns approved the union. The leg- 
islature then adjourned till the following April. At their ad- 
journed meeting the following towns in New Hampshire sent in 
their allegiance, to wit : Hinsdale, Walpole, Surry, Gilsum, Al- 
stead, Charlestown, Acworth, Lempster, Saville, Claremont, New- 
port, Cornish, Croydon, Plainfield, Grantham, Marlow, Lebanon, 
Grafton, Dresden, Hanover, Cardigan, Lyme, Dorchester, Ha- 
verhill, Landaff, Gunthwaite, Lancaster, Piermont, Richmond, 
Chesterfield, Westmoreland, Bath, Lyman, Morristown and 

Thirty-six towns in Vermont approved of the union, eight voted 
against it, and six made no returns. Thus the union was con- 
summated. Twenty-eight towns in New Hampshire sent rep- 
resentatives to the legislature of Vermont, then sitting at Wind- 


sor. Provision was then made for the union of these towns with 
the counties opposite to them in Vermont, except the southern 
tier of towns, which were made into a new county to be called 
Washington. Provision was also made for the trial of suits 
already commenced in the New Hampshire courts, and for pro- 
bate jurisdiction for the newly united towns. They then adjourn- 
ed to meet at Bennington in the following June. At this session 
eleven towns from the western portion of Vermont were admit- 
ted to the union against the wishes of many of the towns in New 
Hampshire. The next legislature of this new state met at 
Charlestown in October, 1781. Mr. Hiland Hall, in his History 
of Vermont, reports as present at Charlestown one hundred and 
thirty-seven members, representing one hundred and two towns 
in Vermont and New Hampshire. Of these, sixty represented 
forty-five towns in New Hampshire. Two councilors and the 
lieutenant-governor were from the same side of the river. Other 
authorities afftrm that fifteen towns east of the river sent no del- 
egates ; eighteen were certainly represented. The most distin- 
guished citizens of those towns were elected. Charlestown ex- 
erted an important influence in favor of union with Vermont. 
The town was not originally chartered by New Hampshire. 
Massachusetts had been the protector of this and other frontier 
towns on the Connecticut. New Hampshire had neglected them. 
They therefore sought to live under another government. These 
citizens acted from high and pure motives,^s they viewed their 
relations to surrounding states. They honestly believed that 
New Hampshire had no claim to their allegiance, and that they 
were free to choose their own rulers. So they acted ; not from 
mere selfish motives, as some have affirmed, to secure power and 
bring the capitol to their side of the river, but to establish a firm 
and stable government for the people on both sides. 

In August, 1781, congress again resumed the consideration 
of affairs in Vermont. They began to hold out inducements of 
her ultimate reception into the Federal Union ; but they dis- 
suaded the citizens of that state from annexing towns in New 
Hampshire or New York to their original territory. They ap- 
pointed a committee to confer with a committee from Vermont 
respecting the admission of the state into the Union. Agents 
had been already appointed at Charlestown, to present the peti- 
tion of the new state, with all its accessions, to congress for ad- 
mission. At first the congressional committee declined to meet 
them, because they represented the enlarged territory. The 
matter was referred to congress and the conference was granted. 
The result of the conference was the reaffirming of the first pro- 
position of congress to receive Vermont as an equal member of 
the confederacy, whenever she should relinquish her claim to 


towns in New Hampshire and New York. Of course Vermont 
was, by this resolution, required to retrace her steps and aban- 
don her allies. At that time she was not prepared to yield so 
much to congress to secure her independence. When the legis- 
lature of Vermont met at Charlestown, Oct. ii, i78i,as above 
recorded, Thomas Chittenden had been reelected governor ; but 
of lieutenant-governor there was no choice. The house elected 
Elisha Paine of Lebanon, formerly of Cardigan. Bezaleel 
Woodward of Dresden was one of the councilors. Thus the 
officers were selected, in part, from New Hampshire towns. 

When the commissioners returned from Washington the legis- 
lature of Vermont convened, Oct. i6, 17S1, to consider the 
terms proposed by congress in committee of the whole. They 
resolved not to recede from their previous plan of union, and 
positively refused to abandon their new allies. They also ap- 
pointed nine commissioners to meet an equal number from 
each of the states of New Hampshire and New York for the 
mutual adjustment of their jurisdictional claims. 

While the session of the Vermont legislature lasted at Charles- 
town, there was much fear that New Hampshire might attempt 
their dispersion. There was a state of feverish excitement in 
both states. During that session a regiment of New Hamp- 
shire troops arrived in Charlestown, as was supposed, to over- 
awe the legislators. Colonel Reynolds, who was in command, 
was advised that his force was too small for conquest ; too large, 
if it was only sent to intimidate the legislature. He gave no ac- 
count of his plans or those of his superior officers. No attempt 
was made by him to disturb the session of the legislature. On 
receiving the news of the capture of Cornwallis at Yorktown, 
the legislature adjourned to meet at Bennington, Jan. 31, 1782. 
Meantime party spirit was very violent, and a civil war was im- 
minent. Courts and judicial officers were duplicated in all coun- 
ties that contained towns originally belonging to New Hamp- 
shire. The new county of Washington, which was formerly a 
part of Cheshire, had courts in the same place, though not at 
the same time, under the jurisdiction of two states. The sheriff 
appointed by Vermont was Nathaniel S. Prentiss. The sheriff 
from New Hampshire .was Colonel Enoch Hale. Both were 
men of mark and had held high offices in the previous history 
of the country. The war for awhile centered in these two men. 
Sheriff Prentiss, in attempting to serve a writ in Chesterfield, 
Nov. 14, 1781, was interrupted and driven from his purpose by 
two men who protected the defendant against whom the writ 
was issued. Prentiss procured a warrant for these disturbers of 
his peace, arrested them, and confined them in the jail at 
Charlestown. These citizens appealed to the assembly of New 


Hampshire, and the assembly, on the twenty-eighth of November, 
17S1, empowered Colonel Hale to release the prisoners. They 
also authorized the arrest of all persons attempting to exercise 
judicial authority in towns east of the Connecticut river. Col- 
onel Hale proceeded to Charlestown, to execute the decrees of 
the New Hampshire legislature, but Sheriff Prentiss, being a 
bold man, and not having the fear of the New Hampshire legis- 
lators before his eyes, proceeded to arrest and imprison Colonel 
Hale ! Armed, as he supposed, with plenary power to call for a 
posse, he made a requisition on General Bellows of Walpole to 
call out the militia for his liberation. This requisition being ap- 
proved by the committee of safety in New Hampshire, they or- 
dered General Bellows, in concert with General Nichols of Am- 
herst, to march, with the troops under their command, to Char- 
lestown and release Colonel Hale. They also ordered Francis 
Blood of Temple to furnish provisions for the troops. Governor 
Chittenden immediately ordered Lieutenant-Governor Elisha 
Paine of Lebanon to call out all the militia of Vermont east of 
the Green Mountains, if necessary, to prevent the liberation of 
Colonel Hale. He also sent a committee to Exeter to secure, 
if possible, a peaceful settlement of the quarrel. Mr. Prentiss 
was one of this delegation. The New Hampshire committee of 
safety, on the seventh day of January, 1782, made the following 
entry on their records : " Nathaniel S. Prentiss of Alstead, in 
the county of Cheshire, was apprehended and brought before 
the committee. Upon examination, it appearing that he had 
acted within this state as an officer under the pretended and 
usurped authority of the state of Vermont, so called, he was com- 
mitted to gaol !" This act added new fuel to the fires of con- 
tention, and they blazed with ten-fold fur)-. New Hampshire 
also made a proclamation, ordering all the people of the revolt- 
ed towns, within forty days, to present themselves before some 
magistrate of New Hampshire and subscribe a declaration ac- 
knowledging the jurisdiction of that state to extend to the Con- 
necticut river. They also ordered the militia of all the counties 
to hold themselves in readiness to march against the rebels ! 
At this crisis congress again interposed. They prevailed on 
General Washington, then in Philadelphia, to write a letter, 
dated January i, 1782, to Governor Chittenden, advising a re- 
linquishment of their late extensions of territory as an indis- 
pensable preliminary to their admission into the union. He in- 
timated that a failure to comply with this reasonable request 
would cause the United States to regard them as enemies to be 
coerced by military power ! The letter produced the desired 
result. The statesmen of Vermont saw that their true interests 
lay in union with the confederacy, and with their original terri- 


tory only. The assembly met at Bennington, according to pre- 
vious notice, on the thirty-iirst of January, 1782. Taking ad- 
vantage of the absence of the members from New Hampshire, 
they proceeded to define the limits of Vermont by the western 
bank of the Connecticut river, thus leaving the New Hampshire 
towns that had acted with them to provide for their own welfare. 
Thus was the inauspicious union severed, which only a few 
months previous they had pronounced inviolate, and pledged 
their sacred honor in its defence. When the members from New 
Hampshire towns arrived they were not permitted to take their 
seats in the assembly ; they accordingly left their alienated 
friends with expressions of great bitterness. This action of 
tiie ^'ermont legislature virtually ended the controversy, though 
the excitement still continued. The towns thus rejected very 
soon quietly returned to their old allegiance ; and the State of 
New Hampshire, acting with great lenity, received back her er- 
ring children with joy, and, in subsequent years, appointed some 
of the actors in this drama of secession to places of power and 
honor. They could hardly fail to do so, for the leading men 
in the revolt were among the most distinguished citizens of the 
towns they represented. The town of Dresden, as the seat of 
Dartmouth College was then called, was represented in the leg- 
islature of Vermont that sat at Charlestown in October, 1781, 
by Professor Bezaleel Woodward, brother-in-law of the presi- 
dent of the college, and General Ebenezer Brewster, then, per- 
haps, the most influential citizen of that little town. Hanover 
proper was represented by Jonathan Wright and Jonathan 
Freeman, who was afterwards trustee of the college and mem- 
ber of congress. This rebellion ended so suddenly and subsid- 
ed so rapidly that few men of this age know of its existence.* 

* The author is indebted to Rev. H. H. Saunderson {or many facts and dates in the above 




Short enlistments and temporary recruits had been proved to 
be very inconvenient in the previous service ; accordingly New 
Hampshire raised three regiments for three years, or during the 
war. The commanders were Joseph Cilley, Nathan Hale and 
Alexander Scammell. The men were furnished with new French 
arms and ordered to rendezvous at Ticonderoga, under the im- 
mediate command of Brigadier-General Poor. He was younger 
in the service than Colonel Stark, and this irregular promotion by 
congress gave offence to Stark, and he retired from the army in 
disgust. Ticonderoga was regarded as the Gibraltar of Amer- 
ica. It was therefore made a special object of assault by the 
British under Burgoyne, and was taken. On the retreat. Colo- 
nel Hale's regiment was detailed to cover the rear of the in- 
valids, and was thus left far behind the main army. An ad- 
vanced party of the enemy attacked him at Hubbardton, in 
Rutland county, Vt, seventeen miles southeast of Ticonderoga. 
A severe skirmish ensued in which several officers and one hun- 
dred men were taken prisoners. The remainder of the army 
fell back to Saratoga. There was, on the way, a second engage- 
ment, at Fort Anne, in which Captain Weare, son of the presi- 
dent of the state, was mortally wounded. He soon after died 
at Albany. 

After the evacuation of Ticonderoga, the people of the New 
Hampshire Grants implored aid of the committee of safety at 
Exeter, to protect them from the advancing enemy. The legis- 
lature being summoned, they divided the entire militia into two 
brigades, giving command of the first to William Whipple ; of 
the second to John Stark. They ordered one fourth of Stark's 
brigade and one fourth of three regiments of W' hippie's brigade 
to march immediately under Stark, " to stop the progress of the 
enemy on our western frontiers." The state could vote to raise 
troops but could not pay them. The treasury was empty. In 
this emergency, the patriotism of Mr. Langdon, speaker of the 
house, became conspicuous. He offered to loan the country 
three thousand dollars in coin and the avails of his plate and 
some West India goods on hand, remarking that if the Ameri- 
can cause should triumph, he should be repaid ; but in case of 
defeat the property would be of no use to him. He also vol- 


unteered, with other distinguished citizens, to serve as privates 
under General Stark. 

Among the distinguished patriots of that crisis was Captain 
Ebenezer Webster. The state autliorized him to enlist soldiers 
for the common defence. He, on learning the danger from the in- 
vasion of Colonel Baum, enlisted a company of sixty men, chiefly 
from the towns of Salisbury and Andover. His personal popu- 
larity as an officer influenced many of these men, his neighbors 
and friends, to join the army. They rendezvoused at Charles- 
town, and thence marched to Bennington and joined the brigade 
of Stark. Captain Webster and his company performed signal 
service in the events that followed. 

The appointment of Stark was received with enthusiasm 
throughout the state. The people confided in him ; they knew 
his dauntless courage and keen sagacity, and, with one voice, 
bade him " God speed," and prophesied his success. Volun- 
teers, in great numbers, flocked to his standard. All classes , 
were eager " to take the woods " for " a Hessian hunt." Their 
confidence was not disappointed. Stark made his headquarters 
at Charlestown. As his men arrived, he sent them to Manches- 
ter, twenty miles north of Bennington, to join the forces of Ver- 
mont under Colonel Warner. Here Stark joined him. Gen- 
eral Schuyler, commander of the northern department, sent to 
them General Lincoln to conduct the militia under their com- 
mand to the west side of Hudson's river. Stark declined to 
obey, alleging that he was in the service of New Hampshire, 
and her interests required his presence at Bennington. He was 
reported to congress and they passed a vote of censure upon 
Stark, which in a few days they were obliged to change to a vote 
of thanks. He knew his business and duty better than they. 
Following out his Own plan, Stark collected his forces at Ben- 
nington, and left Warner with his regiment at Manchester. 
Stark's object was to meet and resist Colonel Baum, who had 
been sent from Fort Edward by Burgoyne to rob and plunder 
the people of Vermont, and thus secure horses, clothes and pro- 
visions for the British army. He had under him about fifteen 
hundred men, Germans, tories and Indians. Stark sent Colonel 
Gregg, with two hundred men, to stay the advance of the Ind- 
ians who preceded the main army. Gregg retreated before the 
red men ; but on the ne.xt day, the fourteenth of August, Stark 
came to his relief, and a skirmish followed in which thirty of the 
enemy were killed ; among them two chiefs. The Indians then 
began to desert saying that " the woods were full of Yankees." 
The ne.\t day a heavy storm of rain delayed the contest. On 
the sixteenth of August reinforcements from Berkshire, led by 
Colonel Symonds, and from Pittsfield, led by Rev. Thomas Al- 


len, joined the army of Stark which now amounted to sixteen 
hundred men. Bryant, in his song entitled " Green Mountain 
Boys," thus describes their condition before the battle ; 

" Here we halt our march and pitch our tent 

On the rugged forest ground, 
And light our tire with tlie branches rent 

By winds from the beeches round. 
Wild storms have torn this ancient wood, 

But a wilder is at hand, 
With hail of iron and rain of blood, 

To sweep and waste the land." 

The enemy selected a favorable position, and constructed 
breastworks of logs and timber brought from the houses in the 
vicinity, which they tore down for that purpose. They were 
also defended by heavy artillery ; and a reinforcement under 
Colonel Breyman, with two heavier cannon, was approaching to 
aid them. General Stark* assigned a position to every subaltern. 
Colonels Hubbard and Stickney, with two hundred men, were 
posted on the right to attack the tory breastwork. The flanking 
parties, which took a circuitous route to reach their posts, were 
supposed by the British to be deserting. General Stark took 
his position with the reserve. The battle was opened at three 
o'clock, p. M.. by Colonel Nichols on the left, and was immedi- 
ately responded to by Colonel Herrick on the right. Colonel 
Stickney's regiment from New Hampshire was divided ; a de- 
tachment from it was ordered to the rear. Captain Webster's 
station was in front of the log fort. After the signal for action 
from General Stark, the assault was general. " it thundered all 
round the heavens." The Americans in front fought in the 
woods. The shot from the fort flew too high, often cutting off 
the limbs of trees which fell upon their heads. Otherwise, little 
injury was done. Captain W'ebster, who, as General Stark after- 
wards affirmed, was so begrimmed with powder that he could 
hardly be distinguished from an Indian, became impatient of 
delay and shouted to his men : " Boys, we must get nearer to 
them." They then rushed to the breastwork, which Captain 
Webster was among the first to scale. Thus the fort was taken 
after two hours of hard fighting. Two pieces of cannon and a 
large number of prisoners were also captured. 

Just at the moment of victory, it was announced that Brey- 
man with his reinforcement was marching to the rescue. Hap- 
pily, Warner's regiment came in at the same time. Stark rallied 
his men and renewed the fight. They fought " till the going 
down of the sun," and completely routed the enemy, taking 
from them two other pieces of artillery, all their baggage wagons 

* There is a tradition General Stark, just before entering the engagement, made one 
of his eccentric speeches to liis men. It was well known to most of his troops that he 
called his wife " Molly." He made this laconic address : "There's the enemy, boys. We 
must tiog thein, or Molly .Stark sleeps a widow to-night." 


and horses. "The fruits of this victory," says the biographer of 
Stark, " obtained by raw militia over European veterans, tories 
and savages, were four pieces of brass artillery, eight brass-bar- 
reled drums, eight loads of baggage, one thousand stand of 
arms, many Hessian dragoon swords, and seven hundred and 
tifty prisoners. Two hundred and seventy fell on the field of 
battle. The loss of the Americans was about thirty, and forty 
were wounded. But the most important result of this victory 
was the restoration of confidence to the desponding armies of 
America, while it gave a death-blow to the hopes of the in- 
vader." The traditional speech of General Stark has been em- 
bodied in a patriotic ballad by Fitz-Greene Halleck. Here is a 
stanza : 

" When on that field, his band the Hessians fought, 

Briefly he spoke before the fight began : 
Soldiers, those German gentlemen were bought 

For four pounds eight and seven pence, per man, 
By England's king: a bargain, it is thought. 

Are we worth more ? let's prove it, while we can ; 
For we must beat them, boys, ere set of sun, 

Or my wife sleeps a widow. It was done .' " 

The battle of Bennington may be called the decisive battle of 
the Revolution ; for there can scarcely be a doubt that a con- 
trary result would have exposed all New England to devasta- 
tion ; and the boast of Colonel Baimi, that he would march 
through Vermont to Boston, inight have been literally fulfilled. 
But a kind Providence had otherwise ordered. " One more such 
strike," said Washington, " and we shall have no great cause 
for an.xiety as to the future designs of Britain. The entire ex- 
pense of the whole campaign was ^16,492, 12s. lod., which, be- 
ing paid in depreciated currency, yielded to the creditors less 
than two thousand dollars. One dollar of hard money paid for 
thirty-three in continental bills ! After this battle, Burgoyne 
wrote to Lord George Germaine : " The Hampshire Grants, un- 
peopled and almost unknown in the last war, now abound with 
the most active and rebellious race on the continent, and hang 
like a gathering storm upon my left." This indicates the whole- 
some fear which Stark's soldiers had inspired in the commander- 
in-chief of the invading army. On the eighteenth of Septem- 
ber following this memorable victory. Stark and his volunteers 
joined the main army under General Gates. They were ad- 
dressed by him and requested to remain, but they replied that 
" their time had expired, they had performed their part, and 
must return to their farms, as their harvests now awaited them." 
General Stark returned to New Hampshire to report progress. 
He held no communication with congress, alleging as a reason, 
that they had failed to reply to his former letters. " His return 
was a triumphal march ; " he had conquered the public enemy 


and humbled his private foes. Congress not only joined in the 
public gratitude, but, by a tardy act of justice, promoted him to 
the rank of brigadier-general. 



Burgoyne, flushed with victory at Ticonderoga, and the retreat 
of the American forces, advanced with sounding proclamations, 
declaring that " Britons never retrograde." But his condition 
grew more critical the farther he advanced. The northern army 
was reinforced by the militia of all the neighboring states. 
General Whipple marched to the field of danger with a large 
part of his brigade. The fame of Stark drew around him nearly 
three thousand volunteers. He led his soldiers to Fort Ed- 
ward and conquered the garrison left there by the British com- 
mander, then descended the Hudson and so stationed his troops 
as to prevent the retreat of Burgoyne. The two armies first 
met at Stillwater, on the Hudson, about twenty-five miles north 
of Albany, on the nineteenth of September, 1777, where a bloody 
battle was fought, in which Lieutenant-Colonels Adams of Dur- 
ham and Colburn of New Marlborough and Lieutenant Thomas 
were slain upon the field ; other br.ave officers were wounded ; 
Captain Bell died in the hospital. 

The second battle, which was decisive, occurred on the seventh 
of October, at Saratoga. The New Hampshire troops deserve 
a large share of the honor of this great victory. In this engage- 
ment Lieutenant-Colonel Connor and Lieutenant McClary were 
killed, with a great number of their men. Colonel Scammell 
was also wounded. General Poor, on that eventful day, led 
the attack on the left front of the British ; General Morgan 
assaulted their right. Both parties fought with desperation. In 
less than one hour the enemy yielded ; the Americans pursued 
them to their entrenchments. Arnold, then true to his country, 
fought like a tiger and marked all his pathway with the blood 
of the enemy. Night separated the combatants. The next day 
revealed the helpless and hopeless condition of Burgoyne. He 
was surrounded ; his supplies were cut off ; no aid from Clinton 
could reach him. He summoned a council of war, and with one 


accord they advised a surrender. The entire army, amounting 
to five thousand seven hundred and ninety-one men, became 
prisoners of war. The entire loss of the British army in their 
march from Canada was ten thousand. Their arms were the 
property of tlie victor, though they marched out of their camp 
with the honors of war. They were sent to Boston with a pledge 
that they would fight no more during the war. General Whipple 
was one of the officers who led the escort. 

After this victory, which diffused general joy throughout all 
the land, the New Hampshire troops marched forty miles in 
fourteen hours and forded the Mohawk near its mouth that they 
might prevent Clinton from sending troops northward to sack 
Albany. Hearing of the surrender of Burgoyne, Clinton retired 
to New York, and the New Hampshire volunteers pushed on to 
Pennsylvania, joined Washington's army and fought the enemy 
with him at Germantown, where Major Sherburne, the aid-de- 
camp of General Sullivan, fell. They passed that fearful winter 
in huts at Valley Forge, where the sufferings of the American 
army scarcely find a parallel in history. 

With the fall of Burgoyne the danger from Canada ceased, 
and the scene of war was removed to the south. The middle 
states had yielded few victories and numerous defeats. New 
Hampshire men everywhere bore their full share of perils and 
sufferings. In the battle of Monmouth they fought with such 
bravery under Colonel Cilley and Ijieutenant-Colonel Dearborn, 
as to receive special commendation from the commander-in-chief. 
So intense was the heat on that summer day, June 28, that many 
men in both armies died from exposure to it. Their tongues 
were so parched with thirst that they swelled and protruded 
from their mouths. The following winter they passed in huts at 
Reading. A detathment of them was sent during the summer 
of 1778 to Newport, R. I., to aid the French fleet in their at- 
tack upon the British at that station. General Sullivan was in 
command. Owing to the want of cooperation by the French, 
the enterprise failed. 

t8S history of 



England attempted to reduce her disobedient children to sub- 
jection by hired assassins and merciless savages. Her own sub- 
jects must be forced into the service by tlie brutal press-gang ; 
for many of them were decidedly opposed to the war. The pious 
king, George HI., though he confessed some scruples about be- 
coming " a man-stealer," resolved to employ mercenaries. He 
first applied to Russia, then to Holland, for recruits ; but both 
these countries indignantly rejected the degrading proposal. He 
next turned to the need)', greedy and vainglorious princes and 
dukes of the petty states of Germany. They readily sold their 
subjects to the rich sovereign, as an English nobleman would 
sell the right of warren in his forests. The poor victims of 
power were hunted down in the fields or shops or streets, where 
they were pursuing their humble callings, and were sent into a 
foreign service, without food or clothes suitable to their condi- 
tion ; and were then crowded together in British ships of war, 
to endure in transportation " the horrors of the middle passage." 
They almost robbed the cradle and the grave to secure the re- 
quired number. Twenty-nine thousand one hundred and sixty- 
six soldiers were thus furnished from six of the petty states of 
Germany. Brunswick and Hesse-Cassel hunted and sold a large 
majority of them. The total loss from these recruits was eleven 
thousand eight hundred and fifty-three. Probably about the 
same number of Indians were decoyed into the service of the 

Dr. Dwight, speaking of the perils of the first settlers of New 
England, says : 

" The greatest of all the evils which they suffered were derived from the 
savages. These people, of whom Europeans still form very imperfect con- 
ceptions, kept the colonists, after the first hostilities commenced, in almost 
perpetual terror and alarm. The first annunciation of an Indian war is its 
actual commencement. In the hour of security, silence and sleep, when 
your enemies are supposed to be friends quietly employed in hunting and 
fishing, when they are believed to be at the distance of several hundred 
miles and perfectly thoughtless of you and yours ; when thus unsuspecting, 
thus at ease, slumbering on your pillow, your sleep is broken up by the war- 
whoop ; your house, your village, are set on fire ; your family and friends are 
butchered and scalped; yourself and a few other wretched survivors are 
hurried into captivity to be roasted alive at the stake, or to have your body 
stuck full of skewers and burnt by inches. You are a farmer and have gone 


abroad to the customary business of the field j there you are shot down 
from behind a tree in the hour of perfect security, or you return at evening 
and find your house burnt and your family vanished, or, perhaps, discover 
their half-consumed bones mingled with the ashes of your dwelling, or your 
wife murdered and your little ones lying beside her after having been dashed 
against a tree." 

When fhe Indians were stimulated bv tlie Frencli to murder 
the defenceless inhabitants of the English colonies, their con- 
duct received not only denunciation but execration. During the 
Revolutionarj' war the English made use of the same allies, in 
butchering and scalping their brethren. Chatham, with peerless 
eloquence and pathos, denounced this inhuman custom and in- 
voked the aid of the bishops to arrest it. During the year 1778, 
the Wyoming, Mohawk, Schoharie and Cherry Valleys were con- 
verted into theatres of bloodshed and violence by the union of 
tories and Indians. On the second day of July, 1778, eleven 
hundred of these white and red savages entered the lovely val- 
ley of Wyoming, when the strong men were eng.aged in the 
army, conquered the feeble force sent to resist them, burned the 
houses, desolated the land, murdered the women and children 
except a remnant that escaped to the neighboring mountains to 
die of hunger. Travelers and historians agree in describing this 
infant colony as one of the happiest spots of human existence, 
for the hospitable and innocent manners of the inhabitants, the 
beauty of the country and the luxuriant fertility of the soil. In 
an evil hour the junction of European with Indian arms 
converted this terrestrial paradise into a hideous desolation. 
Campbell, the poet, in his beautiful poem entitled, " Gertrude 
of Wyoming," has "married to immortal verse" the beauty, 
glory and desolation of this once " Happy Valley." The open- 
ing lines read thu^ : 

"On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming I 

Although the wild flowers on thy ruined wall 
And roofless homes a sad remembrance bring 

Of what thy gentle people did befall. 

Yet thou wert once the loveliest land of all 
That see the Atlantic wave their morn restore. 

Sweet land 1 may I thy lost delights recall. 
And paint thy Gertrtide in her bowers of yore. 
Whose beauty was the love of Pennsylvania's shore." 

The massacre of the innocent inhabitants of this valley ex- 
cited both the indignation and compassion of Congress. They 
resolved to chastise the savages who " wrought this deed of 
blood." General Sullivan was appointed to that service. He 
led an army up the Susquehanna into the country of the Senecas. 
It was an unexplored and pathless region. The general had to 
contend with nature as savage and wild as the men whom he 
pursued. His sagacity led and his prudence supplied the army. 
Their rations were scanty, but their courage was manly. They 


suffered patiently and ti-iumphed gloriously. They met the 
enemy, composed of tories and Indians, upon the Susquehanna, 
and drove them into the forest. The victorious troops then 
marched into western New York and destroyed the deserted Ind- 
ian towns which had already begun to wear the aspect of civilized 
life. The Indians suffered according to the old Jewish law, "an 
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." ^ It seems a hard case, 
as we view it, that these infant settlements of the red men should 
be annihilated ; but in that day there was no safety to the whites, 
but in the literal application of the ma.xim of that stern cove- 
nanter, John Kno.x : "Tear down the nests and the rooks will 
fly away." Having chastised the heathen, Sullivan returned to 
Easton, in Pennsylvania, having lost forty men ; and among them 
Captain Cloyes and Lieutenant McAulay of New Hampshire. 
Major Titcomb, another brave officer, was badly wounded. These 
victorious troops joined the main army in Connecticut, and 
passed the third winter of their service in huts at Newtown. 
In the year following, 1780, the New Hampshire troops served 
at West-Point ; and afterwards in New Jersey, where General 
Poor died. Three regiments belonged to the regular army this 
year. They passed the next winter in huts at a place called 
Soldier's Fortune, near Hudson river. The three regiments 
were at the c'.ose of the year reduced to two, and commanded by 
Generals Scammell and Reed. 


During all the long years of privation, suffering and bloodshed 
of the American war for libert}', New Hampshire furnished her 
full share of men and means for the conflict. The courage of 
her citizens never wavered ; their hope of victory never abated. 
They were poor and in distress ; yet, "out of their deep poverty" 
they contributed to the wants of their common country' ; and from 
their already bereaved hearts sent out the only and well beloved 
sons to fight her battles. The soldiers from New Hampshire 
were familiar with every battlefield, from Canada to Yorktown. 
They shared the woe of every defeat and the joy of every vic- 
tory. They were present at the last great battle when Cornwallis 
surrendered and in which the heroic Scammell laid down his life 
for his country. They remained in the army till " the last armed 
foe expired " or left the country. They waited at their post of 
duty till the obstinate George HI. from his throne declared "his 
revolted subjects" "free and independent states." Every yoke 
was broken, and New Hampshire was a sovereign state with her 
sister republics. 

A report made in congress in lycjo, by General Knox, gives the proportion of soldiers to 
population furnished by each of the colonies in the Revolution as follows : Massachusetts 


(including Maine), one in seven of her population; Connecticut, one in seven; New Hamp- 
shire, one in eleven; Rhode Island, one in eleven; New Jerseyj one in sixteen; Pennsyl- 
vania, one in sixteen ; New York, one in nineteen ; Maryland, one in twenty-two; Delaware, 
one in twenty-four; Virginia, one in twentj^-eight ; Georgia, one in thirty-two; South Caro- 
lina, one in thirty-eight; North Carolinaj one in fifty-four. Connecticut had less population 
at the period of the Revolution than either Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
North Carolina or South Carolina; nevertheless she furnished more troops for the war than 
any one of these great states. 




The first ministers of New Hampshire were settled by major 
vote of the town in which they officiated. This mode of settle- 
ment continued till 1818, when the rights of other denomina- 
tions were acknowledged, and church and state, or rather town 
and state, were separated. The Congregational denomination 
was called " the standing order," till the other denominations 
gained a legal position in the state. The number of Congrega- 
tional and Presbyterian churches now in the state is one hun- 
dred ninety-four ; only six of these are Presbyterian. Sixty-nine 
towns have no clergyman belonging to either of these two de- 
nominations. The Methodists and Baptists are annually gain- 
ing upon the Congregationalists, and probably will soon equal 
them in the number of churches though they will scarcely equal 
them in membership during the present century. The Metho- 
dists now have oije hundred twenty-three churches ; the Free- 
will Baptists one hundred twenty-one. The original Baptists 
number thirt)'-five. Of the other ten sects that are established in 
the state, the number ranges from one to twenty-two churches. 
The early ministers of the Congregational order were men of 
mark in their respective towns, thoroughly educated and well 
grounded in the doctrines of the so-called orthodox theology. 
The first convention of Congregational ministers was held at 
Exeter, July 20, 1747. Their object was to promote harmony, 
peace and good order among the churches ; and to secure unity 
of belief and efficiency of action among the ministers of the 
province. Seventeen clergymen obeyed the summons, which was 
issued by a private conference of a few leading men. At their 
first meeting they deemed it inexpedient to make any declara- 
tion of faith with respect to points of doctrine. They reached, 
in part, that result negatively, by enumerating the prevailing the- 
ological errors of the day. They resolved. First, "That we will, 


to the best of our ability, both in our public ministrations and 
private conversations, maintain and promote the great and im- 
portant doctrines of the Gospel, according to the form of sound 
words delivered to us by Christ and his apostles ;" Second, "That 
we will take particular notice of several doctrinal errors which 
have more remarkably discovered themselves of late in several 
places, among some persons who would seem zealous of reli- 
gion : ist, That saving faith is nothing but a persuasion that 
Christ died for me, in particular ; 2d, That morality is not of 
the essence of Christianity ; 3d, That God sees no sin in his 
children ; 4th, That believers are justified from eternity ; 5th, 
That no unconverted person can understand the meaning of the 
Scriptures ; 6th, That sanctification is no evidence of justifica- 
tion ; and that we will be very frequent in opposing these errors 
and in inculcating those truths with which they militate." They 
also agree to discourage uneducated men from entering the min- 
istry, and to oppose all unwarrantable intrusion by persons who 
are not legally authorized to exercise the functions of a minis- 
ter. They also advise frequent visits and interchange of views 
among pastors, and to withhold recommendations from all can- 
didates who are not licensed by some association. They ap- 
pointed a committee to confer with the church in Durham re- 
specting some reported disorder among its members. At an 
adjourned meeting the committee reported that a portion of the 
church had separated from the original organization and w.^re 
holding meetings at which very disorderly, vile and absurd 
things were practised, such as " profane singing and dancing, 
damning the devil, spitting in the faces of persons whom they 
apprehended not to be of their society, and other similar acts to 
the dishonor of God and scandal of religion." They were un- 
able then to gain a hearing from the separatists. 

In 1750, they opened a correspondence with English Congre- 
gationalists. They are called by them " Brethren of the Dis- 
senting Interest in England." An interesting correspondence 
followed, revealing a strong sympathy between the English Dis- 
senters and the New Hampshire Congregationalists. 

At their annual meeting at Hampton, September 25, 1754, 
they discussed the proper subjects to be enforced in their re- 
spective pulpits. They agreed to preach once a quarter upon 
the following subjects : ist. Carelessness in religion ; 2d, Fam- 
ily religion and government ; 3d, Sabbath-breaking ; 4th, Intem- 
perance ; and on the day of the annual Fast to inculcate as 
many of these important subjects as possible. 

At the annual meeting at Somersworth, September 26, 1758, 
they petitioned Governor Bcnning Wentworth to grant a charter 
for a college, settiiig forth at large the necessity and utility of 


such an institution, and expressing tlie belief tliat a fund could 
be raised in the state for the support of the necessary oiTficers. 
They concluded their memorial by saying : " We are pursuaded 
that if your Excellency will, first of all, favor us with such a 
charter, we shall be able soon to make use of it for the public 
benefit ; and that your E.xxellency's name will forever be re- 
membered with honor." By neglecting to grant this reasonable 
request, the governor lost his only chance of honorable remem- 
brance by posterity. At this same meeting, it was voted that 
the convention should, for the future, be held annually at Ports- 
mouth, and should be known by the name of the " Convention 
of Ministers at Portsmouth." The number in attendance was 
usually about twenty. 

In September, 1761, the convention, by their committee, con- 
gratulated George III. on his accession to the English throne. 
The address is remarkable for its loyalty, beginning thus :. "We, 
your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, ministers of the 
Congregational churches in and about Portsmouth, the principal 
town of your Majesty's Province of New Hampshire, beg leave, 
from these remote parts of your dominions, upon the first op- 
portunity of our convening, to present before the throne this 
humble testimony of our loyal duty and affection to your Maj- 
esty, whose accession to the British crown gives the highest joy 
and satisfaction to all his subjects.'' The whole address is most 
laudatory of his Majesty's character and conduct, and full of 
warm congratulations on the late success of the British arms. 
Ten years later, the same body would have been as eloquent in 
complaints, and as eager to be released from his Majesty's sway 
as they were at first to welcome it. It is a little singular that 
such bold and manly advocates of the moral virtues should 
have indulged in s\ich extravagant compliments to their new 
sovereign. However, it was the fault of the times. The elder 
Pitt himself used more fulsome fiattery to George III. than his 
warmest friends were wont to employ ; and was constantly cast- 
ing himself, metaphorically, at the feet of his king. 

But we have changed all that. Our age has lost its reverence 
for ofiicial station. At a meeting in July, 1762, a testimonial to 
the excellent character and remarkable labors of the Rev. Eleazar 
Wheelock, in founding and supporting Moor's Charity School, 
in Lebanon, Conn., signed by twenty-five clergymen of that 
state, was laid before the convention. They say : '' We esteem 
his plan {pi educating Indians) to be good ; his measures pru- 
dently and well concerted ; his endowments peculiar, his zeal 
fervent, his endeavors indefatigable for the accomplishment of 
this design, and we know no man like-minded who will naturally 



care for their state. May God prolong his life and make him 
extensively useful in the kingdom of Christ." 

They also give unequivocal testimony to the fidelity, honesty 
and economy of the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock in managing the 
funds committed to his care for the education of the Indians. 
The New Hampshire convention cordially approved of his work, 
and recommended it to the good will of churches under their 
care. They did not, however, attempt to dictate to the public 
how they should dispose of their contributions for education. 
They mention " the corporation erected in the Province of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay" (meaning Harvard College), as claiming their 
benefactions as fully as the school in Connecticut, designed to 
educate the aborigines. In September, 1770, the convention 
sent a memorial to the general assembly, asking aid for mis- 
sionaiy labor among the new settlements of the province. They 
say, in closing their memorial : "It appears to your memqrial- 
ists that, in many respects, it will be of great advantage to his 
Majesty's government, as well as for the benefit of particular 
properties, and the encouragement of the settlers in the new 
townships, that some provision be speedily made, whereby the 
knowledge of Christianity and a sense of their duty to God, 
their King and Author, may be preserved among those scattered 
inhabitants of the wilderness." John Wentworth was then gov- 
ernor of the province. The very presentation of such a memo- 
rial, with the expectation of aid for itinerant missionaries in the 
new settlements, reveals the paternal regard which the General 
Assembly was supposed to entertain for the religious welfare of 
the people. Such a communication addressed to the legislature 
at this day would be regarded as entirely irrelevant and possi- 
bly hostile to their duties as law-makers. It would at once raise 
the cry of union of church and state. 

In September, 1772, the convention voted to have a collection 
among themselves, for pious and charitable uses, at their annual 
meetings. The first collection yielded two pounds seven shil- 
lings and six pence, lawful money. This money, with such other 
contributions as might be made during the year, was appropriated 
to the education of Mr. Ewer's son, if he should be found by 
their committee. Doctors Langdon, Haven and Stevens, to be 
worthy of their charity. Before the adjournment, nine shillings 
and seven pence more were added to the first collection. In the 
year 1774, Rev. Samuel Langdon, of Portsmouth, was appointed 
president of Harvard College. An address of congratulation 
was prepared by a committee, and presented to the reverend 
Doctor; also filed among their records. They say in that ad- 
dress, " From the long and intimate connection that has sub- 
sisted between us, we think we have reason to expect that your 


appointment to this honorable station will be an extensive bles- 
sing to the countr)'. The prospect of this is sufficient to over- 
balance that regret which we feel at your removal from our 
neighborhood." A very devout and grateful response was made 
by Doctor Langdon, and the record of these transactions is sign- 
ed by the venerable Jeremy Belknap, as clerk. These facts show 
us that, at that early day, in the little province of New Hamp- 
shire there were learned and illustrious ministers of the gospel. 

In 1785 we find the following record: "Whereas the civil 
government appear, at present, disposed to introduce the an- 
nual public election by a public religious service, we think it our 
duty to countenance that laudable disposition of our civil 
fathers, * * * therefore, voted unanimously, that we will, by 
the leave of Providence, endeavor to meet together on the day 
of the ne.xt election wherever said election may be, and so on 
from year to year, and that our brethren of every denomination 
be invited, by public advertisement, to meet with us on said 
day." This seems to have given their sanction to the annual 
election sermons, which were delivered by the most distin- 
guished clergymen of the state, and frequently published, for 
many years before and after this date. 

This abstract of record shows how the clergy of New Hamp- 
shire were employed during the last century. It reveals their 
creed, conduct and character. It shows, ist. That they were 
decided champions of dogmatic theology, and the uncompro- 
mising opponents of heresy ; 2d, That they were the devoted 
friends of education ; 3d, That they preached morality as an 
essential element of true religion ; 4th, That they appropriated 
four Sabbaths, besides the annual Fast day, to national sins ; 
5 th, That they were, in that day, advisers and counselors of the 
legislature, as well &s petitioners for righteous laws ; 6th, That 
they encouraged the home missionary enterprise, in behalf of 
the new settlements in the state ; 7 th, That they, by word and 
deed, were the leading men of the community, in every measure 
that appertained to the highest welfare of the people ; 8th, 
That they were almost the only literary men of that period ; and 
that some of them, like Jeremy Belknap and President Langdon, 
were authors of high repute. 

Hon. Joseph B. Walker, of Concord, describing the ministry 
in New Hampshire a hundred years ago, says : 

"The old New Hampshire minister was ahiiost invariably a well educated 
man. The expression, comrrion in the old town charters, ' a learned ortho- 
do.\ minister ' was by no means a conventional one merely. It appears, 
upon examination, that of the fifty-two settled ministers in the province in 
1764, no less than forty-eight were graduates of colleges ; while, in the county 
of Rockingham, thirty-one of the thirty-two, and perhaps all, had received a 
liberal education — one at the University of Scotland, one at Yale, and 
twenty-nine at Harvard." 




As late as 1750, there were only thirty churches of the stand- 
ing order. Other denominations were then but little known. 
This fact reveals the slow progress of religion in the state. A 
small society of Quakers was organized in 1701. The first Bap- 
tist church was formed in 1755. Their gain, on an average, till 
the year 1800, was about one new church annually. An Episco- 
pal chapel was built in Portsmouth* as early as 1638. In May, 
1640, a grant of fifty acres of land "for a glebe " was set apart 
by the governor and inhabitants of Strawbeny Bank, and deeded 
'■ to Thomas Walford and Henry Sherburne, church wardens, 
and their successors forever, as feoffees, in trust." A parsonage 
and the chapel had been previously erected upon the glebe. The 
prayer-books and communion service were sent over by Captain 
Mason. The first company who settled at Portsmouth and 
Dover were inclined to Episcopacy. Winthrop says : " Some of 
them were the professed enemies to the way of our churches." 
Prior to the beginning of this century, but few Episcopal churches 
existed in this state. The Methodists were first known in New 
Plampshire in 1792. They did not come to New England till 
after the close of the Revolutionary war. 

The Freewill Baptists originated in 1780. Elder Benjamin 
Randall of New Durham is their reputed founder ; but there is 
another claimant for this honor. John Shepard, Esq., of Gil- 
manton, solemnly affirmed, near the close of his life, " that the 
Freewill system was all opened to his mind by the Spirit of 
God, months before any other person knew it ; that he then 

*" About sixty years ago, President Timothy Dwight, of Yale college, Connecticut, visited 
Portsmouth, and states in iiis Book of Travels that the number of dwellings was six hundred 
and twenty-six, although he thinks that Newmarket was united v.ith it in the enumeration as 
one district. He says almost all were built of wood. Their conliiiuity to each other in the 
compact part of the town he thought very dangerous if fires should uccnr, as the conflagra- 
tion mi'^ht become extensive. But up to that time Portsmouth had not suffered much by fire. 
We think not more than a dozen dwellings had been burned, so far as any record appears, 
and a f :-\v other buildings. ^ The jail had been burned, but we have not the date. 

President Dwight died in 1S17. Before his death he had occasion to learn what ruin fire 
had caused in this town. That of 1S13 was terrible. The light of it was seen twenty-five or 
thirty miles hack in the country. 

.Sixty years ago there were seven places of worship; now there are ten. One society that 
existed then, the Sandemanian, has become extinct. Another, the Independent, has also 
ceased. The Universa;ist society was then in its infancy, and small. The Methotlists had 
not commenced a stated meeting then. Rev. Doctors feuckminster and Parker were in the 
full tide of prosperity as pastors of the two Conj^egational churches. Rev. Hosea Ballon, 
afterwards very prominent^ among the Universalists, was preaching to the society of that 
denomination in this place.*' 


revealed it, in March, 1780, to Elder Edward Locke and Elder 
Tozar Lord ; and with them spent a week locked up in the house 
owned by Mr. Piper of Loudon, fasting and praying and seeking 
the will of God." He also affirmed that they ordained one 
another ; and then went to New Durham and ordained Elder 
Randall. From this humble origin, the number of the denom- 
ination has been constantly increasing. It now has schools, 
academies, theological seminaries and a college under its con- 
trol in New England. 

The first Universalist society in the state was established at 
Portsmouth in 1781. The Christian denomination arose about 
the beginning of this century. Elder Abner Jones from Ver- 
mont is its reputed founder. It is an off-shoot from the Freewill 
Baptists and is quite numerous in New Hampshire. There are 
within the state two families of Shakers, who date their arrival 
here in 1792. 

Fifty years ago these numerous denominations were very hos- 
tile to each other ; and much of the preaching of that day was 
given to sectarian controversies. A better day has dawned upon 
us ; and as partisan zeal is abated, brotherly love has increased. 

From 1775 to 1800, the people were so deeply agitated with 
the Revolution, the new constitution and other great political 
questions, that religion scarcely occupied their thoughts. There 
were faithful preachers and devout hearers in those days, but 
they were a small minority. The Revolutionary war was, in 
itself, disastrous to religion ; but the alliance with France was 
still more injurious. The opinions of Voltaire found many ad- 
herents among the officers of the army. The works of Godwin 
and Thomas Paine were also read with eagerness by the young 
sceptics of the age. Unbelief became popular and faithful fol- 
lowers of Christ were pointed at "with the finger of scorn." 
Near the close of the eighteenth centurj-, revivals of religion be- 
came more frequent, the results of them more permanent ; and 
"the churches had rest and were edified.'' The New Hamp- 
shire Missionary Society, which has been of inestimable advan- 
tage in providing the preaching of the gospel for feeble churches 
and sparse populations, was founded in i8oi. 




During the whole period of the Revolutionary war, the United 
States had no efficient government. From 1775 to 1781 they 
had a federal union for the purposes of defence, and " they 
were held together by the ties of a common interest, by the 
sense of a common danger, and by the necessities of a common 
cause, having no written bond of union. In short, they were 
held together by their fears," or rather crushed together by ex- 
ternal calamities. The articles of confederation were adopted 
by congress in November, 1777. Maryland, last of the old 
thirteen states, adopted them March i, 1781. On the next day 
congress assembled under this new form of government. This 
was " the shadow of a government without the substance." It 
could make laws, but could not execute them ; it could call for 
armies, but could not raise them ; it could assess taxes, but could 
not collect them. In a word, its enactments were advisory, not 
authoritative. The country tried this form of union for the two 
remaining years of the war and for six subsequent years of 
peace, and found it wanting. 

Virginia took the lead in recommending a convention of the 
states for the adoption of a new constitution. At the first meet- 
ing of the delegates at Annapolis, Md., in September, 17S6, only 
five states were represented. Another convention was called in 
the following May, to meet in Philadelphia. Most of the states 
approved the measure, but only tWenty-nine delegates appeared 
on the first day ; in process of time others came, and on the 
twenty-eighth of May, 1787, the convention began its session 
with closed doors, and sat four months and then reported a 
draft of a new constitution which was to go into operation 
when nine states had adopted it. New Plampshire was the ninth 
state to approve it and her vote was taken at Concord, June 21, 
1788. On the fourth of March, 1789, the first congress under 
the new constitution assembled, and on counting the votes pre- 
viously cast, George Washington was declared President of the 
United States. 

\Miile the general government was forming a permanent con- 
stitution, the states, also, were giving attention to their organic 
laws. New Hampshire had already passed through five differ- 


ent forms of government. The earliest was the Proprietary gov- 
ernment, when it was subject to the rules and orders of the Com- 
pany of Laconia, of which John Mason was the head. The 
second was that of the separate towns, when each for itself 
made a " combination " for the security of life and property. 
The third was the Colonial government from 1641 to 1680, 
when the state was ruled by the laws of Massachusetts. To 
this succeeded the Royal government which, with a slight inter- 
ruption from 1690 to 1692, when Massachusetts resumed her 
swa)^, continued till the beginning of the Revolutionary war. 
Early in 1776, a temporary " Plan of Government " was adopted 
to continue through the war. This was republican in form 
though exceedingly defective in its details. The executive power 
was delegated to a committee of safety when the assembly was 
not in session. In 1779 a convention was called to form a new 
constitution. Their work was rejected by the people. An- 
other convention was called in 1781. The delegates met at 
Concord and organized by choosing Hon. George Atkinson 
president, and Jonathan M. Sewall secretaiy, both of Ports- 
mouth. Among the leading men of that convention were 
Judge Pickering of Portsmouth ; General Sullivan of Dur- 
ham ; General Peabody of Atkinson ; Judge Wingate of Strat- 
ham ; Hon. Timothy Walker of Concord ; Captain Eben- 
ezer Webster of Salisbury ; General Joseph Badger of Gilman- 
ton; Timothy Farrar of New Ipswich and Ebenezer Smith of 
Meredith. The army and the fonim, as usual, furnished the 
most influential members. In all such assemblies a few leading 
minds plan the work and the majority vote for it. This conven- 
tion sat only a few days, assigned their work to a committee of 
seven and adjourned till the following September. A draft of a 
new constitution wfts made by them and presented to the con- 
vention at their adjourned meeting. A bill of rights was also 
submitted by the same committee. This new organic law was 
sent to the people for their action upon it in town meetings. 
The objections urged against it were so numerous that, at the 
third session of the convention in Januar)', 1782, the new con- 
stitution was thoroughly revised and recommitted for a report 
in the following August. A new draft was then presented, ap- 
proved and again sent to the people for their ratification. The 
convention then adjourned till the next December. This form 
of government was generally approved, but, several amendments 
being deemed necessary, the convention again adjourned till 
June, 1783. On the nineteenth day of the preceding April, the 
eighth anniversaiy of the battle of Lexington, peace between 
England and the United States was proclaimed ; accordingly 
"the Plan of Government" adopted in 1776, to continue during 


the war, expired by self-limitation. The people of the state in 
their town meetings voted to prolong that temporary govern- 
ment for one year. The constitutional convention in June, 
1783, after making several important alterations and additions, 
again submitted the constitution to the people, who by a consid- 
erable majority adopted it, and in June, 1784, the new form of 
government became the organic law of the state. It was intro- 
duced by religious solemnities. A sermon was delivered before 
the legislature at Concord on the second day of June, which 
custom was observed at every annual election for nearly half a 
centuiy afterwards. 

This constitution, with some slight amendments, such as the 
advance of public opinion required, has remained in force to 
this day. This fact reveals the wisdom of the delegates of that 
famed convention, which continued its e.xistence for more than 
two years and held nine sessions. The history of this important 
instrument, containing both a bill of rights which could scarcely 
be improved, and permanent rules for the guidance of the law- 
makers of a sovereign state, shows that it was repeatedly dis- 
cussed, criticised, revised and virtually amended lay the legal 
voters in their democratic town meetings. A high degree of in- 
telligence characterized the people of New Hampshire at that 
day, for their successors for two generations have lived in con- 
tent under a constitution whose every clause was submitted to 
the legal voters of 1784. 



All questions of expediency have two sides, and naturally 
give rise to opposing parties. Men are so constituted, that, in 
all controversies which are argued from moral evidence, they 
necessarily become partisans. It is said that spectators never 
witness a conflict between brute beasts, without taking sides ; a 
fortiori would they lend their sympathies to one or the other of 
two political parties. Says Archbishop Whately : "Not only 
specious but real and solid arguments, such as it would be diffi- 
cult or impossible to refute, may be urged against a proposition 
which is nevertheless true, and may be satisfactorily established 
by a preponderance of probability." 


At the origin of the Revolution there were men, as it was 
natural there should be, who adhered to the old regime. They 
had been loyal to the king all their lives, and they saw no good 
reason for rebellion. Others, more patriotic or more enthusias- 
tic, denounced them as tories or traitors and began soon to 
hate them and persecute them. The loyalists returned their ill- 
will with interest, and the two parties at once were separated by 
an impassable gulf. Those who adhered to the royal cause 
either sought protection in flight, or joined the army of the en- 
emy. Those who turned against their brethren became their 
most malignant and cruel foes. They even hounded on the 
savages to destroy with tomahawk and scalping-knife the very 
neighbors with whom, in other days, they " took sweet counsel 
and walked to the house of God in company." A civil war is 
the most terrible ordeal which men are ever called to pass 
through. Proscription and confiscation by the majority always 
fall with crushing weight upon the minority. " Woe to the van- 
quished," cried the conquering Gaul, Brennus, as with false 
weights he appropriated the redemption money of the old Ro- 
mans ; " woe to the vanquished " was the only rule to which 
loyalists were subjected, whether they were passive or active, 
flying or fighting. Congress recommended a sweeping confisca- 
tion of all their property to replenish their e.xhausted treasury ; 
but so many agents fingered the money in its passage, that but 
a small share of it reached its destination. The legislature of 
New Hampshire proscribed sevent)'-six persons who had for va- 
rious reasons, and at different times, left the state. The whole 
estate of twenty-eight of these was confiscated. No distinction 
was made between British subjects occasionally resident in the 
state, American loyalists who had absconded through fear, and 
avowed tories whb took up arms against their country. They 
were together put upon the black list as outlaws ; as men who had 
" basely deserted the cause of liberty, and manifested a disposi- 
tion inimical to the state and a design to aid its enemies in their 
wicked purposes." Some show of justice was observed toward 
the creditors of the proscribed, and some compassion was shown 
to their deserted families : but all this kindness was discretion- 
ary with the county trustees, who were authorized to take pos- 
session of the estates, real and persona), of tories, and to sell 
them at auction. The net profit of all those sales to the state 
was hardly worth computing. Irresponsible power is always 
abused ; and patriots are not exempt from the common infirmi- 
ties of our race. 



All civilized nations, in modern times, have issued paper 
money in periods of distress. It is an expedient which has often 
produced temporary relief, but has usually resulted in national 
bankruptcy. No legislature can give intrinsic value to engraved 
paper, unless silver and gold are pledged for its redemption. 
An irredeemable currency always depends for its circulation 
on public opinion. That is ever fluctuating ; and so is the value 
of the money that is based upon it. The bills of credit, issued 
during colonial times, and the continental paper money of the 
revolutionary period, all depreciated in value ; and in some in- 
stances became absolutely worthless. All the earlier wars in 
which the colonies engaged were maintained by a paper cur- 
renc)', which always declined in value in proportion to the length 
of time it was in use. The reimbursement of several of these 
issues, by the British government, gave the people greater con- 
fidence in the paper money that was afterwards issued by con- 
gress. But, when millions of continental notes were thrown 
upon the public, having no security for their redemption but fu- 
ture taxation, no human power could prevent their decline in 
value. In New Hampshire such bills were made a legal tender ; 
but this law led to countless frauds and hastened the deprecia- 
tion of the money. The law was retrospective and made it 
legal to pay old debts with notes that were fast becoming worth- 
less. This was, of course, ruinous to trade and unjust to the 
creditor. Business was nearly suspended ; silver was hoarded ; 
knaves only prospered. The community held meetings, made 
speeches, petitioned congress for relief ; and finding nothing but 
circulars and specious arguments in favor of the worthless bills 
in return, for a time sat down in despair. But paper money 
gradually disappeared, and by common consent went into dis- 
use. Silver and gold reappeared and public confidence revived. 
All the states issued bills of their own which, while in use, va- 
ried from their par value to one shilling in the pound. Con- 
gress, during the war, issued two hundred millions in paper 
money, which rapidly passed through every stage of decline 
from par to zero, and finally became a dead loss. 


For eight long years the scattered and impoverished people 
of the United States were passing through the blood and smoke 
of the Revolutionary war. Scarcely for one hour, during all 
that period, did the blood cease to flow or the smoke to rise 
from the wasted land. Fire, famine and slaughter brought pov- 


erty, privation and suffering to every hearth-stone. From many 
a darkened window little children peered out into the mingled 
storm and demanded their sire " with tears of artless inno- 
cence." The whole number of men who enlisted in the conti- 
nental army during the entire war was 231,791. New Hamp- 
shire furnished of these 12,497. It is safe to affirm, though offi- 
cial statistics make the number less, that nearly one half of 
these were killed or disabled, and many of the other half had 
formed habits which unfitted them for industry or virtue. Camp 
life, if long continued, always makes men averse to the continu- 
ous labors of the field and shop. While the war lasted, agri- 
culture and manufactures necessarily declined. When peace re- 
turned it was difficult to revive them. Towns had been burned, 
cities sacked, fields desolated and the cheapest necessaries of 
civilized life, in many instances, must be created anew. If la- 
borers could be found, capital was wanting. A depreciated cur- 
rency crippled the hands of the industrious. Knaves, cheats 
and swindlers were watching to entrap the unwary. Morals had 
declined. Old Puritan customs had been suspended by tiie fiat 
of wa}-. The Sabbath had been desecrated ; the salaries of pas- 
tors declined with the currency of the times. They were obliged 
to minister with their own hands to their necessities, rather than 
to minister with their minds to their flocks. The alliance with 
France had introduced French infidelity ; and the high army 
office's placed the teachings of Voltaire above those of the 
Scriptures. It required long years of patient industry and care- 
ful economy of the wise and good, to restore the habits and vir- 
tues of " the good old times." 



No less r 

wrote Milton, after he had experienced the conflicts and 
triumphs of both. The victories of peace are achieved by 
moral forces, and are often harder to be secured than those 
where "fields are won." In our country, the same men who led 
our armies presided in our legislatures. Washington, " first in 


war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," 
guided the helm of state after the adoption of the new constitu- 
tion. At the same time, his companion in arms, General John 
Sullivan, presided over the people of New Hampshire. But, 
during the period of transition, from the restoration of peace, 
1783, to the commencement of Washington's administration in 
1789, the whole country was in a condition of feverish excite- 
ment. Rebellion, on a great scale, had repulted in independ- 
ence ; many of the people began to think that rebellion was a 
wholesome remedy for all social and political evils. In New 
Hampshire the whole population was poor, was in distress and in 
debt. The government, which was of their own creation, seemed 
to them to be able but unwilling or incompetent to aid them. 
They charged their distress upon the courts that enforced the 
payment of honest debts, upon the legislature which failed to 
make money plenty in every man's pocket. Tliey attempted to 
suppress both courts and legislature by violence. The wildest 
theories were broached and the most impracticable measures 
proposed. They fondly dreamed that paper money would sup- 
ply all their wants. They accordingly demanded large issues of 
paper bills " funded on real estate and loaned on interest," or 
irredeemable paper bills ; no matter how or when payable, paper 
bills must be had or the unwilling government must be com- 
pelled to yield to the people whose creature it was. They were 
determined " to assert their own majesty, as the origin of power, 
and to make their governors know that they were but the exec- 
utors of the public will." The legislature passed stay-laws and 
tender-laws, but no substantial relief came. The people of JNew 
Hampshire, after the return of peace, were in the condition of a 
patient enfeebled by long disease ; they clamored for curative 
-processes and popular nostrums which only increased the fatal 
malady. They held primary meetings, town meetings, county 
and state conventions, which resulted in the formation of an 
abortive party which demanded the abolition of the inferior 
courts and equal distribution of property and the canceling of 
all debts. This unmitigated agrarianism, it was thought, would 
bring back "the age of gold." The people of Massachusetts 
had set the example of rebellion against the courts of the law 
and the officers of the government. 

Daniel Shay was the leader of the malcontents and the rebels 
were not subdued without an organized military force and the 
loss of some lives. During the session of the legislature in 
September, 1786, a crowd of discontented citizens from the 
counties of Rockingham and Cheshire, armed with bludgeons, 
scj'thes, swords and muskets, marched, with martial music, to 
Exeter and surrounded the church where the legislature was in 


session, and entering the house demanded a compliance with 
their insane petition. The president, General Sullivan, then 
performed the office of the wise and good man, described by 
Virgil two thousand years ago : 

" As when in tumults rise the ignoble crowd, 
Mad are their motions and their tongues are loud ; 
And stones and brands in rattling volleys fly. 
And all the rustic arms that fury can supply ; 
If then some grave and pious man appear. 
They hush their noise and lend a listening ear ; 
He soothes with sober words their angry mood. 
And quenches their innate desire for blood." 

All this the venerable hero and wise counselor accomplished, 
still the mob refused to disperse. They held the legislature " in 
durance vile," and even refused to allow the president room 
when he attempted to leave the house ; but, when they heard 
the cry from without : " Bring out the artillery," they retired for 
the night. The next day a numerous body of the state militia 
and cavalry drove them from their encampment without blood- 
shed, arresting about forty of the conspirators and dispersing 
the rest. Thus ended this absurd rebellion, and with it the 
popular demand for paper money. 

Daniel Webster, New Hampshire's noblest son, who in later 
years earned for himself the title of " Defender and Expounder 
of the Constitution," in one of his speeches in the senate dis- 
coursed as follows respecting legal tender : 

" But what is meant by the " constitutional currency," about which so 
much is said? What species or forms of currency does the constitution 
allow, and what does it forbid ? It is plain enough that this depends on 
what we understand by currency. Currency, in a large and perhaps in a 
jtist sense, includes not only gold and silver and bank notes but bills of ex- 
change also. It may include all that adjusts exchanges and settles balances 
in the operations of trade and business. But if we understand by currency 
the legal viomy of the country, and that which constitutes a lawful tender 
for debts, and is the^^tatute measure of value, then, undoubtedly, nothing is 
included but gold and silver. Most unquestionably there is no legal tender, 
and there can be no legal tender, in this country, under the authority of this 
government or any other, but gold and silver, either the coinage of our own 
mints or foreign coins, at rates regulated by congress. This is a constitu- 
tional principle, perfectly plain and of the very highest importance. The 
states are expressly prohibited from making anything but gold and silver a 
lender in payment of debts ; and although no such express prohibition is 
api>iied to congress, yet, as congress has no power granted to it, in this re- 
spect, but to coin money and regulate the value of foreign coins, it clearly 
has no power to substitute paper, or anything else, for coin, as a tender in 
payments of debts and in discharge of contracts. Congress has exercised 
this power fully in both its branches. It has coined mone\', and still coins 
it ; it has regulated the value of foreign coins, and still regulates their value. 
The legal tender, therefore, the constitutional standard of value, is estab- 
lished, and cannot be overthrown. To overthrow it would shake the whole 
system. The constitutional tender is the thing to be preserved, and it ought 
to be preserved sacredly, under all circumstances." 




The connection of John Paul Jones, the most famous naval 
commander of our revolutionary times, with Portsmouth deserves 
special notice. The real name of this brave captain was John 
Paul. He was a Scotchman, son of the ijardener of the Earl of 
Selkirk. He commenced a life at sea at the age of fifteen; and 
alter a suitable apprenticeship took command of a merchant 
vessel. Durins: a vovage to Tobago, his crew mutinied ; and in 
an assault made upon himself Captam Paul killed the leader. 
He was tried for manslaughter at Tobago and honorably acquit- 
ted. On his return to England, where the story had preceded 
him greatly exaggerated, he was threatened with a second trial, 
contrary to right and law. To escape injustice he emigrated to 
America, adding to his family name the nomme de guerre of 
Jones. He immediately took service under Commodore Hop- 
kins in the expedition against New Providence. His gallant 
conduct in this expedition gave him command of a sloop of 
twelve guns. With this vessel he captured several prizes. His 
next command was of a new ship of war, built at Portsmouth, 
called the Ranger. This vessel was a privateer, carrying eight- 
een guns and one hundred and fifty men. She sailed from 
Portsmouth early in 1778. Captain Jones landed at White- 
haven, Cumberlandshire, and set fire to one of the vessels in 
the harbor ; but the inhabitants succeeded in extinguishing the 
flames. He then sailed along the coast of Scotland, landing on 
the estate of the Earl of Selkirk, with the intention of taking 
him prisoner ; but his absence in parliament defeated that pur- 
pose. His crew, however, plundered the palace and carried 
away the ])late .nnd other valuables. For this he was censured ; 
but the laws of privateering then in use would justify private 
warfare. The property, howev-er, was returned hy Dr. Fiaiiklin, 
then minister to France, whither Jones sailed with his booty. 
He again put to sea, with the Ranger, and appeared off the 
Irish coast. Learning that a royal ship, called the Drake, mount- 
ing twenty-two guns, was in the harbor of Waterford, Jones chal- 
lenged her captain to combat, mentioning, at the same time, his 
force of men and metal. The challenge was accepted, the battle 
fought, and Jones, as usual, was victorious. The British loss in 
this engagement was one hundred and five killed and seventy- 


two wounded. Captain Jones lost only twelve men and nine 
were wounded. Soon after this victory he left the Ranger for 
the command of "the Bonne Homme Richard" in which he 
achieved such glorious success on the high seas and on the 
coast of England. With his change of vessels his connection 
with New Hampshire ceased. 



General Sullivan has been the subject of cold commenda- 
tion or of severe criticism by the historians of the American 
Revolution. Because he was unsuccessful in one or two of his 
military campaigns, his services as a warrior have been under- 
valued. In this department of the public service, success is 
equivalent to merit. But General Sullivan has other claims to 
respect and veneration from the citizens of New Hampshire, 
besides his military career. He is one of the great men of our 
state, whose worthy deeds posterity should not willingly let die. 
His father, John Sullivan, was a native of Limerick, Ireland, 
born in 1692. He was a man of culture and gave to his sons a 
private education which enabled them to share in many depart- 
ments of public life. The father of General Sullivan emigrated 
to this country in 1723. His acquaintance with his future wife 
commenced on tfie voyage from their native land. He settled 
at Benvick in Maine, where his son John was born in 1740. 
Some authorities maintain that his home was on the New Hamp- 
shire side of the river, in Dover. His education was limited to 
his father's instruction and such meagre tuition as the common 
school then afforded. He studied law with Hon. Samuel Liver- 
more* of Portsmouth, with whom he afterwards served as dele- 
gate in congress from New Hampshire. As a student-at-law he 
gave evidence of superior abilit}', and in some instances took 
charge of cases in justice courts when Mr. Livermore was ab- 

* Mr. C. W. Brewster gives the following account of Jolln Sullivan's introduction to lawyer 
Livermore's family; It was not far from the year 175S, that a lad of seventeen years, with 
a rough dress, might have been seen knocking at the door of this house and asking for the 
Squire, who listens to his application and inquires: "And what can you do, my lad, if I take 
yon ? **Oh, I can split wood, take care of the horse, attend to the gardening : and perhaps find 
some spare time to read a little, if you can give me the privilege.' He was immediately in- 
stalled in the kitchen ; and by the' aid of his study, intelligence and enterprise soon passed 
into the office and the parlor ; and at length became the colleague in office of his master. 


sent. Mr. Sullivan established himself in business in Durham, 
which became his permanent home. His practice was extensive, 
and as an advocate he held a high rank. " He was self- 
possessed, gifted with strong povt'er of reasoning, a copious and 
easy elocution, and the effect of these qualities was aided by a 
clear and musical voice." 

He received a major's commission in the militia in 1772, and 
thus commenced his military career, which is recited elsewhere 
in this history. In the first convention which met at E.xeter, in 
1774, after the dissolution of the last legislative assembly of the 
state by John Wentworth, Mr. Sullivan and Nathaniel Folsom 
were appointed delegates to represent the province of New 
Hampshire in the first general congress which was to meet in 
Philadelphia in the following September. Near the close of 
that year, John Sullivan and John Langdon, with a gallant band 
of patriots, took possession of Fort William and Mary, im- 
prisoned the garrison and carried away one hundred barrels 
of powder. This bold enterprise cut him off forever from hope 
of royal favor. In January, 1775. these leaders of the first as- 
sault upon royal power in New Hampshire were elected by the 
second independent convention of the state, again assembled at 
E.xeter, representatives to the second continental congress. This 
repeated evidence of the confidence of the people in Mr. Sul- 
livan shows how he was regarded as a leader in war and legisla- 
tion. In June of that year he was made one of the eight 
brigadier-generals selected by congress to manage the Revolu- 
tionary war. 

Some anecdotes are recorded which illustrate the tact and skill 
of General Sullivan in managing a mob. In October, 1782, the 
people in the western part of the state were determined to pre- 
vent the regular session of the court at Keene. General Sullivan 
was then attorney-general of the state. The court was helpless 
as to a posse comitatus, for the people were opposed to them. 
General Sullivan became their sole defender. In the woods be- 
fore entering the town, he took from the portmanteau of his 
servant his regimentals and "arrayed himself in full military 
attire — the blue coat and bright buttons which he had worn in 
the retreat from Long Island, the cocked hat whose plume had 
nodded over the foe at Brandywine, and the sword which at 
Germantown had flashed defiance in front of battle. Thus 
equipped, he mounted his powerful gray charger and conducted 
the court into town." The judges took their seats without mo- 
lestation. Sullivan, with noble port and majestic mien, stood 
erect in the clerk's desk. His presence awed the turbulent 
throng. He addressed them with boldness and dignity. They 
shouted "The Petition!" "The Petition!" He ordered them to 


present their petition. He received it and passed it over to tlie 
court. He tlien addressed tiie crowd, courteously but firmly re- 
buked their temerity in attempting to interrupt the business of the 
court, andperemptorily ordered them to withdraw. They obeyed 
with reluctance, but without violence. Arthur Livermore, then 
a youth of si.xteen, witnessed this scene ; and even in extreme 
old age retained a lively recollection of the skill, eloquence and 
personal appearance of Sullivan. "I thought," he said, "if I 
could only look and talk like that man, I should want nothing 
higher or better in this world." 

In the riot at Exeter, in 1786, when a company of armed men 
surrounded the house where the legislature was sitting. General 
Sullivan came out and addressed the mob, and ordered them to 
disperse. Tliough they did not obey his mandate till they feared 
an assault from the hastily armed militia, still the manly pres- 
ence, heroic bearing and glowing eloquence of General Sullivan 
were never forgotten by those who witnessed the scene. 

In a work ascribed to President John Wheelock and entitled 
"Sketches of the History of Dartmouth College," we find the 
following allusion to General Sullivan. In the month of January, 
1789, "the senate and house of representatives passed an act 
granting to the trustees of Dartmouth College a valuable tract 
of eight miles square, about forty-two thousand acres, lying 
north of Stewartstown. The forcible and energetic eloquence 
of General Sullivan, that eminent commander in the Revolu- 
tionary war, in the debate on the subject cannot be forgotten. 
It drew him from his bed, amidst the first attacks of fatal dis- 
ease ; and it was the last speech he ever made in public." 



In no state was there a deeper interest manifested concerning 
the adoption of the constitution than in New Hampshire. This 
was the ninth state in the order of voting, and a favor.nble vote 
would at once give vitality to the new government. The first 
session of the convention to consider the subject was held at 
Exeter in Febniary, 1788. The most distingviished statesmen 
and civilians of the state were among its members. General 



John Sullivan was its president ; and John Langdon, Josiah 
Bartlett, John Taylor Oilman, John Pickering, Samuel Liver- 
more, Joshua Atherton and Joseph Badger sat in the council, to 
deliberate, discuss and vote upon this question of momentous 

" Long time in even scale the battle hung." 

Mr. Atherton led the opposition. His attack upon that clause 
which guarantied the slave trade till iSoS was especially pa- 
thetic and eloquent. No modern advocate of human rights has 
surpassed him in the passion and logic of his arguments. The 
decision of the question was so doubtful, that the friends of the 
constitution asked for an adjournment that the minds of the 
people of the state might be more fully known. The conven- 
tion adjourned to meet in Concord in the following June. A 
session of four days was sufficient to complete the work. The 
last day was one of intense interest to the members and specta- 
tors. The final vote stood fifty-seven in favor of the constitu- 
tion and forty-six against it. "While the secretary was calling 
over the names of the members and recording their votes, there 
was a death-like silence ; every bosom throbbed with an.xious 
expectation." Every class of the immense crowd that thronged 
the church was in some way interested in the result ; some from 
honest convictions of its expediency, some from hope of gain, 
some from its influence in other states, and many from decided 
hostility to its provisions. Messengers were dispatched in every 
direction to announce the result of the vote of New Hampshire, 
and to assure the hesitating states that a government was le- 
gally established without their aid. The convention of New 
York was then in session, and the news from New Hampshire 
undoubtedly hastened, if it did not modify, the votes of its 
members. At Portsmouth, the chief commercial town in the 
state, the ratification was celebrated by every demonstration of 
popular good will. 

NEW roLrricAL parties in the united states. 

The only parties in colonial times, with the exception of those 
that were local or personal, were the supporters and opponents 
of the royal prerogative, distinguished, as in England, by the 
familiar names of whigs and tories. In the war for Independ- 
ence the tory party became extinct. The most bigoted of them 
left the country ; others, by reluctant concessions to the whigs, 
were allowed to remain as citizens in the Union. The parties 
known as federalists and anti-federalists appeared for the first 
time in the convention that framed the constitution. This di- 


vision of parties is the most natural tliat could be conceived of, 
in the condition of our country at that time. The federalists 
wished to strengthen the general government at the expense of 
the individual states that entered into the confederation ; the 
anti-federalists desired to maintain the independence of the 
states at all hazards, and give to the central government no 
powers inconsistent with it. The constitution, as finally adopted, 
was a compromise between the two parties. It was impossible 
to organize the government on any other terms. If either party 
had insisted on the adoption of its own principles, no organic 
laws would have been framed, and each state would have re- 
tained that political independence which had been achieved by 
all in the Revolutionary war. So governments are always estab- 
lished when the power to form them resides with the people. 
" The essence of politics is compromise," sa}'s Lord Macaulay. 
The history of the United States shows that where this remedy 
for party or sectional feuds is denied, war is the only alternative. 
After the government went into operation under the new consti- 
tution, every important measure took the name of federal or re- 
publican, according as its advocates belonged to one of those 
parties. Hence, the Funding System of Hamilton, the National 
Bank, the proclamation of Neutrality, the Alien and Sedition 
laws, the repeal of the Judiciary Act, the purchase of Louisiana, 
the Embargo, and the second war itself, were all assailed by the 
opposition. Federalists and republicans violently opposed one 
another, at first from principle, afterwards from habit, though 
they often changed places. 

On the fourth of ]u\y. 1788, the ten states which had ratified 
the constitution held a magnificent celebration of that event in 
the city of Philadelphia. Every symbol, ornament and repre- 
sentation that could make the occasion imposing and attractive 
was displayed to the public admiration. Hon. James Wilson, 
who had been an active member of the constitutional conven- 
tion, made an eloquent oration, in which he said, concerning the 
new form of government : " Delegates were appointed to delib- 
erate and propose. They met and performed their delegated 
trust. The result of their deliberations was laid before the peo- 
ple. It was discusssed and scrutinized, in the fullest, fairest 
and severest manner, by, speaking, by writing, by printing, by in- 
dividuals and by public bodies, by its friends and its enemies. 
What was the issue ? Most favorable, most glorious to the sys- 
tem ! In state after state, at time after time, it was ratified, in 
some states, unanimously ; on the whole by a large and respect- 
able majority." 

The day and the occasion allowed a little exaggeration. The 
ratification had not been secured without bitter controversy. 


Party spirit ran high, and sometimes broke out in acts of vio- 
lence. The cities were generally in favor of the new constitu- 
tion, because they hoped from it a renewal of trade and com- 
mercial prosperity. The rural districts were opposed to it. In 
Providence, R. I., a mob of a thousand men, headed by a judge 
of the supreme court, compelled the citizens to omit that part 
of their fourth of July celebration which had special reference 
to the ratification of the constitution. In other cases, mobs it- 
tacked the offices of papers that advocated its adoption. The 
strong passions which years of war had kindled were easily ex- 
cited by opposition. Those who opposed the war had been sub- 
jected to imprisonment, confiscation and even death. Those 
who opposed the new order of things were deemed worthy of 
similar treatment. The special friends of the constitution called 
themselves federalists and their opponents anti-federalists, though 
the names in no sense revealed tiie principles of the two par- 
ties, and might with propriety have been interchanged. 

The new constitution was something more than a league of- 
fensive and defensive ; and its supporters were something more 
than federalists, a word, which, from its etymolog}', signifies the 
supporters of a league or covenant. The federalists advocated 
a %trong central government, in all its delegated functions 
above and superior to the individual states. The anti-federalists 
were not opposers of the union, but of consolidation. They 
held to the sovereignty of the slates, and to a strict interpreta- 
tion of the powers granted by the states to the general govern- 
ment. They manifested no disposition to resist the will of the 
majority; but advocated a speedy alteration of the constitution, 
so as to accord more fully with state rights. While the adop- 
tion of the constitution was under discussion in the several 
states, all the objections were urged against it which were 
brought forward in the convention that framed it. It was at its 
birth the child of compromises. So it continued to be after its 
adoption. Some objected that it gave too much power, others 
that it gave too little, to the general government. 




After the establishment of a responsible government over the 
entire union, New Hampshire advanced, slowly but surely, in 
legislation, finance, education and morals. After the patient 
endurance of their distresses for a few years, the people ascer- 
tained both their origin and remedy. They learned that industry 
and economy and not violence nor legislation could restore the 
general prosperity. War had brought in its train burdensome 
taxes, heavy debts, a depreciated currency and degraded morals. 
With fewer laborers, larger returns from the soil and shop were 
demanded ; with diminished resources, increased revenues were 
needed. When the large souled patriots of that age saw their 
true interests, they took heart and banished fear. They accepted 
as a necessity past losses, and labored with energy for future 
gains. They were successful ; they gradually rid themselves of 
debt by purchasing their depreciated bills at a heavy discount 
and securing, on the credit of the state, liberal loans to meet the 
wants of the treasury'. 

Wise men were called to administer the affairs of the state. 
After the adoption of the state constitution, in 1784, the long- 
tried, faithful and honest public servant, Meshech Weare, was for 
the last time elected president. Exhausted by the onerous 
duties of a long public life, and enfeebled by age, he resigned 
his office before the year expired ; and, after a lingering illness, 
died on the fifteenth of January, 1786, aged 73. He had held 
almost every important position in the state, and had maintained 
an untarnished reputation in all. General John Sullivan was 
elected to the vacant chair in 1786. During a period of trouble, 
confusion and violence, he presided over the state with dignity, 
discretion and success. He was succeeded in the chief mag- 
istracy of the state, in 1788, by John Langdon. The affections 
of the people vibrated like a pendulum between these illustri- 
ous men, the one distinguished most as a commander ; the other 
as a civilian. But in anticipation of the organization of the 
general government under the new constitution, Mr. Langdon 
was elected to the United States Senate. His colleague was 
Paine W'ingate. Samuel Livermore, Abiel Foster and Nicholas 
Gilman were chosen to represent the state in ihe first congress. 


In 1789, General Sullivan was again elected president of the 
state. During this year, the last in which he held the pre::idency, 
General Washington visited New England. He came to Ports- 
mouth, where he met his companion in arms, much to the joy of Sullivan and the satisfaction of a grateful people, who 
welcomed their chief with ever}' demonstration of delight. 

During the ne.xt year, important measures were adopted by 
the congress of the United States to give stability and perma- 
nency to the government and place the public credit upon a firm 
foundation. Provision was made for funding the debt of the 
nation. Two hundred million dollars of the old continental cur- 
rency had been redeemed for five millions, forty dollars of 
paper for one of silver. Many persons proposed that the certi- 
ficates of indebtedness for fifty-four million dollars, now due, 
should be purchased at their present worth and not for their orig- 
inal value. But a more honorable policy finally prevailed and 
the credit of the country was restored. After a long and heated 
discusssion, the state debts were assumed by the general govern- 
ment. This was not brought about without a discreditable com- 
promise between the friends and enemies of the measure. The 
influence and votes of certain southern members were secured 
by a promise of locating the seat of government on the Potomac. 
The sum of the foreign, domestic and state debts was about 
eighty millions of dollars. Alexander Hamilton was the author 
of this plan, which finally proved of immense advantage to all 

New Hampshire was dissatisfied with the amount granted to 
her by the general government, as her share of twenty-one mil- 
lion five hundred thousand dollars of state debts assumed by the 
United States. She had contributed to the support of the war 
three hundred and seventy-five thousand and fifty-five dollars, 
and received in return only three hundred thousand dollars. 
Other states received more than they had expended. This dis- 
tribution was regarded as unjust, and called forth a spirited 
memorial to congress on the subject. The legislature set forth 
in forcible language their objections to the measure ; and in 
conclusion solemnly " remonstrated against the said act, so far 
as it relates to the assumption of the state debts," and requested 
that " if the assumption must be carried into eft'ect, New Hamp- 
shire might be placed on an equal footing with other states." 
Virginia and New Hampshire were at that early day found fight- 
ing shoulder to shoulder for state rights. 

This hostility to the funding system of Hamilton was not the 
only instance in which the rights of New Hampshire were as- 
serted in opposition to the general government. During the 
war of tlie Revolution the people of Portsmouth were actively 


engaged in privateering. Early in 1788, Jolin Paul Jones sailed 
from Portsmouth in the Ranger, a ship destined to capture Eng- 
glish commercial vessels. This bold captain afterwards per- 
formed marvelous exploits in this department of naval warfare. 
The citizens of Portsmouth also fitted out a privateer named 
The McClary. This vessel was authorized by the legislature to 
make prizes of British ships. She captured and brought home 
an American vessel bound to a port of the enemy laden with 
supplies. She was adjudged by the court of the state a lawful 
prize and given over to her captors. The owners of the vessel 
afterwards appealed to congress for redress ; and the case being 
referred to the United States court, the judgment of the court 
below was reversed ; and the value of the prize and her cargo 
was ordered to be refunded to the owners. The legislature 
remonstrated against this " violation of the dignity, sovereignty 
and independence of the state." In conclusion, they say : "Can 
the rage for annihilating all the power of the states, and redu- 
cing this extensive and flourishing country to one domination, 
make the administrators blind to the danger of violating all the 
principles of our former governments, to the hazard of convul- 
sions in endeavoring to eradicate every trace of state power e.x- 
cept in the resentment of the people ? " The language of the re- 
monstrance was sufficiently bold and spirited ; but it produced 
no impression and no answer except a demurrer, which, accord- 
ing to the authority of Judge Harrington of Vermont, " is where, 
one party having told his story, the other party says, what then I " 

Here " a little story " of President Lincoln is very pertinent 
by way of illustration. During the late rebellion, when the 
border states, one after another, were making bitter complaints 
against the aggressions of the general government, the president 
said he was remirtded of the remark of an old lady in Spring 
field, who, being overburdened with work, allowed her large 
family of children to take care of themselves. When any one of 
them made a loud outcry from the pain occasioned by a fall, a 
cut finger, or a blow from some older child, she exclaimed, " I 
am glad to hear that ; for I know that one child is still alive." 
New Hampshire never failed to show a vigorous vitality, in peace 
and war ; but, at this crisis, discretion was regarded as the better 
part of valor, and the decision of the United States court be- 
came "the supreme law of the land." 

During the year 1787, the last dispute about the boundaries 
of Mason's grant was adjusted. The Masonian proprietors 
claimed that the western line of the original grant, which was 
sixty miles from the sea, should be a curve to correspond with 
the coast line of the Atlantic ocean. The legislature was peti- 
tioned to determine the question. It was finally decided that 


sixty miles should be measured from the sea into the interior 
from the south and east lines of the state, and that the westepi 
termini of these two lines should be united by a straight line, 
and the part of the state so cut off should constitute the Ma- 
sonian grant. Between this straight line and the curve, which 
the proprietors claimed, a large territory was left open to dis- 
pute. The proprietors purchased the title to this segment of 
the state. At the same time the heirs of Allen, whose purchase 
of Mason had been declared null and void seventy years be- 
fore, revived their claim to the same territory under dispute. 
The Masonian proprietors compromised this claim, and, after 
one hundred and thirty years of dispute about bounds and titles, 
the land had rest. 

During the first twenty years of the existence of the new con- 
stitution of the United States, the local legislatures usurped 
many of the functions of the general government. The legisla- 
ture of New Hampshire esiablished post-offices and post-routes, 
issued patents, determined the value of her paper money when 
greatly depreciated, chartered banks, and regulated all kinds of 
internal improvements. In 1791 they established "four routes 
for posts, to be thereafter appointed, to ride in and through the 
interior of the state." The mail in the country was then carried 
on horseback, once in two weeks. The post-rider received a 
small salary from the state, for carrying public letters and pa- 
pers ; and a postage of six pence on single letters for every 
forty miles, and four pence for any less distance. Post-offices 
were established in ten of the principal towns ; and post-masters 
were allowed two pence on every letter and package that passed 
through their hands. These provisions, limited as they were, 
were of immense importance in facilitating communications be- 
tween different parts of the state. At that time the postal de- 
partment of the general government was very defective, and 
several weeks were required to convey intelligence from the seat 
of government to the interior of New Hampshire. The state 
legislature in some instances secured to inventors the exclusive 
right to their inventions, thus exercising the duties of commis- 
sioners of patents. The necessity of the case rendered such 
legislation expedient. 

The stale constitution of 1784 provided for its revision after 
seven years. Accordingly a convention was called for that pur- 
pose in 1 79 1. The delegates met at Concord on the seventh of 
September, 1791, and chose Samuel Livermore president, and 
John Calf secretary. After a brief session they appointed a 
committee to revise tlxe constitution and propose amendments, 
and then adjourned to P'ebruary, 1792. The late Governor 
Plumer was the most active member of this committee. He 


was particularly anxious to secure the abolition of all religious 
tests in the organic laws of the state. He therefore proposed, 
instead of former provisions, an amendment broad enough to in- 
clude Roman Catholics and Deists. This failed ; but a propo- 
sition to strike from the constitution that clause which requires 
ofifice-holders to be "of the Protestant religion" was voted by 
the convention, but rejected by the people. The convention 
which met in 1850 again recommended its repeal, almost unan- 
imously, but the people, by a large majority, refused to adopt 
the change, and that clause still remains in the constitution. 

The convention called in lygi met four times, and twice sub- 
mitted amendments to the people ; one of which shows a re- 
markable phase of the public mind, which proposed to exclude 
attorneys-at-law from a seat in either branch of the legislature. 
They also recommended the enlargement of the senate and the 
diminution of the house ; but all these propositions failed, and 
only some unimportant changes were adopted by the people, 
among them, the substitution of governor for president, as the 
title of the chief magistrate. The state was also divided into 
districts for the choice of the twelve senators. The legislature 
was authorized, from time to time, to make these districts " as 
nearly equal as may be," " by the proportion of direct taxes 
paid by the said districts." The constitution thus modified has 
remained in force to this day, with a single amendment recom- 
mended by the convention of 1850, which strikes out those 
clauses which ordained a property qualification for the governor, 
senators and representatives of the state. Although it is gen- 
erally admitted that the senate is too small and the house too 
large to secure the best results of a republican government, still 
the people have never chosen to change this ancient constitution 
of the two houses. ' 



When America was discovered, the feudal system prevailed in 
all Europe, This was admirably phuuicd to perpetuate serfdom 
and arrest progress. In the county of Kent, in England, the 
old Suxon tenure of free and common soccage had been pre- 
served. I'his system imposed and entailed but few burdens 


upon the holder of land. It was devisable by will and not for- 
feited by crime. It was subject to the law of primogeniture ; 
but that was modified by local customs among which was " gav- 
elkind " or an equal distribution among all the male chil- 
dren. James I., when he issued his patent to the Council of 
Plymouth, made the grant to be holden by them and their as- 
signs in free and common soccage, like his manor of East 
Greenwich in the county of Kent, and not in capite, or by knight- 
service. This caprice of the monarch was of immense import- 
ance to the occupants of this grant. They assumed from the 
beginning that they owned their estates in fee simple ; hence, 
as early as 1641, "the great and general court of Massachu- 
setts " ordered and declared " that all lands and heritages shall 
be free from all fines and licenses upon alienations, and from all 
heriots, wardships, liveries, primer seisin, year and day waste, 
escheats and forfeitures upon the death of parents or ancestors, 
natural or unnatural, casual or judicial, and that forever." Here 
a whole catalogue of grievances, that had been the growth of 
centuries, was swept away by a single enactment ; and'the mod- 
ern Solomon retained nothing of his royal perogatives and feu- 
dal duties but one fifth of all the gold and silver in the land, 
which was never destined to glitter upon his person or clink in 
his coffers. By the voluntary and cordial union of New Hamp- 
shire with Massachusetts, in 1641, her laws became our laws. 
The frequent emigrations from the older to the younger state 
strengthened those bonds. There are probably no two states in 
the Union, whose customs, habits, laws and institutions are more 
nearly identical. 



Highways are a very good standard of civilization. The sav- 
age has paths or trails where men on foot can move in single 
file, but no roads. Half-civilized nations construct bridle-paths 
in which sure-footed mules or horses may creep along and carry 
the traveler up the sides and over the ridges of lofty mountains. 
Matured art builds a royal highway or railroad over the same 
rugged steeps, and conveys in safety both men and goods over 
ranges once deemed insuperable. Among nations governed by 


a monarch, the best road is called " the king's highway," be- 
cause it serves for the transportation of the " king's troops " 
and munitions of war to the field of conflict. The great mili- 
tary roads of the Romans were made for this purpose, and were 
classed among the most wonderful creations of their practical 
skill. Macaulay tells us that a traveler, even at midnight, can 
discover when he passes from a Protestant to a Catholic coun- 
try in Europe, by the condition of the roads. Protestantism 
and progress are always associated. The jolting of the carriage 
and the clashing of the wheels reveal a land where " ignorance 
is the mother of devotion " and the enemy of liberty. 

In our own state, we ha\'e had every variety of road, from the 
bridle-path marked only by "spotted trees" to the railroad 
where passengers and freight move at a speed of thirty miles an 
hour. This progress is happily indicated by the different modes 
of ascending the White Mountains. First, explorers climbed 
their rugged sides, carefully picking their way among trees and 
rocks. Next, a bridle-path was cleared, so that even ladies 
could ride on safe, well trained horses, to the summit. Now a 
railroad lifts the lame and lazy, without the motion of a muscle, 
to the highest point in New England, where winds and storms 
expend their utmost fury. The first roads that were made 
through the woods were very imperfect, unfit for carriage use. 
The trees were felled and the stones removed, so that a man or 
woman on horseback could travel over them with tolerable ease. 
The streams were forded or crossed by rafts or boats, when they 
could be had. The common mode of travel was on horseback. 
Rev. Grant Powers, in his " Historical Sketches," has given us 
a graphic account of a perilous ride of a lady in 1731. Mrs. 
Anna Powers, the wife of Captain Peter Powers of Mollis, on a 
summer day went'to visit her nearest neighbor ten miles from 
her home. The Nashua river was easily forded in the morning ; 
but a sudden shower in the afternoon had caused it to overflow 
its banks. The lady must return to her home that evening. 
The horse entered the stream and, immediately losing his foot- 
hold, began to swim. The current was rapid and the water 
flowed above the back of the horse, He was swept down the 
stream, but still struck out for the opposite bank. At one in- 
stant his fore feet rested on a rock in the stream, and he was 
lifted above the tide. In a moment he plunged forward again, 
and threw his rider from her seat. She caught his flowing mane 
and in a few moments the strong animal bore her up the steep 
bank, and both were saved. Such incidents were not uncom- 
mon before the age of bridges. As the settlements advanced 
into the interior the roads were made better, and carriages, with 
some difficulty, passed over them. The bridge over the Piscata- 


qua, connecting the towns of Newington and Durham, just be- 
low the outlet of Little Bay, built in 1794, was a magnificent 
structure for that day. Dr. Dwight thus describes it : 

" Piscataqua 'bridge is formed in three sections; two of ttiem horizontal, 
the third arched. The whole is built of timber. The horizontal parts on 
wooden piers or trestles, distant from each other twenty-three feet. Of these 
there are one hundred and twenty-six; sixty-one on the northwestern and 
sixty-five on the southeastern side of the arch. The arch is triple, but no 
part of the work is overhead. The chord is two hundred and forty-four feet, 
and the versed sine nine feet and ten inches. This arch is the largest in the 
United States, contains more than seventy tons of timber, and was framed 
with such exactness that not a single stick was taken out after it had once 
been put in its place. The whole length of the planking is two thousand 
two hundred and forty-four feet. The remaining three hundred and fifty-six 
are made up by the abutments and the island. The expense was sixty-eight 
thous.and dollars." 

The first bridge over the Connecticut was built near Bellows 
Falls, in 1785, by Colonel Enoch Hale. The first New Hamp- 
shire turnpike, from Portsmouth to Concord, was chartered in 
1796. Soon after this, a second was built from Claremont to 
Amherst, a third from Walpole to Ashby and a fourth from Leb- 
anon to Boscawen. During the first quarter of the nineteenth 
century, corporations were authorized to build such roads and 
take toll of all travelers ; but as wealth increased the people 
became weary of these impediments to locomotion and made the 
turnpikes free highways. 

Mills were among the first wants of the colonists. In some 
of the interior settlements men often carried their corn ten 
miles to be ground ; sometimes upon their backs. The only al- 
ternative was to pound the corn in mortars much as the Ind- 
ians were wont to do. The first settlers of Portsmouth and 
Dover were obliged to carry their corn to Boston to be ground ; 
but they soon had a mill both for sawing and grinding at New- 
ichewannoc falls. This was the Indi.m name for Berwick. 

In 1748, the inhabitants of Rumford, Canterbury and Con- 
toocook petitioned His Excellency, Benning Wentworth, to fur- 
nish soldiers to man a deserted garrison in Rumford for the 
following reasons: because, as they say in their petition, "we 
are greatly distressed for want of suitable gristmills ; that Mr. 
Henry Lo.yejoy has, at great expense, erected a good mill at a 
place the most advantageously situated to accommodate the three 
towns. This is the only mill in the three towns that stands un- 
der the command of the garrison.'' They therefore pray that 
the garrison may again be manned that they may enjoy the use 
of the mill protected by its cannon. Mills for the carding of 
wool and the dressing of cloth were also among the earliest 
wants of a people whose clothing was entirely of domestic 
manufacture. The labor of that day was mostly manual. The 


farmer and mechanic could each say with an apostle of old: 
" These hands have ministered to my necessities." Rev. David 
Sutherland of Bath, says : 

"The people in early times were a very plain people, dressing in home- 
spun cloth. Every house had its loom and spinning-wheel, and almost every 
woman was a weaver. Carding-machines were just introduced, [at the be- 
ginning of the nineteenth century] and clothiers had plenty of work. The 
first coat I had cost me a dollar and a half per yard, spun and woven by one 
of my best friends ; and I know not that lever had a better. For many 
years there was not a single wheeled carriage in town. People who ow'ned 
horses rode them; and those who had them not went on foot. Husbands 
carried their wives behind them on pillions. More than one half of the 
church-going people went on foot. Sleighs or sleds were used in winter. I 
have seen ox-sleds at the meeting-house. For years we had no stoves in the 
meeting-house of Bath ; and yet in the coldest weather, the house was always 


In the early history of New Hampshire ship-building was one 
of the most profitable branches of industry-. Lumber and staves 
were among the chief e.\ports of the state for several years of 
its infancy. Its forests abounded in timber ; when this became 
known in Europe, the export of masts, spars and ship timber 
furnished employment for many of its inhabitants. Merchant 
vessels, fishing schooners and ships for the royal navy were built 
at all convenient places. ' The king, as above stated, claimed the 
largest and tallest pines for his own use. Later in the history 
of the state vessels were built in the same place for home ser- 
vice. The timber used in the construction of the Constitution 
frigate, the famous "Old Ironsides," was taken from the woods 
of Allenstown. on the border of the Merrimack, fifty miles from 
the ship-yard. So of the Independence seventj'-four, the Con- 
gress and several other vessels of war. Ships of war were also 
built at Portsmouth in early times, viz : the Faulkland of fifty- 
four guns, in 1690 ; the Bedford Galley, thirty-two guns, in 1696 ; 
the America of forty guns, in 1749 ; the Raleigh of thirty-two 
guns, in 1776; the Ranger of eighteen guns, in 1777 ; and a 
ship of seventy-four guns, called the America, was launched at 
Portsmouth, November 5, 1782, and presented to the king of 
France by the congress of the United States. An examination 
of the custom-house books kept at Boston shows that as early 
as 1769 forty-five vessels were registered from New Hampshire. 
Massachusetts then had only seventy built in that state. From 
that day to the present, ship-building has ever been an impor- 
tant branch of industry on the banks of the Piscataqua. 

* A part of the Dr. Chadbourne house at the corner of Main and Montgomer>' streets, in 
Concord, is the oldest building in that city. It was built about 1726, as a block-house for de- 
fence against the Indians, and contains timber enough 10 make half-a-dozen of the sheUs 
which serve for modern houses. Both the first male and the first female white child bom in 
Concord first saw the light in the house. 



Hon. Clark Jillson of Worcester, Mass., in a letter to the Bos- 
ton journal, dated February 22, 1S74, says: " There is no re- 
liable historical evidence to show that John Fitch was the inven- 
tor of steam navigation in this country, from the fact that the 
progress of that art cannot be traced back to him but it can be 
traced to Robert Fulton, and from him directly to Captain Sam- 
uel Morey, and to no one else." The same holds true with 
regard to the claims of James Rumsey. The writer adds: "It 
is settled, beyond all question, that Mr. Morey had launched his 
boat upon the waters of New Hampshire before Fulton accom- 
plished the same thing in New York. It is also a well estab- 
lished fact that Fulton visited Morey, at his home, for the pur- 
pose of witnessing his successful experiment before he [Fulton] 
had launched any kind of steam craft upon the Hudson ; and 
it can be shown that Morey had been engaged in such experi- 
ments for years before ; so that the first practical steamboat ever 
seen upon American waters was invented by Captain Samuel 
Morey, the author of steam navigation as we see it to-day." 
This statement is confirmed by irrefutable testimony. We not 
only have the claim to the invention made by Mr. Morey in his 
life time, but the testimony of contemporaries who knew the 
facts, and of eye-witnesses who savv' the boat in motion upon 
the Connecticut river. The declarations of unimpeachable wit- 
nesses seem to prove that Fulton borrowed the most valuable 
portions of his invention from Mr. Morey. There can be no 
doubt that visits were exchanged between Mr. Morey and Mr. 
Fulton, and that the plans of Mr. Morey and his boat actually 
moving by steam upon the water were seen and studied by Ful- 
ton some years before he succeeded in propelling a boat by 
steam upon the Hudson. 

Rev. Cyrus Mann, a native of Orford and familiar with the 
history of the town and of its citizens, vindicates the claims of 
Mr. Morey, in the Boston ^trwY/;:/-, in 1858. He writes : "So 
far as is known, the first steamboat ever seen on the waters of 
America was invented by Captain Samuel Morey of Orford, N. 
H. The astonishing sight of this man ascending the Connecti- 
cut river between Orford and Fairlee, in a little boat just large 
enough to contain himself and the rude machinery connected 
with the steam boiler, and a handful of wood for fire, was wit- 
nessed by the writer in his boyhood, and by others who yet sur- 
vive. This was as early as 1793, or earlier, and before Fulton's 
name had been mentioned in connection with steam navigation." 
This testimony is definite and explicit. The boat was seen in 
motion by the writer and by others still living when he wrote. 


We cannot for a moment doubt that Captain Samuel Morey, 
by his own unaided powers, invented a steamboat which he used 
on the Connecticut river some fourteen or fifteen years before 
the two claimants of this invention above mentioned successfully 
launched similar boats upon any other waters in America. Ful- 
ton's first voyage was from New York to Albany, in 1807. It 
must be admitted that Fulton was the first man who made the 
steamboat moved by paddles " a practical business success." 
But there are abundant proofs that he did not invent the princi- 
ple by which the boat was propelled ; and from the well attested 
fact that he visited Mr. Morey at Orford, and saw his little boat 
self-moved upon the Connecticut some years prior to his own 
successful trial of the same principle at Albany, it is possible, nay 
probable, that Mr. Fulton borrowed the invention from Morey. 
As early as 1780, Mr. Morey began his experiments upon steam, 
heat and light. He often visited Professor Silliman of Yale 
College, and conferred with him respecting the value of his dis- 
coveries. He took out two patents for the use of steam in pro- 
pelling machinery' before Fulton took out any, and Fulton saw 
two of Morey's models of boats before his successful boat, the 
" Clermont," was built. The contemporaries of Captain Morey 
in Orford firmly believed him to be the inventor of the first 
steamboat ever moved by paddle wheels in America, possibly 
the first in the world. Men who saw the boat move upon the 
river have recorded their testimony in his favor. The living 
relatives of Mr. Morey have in their possession papers confirm- 
ing the truths above stated ; and they aflirm that during his last 
illness, just before his death. Captain Morey believed and af- 
firmed that he was the first inventor of a steamboat, and that 
Fulton saw his models and his boat years before the " Cler- 
mont" moved on Ihe Hudson. 

Mr. Bishop in his History of American Manufactures says, 
that on the fifth of June, 1790, "the steamboat built by John 
Fitch, propelled by twelve oars, made her first trip on the Dela- 
ware, as a passenger and freight boat between Philadelphia and 
Trenton, performing eighty miles between four o'clock a. m. and 
five P. M., against a strong wind all the way back, and si.xteen 
miles of the distance against current and tide. She thus ac- 
complished the most successful experiment in steam navigation 
as yet made in Europe or America. During four months she 
continued to perform regularly advertised trips between Phila- 
delphia, Trenton, Burlington, Bristol, Chester, Wilmington and 
Gray's Ferry, running about three thousand miles in the sea- 
son." Allowing this record to be true, it would seem that this 
invention, like many others, may be claimed by two or more 
persons, acting independently of each other. 




Prior to the Revolutionary war, public offices were confined 
to a few leading families. A majority of these were citizens of 
Portsmouth. This was the only commercial town in the prov- 
ince, and merchants accumulated wealth more rapidly than 
farmers. Riches, royal favor and education, to a great extent, 
determined the candidates for office. The king, of course, se- 
lected his friends for governors, judges and councilors ; the 
people were guided by the same rule. The king's prerogative 
and the people's rights at length came into collision. War was 
the consequence. While the people were achieving their lib- 
erty, forming their constitution, organizing their government, 
enacting their laws, regulating their finance and providing for the 
general welfare, men of valor, culture and wisdom were selected 
as commanders, governors, judges and legislators. They were 
the right men in the right place, and were long retained in office. 
Such men were Weare, Sullivan, Langdon, Bartlett and Oilman. 
In 1790 the popular favorite as soldier and civilian. General Sul- 
livan, was appointed judge of the United States district court 
under the new constitution. It is very rare to find one man em- 
inent as a warrior, jurist and statesman. Hon. John Sullivan 
filled the positions of general, governor and judge with unques- 
tioned ability. In the election of his successor there was no 
choice by the people. From the three candidates, Josiah Bart- 
lett, John Pickering and Joshua Wentworth, the legislature 
chose, as chief magistrate, Josiah Bartlett. He was an eminent 
physician of Kingston, who gained great distinction in his pro- 
fession by his successful treatment of patients attacked by a 
malignant distemper in 1735 and in 1754. He had been pro- 
moted to places of civil power by Governor John Wentworth, but 
lost his favor by his zealous defence of the people's rights in 
1775. He was made one of the justices of the superior court in 
1782, and chief justice in 1783, and held those offices for nearly 
eight years. He served as chief magistrate from 1790, four years, 
with great acceptance to the public. In all his official relations 
he was a high-minded, honorable and patriotic servant of the 
people. He was selected, in ever}' instance, for the trust reposed 
in him, not for his party attachments, but for his fitness for the 
place. Men in those days prized wisdom more than party. Dr. 
Bartlett is said to be the only physician who ever occupied a 


seat upon the bench of the supreme court of the state. After 
his election as president he, with great magnanimity, appointed 
his rival, Hon. John Pickering, to the seat he had vacated as 
judge, which place he filled with honor to himself and satisfac- 
tion to the public for five years. During the administration of 
President Bartlett the revised constitution went into operation 
and very important laws were passed regulating the highest in- 
terests of the state. Finance received special attention. The 
depreciated paper money was bought up and provision made for 
the liquidation of the debts of the state. The increase of com- 
merce in Portsmouth was thought to require greater banking 
facilities, and in 1792 the first bank in New Hampshire was in- 
corporated with a capital of one hundred and sixty thousand 
dollars. In 179 1 a law was enacted requiring the state to raise 
seven thousand five hundred pounds sterling for the support of 
common schools. This law placed the education of the people 
upon a solid foundation. The same year the New Hampshire 
Medical Society was established, which has contributed greatly 
to the elevation of the medical profession in the state. Dr. Jo- 
siah Bartlett was its first president. Toward the close of his 
fourth year in office President Bartlett, owing to the increasing 
infirmities of age, resigned the chair of state and retired to pri- 
vate life. He was soon after this event "gathered to his fathers," 
old and full of honors. 



The earliest instrument used for converting corn into meal 
was a stone mortar. In process of time the mortar was made 
ridged and the pestle notched at the bottom, so as to grate 
rather than pound the grain. Still later, the pestle was confined 
in a vertical condition by a cover, and turned by a horizontal 
crank. In process of time the mill was enlarged and the sweep 
was turned by a mule or by oxen. Finally, two stones were in- 
troduced and wind or water became the motive power. Water- 
mills existed in Rome under the empire. They were soon made 
known all over Europe ; though hand-mills and cattle-mills were 
retained in private houses for a long time after the erection of 
water-mills. Wind-mills were common in Holland and Ger- 



manjr in the fifteenth century. The want of small streams in 
the level countries in the north of Europe led to the use of 
wind-mills. Corn-mills propelled by water became common in 
England after the first Crusades. The warriors, in their travels 
through Europe and the East, saw and adopted many useful in 
ventions. It has been asserted that wind-mills were first built 
in America by the Dutch colonists. This may be doubted ; for 
a wind-mill, the first of the kind in New England, was taken 
down in 1632, in Watertown and rebuilt in Boston. This very 
year a pinnace, belonging to Captain Neal of Boston, was sent 
from the Piscataqua settlements, with si.xteen hogsheads of corn 
to be ground at the wind-mill on Copp's Hill recently erected 
there ; for there was no nearer mill. 

The first saw-mill in New England, propelled by water, was 
probably built by New Hampshire colonists on Salmon Falls 
river, at a place called Newichewannoc in 1631. Provision 
was also made about the same time for a grist-mill by the pro- 
prietor of New Hampshire. From this time mills were rapidly 
multiplied in the colon)', both for sawing and grinding ; but in 
the ship-buildii'^ region of Portsmouth, the saw-mills far out- 
numbered the flour-mills. Before the Revolution, New Hamp- 
shire imported grain and flour ; but the war interrupted all trade 
and more attention was given to the raising of maize and wheat. 
By this means mills were multiplied. Previous to 1776 Exeter 
had ten corn-mills within its limits. Clapboards were exported 
from Plymouth, Mass., as early as 1623, but they were probably 
sawed and shaved by hand ; for the annals of Plymouth men- 
tion the erection of the first water-mill in that colony in 1633. 
Beekman states in his History of Inventions, that the first saw- 
mill in England was erected in 1663. In early periods the 
trunks of the trees were split with wedges and then hewn into 
boards and planks. Later in the history of Europe, saw-pits 
were used, and boards were cut by two men, one standing above 
and one below the log, in a saw-pit. Saw-mills driven by wind 
or water are said to have been built in Germany as early as the 
fourth cenfury ; but they were so little used that one author 
places their invention in the seventeenth centuiy. There were 
«aw-mills at Augsburg in 1322. Though they were introduced 
so late into England, they were for nearly a century often fired 
by mobs, who feared that sawyers would be thrown out of em- 
ploy by their frequent use. It seems from this narrative, that 
Captain Mason surpassed in enterprise the business men of 
his native land, for he anticipated his countrj-men by thirty 
years, in erecting a saw-mill to convert the forests of New Hamp- 
shire into ship timber. This he did when " bread was either 
brought from England in meal, or from Virginia in grain, and 


sent to the wind-mill at Boston, there being none erected here." 
In 16S2, white pine merchantable boards were worth in New 
Hampshire thirty shillings per thousand feet ; white oak pipe- 
staves three pounds ; wheat five shillings, Indian corn three 
shillings per bushel, and silver six shillings per ounce. In 1661, 
the selectmen of Portsmouth granted Captain Pendleton liberty 
" to set up his wiiid-mill upon Fort Point, toward the beach, be- 
cause the mill is of such use to the people." In 1692, after the 
Indians destroyed the mills of York, ancient Agamenticus, the 
inhabitants of that town contracted with a citizen of Ports- 
mouth to erect a mill for grinding their corn. Special privileges 
were granted him for this new accommodation of people living 
in both states. When Lancaster was first settled, in 1764, there 
was no corn-mill nearer than Charlestown, which was one hun- 
dred and ten miles distant ; and all the surrounding country was 
a wilderness. 

The first cotton factor)' in New Hampshire w-as established at 
New Ipswich, in 1804. In 1823 the state contained twenty- 
eight cotton and eighteen woolen factories, twenty-two distilleries, 
twenty oil-mills, one hundred and ninety-three bark-mills, 'three 
hundred and four tanneries, twelve paper-mills and fifty-four 
trip-hammers. The progress of manufactures in New Hamp- 
shire was very rapid from 1S20 to 1830. The amount of capital 
authorized and incorporated within the five years preceding 1825 
was nearly six millions of dollars. Since that time manufactures 
have become the ruling industry of the state. 


Iron ore abounds in various localities in New Hampshire ; 
but the working of if has never proved profitable. Iron ore was 
early discovered in the vicinity of Portsmouth, and a quantity of 
it was shipped to England by the agent of Captain Mason, in 
1634. Mr. Gibbons then wrote : "There is of three sorts — one 
sort that the myne doth cast forth as the tree doth gum, which is 
sent in a rundit. One of the other sorts we take to be very 
rich, there is a great store of it. For the other I do not know." 
This is sufficiently indefinite to satisfy a German metaphysician. 
Early in the eighteenth century, a chronicler speaks of "the 
noted Iron-works at Lamper Eel River; "but they were soon dis- 
continued. The same fate has attended the works set up at 
Exeter, Winchester, Gilmanton and Franconia. Large sums have 
been expended, at the last named place, in the erection of fur- 
naces ; but they have not been actively worked for some time 
past. " The specular o.xyd at Piermont is one of the richest 
ores in the United States, yielding from sixty to ninety per cent. 
of metallic iron." 




The Oilman family have been among the most distinguished 
in our commonwealth. Exeter was their home. The ancestor 
of this illustrious race first came to Hingham and became a 
freeman of Massachusetts. He followed, in his old age, his 
three sons to Exeter, where he died. The descendants of these 
men all took an active part in building up the township of Exe- 
ter and promoting the welfare of the province. Nicholas Oilman 
held most responsible offices during the Revolutionary war. He 
was the father of John Taylor Oilman, who was first elected 
governor of the state in 1794. He held this office eleven years 
in succession, and, after an interregnum, three years more, 
making fourteen in all. No other man has held, and probably 
no other man ever will hold, the same elective office so long, 
and no man ever has filled it, nor probably ever will fill it, with 
greater credit to himself and honor to the state. Judge Smith, 
remarking of the citizens of Exeter, says : " It is no disparage- 
ment to any other family here to say that, in numbers and every- 
thing that constitutes respectability, the Gilmans stand at the 

The administration of Oovernor Oilman marked a period of 
progress material, social, moral, literary and religious. Society 
was assuming a permanent form. Many important political and 
financial questions had been already settled. The constitution 
of the United States had gained full sway over all classes of cit- 
izens. The name anti-federal no longer described appropriately 
any political party. All were federalists with respect to their 
support of the central government. But the fundamental prin- 
ciples which gave birth to these opposing parties still lived. One 
class advocated the supremacy of the general government ; an- 
other maintained that the individual states had never surrendered 
their sovereignty. Hamilton was the great leader of the party 
which, under the name of Federalists, advocated the centraliza- 
tion of power. Jefferson was the founder of another party 
which, under the name of Republicans, vindicated state rights, 
and ultimately opposed all the leading measures of the other 
party. While Washington held the helm of state, his prudence, 
wisdom and reputation served to allay party animosities, though 
the Father of his country did not escape the venomous attacks 



of partisans. He was assailed by the basest of calumnies dur- 
ing the Revolutionary war, but his own manuscripts and letters 
have been sufficient to refute them all, and reveal, in private 
and public, the integrity of thai great man 

"Who has left 
His awful memory 
A light for after times." 

Washington was regarded as a federalist, though he was never 
under the influence of party spirit, so far as men could judge. 
Without boasting, he might have made the language of Milton 
his own : 

" All my mind was set 
Serious to learn and know, and thence to do 
What might be public good: myself I thought 
Born to that end, bom to promote all truth 
And righteous things." 

All his opinions were formed with candor and maintained with 
firmness. No other public man of that age was supposed to be 
free from party prejudices. The governor and a large majority 
of the legislature of New Hampshire were federalists. They 
supported the administration of Washington. While he was in 
power, the topic which e.xcited the most violent controversy was 
Jay's treaty. The Revolutionary war had left many important 
questions between the two countries unsettled. Boundaries were 
to be established, claims to be adjusted, commerce to be regu- 
lated and the rights of citizenship to be determined. A treaty 
was negotiated by Mr. Jay, containing twenty-eight distinct pro- 
visions, some of them of vital importance to both the " high 
contracting parties." The treaty was in many respects objec- 
tionable, and in others defective, yet it was the best that could 
then be secured. England was still haughty and imperious, and 
not very kindly disposed to her rebellious children. This treaty 
was condemned in aflvance by the republicans, who were gen- 
erally favorable to the French and hostile to the English even 
when they brought gifts. When the articles became known the 
whole treaty was denounced, seriatim, by a considerable party in 
every town and state in the Union. This hostility was shown in 
many cases by acts of violence and lawless mobs. This great 
national matter, which the senate alone had a right to decide, 
was debated in the primary meetings of the people. Portsmouth 
held a town meeting and voted an address against the treaty. 
Private citizens of the highest respectabilit}', feeling aggrieved 
by this rash act, prepared a counter address approving of the 
treaty. The opponents of this measure were determined to pre- 
vent the transmission of the address to the president. They 
marched through the streets armed with clubs, insulted the sign- 
ers of the address, broke their windows, defaced their fences 
and broke down their shade trees ; and with outrageous impu- 



dence threiitened greater violence unless the offensive document 
were surrendered to them. After a " day's uproar " the riot was 
quelled, the leaders were arrested and peace was restored. 
Judging from the numerous mobs in different and distant por- 
tions o( the Union where hostility was shown to this treaty by 
such illegal means, we infer that the citizens of that age were 
more excitable and pugnacious than their descendants now are. 
The treaty, despite the opposition, was legally ratified, and not 
only did the men of that period acquiesce in it but every gene- 
ration since has pronounced the verdict just. We wonder now 
that anybody should have thought otherwise. Washington fa- 
vored its ratification and his "good sense" probably turned the 
scale in its favor. One of the senators from New Hampshire, 
Mr. Langdon, voted against it. The legislature of the state in 
1795 unanimously approved of the treaty in the strongest terms. 
They expressed "undiminished confidence in the virtue and 
ability of the minister who negotiated the treaty, the senate who 
advised its ratification, and in the President, the distinguished 
friend and father of his countiy, who complied with this advice." 
The histoid of this heated controversy shows how easy it is for 
excited partisans to mistake their true interests. 

The material and social progress of the people of New Hamp- 
shire has already been noticed under the head of internal im- 
provements and general education. During the long and pros- 
perous administration of Governor Gilman, roads, turnpikes, 
mills and factories were built, and schools, academies and liter- 
ary, scientific and religious societies were multiplied. In 1798, 
a medical school was established at Dartmouth College by Dr. 
Nathan Smith of Cornish. For some time he was the only pro- 
fessor in that department of education. He made the school a 
success ; and from it have gone forth more than a thousand 
thoroughly educated and skillful practitioners of the healing art. 
Many of them have held the front rank in their vocation, both 
as professors and physicians. When we remember that Dr. 
Smith was a self-made man, without the advantages of literary 
or scientific culture, we are astonished at the results of his e.\- 
ecutive energy, perseverance and high scholarship. He was in 
his own sphere a man of genius. He planned for coming ages. 
He was far in advance of the men of his time. He foresaw'the 
wants of the future and provided for them. His name and fame 
are among the richest legacies which the sons of New Hamp- 
shire have inherited. His works are more eloquent in his praise 
than the "pens of ready writers." In iSio the state became 
the patron of the medical school and built for it a convenient 
and spacious college building. Here the students both of the 
medical and academical departments have since received their 
instruction in chemistry. 


Manufactories of cotton and wool were erected about the be- 
ginning of tlie nineteentli century in tlie state. In Mr. Jay's 
treaty, in 1795, the exports of cotton were so small from this 
country as to escape the notice of the busy diplomatists. The 
first factor}' for the manufacture of cotton was built at New 
Ipswich, in 1804. Others soon followed till at the present day 
a large portion of the wealth of the state is invested in such 
mills. During the same year the northern portion of the state 
was erected into a separate county by the name of Coos. It 
contained at that time only eight incorporated towns. The num- 
ber has since increased to twenty-five, besides some seventeen mi- 
nor settlements, denominated Locations, Purchases and Grants. 
Lancaster, the shire town, was settled as early as 1763. Its 
growth was retarded by the Revolutionary war. In 1775, the 
entire population of the county was only two hundred and 
twentj'-seven persons, of which Lancaster, the most populous of 
the six settlements, contained sixty-one. In 1803, the new county 
had about three thousand souls. It contains now more than 
thirteen thousand. The same legislature authorized the build- 
ing of a turnpike through the Notch of the White Mountains, 
twenty miles in extent, at an expense of forty thousand dollars. 
This road, winding down to the west line of Bartlett through 
this gigantic cleft in the mountains, presents to the traveler 
some of the most sublime and some of the most beautiful scener}' 
which the sun, in his entire circuit, reveals to the curious eye. 

During Washington's second term of service as president, the 
French Revolution was in progress. This, like a political earth- 
quake, shocked all the nations of Christendom. Our own coun- 
try was deeply agitated by it. France had been our ally in war ; 
many felt deep gratitude to her for that timely service. A large 
party in the country felt that the French people in their struggle 
against regal and sacerdotal oppression could do nothing wrong j 
and that the English, our obstinate foes while we were achiev- 
ing our liberty, could do nothing right. Relying on this partiality 
of a large party in the country, the French minister, M. Genet, 
who arrived in 1793, put on airs, became insolent and began to 
fit out privateers in the ports of the United States, to cruise 
against nations hostile to France, and to set in motion an ex- 
pedition against the Spanish settlements in Florida. Washing- 
ton had previously issued a proclamation of neutrality. It was 
not heeded by the officious minister and his recall was demanded. 
The French Republic found Washington in earnest, and they 
sent a more acceptable envoy. But their aggressions upon our 
commerce and their insolent treatment of our government united 
all parties in the condemnation of these national outrages. The 
government prepared for open war; some collisions actually 


occurred upon the sea. In 1796, Mr. Pinckney had been sent as 
minister to France. After two months' residence in Paris, he was 
peremptorily ordered to leave the city. The French government 
continued to commit depredations upon ourcommerce and re- 
fused to liquidate our just claims upon its treasury. One more 
effort was made by the United States to settle the controversy 
by negotiation. Three envoys were sent with full powers to 
adjust all questions in dispute. When they arrived, the French 
Directory, like a company of banditti, demanded of them a sum 
of money as a preliminary step to a treaty. This of course was 
indignantly refused and the embassy failed in its mission. There 
was but one voice among all parties at home respecting this in- 
sult ; that was : '" Millions for defence but not one cent for trib- 
ute." After further consideration, the French Directory pro- 
posed peace and ministers were promptly sent in answer to their 
call. On their arrival they found Bonaparte at the head of the 
government, as First Consul. With this responsible head, in 
September, 1800, they concluded a treaty which satisfied both 
countries and for a time restored the former good will between 
them. New Hampshire, with great unanimity, supported Presi- 
dent Adams in his foreign policy. The legislature prepared an 
address to him, expressing the fullest approval of his purpose to 
humble France and the most decided denunciation of French 
aggressions. This measure received the unanimous vote of the 
senate and had only four opposing votes in the house. 

During the last four years of Washington's administration, 
many important difficulties were adjusted. The controvers}' with 
England was put to rest by Mr. Jay's treaty, though the party 
spirit which it evoked lived on. In 1795, after three campaigns, 
two of which were unsuccessful, against the western Indians, a 
treaty was concluded which for a season quieted these fierce 
savages. During the same year, a treaty with Spain was made, 
which established the boundaries between the Spanish posses- 
sions on this continent and the United States. Peace was also 
made with the Algerines, a nest of pirates who had for years 
laid the whole Christian world under tribute. The United 
States, then destitute of a navy, had been compelled to pay large 
sums to these outlaws for the redemption of captives ; and even 
under the new treaty an annual tribute was promised to the 
Dey, a sort of modern Minotaur, who demanded blood or money. 
The quarrel with France remained to be settled when Washing- 
ton delivered his "farewell address" in 1797. Under his suc- 
cessor party lines were more closely drawn and federalists and 
republicans began that struggle for supremacy in the national 
councils which, under different party names, has been perpetu- 
ated to this hour. 



The eighteenth century closed when partisan warfare was at 
its height, and the press, on both sides, teemed witli bitter sar- 
casm and mahgnant abuse. This important date in our history 
suggests some reflections upon the condition of New Hampshire 
as it then was. It would be difficult to find a colony or state 
within the period of authentic history that suffered more or 
achieved more in the same number of years, than New Hamp- 
shire prior to the peace with Great Britain in 1783. Her en- 
tire record for one hundred and sixty years is stained with sweat 
and blood. Her citizens labored and suffered during all that 
period with unparalleled patience. From four inconsiderable 
plantations in 1641, she had grown in 1800 to be a populous 
state of two hundred and fourteen thousand inhabitants distribu- 
ted over nearly two hundred flourishing towns. But from the hour 
when the forests of Dover and Portsmouth first rang with the 
blows of the woodman's axe, in 1623, till the close of the Revol- 
utionary war, there was no rest from toil, scarcely any from war, 
to all its citizens. For nearly all that long and dreary march of 
armies and pressure of labor, the title to the very soil they had 
won from the wilderness was in dispute. The Indians were con- 
stantly upon their track, and no hiding-place was so secret or 
remote as to render its occupant safe from the tomahawk and 
scalping-knife. Foreign wars consumed their property and ex- 
hausted their men. The government under which they lived 
and to which they owed allegiance was changed almost as often 
as the wages of Jacob by his crafty father-in-law. The king 
ruled them only for his own advantage. Even Massachusetts, 
with whom for many years she enjoyed a peaceful alliance, 
finally became ambitious of enlarging her possessions, and un- 
generously obtained and appropriated nearly one half of New 
Hampshire. The'people of the state found no security at home 
or abroad, but in their own brave hearts and strong arms. They 
made themselves homes and achieved a fame in arms and in 
arts, which " none of their adversaries could gainsay nor resist." 


Let us now, with the light of memory and tradition lingering 
on the track, point backward the glass of history and descry the 
farmer in his field, the mechanic in his shop, and the minister 
at his altar, as they severally lived and labored seventy years 

"As when, by niqht, the glass 
Of Galileo, less assur'd, observes 
Imagin'd lands and regions in the moon." 

We can scarcely conceive of a more independent, self-reliant, 


hearty, healthy and hopeful denizen of earth than the farmer of 
that age. He lived upon the produce of his own soil ; was 
warmed by fuel from his own woods, and clothed from the flax 
of his own field or the fleeces of his own flock. No flour, hams, 
lard nor oil was then imported. Broadcloths and cotton fabrics 
were scarcely known. The oxen and swine which yielded the 
"fresh meat " in winter and the "salt meat" in summer were 
fed and fattened by himself. Trade was carried on chiefly by 
barter. Little money was needed. The surplus produce of the 
farm, or the slaughtered swine not needed by the family, were 
carried to market in the farmer's " double sleigh " and exchanged 
for salt, iron, molasses and other stores not produced at home. 
So the year went round, marked by thrift, contentment and 

" Happy the man whose wish and care 

A few paternal acres bound; 
Content to breathe his native air. 
In his own ground." 

The mechanic was the peer and helper of the farmer. Every 
tiller of the soil needed a house and barn, tools and furniture, 
clothes and shoes. The skill and craft which produced these 
necessaries were often brought to the employer. The mechan- 
ics were itinerant, working where they were needed, and receiv- 
ing for their labor the products of the farm or loom, or stores 
from the larder or cellar. Carpenters, blacksmiths, masons, 
tailors and shoemakers, who plied the most useful and neces- 
sary of all handicrafts, were found in every town of any consid- 
erable population. 

The church and school-house were among the earliest public 
structures reared. The creed of the Puritans discarded all or- 
naments within and without the sacred edifice. The people of 
New Hampshire, though not Puritans in name, adopted their 
religious customs. The church of the new town was generally 
built upon an eminence. It has been said that such sites were 
selected that the worshipers might more easily discern the ap- 
proach of the Indians who often lay in wait for them during 
divine service. The " meeting-house " was high, long and broad, 
with heavy porticos at each end containing stairs by which the 
galleries were reached. The pews were square with seats on all 
sides. " The broad aisle " was the post of honor. The pulpit 
was reached by a long flight of steps, and a dome-shaped sound- 
ing board was suspended over it. Here the " minister," who 
was settled by the major vote of the town, indoctrinated his 
people. From his lips they literally received the law. His ser- 
mon was the only fountain of theology from which his hearers 
could drink. Libraries, if they existed at all, were few, and the 
books selected, being chiefly sermons and e.xpositions of portions 


of the Bible, were not extensively read. Religious papers were 
unknown, and biographies of children of precocious piety and 
sainted christians too good for earth had not then been written. 
A large proportion of the entire population attended church. 
No blinds excluded the blazing suns of summer ; no fires soft- 
ened the intense cold of winter. The hearers listened devoutly 
to long, doctrinal sermons, even when the breath of the preacher 
was frozen as it escaped his lips. "The minister of the stand- 
ing order," possibly the only thoroughly educated man in the 
town, " mighty in the scriptures " and austere in morals, was re- 
garded by the children of his flock with awe, by the parents with 
reverence. If a warm heart beat beneath his clerical robes, if 
the love of souls beamed from his eye, shone in his face and 
dropped from his tongue, then 

"Tnith from his lips prevailed with double sway, 
And fools who came to scoff remained to pray. 



The primitive log-house, dark, dirty and dismal, rarely out- 
lived its first occupant. With the progress of society in a new 
town, it would look like premeditated poverty for the son to be 
content with the Ifirst shelter that his father reared in the wilder- 
ness. The first framed houses were usually small, low and cold. 
The half house, about twenty feet square, satisfied the unam- 
bitious. The double house, forty by twenty feet in dimensions, 
indicated progress and wealth. It was designed for shelter, not 
for comfort or elegance. The windows were small, without blinds 
or shutters. The fire-place was sufficiently spacious to receive 
logs of three or four feet in diameter, with an oven in the back 
and a flue nearly large enough to allow the ascent of a balloon. 
A person might literally sit in the chimney-corner and study as- 
tronomy. All the cooking was done by this fire. Around it, 
also, gathered the family at evening, often numbering six to 
twelve children, and the cricket in the hearth kept company 
to their prattle. Thus with the hardships came the comforts of 
life, in the days " lang syne." 

The furniture was simple and useful, all made of the wood 


of the native forest-trees. Pine, bircli, cherr}% walnut and the 
curled maple were most frequently chosen by the " cabinet- 
maker." Vessels of iron, copper and tin were used in cooking. 
The dressers, extending from floor to ceiling in the kitchen, con- 
tained the mugs, basins and plates of pewter which shone upon 
the farmer's board at the time of meals. A writer for the New 
Hampshire Patriot has recently given his recollections of the 
kind of life I am here describing. I will quote a few para- 

"In 1S15, tnivel was mostly on horseback, the mail being so carried in 
many places. Hotels were found in every four to eight miles. Feed for 
travelers' teams was, half baiting of hay, four cents ; whole baiting, eight 
cents; two quarts of oats, six cents. The bar-room fire-place was furnished 
with a ' loggerhead,' hot, at all times, for making ' flip.' The flip was made 
of beer made from pumpkin dried on the crane in the kitchen fire-place, and 
a few dried apple-skins and a little bran. Half muj of flip, or half gill 
'sling,' six cents. On the table was to be found a 'shortcake,' the manu- 
facture of which is now among the lost arts ; our ' book ' cooks can't make 
them. Woman's labor was fifty cents per week. They spun and wove most 
of the cloth that was worn. Flannel that was dressed at the mill, for women's 
wear, was fifty cents a yard; men's wear, one dollar. 

Farmers hned their help for nine or ten dollars a month — some clothing 
and the rest cash. Carpenters' wages, one dollar a day; journeymen car- 
penters, fifteen dollars a month ; and apprentices, to serve six or seven years, 
had ten dollars the first year, twenty the second, and so on, and to clothe 
themselves. Breakfast generally consisted of potatoes roasted in the ashes, 
a 'bannock' made of meal and water and baked on a maple chip set before 
the fire. Pork was plenty. If ' hash ' was had for breakfast, all ate from 
the platter, without plates or table-spread. Apprentices and farm boys had 
for .supjjer a bowl of scalded milk and a brown crust, or bean porridge, or 
pop-robbin. There was vo such thing as tumblers, nor were they asked if 
they would have tea or coffee ; it was ' Please pass the mug.' " 

The post of the housewife was no sinecure. She had charge 
both of the dairy and kitchen, besides spinning and weaving, 
sewing and knitting, washing and mending for the " men folks." 
The best room, often called " the square room," contained a bed, 
a bureau or desk, or a chest of drawers, a clock, and possibly 
a brass fire-set. Its walls were as naked of ornaments as the 
cave of Macpelah. We are describing a period which antedates 
the advent of pictures, pianos, carpets, lace curtains and Vene- 
tian blinds. It was an age of simple manners, industrious hab- 
its and untarnished inorals. Contentment, enjoyment and lon- 
gevity were prominent characteristics of that age. The second 
voluiue of the New Hampshire Historical Collections contains a 
list of nearly four hundred persons, who died in New Hampshire 
prior to 1826 between the ages of ninety and a hundred and 
five years. The average age of a hundred and thirty-three coun- 
cilors who lived in the early history of the state was seventy 
years. It deserves notice, also, that many of the provincial gov- 
ernors and Revolutionary officers of the state lived to extreme 


old age. Fevers and epidemics sometimes swept away the peo- 
ple ; but consumption and neuralgia were then almost unknown. 
The people were generally healthy. Their simple diet and 
active habits produced neitlier "fever nor phlegm." 

After preparing comfortable shelters for their families, the 
early settlers in every town turned their thoughts to the house of 
God. Most of the townships were granted on condition that "a 
convenient house for the worship of God " should be built 
within two years from the date of the grant. Even when the pro- 
prietors lived in " log huts, " the " meeting-house " was a framed 
building. Its site was some high iiill ; possibly because the tem- 
ple stood on a mountain, but probably because it must be a 
watch-tower against the Indians as well as a " house of prayer." 
In shape it was a rectangle flanked with hea\-y porticos, with 
seven windows upon each side. Here every family was repre- 
sented on the Sabbath. During the hour of intermission, the 
farmers and mechanics gathered round some merchant or pro- 
fessional man, whose means of information exceeded theirs, to 
learn the important events of the week. The clergymen were 
then settled by major vote of the town and all ta.\-payers were 
assessed for his salary accoiding to their ability. The people 
went to church on foot or on horseback, the wife riding behind 
the husband on a " pillion." Chaises, wagons and sleighs were 
unknown. Sometimes whole families were taken to "meeting" 
on an ox-sled. 

The Sabbath developed the social as well as religious senti- 
ments. The ordinary visits of neighbors, like those of angels, 
were " rare." The people lived like the parishioners of Chaucer's 
"pore Personn," "fer asondur." Traveling was difficult and la- 
borious. Neither men nor women were ever idle. Books were 
few ; newspapers and letters were seldom seen at the country 
fireside. News from England did not reach the inland towns 
till five or six months after the occurrence of the events re- 
ported. Intelligence from New York was traveling a whole 
week before it reached New Hampshire. In 1764 the mail 
was carried only twice in a week from New York to Philadel- 
phia, and, after the close of the Revolutionary war, the mail was 
carried between those cities by a post-boy on horseback. Now 
tons of mailed matter are daily passing on the same route. 
Men and women dressed in home-made fabrics and ate the pro- 
duce of their own farms. A quotation from "Forefathers' song," 
written in the seventeenth century, will reveal many facts in a 
few words : 

" The place where we live is a wilderness wood 
Where grass is much wanting that's fruitful and good; 
Our mountains and hills, and our valleys below, 
Being commonly covered with ice and with snow : 


And when the north-west wind with violence blows, 
Then every man pulls his cap over his nose; 
But if any^s so hardy and will it withstand. 
He {orftiits a finger, a fo&t or a hand." 

Another stanza describes their daily food, not their "daily 
bread," with more truth than poetiy : 

"If fresh meat be wanting to fill ap our dish, 

We have carrots and piimpluns and turnips and fish; 

And, is there a mind tor a delicate dish, 

We repair to the clam-banks and there we catch fish. 

Instead of pottage and puddings and custards and pies, 

Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies ; 

We have pumpkins at morning, and pumpluns at noon, 

If it was not for pumpkins, we should be undone." 



In the dark ages, when the people, groaning under the iron 
heels of petty despots, asked for relief or reform, the old barons 
used to say : " We are unwilling to change the laws of England." 
When the king and his nobles called on the church to conform 
to the laws of the land, the prelates were wont to reply : " We 
consent, saving our order " ; and when anxious litigants peti- 
tioned against "the law's delay" for speedy justice, the courts 
replied with one consent : " We must stand by the decisions." 
These maxims were too sacred to be expressed in English, so 
they were embalmed in Latin. A dead language aptly repre- 
sented a dead law. Every age and nation has its conservatives 
and reformers ; its progressive and stationary politicians. Writ- 
ten constitutions for societies, institutions and nations rarely 
satisfy more than one generation. Jefferson doubted whether it 
was right for one generation to legislate for another ; for a youth- 
ful people to make organic laws for those who should live in its 
maturity and hoary age. The numerous amendments already 
made and demanded in our own constitution indicate the truth 
of his remark. The English constitution consists of laws, cus- 
toms, charters and precedents. It is not ^vrittcn except in the 
entire history of the country, civil, judicial and ecclesiastical. 
Yet, under this varying and uncertain instrument, the most im- 
portant reforms have been made by legislation. So slavery was 
abolished in England. We cut the Gordian knot with the sword, 
and possibly a whole century will be required to staunch the 


bleeding wounds of the nation. No new cause of controversy 
has arisen since the adoption of the federal constitution. Some 
causes of dissension were incorporated in its very substance. In 
the infancy of the nation the questions of finance, tariff, slavery 
and state rights were as prominent as they are to-day, and it is 
remarkable that secession was broached very early in New Eng- 
land. Many eminent northern men about the beginning of this 
century favored it, and some secretly, some openly, advocated it. 
Among these secessionists were some of the most eminent men 
of New Hampshire. The late Governor Plumer, writing to John 
Quincy Adams in 1828, says : " During the long and eventful 
session of congress of 1803-4 I was a member of the senate, 
and was at the city of Washington every day of that session. In 
the course of the session, at different times and places, several 
of the federalists, senators and representatives from the New 
England states informed me that they thought it necessary to 
establish a separate government in New England, and if it should 
be found practicable to extend as far south as to include Penn- 
sylvania ; but in all events to establish one in New England. 
They complained that the slave-holding states had acquired, by 
means of their slaves, a greater increase of representatives in 
the house than was just or equal ; that too great a portion of 
the public revenue was raised in the northern states ; and that 
the acquisition of Louisiana and the new states that were formed 
and those to be formed in the west and in the ceded territory 
would soon annihilate the weight and influence of the northern 
states in the government." Mr. Plumer also adds : " I was 
myself in favor of forming a separate government in New Eng- 
land, and wrote several confidential letters to a few of my friends 
recommending the measure." This letter was written in conse- 
quence of the pu*blished assertion of President Adams that the 
object of " certain leaders " of the federal party in Massachu- 
setts in 1805 " was, and had been for several years, the dissolu- 
tion of the Union and the establishment of a separate confed- 
eracy." The biographer of Governor Plumer has quoted froirP 
the published letters of many New England statesman, jurists 
and divines similar sentiments, so as to place the fact beyond a 
doubt that secession was meditated at the north in the very in- 
fancy of our national life. It deserves notice that the clergy of' 
that period were generally federalists, and when the southern 
states, under the lead of Jefferson, gained the supremacy in the 
national councils, they took a decided stand against the doctrines 
and measures of the republican party. Hon. William Plumer, 
jr., writes in the life of his father: "In 1793 Timothy Dwight, 
of Yale college, and, like most of the eminent New England di- 
vines of that da)', a leading politician, wrote thus to a friend : 


' A war with Great Britain we at least in New England will not 
enter into. Sooner would ninety-nine out of a hundred separate 
from the Union than plunge ourselves into such an abyss of mis- 
ery.' " Oliver Wolcott, lieutenant-governor of Connecticut, re- 
peatedly advocated a separation of the New England states from 
*he Union. In 1796 he wrote : " I sincerely declare that I wish 
the northern states would separate from the southern the mo- 
ment that event [the election of Jefferson] shall take effect." 
Mr. Plumer adds : " This plan of disunion thus rife in Con- 
necticut in 1796 may not improbably be regarded as the germ of 
that which appeared at Washington in 1808-9, ^"d which showed 
itself for the last time where it was first disclosed, in the Hart- 
ford convention of 1814." 

Parties are the natural outgrowth of free thought. They are 
necessary to the perpetuity of free institutions. Irresponsible 
power cannot be safely intrusted to any man or any body of 
men. Majorities are often as tyrannical as despots. Hence our 
own liberties will ever be most secure when the advocates and 
opponents of measures of mere expediency are quite equally 
balanced. The federal party maintained the supremacy for 
twelve years after the adoption of the constitution. The suc- 
cessor of Washington, John Adams, was a man of sterling integ- 
rity, a profound statesman, a true patriot and an eminent orator. 
Jefferson styles him " the colossus of debate " in the constitu- 
tional convention. He possessed less popular talent and less 
political sagacity than his illustrious rival. Adams approached 
the object of his desires by a straightforward course. Jefferson 
was more facile, yielding and devious in his march to victory. 
He was a man of the world ; his enemies say an " intriguer," an 
" infidel " and a " demagogue." These are hard names ; they 
are bestowed on him by men who opposed and hated him. He 
was certainly successful in his plans, and became the founder of 
a party which has ruled the country for more than one half the 
period of its existence. No finite mind of to-day can positively 
affirm that he did not administer the affairs of the country with 
as much wisdom, integrity and patriotism as the great leader of 
the federalists would have exhibited. Mr. Jefferson undoubtedly 
made mistakes. .So did Mr. Adams ; and" posterity still points 
to those mistakes as the true cause of his loss of power. New 
Hampshire adhered implicitly to the doctrines of the federalists 
till 1805, then the republicans were victors. Senator Plumer 
then wrote to Uriah Tracy : " Democracy has obtained its long 
expected triumph in New Hampshire. John Langdon is gov- 
ernor elect. His success is not ovi'ing to snow, rain, hail or bad 
roads, but to the incontrovertible fact that the federalists of this 
state do not compose the majority. Many good men have grown 


weary of constant exertions to support a system whose labors 
bear a close affinity to those of Sisyphus." Governor Plumer 
was then wavering. He had Iield the most important offices in 
the gift of the state, and had e.xecuted their duties as anuncgm- 
promising federaHst. He became in a few years the leader, the 
honored and trusted standard-1-jcarer, of the democratic party, 
whose every measure he liad pre^•iously opposed and wliose vciy 
name he hated. The fact that such conversions are common in 
party politics shows that neither party is so wise or good as its 
advocates would have us believe, nor so wicked and corrupt as 
its opponents would represent them. Burke in his old age re- 
sisted the opinions he advocated in his youth, so that it has 
been said of him that his mind resembled some mighty conti- 
nent rent asunder by internal convulsions, each division being 
peopled with its own giant race of inhabitants. It is a difficult 
task for a man to undo the work of years and conquer his own 
overgrown reputation, but politicians are frequently called to 
perform that unwelcome service, and, what is still worse, to be- 
come the assailants of those whose votes and voices have lifted 
them into the sunlight of popular favor. 

John Langdon was a man of untarnished reputation, a true 
patriot and a wise statesman. He was first nominated as a can- 
didate for the chief magistracy of the state in 1802. He then 
received eight thousand seven hundred and fifty-three votes. 
After three years of trial he was triumphantly elected, in 1S05, 
by a majority of four thousand. Tiie senate, house and council 
were all the same party. The state was completely revolution- 
ized in politics. Hon. Samuel Bell, whose name afterwards be- 
came so illustrious in high official stations, was that year elected 
speaker of the house. The party which then came into power 
maintained their position, with slight interruptions, for more than 
thirty years. 

It is generally supposed that high culture, whether of the 
head or heart, tends to repress party spirit ; and that prejudice 
and intolerance are always associated with ignorance and bru- 
tality. Hence, political parties which are sustained by the edu- 
cated and religious portion of the community assume to be su- 
perior to their opponents on that very account. Thucydides 
maintains, in his history, that " as long as human nature remains 
the same, like causes will produce like effects." The masses 
who suffer understand their own wants better than their rulers 
or teachers. Scribes and Pharisees, monarchs and nobles, are 
not apt to favor reforms or to lift from men's shoulders the bur- 
dens they have imposed. If the voice of the people is ever the 
voice of God, it is when they crj' for bread or plead for rights. 
Jack Cade was a better patriot than Richard II., when, as the 


advocate for the people, he demanded " the abolition of slavery, 
freedom of commerce in market towns without toll or impost, 
and a fixed rent on lands instead of service due by villenage." 
Revolutions usually begin with the lowest classes of society. 
The men over whom David became captain were " poor, discon- 
tented and in debt." Cromwell describes the first recruits of 
the army of the Puritans as " old, decayed serving-men, tapsters 
and such kind of fellows." When the Corsican lieutenant com- 
menced his brilliant career, his army was formed of the canaille 
of Paris. To-day, the chartists in England demand "universal 
suffrage, annual parliaments, vote by ballot, electoral districts 
and payment of members of parliament," and who in our coun- 
try would pronounce their claims unjust ? Politics travel up- 
ward ; morals and manners downward. Whigs, in opposition, 
often become torics in power. The same has repeatedly proved 
true of hostile parties in our country. It is the very nature of 
a government to be avaricious of power ; and rulers are inclined 
to use, in the promotion of their own interests, more than has 
been delegated to them. The republicans at first were in favor 
of a strict construction of the constitution ; yet in the purchase 
of Louisiana, Jefferson himself admitted that he exceeded his 
constitutional authorit}'. When the national bank was estab- 
lished in 1 79 1, a warm debate arose between federalists and re- 
publicans with regard to the constitutionality and expediency 
of such an institution. This question caused the first important 
division of opinion in the cabinet of Washington. Hamilton 
and Knox supported the measure ; Jeffei'son and Randolph op- 
posed it. In subsequent years, the parties of which Hamilton 
and Jefferson were founders battled for the same views, till the 
hostility of General Jackson worked the ruin of the bank. The 
other leading measures of the federal party, the funding system, 
the proclamation of neutrality, Jay's treaty, the internal taxes, 
the alien and sedition laws, had all been more or less unpopular. 
Mr. Jefferson, on his accession to office, sought to allay the vio- 
lence of party feelings by the declaration : "We are all republi- 
cans ; we are all federalists ■" still the spirit he had raised would 
not down at his bidding. The late administration party, now 
in the opposition, became bitter assailants of every measure 
proposed by Jefferson and his supporters. The foreign rela- 
tions of our countiy excited the most bitter controversies. 

From 1805 to 1815, the people in every state had no rest 
from these disturbing questions. The administration of Mr. 
Jefferson, so prosperous at its commencement, was clouded and 
overcast toward its close by the injustice of foreign powers. 
This rendered necessary, in the opinion of the government, a 
system of non-intercourse and embargo laws, and led finally to 


a war with England. The entire commerce of the United 
States was annihilated by the British Orders in Council and the 
Decrees of Napoleon, between May, i8o6, and December, 1807. 
There was no safety upon the high seas. Between the French 
Scylla and the English Charybdis ruin was inevitable. The 
Americans lost inore than one hundred millions of property by 
these maritime robbers. England was then the proud mistress 
of the seas. She dictated international laws to less powerful 
navigators. She claimed the right to board and search Ameri- 
can vessels and to take from them not merely contraband goods, 
but sailors whom she claimed as her subjects. On the twenty- 
second of June, 1807, without provocation, she attacked and 
crippled the Chesapeake, an American man-of-war, and took 
from her by force four of her seamen. Such acts, repeatedly 
committed and arrogantly defended, kindled the resentment of 
every patriotic American ; still party ties were so strong that the 
federalists rather apologized for English aggressions than con- 
demned them. Among these lovers of fatherland were found 
many of the literati and clergymen. The ministers regarded 
England as the bulwark of the Protestant faith, and France as 
the hot-bed of atheism. There was truth in these assertions ; 
but neither of them could justify the outrages of England upon 
our citizens or our commerce. England has maintained, till the 
year 1868, that no subject of hers could alienate his allegiance 
to his native country. " Once a subject always a subject " was 
her doctrine. Under this plea she ordered her cruisers to board 
American vessels and seize all English subjects found there. 
Previous to the declaration of war in 1812, more than six thou- 
sand seamen had been thus forcibly abstracted from American 
vessels. Sometime^ American citizens were seized. 



The aristocracy of New England were the ministers and mag- 
istrates. Much of the hereditary reverence of the old world 
for these officials, sacred and secular, still clung to them in the 
new. Mrs. Stowe, in her " Minister's Wooing" and in " Oldtown 
Folks," has very graphically illustrated the influence of both 
classes in the early history of our country. The ministers of 


Massachusetts created, guided and controlled public opinion, 
both religious and political. In fact they made the two identi- 
cal. James Otis, the popular leader, who was denounced by 
royalists as an " incendiary, a seditious firebrand and leveler," 
was defended from the pulpit by the burning eloquence of May- 
hew, who cried on the annual Thanksgiving day of 1762, "I do 
not say our invaluable rights have been struck at ; but if they 
have, they are not wrested from us ; and may righteous Heaven 
blast the designs, though not the soul, of that man, whoever he 
may be among us, that shall have the hardiness to attack them." 
The same patriotic, heroic advocate of the people's rights wrote 
to James Otis in 1766 : "You have heard of the communion of 
the churches. While I was thinking of this in my bed, the greaf 
use and importance of a communion of colonies appeared to 
me in a strong light." He p;-oceeded to suggest the sending of 
circulars to all the colonies, "expressing a desire to cement 
union among ourselves." "A good foundation for this," he 
added, " has been laid by the congress of New York ; never 
losing sight of it may be the only means of perpetuating our 
liberties." This first suggestion of a political union of all the 
colonies was almost the dying message of the good old man. 
It was written on the last day of health. Through the whole 
period of our revolutionary struggle, the Congregationalists were 
not only loyal to the best interests of the people, but the most 
effective promoters of them. Bancroft says of the clergy of 
Boston, in 1768 : " Its ministers were still its prophets ; its pul- 
pits, in which, now that Mayhew was no more, Cooper was ad- 
mired above all others for eloquence and patriotism, by weekly 
appeals inflamed alike the fervor of piety and liberty." 

The clergy of New England in their annual election sermons 
before the state legislatures were expected to indicate the wants 
of the people, to point out the blessings to be gained and the 
evils to be shunned by wise legislation. In Massachusetts res- 
olutions were passed requesting the clergy to enlighten the peo- 
ple on important public measures. No law affecting the general 
welfare could be enacted without their aid ; even the recruiting 
officers besought the eloquence of the pulpit to promote enlist- 
ments. New Hamjishire, though not so rigidly Puritan as the 
colonies of Plymouth and Massachusetts, yet followed the ex- 
ample set by her elder sister in church and state. The Fast- 
Day sermon never failed to enumerate the sins of the people, 
national and individual ; the Thanksgiving sermon called on all 
classes to praise God for his goodness, and the Election sermon 
revealed the political wants of the state and taught the law- 
makers their responsibility to God. So the ministers of the 
" standing order" became politicians in the highest and noblest 


sense. They sought to make human law identical with the di- 
vine. They were followers of Washington and Adams and were 
nearly all federalists. When a new party arose friendly to the 
French and hostile to the English, the ministers, through dread of 
French atheism and love of English protestantism, became 
active partisans and thus lost their influence in the state. Wlien 
the republicans gained the ascendency the ministers were virtu- 
ally disfranchised, and many can remember the time when it 
required great heroism in a c!erg}'man to go to the polls. 

Edward St. Loe Livermore, a distinguished jurist and states- 
man, said in 1S08, in a public address: "It is a happiness for 
our country to observe that the ministers of religion are truly 
federal, and only two solitary exceptions can be found in New 
Hampshire. These are rare birds very like unto black swans. 
How can other ministers exchange with them or admit them into 
their desks ? Why do they not have councils upon them and 
have them dismissed ? It is conceived that ministers should be 
of pure morals and sound orthodo.xy, at least as to the funda- 
mental principles of the religion of Christ, and that a council 
would dismiss them for deficiency in either ; and are they not 
the humble followers of infidels, and by their example, words 
and actions doing all in their power to promote the cause of 
Antichrist ? Let ministers and people consider these proposi- 
tions and answer as they please." 



Supposing the Puritans to have been such and so great as they 
have been represented to be, what has New Hampshire to do 
with them ? Much every way ; for though the early settlers of 
this state were neither Puritans nor Pilgrims, their laws, schools, 
religion and government were patterned after those of Massa- 
chusetts, and were thus a legitimate legacy from puritanism. 
What was good or bad in the one state was equally good or bad 
in the other. The two states were under one government for 
nearly two generations of men ; and that, too, in the infancy of 
our republic, when the younger state would naturally imitate the 
older. Such was the result. The town, the school, the church 
and the state were identical in the two republics. New Hamp- 


shire, therefore, quarried the corner stones of its political and 
ecclesiastical structure from the mine of puritanism. Thus her 
origin was ennobled. The Puritans were simple in habits ; plain 
in dress ; bold in speech ; stern in morals ; bigoted in religion ; 
patient in suffering ; brave in danger ; and energetic in action. 
But what have the clergy done for New Hampshire ? Let us in- 
quire what has been done in morals, religion and education ; 
and whatever that is is chiefly due to them. Ministers of the 
gospel have been the originators and promoters of educational 
institutions. The common schools have been cherished, super- 
intended and elevated by them. Academies have been built 
and sustained by their fostering care. It is hardly probable that 
an instance can be found in the history of our state, where an 
institution of learning, a social library, a lyceum or a literar}'' 
association has been established without the active and constant 
support of the clergj'men of the place. Ministers have been the 
models in style, pronunciation and delivery whom all the young 
lovers of oratory have imitated. The college was founded by a 
clergyman, and has, with a single exception, been presided over 
by clerg3'men. Its most active supporters have been from that 
profession. During the years of its sore trial, when the state 
attempted to seize its franchise, its chief defenders were Con- 
gregational clergymen. Dr. McFarland, at the risk of reputa- 
tion and usefulness, sometimes wrote two columns a week in de- 
fence of the old board and their measures. Others fought in 
the same battle and with similar peril. The clergyman in every 
town has been among the first to discover and encourage rising 
merit among the sons and daughters of the flock. Hundreds of 
young men have received a liberal education through the aid and 
counsel of faithful pastors, who otherwise might have remained 
for life " mute and inglorious " upon their native hills. Dr. 
Samuel Wood of Boscawen, during his long, successful ministry, 
fitted at his own home more than one hundred young men for 
college. Those who could not immediately pay one dollar a 
week for board and tuition he trusted ; to some indigent stu- 
dents he forgave their debt. Upon the subjects of morals, 
religion, reforms and revivals it is superfluous to speak in this 
connection. To recite what has been done in these respects by 
the ministers of all denominations would require a complete 
history of the moral and spiritual progress of the state from its 
origin. The other learned professions have been co-workers 
with them ; but it is not my purpose to speak of them here and 
now. By such agencies as I have indicated New Hampshire 
has risen to an honorable rank among her sister states. Her 
schools, academies and churches compare favorably with those 
of other more attractive portions of -our country. 





The political revolution which transferred the government of 
the state in 1805 from the federalists to the republicans produced 
no serious disturbance among the citizens. Party spirit had 
previously run so high that it could scarcely have been increased 
without breaking out in open violence. The majority in favor 
of the change was so large that the defeated party yielded 
gracefully to the decision of the people. Prior to this date the 
important offices of the state had been held by the same incum- 
bents for many years in succession. A kind of official aristoc- 
racy had grown up in the community. John Taylor Gilman had 
held the office of governor eleven years. Governor Langdon, 
his successor, was a Revolutionar}' patriot, and had been during 
a large part of his life in high official stations. Joseph Pearson 
had been secretary of state for nineteen years. This fact reveals 
the confidence of the legislature in his integrity and competency 
for the station. He was succeeded by Philip Carrigain. Na- 
thaniel Gilman was elected treasurer in place of Oliver Peabody. 
Hon. Simeon Olcott, one of the senators in congress, was re 
moved by death, and Nicholas Gilman was chosen to succeed 
him. He was the first republican elected to either branch of 
congress since the 'advent of the new party to power in New 
Hampshire. Most of the senators and representatives from 
New England were still of the federal party. The legislature, 
after an appropriate reply to the governor's message and an ex- 
pression of " their utmost confidence in the virtuous and mag- 
nanimous administration of President Jefferson," proceeded to 
consider the local interests of the state. An English professor 
of history says that we can best ascertain the true social and 
political condition of any people by inquiring what are the laws, 
and who made them .' Let us apply this test to the present 
epoch. The new administration made no violent innovations. 
The old laws for the most part remained in force. Among the 
new enactments was a statute prohibiting the circulation of pri- 
vate notes as a medium of exchange, and another limiting all 
actions for the recovery of real estate to twenty years. Pre- 
scription by common law had for centuries been regarded as a 
valid title to land and hereditaments. The length of time nee- 


essar)' to constitute a title against adverse claimants had not 
before been determined in New Hampshire by statute. If a 
person had occupied lands " under a bona fide purchase " for 
six years, he could not be ejected by the true owner without the 
recovery of his betterments if he chose to appeal to the court 
for protection. Laws were also passed regulating the internal 
police of the state, appointing guardians of indolent, profligate 
and intemperate persons, regulating the making and selling of 
bread, the inspection of beef and the collection of damages 
caused by floating lumber. At the same session of the legisla- 
ture, provision was made for the division of the towns into 
school districts, with special regard to the convenience and edu- 
cation of the entire population. Thus the common school, with 
its untold blessings, was brought into the neighborhood, if not 
to the very door, of every citizen of the state ; and the school- 
house, usually placed in the geographical centre of the district 
that owned it, not only served as a seat of learning for the chil- 
dren, but was often used by the parents for political, judicial 
and religious purposes. Here the local caucus, the justice court 
and the infant church helped to educate tlie common mind in 
policy, law and religion. Themes of the highest interest to 
church and state have often been thoroughly discussed and 
wisely decided in these primitive homes of science and litera- 
ture. In them, also, the inventors, discoverers and legislators 
of the state received their elementary, sometimes their entire 

By the legislature of 1805, The New Hampshire Iron Factory 
Company, at Franconia, was incorporated. This very useful 
institution maintained a healthy and progressive existence for 
many years, and did much to develop that most necessary of all 
the useful ores, and to advance the permanent prosperity of the 
surrounding country. Recently, on account of the high price of 
personal labor, its operations have been suspended. 




England and France had been waging with one another an 
internecine war. Each of these powerful nations forbade neu- 
tral powers to trade with her mortal foe. Great Britain, by her 
orders in council, interdicted our trade with France. Bona- 
parte, by way of retaliation, decreed capture and confiscation to 
all American vessels trading with England. Our ships and their 
cargoes became the plunder of both nations. British cruisers 
boarded our vessels and impressed all seamen who could not 
prove that they had not English blood in their veins. They 
also blockaded our harbors and, in one instance, attacked and 
disabled an American man-of-war while quietly riding in our own 
waters. The insolence of England became intolerable. She 
had no peer upon the high seas. Her navy consisted of more 
than a thousand men-of-war, while the Americans had only seven 
effective frigates and perhaps fifteen sloops-of-war. It was not 
in the power of the Americans to protect her merchants or chas- 
tise her enemies ; she therefore retained her vessels at home by 
an embargo. 

On the expediency of this measure the country was divided. 
The federalists, who were inclined to apologize for the aggres- 
sions of England, bitterly assailed the law. The suspension of 
all commerce, the enhanced prices of imported articles, in- 
creased the popular idiscontent, and although the legislature of 
1808 voted an address to President Jefferson approving of his 
entire policy, yet the people in the August election of members 
of congress reversed that decision. A federal delegation was 
elected, and in the following November federal electors for pres- 
ident were chosen. The politics of the state were again changed. 
In the spring of 1809 the republicans lost their ascendency in 
the town elections. Jeremiah Smith, the federal candidate, was 
elected governor by a majority of about two hundred votes. The 
council was still republican. In the legislature the power of the 
federalists was supreme. Moses P. Payson was made president 
of the senate, George P. Upham speaker of the house, Nathaniel 
Parker secretary of state, and Thomas W. Thompson treas- 
urer. These were all prominent men in the history of the state. 
Mr. Thompson was afterwards elected to the senate of the 
United States. The governor-elect was one of the ablest men 


our State has produced. He was a native of Peterborough, and 
for several years had discharged the duties of chief justice of 
the superior court of New Hampshire with distinguished ability. 

On the fourth of March, 1809, Mr. Madison was inaugurated 
president of the United States. He pursued the policy of his 
predecessor with slight modifications. The embargo was so un- 
popular that the administration deemed it wise to change 4;he 
name though they retained the principle. They made a law pro- 
hibiting all commercial intercourse with France and England, 
with a proviso that in case either of those countries should re- 
peal their injurious edicts against American commerce the non- 
intercourse act should at oAce cease with respect to that nation. 
1 his law, of course, relieved our government of the blame of re- 
stricting trade, and made the foreign powers responsible for 
their aggressions upon a neutral nation. This change of policy 
produced a corresponding change in New Hampshire. In 1810 
the republicans resumed their power and Governor Langdon was 
reelected by a majority of more than one thousand. Every de- 
partment of the state government was again in the hands of the 
republicans. William Plumer, formerly a distinguished federal- 
ist but now an ardent supporter of the doctrines he once op- 
posed, was chosen president of the senate, and Charles Cutts 
speaker of the house. Mr. Cutts belonged to the distinguished 
family of Portsmouth whose founder was the first president of 
the province of New Hampshire in 1679. Charles Cutts, during 
the session in which he was speaker, was elected to the senate 
of the United States. In 181 1 the same party was victorious. 

In 1812 Gov. Langdon retired from public life inconsequence 
of the infirmities of age. He enjoyed, in his quiet home at 
Portsmouth, the respect and reverence of a grateful people. His 
revolutionary services were never forgotten. His declining years 
were solaced by the kind intercourse of friends and the conso- 
lations of religion. He took a deep interest in the circulation 
of the Bible and contributed liberally to the funds of the New 
Hampshire Bible Society, of which he was one of the founders. 

Party spirit was now at its height. The controversies about 
men and measures were exceedingly bitter, often malignant. 
About this period a new political power arose in the state in the 
person of Mr. Isaac Hill and in the issues of the New Hamp- 
shire Patriot, of which he was the editor. Mr. Hill, having spent 
the first fourteen years of his life upon a farm, was apprenticed 
to Mr. Joseph Gushing, publisher of the Amherst Cabinet, in 
1802. There he devoted himself with increasing assiduity to 
labor and study. Every leisure moment was given to reading, 
writing and debating, and by this self-culture he made himself 
one of the most accomplished journalists of our country. In 


April, 1809, when he had obtained his majority, he removed to 
Concord and purchased a paper called The American Patriot, 
which had been edited by William Hoit, jr., for about six months, 
and changed its name to " The New Hampshire Patriot." The 
first number of this paper bears this motto : " Indulging no pas- 
sions which trespass on the rights of others, it shall be our true 
glory to cultivate peace by observing justice." Mr. Hill was 
an uncompromising republican. Speaking of the federalists in 
his introductory address he says : 

" Theirs is the cause of Great Britain, inasmuch as they coincide with and 
justify her aggressions on the principles of right and justice, on the laws of 
nature and of nations ; theirs is the cause of our enemy, because they stig- 
matize our government in every act, whatever its tendency, and because no 
subterfuge, however mean, is left unessayed to incite to distrust and oppo- 
sition. In our views of foreign nations we shall treat alike French injustice 
and British perfidy. While we consider the latter as far outstripping the 
former, we cannot but dwell with more emphasis on that power who has 
ability and inclination to do us much injury than upon him who, though he 
have enough of the last, has comparatively little of the first requisite to mo- 
lest us. We cannot forget the murder of our citizens, the impressment of 
our seamen, the seizure and confiscation of our property and the many in- 
sults and menaces on our national flag." 

When we remember that these charges were literally true, and 
that history has confirmed them, we do not wonder at the strong 
language which so often flowed from his pen. In the nine years 
preceding the war nine hundred American vessels had been cap- 
tured and condemned in British courts, and more than six thou- 
sand seamen had been taken from American vessels and trans- 
ferred to English ships or imprisoned ! In our day public 
sentiment is as sensitive as an aspen leaf to the slightest breeze 
of English insolence. The seizure of a single American citi- 
zen, contrary to the rules of international law, would be deemed 
a sufficient cause for official interposition. We cannot wonder, 
therefore, that our fathers, sixty years ago, deeply felt the "bit- 
ter, burning wrongs " which England for years persistently in- 
flicted upon our country. For several years after Mr. Hill 
became an editor there were only two republican papers in the 
state, while there were ten supported by the federalists. The 
new champion of republicanism warred almost alone. He was 
the Ulysses of the party, a man of great sagacity, energy and 
perseverance. After the clouds which obscured the vision of 
contemporaries have been lifted, history pronounces Mr. Hill a 
wise statesman and an honest patriot. Like all political par- 
tisans he was severe, sometimes unjust, to opponents, but his 
heart was true as the needle to the pole to what he deemed the 
best interests of the country. His fellow-citizens showed their 
approbation of his course by bestowing upon him, for many 
years in succession, the highest honors in their gift. 




War was declared against Great Britain by tlie United States 
on the eighteenth of June, 1812. Congress and the people 
were nearly equally divided on the question of an appeal to 
arms. The declaration was carried by a small majority. Sec- 
tional interests inllutnced the minds of voters. The South and 
West favored the war. New England was generally opposed to 
it. Manufactures were then deemed of little importance com- 
pared with the commerce and fisheries of that section of the 
country. It was thought that war would ruin the prosperity of 
New England ; hence the violent opposition of the wise and 
wealthy citizens of the North. Lawyers and legislators, teachers 
and authors, merchants and ministers, denounced the war and its 
supporters. The dissolution of the Union was then regarded as 
necessary to the welfare of New England. Opinions in favor of 
secession were freely expressed in private and in public, by indi- 
viduals and assemblies. The Federalist convention, held in 
Boston on the thirty-first day of March, i8ii, resolved that the 
non-intercourse law, just then passed, " if persisted in must and 
■will be resisted." Jeremiah Mason, the ablest la\\'yer our 
country has produced, said to Mr. Plumer, in August, 181 1: 
"The federalists of Massachusetts will make a great effort at 
the next spring elections; and if they fail, they will forcibly re- 
resist the laws of congress." " Resistance," said Dr. Parish, in 
April, 181 1, "is our only security." 

Josiah Quincy, in Januar)', 1811, speaking of the bill for the 
admission of Louisiana, in congress, said : " If this bill passes, 
it is' my deliberate opinion that it is virtually a dissolution of 
the Union ; that it will free the states from their moral obliga- 
tions ; and, as it will then be the right of all, so it will be the 
duty of some, to prepare definitely for a separation, — amicably if 
they can, violently if they must. The bill, if it passes, is a death- 
blow to the constitution. It may afterwards linger ; but, linger- 
ing, its fate will, at no very distant period, be consummated." 

Allen Bradford wrote to Elbridge Gerry, under date of Octo- 
ber 18, 1811 : "If our national rulers continue their anti-com- 
mercial policy, the New England states will by and by rise in 
their wonted strength, and with the indignant feelings of 1775, 


sever themselves from that part of the nation which thus wickedly 
abandons their rights and interests." These sentiments, uttered 
by leading men of New England, were not die hasty ebullitions 
of party spirit, but the deliberate expressions of matured con- 
victions. Disunion was not merely a threat, but a purpose, with 
many influential opponents of the war. In the spring of 1812, 
William Plumer, who had formerly advocated the views of the 
federal party, but, like John Quincy Adams and other distin- 
guished statesmen, had become an earnest and conscientious op- 
ponent of them, was brought forward for governor. His former 
friends, who accused him of apostasy, assailed him with un- 
stinted censure and acrimony. The federalists nominated again 
John Taylor Gilman, a gentleman of the old school, a man of 
high purpose, firm resolve and sterling integrity. His great 
popularity, from former services and revolutionary memories, 
gave him decided advantage in a political canvass. The parties 
were so nearly balanced that there was no election by the peo- 
ple ; but in the convention of the two houses, on the fourth of 
June, 1812, Mr. Plumer was chosen governor by one hundred 
and four votes against eighty-two for Mr. Gilman. The house 
was republican. 

The governor entered at once upon the discharge of the du- 
ties of his new station, and worked in perfect harmony with the 
existing administration. A few brief extracts from his diary 
will show what he did in support of the war. Under date of 
June 23, he writes : "In the evening, I received by an express, a 
letter from Major-General Dearborn, stating that he was offi- 
cially informed that the government of the United States had 
declared war against Great Britain, and requesting me to order 
out one company of artillery and one of infantry of the de- 
tached militia, and place them under command of Major Up- 
ham of the United States army at Portsmouth, for the defence 
of the sea-coast." 

June 24: "I issued orders to General Storer to order out the 
troops, in conformity with this requisition." July 7 : "Last even- 
ing, I received a requisition from General Dearborn to send one 
company of detached militia to defend the northern frontier of 
the state. To-day I issued orders to General Montgomery to call 
them out from his brigade, and station them at Stewartstown and 
Errol." July 21: "I issued an order to General Storer, requiring 
him to send one company of the detached infantry of his brigade 
to Portsmouth harbor, and to detach a suitable major to take 
command of the troops at Forts Constitution and McClary ; and 
also to General Robinson to send one company of the detached 
artillery from his brigade to the same place, for the defence of 
the sea-coast." 


These military requisitions profoundly agitated the minds of 
the quiet citizens of the state. Words had passed into acts; 
and prophecy had become reality. The fiery eloquence of in- 
dignant patriots now flashed from the sword and bayonet, and 
were soon to speak in thunder tones from the mouths of cannon. 

" Ah ! then and there was hurrying to and fro," 

and by the fireside, in the streets, and in all places of concourse, 
men talked of war and its consequences. The generation then 
upon the stage knew its horrors only by tradition and history ; 
and when a son of a family or a hired man was "drafted" to 
guard the sea-coast or frontiers, the household bewailed him as 
one dead. 

Governor Plumer, in his first message to the legislature, pre- 
sented some new views with respect to corporations, which have 
since been adopted in the state by all parties. They are found in 
the following extract : " Acts of incorporation have within a few 
years greatly increased in this state ; and many of them, being 
of the nature of grants, cannot with propriety be altered without 
previous consent of the grantees. Such laws ought therefore to 
be passed with great caution ; many of them should be limited 
to a certain period, and contain a reservation authorizing the 
legislature to repeal them whenever they cease to answer the 
end for which they were made or prove injurious to the public 
interest." This is sound doctrine and deserves to be inscribed 
in letters of gold on every state-house and hall of legislation in 
the land. In reply to the governor's call for men and means to 
carry on the war, the legislature said : " We are all Americans ; 
we will "cordially unite in maintaining our rights in supporting 
the constitutional measures of our government, and in repelling 
the aggressions of every invading foe." The citizens of New 
Hampshire were moved by the same patriotic spirit which actu- 
ated their representatives. They flocked to our national stand- 
ard wherever it was setup. Her volunteers were found in every 
fierce encounter by sea and land. Whole companies, from vari- 
ous parts of the state, marched together to the war. Her sailors 
fitted out privateers and preyed upon the commerce of the 
haughty " mistress of the seas." Mr. Brewster in his " Rambles 
about Portsmouth " has this graphic picture of privateering in 
that town: " Here we are in the memorable year, 1S12, on tlie 
old wharf at Point of Graves, beholding the first privateer fit- 
ting out after the declaration of war. That schooner is the 
Nancy ; and that man with two pistols in his belt and his vest 
pockets filled with loose gunpowder is Captain Smart. There is 
a large company of spectators on the wharf looking at the little 
craft. But off she goes to the mouth of the St. Lawrence, and, 
like a small spider entrapping a bumble-bee, she soon returns 


with her prize." No less than fourteen ships sailed from the 
same port, on the same errand, during the first year of the war. 
These privateers were commissioned by the United States, " to 
take, burn, sink and destroy the enemy wherever he could be 
found, either on high seas or in British ports," and witli unpar- 
alleled success they executed their mission. British merchant- 
men laden with valuable cargoes were captured by them, and 
large fortunes were acquired by these hardy navigators. They 
probably proved more annoying to the English people than our 
ships of war. Our sailors also fought with Perry on Lake Erie, 
and with Macdonough on Lake Champlain ; and by their bravery 
and energy contributed to the glorious victories under both 
those peerless officers. On the land they also followed Miller 
and McNiel to the very cannon's mouth ; and with them shared 
the perils of the desperate onset and the honors of triumphant 
victory. The army and navy of the Republic were small, but 
more than two thousand New Hampshire freemen were found in 
these departments of the public service. The land campaigns 
during the first year of the war were generally disastrous. The 
disgraceful surrender of General Hull, with two thousand men, 
at Detroit, and the defeat of General Van Rensselaer on the 
borders of Canada, near the beginning of the war, chilled the 
popular enthusiasm and appalled the stoutest hearts in the coun- 
try. The republicans were mortified and disheartened. They 
ascribed their failures to the opposition of the federalists, who 
in turn charged them with incapacity and reckless folly. 

The absence of many voters in the army and navy and the in- 
creased popular discontent changed the politics of the state. 
In March, 1813, Governor Gilman, after a retirement of eight 
years, was again called to the gubernatorial chair. This office 
he held for three years in succession. Both branches of the 
legislature were also opposed to the existing administration, and, 
of course, to the vigorous prosecution of the war. They were 
willing to act on the defensive in case of an invasion of the soil 
of New Hampshire, but would not consent that the militia of 
the state snould be led into the territory of the enemy for ag- 
gressive warfare. Canada has been the Scylla against which our 
hopes have often been wrecked, from the impetuous Arnold to 
the last Fenian officer who has meditated its conquest. The in- 
vasion of this province gave occasion to the federalists to deny 
the power of the president to call out the militia of the states 
and place them under the officers of the United States. The 
governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut refused to comply 
with the requisitions of General Dearborn, on the ground that 
they were the proper judges of the necessity of such a call and 
at that time they saw no reason to enforce it. They admitted 


the right of the president to command the militia of the states 
in person, but he could not delegate that power to others. Gov- 
ernor Gore of Massachusetts, in the senate of the United States, 
expressed the common state-rights views of his party as follows : 
" The president is commander-in-chief of the militia when in the 
actual service of the United States ; but there is not a title of 
authority for any other officer of the United States to assume 
the command of the militia." 

Governor Plumer, writing to John Quincy Adams of the peo- 
ple of New Hamp'shire, says: "Though dismemberment has its 
advocates here, they cannot obtain a majority of the people or 
their representatives to adopt or avow it." During the whole 
period of the war, the parties in New Hampshire were so nearly 
equal that neither of them dared to advance very ultra opinions. 
They were a mutual check upon each other. " Neither party 
was strong enough to feel confident of success and neither so 
weak as to despair of victory." Such a political condition is 
really the best pledge of integrity and the strongest antidote to 
corruption in the administration of a republic. 

During the year 1813 the northern frontier was the chief 
theatre of war upon the land. General Harrison commanded 
the army of the " West," near the head of Lake Erie. General 
Dearborn, the commander-in-chief under the president, and a 
New Hampshire man by birth, held the " Centre," on the Nia- 
gara river. General Hampton, on the borders of Lake Cham- 
plain, had charge of the department of the " North." The Ind- 
ians mingled freely in the fight, but generally, as in the Revo- 
lutionary war, were found on the side of the British. Many 
bloody battles were fought with various success. If we contem- 
plate only the contests upon the land, it would be diflicult to 
affirm that our country made progress during the year. At sea 
and on the lakes, the American navy was in a majority of cases 
triumphant. Of the campaign of 1814, the results were gen- 
erally favorable to the Americans. In two of the engagements 
of this year, the battle of Chippewa and that of Niagafa, New 
Hampshire troops were particularly conspicuous. 

The bloody battle of Chippewa, a town on the Canada shore, 
about two miles above Niagara Falls, was fought on the fifth of 
July, 18 1 4. General John McNiel, major of the eleventh regi- 
ment, succeeded to its command by the fall of his superior 
officer Colonel Campbell. He was attached to the forlorn hope, 
a single brigade, which was required to cross a bridge of Street's 
creek under the fire of a British battery. McNiel showed all 
the coolness and self-possession which characterized General 
Stark in leading his regiment over Charleslown Neck to meet 
the enemy on Bunker Hill. For his gallant conduct on this 


occasion he was promoted by congress. On the twenty-fifth day 
of the same month was fought the battle of Bridgewater, one of 
the most sanguinary engagements of the whole war. The Ameri- 
cans lost eight hundred and fifty-eigJit men ; and the English 
eight hundred and seventy-eight. Their force was greatly supe- 
rior. The battle began at sunset of a hot and sultry day and 
continued till midnight. The moon shone calmly on the fierce 
conflict, and the roar of the cataract ceased to be noticed, while 
the booming of cannon occupied every moment, rolling in terrific 
reverberations over divided and hostile territories. In the in- 
tense excitement of battle, the men heeded not the rush of waters 
nor the din of war. So Livy informs us that an earthquake 
passed during the fight at Lake Trasimenus, and the combatants 
knew it not. 

On that memorable evening Colonel McNiel, while reconnoi- 
tering the enemy's line, received a shot in the knee from a car- 
ronade, which crippled him for life. He still clung to his horse, 
till he was so weakened by the loss of blood that his men were 
obliged to carry him to a place of safety. The conduct of Col- 
onel Miller of Peterborough has been so graphically described 
by Mr. Barstow in his history of New Hampshire, that I will 
quote the narrative : 

" The British artillery, posted on a commanding height, had annoyed our 
troops during the earlier part of battle. ' Can you storm that battery .' ' said 
General Ripley to Miller. ' I'll try, sir,' replied the warrior; then turned to 
his men, and, in a deep tone, issued a few brief words of command: ' Twenty- 
first, attention I Form into column. You will advance up the hill to the storm 
of tiie battery. At the word, "-Halt" you will deliver your fire at the port- 
light of the artillerymen, and immediately carry their guns at the point of 
the bayonet. Support arms — forward — march ! ' Machinery could not have 
moved with more compactness than that gallant regiment. Followed by the 
twenty-t/tird, the dark mess moved up the hill like one body, the lurid light 
flickering on their bayonets as the combined lire of the enemy's artillery and 
infantry opened murderously Upon them. They flinched not, faltered not. 
The stern, deep voice of the officers, as the deadly cannon-shot cut ya^vning 
chasms through them, alone was heard — ' Close up — steady, men — steady.' 
Within a hundred yards of the summit, the loud ' //a// ' was followed by a 
volley, sharp and instantaneous as a clap of thunder. Another moment, 
rushing under the white smoke, a short, furious struggle with the bayonet, 
and the battle was won. The enemy's line was driven down the hill, and 
their own cannon mowed them down by platoons. This brilliant success 
decided the fate of the conflict, and the American flag w'aved in triumph on 
that hill, scorched and blackened as it was by the flame of artillery, purpled 
with human gore and encumbered by the bodies of the slain." 





The continuance of the war for three years exhausted the re- 
sources of the country, not then abounding in wealth, increased 
the burdens of taxation and enhanced the prices of all the 
necessaries of life. In such a state of distress it was easy to 
excite popular discontent. When the citizens were again and 
again told that the administration had wasted the treasures of 
the nation upon profitless schemes of conquest, and had shed 
the blood of thousands of brave men to redress imaginary 
wrongs, a majority of the people of New England adopted these 
views of the war. Many boldly maintained that the soldiers 
and revenues of the eastern states should be withheld from the 
control of congress, and devoted to their own defence. The 
northern states were also urged to make a separate peace with 
the enemy, and leave the general government to its fate. On 
the fifteenth day of December, 1814, a convention was holden 
at Hartford, Conn., to consider the interests of New England in 
distinction from the whole country, and, if deemed necessary, to 
provide for an independent northern confederacy. Only two 
delegates represented New Hampshire. The convention delib- 
erated in secret. Its history has since been written, and the 
men who participated in it affirm that nothing treasonable was 
proposed or advocated. Still the existence of sucli a conven- 
tion, at such a crisis, sectional in character, hostile to the admin- 
istration, and sitting with closed doors, cast suspicion upon its 
authors and abettors and subjected them, in subsequent years, 
to political outlawry. It is said that Governor Oilman proposed 
a special session of the legislature, to consider the question of 
sending delegates from New Hampshire to this convention ; but 
a majority of the council, being republicans, refused their con- 
sent. Consequently only two counties, Grafton and Cheshire, 
were represented at Hartford. This assembly, after its adjourn- 
ment, published an address to the people, reciting the grievances 
of New England and proposing such amendments to the consti- 
tution of the United States as they supposed would prevent their 
future recurrence. The unexpected cessation of the war pre- 
vented the further discussion of these matters. The public dis- 
tress was relieved by peace ; and the convention and its pro- 


posed reforms became subjects of bitter denunciation with tlie 
republican party. Says Scheie De Vere : 

" Up to the civil war, we were subdivided politically and socially. In one 
aspect we had states, each with its own image and superscription : a Mas- 
sachusetts, haughty, self-conscious in its subtle refinement, or a South Caro- 
lina, equally proud o£ its aristocratic culture and good breeding ; the one 
producing thinkers and statesmen, the other, poets and politicians. But 
they had no thought in common, and no neutral ground on which they would 
condescend to meet j hence, they were farther apart in their thoughts and 
their \vritings than Frenchmen and Germans. Tlie painful lack of national 
feeling exhibited in the Hartford Convention was but reproduced in the 
reckless attempt at nullification; and at that time, either state would have 
seen the other perish without a thought of the nation's greatness or the na- 
tion's honor." 



While the cloud of war was distinctly visible above the politi- 
cal horizon, but prior to its commencement, several local mat- 
ters of public interest occupied the attention of the people. It 
was customar}'- in the early history of our country to raise money 
by lotiery for the general welfare. Roads were built, literary in- 
stitutions founded and religious societies aided, by such ques- 
tionable means. A^lottery had been authorized by the legisla- 
ture, for the construction of a road through the Dixville Notch 
in the northern part of the state. Tickets had been issued, ex- 
ceeding the prizes by the sum of thirty-two thousand one hun- 
dred dollars ; but through the failure of agents, the loss of tick- 
ets and the expense of management, only fifteen hundred dollars 
came into the state treasury. This unprofitable and demoraliz- 
ing process of raising funds was at this time discontinued ; and, 
wilh ihe moralists of the present day, its former existence ex- 
cites profound regret. During the year 181 1, the people of New 
iiampshire were greatly disturbed by the failure of three of 
their principal banks. The announcement of the bankruptcy of 
three such institutions in a small state, and nearly at the same 
time, produced unusual commotion in business circles. Men 
had not then become accustomed to the almost daily defalca- 
tions of officials entrusted with corporate funds. Banks then 
seldom suspended specie payments ; and the absolute failure of a 


moneyed institution was almost as rare as an earthquake. The 
Hillsborough, Cheshire and Coos Banks, by illegal issues and 
excessive loans, had thrown so many of their bills upon the 
market that they were unable to redeem them and were com- 
pelled to suspend payment. The directors could not escape 
censure ; for the public could justly charge their losses either 
upon their carelessness or dishonesty. Those men who incurred 
the public displeasure with great difficulty regained their former 

During this year the legislature decreed a fixed salary to the 
judges of the court of common pleas, instead of the uncertain 
fees which they had previously received. This principle has 
since been applied to other offices, such as judges of probate 
and high sheriffs. 

In 1812, provision was made for the erection of a state prison. 
It was built of granite, in a thorough and substantial manner, at 
an expense of thirty-seven thousand dollars. It was placed un- 
der the control of the governor and council. During its entire 
history, to the present time, it has ranked among the best regu- 
lated penitentiaries in the country. The reformation of crim- 
inals has been a special object with the managers of this insti- 
tution. Moral and religious instruction has been imparted, and 
in many instances the prisoners have been improved in charac- 
ter and conduct. Before the erection of this prison, eight crimes 
were punishable with death in New Hampshire. In 1S12 the 
criminal code was revised, and the number of capital offences 
was reduced to two, — treason and murder. Imprisonment was 
substituted for the whipping-post and pillory. With the progress 
of civilization and religion, severe penalties have everywhere 
been mitigated ; and death has been confined to those crimes 
which imperil the very existence of the state. In England, petty 
larceny used to be punished with death ; and it was no uncom- 
mon thing to see a score of criminals executed together on a 
single morning. In 1836 a new law swept from the statute- 
book twenty-one capital offences ; and since that date the num- 
ber has been reduced to three, and executions have become 
quite rare in England. 

In our own state, imprisonment for debt disgraced our juris- 
pnidence till the year 1S41. This law was no respecter of per- 
sons. Any man, high or low, wise or foolish, might by misfor- 
tune or imprudence become its victim. The judicial records of 
the state show that the learned and the ignorant, the honorable 
and the degraded, have been inmates of the same prison, some- 
times occupants of the same cell. In 1805, Hon. Russell Free- 
man, who had been a councilor in the state and speaker of the 
house of representatives, was imprisoned in Haverhill jail for 


debt. Two otlier persons were confined in the same room for 
the same cause. Josiah Burnham, one of the debtors, a quar- 
relsome and brutal fellow, enraged at the complaints made of 
his ravenous appetite and ungovernable passions, fell upon Mr. 
Freeman and his companion and murdered them both. This 
atrocious deed of blood excited general indignation throughout 
the state against the perpetrator. He was tried and hung for 
the offence in the following )'ear, and Rev. David Sutherland, of 
Bath, preached a sermon to the immense crowd that assembled 
to witness the execution. The barbarous law that immured 
debtors in jail like felons, and in company with felons, the 
double murder in one room, the eagerness of the people to see 
the gallows and the culprit hang upon it, all show the manners 
and morals of the times. Such scenes are among the things of 
the past; and other crimes, less revolting but equally sinful, 
have usurped their place. 

Parties that have gained power by severe struggles often resort 
to questionable measures to retain it. So good laws are some- 
times repealed and bad laws enacted ; old institutions pulled 
down and new ones set up; courts reconstructed and constitu- 
tions amended to suit the exigencies of the majority. At the 
June session of the legislature in 1813, the "superior court of 
judicature" was changed to "the supreme judicial court." With 
a change of name came a change of officers. Only one of the 
judges of the old court was retained. Arthur Livermore, who 
had been chief justice, was appointed associate justice in the 
new court. Jeremiah Smith of Exeter, who had formerly held 
the same position, was made chief justice and Caleb Ellis of 
Claremont was selected to fill the remaining seat. The feder- 
alists professed a desire to make the court more efficient ; and 
maintained that, as the officers were created by the legislature, 
the same body had a right to vacate them. The republicans 
denounced the measure as illegal because the judges were com- 
missioned " during good behavior " and could be removed only 
by impeachment. Such ought to be the tenure of a judge's 
office ; but majorities seldom regard the rights of individuals if 
the interests of their party are in conflict with them. Two of 
the old judges determined not to submit to the new law. Rich- 
ard Evans and Clifton Claggett, in the autumnal sessions of the 
courts in the counties of Rockingham, Strafford and Hills- 
borough, appeared and opened the courts as in former years, 
ordering the jurors to be sworn and clients' to be heard. Thus 
two sets of judges were at the same time holding rival courts, 
each claiming supreme power under the state constitution. The 
lawyers, jurors and a majority of the people recognized the new 
court. In Hillsborough county the high sheriff escorted the old 


judges to the court-house ; while the new court, attended by his 
deputies, were obhged to perform the business before them in a 
school-house. Shortly after these judicial collisions Governor 
Oilman called together the legislature, and Josiah Butler, sheriff 
of Rockingham county, and Benjamin Pierce, sheriff of Hills- 
borough county, were removed by address ; and from that time 
the new court ceased to be interrupted. It is not creditable to 
any party to attempt to destroy the independence of the judiciary 
from motives of mere political expediency. Judges may be 
legally removed for sufficient cause ; but want of sympathy with 
an existing administration does not furnish ground of impeach- 
ment or removal. 

During the session of 1813, Kimball Union Academy was in- 
corporated. It was liberally endowed and named by Hon. Daniel 
Kimball of Plainfield. Its funds have since been largely in- 
creased by the widow of its founder. It has been one of the 
most excellent of literary institutions ; and to-day ranks among 
the very best classical and English academies of our country. 

Besides the ordinary calamities incident to a state of war, the 
loss of men and means, the increase of prices and taxes, the 
town of Portsmouth was visited by a destructive conflagration 
in November, 18 13. Nearly four hundred buildings were laid in 
ashes. Many of the finest dwelling-houses and stores were 
burnt. An area of fifteen acres was devastated. The heavens 
at night were so illumined by the blaze that the light was seen 
at the distance of one hundred miles. This calamity, coming as 
it did, after the ruin of her commerce and fisheries by war, pro- 
duced great suffering among the citizens of Portsmouth. Aid 
in money and provisions was liberally furnished to the homeless 
from different parts of New England. 

War, pestilence and famine, like the Furies of ancient my- 
thology, usually do their work in company. During the con- 
tinuance of the war a malignant epidemic called " the spotted 
fever" prevailed in_the northern states. Its attack was sudden 
and often fatal, sometimes decimating the population of small 




It is said that Franklin once reproved a man for calling the 
Revolutionary war " the war of Independence." " Sir," said he, 
" you mean the Revolution ; the war of Independence is yet to 
come. That was a war for Independence, but not of Independ- 
ence." Hence, we speak with propriety of " the second war for 
Independence ;" for, prior to this time, the United States had 
been only nominally free. They were socially and commercially 
dependent on Europe. England exercised a dangerous politi- 
cal influence in the American legislatures ; she had also gained 
an undue social influence at the hearths, and a controlling reli- 
gious influence at the altars, of the people, when, in 1812, the 
war for seamen's rights commenced. Had the United States 
submitted, as a large and influential party desired, to the inso- 
lent conduct of England upon the high seas, the blood of the 
Revolution would have been shed in vain. A three years' war 
taught this imperious " mistress of the seas " that there were 
blows to take as well as blows to give ; and, although the terms 
of peace were adopted without allusion to "sailors' rights," still, 
by the tacit consent of both parties, that unwelcome cause of 
controversy was allowed to sleep, and American ships have 
since that day sailed unmolested over all waters, and " the right 
of search " has been confined to slavers or ships laden with 
goods which both nrftions declared contraband. In the Aslibur- 
ton treaty, Mr. Webster, acting for the United States, claimed 
that " the American flag shall protect all that sail under it." 
This principle was not denied by the English minister ; and the 
matter for which the war of 1S12 was declared is now consid- 
ered forever settled. The last and the most glorious battle of 
that war was fought at New Orleans, on the eighth of January, 
18 15. General Andrew Jackson, who had previously subdued 
the Creek Indians in Florida, was the hero on that memorable 
occasion. The Americans lost only seven men killed and six 
wounded. The loss of the English was more than one hundred 
to one of the Americans. The treaty of peace had been signed 
at Ghent, in Belgium, by the commissioners of the two nations on 
the twenty-fourth of L>ecember of the preceding year. Had the 
telegraphic wires then been in existence, the bloody battle of 
New Orleans would not have been fought ; but that victory was 


worth more to the weaker party than all the previous conflicts 
of the war. Without it, the peace of the country would have 
been less secure. This was the most biilliant achievement of 
the war. Its moral influence was incalculable. The news of 
an honorable peace, immediately following it, was hailed every- 
where with lively demonstrations of joy. 

The burdens of the war had been more severely felt in New 
England than in other sections of the country. There the op- 
position was most violent and party spirit most bitter. For three 
years the federalists retained the political ascendency in New 
Hampshire, and at the close of thewar still enumerated, with 
apparent satisfaction, the heavy burdens which the state en- 
dured. Governor Gilman, at the June session of the legislature 
in 1815, congratulated the people on the restoration of peace, 
and added : " The calamities of the war have been severely felt ; 
the loss of the lives of multitudes of our countrymen, the ex- 
pense of treasure, depreciation of national credit, a large debt 
and multiplied taxes. What have we gained .''." Time has an- 
swered that question which then seemed unanswerable. More 
than fifty years of profitable commerce and mutual respect be- 
tAveen the nations that prosecuted the war have proclaimed the 
success of the contest, more eloquently than Fame with her iron 
voice and hundred tongues could publish it. The war was waged 
for the freedom of the seas, and there the United States won 
the most successful and impressive victories. The majority of 
the legislature, though hostile to the war, did not fail to do jus- 
tice to the brave men whose valor had gained for the country 
imperishable renown. They affirmed that "the legislature, in 
common with their fellow-citizens, duly appreciated the impor- 
tant sen'ices rendered to their country, upon the ocean, upon the 
lakes, and upon the land, by officers, seamen and soldiers of the 
United States, in many brilliant achievements and decisive vic- 
tories, which will go down to posterity as an indubitable memo- 
rial that the sons of those fathers who fought the battles of the 
Revolution have imbibed, from the same fountain, that exalted 
and unconquerable spirit which insures victory while it stimu- 
lates the exercise of humanity and courtesy to the vanquished." 
At the March election in 1816, the republican party returned to 
power. Hon. William Plumer was elected governor by a major- 
ity of two thousand votes.* The legislature also had a majority 
of the same party. William Badger was elected president of 
the senate and David L. Morrill speaker of the house. The 

•He received twenty thoiisaml six hundred and fifty-two votes ; and his opponent, Mr. 
Shcafe, received eighteen thousand three hundred and twemy-six. Thisv/as the iargest pop- 
ular vote that had ever been cast in the state. The increased interest of the citizens in the 
annual elections is indicated by the larger number of votes in proportion to the population. 
In 1790, only one vote in seventeen of the inhabitants was thrown for tha chief magistrate; 
in iboo, one in eleven; in 1810, one in seven, and in 1816, one in six. 


violence of party feeling was gradually subsiding, and " the era 
of good feelings " was dawning upon the state. 

The summer and autumn of i<St6 were uncommonly cold. 
The mean annual temperature in tlie southern part of the state 
was 43°. Snow fell upon the ninth of June, even upon the sea- 
board ; and the month of August alone was free from frost. 
The crops were destroyed by the severe cold, and the people be- 
came disheartened and began to covet serener skies and a more 
fertile soil. Ohio was then inviting immigrants, and the citizens 
of New Hampshire began to desert the sterile farm, the harsh 
climate and humble homes of their native state for the more 
genial air and richer soil of the new states. That process of 
depletion has been steadily acting ever since ; and, during the 
last decade of our history. New Hampshire has lost instead of 
gaining population. The great West and the rising manufactur- 
ing towns have both drawn so largely upon the agricultural dis- 
tricts, that they are now declining in numbers and wealth ; and 
some of the less productive portions of the state are fast falling 
to decay. 

In a republic it is natural that those who administer its affairs 
should wish their friends to occupy all places of trust and power. 
"To the victors belong the spoils" is now the law of American 
politics. When a party falls from power all the officials in the 
state, from governor to door-keeper, retire to private life. All 
laws offensive to the new party are at once repealed. The 
martyrs of the minority become the heroes of the majority'. 
When the republicans came into power in 1816, they immediatly 
proceeded to redress the wrongs, private and public, real and 
imaginarj', which the federalists had perpetrated during the war. 
The judiciary received early attention. The law of 1813, estab- 
lishing the supreme judicial court, was promptly repealed ; and 
the judges who owed their places to this law were deprived of 
their dignity. William Merchant Richardson, Samuel Bell and 
Levi Woodbury, gentlemen eminent for their moral worth and 
legal learning, were raised to the bench of the superior court. 
Benjamin Pierce, distinguished for his revolutionary services and 
his private virtues, was restored to the office of sheriff of Hills- 
borough county. His new term of service was rendered mem- 
orable by a noble act of philanthropy. Three aged men were 
then lying in Amherst jail for debt. No crime but poverty was 
alleged against them. One of them had been in durance four 
years. The veteran Pierce was moved with pity at their helpless 
condition. He paid the debts for which they had been impris- 
oned. The sum required made large inroads upon his limited 
estate ; still he decreed and e.xecuted the liberation of the unfor- 


tunate debtors and received the hearty commendation of every 
contemporary whose heart was not embittered by party hate.* 

Josiah Butler, the other sheriff who refused comphance with 
the law of 1813, and Clifton Claggett, one of the degraded judges, 
were nominated for congress. Mr. Evans, who was also removed 
from the bench, would have been honored with the others, had 
not his failing health rendered him incompetent to the discharge 
of high official duties. Thus the new party rewarded those who 
had led their "forlorn hope" when they were in the minority. 
In such cases "poetic justice " culminates in partisan gratitude. 
David L. Morrill and Clement Storer were elected to the United 
States senate in place of Jeremiah Mason and Thomas W. 
Thompson. The state then had six members in the lower house, 
all republicans ; and the electoral vote of the state was given 
for James Monroe, whose political principles were so liberal as 
to command the respect of all parties. In the summer of 18 17, 
President Monroe visited New England and was received with 
unbounded joy by all parties. The zeal of the federalists in 
welcoming the chief magistrate of the nation was the subject of 
severe criticism in some of the republican journals. President 
Monroe proceeded as far north as Hanover in New Hampshire. 
We find the following record of incidents that occurred during 
this brief visit : 

"At Enfield, in this state, the President called at the ' Habitation of the 
Shaker community.' The elder came forth from the principal house in the 
settlement and addressed the President : ' I Joseph Goodrich welcome James 
Monroe to our habitation.' The President examined the institution and 
their manufactures, tarried with them about one hour, and was highly pleased 
with the beauty of their fields, their exemplary deportment and habits, the 
improvements in their agriculture, buildings and manufactures, and with 
their general plain though neat appearance. 

At Hanover he unexpectedly met with an old acquaintance in the widow 
of the late revered and lamented President Whcelock. This lady was a native 
of New Jersey, was at Trenton at the time of the Hessian defeat, in which 
our gallant Monroe took a part as lieutenant of a company and was wounded j 
she was the person who dressed his wound after he was conveyed to the 
house in which she then was. The President did not recognize her at first, 
but as ' remembrance rose ' the interview became peculiarly affecting to the 
two principal individuals, and highly interesting to the large circle of ladies 
and gentlemen present. A letter from a friend at Hanover remarks : ' We 

*The following notice of the liberation of these men appeared at the time in the Amherst 
Cabinet, December, iSiS ; 

The Prisoners Set FreeI — We are happy to announce to the public, that the/i7or pris- 
oners so lone retained in Amherst mol for prison-charges, viz., MOSES BREWER, ISAAC 
LAWRENCE and GEORGE LANCEY, were yesterday released from confinement and 
set free by the liberalhy ol Gen. Pierce, the newly appointed Sheriff of the county. The 
feelings of these men on the occasion, whose pros^ectSy but a few days since, were i7nprison^ 
tnentfor lifet can easier be conceived than descnbed. The scene was witnessed by numer- 
ous spectators, who rejoiced with the released prisoners, and vi\iQ/eH glad with them that 
they were restored to liberty and breathed againyVi?(r air. On liberating the prisoners from 
their continement, General Pierce read to them a handsome and feeling Address, wliich he 
then handed to Captain Brewer, as their discharge, or * passport,' as he kindly expressed it, 
from prison. 


were delighted with the short visit of the President. For his sake the 
hatchet was buried for at least twenty-four hours — a short truce, but a merry 

At Biddeford, Maine, the President was introduced to the venerable Dea- 
con Samuel Chase, now in the ggth year of his age. He addressed the Pres- 
ident with the simplicity of a Christian and the affection of a father. It was 
an interesting scene. The good old man at parting rose and with all the 
dignity of an ancient patriarch pronounced his blessing. 

While at Portsmouth the President spent that part of the Sabbath which 
was not devoted to public, divine service, with that eminent patriot and 
Christian, John Langdon. His tarry at the mansion of Gov. L. was proba- 
bly longer than the time devoted to any individual in New England. It is 
thus that the President evinced his partiality to our most distinguished and 
illustrious citizen.'' 

The State-house at Concord was built in 1817, at an expense 
of eighty tliousand dollars. The citizens of Concord contributed 
liberally to the building fund. Governor Plumer recommended 
the state appropriation for this purpose in 1816. The location 
of the state-house excited a furious contest, not only in Concord 
but in the legislature and throughout the state. The old state- 
house had been nearer the north end of the main street. The 
dwellers in that vicinity were influenced by pecuniary considera- 
tions to demand of the legislature that the new building should 
stand upon the old site. The representatives who were their 
" boarders " were persuaded by them to adopt their interested 
views; and, as Mr. Toppan of Hampton said, they became "the 
representatives of their respective boarding-houses, rather than 
of the state." The spot selected for the new house was de- 
nounced as " a quagmire and a frog-pond." Colonel Prescott of 
Jaffrey amused the house with an account of the frogs he had 
seen leaping about in the cellar, which might be expected at some 
future time, should the court be held there, " to make as much 
noise in it," he sai^, " as I do now." The council was divided 
on this momentous subject ; and Governor Plumer, whose in- 
fluence was supposed to decide the question, incurred great cen- 
sure from many of his political friends. He had become unpop- 
ular with some leading men of the republican party, though the 
people were still his warm supporters. Messrs. Morrill, Pierce, 
Claggett, Quarles and Butler were for various reasons unfriendly 
to him. Morrill as speaker of the house impeded his plans in 
the constitution of committees. Pierce and Quarles in the 
council also opposed him. Still his policy prevailed ; and for 
more than fifty years there has been no complaint of " croakers " 
in the cellar of the state-house ; but rather of those " that came 
up and covered " the upper floors. 

In January 1817, John Quincy Adams, then minister to Eng- 
land, wrote a long letter to Governor Plumer in commendation 
of his message, of which he says : 

" It was republished entire in one of the newspapers of the most e.xten- 


sive circulation, not as, during our late war, some of our governors' speeches 
were republished, to show the subserviency of the speakers to the bulwark 
of our holy religion and to the press-gang, but, professedly, for the pure, 
patriotic and genuine republican sentiments with which it abounded. It has 
been a truly cheering contemplation to me to sec that the people of New 
Hampshire have recovered from the delusions of that unprincipled faction 
which, under the name of Federalism, was driving them to the dissolution 
of the Union, and, under the name of Washington, to British re-coloniza- 
tion — to see them returning to the counsels of sober, moderate men, who are 
biased by no feelings but those of public spirit and by no interests but those 
of their country." 

He also bears unequivocal testimony to the moral effects of 
the late war, in which " our victories," he says, " have placed our 
character as a martial people on a level with the most respecta- 
ble nations of Europe." 

Governor Plumer closed his official life in 1819, by declining 
a reelection. In the spring of that year, Hon. Samuell Bell of 
Chester was chosen governor by a large majority over William 
Hale of Dover, the candidate of the federalists. But little in- 
terest was manifested in the canvass. The storm of war had 
been succeeded by the calm of peace ; and party leaders, like 
exhausted athletes, retired from the arena of controversy to re- 
cruit their strength for a new conflict. 


dartmoi;th college controversy. 

Eleazer Wheelock, the founder of Dartmouth college, was a 
man large in heart, prudent in counsel, sagacious in design and 
energetic in execution. He was a Puritan in creed and an evan- 
gelist in practice. He was a herald of modern revivals and 
anticipated tire age of missions by nearly half a century. In the 
field of literary enterprise, he was gathering a harvest before 
other educators were aware that the seed-time had arrived. 
Hon. Nathaniel Niles, distinguished for his dispassionate judg- 
ment and eminent legal learning, a trustee of the college as early 
as 1793, a contemporary of the elder Wheelock and cognizant of 
the entire history of the college to the date of his record, in 
1815, writes as follows: 

" The venerable Dr. Eleazer Wheelock had, by his zeal, enterprise, ad- 
dress and indefatigable exertions, created an Indian charity school, and as- 
tonished everybody. He had procured for it great pecuniary resources and 
an extensive and powerful patronage. He had extensive views and a daring 


mind, and projected the conversion of it into a college in the wilderness. He 
applied for a charter, obtained it and fixed on Hanover, forty or fifty miles 
distant from all considerable settlements, for the place of its establishment. 
In any other man this would have looked like a wild and hopeless project, 
but what this wonderful man had already achieved produced a general con- 
fidence that he would succeed. I believe that no one of the trustees first 
appointed (himself excepted) lived within one hundred miles of this place, 
to which there was then no path that deserved the name of a road. They 
were part of them in Portsmouth and its vicinity and part in Connecticut. 
Probably all of them wanted confidence in their own abilities to manage such 
a concern, and presumed, on the cf what he had already done, that 
he was equal to this prodigious enterprise, and said to themselves: 'Our 
wisdom directs us to permit him both to devise and execute his bold projects. 
We eannot do better than to rest satisfied with the encouragement we can 
give him by sanctioning his proposition.' It was wise in them to do so. 
Thus the management of everything, almost, was left to him, while the board 
took the responsibility on themselves. Such seem to have been the views of 
the trustees who were, at first, so distant as seldom to give a general attend- 
ance at the board. Additional circumstances gave the president a decided 
controflh the board itself. One of his sons-in-law had been appointed a 
trustee by the charter. In 1773 Mr. Woodw^ard, another son-in-law, and Dr. 
Burroughs, who looked up to the president as to an almost infallible judge, 
were elected, and in 1776 Mr. Ripley, another son-in-law, was elected. 
The votes of the members had generally the same effect as would have re- 
sulted from the president's having as many votes of his own, and formed a 
majority when there were present a bare quorum. These, except Mr. Pat- 
ten, were near at hand, while the other trustees were at a great distance and 
seldom attended. If the influence of the president was thus supreme in the 
board it was not less so in the executive. He had for his assistant instruc- 
tors two sons, two sons-in-law, and Dr. John Smith. The last was, in sort, 
adopted into his family, and had imbibed sentiments so profoundly obse- 
quious that he was probably never known, undcrstandingly, to thwart any o£ 
the president's views ; so that, in effect, the president had in his own hands 
the uncontrolled direction of all the elections, appointments, instruction and 
government in every department. His authority extended even beyond his 
life. He had been authorized to appoint his successor, and he did appoint 
his son, who had been a tutor for seven years and had witnessed the exposi- 
tion of the character exhibited by his father. In such circumstances it was 
extremely natural, if not almost unavoidable, for him, unless he had more 
than a common share of common sense and common modesty, to regard as 
devolving on himself all the powers which had been exercised by his prede- 
cessor. He was sole heir to his father, as to his office, and might perhaps 
honestly think he was also heir to his abilities. Besides there were circum- 
stances which strongly tended to create in him a belief that he was well 
qualified to copy his fathers example, and therefore worthy of the same 
confidence, authority and preeminence. He had commanded a regiment in 
the army, and naturally felt in himself that spirit of domination incident to 
the military character. He, no doubt, thought he knew how to govern. 
Further, he had (according to his own account) the esteem and confidence 
of many great men in America, France and Great Britain. These items, 
united in one round sum, were enough to turn any man's head, unless ho was 
something more than common. Here we see the occasion of the president's 
exorbitant claims and his dolorous complaints." 

Slight differences of opinion between the second president and 
his colleagues sprang up from the very beginning of his adminis- 
tration. The matters in dispute were at first local and ecclesiasti- 



cal ; then literary and financial, and finally they became personal 
and official. They agitated first the church, then the village and 
faculty. They passed to the legislature and the state court, and 
finally, by appeal, the controversy was decided by the supreme 
court of the United States. The question at issue was supposed 
to involve the existence and usefulness of every eleemosynary 
institution in the country. In his pastorate in Lebanon, Conn., 
the first president of the college was a Congregationalist. When 
he came to Hanover he deemed it expedient in the organization 
of a new church to adopt the Presbyterian form of government. 
The Scotch fund for the education of Indians, in connection 
with Moor's Charity School, was of course controlled by Presby- 
terians ; and a cordial sympathy with the donors was thought 
to be essential to the highest success of their benefactions. 
Even at that early day the differences between the Congregation- 
alists and Presbyterians were regarded as no bar to the change 
of church relationship from one to the other. But it sometimes 
happens that very slight differences, even in external matters, 
lead to very grave disputes ; and the bitterness of the contro- 
versy is in the inverse ratio to its importance. 

As we have no other autliority, both contemporary and au- 
thentic, respecting the church difficulties in Hanover, we again 
quote from the careful, considerate and, in some sense, the ofiicial 
record of Judge Niles. He writes : 

" At an earlv day. Dr. E. Wheelock collected a church at Dartmouth Col- 
lege. It may be considered as consisting of two branches, distinguished by 
the distance of their local situations ; one of them being in the vicinity of 
the college and the other in Hartford, Vermont. This union took place 
while neither part was able to provide preaching for itself. After some time, 
however, the members living in Hartford erected a house for public wor- 
ship, and generally supported preaching in it, while those near the college 
assembled for worship, with the members of college, first in the chapel and 
afterwards in the meeting-house. Yet they celebrated the Lord's supper, 
sometimes at Hanover and sometimes at Hartford, and although they thought 
themselves Presbyterians, they often found it convenient to have church 
meetings. They met on occasion of the election of Dr. Worcester as pro- 
fessor of Divinity, and passed several votes expressive of their being, and 
designing to continue to be, Presbyterians, and that Dr. Smith was, and that 
they chose he should continue to be, their pastor. This was an offensive 
disappointment to the body of professors and others on the Plain. They had 
on some account become dissatisfied with Dr. Smith, both as pastor and 
teacher, although they loved him as a man and as a neighbor ; and having 
expected that the professor of Theology, when one should be appointed, 
would be both teacher and pastor, and the election of Dr. Worcester being 
highly pleasing to them, they found themselves greatly disappointed in their 
hopes by these votes, which they suspected had been passed with a view to 
prevent the professor-elect from accepting the appointment, and still to hold 
them unpleasantly confined under the administration of Dr. Smith." 

Dr. Worcester having declined to accept the professorship 
tendered to him, Roswell ShurtlefE was elected to that chair in 



1804. This appointment by the trustees put a new face upon 
the controversy. A majority of the church members resided in 
Hartford. It was in their power to control, by major vote, all 
the plans of those who resided in Hanover. A long correspon- 
dence ensued ; various propositions were made by the minority ; 
but all were rejected. That portion of the church and congre- 
gation who resided upon the Plain, with few exceptions, desired 
that Prof. Shurtleff should officiate as colleague to Dr. Smith. 
This request was preferred to him in September, 1804. He de- 
clined the invitation. Then the Hanover branch of the church 
requested the Hartford branch to allow Prof. Shurtleff to receive 
" ordination at large " and take the pastoral care of the Hanover 
people, while Dr. Smith should continue to officiate at Hartford. 
This proposition was declined. Then the Hanover branch peti- 
tioned for a mutual council to determine whether two churches 
should be formed, by a local division, leaving one in New Hamp- 
shire and the other in Vermont. This petition was rejected. 
Thereupon the Hanover people called an ex parte council to ad- 
vise with them concerning their difficulties. The council recom- 
mended a division. This result was not accepted by the Hart- 
ford people. The trustees were requested to interpose their 
official power and settle the dispute. They so far succeeded as 
to secure a mutual council, who said : " We judge it expedient 
that there be but one church at present in connection with Dart- 
mouth College, denominated as formerly, consisting of two 
branches, one on the east side and the other on the west side of 
Connecticut river, under the same covenant as heretofore ; that 
each branch have an independent and exclusive right of admit- 
ting and disciplining its own members ; that each branch, also, 
have the exclusive privilege of employing and settling a minister 
of their own choice ; " with other exclusive rights and powers to 
be enjoyed by each branch, as though it constituted a distinct 
and separate church. This decree of council was variously in- 
terpreted ; the Hartford branch claimed, under its provisions, 
supremacy in the government of the entire church ; and the 
Hanover branch claimed independency, from the same authority, 
and proceeded to adopt a congregational form of government. 
We quote from Judge Niles : 

" Those members o£ the church living in Hanover, and who had been 
formed into a Congregational church, after having in vain solicited the church 
to which they belonged to unite with them in calling a council to enquire 
into the expediency of a division, invited an ex parte council for advice ; and 
afterwards at the desire of the president, Mr. Shurtleff was allowed to ex- 
change with other ministers, with an exception of those clergymen who, as 
the sketcher expresses it, ' dare J to encroacli on Presbyterian ground, to inter- 
fere with its government, extract its members to form them into a new eccle- 
siastical machine.' Here is a just portrait of the president's own liberal 
Catholicism. A number of his brethren thought themselves oppressed, and 


believed it would contribute to their comfort and edification to become a dis- 
tinct church, and wished for counsel and advice respecting the subject. They 
wished to have the concurrence of their brethren in the choice of the coun- 
selors, but this was refused. They called in a council of ministers, and 
these ministers are prohibited from preaching at Hanover. For what.' Why 
because they had 'encroached on FrcsOytcrian ground' What did they do? 
They interfered with presbyterian government, by counseling some of its 
subjects, who said they were opposed. So then, these brethren must remain 
in their present connexion, unless they should go an hundred miles to find a 
Presbytery to whom they might complain ; and ministers of the gospel must, 
as to the president, be silenced, because they dared to encroach on Presby- 
terian ground." 

The president, John Wheelock, * and Prof. John Smith who was 
acting as pastor of the old cliurch, still favored the presbyterian 
form of government and were opposed to the new church. Here 
was planted a seed wliich grew and became a mighty tree whose 
branches, in some sense, overshadowed the whole land ! " Behold 
how great a matter a little fire kindleth." From 1804 to 1814, 
the controversy was chiefly local, disturbing the harmony of the 
village church and impeding the vigorous administration of the 
college, both in the faculty and board of trust. At the latter 
date the public became interested in the quarrel, and began to 
take sides as their political or religious preferences inclined. 
During the whole of the year, 1815 the press in New Hampshire 
probably devoted as much space to Dartmouth College as to 
political matters. In some instances the leading journals of the 
state devoted five or si.x columns to original articles pertaining 
to the college controversy. The parties mutually charged each 
other with bigotry, intolerance and hypocrisy. The dispute soon 
became political in its character ; and federalists and republi- 
cans became earnest defenders of particular forms of ecclesiasti- 
cal government. The republicans in this case were generally 
Presbyterians, and the federalists Congregationalists. The for- 
mer assailed, the latter defended, the action of the majority of 
the faculty and trustees. At the June session of the legislature 
in 1815, President Wheelock called on that body to redress his 
wrongs real and imaginar}'. The following extract from his 
" Memorial " contains the charges preferred by him against the 
trustees. Speaking of himself, he says : 

"Will you permit him to suggest there is reason to fear that those who 
hold in trust the concerns of this Seminary have forsaken its original prin- 
ciples, and left the path of their predecessors. It is unnecessary to relate 
how the evil commenced in its embryo state ; by what means and practices, 

* Judjre Banclt, in his address on the Life and Character of the Hon. Charles 
Marsh, thus speaks of President John Wheelock : " As the son, htir, and successor of Dr. 
Eleazar Wheelock, the founder and first president of the college, he conceived and was ap- 
parently acting upon the idea tl-at, although under the charier the college was a private 
eleemosynary corporation, yet it was in reality a cori^oration sole, and he was the sole cor- 
porator. His course of administnttion, in reference to all its interests, seemed to indicate that 
he repcarded it as rerJ'y a private foundation, in the benefits of which the public mi;ht share 
under such a pr.aclical governance as to him should seem meet ; and that it was his ri;5ht to 
subordinate the public interests to his own pergonal views and purposes." 


they, thus deviating, have in recent years, with the same object in view, in- 
creased their number to a majority controlling the measures of the Board; 
but more important is it to lay before you, that there are serious grounds to 
excite apprehensions of the great impropriety and dangerous tendency of 
their proceedings ; reasons to believe that they have applied property to 
purposes wholly alien from the intentions of the donors, and under peculiar 
circumstances to excite regret ; that they have in the series of their move- 
ments to promote party views transformed the moral and religious order of the 
institution by depriving many of their innocent enjoyment of rights and priv- 
ileges, for which they had confided in their faith; that they have broken down 
the barriers and violated the charter, by prostrating the rights with which it 
expressly invests the presidential office ; that to subserve their purpose, they 
have adopted improper methods in their appointments of executive officers, 
naturally tending to embarrass and obstruct the harmonious government and 
instruction of the seminary; that they have extended their powers which 
the charter confines to the college, to form connection with an academy, in 
exclusion of the other academies in the state, cementing an alliance with its 
overseers, and furnishing aid from the college treasury for their students; — 
that they have perverted the power, which by the incorporation they ought 
to exercise over a branch of Moor's Charity School, and have obstructed the 
application of its fund according to the nature of the establishment and the 
design of the donors ; and that their measures have been oppressive to your 
memorialist in the discharge of his office." 

While the population was sparse m the newly settled tovi'ns 
on the banks of the Connecticut, it was natural that unions should 
be formed by the inhabitants of adjacent towns for the support 
of the gospel. We are not surprised, therefore, that Hartford, 
in Vermont, and Hanover, in New Hampshire, gathered in early 
times their scattered population into one church ; bat when each 
town became ■ strong enough to act alone, it seems marvelous 
that the majority, living at a distance from the college commu- 
nit)^, should compel them to perpetuate a reluctant and offensive 
union with themselves. The efforts to be released were persist- 
ent and numerous. For years in succession, the Hanover peo- 
ple petitioned, labdred and contended for an independent ex- 
istence ; a majority of the trustees advised a separation ; two 
ministerial councils approved it ; the Orange Association in Ver- 
mont twice recommended it. The president, however, refused his 
consent, because one strong arm of his power would be broken 
b)' placing him in the minority of the village church. Etc re 
garded the ecclesiastical feud as the fruitful source of all liis 
woes. It was a nucleus about which other official difficulties 
clustered. "The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out 
water." The old channel is ever enlarging and new tributaries 
flow in. The vague and magniloquent indictment, which the 
president presented to the legislature, was followed by an ex- 
panded appeal to the public entitled, " Sketches of the History 
of Dartmouth College," from the same pen, with a second pam- 
phlet by Dr. Parish, a warm friend of the president, entitled "A 
Candid Analytical Review of the Sketches," in which the learned 


Doctor made a special plea for the "venerable president." These 
publications called out vindications, replies, rejoinders and sur- 

" Thick as Autumnal leaves that strew the brooks 
In Valombrosa." 

Every newspaper in the state took sides on this local question. 
The specific counts in the president's pompous complaint were 
the violation of religious ordinances, the perversion of the Phil- 
lips fund, and usurpation of the powers of government and in- 
struction in the college. He seemed to regard himself, as his 
honored father was, as " corporation sole," in the administration 
of the pecuniary and literary affairs of the college. The trustees 
claimed a share in the government and instruction of the college 
and appealed to the charter for authority. One clause in that 
instrument is thus worded : 

" And we do further, of our special grace and certain knowl- 
edge and mere motion, will, give and grant unto the said trustees 
of Dartmouth College, that they and their successors, or a major 
part of any seven, or more of them, v.'hich shall convene for that 
purpose, as above directed, may make and they are Jiercby fully 
empowered, from time to time, to make and establish such ordi- 
nances, orders and laws, as may tend to the good and wholesome 
government of the said college and all the students and the 
several officers and ministers thereof, and ta the public benefit of 
the same, not repugnant to the lams and statutes of our realm of 
Great Britain, or of this our proiwice of New Ifamfsliire, and not 
excluding any person of any religious denoi?iination whatsoever 
from free and equal liberty and advantagss of education, or from 
any of the liberties and privileges or immunities of the said college, 
on account of his or their speculative sentiments in religion or of his 
or their being of a religious profession different from said trustees of 
said college. And such ordinances, orders, or laws, which shall, 
as aforesaid, be made, we do by these presents, for us, our 
heirs and successors, ratify, allow of ancl confirm as good and 
effectual to oblige all the students and the several officers and 
ministers of said college. And we do hereby authorize and em- 
power the said trustees of Dartmouth College, and the president, 
tutors and professors by them elected and appointed, as afore- 
said, to put such ordinances, laws and orders into execution to 
ill intents and purposes." Such are the powers vested in the 
:rustees to govern and regulate all the collegiate duties and 
;onduct of all the officers, ministers and students of the college. 

At the annual meeting of the trustees holden by adjournment 
at Dartmouth College, August 24, 1815, after some unsatisfactory 
correspondence between the president and the board, Mr. Paine 


submitted the following preamble and rt-sohition, which were 
adopted with two dissenting votes : 

"Cases sometimes occur when it becomes expedient that corporate bodies, 
whatever confidence they may feel respecting the rectitude and propriety of 
their own measures, shonkl explain the ground of them to the jsulilic. Such 
an explanation becomes peculiarly important when the concerns committed 
to their care are dependent on public opinion for their prosperity and suc- 
cess. Into such a situation the trustees of Dartmouth College consider 
themselves to be now brought. Under a sense cf this duty they liavc already 
cheerfully submitted their past acts to the inspection of a committee of the 
legislature of the State, and from a similar view of duty they now proceed 
to state the reasons that lead them to withdraw their further assent to the 
nomination and appointment of Dr. John Whe'elock to the presidency of 
Dartmouth College. 

First. He has had an agency in publishing and circulating a certain anon- 
ymous pamphlet, entitled, ' Sketches of the History of Dartmouth ColJege 
and Moore's Charity School,' and espoused the charges therein contained 
before the committee of the legislature. Whatever might be our views 
of the principles which had gained an ascendency in the mind of President 
Wheelock, we could not, without the most undeniable evidence, have believed 
that he could have communicated sentiments so entirely repugnant to truth, 
or that any person, who was not as destitute of discernment as of integrity, 
would have charged on a public body as a crime those things which notori- 
ously received his imqualificd concurrence, and sonie of which were done by 
his special recommendation. The trustees consider the above-mentioned 
publication as a gross and unprovoked libel on the institution, and the said 
Dr. Wheelock neglects to take any measure to repair an injury v.'hich is 
directly aimed at its reputation, and calculated to destroy its usefulness. 

Secondly. He has set up and insists on claims which the charter by no fair 
construction does allow — claims which in their operation would deprive the 
corporation of all its powers. He claims a right to e.xercise the whole execu- 
tive authority of the college which the charter has expressly committed to 
' the trustees, with the president, tutors, and professors by them appointed.' 
He also seems to claim a right to control the corporation in the appointment 
of executive officers, inasmuch as he has reproached them with great severity 
ior choosing men who do not in all respects meet his wishes, and thereby 
embarrass the proceetlings of the board. 

Tliirdly. From a variety of circumstances, the trustees have had reason 
to conclude that he has embarrassed the proceedings of the executive officers 
by causing an impression to be made on the minds of such students as have 
fallen under censure for transgressions' of the laws of the institution, that if 
he could have had his will they would not have suffered disgrace or 

Fourthly. The trustees have obtained satisfactory evi.'.ence that Dr. 
Wheelock has been guilty of manifest fraud in the applicatio.i of the funds 
cf Moor's school, by taking a youth who was not an Indian, but adopted by 
an Indian tribe, under an Indian name, and supporting him on the .Scotch 
fund, which was granted for the solo purpose of instructing aud civi; zing 

Fifthly. It is manifest to the trustees that Dr. Wheelock has in various 
ways given rise and circulation to a report that the real cause of the dissatis- 
faction of the trustees with him was a diversity of religious opinions between 
him and them, when in truth and fact no such diversity was known to e:;ist, 
as he has publicly acknowledged before the committee of the legislature ap- 
pointed to investigate the affairs of the college. 

The trustees adopt this solemn measure from a full conviction tiiat tlie 


cause of truth, the interest of this institution, and of science in general, re- 
quire it. It is from a deep conviction that the college can no longer prosper 
under his presidency. They would gladly have avoided this painful crisis. 
From a respect to the honored father of t)r. Wheclock, the founder of this 
institution, they had hoped that they might have continued him in the presi- 
dency as long as he was competent to discharge its duties. 

They feel that this measure cannot be construed into any disrespect to the 
legislature of New Hampsihire, whose sole object in the appointment of a 
committee to investigate the affairs of the college must have been to ascer- 
tain if the trustees had forfeited their charter, and not whether they had ex- 
ercised their charter powers discreetly or indiscreetly — not whether they 
had treated either of the executive officers of the college with jjropriety or 
impropriety. They will ever submit to the authority of law. The legisla- 
ture have appointed a committee to examine the concerns of the college and 
the school generally. The trustees met that committee with promptitude, 
and frankly exhibited every measure of theirs which had been a subject of 
complaint, and all the concerns of the institution as far as their knowledge 
and means would permit. They wish to have their acts made as public as 
possible. The committee of the legislature will report the facts, and the 
trustees will cheerfully meet the issue before any tribunal competent to try 
them, according to the principles of their charter. 

They consider this crisis as a severe trial to the institution ; but they be- 
lieve that in order to entertain a hope that it will flourish and be useful they 
must be faithful to their trust, that they must not approve of an ofiSccr who 
labors to destroy its reputation and embarrass its internal concerns. They 
will yet hope that under the smiles of Divine Providence this institution 
will continue to flourish, and be a great blessing to generations to come. 

TuERiii-ORE Resolved, That the appointment of Dr. John Wheelock 
to the presidency of this college by rlie last will of the Rev. Eleaz.\r 
Wheelock, the founder and first president of this college be, and the same 
is hereby, by the trustees of said college, disapproved. And it is further 

J^esohcd, That the said Dr. John Wheelock, for the reasons aforesaid, 
be, and he is hereby, displaced and removed from the office of president ot 
said college. 

J\csolvL'tf, That for the reasons before stated the said trustees deem the 
said Dr. John Wheelock unfit to serve the interests of the college as a 
trustee of the same, and that therefore he be displaced and removed .from 
the said office of a trustee of said college, and that the trustees will, as soon 
as may be, elect and appoint such trustee as shall supply the place of the 
said Dr. John Wheelock as a trustee. 

Jicsohrd, That for the reasons aforesaid, the said Dr. John Wheelock 
be, and he is hereby, removed from the office of professor of history in this 

The removal of Dr. Wheelock gave new intensity to the quar- 
rel. The crisis had come ; there were no neutrals in the state. 
Every man was a friend or enemy of the college. The contro- 
versy became political ; and the college question took precedence 
of the interests of the state and nation. 

On the twenty-seventh day of June, 18 16, an act was passed 
by the New Hampshire legislature entitled an "Act to amend 
the Charter and enlarge and improve the Corporation of Dart- 
mouth College." This act virtually constituted a new Univer- 
sity, with a board of twenty-five overseers, all politicians of 
course, whose power was in one sense omnipotent, because, like 


the Roman tribunes, they could arrest all the proceedings of 
the trustees by a simple veto. The number of the trustees was 
so enlarged as to give a majority of that body to the dominant 
party in the state. Under this act the " Dartmouth University" 
was set up side by side with Dartmouth College, v.'hose guardians 
aijd professors refused to submit to the new board and the new 
act of incorporation. After the passage of the legislative act, 
the trustees, in August, 18 16. put upon their records the follow- 
ing facts, with explanations. We have room only for the facts. 

"The trustees of Dartmouth College have been informed through 
the public newspapers that the legislature of New Hampshire, 
at their last June session, passed an act in the following words, 
viz. [Here the act is recited.] 

The trustees deem it their duty to place on their records the 
following facts : 

At the session of the legislature of the state holden in June, 
A. D. 18 1 5, Doctor John Wheelock, the then president of the 
college, presented a memorial to that body, in which he charged 
a majority of the trustees ot the college with gross misbehavior 
in office. 

Doctor Wheelock's memorial was committed to a joint com- 
mittee of both branches of the legislature, and he was fully 
heard before the committee ex parte, neither the trustees nor the 
members then present being notified or heard. 

The legislature thereupon appointed the Honorable Daniel A. 
White, Nathaniel A. Haven and Rev. Ephraim P. Bradford, a 
committee to repair to the college and investigate facts and re- 
port thereon. The same committee did, in August following, 
meet at the college, heard both Doctor Wheelock in support of 
his cliarges against" the trustees and their defence, and at the 
session of the legislature in June last made their report, which 
has been published. 

The report of facts made by Messrs. White, Haven and Brad- 
ford was committed to a joint committee of both branches, and 
this last committee in their report expressly dcelinc eonsidering the 
report of facts as the proper ground upon which the legislature 
ought to proceed in relation to the college. 

The trustees were not notified at any stage of the proceedings 
to appear by themselves or agent before the legislature and 
answer the charges e.xhibited against them by the said Wheelock. 

Thomas W. Thompson, Elijah Paine, and Asa M'Farland, three 
of the trustees implicated, attended the legislature in June last, 
and respectfully petitioned for the privilege of being heard on 
the floor of the house (a privilege seldom denied to parties in 
interest) in behalf of themselves and the other trustees, but 
were refused. 


During the same session the said Thompson, Paine and M'Far- 
land presented to the legislature a remonstrance against the pas- 
sage of the bill relating to the college, then pending. 

And afterwards, on the 24th day of June, the said Thompson 
and M'Farland presented to the legislature another remonstrance 
against the passage of the act now under consideration. 

Both remonstrances were read and laid on the table. 

No facts were proved to the legislature, and no report of facts 
of an}' legislative committee was made to show that the state 
of things at the college rendered any legislative interference 

The act passed by small majorities in the house of repre- 
sentatives and the seiiate. 

The trustees forbear to make any comment on the foregoing 

" The guardians of the college were moved by a profound con- 
viction of the justice, equity and vital consequence of the ques- 
tion. Otherwise it might not then, at least, have received the 
thorough defence of Smith and Mason, Hopkinson and Web- 
ster, nor the luminous and ample decision of Marshall and Stoiy, 
a decision which, not over-estimated, I suppose, in the judgment 
pronounced upon it by Chancellor Kent, has gone far beyond 
the immediate issue, and, by removing our colleges from the 
fluctuating influence of party and faction, has helped to make 
them what they should be — high neutral powers in the state, 
devoted to the establishing and inculcating of principles; where 
may shine the lumen siccimi, the dry light of wisdom and learn- 
ing, untinged by the vapors of the cave or the breath of the 

The men who defended the college in the hour of her extreme 
peril deserve more than a passing notice. The trustees, the 
president and professors of the college, the lawyers who triumph- 
antly repelled the assault of foes without and foes within, were 
all men of mark. Some of them have no peers in the literary 
and judicial records of our country. The true glory of New 
Hampshire is in her sons both native and adopted. They ha\-e 
made her history renowned and deserve the grateful remem- 
brance of succeeding generations. From the gallery of illus- 
trious names associated with the college controversy I select a 
few portraits drawn by the hands of masters. At the head of 
the list stands the youthful president, Francis Brown, who en- 
tered upon his laborious and perilous duties at the age of thirty. 
From an eloquent sketch of this distinguished college officer by 
Rev. Henry Wood, I select the following paragraphs : 

"It was a characteristic of president Brown, that he was always equal to 


any emergency; no call could be made upon his resources unhonored. At a 
word, all the sleeping energies of his mind came up in theii glowing beauty 
and just proportions, awakening the admiration and securing the confidence 
of timid friends, and overawing the presumption that already exulted in the 
overthrow of the college. Reluctantly given up by his people, he had only 
to touch again the soil of his native state, and move amid the eyes and ears 
of its citizens, to be admitted as that superior mind which Providence had 
raised up and kept, like Moses in the desert, for this very crisis. A certain 
dignity of person, altogether native and inimitable, made every one feel him- 
self in the presence of original greatness, in honoring which he also honored 
himself. Such were the conciliation and command belonging to his character, 
that from the first moment of his reappearance in his own state, the voice of 
detraction was silent; whoever else was rebuked, he escaped, whom all 
conspired to honor. 

In the meantime, political exasperation, unappeased by the lapse of time 
for reflection, marched onward to its object. Notwithstanding the investiga- 
tion of their committee, the legislature utterly refused to accept their report 
as the basis of their proceedings. An act was passed, annulling the original 
charter, giving a new name to the college, increasing the number of the 
trustees, creating a board of overseers, and placing the institution in all its 
departments and interests in abject dependence upon any party legislature. 
The students, almost without exception, still attended the instruction of 
professors in the old college, even when they were expelled from the college 
buildings, deprived of libraries, apparatus and recitation-rooms. A penal 
enactment was judged expedient by this enlightened legislature, imposing a 
fine of five hundred dollars upon any one who should presume to act as 
trustee, president, professor, tutor, or any other officer in Dartmouth College; 
for every instance of offence, one-half of the penalty to be appropriated for 
the benefit of the prosecutor, and the other for the encouragement of learn- 
ing I .Such was the hold of a superior mind upon the attachment and confi- 
dence of the students, that still they followed their proscribed, exiled presi- 
dent w ith the affection of children and the heroism of martyrs. He opened 
a new chapel, procured other recitation-rooms, morning and evening gathered 
his pupils around him, in the devotions of a pure and confiding heart com- 
mended them and himself to God. Through this scene of strife and peril 
of more than five years' continuance, when the chances against the college 
were in preponderance, when disgrace in the public estimation, together 
with a forfeiture of academical honors, was what the students expected as 
the result of their adherence to the old faculty, so absolute was the power 
of a great mind and noble heart over them, so effectual was moral influence 
in the government of more than one hundred young men when college laws 
were stripped of authority, that never was discipline more thorough, study 
more ardent, or proficiency more respectable. Three of the presidents and 
nine of the professors in our colleges, besides a large number of the most 
resolute, aspiring, useful members of the different professions, are the children 
nursed and cradled in the storms of that time. The college moved on- 
ward ; commencements were held ; degrees were conferred ; new students 
crowded around the president to take the place of the graduated when edicts 
were fulminated, and penalties imposed for every prayer that was offered in 
the chapel and eveiy act of instruction in the recitation room. 

Never has a cause been litigated in our country more important from the 
principle to be established, and the interests remotely involved. The exist- 
ence, not only of this but of all seminaries for education, and of all corpo- 
rate bodies whatever, was suspended upon the present decision. The per- 
manence of all the institutions of our country, whether charitable, literary, 
or religious, and indeed the very character of the nation in its future stages, 
were connected with this adjudication upon a point of constitutional law. 
Such was the confidence reposed in the president's judgment, and in his 


knowledge of the case, that the eminent professional men engaged for the 
college did not hesitate to receive his advice, and urge his attendance at the 
court's; the case would seem almost to have been prepared in his study and 
drawn out by his own hand. Honorable testimonials have they left of the 
opinion they entertained of his capacity, by their frequent consultations ; 
honorable also to themselves, in the evidence that they were not ashamed to 
acknowledge merit when found in a young man guiding and protecting an 
unpopular and unpromising cause. Never have higher legal attainments 
been brought into powerful and splendid exhibition at the bar of our country. 
On the one side, in behalf of the college, were Jeremiah Smith and Jeremiah 
Mason, those 'men of renown' in the civil jurisprudence of the state; and 
Daniel Webster, a son of the college, just entering upon his luminous career 
of eloquence in the senate and the forum; and Joseph Hopkinsonof 
Philadelphia, who, when he had exerted all that admirable talent for which 
he is so distinguished in the final trial at Washington, did not refuse this 
homage to brilliant genius and vigorous intellect, when he said in a letter 
written to President Brown announcing the happy and final decision : ' I 
would advise vou to inscribe over the door of your institution. Founded 
BY ElEAZAR WlIEELOCK: Re-founded liY Daniki, Webster.' On the 
other side were emploved John Holmes of Maine, William Pinckney of 
Baltimore, and that most accomplished scholar, that ornament of our country, 
that disciple at last of the Savior, of whose talents and honorable conduct 
in this case even his professional opponents make the most respectable 
mention, William Wirt, attorney-general of the United States. Whatever 
research, argument, eloquence, could do for a cause, or against it, was done 
in the process of this trial. In the superior court of New Hampshire, 
November, 1817, a decision was given against the pretensions of the trustees. 
Without delay, and apparently without dejection, on the part of President 
Brown, the cause was carried up to the supreme court of the United States 
at Washington, where it was argued in the March following, with the utmost 
legal learning, and the most fervid eloquence these distinguished advocates 
could command, and, as it would seem, on the part of some with the serious, 
religious convictions of duty. The case was deferred by the court for ad- 
visement till the February term of 1819, when to the entire satisfaction of 
the patrons of the college, and with the devout thanksgiving of the friends 
of learning and religion throughout the land, the claims of the trustees were 
sustained against the fear of all future legislative despotism and party inter- 
meddling. Others would have exulted ; President Brown was humble. They 
would have triumphed over a fallen foe ; he, on the contrary, was more cour- 
teous and conciliating. They wculd have taken the praise to their able coun- 
sel and perseverance ; he ascribed the whole to Heaven. There was the 
same composure of countenance, the same earnest and direct address to 
duty ; too much occupied by God's goodness to be anything but abased and 

From the address of Prof. S. G. Brown, delivered before the 
akimni of Dartmouth College in 1855, I select the following 
sketch of the trustees who managed the affairs of the college 
during the controversy : 

" If we turn our attention to its board of trustees for the first quarter of 
the century, we shall find quite an uncommon collection of persons of emi- 
nent intellectual ability. Some united thorough learning in the law with the 
far-reaching views of statesmen. Some were profound metaphysicians and 
theologians. There were men well versed in affairs, men of^ immovable 
firmness, of unsullied probity, of deep religious convictions. 

There rises first before the memory the somewhat attenuated and angular 
form of Nathaniel Niles, a schcomiate of the elder Adams, whom he loved 


his life long, and mainly, it would seem, because at school John Adams was 
the terror of the big bad boys, who in his absence would oppress the little ones ; 
a graduate of Nassau Hall ; a follower of Jefferson in politics, yet practi 
cally rather conservative, and of Calvin in theology, yet apparently some- 
times verging toward his opponents ; an acute metaphysician, a little in- 
clined to the opposite side; half author, in conjunction with Dr. Burton, of 
the ' Taste-sclume,' so called, yet walking independently, and not precisely 
agreeing with his sharp-minded friend ; a great reader, keeping up remark- 
ably with the progress of science, and renewing in his old age his knowledge 
of Latin; a shrewd judge and an indefatigable opponent. Beside him stood 
Elijah Paine, with a physical frame 'put together with sinews of brass, his 
voice clear and audible at the distance of three cjuarters of a mile,' remark- 
able for high-toned integrity, clear-minded, honest-hearted and upright, — of 
whom it issaid by a most competent judge, "that the supposition of any 
thing like injustice or oppression where Elijah Paine was present was a 
palpable absurdity, not to be believed for a moment," — appearing sometimes 
to be severe when he really meant to be only just and true, a little obsti- 
nate, perhaps, especially if any good or right thing was opposed, and per- 
fectly inflexible if it was opposed by unfair and improper means. 

Side by side was seen Charles iVIarsh, a lawyer more thoroughly read than 
either, on whose " solid, immovable, quieting strength " one might lean and 
rest, — if erring, erring with a right purpose, — simple and without pretension, 
like his relative, Mr. Mason, but when once engaged in any cause, unflagging 
and unyielding, bringing to bear upon every subject the strength of a pene- 
trating and tenacious understanding, and resting with perfect confidence and 
fearlessness upon his own convictions of both right and duty. 

Of the same general character of transparent purpose, of remarkable 
equanimity, undisturbed by difficulties and serene in uprightness, was Tim- 
othy Farrar, whose eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated, though he 
was drawing toward the farthest verge of the ordinary limit of human life, 
and who finally, in 1S47, was gathered to his grave in peace, at the extreme 
age of one hundred years. In contrast, yet in harmony, w'as seen Thomas 
W. Thompson — like Judge Paine, a graduate and a tutor of Harvard, — of 
courtly ways, refined and cultivated in manners, with deep religious convic- 
tions, and a supporter of everything good in circumstances where a loose 
holding to principle would have subjected him to less inconvenience. 

Contemporary with these were Rev. Drs. Payson and McFarland, whose 
praise was in all the chinches, and whose names added dignity and strength 
to whatever society or mstitution they w'ere connected with. And if we fol- 
low down the list, how soon do we come upon the ever honored name of 
Ezekiel Webster, then in the fullness of uncommon manly beauty and undis- 
puted intellectual preeminence. 

' His own fair countenance, his kingly forehead, 

The sense and spirit, and the light divine. 
At the same moment in his steadfast eye. 
Were virtue's native crest, the immortal souVs 
Unconscious meek seif-heraldry.' 

After the lapse of fifty years we are astonished at the evi- 
dence of party feeling which the college controversy elicited. 
When it passed from the " academic shades" of Hanover and 
entered the halls of legislation, it became a mere political ques- 
tion ; and the common and vulgar weapons of party warfare 
were used by the combatants. Imaginaiy foes, called by one 
party bigots, fanatics and aristocrats, and by the other infidels, 
agrarians and jacobins, were set up and hurled down by politi- 


cal and literary knights on many a hard-fought field. Time, 
fame, toil and wealth were lost in the fight ; lout posterity de- 
cides with great unanimity that the decision of the supreme 
court of the United States has been worth infinitely more to the 
country than all the sacrifices made by the friends of the college 
in securing it. 


Since the decision of this important case, with such occa- 
sional ebbs and eddies as pertain to all like institutions, but 
with remarkable steadiness on the whole, the college has gone 
onward from its small beginnings to its present condition of en- 
largement and prosperity. The whole number of its alumni, as 
given in the last " Triennial," is three thousand nine hundred 
and seven. These have come from all parts of the land ; and, 
as graduates, have been scattered as widely. While a consider- 
able number have entered from the cities and large towns, the 
great majority have come from rural places. The average age 
of admission has been somewhat above that at many other col- 
leges ; and to the maturity thus secured has been added, in 
many cases, the stimulus of self-dependence. From these and 
other causes, Dartmouth students, as a class, have been charac- 
terized by a spirit of earnestness, energy, and general manliness, 
of the happiest omen as to their life-work. Most of them have 
gone, not into the more lucrative lines of business, but into what 
may be called the working professions. To the ministry, the 
college has given more than nine hundred of her sons. Dr. 
Chapman says, in his " Sketches of the Alumni ": " There have 
been thirty-one judges of the United States and State supreme 
courts ; fifteen senators in congress, and si.xty-one representa- 
tives ; two United States cabinet ministers ; four ambassadors 
to foreign courts ; one postmaster-general ; fourteen governors 
of states, and one of a territory ; twenty-five presidents of col- 
leges ; one hundred and four professors of academical, medical, 
or theological colleges." Perhaps the two professions that have 
drawn most largely upon the institution have been those of 
teaching and the law. We recall a single class, that of 1828, 
one-fourth of whose members have been either college presi- 
dents or professors. Dr. Chapman states, that at one time 
there were residing in Boston, Mass., no less than seven sons of 
the college, "who were justly regarded as ranking among the 
brightest luminaries of the law. They were Samuel Sumner 
Wilde, 1789; Daniel Webster, 1801 ; Richard Fletcher, 1806; 


Joseph Bell, 1807 ; Joel Parker, 1811 ; Rufus Choate, 1819; and 
Charles Bishop Goodrich, 1822." 

As might have been expected from the origin of the institu- 
tion, it has aimed from the beginning at a high religious tone. 
Neither its trustees nor its faculty believe in divorcing the moral 
nature from the intellectual, in the process of education. But a 
partial and perilous culture is that, they judge, which leaves un- 
touched the chief spring and crowning glory of our being. Yet 
the institution is not sectarian, but truly catholic in its spirit. 
What is commonly called the evangelical faith has, indeed, chief 
influence in its halls ; yet students of all denominations are not 
only welcomed there, but have the utmost freedom of opinion 
and of worship, and their views are treated with all proper del- 
icacy and respect. Most of the trustees and instructors are of 
Orthodox-Congregational connection ; but there is in the charter 
no restriction in this respect, and at least three other denomina- 
tions are at present represented in the faculty. There is a weekly 
biblical exercise of all the classes ; in which, while the funda- 
mentals of Christianity are inculcated, minor denominational 
points are avoided. 

While Dartmouth has no pet system of metaphysics, its teach- 
ings lean, in general, to what may be called the spiritual line of 
thinking. The college has, in time past, through some of its 
gifted sons, rendered a service to sound philosophy, which is not, 
perhaps, generally known. Half a century ago, it will be re- 
membered, the system of Locke and his school, as well in this 
country as in Europe, was in the ascendant. It was so, to some 
extent, at Dartmouth. There were in college, however, about 
that time, a number of earnest, thoughtful men, fond of meta- 
physical inquiries, and not altogether content with the cast of 
opinion most in favor. Among them — not to name others — were 
James Marsh, Prof. Joseph Torrey, Dr. Joseph Tracey and Dr. 
John Wheeler. Dr. Marsh, while an undergraduate, had fallen 
upon the very course of thought which was so fully carried out in 
his subsequent teachings and writings. The discussions begun 
at Dartmouth were transferred to Andover, and thence to other 
quarters. In 1829, Dr. Marsh gave to the American public 
Coleridge's "Aids to Reflection," with an able preliminary essay 
by himself. An admirable series of articles on " Christian Phi- 
losophy," advocating the same general views, was subsequent!}'' 
published by Dr. Joseph Tracy. And the other men named 
above were variously co-workers in the movement — a movement 
which contributed largely to the bringing in of that higher style 
of philosophy which has since been so prevalent in this country. 
Dartmouth has aimed, in all her histor)', at that true conserva- 
tism which blends felicitously the " old and new." Bound by no 


inept foreign metliods, — good enough, it may be, abroad, but out 
of place here — she holds fast to the old idea of the American 
college. Its end, she judges, is that general and systematic 
training which should precede the particular and professional ; 
which makes the man, to be moulded in due time into the cler- 
gyman, the lawyer, the physician, or whatever else may be pre- 
ferred. Yet she welcomes whatever real improvements increas- 
ing light has suggested. She believes in a curriculum, carefully 
devised, suited to develop, by a common discipline, our common 
humanity; not deeming it wise or safe to leave the selection of 
studies wholly, or mainly, to youthful inexjjerience or caprice. 
Yet she holds such a curriculum subject to all possible emenda- 
tions, and does not hesitate to incorporate with it, to a limited 
extent, especially in the more advanced stages, the elective prin- 
ciple, being careful, however, not to interfere with the substantial 
integrity and wise balance of the programme. She has already 
a number of options, both as to courses and particular studies. 
She believes in the ancient classics, but she favors science also. 
For the last seven years, much more has been expended on the 
scientific appointments of the institution than on the classical; 
and other improvements are contemplated in the same direction. 
Though she adheres to the old college, as has been said, yet 
around that she has already grouped — though with no ambitious 
fancy for the name of a university — a number of collateral or 
post-graduate institutions, offering diversified opportunities of 
general and special culture. The various departments, as they 
now exist, are as follows : — 

1. The old Acadc7nic Department, with its four years' curricu- 
lum, including the privilege of a partial course, and a number of 
particular options. 

2. The Chandler Scientific Department, with a regular course, 
chronologically parallel to that of the Academic, "and having, 
with the option of a partial course through all the years, several 
elective lines of study in the last year. Latin and Greek are 
omitted, French and German included, and scientific branches 
are made most prominent. 

3. The Agricultural Department, so called, or the New Hamp- 
,shire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts. This is 
based on the congressional land-grant. It has a regular three 
years' course, with an option, after the first year, between an 
agricultural and mechanical line of study. 

4. The Engineering Department, or the Thayer School of 
Civil Engineering. This is substantiall3% though not formally, 
a post-graduate or professional department, wUh a two years' 
course. The requisites for admission are, in some important 
branches, even more than a college curriculum commonly em- 


braces ; and it is designed to carry the study of civil engineering 
to the highest point. 

5. The Medical Department, or the old New Hampshire Med- 
ical College. This was established in 1797, has had a long and 
prosperous career, and ranks now with the best medical institu- 
tions in the country. There is connected with it, in addition to 
the lectures, a good course of private medical instruction. 

6. Moor's Charity-Sclwol. This has now no distinct organic 
existence ; but there is a small fund which is appropriated, un- 
der the direction of the President of Dartmouth College, to the 
education of Indian youths, in any department for which they 
are prepared. 

During the late war, the college, in common with most others 
in our countr\', was somewhat depressed ; but it has since been 
resuming, and even surpassing, its former status. The last cata- 
logue embraces a faculty of instruction, thirty-five in number, 
and, in all the different courses of study, four hundred and fifty- 
seven students, the largest number ever connected with the in- 
stitution. As an indication of the national relations of the col- 
lege, it may be remarked that these students come from twenty- 
three different states and territories, at home and abroad ; and 
that, of the undergraduates, nearly one-fourth are from places 
out of New England. Within the last seven years, more than 
four hundred thousand dollars have been secured for the various 
departments. But with the restrictions imposed on some of the 
gifts, with the remaining wants of existing foundations, with the 
plans of enlargement and improvement in the minds of the 
trustees and faculty, and with the increased number of students, 
there is a present need of as much more. Nor is it likely that 
here, any more than at the other leading institutions of our 
countiy, there will cease to be a call for additional funds, so 
long as 

" The thoughts ol men are widened by the process of the suns." 




Archbishop Trench says: "One might suppose that the 
Anglo-Americans would be able to explain how they got their 
word " caucus," which plays so prominent a part in their elec- 
tions, but they cannot." The word "cabal" is equally myste- 
rious, some giving it a Hebrew origin, others making it up from 
the initial letters of the names of the five cabinet ministers of 
Charles H. The word " caucus " was at first a term of reproach. 
It originated in ante-revolutionary times in Boston. It was ap- 
plied to a meeting of the lowest classes in the meanest places. 
An old song thus describes it : 

"That mob of mobs, a caucus to command, 
Hurl wild dissension round a maddening land." 

It is probably a corruption of the word "ca/^ers" and indicated 
a calkcrs' meeting which was held in a part of Boston " where all 
the ship business was carried on." Use has made the word 
respectable and given to the meetings thus named the supreme 
control of politics. In New Hampshire the highest officers of 
the state were till about the year 1825 nominated by a legislative 
assembly. The people became dissatisfied with this species of 
aristocratic appointments, took the matter into their own hands 
and made their selections in conventions, whose members were 
chosen at primary meetings. Strong objections were urged by 
all parties against this popular method of nomination. A politi- 
cal writer in 1823 thus defends it : 

"First, as to its being Anti-Jiepiihiican and lliicoiislitutional. 

The word Caucus was originally applied to a meeting of certain patriots 
in the early stages of the Revolution, of whom the virtuous and inflexible 
James Otis was one, for the purpose of devising the means and the mode 
of opposing those measures of the British government which, being per- 
sisted in, finally produced the struggle which ended in the establishmeni of 
our national independence. Its origin therefore is to be sought and found 
in the very cradle of liberty, where it was nursed with the infant republic of 
America, and it originated in the necessity of maturing certain important 
measures, previous to their being laid before the people for their approba- 
tion. So far therefore from being anti-republican, it was one of the earliest 
practices that marked the progress of republicanism, to which it is peculiar, 
being unknown in the vocabulary of any other system of government." 

The Caucus has since that day became omnipotent. Every of- 
ficer in the state, from hogreeve to governor, is nominated in a 
caucus, and every voter who refuses to support the nominee of 


the party is denounced as a "bolter;" which term carries with 
it so much ignominy, that its imposition is equivalent to political 



The great teacher says : "Ye cannot serve God and Mam- 
mon." Whether the first settlers at Little Harbor and Northam 
attempted both does not clearly appear ; but it is manifest that 
these representatives of the Laconia Company were not exiles 
for conscience' sake. They did not come into the wilderness to 
found churches, but to catch fish, work mines, buy furs, fell trees, 
and till the soil. The woods and the waters yielded tribute to 
their industry. The religious element was more strongly devel- 
oped in Hampton and Exeter, but so long as these four towns 
made their own laws, the state took precedence of the church. 
The reverse was true of Massachusetts ; and when, in 1641, a 
political union was effected between these plantations and the 
colony of Massachusetts, they were exempted from religious 
tests and allowed an equitable representation in the legislative 
assembly. During the entire early historj' of New Hampshire 
there was greater freedom of individual opinion and a more lib- 
eral toleration of differences in religion prevailed than in the 
other New Englanci colonies. Still, that deep-seated conviction 
which had been the growth and habit of centuries in the old 
world, that it was the duty of the state to uphold the church, 
led the people of New Hampshire to sustain divine worship by 
law, and to build churches and support a christian ministry by 
general taxation. The majority of the colonists were Congre- 
gationalists, and the ministers of that denomination were legally 
constituted " the standing order " in the state. The towns were 
empowered by the early legislators, in accordance with the pro- 
visions of an English law, to raise money for the .support of the 
gospel ; and the people, in town meeting assembled, voted for 
their spiritual teachers and assessed themselves for their sup- 
port. The rise of other religious denominations in the state 
created great dissatisfaction with this law. They were often 
compelled to aid in the building of churches which they never 
entered, to pay for preaching which they never heard, and to 


support a creed which they did not believe. The Bill of Rights 
decLares " that no person of any particular religious sect or de- 
nomination shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support 
of a teacher or teachers of another persuasion, sect or denom- 
ination ; and that no subordination of one sect or denomination 
shall ever be established by law." This plain provision was 
evaded by requiring a man who refused to pay his tax for the le- 
gally appointed clergyman to prove that he belonged to another 
denomination. This was not always possible to be done. Able 
counsel opposed the recusant, pleading before prejudiced juries, 
and possibly before an orthodox court. In such cases, the most 
eminent lawyers in the state were arrayed against one another. 
In one instance, Mr. Smith and Mr. Mason argued that a Bap- 
tist could not be exempted from the clerical tax, because he 
could not prove that he had been immersed. Mr. Sullivan and 
Mr. Bartlett, in reply, maintained that he could not be a Congre- 
gationalist, because they could not prove that he had been 
sprinkled. A law that required such irreverent trifling and such 
transparent quibbling did not deserve the support of honest 
men. Those who were utterly indifferent to all creeds and 
" cared for none of these things" were compelled, sometimes by 
a legal process and distraint of their goods, to contribute to the 
support of preaching in their respective towns. But one denom- 
ination of Christians was recognized by law, till near the begin- 
ning of the present century. Prior to 1807, several denomina- 
tions, by legislative enactments, secured an independent exist- 
ence, and from that time were no longer ''molested" by the 
collector of taxes. Soon after the accession of Governor Bell to 
the gubernatorial chair in 1819, the subject was brought before 
the legislature. The toleration bill met with strenuous opposi- 
tion. The advocates of the measure could plead the example 
of other states in relaxing the bonds of uniformity. Connecti- 
cut had recently separated church and state with manifest ben- 
efit both to morality and religion. 

Dr. Lyman Beecher, in his autobiography, speaking of the 
condition of the " standing order " in that state, says : " The 
habit of legislation, from the beginning, had been to favor the 
Congregational order and provide for it. Congregationalism 
was the established religion. All others were dissenters and 
complained of favoritism. The ambitious minority early began 
to make use of the minor sects, on the ground of invidious dis- 
tinctions, thus making them restive. So the democracy, as it 
rose, included nearly all minor sects." 'i'he good Doctor la- 
bored first with Herculean energy to uphold this time-honored 
relation of church and state ; and after it was legally annulled, 
he worked with equal energy to establish the voluntary system. 


He succeeded, as many other eminent men have done, in refut- 
ing his own cherished opinions. When the crisis of separation 
of church and state had passed, he wrote : " It was as dark a day 
as ever I saw. Tlie odium thrown upon the ministry was incon- 
ceivable. The injury done to the cause of Christ, as we sup- 
posed, was irreparable. For several days I suffered what no 
tongue can tell for the best thing that ever happened to the state 
of Connecticut. It cut the churches loose from dependence on 
state support. It threw them wholly on their own resources and 
on God. They say ministers have lost their influence ; the fact 
is, they have gained." In another place, he writes : " The effect, 
when it did come, was just the reverse of the expectation. When 
the storm burst upon us, indeed, we thought we were dead for a 
while. Our fears magnified the danger. We were thrown on 
God and on ourselves, and this created that moral coercion 
which makes men work. Before, we had been standing on what 
our fathers had done ; but now we were obliged to develop our 
own energ)'. The other denominations lost all the advantage 
they had had before, so that the very thing in which the enemy 
said, " Raze it, raze it to the foundations," laid the corner-stone 
of our prosperity to all generations." A similar state of feel- 
ing prevailed among the clergy of New Hampshire. They re- 
garded the Toleration Act as " a repeal of the Christian reli- 
gion," or an " abolition of the Bible ;" but when it was once 
passed, all parties pronounced it a good and wholesome law. Its 
enforcement was productive of little positive evil and of the 
highest positive good. 



For a few years after the close of the war, political partisans, 
from sheer e.xhaustion, ceased from controversy and lay upon 
their arms, indifferent to the conduct of their adversaries. Their 
zeal was too feeble to keep up strict party lines, and for each 
office there was but a single candidate. But such a pacific state 
could not long continue. Man is naturally pugnacious. He 
loves to fight with sword or voice. It was the opinion of Thomas 
Hobbes, the philosopher of Malmesbury, one of the most pro- 
found thinkers of any age, that war is the natural condition of 



our race. If we allow him to limit and define his own theory, 
we can hardly disprove it. " For war," says he, " consisteth not 
in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, 
wherein the will to contend in battle is sufficiently known; and 
therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of 
war, as it is in the nature of weather. For, as the nature of 
foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an in- 
clination thereto of many days together, so the nature of war 
consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition 
thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the con- 
trary." With this explanation and with another gratuitous as- 
sumption of all the old philosophers, that prior to all political 
organizations men lived in " a state of nature," where every 
man was the enemy of every other, we may concede a natural 
propensity in man to contend either with weapons or words, in 
all conditions of life. Social quarrels in New Hampshire were 
carried on with all the bitter animosity which marked the pro- 
gress of the late war with England. Such were the Dartmouth 
College controversy and the " Toleration Act." 

During the administration of President Monroe arose that 
sharp, bitter and " irrepressible conflict " between liberty and 
slavery which culminated in the late civil war. It lay in the in- 
clinations of men from the adoption of the federal constitution 
down to the period of the admission of Missouri. Then con- 
cealed opinions took voice and utterance, and a war of words 
commenced which resulted in a war of swords in the Great Re- 
bellion. During the discussion of the restriction of slavery, 
while Missouri was asking recognition as a state, some of the 
members of congress from New Hampshire uttered sentiments 
as bold and as offensive to southern statesmen as any that have 
fallen from the pen or tongue of modern reformers. Hon. Da- 
vid L. Morrill, then in the senate of the United States, took a 
most decided stand against the extension of slavery, and fear- 
lessly denounced the whole system as unrighteous, and there- 
fore destructive of the peace and prosperity of the nation. In 
closing one of his speeches he said : 

"The extension of slavery will tend to the violation of your laws, and to 
demoralize society. The people of this country are fond of property. It is 
impossible to restrain them within legal bounds, when you present to them a 
pecuniary advantage, even from illicit commerce. You thus indirectly cor- 
rupt the rising generation and demoralize the community. Extend slavery 
into the vast territory of Missouri, you heighten the value and offer a new 
market for slaves; you encourage their importation, you invite to a violation 
of your laws, .ind lay a foundation for a systematic' course of perjury, cor- 
ruption and guilt. All the public ships in the service of your country are 
now insufficient to suppress this species of traffic. What could preve'nt it 
if the market \yere increased .> Sir, close your market, remove the induce- 
ment to their introduction, and the nefarious commerce ceases of course. 


Look to your laws of 1794, 179S, iSoo, 1804, 1805, 1807, iSiS, and 1819, and 
say, do they not imply one uniform and uninterrupted determination to abol- 
ish the slave trade ? This single act would stamp hypocrisy on the face of 
every previous law. 

I will close my remarks with a few lines from the late President Jefferson : 
' With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. Can the 
liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only tirm 
basis — a conviction on the minds of tlie people that their liberties are the 
gift of God; that they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I 
tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice can- 
not sleep forever ; that, considering numbers, nature and natural means only, 
a revolution on the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among pos- 
sible events ; that it may become probable by supernatural interference ! 
I'he Almighty has no attribute which can take side w'ith us in such a contest. 
But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue the subject through the 
various considerations of policy, of morals, of history, natural and civil. 
We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one's 
mind.' " 

Similar sentiments were uttered by members of the house of 
representatives. A few sentences from a speech of Hon. Wil- 
ham Plumer will indicate his opinions on slavery as well as those 
of his constituents. He said : 

" These, then, are the motives of our conduct : vie find slavery unjust in 
itself ; adverse to all the great branches of national industry ; a source of 
danger in times of war; repugnant to the first principles of our republican 
government ; and in all these w'ays extending its injurious effects to the states 
where its existence is not even tolerated. We believe that we possess, un' 
der the constitution, the power necessary to arrest the further progress of 
this great and acknowledged evil ; and the measure now proposed is the 
joint result of all these motives, acting upon this belief and guided by our 
most mature judgments and our best reflections. As such, we present it to 
the people of Missouri, in the firm persuasion that we shall be found in the 
end to have consulted their wishes not less than their interests by this meas- 
ure. For what, sir, is Missouri ? Not the comparatively few inhabitants 
who now possess the country, but a state, large and powerful, capable of 
containing, and destine(J, I trust, to contain, half a million of virtuous and 
intelligent freemen. It is to their wishes and their interests that I look, and 
not to the temporary blindness or the lamentable delusions of the present 
moment. If this restriction is imposed, in twenty years we shall have the 
people of Missouri thanking us for the measure, as Ohio, Indiana, and Illi- 
nois now thank the old congress for the ordinance of 1787." 

This subject, at that early day, was debated in every caucus, 
convention and legislative assembly, and forced its way to every 
private hearth and dining-room in the state. The people then 
began to be classed as radicals and conservatives. For a few 
years all assumed the common name of republicans, and when 
they could no longer contend about measures they divided on 
candidates. Sometimes federalists united with republicans in 
the election of a governor whom only a fraction of the party in 
power had nominated. In 1823 Hon. Samuel Bell retired from 
the gubernatorial chair and passed, by a large legislative vote, 
to the senate of the United States. By the republican members, 


Hon. Samuel Dinsmoor was nominated as his successor. A 
portion o£ the party did not approve this selection and brought 
forward Hon. Levi Woodbury, who had beer, a judge of the 
superior court, and by the concurrent vote o.' federalists he was 
elected. He served only one year, and in 1824 there was no 
choice by the people. The legislature chose Hon. David L. 
Morrill of Goftstown governor. Mr. Woodbury was his com- 
petitor, and both were republicans. In 1825 Mr. Woodburv', 
then residing in Portsmouth, was chosen a member of the house 
and was made speaker. He soon after passed into the senate 
of the United States, and during the administration of President 
Jackson, in 1831, was appointed secretary of the navy, and, in 
1834, secretary of the treasury. 

Near the close of President Monroe's administration a warm 
controversy arose about his successor. There were four can- 
didates in the field, John Q. Adams, Andrew Jackson, William 
H. Crawford and Henry Clay, each having some peculiar ele- 
ment of popularity to recommend him. Then arose in New 
Hampshire the party term " amalgamation," which the most 
learned could not define and which the most ignorant daily 
used. It was employed to designate the union of federalists and 
republicans in favor of the election of John Quincy Adams. 
There was no choice by the people and Mr. Adams was elected 
by the house of representatives. This result accorded with the 
electoral vote of New Hampshire. During his administration 
arose those strongly marked political parties which have ever 
since waged an internecine war upon each other, first as demo- 
crats and republicans, then as democrats and whigs, and finally 
under the old names of democrats and republicans. 



The population of New Hampshire in 1820 was two hundred 
and forty-four thousand, showing an addition of thirty thousand 
in ten years. This number indicates a larger increase than the 
average of the next fifty years. The population of the entire 
country was about ten millions. New Hampshire gave its elec- 
toral vote for John Quincy Adams. He was for several years 
the favorite candidate of the state for the presidency. His fam- 


ily prestige, his New England origin and liis devotion to northern 
interests gave him greater popularity in New England than in 
other sections of the country. Though he had been a republi- 
can and had sustained the war, yet soon after his elevation to 
the presidency the federalists united with one section of the re- 
publicans in forming, by " amalgamation," the great " New Eng- 
land Adams party," whose aim was to give John Quincy Adams 
a second term as chief magistrate of the nation. 

For several years the legislation of the state was devoted 
chiefly to the creation of literary, financial and manufacturing 
corporations. In 182 1, an act was passed to establish a literary 
fund for the purpose of endowing and supporting a college, to 
be under the direction and control of the state, for instruction 
in the highest branches of literature and science. An annual 
tax for this purpose, of one-half of one per cent., was levied 
upon the capital stock of all the banks in the state. This tax 
produced at first about five thousand dollars annually ; but in a 
few years the avails of it amounted by the accumulation of prin- 
cipal and interest to more than fifty thousand dollars. By the 
increase of banks in the state the tax alone yielded more than 
ten thousand dollars annually. In 1827, a bill was introduced 
to establish a new college in the central portion of the state, 
which failed to pass. In 1828, the literarj' fund was distributed 
among the several towns in the state for the maintenance of 
common schools according to the apportionment of public ta.xes 
existing at the time of such distribution. The annual tax was 
also devoted to the same laudable purpose ; and since that en- 
actment legislative hostility to Dartmouth College has ceased. 

The period now under review, from 1820 to 1830, was marked 
by numerous changes in the social condition of society. Sev- 
eral important modern reforms originated in this decade. Re- 
vivals of religion were a prominent feature of it. " Protracted 
meetings," held from three to twenty days, in almost every town 
in the state, greatly advanced the spiritual welfare of the people 
and gave new power to the churches of Christ. This custom 
continued for many years, and contributed largely to the union 
of different sects, who cordially cooperated in sustaining the 

The temperance reform commenced about the year 1826. Dr. 
Lyman Beecher was among its earliest advocates. He preached 
six sermons in Boston upon the nature, occasions, signs, evils 
and remedy of intemperance. These were published in 1827, 
widely circulated and made extensively useful in the promotion 
of total abstinence from intoxicating drinks. All classes in 
society freely used them. Drunkenness had its victims in the 
bar, the pulpit and the halls of legislation, as well as humbler 


positions in life. Judgment began at the house of God, and 
spread through all classes of society with unparalleled rapidity. 
In New Hampshire Jonathan Kittredge, Esq., in the early stages 
of the reform was instrumental of great good by the delivery 
and publication of three very eloquent addresses on temperance, 
which were widely circulated throughout the northern states. 
His address before the American Temperance Society, in 1829, 
closes with these prophetic words : " I believe the time is com- 
ing when not only the drunkard but the drinker will be excluded 
from the church of God — when the gambler, the slave-dealer 
and the rum-dealer will be classed together. And I care not 
how soon that time arrives. I would pray for it as devoutly as 
for the millennium. And when it comes, as come it will, it 
should be celebrated by the united band of philanthropists, pat- 
riots and christians throughout the world, as a great and most 
glorious jubilee." 

The anti-slavery agitation had its birth about the same time. 
It was a period of unusual activity in the discussion of morals, 
politics and religion. On the first day of January, 183 1, Wil- 
liam Lloyd Gairison published the first number of the Liberator. 
He had for some years advocated the gradual abolition of slav- 
ery. In the prospectus of that paper he renounces and denoun- 
ces that doctrine and says : " A similar recantation from my pen 
was published in the Genius of Universal Emancipation at Balti- 
more, in 1829." In closing he writes : " I am in earnest — I will 
not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single 
inch — and I will be heard." These declarations then seemed 
absurd, egotistical and fool-hardy ; but in process of time he 
made them good. The final adoption of abolition views by all 
denominations of christians and their united labors in common 
for the publication of them, together yA\.\\ the reforms in tem- 
perance and religion, tended to soften sectarian prejudices and 
promote christian union in the work of renovating society. In 
many pulpits dogmatic theology gave place to philanthropy and 
creeds were supplanted by works. But controversy did not 
cease. The field and weapons were changed but the warriors 
were the same. Sectarianism was merged in reform ; and its 
advocates and opponents were more bitter and fierce in their 
deadly strife than different sects had previously been. 

For a season political controversy was calmed by the visit of 
the nation's guest, Lafayette, at the capital of New Hampshire. 
The legislature was in session when he arrived. The New 
Hampshire Patriot of June 27, 1825, has the following account 
of his reception at Concord : 

" The General, in his usual appropriate and feeling manner, thanked the 
gentlemen of the committee and the citizens of Concord for the very affec- 
tionate manner in which they welcomed his entrance into their town. 


A national salute was fired by the artillery, and the procession was received 
at the bridge by eight companies of light troops under the command o£ 
Brigadier-General Bradbury Bartlett. On entering the main street 
the General was greeted by the shouts of from thirty to forty thousand citi- 
zens who had collected ; the windows and doors were lined with ladies and 
children gazing and admiring as he passed along. The procession moved to 
the north end of Main street, and returned to the residence of the Hon. Mr. 
Kent, where lodgings had been prepared for him and his suite. Remaining 
there till 12 o'clock at noon, he was escorted in the same manner to the gate 
of the State-house yard, when he alighted, and moved, being supported by 
the Hon. Messrs. Webster and Bowers of the senate, to the capitol, where 
he was introduced to the legislature in the manner as detailed in their 

In the meantime a noble company of more than two hundred heroes of 
the Revolution had collected and formed rank and file under the direction of 
that veteran. General Benjamin Pierce of Hillsborough, who had just re- 
turned from Bunker Hill. These marched into the area of the state-house, 
where they were introduced to the guest by General Pierce, who vented his 
feelings in one of those spontaneous and unpremeditated addresses for 
which he always had a talent the most happy. Here was a scene more af- 
fecting and gratifying than ever has probably taken place in our state ; tears 
of alternate joy and sorrow trickled down the cheeks of the veterans, and 
few of the spectators remained unmoved. After spending an hour here, the 
guest retired to the senate chamber where he was introduced to many gentle- 
men who had not before had an opportunity. During the ceremonies in the 
representatives' hall, the galleries and all the avenues were crowded with a 
brilliant collection of ladies, whose eyes sparkled with gratitude and joy at 
the interesting spectacle. 

The General was especially introduced to the members of the legislature 
who had been participators in the Revolution — among them, Messrs. Hunt- 
ley, Durkee and Blaisdell. Hon. Mr. Brodhead, senator for district 
No. 2, and chaplain to the legislature, on being a second time presented by 
the governor, inquired of the general whether he recollected the name as 
among the soldiers of the revolution. After pondering a moment, the general 
answered, " Yes, I recollect Captain Brodhead of the Pennsylvania line — he 
was with us at the battle of Brandywine; he was a brave man." Mr. B. an- 
swered — "I am the son of that man." "I am, says General Lafayette, very 
glad to see you; how^ happy am I that the children of my companions in 
arms still love me." "This Captain Brodhead commanded the first rifle com- 
pany in Pennsylvania, and was in the service during the whole war; he was 
wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Long Island. He died in Penn- 
sylvania in 1S04. With this interview the reverend and amiable man who 
officiates in the double cajjacity of legislator and chaplain was deeply af- 
fected, and the general cordially reciprocated that feeling which pure patriots 
alone can appreciate. 

At three P. M. the largest assemblage in our state that ever was at one 
table and under one roof (from seven hundred to eight hundred) sat down to 
a sumptuous dinner prepared by Mr. J. P. Gass. In front, and surmounting 
the others, was the table at which the guest was seated; on his right hand 
the governor and council, and on his left, the marshal of the day, Hon. Sam- 
uel Bell, Judge Green, the secretary and treasurer of the state. Four tables 
two hundred feet in extent ran down facing that of the guest ; at the left 
were seated the surviving heroes of the revolution, Geneial Pierce at the 
head ; on the right of these the speaker and members of the house of rep- 
resentatives ; next, the president and senate ; and on the right the Concord 
committee and other citizens. After the cloth was removed, the following 
toasts (interspersed with songs) were read by the Hon. Mr. Pierce of the 

2q6 history of 

senate, ciiid reiterated over the cheering glass, amidst the firing of artillery : 
I. Our Guest — The friend of Washington, the friend of man. 
General Lafayette rose and expressed his affectionate acknowledg- 
ments for the so very kind welcome he had received to-day from the people 
of New Hampshire at this seat of government, particularly for the toast 
that has just been given, and for the pleasure he felt to be now at this social 
table with all the representatives of the state in every branch, with his nu- 
merous beloved revolutionary companions in arms, and other respected citi- 
zens; to the whole of them he begged to propose the following sentiment : 

New Hampshire, its representatives in every branch, and this seat of 
government — May they forever enjoy all the blessings of civil and religious 
liberty, which their high-minded ancestors came to seek on a distant land, 
and which their more "immediate fathers have insured on the broader basis 
of national sovereignty and the rights of man." 

On the fourth of July of the next year, two of the ilhistrious 
framers of the constitution of the United States, Thomas Jeffer- 
son and John Adams, departed this life. The government which 
thev helped to form and which probably never would have ex- 
isted without their aid, had been in operation fifty years. The 
day of their death was the anniversary of the national indepen- 
dence. Jefferson penned the declaration which was made on 
that day ; and Adams eloquently defended it. They had both 
been presidents, and leaders of opposing political parties. Both 
had very warm personal friends and both commanded uni\'ersal 
respect. Their departure together on that birth-day of the 
nation was regarded by many as a divine interposition ; and by 
all with sentiments of profound sorrow. This was among the 
most striking events of American history. On the second day 
of August, 1826, Daniel Webster, New Hampshire's most elo- 
quent son, delivered a fitting eulogy, in Faneuil Hall, Boston, 
on these illustrious patriots. It is difficult to decide whether 
the departed dead or the living orator was more admired on 
that eventful day. 

In 1826 a company was formed at Hartford, Conn., for the 
purpose of improving the navigation of the Connecticut river. 
It was thought that by building dams and locks round the suc- 
cessive falls the river could be rendered navigable for steamers 
as far as Lyman, N. H. The company also had in view the con- 
nection of Canada with the capitals of New Hampshire and 
Boston by canals extending from Dover to Lake Winnepiseogee, 
thence to the Connecticut and Lake Memphremagog. A survey 
was made and the legislatures of New Hampshire and Vermont 
authorized the company to construct the canals, but the expense 
was beyond the means and enterprise of that day. What was 
actually accomplished appears in chronological order in the fol- 
lowing extract from a brief address by William H. Duncan, Esq., 
delivered July 1, 1859, at the opening of the first free bridge 
across the Connecticut from Hanover to Norwich : 

" I think of the contrast between this section of the country, as it now is, 


as to its facilities for travel and transportation, and what it was sixty or sev- 
enty years since, when a charter was obtained for building a toll bridge over 
the Connecticut, between this place and Norwich. The charter was obtained 
about 1794. Previous to this time a large part of the heavy trade of this 
part of the country was carried on with Hartford and New York, by means 
of boats upon the river, and sloops and schooners upon the Sound. The 
roads between this place and Boston were so poor that Madam Smith, the 
wife of Professor Smith, formerly of the college, was obliged to make her 
bridal tour from Boston to this place on horseback. 

A large part of the cajjital for building the bridge was furnished by the 
merchants of Boston, not for the sake of making a profitable investment, but 
with the intention of diverting the trade of northern Vermont from Hartford 
and New York to Boston. The Higginsons, the Salisburjs, the phillipses 
were among the stockholders, — names distinguished for mercantile honor and 
probity, and which have been inherited and worthily worn by many of their 

The building of this bridge was the first link in that chain of internal im- 
provement which has done so much towards developing the resources, and 
which has added so immensely to the comfort and material prosperity of this 
section of the country. 

The second link in this chain of internal improvement was the construc- 
tion of the Fourth New Hampshire Turnpike. A charter was obtained in 
1800 for making a road from a point on the east bank of Connecticut river 
in Lebanon, nearly opposite White River, to a point in the west bank of the 
Merrimack river, cither in the town of Salisbury or Boscawen, with a branch 
road from the easterly abutment of the White River Falls bridge, running 
southeasterly to intersect with the main trunk. This has now become, I be- 
lieve, a public highway. 

The third link in this chain of improvement was the building of the 
White River Falls locks and canals, which were chartered in 1807, and com- 
pleted in iSlo, at an expense of nearly forty thousand dollars, an enterprise 
set on foot and completed by a single mdividual, Mills Olcott, Esq., of Han- 
over, then a young man a little more than thirty years of age. President 
Dwight, in his tour through New England in 1S63, speaking of overcoming 
the difficulties in the navigation of Connecticut river at the White River 
Falls says, 'at present the amount of business is insufficient to justify the ex- 
pense necessary for this purpose.' In iS 1 2, speaking of this undertaking, 
he say.s, 'my expectations have been anticipated by a period of many years.' 
I would say of this enterprise, that for nearly forty years it was to its propri- 
etor a source of almost constant litigation, of excessive annoyance and anxi- 
ety, and at the same time of the most ample and satisfactory returns." 

"About 1S31 or 1S32, as nearly as I can learn, an attempt was made to su- 
persede the clumsy flat-boats then in use on the river. A diminutive steamer, 
the John Ledyard, commanded by Captain Nutt, a veteran riverman who is 
still living at White River Junction, came puffing up the river from Spring- 
field, Mass., and was received, at various places, with speeches and such 
other demonstrations as were deemed appropriate to the opening of steam- 
boat navigation on the upper Connecticut. Captain Nutt went up as far as 
Wells River, near which place he found obstructions which he was unable to 

Two or three hundred Scotchmen, who lived in the vicinity and were an.x- 
ious to have the steamer go farther, undertook to pull her over the bar with 
the aid of ropes, but after raising her so far from a horizontal position that 
an explosion of the boiler became imminent, they were asked to desist by 
the captain, and it took twenty or thirty of them to pull her back into the 
deep water. The next season another steamer, the Adam Duncan, was built 
at Wells River, under the superintendence of Captain Nutt, for the company 
of which he was the agent. Other steamers had been put upon the river at 


various points below, the previous season, and the Adam Duncan was de- 
signed to ply between Wells River and Olcott's Locks, but after a single 
season of practice in backing off the sand-bars between the two places, was 
attached for debt, her works were taken out and sold, and the remainder of 
the hull may still be seen lying close to the shore a few rods above the falls. 
With the opening of the Passumpsic railroad, however, the days of flat-boats 
were numbered, and the locks also became useless. One of the mills was 
presently destroyed by a freshet, a portion of the dam was afterwards swept 
away, and as the amount of business then done there would not warrant its 
reconstruction, the remaining mill was taken down about 1S62, and since 
then the water power, said to be equal to that at Lowell, has not been used 
except to turn the wheel of a small paper-mill on the Vermont side." 

On the twenty-eighth day of August, 1826, occurred the most 
destructive flood that has been known in New Hampshire. The 
little mountain streams became raging torrents ; the rivers be- 
came inland lakes throughout their entire length. Mills, dams, 
buildings, herds, flocks and crops were swept away. The results 
might be aptly described in the very words of Ovid, by which he 
portrays the fabulous flood of Ducalion. The following extract 
from Whiton's History of New Hampshire shows the ruins pro- 
duced by the freshet in the northern portion of the state : 

"At Bath, the Ammonoosuc suddenly became turbid and thick with earth, 
then spread itself over its lower banks and meadows, and soon exhibited 
one wide, sweeping roll of billows, bearing along the wreck of bridges, 
buildings, fences, crops, and animals caught by the waves in their pastures. 
The beds of many mountain streams were excavated to a surprising depth 
and width ; in some places the fury of the flood cut out for the waters new 
and permanent channels. Torrents of water rushed through the Notch of 
the White Mountains, breaking up the very foundations of the turnpike 
road for a great distance and leaving a shapeless mass of loosened crags, 
rocks piled on rocks, and yawning chasms. From the sides of the moun- 
tains, slides or avalanches descended to the lower grounds, bearing down 
thousands of tons of gravel, rocks and broken trees, and laying bare the 
solid mountain rock over an extent of hundreds of acres. Late in the pre- 
ceding day, a party of gentlemen; among whom were Colonel Bartlett and 
Mr. Moore of Concord, left Crawford's, a house more than four miles from 
the Notch, on an excursion to the summit of Mount Washington. They ar- 
rived in the evening at a camp which had been constructed at the foot of the 
steep ascent of the mountain, where they passed the night. The next 
morning being cloudy and rainy, they concluded to remain in camp that day, 
but the increasing rain having in the afternoon put out their fire, they reluct- 
antly decided to return. With the utmost difficulty, and not without danger, 
did they effect their retreat, and arrived at Crawford's in the evening. Had 
they remained on the mountain another night they must have perished, as 
the camp was afterward found to have been swept away, and avalanches to 
have passed on either side at the distance of a few rods. The most affect- 
ing story of this flood remains to be told. Two miles from the Notch at 
"the Notch House" lived the family of Samuel Willey, consisting of himself 
and wife, five children and two hired men. An avalanche in its descent 
from the mountain came near the house, where it divided itself into two 
parts, one of which crushed the barn and an adjoining shed. Alarmed at 
the noise, and fearing the destruction of their habitation, the family fled for 
safety; but in the darkness of the night they fell into the track of the other 
avalanche and were all buried under masses of earth and rocks. Some of 



the bodies were found by the scent of dogs, at the distance of fifty rods 
from the house. The house itself remained uninjured, and had the unfortu- 
nate inmates remained within, they had been in safety, but an inscrutable 
Providence otherwise directed. 'It is not in man that walketh to direct his 
steps.' " 

In 1817 a new county was formed. The second section of the 
act creating it reveals its location and boundaries. It is as fol- 
lows : 

"Sect. 2. And be it further enacted. That said county of Sulli- 
van shall contain all the land and waters included in the follow- 
ing towns and places, which now constitute a part of the county 
of Cheshire, to wit : Acworth, Charlestown, Claremont, Cornish, 
Croydon, Grantham, Goshen, Lempster, Langdon, Newport, 
Plainfield, Springfield, Unity, Washington and Wendell ; and 
that said towns be, and they are hereby, disannexed from the 
county of Cheshire." 

At the June session of the legislature of 1817 an excellent 
law was passed " for the support and regulation of primary 
schools." It placed our educational system very nearly upon its 
present basis. The selectmen of every town are required to 
assess, annually, upon all the property of its inhabitants " a sum 
to be computed at the rate of ninety dollars for every one dollar 
of their proportion for public taxes, for the time being, and so for 
a greater or less sum," for the sole purpose of supporting one or 
more English schools within the towns where the taxes are as- 
sessed. The law also reciuires the selectmen to appoint in each 
town a superintending committee, whose powers are almost un- 
limited with respect to the approval of teachers and the selec- 
tion of books. The district is also required to choose annually 
a prudential committee to employ teachers and attend to the lo- 
cal interests of the^school. These judicious provisions for good 
schools attest the wisdom of the legislators of that generation. 

In political matters, parties had become so blended by "amal- 
gamation," that Hon. John Bell, a supporter of John Quincy 
Adams, was elected governor in 1828. He was a member of a 
distinguished family who have exerted a controlling influence in 
the state for a century and a half. Their common ancestor was 
John Bell, born in the county of Antrim, Ireland, in 1678. He 
received a grant of land from the Londonderry colony, in 1720, 
where he spent the remainder of his life. His son John inher- 
ited the homestead and passed his life in the same town. His 
grandson John resided in Chester, was engaged in merchan- 
dise and held several important offices in the state, prior to his 
election as governor. His brother, Samuel Bell, whose official 
career has been previously noticed, was in public life for more 
than a quarter of a century. As representative in the state leg- 


islature, speaker of the house, president of the senate, justice 
of the superior court, governor of the state, United States sen- 
ator, and trustee of the college, " he bore his faculties " so hon- 
orably that the succeeding generation has pretty unanimously 
agreed to call him a wise, great and good man. He left eight 
sons, all distinguished for superior endowments and high schol- 
arship. Samuel Dana Bell, late chief justice of the superior 
court of New Hampshire, was very eminent as a scholar and 
jurist. Of the brothers of Judge Bell, four studied medicine, 
and three became lawyers. They all have acted on the principle 
of Bacon, that " every man is a debtor to his profession," and 
have reflected honor upon their chosen vocations. Only one 
son of Hon. Samuel Bell, Dr. John Bell of Dover, now survives ; 
and Hon. Charles Henry Bell of Exeter is the only representa- 
tive of the family of Governor John Bell. He continued in 
office only one year. 

Parties were at that time constantly changing. In 1829, the 
opponents of the national administration recovered their power, 
and General Pierce was again elected governor. In his second 
message to the legislature, he announced his determination to 
retire from public life at the close of his official year of service. 
In 1830, Hon. Matthew Harvey, a friend of General Jackson 
and a life-long follower of Jefferson, was chosen chief magis- 
trate by a majority of four thousand, over his opponent Colonel 
Upham of Portsmouth. The contest was bitter and malignant ; 
the result proved that the state, for some years to come, was to 
be decidedly democratic. The census of this year showed the 
population of New Hampshire to be two hundred and sixty- 
nine thousand. 



In March, 1827, Hon. Benjamin Pierce of Revolutionary 
memory, always an ardent republican, was elected governor. It 
may not be improper here to give a brief account of the offi- 
cial life of General Pierce. " He was a native of Chelmsford, 
in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. He entered the ser- 
vice of his country in the spring of 1775, being then in the 
seventeenth year of his age ; fought at Bunker's Hill, and con- 


tinued in the service until the peace of 17S3. In his mihtary 
career he participated in all the privations, perils and glory of 
the struggle which terminated in the independence of these 
United States. He entered the service a common soldier, and 
left it a major, by brevet. 

A republican by nature, Gen. Pierce, at the close of the war, 
was anxious to maintain, in his intercourse with the world, that 
state of independence he had so successfully aided in establish- 
ing for his countr)', and no way then appeared so likely to effec- 
this generous purpose as by engaging in some honest employ- 
ment in a new settlement. He accordingly abandoned the place 
of his nativity to the less enterprising and, accompanied by the 
wife of his youth and his trusty sword (still in his possession), 
he pitched his tent in the town of Hillsborough, near the spot 
where he spent the remainder of his life. Hillsborough at that 
early period was little more than a wilderness, and General 
Pierce's tirst efforts were spent in constructing a log house for 
his own accommodation and in felling with his own hands the 
green forest and preparing the ground for cultivation. The la- 
bors of honest industry seldom fail of success, and in few in- 
stances have they been more prosperous than in the case of 
General Pierce. From a state little short of absolute depen- 
dence (the common lot of the Revolutionary soldier), he soon 
began to thrive, and soon took rank among the most independ- 
ent and intelligent farmers in the county of Hillsborough. 

When General Sullivan was elected president of the state in 
1786 he appointed General Pierce his first aid-de-camp, and 
from this time his promotion in the militia was rapid until he 
attained the highest grade in the gift of the executive. 

General Pierce's services in the various branches of the state 
legislature were loftg and useful. He was ten times elected coun- 
cilor, and three times appointed sheriff of the county of Hills- 
borough. This last office he filled with great honor to himself 
and the most entire satisfaction to the community. 
. In his habits General Pierce was frugal and chaste ; in his 
manners easy and affable ; and in his deportment frank and 
generous." No person in the state did more for his country, and 
no contemporary of his had stronger claims upon the gratitude 
of his fellow-citizens. 




During the first twenty years of New Hampshire's history, 
the settlers were limited to small companies governed by the 
agents of the proprietor, Captain John Mason, occupying three 
centres of business, Portsmouth, Dover, and Exeter. Hampton 
was under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. Those little com- 
munities were engaged in farming, lumbering, fishing and hunt- 
ing, and increased very slowly. They were unable, without aid 
from the jjroprietor, to gain a livelihood. They were a constant 
drain upon the treasury of the company. The settlers were not 
permanent inhabitants. They often migrated to Massachusetts 
or returned home. Of course the number varied from year to 
year, and depended for its increase upon new arrivals. It is 
thought, by good judges of the fact, that when the union v/ith 
Massachusetts took place in 1641, the entire population of New 
Hampshire did not exceed one thousand souls. When, by the 
authority of the crown, that union was dissolved in 1692, the 
population is supposed to have been about five thousand. In 
1730 it was estimated at ten thousand. When the province was 
divided into counties, in 177 1, it probably contained between 
sixty and seventy thousand inhabitants. The increase was about 
forty per cent, every ten years. After the Revolutionary war and 
the establishment of a firm government, in 1790, the state had a 
population of one hundred and forty-two thousand, and the in- 
crease for the preceding nineteen years had been at the rate of 
forty-three per cent, for each decade. This period covered the 
war of eight years, when tweh'e thousand four hundred and 
ninety-seven men had served in the army, and probably nearly 
one half of these had perished by violence or pestilence. From 
1790 to 1830, the rate of increase varied from thirty to ten per 
cent, every ten years. Dr. Belknap estimates the increase so 
great from 1771 to 1790, when the first census was taken, as to 
make the population double in nineteen years. This is not es- 
sentially different from the estimate made above. After the 
peace of 1763, when the Indians ceased to make systematic ag- 
gressions upon our frontiers, many new townships were settled 
and large emigrations were made from other states. Also, after 
the peace of 1783 a new stimulus was given to emigration ; the 
wilderness was penetrated and subdued, the bounds of civiliza- 


tion were carried into the interior and northern portions of the 
state, and the population and resources of the state were greatly 
enlarged. Peace always brings men and wealth in its train. 
War brings death, disease and desolation. 


The origin of coined money dates at a period "whereto the 
memory of man runneth not to the contrary." Herodotus, " the 
Father of History," refers the invention to the Lydians. Plu- 
tarch says that Theseus caused money to be impressed with the 
figure of an ox ; other authorities ascribe the honor to Phidon, 
one of the early kings of Argos, b. c. 895. The monarch's 
seal was probably an earlier invention than coins. Whenever 
authority was delegated, the king needed some uniform token by 
which his will could be made known without his personal pres- 
ence ; hence the signet ring became the certificate of the king's 
command. When this abridgment of public business was once 
adopted the transition from a sealed decree to a sealed bit of 
metal was easy. Among the discoveries made in the ruins of 
Babylon are found small tablets of clay, stamped with the royal 
seal, which are supposed to have served as money. The earliest 
method of transferring the precious metals was by weight. The 
earliest standards both of weight and measure must have been 
very rude, when twenty-four seeds or grains represented a penny, 
and three kernels pf barley taken from the middle of the head 
made an inch. The Bible refers to the bag and balances of the 
money lender and to the stamped shekel which bore on one side 
an image of the golden pot that held the manna, and on the 
other a bas-relief of Aaron's rod. The Athenians stamped 
their coins with an owl which was sacred to Minerva. The Greek 
states near the sea adopted symbols for their money appropriate 
to their condition, as a crab, a dolphin or a tortoise. Monarchs 
honored their coins with their own '• image and superscription." 
It is still doubted by arcliEEologists whether coined money existed 
in Homer's time. He often refers to trade by barter, as in the 
following quotation : 

" From Lemnos' isle a numerous fleet had come 
Freighted with wine — " * * * 

" All the other Greeks 
Hastened to purchase, some with brass and some 
With gleaming iron ; some with hides, 
Cattle or slaves." 



In celebrating the games at the funeral of Patroclus, Achilles 
proposes for prizes a tripod and a slave. 

"A massy tripod for the victor lies, 
Of twice six oxen its reputed price ; 
And next, tlie loser's spirit to restore, 
A female captive valued but at four." 

Among the treasures disinterred by Dr. Schliemann, forty feet 
beneath the supposed site of ancient Troy, armor, ornaments 
and vessels of gold and silver were found, but no coins are men- 
tioned. We are more interested in modern than in ancient 
money. The Celtic race vi'ere sufficiently civilized to use coins. 
Cffisar affirms that the early Britons had no money, but coins 
have been discovered in the island which the best authorities in 
numismatics refer to times anterior to the Roman conquest. The 
Anglo-Saxon kings had rude coins as early as the sixth centur5^ 
The penny appears in the eighth. The etymology of this word 
is variously given. Sharon Turner derives it from the Saxon 
verb puniaii, to beat or knock ; others derive it from the Latin 
pendo, to weigh. Scyllinga, or shilling, denoted at first a quan- 
tity of bullion, from scylan, to divide, or, possibly, from sceale, a 
scale, meaning so much silver cut off or weighed ; when coined 
it yielded five of the larger and twelve of the smaller Saxon 
pennies. Two hundred and forty pence were equivalent to a 
pound of silver by weight. In France, England and Scotland a 
pound of money contained twelve ounces of bullion or two hun- 
dred and forty pence. In process of time, as monarchs became 
needy, they divided the pound of bullion into a larger number of 
pieces, thus falsifying the certificate of value stamped upon the 
coins, till in the reign of Elizabeth sixty-two shillings or seven 
hundred and forty-four pence were coined from a pound of 
bullion. The mint price of silver was then said to be 5s. 2d. per 
ounce. Gold was afterwards made the standard of value, and 
the mint price of gold was fixed at £t, 17s. lo'^d. per ounce. 
The computation by pounds, shillings and pence existed as early 
as the reign of Ethelbert, the first Christian king of Kent. The 
payments in Doomsday book, under the conqueror, were made 
in the same denominations now used in England. The Norman 
kings coined pence only with the monarch's image on one side 
and on the other the name of the city where the money was 
coined, with a cross so deeply impressed upon the metal that 
the coin could be broken into two parts called half-pence, or into 
four, called fourthings, or farthings. In the time of Richard I., 
German money was in special demand, called from its purity 
casterling money, as the inhabitants of that part of Europe were 
called £astcr/ings, or Eastern men, hence the origin of the word 
sterling. Gold began to be coined in Europe at the beginning 
of the fourteenth century; in England, by Edward III. Previ- 


ous to that time gold passed by weight. The English guinea, 
which first appeared in the reign of Charles II., was so naifled 
from the region from which the gold was brought. 

The dollar is a coin of different value in different countries. 
Its name is derived from the German word "thai," a valley. 
The German thaler. Low German da/iL-r, Danish dakr and the 
Italian tallcro all come from the name of a Bohemian town called 
"Joachims-Thai,'' wherein 1518 the Count Schlick coined silver 
pieces of an ounce weight. As these coins were held in high re- 
pute tkakrs or dollars were coined in other countries of nearly 
the same worth and weight. Our "cent" is from the Latin centum, 
one hundredth part of a dollar ; the dime from decern the tenth 
part, the mill from ot/ZA-, the thousandth part of a dollar. The 
British colonies computed their accounts in pounds, shillings and 
pence, as they were valued in the mother country. The Spanish 
pillar dollar was worth 4s. 6d. sterling ; or 6s. in New England 

Massachusetts coined money as early as 1652. The following 
account of it is from the pen of Mr. Hawthorne : 

"Captain John Hull was the mint-master of Massachusetts, 
and coined all the money that was made there. This was a new 
line of business ; for in the earlier days of the colony, the cur- 
rent coinage consisted of gold and silver money of England, 
Portugal and Spain. These coins being scarce the people were 
often forced to barter their commodities instead of selling them. 
For instance if a man wanted to buy a coat he perhaps exchang- 
ed a bear-skin for it. If he wished for a barrel of molasses, he 
might purchase it with a pile of pine boards. Musket bullets 
were used instead of farthings. The Indians had a sort of 
money, which was made of clam-shells, and this strange sort of 
specie was likewise taken in payment of debts by the English 

This was called Wampumpeag ; and, by abbreviation, either 
" wampum " or " peag. " A fathom or belt consisted of three 
hundred and si.xty beads. It was of two kinds, white and black. 
One fathom of the white was valued at 5s. sterling ; the black 
at IDS. It was made a legal tender only for i2d. in Massa- 
chusetts. The value of coined money may be learned from the 
price of labor. Mechanics received from i2d. to 2s.' per day. 
Magistrates had 3s. 6d. and deputies 2s. 6d. per day. A married 
clergyman was allowed ^30 per annum. 

" Bank bills had never been heard of. There was not money 
enough of any kind in many parts of the country to pay the 
salaries of the ministers ; so that they sometimes had to take 
quintals of fish, bushels of corn or cords of wood, instead 
of silver or gold. As the people became more numerous and 


their trade one with another increased, the want of current 
mcfney was still more sensibly felt. To supply the demand the 
general court passed a law for establishing a coinage of shil- 
lings, sixpences and threepences. Captain John Hull was ap- 
pointed to manufacture this money, and was to have one shil- 
ling out of every twenty to pay him for the trouble of making 
them. Hereupon all the old silver in the colony was handed 
over to Captain John Hull. The battered silver cans and tank- 
ards, I suppose, and silver buckles, and broken spoons, and sil- 
ver buttons of worn-out coats, and silver hilts of swords that 
had figured at court, all such curious old articles were doubtless 
thrown into the melting-pot together. Cut by far the greater part 
of the silver consisted of bullion from the mines of South Amer- 
ica, which the English buccaneers — who were little better than 
pirates — had taken from the Spaniards and brought to Massa- 
chusetts. All this old and new silver bemg melted down and 
coined, the result was an immense amount of splendid sixpences, 
shillings and threepences. Each had the date, 1652, on the one 
side and the figure of a pine-tree on the other. Hence they 
were called pine-tree shillings. In the course of time their 
place was supplied by bills of paper parchment which were nom- 
inally valued at threepence and upward. The value of these 
bills kept sinking because the real hard money could not be 
obtained for them. They were a great deal worse than the old 
Indian currency of clam-shells." 

The first settlers of New Hampshire used but little money as 
a medium of exchange. They exchanged the products of their 
industry for the necessaries of life. No bills of credit were 
used. Gold and silver coins, imported from other countries, were 
alone considered lawful money. Four shillings and sixpence 
were equal to a Spanish dollar. The French and Indian wars 
exhausted the treasury of the state and imposed a heavy debt 
upon the province. The legislature from time to time secured 
temporary relief by the issue of bills of credit. These depre- 
ciated ; but the credit of the state was repeatedly saved by the 
reimbursement of these war claims by the English government. 
When they joined the revolutionar)' party, their bills became less 
valuable because there was little hope of redemption. In 1720, 
an ounce of silver was worth 7s. 6d., in currency, in 1725, i6s. ; 
in 1730, 20s. ; in 1735, 27s. 6d. ; in 1740, 28s. ; in 1745, 36s. ; iii 
1750, 50s.; in 1755, 70s.; in 1760, 120s. February 20, 1794, an 
act was passed abolishing the currency of pounds, shillings and 
pence, and afterwards accounts were kept in dollars, dimes and 
cents, or dollars and cents. This act took effect January i, 1795. 

When the congress of the United States, on the tenth of May, 
1775, began to issue "Continental Money,'' New Hampshire had 


a large amount of its own issues in circulation whicli were rap- 
idly depreciating. The numerous counterfeits of these bills 
also contributed to diminish their value. The addition of the 
United States money, which never commanded the confidence of 
the people, hastened the decline of our domestic bills. At the 
commencement of the Revolutionary war, paper money passed 
at par ; but it gradually declined in value, till in 1781 one hun- 
dred and twenty dollars were worth only one dollar in silver. It 
soon became entirely worthless. 



For a century and a half after the first settlement at Straw- 
berry Bank and Hilton's Point, the northern portion of the state 
was the favorite hunting-ground of the Indians. They were ac- 
quainted with all the streams that run among the hills and the 
valleys through which they flow. They undoubtedly were fa- 
miliar with all the gorges and defiles which divide the White 
Mountains ; and the far-famed Notch was probably threaded by 
them as they led their weeping captives from the early settle- 
ments of New Hampshire to Canada. It is not now certainly 
known when these mountains were first visited by white men. 
Among the early ^adventurers who landed at Little Harbor in 
1623, there is no mention of soldiers by profession. In 1631, 
Thomas Eyre, one of the patentees, wrote to Ambrose Gibbins, 
their agent, as follows : " By the bark Warwick, we send you a 
factor to take care of the trade goods ; also a soldier for discov- 
ery." "This soldier," says Mr. Potter, " was doubtless Darby 
Field, an Irisiiman who, with Captain Neal and Henr}' Jocelyn, 
discovered the White Mountains in 1632." This narrative is 
now discredited. It is supposed by the best authorities, that 
Dr. Belknap and those who adopted the above statement from 
the first edition of his history, made a mistake of ten years in 
the date of the discovery ; and consequently failed to state cor- 
rectly names and facts connected with it. 

In Winthrop's History of New England, we find the following 
narrative : 

"One Darby Field, an Irishman, living about Piscataquack, being accom- 
panied by two Indians, went to the top of the white hill. He made the 


journey in eighteen days. His relation, at Iiis return, was, that it was about 
one hundred miles from Saco, so that after forty miles' travel he did for the 
most part ascend; and within twelve miles of the top there was neither tree 
nor grass, but low savins which thev went upon the top of sometimes ; but a 
continual ascent upon rocks, on a ridge between two valleys filled with snow, 
out of which came two branches of the Saro river, wliich met at the foot of 
the hill, where was an Indian town of some two hundred people." 

This first ascent was made in June, 1642. Another party, led 
by Thomas Gorges and Mr. Vines from Maine, ascended the 
mountains in August of tlie same year. They also found a large 
Indian town on the Saco, near the base of the mountains. From 
this settlement " they went up hill about thirty miles, in woody 
lands. Then they went about seven or eight miles upon shat- 
tered rocks, without tree or grass, very steep all the way. At 
the top is a plain, three or four miles over, all shattered stones, 
and upon that is another rock or spire about a mile in height, 
and about an acre of ground at the top. On the top of the 
plain arise four great rivers," among them the Connecticut. 
These explorers were dazed by the awful grandeur of the 
scenery, and their eyes were confused by their imaginations. 

The first printed account of the White Mountains is found in 
John Josselyn's "New England's Rarities Discovered," published 
in 1672. The description here given partakes of the errors 
and exaggerations of the first discoverers. They gave a glow- 
ing account of the precious stones in these " everlasting hills," 
and among other things '' rich and rare " they found sheets of 
" Muscovy glass or mica, forty feet long !" To their e.xcited 
minds, the mountains seemed to cover one hundred leagues in 
extent. The next account we have of explorations in the moun- 
tains was in April, 1725. " A ranging company ascended the 
highest mountain on the northwest part." This is thought to be 
the first ascent from the west side. Another party, who made a 
similar tour in March, 1746, were alarmed by repeated explo- 
sions as of the discharge of muskets. On examination they 
found that the noises were made by rocks falling from a cliff in 
the south side of a steep mountain. 

The Notch was discovered in 1771, by Timothy Nash, a pio- 
neer hunter who had made a home for himself in this inhospi- 
table region. Climbing a tree on Cherry Mountain, in search of 
a moose, he discovered, far to the south, this gate of the moun- 
tains. He at once directed his steps to this narrow defile, and 
passed through it to Portsmouth. " Here he made known his 
discovery to Governor Wentvvorth. The wary governor, to test 
the practicability of the pass, informed Nash "that if he would 
bring him a horse down through the gorge from Lancaster, he 
would grant him a tract of land." Nash took with him a kin- 
dred spirit named Benjamin Sav/yer, and by means of ropes 


they let down the horse over a precipice, then existing at the 
gate of the Notch, and dehvered him in safety to the governor. 
The tract of land thus earned was named " Nash and Sawyer's 
Location." "It still has a local habitation and a name." A road 
■was soon after opened by the proprietors of land in " the upper 
Cohos," through this rugged defile, and settlers began to make 
their homes in the vicinity of the mountains. Jefferson, White- 
field, Littleton and Franconia were dotted with houses within a 
few years after the Notch was made passable. In 1774, a road 
was constructed through Pinkham Notch, on the east side of 
the mountains, and Shelburne, which then included Gorham, be- 
gan to be settled. The tenth New Hampshire turnpike was in- 
corporated in 1803, extending from the west line of Bartlett 
through the Notch, a distance of twent)' miles. The original 
cost of the road was forty tliousand dollars. This turnpike be- 
came a thoroughfare for all the northern towns of New Hamp- 
shire and Vermont, for the conveyance of their produce to Port- 
land. Sometimes, it is said, a hundred sleighs passed the Notch 
in a single day. 

Scientific parties visited these mountains for the purpose of 
discovery, in 1784 and in 1804. They published the results of 
their investigations, containing valuable information respecting 
the flora and fauna of those regions, and some observations con- 
cerning the topography, geology and altitudes of the mountains. 
The following account of the first permanent settlements in the 
vicinity of the White Mountains is abridged from the first vol- 
ume of the Geology of New Hampshire, by Professor Charles 

Eleazar Rosebrook removed from Grafton, Mass., to Lancas- 
ter in 1772. He finally settled in Monadnock, now Colebrook. 
He was then more^than thirty miles from any white man's cabin, 
and the only path to his home was by blazed trees. During the 
Revolutionary war he removed to Guildhall, Vt., to secure pro- 
tection to his family during his absence in the service of his 
country. In 1792, he sold his cultivated farm in Vermont and 
again sought the wilderness. He came to Nash and Sawyer's 
Location in the depth of winter. Here he soon built a large 
two-story house at the base of what is known as " the giant's 
grave," occupying nearly the same site as the present Fabyan 
House. He also erected a saw-mill and grist-mill, with barns, 
stables and sheds for the accommodation of travelers. He did 
not long enjoy the fruit of his patient toil. After years of in- 
tense suffering from a cancer he died in 1817. Mr Rosebrook 
was one of nature's noblemen, renowned for his heroism in war 
and for his enterprise in peace. 

Abel Crawford, known as " the patriarch of the mountains," 


also came from Guildhall, a few years later, and settled twelve 
miles farther south, near the site of the present Crawford House. 
He married the daughter of Mr. Rosebrook. In iSig he opened 
a path to Mount Washington, which follows the southwestern 
ridge from Mount Clinton. Three years later his son, Ethan 
Allen Crawford, opened a new foot-path along the course of the 
Ammonoosuc. In 1840 Abel Crawford, at the age of seventy- 
five, made his first horseback ascent to the top of Mount Wash- 
ington. Dr. O. T. Jackson, the first state geologist, accompanied 
him. Prior to that date visitors and their guides went up on 
foot. For sixty years he entertained and escorted travelers in 
these mountain regions. He died at the advanced age of eighty- 
five. In the spring months of his last years he longed for the 
coming of visitors as the young boy longs for the return of the 
swallow. " He used to sit, in the warm spring days, supported 
by his daughter, his snow-white hair falling on his shoulders, 
waiting for the first ripple of that large tide which he had seen 
increasing in volume for twenty years. Not long after the stages 
began to carry their summer freight by his door, he passed away." 
His son, Ethan Allen Crawford, succeeded to the estate of Capt. 
Rosebrook, but the ample buildings reared by the latter were 
soon after burned. For many years the Crawfords alone enter- 
tained strangers at the mountains. All the bridle-paths on the 
west were opened by them. In 182 1 ladies first ascended Mount 
Washington. The Misses Austin of Portsmouth spent four days 
in a small stone cabin near the summit, in order to obtain a good 
prospect. During the first quarter of this century the number 
of visitors averaged about twelve each year. 

The Crawfords were bold, fearless, athletic men and their 
strong arms have sustained many a fainting pilgrim in his am- 
bitious struggle to go up higher. Ethan Allen Crawford, known 
as " the giant of the mountains," was nearly seven feet in height. 
He kept a journal of his adventures about the mountains. Many 
of the wisest and most distinguished men of the country were 
hospitably entertained under his rude roof. He would come 
home from a bear hunt to find in his house, perhaps, a member of 
congress. Daniel Webster once desired his assistance on foot 
to the top of Mount Washington. Ethan says : " We went up 
without meeting anything worthy of note, more than was com- 
mon for me to find ; but to him things appeared interesting, and 
when we arrived there Mr, Webster spoke as follows : 'Alount 
Washington, I have come a long distance and have toiled hard 
to reach your summit, and now you give me a cold reception. 
I am extremely sorry that I cannot stay to view this grand pros- 
pect which lies before me ; and nothing prevents but the uncom- 
fortable atmosphere in which you reside.' " A storm of snow over- 


took them in their descent, which almost chilled their life-blood. 
The statesman was much interested in his guide, for Ethan adds : 
'"The next morning, after paying his bill, he made me' a hand- 
some present of twenty dollars." Though Ethan was an honest 
and moral man, he was imprisoned for debt, which came upon 
him by losses through fire and flood. He acted well his part 
where Providence placed him, and by his labor and sufferings 
contributed to the safet)' and happiness of others. 

In 1S03 Mr. Davis built a house three miles below the Notch, 
which was afterwards occupied by Mr. Willey who perished with 
his family, in 1826, by an avalanche from a mountain since call- 
ed Mount Willey. These are the most noted of the early set- 
tlers about the \Vhite Mountains. The six or seven visitors who 
sought these regions in 1803 have now increased to as many 

Note. — The altitudes of the highest mountain peaks in New Hampshire are given by Prof. 
Hitchcock in Itis Geology of New Hampshire, as follows: Mt. Washington, 6,293 feet; Mt. 
Adams, 5794 feet; Mt. Jefferson, 5714 feet ; Mt. Clay, 5,553 feet; Mt. Monroe, 5384 feet ; 
Mt. Madison, 5365 feet; Mt. Franklin, 4904 feet; Mt. Webster, 4,000 feet; White Moun- 
tain Notch, 1,914 feet; Moosilai»ke, 4,81 1 feet ; Kearsarge, 2,943 feet ; Mt. Cuba, 2,927 feet; 
Moose Mountain, 2,326 feet ; Mt. Chocorua, 3,540 feet ; Mt. Cardigan, 3, 156 feet ; Red Hill, 
North Peak, 2,038 feet 



The true source <5f the Connecticut river has been accurately 
determined by Mr. J. H. Huntington, Assistant State Geologist. 
He describes it as follows : "Almost on the very northern bound- 
ary of New Hampshire, and nearly on the very summit of the 
dividing ridge that separates the waters of the St. Lawrence 
from those that flow southward, there is a small lake containing 
only a few acres, and this is the source of the Connecticut. It 
has an elevation of two thousand five hundred and fifty-one feet, 
and is only seventy-eight feet below the summit of Mount Pros- 
pect ; and so remote is it from the habitations of men, that it is 
rarely seen. A place more solitary I know not in northern New 
Hampshire. The outlet of this lake is a mere rill ; this flows 
into 'Third Lake,' which has an area of three-fourths of a 
square mile." This lake discharges its waters, with those of a 
tributary which it receives five miles below, into " Second Lake." 
The area of this lake is about one and three-fourtlis square 


miles. The sceneiy about it is exceedingly attractive. " Its 
outlet is on the west side, near its southern limit, and is forty 
feet in width, and has a depth of eighteen inches. Twenty rods 
from the lake it has a fall of eighteen feet or more ; then its 
descent is quite gradual, but forms here and there deep eddies. 
A mile from the lake it becomes more rapid and rushes down 
between precipitous walls of rocks, in a series of wild cascades, 
which continue for half a mile. It receives two tributaries from 
the west before it flows into Connecticut Lake. This is a sheet of 
water exceedingly irregular in outline. Its length is four miles, 
and its greatest width two and three-fourths, and it contains 
about three square miles. Its general direction is east and west, 
but near its outlet it turns towards the south. The water at the 
outlet flows over a rocky barrier, the stream falling abruptly 
nearly thirty-seven feet. The fall is quite rapid for two miles 
and a half ; then the flow is more gentle for about four miles. 
It is nowhere a sluggish stream, until it passes the falls of North- 
umberland. The fall from Connecticut Lake to Lancaster is 
seven hundred and eighty-five feet." Were it not for the sever- 
ity of the climate, the water-shed which supplies the sources of 
the Connecticut river would furnish homes and subsistence for 
a large population. 

The streams that feed the Connecticut are thus enumerated by 
Mr. Huntington : " In New Hampshire, below Connecticut Lake, 
the river receives three large tributaries. Perry's stream, which 
rises near Third Lake and has a rapid descent, including two 
falls three and five miles from its confluence ; Indian stream, 
which rises on the boundary and has a very rapid descent for 
five or six miles, when it is a very quiet stream until it flows into 
the Connecticut, about eleven miles from the lake ; and Hall's 
stream, which rises, also, on the boundary, and is the dividing 
line between New Hampshire and the Province of Quebec. Be- 
sides these there are several smaller streams. The principal trib- 
utaries from the east are Cedar stream in Pittsburg, Labrador 
brook and Dead Water stream in Clarksville, Bishop brook in 
Stewartstown, the Mohawk in Colebrook, Sim's stream and Ly- 
man brook in Columbia, Bog brook in Stratford, the Upper Am- 
monoosuc in Northumberland, Israel's river in Lancaster and 
John's river in Dalton." 

South of Dalton the other tributaries of the Connecticut are 
Lower Ammonoosuc at Bath, Oliverian brook at Haverhill, 
Eastman's brook at Piermont, Mascoma river at Lebanon, Sugar 
river at Claremont, Cold river at Walpole, Partridge brook at 
Westmoreland and Ashuelot river at Hinsdale. It also receives, 
from Vermont, Nulhegan river at Brunswick, Passumpsic river 
at Barnet, Wells river at Newbury, Wait's river at Bradford, 


Pompanoosuc at Norwich, White river at White River Junction, 
Quechee river at Hartland, Black river at Springfield, William's 
river at Rockingham and West river at Brattleboro. 

The western bank of the Connecticut at low water mark is 
the boundary line between New Hampshire and Vermont through 
the entire length of the latter state. The length of the Con- 
necticut as it bounds New Hampshire is two hundred and eleven 
miles. It drains about three-tenths of the entire state and about 
four-tenths of Vermont, making an area of 6,800 square miles 
in both states. 

One of the oldest explorers of the Connecticut, farther south, 
was John Ledyard, an eccentric individual who entered Dart- 
mouth College in 1772, and after a brief stay of four months 
became a wanderer. One of his exploits is thus described by 
President Sparks : 

"On the margin of Connecticut river, which runs near the college, stood 
many majestic forest trees, nourished by a rich soil. One of these Ledyard 
contrived to cut down. He then set himself at work to fashion its trunk 
into a canoe, and in this labor he was assisted by some of his fellow-students. 
As the canoe was fifty feet long and three wide, and was to be dug out and 
constructed by these unskillful workmen, the task was not a trifling one, nor 
such as could be speedily executed. Operations were carried on with spirit, 
however, till Ledyard wounded himself with an axe and was disabled for 
several days. When he recovered he applied himself anew to his work ; 
the canoe was finished, launched into the stream, and by the further aid of 
his companions equipped and prejjared for the voyage. His wishes were 
now at their consummation, and bidding adieu to these haunts of the Muses, 
where he had gained a dubious fame, he set off alone to e.xplore a river with 
the navigation of which he had not the sliglitest acquaintance. The distance 
to Hartford was not less than one hundred and forty miles, much of the way 
was through a wilderness, and in several places there were dangerous falls 
and rapids. 

With a bear-skin for his covering and his canoe well stocked with provis- 
ions, he yielded himself to the current and floated leisurely down the stream, 
seldom using his paddle, and stopping only in the night for sleep. He told 
Mr. Jefferson in Paris, fourteen years afterward, that he took only two books 
with him, a Greek Testament and Ovid, one of which he was deeply engaged 
in reading when his canoe reached Bellows Falls, where lie was suddenly 
aroused by the noise of the waters rushing among the rocks in the narrow 
passage. The danger was imminent, as no boat could go down that fall 
without being instantly dashed in pieces. With difficulty he gained the shore 
in time to escape such a catastrophe, and through the kind assistance of the 
people in the neighborhood, who were astonished at the novelty of such a 
vovage down the Connecticut, his canoe was drawn by oxen around the fall 
and committed again to the water below. He reached Hartford in safety, 
and astonished his friends not more by the suddenness of his return than by 
the strange mode of navigation by which he accomplished it." 

Rivers are historical. The first towns and cities are built 
upon their banks ; the first explorations of the interior follow 
their currents. Rivers, therefore, reflect the character of the 
people as they mirror in their waters the surrounding scenery. 


The histoiy of the United States is associated with the Missis- 
sippi, the Ohio and James rivers. The banks of the Connecti- 
cut and Merrimack are eloquent of the pioneers of New Eng- 
land. These rivers, with their rich intervals, attracted to them 
the first dwellers in the wilderness ; and in subsequent years 
their clear waters were often dyed with their blood. Says Elihu 
Burritt, speaking of the Connecticut : " Its scenery in itself is 
as picturesque and pleasing as any American river can show. If 
it is not so bold and grand as that of the Hudson, its pictures of 
beauty are hung in a softer light and longer gallery, with no 
blank or barren spaces between them. * * * pg^ 
nearly a hundred miles of its winding course the Connecticut 
hems the opposite shores of Vermont and New Hampshire with 
a broad seam of silver, which each state wears as a fringe of 
light to its green and graceful border." 

The Merrimack river is formed by the confluence of the Pem- 
igewasset and Winnipiseogee rivers, at Franklin. The source 
of the Pemigewasset is Profile Lake, in the Franconia moun- 
tains. The Franconia Notch is a defile of about five miles in 
length and half a mile in width, between Lafayette and Mount 
Cannon. It contains, probably, as many objects of interest to 
travelers as any other mountain pass in the world. The most 
attractive object in this natural museum of curiosities is the 
"Great Stone Face" or "Old Man of the Mountain," which like 
a lone sentinel keeps perpetual watch and ward over the "un- 
sunned treasures" which nature has buried beneath the rocky 
ramparts that surround him. Here the hand of God sculptured 
this antetype of the human countenance, ages before he created 
man of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath 
of life. Oh ! if the stony lips of this changeless form could be 
made vocal, its history would be worth more to the world than 
all the discoveries that " proud science " has made, or all the 
theories that " old philosophy " has invented. Fifteen hundred 
feet below those jutting rocks that form the profile of " the Old 
Man of the Mountain," nestles a beautiful and picturesque little 
lake, which is the source of the Pemigewasset river, which 
plunges over rocky precipices and hurries through smiling mead- 
ows, descending more than si.xteen hundred feet, till it joins the 
Winnipiseogee river at Franklin ; and then under the new name 
of Merrimack, rolls quietly on to turn the wheels and spindles 
of Manchester, Lawrence and Lowell, and thus give employ- 
ment and bread to thousands of operatives. This river drains 
nearly four tenths of the whole area of New Hampshire. It 
passes through the central portion of the state ; and in relation 
to agriculture and manufactures, is perhaps the most important 
river of New Hampshire. It leaves the state at the southeast 


corner of Hudson, and, bending to the northeast, flows into the 
Atlantic, in a channel three miles south of the southern boundary 
of Rockingham County. Its entire length is about one hundred 
and fifty-four miles. The following streams flow into it : Baker's 
river at Plymouth ; Newfound river at Bristol ; Smith's river at 
Bristol ; Webster Lake brook at Franklin ; Contoocook, the larg- 
est tributary in New Hampshire, at Fisherville* j Piscataquog at 
Manchester ; Souhegan at Merrimack ; Nashua river at Nashua ; 
East Branch at Woodstock j Mad river at Campton ; Beebe 
river at Campton ; Squam river at Ashland ; Winnipiseogee river 
at Franklin ; Soucook river at Pembroke ; Suncook river at 
Allenstown ; Brown's brook at Hooksett ; Cohas brook at Man- 
chester ; Beaver brook at Dracut, Mass. ; Spiggot river at Law- 
rence, Mass. ; and Powwow river at Amesbury.t 

The Merrimack is one of the most remarkable rivers of New 
Hampshire, both for its beautiful scenery and its abundant water 
power, " It is said to contain double the available power of all 
the rivers of France. It turns more spindles, in addition to a 
vast amount of other machinery', than any other river on the face 
of the globe." Still the greater portion of its waters is un- 

The Salmon Falls river and the Cocheco unite at Dover to 
form the Piscataqua. The Salmon Falls river and the Piscata- 
qua, throughout their entire course, form a portion of the east- 
ern boundary of the state. The Piscataqua is a short river, 

* Note. — On the i/lh of June, 1S74, a monument was erected, with due ceremonies, on 
t)uston Island, at the mouth of Contoocook liyer, Concord, N. H., to the memory of Han- 
nah Duston, whose wonderful exploits are described as follows: 

"On the 15th of March, 1697, the Indians made a descent on the town of Haverhill, Mass., 
killed twenty-seven of the inhabitants, burned nine dwellings, andtook Mrs. Hannah Duston, 
her babe only six days old, her nurse, Mary Neff, and eight or nine other prisoners, and car- 
ried them all into New Hampshire, excepting the infant,_ who was Idlled by having its head 
dashed against a tree. After fifteen days of fearful suffering, especially on the part of Mrs. 
Duston, who was taken fronf child-bed, the Indians and part of their captives arrived at the 
Island at the junction of the Contoocook and Merrimack rivers. Mrs. Duston, Mary Neff, 
and an English boy named Samuel Leonardson, who had been captured at Worcester, were 
assigned to the_ care of two Indian men and three women, who had seven children, mostly 
half-grown Indians, with them. Mrs. Duston and her nurse were told by their convoy that 
they would have to run the gauntlet through their village when they arrived there, and that 
they must be deprived of most of their clotliing. Mrs. Duston, aware of the horrible tortures 
this threat included, formed the design of exterminating her captors, old and young, and 
managed to prevail on her nurse and the boy to assist herm their destruction. A little before 
daylight, on the 30th of March, finding the Indians asleep around their fire, Mrs. Duston 
and her associates armed themselves with their tomahawks, and despatched ten of the twelve. 
One woman, who had been believed to be killed made her escape, and one of the Indian 
youths Mrs. Duston and her associates design^^dly left unharmed._ They then scalped the 
dead, took one of the tomahawks and a gun belonging to the Indians, crossed the river in a 
canoe and made their escape. After enduring great hardships from want of food, and nm- 
ning much risk from meeting with Indians, the fugitives amved at Boston with their scalps 
and their booty on the 21st day of April. The general court was in session at the time, and 
voted Mrs. Duston tifty pounds in sterling money, and a similar sum to be divided between 
her nurse and the boy Leonardson. Presents were sent them from many quarters; among 
other srivers was the governor of Maryland. Forty years afterward, in appreciation of the 
act of Mrs. Duston, the colonial legislature voted certain valuable lands to her descendants, 
in testimony of iheir appreciation of her wonderful braverv." 

t Many faces in the chapters descriptive of rivers, climate and scenery have been compiled 
with the author's consent, from Prof. Hitchcock's Geology of New Hampshire. 


which, with its tributaries, drains only about one eleventh of the 
state ; but it is deemed of priceless value to the state on account 
of the excellent harbor, safe, broad and deep, which is formed 
by its banks as it enters the Atlantic Ocean. The tide flows to 
Dover and South Berwick. Between the towns of Durham, 
Greenland and Newington, there is an immense tidal basin which 
receives the waters of several rivers. The area of this estuary, 
including Great and Little Bays, is about nine square miles. 
Bellamy river at Dover, Oyster river at Durham, Lamprey river 
at Newmarket, and E.xeter river at South Newmarket, flow into 
Great Bay, and thus indirectly increase the current of the Piscat- 
aqua and prevent the harbor from freezing in the winter. The 
Cocheco and Salmon Falls rivers rise near the southern extrem- 
ity of Lake Winnipiseogee ; and the ponds that feed them have 
nearly the same altitude as that lake, which is five hundred feet 
above the sea. 

The lakes and ponds which everywhere dot the surface of the 
state form one of the most interesting features of its landscapes. 
In these natural basins, during the rainy season, are treasured 
the waters that, in periods of drought, give verdure and freshness 
to the farmers' meadows and furnish the power that drives the 
machinery of the manufacturers. 

The land upon the Piscataqua and its tributaries is excellent 
for tillage and highly productive. It is more level and less 
stony, and consequently more easily cultivated than other por- 
tions of the state. New Hampshire 'has only nineteen miles of 
sea-board, yet its long reaches of beautiful beach are unsurpassed 
by any state in the Union. Boar's Head, which overlooks the 
Atlantic at Hampton, and Rye Beach have a national reputa- 
tion. Large and commodious hotels have been built in the vi- 
cinity of both, and numerous visitors from the cold north and 
the sunny south throng them and all the farm-houses for miles 
around them, for the purpose of sea bathing and beach drives, 
during the summer months. The mountains and the ocean fur- 
nish centres of undying interest to those who visit the Granite 
State, and yield a liberal revenue to those who live beneath the 
shadows of the " everlasting hills " or upon the borders of " the 
great and wide sea." 

The Magalloway river is the outlet of a small lake of the 
same name in northern New Hampshire, near Crown Monu- 
ment, which marks the point where Maine and New Hampshire 
meet the Dominion of Canada. The lake has an area of about 
three hundred acres. It is situated more than two thousand feet 
above the ocean, amid dense forests and under the shadow of 
high hills, and exhibits in its solitude the gloom and grandeur 
of primeval nature. The river, soon after its rise, enters the 



State of Maine. It reenters New Hampshire in the Dartmouth 
College grant. It flows about one mile and then crosses the 
line into Maine and returns to the state in Wentworth's Loca- 
tion, and flows into the Androscoggin about a mile and one half 
from Umbagog lake. The entire length of the Magalloway and 
the Androscoggin in New Hampshire is eighty-six miles. 

The tributaries of the Androscoggin in New Hampshire are 
Swift Diamond river, entering from the College grant. Clear 
Stream at Errol, Moose river at Gorham, Peabody river at Gor- 
ham and Chickwalnipy river from the east side at Milan. 

The streams which drain the eastern slope of the White 
Mountain range and those whose waters flow through the Notch 
from the west side find their way to the Atlantic through two of 
the largest rivers of Maine. The Saco rises a few miles above 
the Notch, and, by a winding course of thirty-four miles, leaves 
the state at East Conway. Along its banks are found some of 
the most marvelous of nature's works. Travelers tell us that 
no land presents more attractive scenery. The eye of the be- 
holder is never satisfied with seeing. 



New Hampshire lies between the Province of Quebec on the 
north and the state 'of Massachusetts on the south. On the 
east lies the state of Maine ; on the southeast it is bounded by 
the Atlantic ocean and the county of Essex ; on the west and 
northwest by Vermont and partially by the Province of Quebec. 
Its shape is that of a scalene triangle, almost a right-angled 
triangle. The western boundary measures one hundred and 
ninety miles ; the eastern one hundred and eighty. The greatest 
width of the state, from Chesterfield to the eastern point of Rye, 
is ninety-three miles. It lies between 70^37' and 72°37' of lon- 
gitude, west from Greenwich; and between 42 °4o' and 45^18' 
23" of north latitude. Its area, according to the measurement 
of Prof. Hitchcock, is nine thousand, three hundred and thirty- 
six square miles. A considerable portion of the state is so rough 
and mountainous as to be unfit for profitable tillage. Those 
regions are very sparsely populated. 

The annual amount of rain and melted snow varies from 


thirty-five to fort}'-six inches. The largest fall of rain is in the 
central portions of the state ; the smallest on the sea-board. 
The temperature varies in different localities, from ioo° of Fah- 
renheit in summer, above zero, to 50° below in winter. Notwith- 
standing these e.xtremes of heat and cold. New Hampshire is 
justly considered a healthy section of the country. Statistics 
show that its climate is eminently favorable to longevity. Dur- 
ing one centurjr, from 1732 to 1832, more than one hundred per- 
sons lived to be more than one hundred years Of age. 

The lakes of New Hampshire constitute one of the most at- 
tractive features of the scenery. These are fed from the "streams 
which run among the hills." During the periods of "the early 
and latter rains " they are swollen to mountain torrents, which 
often bring ruin and desolation to the meadows upon their banks ; 
but they discharge their surplus waters into these peaceful lakes 
which become so many " basins of reserved power " for the pro- 
pelling of machinery. 

Among the largest of these beautiful sheets of water we may 
mention : 

1. The Ossipee Lake. It is renowned as the headquarters 
of the Indians in 1720. It is situated in Ossipee and Effingham 
and has an area of seven hundred acres. It contains no islands 
and its clear blue waters form a perfect mirror for the attractive 
scenery upon its borders. 

2. Squam Lake, occupying a part of Holderness, Sandwich, 
Moultonborough and Centre Harbor, is about si.x miles in length 
and three in breadth, covering about seven thousand acres. It 
is described as " a splendid sheet of water, indented by points, 
arched with coves and studded with a succession of romantic 

3. Sunapee Lake is situated upon the borders of New Lon- 
don, Newbury and Sunapee. It is about nine miles in length, 
and varies from half a mile to one and a half miles in width. 
This lake occupies a very elevated position, being eight hundred 
and twenty feet above the sea. Its e.xtreme elevation prevented, 
in 1816, the use of its waters for a canal uniting the Merrimack 
and Connecticut rivers. 

4. The most celebrated of all our lakes is the Winnipiseo- 
gee, now frequently spelled Winnipesaukee. The orthography 
of this word lias at least forty variations. This lake charms all 
travelers. It has no peer; not even Lake George surpasses it. 
Its scenery is wild and romantic ; its waters are pure and deep ; 
its fertile islands equal in number the days of the year ; its fish, 
various and numerous, furnish rich repasts at the tables of the 
commodious hotels upon its borders ; and the steamers and boats 
that ply upon its bosom give to the lovers of pleasure ample 


opportunity for sailing, rowing and steaming. It lies in tlie 
counties of Belknap and Carroll, and is surrounded by the pleas- 
ant towns of Moultonborough, Tuftonborough, Wolfeborough, 
Centre Harbor, Meredith, Gilford and Alton. It is about twenty- 
five miles in length and varies in width from one to ten miles. 
It is four hundred and seventy-two feet above the sea. 

The transition from scenery to climate is easy and natural. 
Climate affects all human relations, whether of body, mind or 
estate. It determines the rank of nations in the scale of civili- 
zation. It regulates the standard of physical strength, intellect- 
ual power and moral worth. There is not a nerve, tissue or fibre 
of the human frame that is not modified by cold and heat. The 
body is the tit tabernacle of the indwelling spirit ; and to a great 
extent determines for time and eternity the character of its 
tenant. Extremes both of heat and cold are unfavorable to the 
highest development of the human race. Hence the best speci- 
mens of our race have always been found in the temperate zones. 
Here the necessity of procuring food, clothing and shelter has 
stimulated the physical and intellectual powers to their highest 
activity and proved to be, literally, the mother of inventions. 
The climate of New Hampshire is rigorous and severe. 

" Rough, cold and bleak, our little state 
Is hard of soil, of limits straiglit ; 
Her yellow sands are sands alone, 
Her only mines are ice and stone. 
From autumn frost to April rain 
Too lon^ her winter woods complain ; 
From bidding flower to falling leaf 
Her summer 'time is all too brief." 

For more than one half of the year we are compelled to war 
with the elements and contend, day and night, with wind and 
storm, frost and snow. During the other half of the year, we 
are employed in m'aking provision against this elemental strife. 
It is well for us that it is so. The people of the Granite State 
owe their health, vigor and longevity to their ungenial climate 
and rugged soil. Both have compelled them to labor to subdue 
nature and repel the cold. Labor is the weapon of honor. It 
is the ordination of Heaven, and no people becomes great, good 
or wise without it. Liberty lives where the snow falls. Man is 
enfranchised only in the temperate zones. Between the tropics, 
where nature supplies men's wants spontaneously, great men 
and great nations have been few. Where the chief wants of our 
nature, food, clothing and shelter, are scarcely needed beyond 
what the earth itself liberally supplies, there is no stimulus to 
industry. Artificial wants have no existence. Men are rendered 
effeminate, indolent and sensuous by the climate. Despotism is 
the normal state of the government, slavery that of the governed. 
In such a climate, men cannot be educated to freedom. They 


have neither the energy nor the industry necessary to achieve 
and defend their liberty. The tropical man, therefore, in his 
native home, is not destined to be the teacher, law-giver, gover- 
nor or even the equal of the pale-faces of snowy climes. The 
warm regions have their inconveniences ; the cold have their 
compensations. When we consider our long winters, our drift- 
ing snows, our early frosts and our stubborn soil, we are apt to 
complain of New Hampshire as a place of residence and repeat 
the stale proverb about its being " a good state to emigrate 
from." It is a good state in which to have a home and to be- 
come virtuous and happy. Its scenery is unsurpassed by any 
country on the globe. Men visit foreign lands to be excited, 
elevated and enraptured with the grand, gloomy and majestic 
aspects of nature. They throng the retired vales of Switzerland, 
and gaze, reverently, upon the glittering pinnacles of the Alps ; 
and for once in their lives worship that God of whom Moses 
said, " Before the mountains were brought forth, or even thou 
hadst formed the earth and world, even from everlasting to ever- 
lasting, thou art God." Even Byron, the poet of passion, the 
profane scoffer, felt the emotions of reverence beneath the 
frowning battlements of Mont Blanc ; and, in poetic rapture, 
exclaimed : 

" Above me are the Alps, 

The palaces of nature, whose vast walls 

Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps 

And throned Eternity in icy halls 

Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls 

The avalanche — the thunderbolt of snow ! 

All that expands the spirit yet appals 

Gathers rotind these summits, as to show 

How earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below." 

Coleridge, in that magnificent poem entitled " Sunrise in the 
Vale of Chamouni," has this apostrophe to the same mountain : 

" Oh, dread and silent mount ! I gazed upon thee 
Till thou still pi-esent to the bodily sense 
Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer 
I worshiped the Invisible alone." 

New Hampshire is called the Switzerland of America, and is 
admitted by travelers to present scenes of attractive beauty and 
awful sublimity which compare favorably with any of which Eu- 
rope can boast. Fashions in travel change as often as those of 
dress. Men are ever wandering in search of pleasure which is 
never found in perfection except at home. Multitudes who live 
in sight of Mount Washington never visit it. Multitudes who 
breathe the stifled air of cities delight to climb its rugged sides, 
pierce the clouds that encircle them, and enjoy the sunshine that 
lingers and plays upon its summit. The lime is not very remote 
when the tide of European travel, like the " course of empire," 
westward shall take its way, and the valleys and pinnacles of 


our own familiar mountains will echo with strange tongues and 
become populous with visitors from the old world. Why not ? 
The railroad, even now, can lift the traveler to the top of 
Mount Washington, and the great valleys that lead to the moun- 
tains present unparalleled attractions to the lovers of the pic- 
turesque and the most sublime of geological records to the sci- 
entific explorer. Why, then, may we not e.xpect the lovers of 
pleasure and the e.xplorers of nature from populous Europe to 
throng our thoroughfares which lead up to the Notch, the Flume, 
the Franconia valley and the Old Man of the Mountain, around 
whose venerable head great white clouds 

"Are wanderinjr, in thick flocks, among the mountains, 
Shepherded by the slow, unwillini; wind" ? 

Nay, more, why may we not expect, when the real seclusion is 
broken from the oriental world, to see among us the cautious 
Japanese, the philosophic Brahmin, the contemplative Chinaman 
and the imaginative Persian, traveling for pleasure or profit 
under the shadows of our granite hills or on the banks of our 
silver streams ? Tliis may all be " in the prime of summer time " 
in some coming year, when 

" Spring's warm look has unfettered the fountains." 

There are four great avenues to the two highest ranges of 
New Hampshire mountains. These are through the valleys of 
great rivers, the Saco, the Merrimack, the Androscoggin and the 
Connecticut. Two of these are all our own. The tributaries of 
the Merrimack and the Connecticut are chiefly within our state. 

Man is enfranchised only in the temperate zones. All cli- 
mates have their inconveniences and compensations. Rich soils 
and sunny climes produce gross bodies and sluggish brains. 
Nature is lovely, and 

" All but the siriiit of man is divine." 

Necessity is the mother of inventions and of inventors too. 

" Souls are ripened in our northern skies." 

Mr. Reavis, in his pamphlet upon St. Louis, says : 

" It is a noteworthy observation of Dr. Draper, in his work on the Civil 
War in America, that, within a zone a few degrees wide, having for its axis 
the January isothermal line of forty-one degrees, all great men in Europe 
and Asia have appeared. He might have added, with equal truth, that 
within the same zone have e.xisted all those great cities which have e.xerted 
a powerful influence upon the world's history, as centres of civilization and 
intellectual progress. The same inexorable law of climate, which makes 
greatness in the individual unattainable in a temperature hotter or colder 
than a certain golden mean, affects in like manner, with even more certainty, 
the development of those concentrations of intellect of man which we find 
in great cities. If the temperature is too cold, the sluggish torpor of the 
intellectual and physical nature precludes the highest development ; if the 


temperature is too hot, the fiery fickleness of nature, which warm climates 
produce in the individual, is typical of the swift and tropical growth, and 
sudden and severe decay and decline, of cities exposed to the same all povifer- 
ful influence. Beyond that zone of moderate temperature, the human life re- 
sembles more closely that of the animal, as it is forced to combat with ex- 
tremes of cold, or to submit to extremes of heat ; but within that zone the 
highest intellectual activity and culture are displayed." 

New Hampshire, lying and being within those charmed circles 
that begirt the globe and enclose its nobles, has furnished abun- 
dant proof of the theory above quoted ; and what was said of 
Zion anciently may be applied to her, with all reverence : "This 
and that man was born in her, and the Highest shall establish 
her." Let us thank God and take courage, that we have so few 
temptations and so many inducements to virtue. Truly, " the 
lines have fallen to us in pleasant places." 

" Why turn we to our mountain homes 

Wilh more than filial feeling ? 
'Tis here that Freedom's altars bttrn 

And Freedom's sons are kneeling." 

Our little state has been a fountain from which there has been 
a ceaseless flow of able men who have largely influenced the 
destinies and developed the resources of other states. Fifty 
years ago New Hampshire was so rich in intellect that she could 
have furnished, from her citizens, a president, vice-president, 
cabinet and supreme court, equal in fitness to any holding those 
high positions since the formation of the government. In this 
connection we may cite the names of Langdon, Sullivan, Stark, 
Thornton, McClary, the Websters, \'\'oodburys, Pierces, Bart- 
letts, Smith, Richardson, the Livermores, Gilchrist, the Ather- 
tons, Cass, Fessenden, the Bells of both Hillsborough and 
Grafton counties, Plumer, Whipple, Lord, Cilley, Miller, McNeil, 
Mason, Hill, the Dinsmoors, the Uphams, Hubbard, Chase, 
Parker, Clifford, Perley, Fletcher, Greeley, Di.x, Grimes, Hale, 
Healey, Wilson, John Wentworth and others, as soine of the 
representative men of the state. 





The Isles of Shoals as a part of New Hampshire deserve 
something more than a passing notice. Their discovery ante- 
dates that of the Piscataqua. " These islands bore some of the 
first footprints of New England Christianit}^ and civilization. 
They were, for a long time, the abode of intelligence, refinement 
and virtue, but were afterwards abandoned to a state of semi- 
barbarism." In 1614 John Smith took note of their existence, 
and in 1623 Christopher Lcavitt landed on one of them. In 
1645 three brothers, Robert, John and Richard Cutts, emigrated 
from Wales, and on their passage landed at the Isles of Shoals, 
and being pleased with their attractions commenced a settlement 
there. Other persons from England and Wales soon joined 
them and formed a prosperous colony. In 1650 Rev. John 
Brock became their minister. He is mentioned by Cotton 
Mather as one of the excellent of the earth in knowledge and 
devotion. From that date to the present time the place has been 
filled with men "good, bad and indifferent," till Christianity has 
nearly lapsed into heathenism. In 1661, the islands having be- 
come quite famous as places of resort, were incorporated into a 
township called Appledore. " Hog Island then contained about 
forty families," who afterwards, through fear of the Indians, 
passed over to Star* Island. William Pcpperell, the father of Sir 
William Pepperell, so distinguished in the annals of Maine, lived 
and traded there for twenty years. From this period to the time 
of the Revolution the population of the Shoals varied from 
three to six hundred, and the settlement grew and prospered. 
They had all the symbols of a well regulated Christian commu- 
nity, the church, school-house, court-house • and a fort. Their 
chief occupation was fishing. At the commencement of the war 
with England they, from their exposed condition, were entirely 
at the mercy of the enemy, hence the best portion of the popu- 
lation migrated to the neighboring seaports. Capt. White, v.'ho 
was murdered by Crowninshield in 1830, Avas one of those exiles 
from his rocky home in the ocean. The people who remained 
were ignorant, degraded and worthless. " They burned the 
meeting-house and gave themselves up to quarreling, profanity 
and drunkenness till they became almost barbarians." Since 


that time the little education and religion found in the settle- 
ment have been imparted by visitors and missionaries under the 
greatest disadvantages. Mrs. Celia Thaxter, in her work entitled 
" Among the Isles of Shoals," has given us the best description 
of these " low, piratical reefs " which has ever been written. It 
has the fidelity of true history with the marvels of the wildest 
romance. Nine miles from Portsmouth, twenty-one from Cape 
Ann in Massachusetts, and sixteen from Cape Neddick in 
Maine, these perilous ledges, like huge sea monsters, lift their 
backs above the water. There are six in number if the tide is 
low, but if it is high there are eight, and would be nine but that 
a break-water connects two of them. Appledore, for many years 
called " Hog Island," from its resemblance to a hog's back 
rising from the surface of the ocean, is the largest and most 
regular in shape. It has an area of four hundred acres, divided 
by a valley, in which the hotel is situated, into two nearly equal 
parts. The following entry occurs in the records of Massachu- 
setts, dated May 22, i56i : 

"For the better settling of order in the Isle of Shoales, it is ordered by 
this Court, that henceforward the whole islands appertaining thereunto, 
which doe lie partly in the County of York and the other part in the juris- 
diction of Dover and Portsmouth, shall be reputed and hereby allowed to be 
a township called Appledore, and shall have equal power to regulate their 
town affairs as other townes of this jurisdiction have." 

Next, almost within a stone's throw, is Haley's Island, named 
Srnutty-Nose by the sailors. At low tide. Cedar and Malaga are 
both connected with it, the latter by a break-water. Here storm 
and darkness have wrecked many a ship. The area of these 
three islands com.prises about one hundred acres. Star Island 
contains one hundred and fifty acres. Toward its northern ex- 
tremity lies the famous town of Gosport, famous in early times 
for its culture and commerce, now famous as a resort for sum- 
mer visitors. 

" Not quite a mile," says Mrs. Thaxter. " southwest from Star, 
White Island lifts a light-house for a warning. This is the most 
picturesque of the group, and forms, with Seavey's Island, at 
low water, a double island with an area of some twenty acres. 
Most westerly lies Londoner's, an irregular rock with a bit of 
beach, upon which all the shells about the cluster seem to be 
thrown. Two miles northeast from Appledore, Duck Island 
thrusts out its lurking ledges on all sides beneath the water, one 
of them running half a mile to the northwest. This is the most 
dangerous of all the islands." It is the home of those timid 
sea-fowl that shun the haunts of men. " Shag and Mingo rocks, 
where during or after storms the sea breaks with magnificent 
effect, lie isolated by a narrow channel from the main granite 


fragment. A very round rock west of Londoner's, perversely 
called 'Square,' and Anderson's Rock off the southeast end of 
Smutty-Nose complete the catalogue." Appledore, Smutty-Nose 
and Duck islands belong to Maine, the rest to New Hampshire. 
Till within a few years the inhabitants have been left very much 
to themselves, and have been as little disturbed by state officials 
as the gulls and loons that share their dreary homes. The fol- 
lowing sketch of Hon. Thomas B. Laighton is taken from the 
Newark Journal : 

" In the year 1839, the Hon. Thomas B. Laighton, formerly editor of the 
New Hampshire Gazette, at Portsmouth, and a politician and literary man 
of some note, was keeping the White Island Light-House at this watering 
place, where he engaged to some e.xtent in the business of fishing. One 
day the thought struck him that this might be made a delightful summer re- 
sort for a large class of people, who, while they wanted the invigorating sea 
breezes, did not care either to take them diluted or modified by the land tem- 
perature and influences, or to undergo a long and tedious voyage for this 
purpose. Mr. Laighton, himself an invalid, had experienced great relief 
from his sea residence, and at once reasoned himself into the belief that the 
Isles of Shoals was the best place on the coast for a successful summer 
boarding-house, and acting upon this idea he succeeded in purchasing for the 
sum of twenty-five thousand dollars the islands known by the not poetic 
titles of ' Hog ' and ' Smutty.' The first he named ' Appledore,' which is 
simply a pile of granite rocks, thrown up in some obscure age of the world, 
without form or comeliness. Here Mr. Laighton built a moderately sized 
house, nine miles out from the New Hampshire coast, and waited his 
chances. There was no doubt of his being ' at sea,' near one of the rough- 
est, bleakest and most exposed coast lines upon the continent; but a man 
who for several years had tended White Island Light could not be fright- 
ened or moved from his property by any exhibitions or freaks of old ocean. 
One thing was certain : these islands were anchored fast to the unseen cen- 
tre of the globe, wherever that might be, or else they must have disappeared 
thousands of )'ears gone by. But who could tell their story or sing their dole- 
ful or terrible requiem .> What by-gone races of human beings had landed 
upon these outposts in^the dim past.' What vessels had been stranded and 
wrecked upon these treacherous shoals, dashing in a moment high-wrought 
hopes, glorious visions, ambitious views ? But no matter. Tom Laighton, 
when he left Portsmouth and its mixed politics, was said to be not a little 
disgusted with the world, and his vision teemed with ideas of an independ- 
ent government of his owm, over which he might exercise supreme sway. To 
be sure. Hog Island was under the nominal territorial jurisdiction of Maine, 
but that state had never taken great pride in its dependency. Curiously 
enough, the state of New Hampshire owned an adjoining island which is 
called Star, which has been a little fishing settlement during the entire his- 
tory of our colonial and federal governments. It is a village of twenty or 
thirty old houses, with a church as the central building. The town has an 
old incorporation by the name of Gosport, and it yearly sends a representa- 
tive to the legislature, whenever a man is to be found who can afford to 
spend the time and the money. Star island is now chiefly owned by a cor- 
poration whose business it is to entertain strangers. The success of the 
Appledore House as a resort for invalids cannot fail to lead to the profitable 
occupation, at an early dav, of all the habitable islands of this group. The 
business of the Appledore House is increasing rapidly. The house is capa- 
ble of accommodating about three hundred boarders, and this year they have 


had two thousand applications for board. The first families come in May, 
and some prolong the season into October. On a high point of Appledoi e 
rest the remains of Thomas B. Laighton, surmounted by a single granite 
slab, with a modest inscription. He was one of the many peculiar charac- 
ters which the Granite State has produced. His name will live as long as 
Applcdore shall last, as the reclaimer to civilization and usefulness of one 
of the waste places of creation." 

Note. The records of Gosport, in the last century, show a peculiar disregard of orthog- 
raphy. Notice the following : "On March ye 25, 1771. then their was a meating called and 
it was j^(r?if (/ until the 23d day of Apirel." Among the "offorsere" of " Gospored " were 
"seelekt meen," " counstable," "lidon meen," *' coulears of fish" and "sealers of whood." 



Previous to the Revolutionary war, New Hampsliire was gov- 
erned and controlled by a few influential families. There was 
no aristocracy of birth, but that of wealth was substituted for 
it. Only the rich could acquire a liberal education, and when 
learning and wealth were united they usually secured patronage 
and offices. When such men were once elevated to places of 
power, the people gave them their homage and made them per- 
manent leaders. The history of the state cannot be thoroughly 
learned without some special account of these leading families. 
They gave laws to society, regulated politics, originated and ex- 
ecuted laws, sometimes for the benefit of the people and some- 
times for their own aggrandizement. They built princely man- 
sions, rode in coaches, and in their dress, equipage and enter- 
tainments exhibited something of the dignity and exclusiveness 
of the old nobility of England. 

In the annals of Portsmouth, the only seaport, and for many 
years the chief town in the state, the representatives of certain 
leading families appear on almost every page. Prominent among 
the early settlers was the Cutt family. Three brothers, John, 
Robert and Richard, came from Wales as early as 1646. They 
were all men of mark and enterprise. In 1679, when New 
Hampshire was made a royal province, John Cutt was appointed 
the first president. The names of Pickering, Sherburne, At- 
kinson, Wentworth, Livermore, Sparhawk, Vaughan, Sheafe and 
Langdon occur very frequently in the historical records of the 
last centuiy. Capt. Tobias Langdon, the ancestor of the Lang- 


don family, came from England in 16S7. John Langdon, born 
in 1740, was, perhaps, the most illustrious of his descendants. 
His history for the last half of his official life is thus recited by 
Mr. Brewster :* 

"John Langdon was a judge of the court of common pleas in 
1776 ; but resigned the ne.xt year. In 177S, he was agent under 
congress for building ships of war ; and was continental agent 
for supplying materials for the America seventy-four. In 1779, 
he was president of the New Hampshire convention for regulating 
the currency; and from 1777 to 1782, was speaker of the New 
Hampshire house of representatives. In 1780 he was a com- 
missioner to raise men and procure provisions for the army, and 
June 30, 1783, was again elected delegate to congress. In 1784- 
'85 he was a member of the New Hampshire senate, and in the 
latter year president of the state. In 1788 he was delegate to 
the convention which adopted the constitution of the United 
States. In March, 1788, he was elected representative in the 
New Hampshire legislature and speaker of the house, but took 
the office of governor, to which he was simultaneously chosen. 
In November, 1788, he was elected a member of the senate of 
the United States, became the first presiding officer of that body, 
and was reelected senator in 1794. Later in life he was nomi- 
nated for vice-president, but declined on account of age. From 
1 80 1 to 1805 he was a representative in the New Hampshire 
legislature ; in 1804 and 1805 was speaker. From 1805 to 1808 
and in 1810 and 181 1 he was governor. The degree of LL. D. 
was conferred on him by Dartmouth College in 1805. Very few 
men of any age or nation have been more trusted, honored and 
revered than John Langdon." 

* Many of the facts relating to distinguished families of Portsmouth have been taken from 
Mr. C. W. Brewster's " Rambles about Portsmouth," one of the best books ever published 
in New Hampshire. 





There is a house still standing in Portsmouth which was built 
nearly a century and a half ago, by Matthew Livermore, the first 
citizen of that name known to New Hampshire history. The 
street on which it stands is called Livermore street. Matthew 
Livermore, born in Watertown, Mass., 1703, came to Portsmouth 
in 1724, and for seven years taught the grammar school in that 
place. He afterwards studied law and held several responsible 
offices under the king. 

Samuel Livermore, a relative of Matthew, was one of the 
most illustrious jurists and statesmen of New Hampshire during 
the eighteenth century. He was a descendant of John Liver- 
more, who was a citizen of Watertown as early as 1642. A 
branch of the family settled in Waltham, where Samuel Liver- 
more was born in 1732. He was graduated at Princeton in 
1752. He began the practice of law in Portsmouth in 1758, 
where he was, for several years, judge advocate of the admi- 
ralty court, and in 1769 was made the king's attorney-general 
for New Hampshire. In 1765 he commenced the settlement of 
Holderness ; was one of the original grantees, and at one time 
owned nearly one half of the township. Here he fixed his res- 
idence permanently, and so great was his influence, from his 
learning, wealth and dignity, that he lived a kind of social dic- 
tator in the new town. When the dispute arose in relation to 
the " New Hampshire Grants " in Vermont, which, like Poland, 
was parceled out and claimed by three sovereign states, Mr. 
Livermore was appointed commissioner for the state of New 
Hampshire in congress. To secure his admission he was chosen 
delegate to congress. He took his seat in 1780 and remained, 
by reelection, till 1782, when he was appointed chief justice of 
the state. In 1784 he and Messrs. Josiah Bartlett and John 
Sullivan were appointed a committee to revise the statutes of 
the state and report new bills necessary to be enacted. While 
holding the office of judge he was again elected to congress in 
1785. He was also an active member in the convention which 
met in 1788 to consider the new constitution of the United 
States. New Hampshire was the ninth state which adopted it, 
and thus gave vitality to this organic law. Judge Livermore's 
influence promoted, if it did not absolutely secure, this result. 


He was immediately elected a member of tlie first congress, and 
liaving resigned liis office as judge, Hon. Josiali Bartktt became 
his successor. Mr. Livermore served two sessions in congress. 
In 1 79 1 he was called to preside over the convention called to 
revise the constitution of the state. In 1793 he was elected to 
the United States senate, the successor of Paine VVingate. He 
served in that responsible position six years and was reelected, 
but resigned his seat in 1801. He had then been in public life 
more than thirty years. He retired to his home in Holderness, 
where he died in 1803, in the seventy-second year of his age. 
Two of his sons were distinguished in public life. Edward St. 
Loe was judge of the supreme court of New Hampshire from 
1797 to 1799, and was a member of congress from Massachu- 
setts from 1807 to 1811. He died in 1832, aged 80. Arthur 
Livermore was, for more than half a century, a prominent jurist 
and legislator in New Hampshire. He was judge of the su- 
preme court from 1799 to 18 16.; judge of the court of common 
pleas from 1825 to 1833, and representative in congress from 
1817 to 1821 and from 1823 to 1825. As a judge he was re- 
spected by the bar and reverenced by the people. As a public 
speaker he was logical, forcible and judicial, sometimes witty, 
caustic and severe. 



John Pickering, the ancestor of all the families of that name 
in New Hampshire, came from England among the first colonists 
of Massachusetts, He removed to Strawberry Bank as early as 
1636, He was a man of great worth and possessed remarkable 
business qualities, though he could not write his name. The 
early settlers entrusted to him matters of great importance. He 
was one of the company who gave fifty acres of glebe land for 
the ministry. He built his house on a site now lying on " Mill 
Street." His sons, John and Thomas, became leading men in 
the colony. In 1665, the town granted to John Pickering, senior, 
a tract of land on Great Bay, Thomas, the second son, who is 
the ancestor of all who bear the name of Pickering in Ports- 
mouth and towns adjacent, also took a farm of five hundred 
acres from the same grant on Great Bay, within the present 


town of Newington, which after the lapse of two centuries still 
remains in the hands of his descendants. It has been transmit- 
ted in regular succession ; and no deed has ever been made of 
some portions of the estate since the first grant to John Picker- 
ing in 1665. In 1658, the town granted to John Pickering the 
south mill privilege, on condition of his keeping in repair a path 
for foot passengers, over the dam, on going to meeting. The 
mill was built ; and the son and grandson of the grantee man- 
aged it in succession. 

Captain Thomas Pickering, son of the third John, was hewn 
to pieces by the Indians, in 1746, in the vicinity of Casco, Maine, 
where he was on dut}'. He was helpless from rheumatism, and 
thus became an easy prey to the savages. The six daughters of 
this martyr to his country were all married and had children. 
Five of them lived to the average age of ninety-one years. 

John Pickering, 2d, who inherited " Pickering's Neck" and 
the mill, discharged with credit the duties of farmer, miller, law- 
yer, captain, and legislator. In the first assembly called by 
President Cutt, he was a representative of Portsmouth. There 
were six of this family who bore the name of John. They all 
had a military reputation. It was Captain John Pickering, 2d, 
whom Dr. Belknap styles, " a rough and adventurous man and a 
lawyer," who compelled Richard Chamberlain, the clerk of the 
superior court and secretary of the province under Andros, to 
surrender the records and files of papers in his possession. They 
were for a time concealed ; but Governor Usher constrained the 
captain, by threats of imprisonment, to give them up. Captain 
Pickering was a member of the assembly most of the time from 
1697 to 1709. For several years he was speaker of the house; 
and was appointed attorney for the state in the great land case 
of Allen against Waldron, in 1707. In 1671, he was the con- 
tractor with the town for building a strong wooden cage, stock 
and pillory near the meeting-house for the confinement of evil- 
doers, especially of " such as sleepe, or take tobacco on the 
Lord's day, out of meeting in the time of the publique exercise." 
In our day the offenders would be more numerous than the of- 
ficials ; and the " cage " would be more spacious than the church. 
During the same year Rev. Mr. Moody, who had preached 
twenty-three years without settlement, was ordained. Captain 
Pickering, as usual, was master of ceremonies. He, in true dem- 
ocratic spirit, practised upon the motto of his mill, "first come, 
first served," reserved no seats for the minister and his friends. 
For this contempt of the magnates, he was censured by an ec- 
clesiastical court. "Like many other men" (and, we may safely 
add, women), " Captain John Pickering liked to have his own 
way ; unlike many others, he generally enjoyed the power." 


His brother, Captain Tliomas Pickering, was a man of mag- 
nificent pliysique. A press-gang once attempted to seize Iiim 
wlien alone in the outskirts of the town and put him on board 
an Enghsh man-of-war. When the officer of the gang replied 
to his earnest plea to be left to care for his family, " No excuse, 
sir ; march /" the captain laid him upon the ground in a trice, 
and raising his axe as if to chop off his head, the terrified sub- 
alterns begged his life and promised a speedy retreat. There is 
a tradition that this same athlete carried upon his back eleven 
and one-half bushels of corn up the steps of a mill ! 

The biographies of all the eminent men who have borne the 
name of Pickering would fill a volume. I can only mention one 
or two more. Hon. John Pickering, a lineal descendant of 
Thomas, was a man of eminent ability. He was a member of 
the convention that framed the constitution, filled the office of 
governor when Langdon resigned, and was chief justice of the 
supreme court for five years. He was born at Newington in 
1738, and was graduated at Cambridge in 1761. To Captain 
Thomas Pickering Mr. Brewster assigns the chief honor in the 
capture of Fort William and Mary in 1774, contrary to the re- 
ceived tradition, which gives the credit of that achievement to 
Sullivan and Langdon. 



The progenitor of this distinguished family was Nathaniel 
Weare, one of the early proprietors of Newbury, Mass. His 
name was spelled in the records of that town in seven different 
ways. There was vei7 little agreement among the scribes and 
clerks of that day in spelling proper names ; indeed, there was 
no fi.xed standard of use for the orthography of common terms. 
The name of Shakespeare, in his day, was as variously written 
as that of Weare. He did not always spell it in the same way 
himself, and editors still differ with regard to its proper orthog- 
raphy. Mr. Weare's son Nathaniel, who was born in England, 
settled in Hampton. He was a surveyor ; and in that capacity 
was employed, in 1669, to establish the south line of the town of 
Hampton. Mr. Weare also officiated as an attorney in the man- 
agement of law-suits. During the oppressive prosecutions in- 



occurred upon the sea. In 1796, Mr. Pinckney had been sent as 
minister to France. After two months' residence in Paris, he was 
peremptorily ordered to leave the city. The French government 
continued to commit depredations upon ourcommerce and re- 
fused to liquidate our just claims upon its treasury. One more 
effort was made by the United States to settle the controversy 
by negotiation. Three envoys were sent with full powers to 
adjust all questions in dispute. When they arrived, the French 
Directory, like a company of banditti, demanded of them a sum 
of money as a preliminary step to a treaty. This of course vi'as 
indignantly refused and the embassy failed in its mission. There 
was iDUt one voice among all parties at home respecting this in- 
sult ; that was : '" Millions for defence but not one cent for trib- 
ute." After further consideration, the French Directory pro- 
posed peace and ministers were promptly sent in answer to their 
call. On their arrival they found Bonaparte at the head of the 
government, as First Consul. With this responsible head, in 
September, 1800, they concluded a treaty which satisfied both 
countries and for a time restored the former good will between 
them. New Hampshire, with gi'eat unanimity, supported Presi- 
dent Adams in his foreign policy. The legislature prepared an 
address to him, expressing the fullest approval of his purpose to 
humble France and the most decided denunciation of French 
aggressions. This measure received the unanimous vote of the 
senate and had only four opposing votes in the house. 

During the last four years of Washington's administration, 
many important difficulties were adjusted. The controversy with 
England was put to rest by Mr. Jay's treaty, though the party 
spirit which it evoked lived on. In 1795, after three campaigns, 
two of which were unsuccessful, against the western Indians, a 
treaty was concluded which for a season quieted these fierce 
savages. During the same year, a treaty with Spain was made, 
which established the boundaries between the Spanish posses- 
sions on this continent and the United States. Peace was also 
made with the Algerines, a nest of pirates who had for years 
laid the whole Christian world under tribute. The United 
States, then destitute of a navy, had been compelled to pay large 
sums to these outlaws for the redemption of captives ; and even 
under the new treaty an annual tribute was promised to the 
Dey, a sort of modern Minotaur, who demanded blood or money. 
The quarrel with France remained to be settled when Washing- 
ton delivered his "farewell address" in 1797. Under his suc- 
cessor party lines were more closely drawn and federalists and 
republicans began that struggle for supremacy in the national 
councils which, under different party names, has been perpetu- 
ated to this hour. 



The eighteenth century closed when partisan warfare was at 
its height, and the press, on both sides, teemed with bitter sar- 
casm and malignant abuse. This important date in our history 
suggests some reflections upon the condition of New Hampshire 
as it then was. It would be difficult to find a colony or state 
within the period of authentic history that suffered more or 
achieved more in the same number of years, than New Hamp- 
shire prior to the peace with Great Britain in 1783. Her en- 
tire record for one hundred and si.xty years is stained with sweat 
and blood. Her citizens labored and suffered during all that 
period with unparalleled patience. From four inconsiderable 
plantations in 1641, she had grown in iSoo to be a populous 
state of two hundred and fourteen thousand inhabitants distribu- 
ted over nearly two hundred flourishing towns. But from the hour 
when the forests of Dover and Portsmouth first rang with the 
blows of the woodman's axe, in 1623, till the close of the Revol- 
utionary war, there was no rest from toil, scarcely any from war, 
to all its citizens. For nearly all that long and dreary march of 
armies and pressure of labor, the title to the very soil they had 
won from the wilderness was in dispute. The Indians were con- 
stantly upon their track, and no hiding-place was so secret or 
remote as to render its occupant safe from the tomahawk and 
scalping-knife. Foreign wars consumed their property and e.\- 
hausted their men. The government under which they lived 
and to which they owed allegiance was changed almost as often 
as the wages of Jacob by his crafty father-in-law. The king 
ruled them only for his own advantage. Even Massachusetts, 
with whom for many years she enjoyed a peaceful alliance, 
finally became ambitious of enlarging her possessions, and un- 
generously obtained and appropriated nearly one half of New 
Hampshire. The pej pie of the state found no security at home 
or abroad, but in their own brave hearts and strong arms. They 
made themselves homes and achieved a fame in arms and in 
arts, which " none of their adversaries could gainsay nor resist." 


Let us now, with the light of memory and tradition lingering 
on the track, point backward the glass of history and descry the 
farmer in his field, the mechanic in his shop, and the minister 
at his altar, as they severally lived and labored seventy years 

"As when, bv night, the glass 
Of Galileo, less assur'di observes 
Imagin'd lands and regions in the moon." 

We can scarcely conceive of a more independent, self-reliant, 




The earliest known ancestor of this family in this country was 
John Bartlett, who with four other citizens of the same name, 
removed from Beverly to Newbury, Mass., in 1635. The exact 
date of their arrival in America is not known. It is probable 
that they were among the earliest immigrants. Robert Bartlett 
landed at Plymouth in 1623. All who bear this name in New 
England are supposed to have had a common origin. The New 
Hampshire family descended from John Bartlett. President 
Josiah Bartlett, from his public services, is better known than 
his ancestors, though the family have always been distinguished 
for superior endowments and executive energy. Joseph Bart- 
lett, the nephew of Josiah, studied medicine with his distin- 
guished relative at Kingston, N. H., and immediately after his 
marriage, at the age of twenty-two, removed to Salisbury, N. H. 
He was the first physician of that town. He had a very exten- 
sive practice in that and the adjacent towns, and won the confi- 
dence and respect of all who knew him. He was also much 
employed in business transactions, as he held the pen of " a 
ready writer." He died September 20, a. d. 1800, aged forty- 
nine, leaving a family of seven sons and two daughters. Two 
of the sons were physicians ; two were lawyers and two were 
merchants. They were all distinguished in their several call- 
ings, all honored and trusted citizens. At one session of the 
New Hampshire legislature four of these brothers met as repre- 
sentatives from their respective towns : Ichabod from Ports- 
mouth, James from Dover, Samuel from Salisbury and Daniel 
from Grafton. Samuel Colcord Bartlett was a merchant in Salis- 
bury, successful in business, commanding the universal respect 
of all who knew him. His sons have all proved themselves 
worthy of their distinguished ancestry. Among them are Rev. 
Joseph Bartlett of Buxton, Maine, Prof. Samuel C. Bartlett of 
Chicago, Illinois, and the late Judge William Bartlett of Con- 
cord. The merchant, Samuel C. Bartlett, assisted his younger 
brother Ichabod to obtain an education. 




Inquiries are often made respecting tlie fatlier, brothers and 
sisters of the late Daniel Webster, and it is not probable that 
the time will ever come in our state or in the United States when 
that interest will wholly cease. It may be proper, therefore, to 
incorporate these facts in the history of New Hampshire, where 
all wiio choose can refer to them. Judge Nesmith, a few years 
since, 'published a full and accurate account of Mr. Webster's 
family. From this sketch I make the following extracts : 

" In the political canvass in our state which closed with the 
March election, 1858, it was publicly stated by some of the speak- 
ers that Judge Webster, the father of Hon. Daniel Webster, could 
neither read nor write. Now, in the course of the last summer, 
we spent some time in investigating the history of Judge Web- 
ster. We have sufficient evidence, in Franklin and Salisbury, 
to satisfy the most skeptical that he could not only read and 
write, spell and cipher, but he knew how to lend the means to 
found a state. Daniel Webster, in his autobiography, and in his 
letter to Mr. Blatchford of New York, gives us a brief but too 
modest an outline of the life of his father. At the risk of being 
tedious we propose to show some of the acts or works that gave 
him his deserved influence and fame in this region. 

Ebenezer Webster was born in Kingston in 1739. He resided 
many years with iV^ajor Ebenezer Stevens, an influential citizen 
of that town, and one of the first proprietors of Salisbury. 
Salisbury was granted in 1749, and first named Stevenstown, in 
honor of Major Stevens. It was incorporated as Salisbury in 
1767. Judge Webster settled in Stevenstown as early as 1761. * 
Previous to this time he had served as a soldier in the French 
war, and once afterward. He was married to Mehitable Smith, 
his first wife, January 8, 1761. His first two children, Olle, a 
daughter, and Ebenezer, his son, died while young. His third 
child was Susannah, born October, 1766 ; married John Colby, 
who recently died in Franklin. He had also, by his first wife, 
two sons — David, who died some years since at Stanstead ; also 
Joseph, who died in Salisbury. His first wife died March 28, 
1774. Judge Webster again married — Abigail Eastman, October 

• When Judge Webster first settled in Stevenstown, he was called Ebenezer Webster, Jr. 
In 1694, Kingston was granted to James Prescott and Ebenezer Webster and others, of Hamp- 
ton. He descended from this ancestor. 


12, 1774. By his last wife he had five children : viz., Mehitable ; 
Abigail (who married William Hadduck); Ezekiel, born March 
II, 1780; Daniel, born January 18, 17S2, and Sarah, born May 

13, 1784. Judge Webster died in April, 1806, in the house now 
converted into the New Hampshire Orphans' Home, and with 
his last wife and many of his children now lies buried in the 
grave-yard originally taken from the Elms farm. For the first 
seven years of his life, after he settled on the farm lately occu- 
pied by John Taylor in Franklin, he lived in a log cabin, located 
in the orchard west of the highway, and near Punch brook. 
Then he was able to erect a house of one story, of about the 
same figure and size as that now occupied by William Cross, near 
said premises. It was in this house that Daniel Webster was 
born. In 1784 Judge Webster removed to the tavern Jrouse, 
near his interval farm, and occupied that until 1800, when he 
exchanged his tavern house with William Hadduck for that 
where he died. 

In 1761, Captain John Webster, Eliphalet Gale and Judge 
Webster erected the first saw-mill in Stevenstown, on Punch 
brook, on his homestead, near his cabin. 

In June, 1764, Matthew Pettengill, Stephen Call and Ebenezer 
Webster were the sole highway surveyors of Stevenstown. In 
1765, the proprietors voted to give Ebenezer Webster and Ben- 
jamin Sanborn two hundred acres of common land, in considera- 
tion that they furnish a privilege for a grist-mill, erect a mill and 
keep it in repair for fifteen years, for the purpose of grinding the 
town's corn. 

In 1768 Judge Webster was first chosen moderator of a town- 
meeting in Salisbur}', and he was elected forty-three times after- 
ward, at different town-meetings in Salisbury, servmg in March, 
1S03, for the last time. 

In 1769 he was first elected selectman, and held that office 
for the years 1770, '72, '74, '76, '80, '85, '86, and '88 ; resigning 
it, however, in September, 1776, and performing a six months' 
service in the army. 

In 1 77 1, 1772 and 1773, he was elected and served in the of- 
fice of town clerk. In 1778 and 1780 he was elected represent- 
ative of the classed towns of .Salisbury and Boscawen ; also, for 
Salisbury, in 1790 and '91. He was elected senator for the years 
1785, '86, '88 and '90; Hillsborough county electing two sen- 
ators at this time, and Matthew Thornton, and Robert Wallace 
of Henniker, serving as colleagues, each for two of said years. 
He was in the senate in 17S6, at Exeter, when the insurgents 
surrounded the house. His proclamation to them was " I com- 
mand you to disperse.' 

In March, 1778, the town chose Captain Ebenezer Webster 


and Captain Matthew Pettengill as delegates to a convention 
to be held at Concord, Wednesday, June lo, 'for the sole pur- 
pose of forming a permanent plan of government for the future 
well being of the good people of this state.' 

In 178S, January i6, Colonel Webster was elected delegate to 
the convention at Exeter, for the purpose of considering the pro- 
posed United States constitution. A committee was also chosen 
by the town to examine said constitution, and advise with said 
delegate. This committee was composed of Joseph Bean, Esq., 
Jonathan Fifield, Esq., Jonathan Cram, Captain Wilder, Deacon 
John Collins, Edward Eastman, John C. Gale, Captain Robert 
Smith, Leonard Judkins, Deacon Jacob True, Lieutenant Bean, 
Lieutenant Severance and John Smith. At the first meeting of 
the convention, in Februar)', Colonel Webster opposed the con- 
stitution, under instructions from his town. 

A majority of the convention were found to be opposed to the 
adoption of the constitution. The convention adjourned to Con- 
cord, to meet in the succeeding month of June. In the mean 
time Webster conferred with his constituents, advised with the 
committee on the subject, asked the privilege of supporting the 
constitution, and he was instructed to vote as he might think 
proper. His speech, made on this occasion, has been printed. 
It did great credit to the head and heart of the author : 

"Mr. President: I have listened to the arguments for and against the 
constitution. I am convinced such a government as that constitution will 
establish, if adopted — a government acting directly on the people of the 
states — is necessary for the common defence and the general welfare. It is 
the only government which will enable us to pay off the national debt. The 
debt which we owe for the Revolution, and which we are bound in honor 
fully and fairly to discharge. Besides, I have followed the lead of Washing- 
ton through seven years of war, and I have never been misled. His name 
is subscribed to this cc^nstitution. He will not mislead us now. I shall 
vote for its adoption." 

The constitution was finally adopted in the convention by the 
vote of fifty-seven yeas and forty-seven nays. Colonel Webster 
gave his support to the constitution. He was one of the electors 
for president when Washington was first chosen to that office. 

In the spring of 1791, Colonel Webster was appointed Judge 
of the court of common pleas for the county of Hillsborough. 
This office he held at the time of his decease, in 1806. He was 
one of the magistrates, or justices of the peace for Hillsborough 
county, for more than thirt\'-five years prior to his decease." 

The sons of Judge Webster Daniel and Ezekiel, are noticed 
among the distinguished members of the New Hampshire Bar, 
in a subsequent chapter. 





New Hampshire has produced an unusual number of distin- 
guished men, especially in the legal profession. If we take the 
year 1815 as a stand-point and look backward and forward for 
about fifteen years, we shall find more eminent lawyers and ora- 
tors in our little state than in any other in the Union. Some of 
the men living in that period have never been surpassed, in any 
age or nation. The central figure in that group of advocates is 
Jeremiah Mason. By the unanimous consent of the present 
generation of Americans, he had no peer as a lawyer. He was 
a truly magnificent man in mind and body. His noble physique 
corresponded to the indwelling soul ; it was grand, lofty and im- 
posing. No man who saw him once ever forgot him. Most men 
after seeing him, like the honest Shaker who was sent to consult 
him, could talk of nothing else but his "extraordinary size." 
But those who heard him were still more profoundly impressed. 
His intellectual and professional portrait has been drawn by the 
hand of a master. Mr. Webster says : "The characteristics of 
Mr. Mason's mind, as I think, were real greatness, strength and 
sagacity. He was great through strong sense and sound judg- 
ment, great by comprehensive views of things, great by high and 
elevated purposes. Perhaps sometimes he was too cautious and 
refined, and his distinctions became too minute ; but his dis- 
crimination arose from a force of intellect, and quick-seeing, far- 
reaching sagacity, everywhere discerning his object and pursu- 
ing it steadily. Whether it was popular or professional, he 
grasped a point and held it with a strong hand. He was some- 
times sarcastic, but not frequently ; not frothy or petulant, but 
cool and vitriolic. Unfortunate for him on wliom liis sarcasm 
fell ! His conversation was as remarkable as his efforts at the 
bar. It was original, fresh and suggestive ; never dull or indif- 
ferent. As a professional man, Mr. Mason's great ability lay in 
the department of the common law. In this part of jurispru- 
dence he was profoundly learned. In his addresses, both to 
courts and juries, he aftected to despise all eloquence, and cer- 
tainly disdained all ornament ; but his efforts, whether addressed 
to one tribunal or the other, were marked by a degree of clear- 
ness, distinctness and force not easy to be equaled." Mr. Web- 
ster lived in the same town, practiced in the same courts with 


Mr. Mason and was generally pitted against him as an antag- 
onist. In this relation they helped rather than harmed one 
another. They grew strong, vigilant and wise by their mutual 
conflicts ; for in such intellectual warfare, as Burke remarks, 
"our antagonist is our helper." Their associates were all men 
of mark. There were practicing at the same bar with these lead- 
ing lawyers, Mr. West, Mr. Gordon, Edward St. Loe Livermore, 
Peieg Sprague, William K. Atkinson, George Sullivan, Ichabod 
Bartlett, Thomas W. Thompson, Jeremiah Smith, William Plumer, 
Arthur Livermore, Samuel Bell, Levi Woodbury, Charles H. 
Atherton, Joseph Bell, George B. Uphani, Richard Fletcher and 
many other eminent jurists. 



Jeremiah Smith, better known to all as " Judge Smith," was 
partly educated at Cambridge, but was graduated at Rutger's 
college. New Jersey. The next few years were spent in study- 
ing law and teaching, and in 1786 he was admitted to the bar 
by the court held at Amherst, Hillsborough county. Unlike 
many of his profession, he combined the characters of attorney 
and peace-maker, always preventing a law-suit when possible. It 
was thought by mjny of the most considerate men in Peter- 
borough (his native town where he was then residing), that he 
should be paid $500 each year for saving in this way so much 
time and money. By his unswerving justice, laborious prepara- 
tion of his cases and hearty contempt for the " paltry shifts of 
legal cunning," he did much to bring about a better administra- 
tion of justice in the courts of New Hampshire. In his own 
town he was deeply interested in everything that would better 
its condition. Through his influence, new school-houses were 
built, better teachers were procured, a small social library was 
established and the young men, roused by reading, gained habits 
of earnest thought and keen discussion. In addition to his 
practice, which was always good, he filled various public offices 
in his town and state, and in 1790 was chosen a member of con- 
gress, and served in that capacity with great honor to himself 
until 1787, when he was appointed United States attorney for 
the district of New Hampshire. In 1800 he was appointed 


judge of probate for the count)' of Rockingham, and during this 
year he prepared a full and elaborate treatise on that branch of 
the law. In 1801 he was made a judge in the United States 
circuit court; but this office, which, he used to say, was the only 
one he ever greatly desired, was taken from him by an act of 
congress repealing the judiciary law. After this he was twice 
the chief justice of New Hampshire, its governor for one year, 
besides distinguishing liimself in contests at the bar with Mason, 
Webster and Sullivan. 

The names of Smith and Mason are most frequently men- 
tioned together by those who remember those times. Neither of 
them laid claim to the graces of oratory. " When they met it 
was the stern encounter of massive intellectual strength." Both 
were men of humor and loved a joke. Mr. Mason once told 
Mr. Smith that, having been recently looking over the criminal 
calendar of the English courts, he was surprised to find there so 
many persons bearing his name, and asked how it happened. 
"Oh," said he, "when they got into diiSculty they took the re- 
spectable name of Smith, but it generally turned out that their 
real name was Mason." They worked together in the famous 
Dartmouth College case. 

In 1820, having reached his sixty-first year. Judge Smith with- 
drew from active life. His old age was happy, serene and use- 
ful. Wit, wisdom and worth were all his to an unusual degree. 
In private life he was delightful. Overflowing with fun and 
kindness, he charmed the young and old alike. 



Ezekiel Webster was a native of Salisbury. He was born 
March II, 1780. The first nineteen years of his life were spent 
on his father's farm. By constant labor beneath a rigorous cli- 
mate and upon a comparatively sterile soil, he acquired that full 
muscular development and majestic figure which in later years 
gave to him extraordinary manly beaut)'. His brother Daniel, 
being less robust in constitution, was early destined by his father 
to professional life. During a college vacation when the brothers 
were at home together, they made the education of Ezekiel the 
theme of their constant deliberations. One night they passed 


in sleepless conference. They hardly dared broach the subject 
to their father, who regarded his elder son as the support of his 
declining years. Finally Daniel ventured to open the subject to 
his father. He referred the matter to their mother. A family 
council was called. The mother was a strong-minded, sagacious 
woman. She at once admitted the reasonableness of the re- 
quest and gave her decision, in these words : " I have lived long 
in the world and have been happy in my children. If Daniel 
and Ezekiel will promise to take care of me in my old age, I 
will consent to the sale of all our property at once, that they 
may enjoy with us the benefit of what remains after our debts 
are paid." This was a moment of intense interest to all the 
family. Parents and children mingled their tears together at the 
thought even of a temporary separation. The die was cast. 
After spending about fifteen months in preparation, Ezekiel 
Webster entered Dartmouth College in the spring of 1801. He 
ranked among the first of his class in scholarship. He suc- 
ceeded, with great economy and some deprivation of necessary 
comforts, by the aid of teaching and the slight contributions to 
his support from his father and brother, in completing his educa- 
tion. Mr. Webster, after devoting three years to the study of 
aw, entered upon the practice of his profession, at Boscawen, in 
September, 1807. His legal knowledge and moral worth soon 
secured for him an extensive business. As a lawyer he had few 
equals. He was a wise counselor and able advocate. In de- 
bate he was dignified and courteous. His weapons were sound 
arguments clothed in simple but elegant language. His eloquence 
was earnest and effective. For many years he was a member of 
one or the other branch of the state legislature. He died sud- 
denly, of heart disease, on the tenth of April, 1829. He was 
speaking, standing erect, on a plain floor before a full house, 
with all eyes fastened upon him. He closed one branch of his 
argument, uttered the last sentence and the last word of that 
sentence with perfect tone and emphasis ; and then in an instant 
fell backward without bending a joint, and seemed to be dead 
before he reached the floor. Though life was not absolutely ex- 
tinct, he neither breathed nor spoke again. 





In describing tlie leaders of the bar of New Hampshire, it 
would be as absurd to pass over Daniel Webster in silence as it 
would to enact the play of Hamlet and leave out the Prince of 
Denmark himself ; yet he has been so often eulogized that it 
seems a work of supererogation to recite even his excellences to 
the men of this generation. No orator in the world's history 
was ever more widely known and honored by his contemporaries. 
His fame was co-extensive with human civilization. European 
statesmen who took a lively interest in American politics re- 
garded him as the authoritative expounder of our constitution. 
He so ably developed the true nature of our government on the 
floor of the United States Senate that he was everywhere styled 
the " Defender of the Constitution." In his reply to Colonel 
Hayne he first taught the people what the Union really meant, 
and furnished the arguments by which inferior orators defended 
It when it was assailed by rebel statesmen. When Mr. Webster 
died nations were his mourners, and " the world felt lonely " 
without him. His character and his oratory received unstinted 
praise from the press and the pulpit. Not even Washington 
himself was a more general theme of eulogy. Daniel Webster 
was born in Salisbury, Januaiy i8, 1782. He once said in a 
public speech : " It did not happen to me to be born in a log 
cabin ; but my elder brothers and sisters were born in a log 
cabin, reared amid the snow-drifts of New Hampshire at a period 
so early that when the smoke first rose from its rude chimney 
and curled over the frozen hills, there was no similar evidence 
of a white man's habitation between it and the settlements on 
the rivers of Canada." His early advantages for education were 
limited. A few weeks' study each winter in the district school 
made up the sum of his early intellectual culture. In his fif- 
teenth year he spent nine months at E.xeter Academy. Most of 
his pieparation for college was made under the tuition of Rev. 
Ur. Wood of Boscawen, who received for board and tuition only 
one dollar per week. He entered Dartmouth College in 1797, 
where he passed four years in assiduous study. His moral 
character and devotion to duty have received the highest com- 
mendation from teachers and classmates. As a writer and 
speaker he had no equal. He studied law in Boston with Hon. 


Christopher Gore and was admitted at the Suffolk bar in 1805. 
He then opened an office at Boscawen that he might be near his 
father and assist him in his declining years. Two years after 
the death of his father, he relinquished his office to his brother, 
and the next year removed to Portsmouth, where he gained his 
chief reputation as a lawyer. His practice was abundant but not 
lucrative, for clients in those days were not rich. He was chosen 
by the federal party in 18 12 to represent the state in congress. 
He took his seat at the first session of the thirteenth congress, 
which was an extra session called in May, 1813. From this 
date to the day of his death, in October, 1852, he had little rest 
from public official duties. No one man in American history 
has so deeply impressed his opinions and character upon the in- 
stitutions of the country. He was distinguished in every de- 
partment of labor in which he engaged ; at the bar, in congress, 
in the senate, and in the cabinet. It may be doubted whether, 
in any of the spheres which he so ably filled, our country has 
produced a greater man. 



"The subject of this notice graduated at Dartmouth College 
in 1806, where he was a classmate of Hon. George Grennel of 
Massachusetts. Irt the same year he delivered the oration in 
his native tovvin on the Fourth of July, which was published. 
Having studied law with Moses Eastman and Parker Noyes, he 
was admitted to the bar in 18 12, and commenced practice in 
Durham. He removed to Portsmouth, where he rapidly attained 
an honorable rank in his profession, of which he was subse- 
quently the acknowledged head. The New Hampshire Bar was 
at this time distinguished for ability, and it was among such com- 
petitors as Webster, Jeremiah Mason, Jeremiah Smith,' Bell, 
Fletcher, Sullivan and Woodbury, that Mr. Bartlett won his legal 
honors. He was appointed clerk of the state senate in 18 17 
and in 1818, in which office he was succeeded by the late Isaac 
Hill. He was also appointed county solicitor for Rockingham 
in 1819. Elected to the legislature of the state in i8ig, he sig- 
nalized his entry upon the political arena by his famous speech 
in favor of the Toleration act, in July of that year. This law, for 



the first time, placed all religious denominations in the state upon 
equal grounds, taking away the legal establishment of a single 
sect, and making all dependent upon voluntary contributions for 
their support. He served three years in succession, and in 1S21 
was made speaker. He was elected afterwards in 1830, 1832, 
and again in 1851 and 1852. 

In 1823 he was elected to congress, and took his seat in De- 
cember of that year as a member of the eighteenth congress. 
He made his appearance at a time of unusual excitement, when 
Mr. Webster had introduced, and Mr. Clay was supporting with 
his characteristic impetuosity, the famous resolution in favor of 
the Greeks. Mr. Bartlett, considering it his duty " to stem the 
current of popular excitement," opposed the resolution. Mr. 
Clay, in replying, alluded to " the young gentleman from New- 
Hampshire," and offered some advice to him on the sub- 
ject in debate. Mr. Bartlett's retort on this occasion is remem- 
bered as one of the most effective off-hand speeches ever made 
in congress. It is certain that while it contributed materially to 
advance his reputation it secured for him subsequent considera- 
tion and respect from his great antagonist. 

Mr. Bartlett was twice reelected, and continued in the house 
until 1829. He was distinguished as a bold and spirited debater, 
and several of his speeches are preserved which fully sustain his 
reputation as an orator. Those on the " Suppression of Piracy" 
in 1825, on the "Amendment of the Constitution" in 1826, on 
"Internal Improvement" in 1827, and on "' Retrenchment " in 
1828, were widely circulated in the newspapers of the day, and 
were perhaps favorable specimens of his power. 

When the democratic party in New Hampshire split on the 
rock of Jacksonism, he took his stand with Plumer, the Bells, 
Jacob B. Moore and others against the Jackson party under Isaac 
Hill, who subsequently triumphed and ruled the state. He was 
the candidate of the anti-Jackson party for governor in 1831 and 
again in 1832, when he was defeated by Samuel Dinsmoor. 

In 1850 Mr. Bartlett was chosen a member of the state con- 
vention for the revision of the Constitution, of which he was 
temporary chairman, being succeeded by Frank Pierce as pres- 
ident of the convention. In this convention, as in the state leg- 
islature, upon his frequent reelections, although in the minority 
upon all political questions, his genius and ability were such as 
to elicit the admiration of his opponents, and his influence will 
be felt and his name long remembered as one of the most emi- 
nent in the history of his native state. It was, however, on the 
fields of his first triumphs — at the bar — that he achieved his 
greatest distinction, in the maturity of his powers. ' Master of 
all the graces of action, speech and thought, yet strong in argu- 


ment,' his success was brilliant and continuous, and lie re- 
tained his position to the end of his career. 

They do not seem to have been her greatest men whom New 
Hampshire has most delighted to honor, but she may still point 
with motherly pride to the list of those who have honored her, 
in spite of her neglect. Among these, many names will occur 
to those who are at all familiar with her history, but none more 
worthy than that of Ichabod Bartlett." 

He died at Portsmouth, where he spent most of his life, Octo- 
ber 19, 1853, aged 67. 

Note. — The author of the above eulogy I cannot now identify. 



Mr. Woodbury was one of the most distinguished of the sons 
of New Hampshire. He was graduated at Dartmouth College 
in the class of 1809. He was a student of superior scholarship 
and untiring industry. At the early age of twenty-six he was 
appointed to the bench of the superior court of New Hampshire. 
He had been an ardent supporter of the war of 1812, and of 
course incurred the displeasure of a very powerful party who 
opposed it. His judicial opinions were therefore watched and 
criticised by vigilanj and hostile partisans, but his services as 
judge were generally approved by friends and foes, and his legal 
decisions were held in high esteem. 

In 1823 he was elected governor of the state. This office he 
held only one year. In 1825, being chosen to represent the 
town of Portsmouth in the state legislature, he was made speaker 
of the house. During the session he was elected a senator of 
the United States congress, and consequently resigned the chair 
of -speaker. At the expiration of his senatorial term he was ap- 
pointed by Gen. Jackson, successively, secretary of the navy and 
of the treasury. He discharged the duties of all his high offices 
with such skill, prudence and dignity as reflected honor upon 
his native state. " During the intervals," says Mr. Barstow, 
" between the sessions of congress, he continued to practice at 
the bar, and moved, not without honor to himself, amid that 
bright constellation of la\vyers for which New Hampshire was at 
this period celebrated throughout the United States. Webster, 


shire, therefore, quarried the corner stones of its poHtical and 
ecclesiastical structure from the mine of puritanism. Thus her 
origin was ennobled. The Puritans were simple in habits; plain 
in dress ; bold in speech ; stern in morals ; bigoted in religion ; 
patient in suffering ; brave in danger ; and energetic in action. 
But what have the clergy done for New Hampshire ? Let us in- 
quire what has been clone in morals, religion and education ; 
and whatever that is is chiefly due to them. Ministers of the 
gospel have been the originators and promoters of educational 
institutions. The common schools have been cherished, super- 
intended and elevated by them. Academies have been built 
and sustained by their fostering care. It is hardly probable that 
an instance can be found in the history of our state, where an 
institution of learning, a social library, a lyceum or a literary 
association has been established without the active and constant 
support of the clergymen of the place. Ministers have been the 
models in st}'le, pronunciation and delivery whom all the young 
lovers of oratory have imitated. The college was founded by a 
clergyman, and has, with a single exception, been presided over 
by clerg3'men. Its most active supporters have been from that 
profession. During the years of its sore trial, when the state 
attempted to seize its franchise, its chief defenders were Con- 
gregational clergymen. Dr. McFarland, at the risk of reputa- 
tion and usefulness, sometimes wrote two columns a week in de- 
fence of the old board and their measures. Others fought in 
the same battle and with similar peril. The clergyman in every 
town has been among the first to discover and encourage rising 
merit among the sons and daughters of the flock. Hundreds of 
young men have received a liberal education through the aid and 
counsel of faithful pastors, who otherwise might have remained 
for life " mute and inglorious " upon their native hills. Dr. 
Samuel Wood of Boscawen, during his long, successful ministry, 
fitted at his own home more than one hundred young men for 
college. Those who could not immediately pay one dollar a 
week for board and tuition he trusted ; to some indigent stu- 
dents he forgave their debt. Upon the subjects of morals, 
religion, reforms and revivals it is superfluous to speak in this 
connection. To recite what has been done in these respects by 
the ministers of all denominations would require a complete 
history of the moral and spiritual progress of the state from its 
origin. The other learned professions have been co-workers 
with them ; but it is not my purpose to speak of them here and 
now. By such agencies as I have indicated New Hampshire 
has risen to an honorable rank among her sister states. Her 
schools, academies and churches compare favorably with those 
of other more attractive portions of' our country. 




The political revolution which transferred the government of 
the state in 1805 from the federalists to the republicans produced 
no serious disturbance among the citizens. Party spirit had 
previously run so high that it could scarcely have been increased 
without breaking out in open violence. The majority in favor 
of the change was so large that the defeated party yielded 
gracefully to the decision of the people. Prior to this date the 
important offices of the state had been held by the same incum- 
bents for many years in succession. A kind of official aristoc- 
racy had grown up in the community. John Taylor Gilman had 
held the office of governor eleven years. Governor Langdon, 
his successor, was a Revolutionary patriot, and had been during 
a large part of his life in high official stations. Joseph Pearson 
had been secretary of state for nineteen years. This fact reveals 
the confidence of the legislature in his integrity and competency 
for the station. He was succeeded by Philip Carrigain. Na- 
thaniel Gilman was elected treasurer in place of Oliver Peabody. 
Hon. Simeon Olcott, one of the senators in congress, was re 
moved by death, and Nicholas Gilman was chosen to succeed 
him. He was the first republican elected to either branch of 
congress since the advent of the new party to power in New 
Hampshire. Most pi the senators and representatives from 
New England were still of the federal party. The legislature, 
after an appropriate reply to the governor's message and an ex- 
pression of " their utmost confidence in the virtuous and mag- 
nanimous administration of President Jefferson," proceeded to 
consider the local interests of the state. An English professor 
of history says that we can best ascertain the true social and 
political condition of any people by inquiring what are the laws, 
and who made them ? Let us apply this test to the present 
epoch. The new administration made no violent innovations. 
The old laws for the most part remained in force. Among the 
new enactments was a statute prohibiting the circulation of pri- 
vate notes as a medium of exchange, and another limiting all 
actions for the recovery of real estate to twenty years. Pre- 
scription by common law had for centuries been regarded as a 
valid title to land and hereditaments. The length of time nee- 


for each town of the province, under penalty of ten pounds in 
case of failure. In 17 19 every town of fifty householders or up- 
wards was required to provide a schoolmaster to teach children 
to read and write, and every town of one hundred householders 
was required to have a grammar school kept by " some discreet 
person, of good conversation, well instructed in the tongues." 
The pcnalt}' in case of towns' failing to comply with the law was 
twenty pounds, to be paid towards tlie support of schools within 
the province where there may be the most need. Two years later 
a law was passed enacting that " if any town or parish is destitute 
of a grammar school for the space of one month, tbe sckcttnen 
shall forfeit and pay out of their own estates the sum of twenty 
pounds to be applied towards defraying the charges of the prov- 
ince". Grand jurors were especially required to present all 
violations of the laws in regard to the providing for schools. 
Besides the assessment of taxes for the maintenance of schools 
in the incorporation of towns, grants of land were usually made 
for school purposes. 

At the Revolution, when New Hampshire became an indepen- 
dent state, there was included in the constitution then adopted a 
provision making it the duty of the legislators and magistrates, 
in all future periods of the government of the state, to cherish 
the interest of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries 
and public schools. This still remains a constitutional requisi- 
tion of New Hampshire. In 1789 the assessment of taxes for 
school purposes on the inhabitants of each town was required to 
be at the rate of five pounds for every twenty shillings of their 
proportion. Two years later the sum was increased to seven and 
a half pounds on every twenty shillings. 

l\\ 1S05 the district system was established, towns being em- 
powered to divide into school districts and raise and appropriate 
moneys for school purposes. The effect of this system at the 
time was greatly to further the cause of education. By multi- 
plying the centres of care and control with respect to schools it 
Vv'idened an acquaintance with all matters pertaining to public 
schools and deepened the interest in them. In bringing so 
closely home to every man the care and maintenance of the com- 
mon school, the influence of the district system in educational 
affairs was very much what the influence of the town organiza- 
tion was upon the citizen in civil affairs : great benefits arising 
in either case from the interest and acquaintance with the mat- 
ters pertaining to them being made so individual and universal. 
For seventy years this system has answered well the purposes of 
its establishment. Not until of late years, as the centres of our 
population have changed, has it been felt that it could be super- 
seded by something better. 



In 1807 the assessment for school purposes was increased to 
seventy dollars on each dollar of the proportion for public taxes, 
and the law was repealed requiring the shire and half-shire towns 
to maintain a grammar school for instruction in Latin and Greek ; 
this instruction being left mainly to the select schools ancl 

In 180S the system of appointing superintending school com- 
mittees was established, the law requiring them to visit and in- 
spect schools at such times as should be most expedient and in a 
manner conducive to the progress of literature, morality and 

In 1818 the school tax was raised to ninety dollars for every 
one dollar of the proportion. 

In 1827 a bill was introduced into the legislature so excellent 
and comprehensive in its provisions, that its passage by a very 
large majority and becoming a law marks an era in the history 
of common schools in the state. The spirit of the bill may be 
understood by its enjoining " presidents, professors ancl tutors 
of colleges, preceptors and teachers of academies, and all other 
instructors of youth, to take diligent care and use their best en- 
deavors to impress on the minds of children and youth commit- 
ted to their care and instruction, the principles of piety and jus- 
tice, and a sacred regard to truth, love of their countr}', human- 
ity and benevolence, sobriety, industry and frugality." 

In 1829 the Literary Fund, raised by an annual tax of half of 
one per cent, on the capital stock of the banks of the state, and 
originally designed, at tlie time of its establishment in 182 1, for 
the "endovanent or support of a college for instruction in the 
higher branches of science and literature," was by law distribu- 
ted among the several towns according to their apportionment of 
the public taxes, "to be applied to the support and maintenance 
of common free schools, or to other purposes of education." 

In 1833 an act of the legislature made it the duty of select- 
men to furnish, on application, to needy children the requisite 
school books ; a duty by subsequent legislation now devolvmg 
upon superintending school committees. 

The following resolutions, passed by the legislature of 1834, 
indicate views and feelings entertained with regard to public 
instruction : 

" Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
convened: That the instruction of our youth and the general diffusion of 
knowledge afford the surest means of perpetuating our free institutions and 
of securing the stability and happiness of this great republic; and that we 
recommend to the several towns throughout this state to cherish with guar- 
dian care our primary schools, and to make such liberal provisions as shall 
afford the greatest facilities to the attainment of knowledge in early life. _ 

And be it resolved, that we view our high schools, academies and semina- 


ries of learning as powerful allies in promotion of the cause of common ed- 
ucation; and that, while we view it desirable that a greater proportion of 
our youth should be nurtured in these nurseries of science, we do hereby 
recommend to all such institutions to adopt, as far as possible, the "manual 
labor" or "self-supporting" system, uniting bodily vigor and mental improve- 
ment, thereby extending to the poor as well as the rich, the united advan- 
tages of physical and intellectual cultivation." 

At the winter session of 1840-41, the amount of school 
money was increased to one hundred dollars on each dollar of 
the apportionment ; and at the same session an act was also 
passed allowing the grading of schools where the pupils num- 
bered fifty or more. Three acts of importance in their relation 
to the subject of education were passed in 1846 : one relating 
to the support of teachers' institutes ; another, of stringent pro- 
visions, made more effective by further legislation in 1848, secur- 
ing public instruction for children employed as factoiy opera- 
tives; and a third act establishing the office of state commis- 
sioner for common schools. The establishment of this office 
marks another era in the history of common-school education 
in the state. Professor Charles B. Hadduck of Dartmouth Col- 
lege was the first commissioner appointed under the act, whose 
name, efforts and influence as associated with it were of great 
value. His successor, the Rev. Richard S. Rust of the North- 
field Institute, also filled the position with honor and success. 

This office, though abrogated four years after its first estab- 
lishment, has, under different names, virtually continued for 
more than a quarter of a century since. The salutariness and 
indispensableness of a suitable head and supervisor of our sys- 
tem of public instruction is likely to be permanently felt and 

At the summer session of the legislature in 1848 an act was 
passed giving District No. 3 in Somersworth the power to act 
independently in the matter of grading and managing its schools, 
with particular reference to the establishment and support of a 
high school. This act, made of general application in its pro- 
visions at the winter session of the same year and further supple- 
mented two years later by increased powers in regard to raising 
moneys for a high school, has proved of much importance and 
value. At the same winter session of 1848 the annual assess- 
ment of school money was raised to one hundred and twenty 
dollars on the apportionment. 

In 1850 the act establishing a state school commissioner was 
repealed, and a new act passed for the appointing of county 
school commissioners and organizing a board of education for 
the state comprised of said county commissioners. This act 
continued in force for seventeen years, when it was superseded 
by an act establishing a board of education to consist of tlie 


governor and his council and a superintendent of public instrucn 
tion, appointed b}' tliem, wlio sliould be the secretaiy of the 
board, have in charge tlie management of the county teachers" 
institutes, and also, under the general direction of the board, 
have a wide and minute supervision of all matters relating to 
the interests of the common and high schools of the state. 

In the winter session of 1852 and 1853 the assessment of 
school money was raised to one hundred and thirty-five dollars 
on each dollar of the apportionment, and at the next session to 
one hundred and fifty, the following year to one hundred and 
seventy-five, the next year to two hundred, twelve years later to 
two hundred and fifty; while the year previous an act was passed 
to increase the literary fund by a tax on the deposits in sav- 
ings banks by non-residents, and in the year following an act 
was passed to set apart the proceeds of the sale of state public 
lands as a school fund. In 1870 the assessment of school money 
was made three hundred and fifty dollars on the apportionment. 
In 1859 an act was passed establishing a board of education for 
the Union School District of Concord, elected by the district, 
and which by subsequent legislation was made available to any 
similar districts adopting it; an act of much value in giving 
efficiency and character to the supervision of graded and high 

In accordance with a legislative act of 1870, a State Normal 
School was established, and after several generous offers to se- 
cure its location from the villages of Fisherville, Mont Vernon, 
Walpole and Plymouth, it was finally located in the latter place, 
and put in successful operation in March, 187 1. 

In 1870, also, an act was passed allowing towns to locate 
schools independently of the old district system, designed to 
supersede the latter, which, from a variety of causes, has in 
some places become unsuited to the changed position and wants 
of our population. 

The state is now expending annually considerably more than 
four hundred thousand dollars in support of some three thou- 
sand schools attended by over seventy thousand children. The 
money thus expended is furnished by the state school tax, the 
literary fund, the tax on railroad stock in towns allowed to be 
expended for schools, the interest in some places of local funds, 
and in a very large number of districts by additional private 

The school legislation of New Hampshire has always been 
simple and never excessive, but still fostering and progressive. 
The subject of education has been the one theme in regard to 
which there has been little fluctuation and no diminution or di- 
vision of interest from the earliest period in the history of our 



State. Besides our college, with its several departments, aca- 
demic, medical, scientific and agricultural, which for more than 
a century has steadily advanced in character and influence, 
an honor to the state and a blessing as wide as has been the 
scattering of its alumni over the land and over the world, we 
have also had in progress at different times three or four theo- 
logical schools, two of which, the Gilmanton Theological Sem- 
inary and the Methodist Biblical Institute, were eminently use- 
ful. Our academies are unsurpassed in character and in number 
unrivaled as compared with our population, while our public 
schools have never fallen into neglect unless some exception be 
made in times like those of the French and Indian wars when 
society was in confusion, or during the War for Independence, 
when the inhabitants became greatly impoverished, while bur- 
dens and taxes were greatly increased. Fostered by the state, 
cherished by the educated and intelligent, and among these emi- 
nently the clergy, prized and upheld by all classes, our public 
schools have steadily advanced in the amount and character of 
the instruction given in them, in the adaptation of their grades 
to different ages and acquirements, in the architecture of school 
edifices and in the furnishing of the school room ; while, at the 
same time, greater pains have been taken to deepen the interest 
of the community in them, as well as aid teachers in their qual- 
ifications by teachers' associations, teachers' institutes, public 
lectures, and finally by the establishment of our State Normal 



In common with the other settlers of New England, the people 
of New Hampshire from the first placed a high estimate upon edu- 
cation. Knowing that in a free state, where the people govern, 
it is indispensable that they be virtuous and intelligent, the devel- 
oping of such a population has never been lost sight of. Hence 
the laws have carefully looked after the instruction of the young, 
that not a child might grow up in ignorance either of its moral 
duties or of those branches of knowledge which should fit it for 
successful citizenship. There has also been a desire not only to 


secure universal instruction in common and rudimentary branches, 
but to encourage a higher education and furnish facihties for all 
who wished to gain it ; indeed, to stimulate as many as possible 
to seek for it. The first law in regard to common schools en- 
acted in the state after the Revolution required not only the rais- 
ing of moneys in every town " to be expended for the sole pur- 
pose of keeping an English grammar school or schools, for 
teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, but in each shire or 
half-shire town the school kept shall be a grammar school for 
the purpose of teaching the Latin and Greek languages, as well 
as the aforesaid branches." Although, sixteen years later, this 
last provision was repealed, yet the spirit which originally led to 
its enactment led subsequently to the founding of academies in 
various parts of the state. The means requisite for the erection 
of suitable buildings for these institutions and often for partial 
endowment were the result, frequently, of the munificence of 
some single individual, sometimes of a few, and again by the 
contributions generally of the citizens of a place. 

These academies have gradually dotted over the surface of 
the state. In many a place they stand side by side with the 
village church, the chief architectural ornaments of the town ; 
and as the Sabbath bell from the latter has convened within the 
sanctuary walls the Sabbath worshipers from brook-side and 
hill-side far and near, so the academy bell on the week day has 
just as widely from the same firesides gathered the youth for 
secular instruction, the latter, however, daily introduced by morn- 
ing religious services, and often concluded by similar evening 
devotions. These academies have aimed to give superior ad- 
vantages of education. They have instructed the youth of both 
sexes in the commsm and higher branches of a good English 
education, they have fitted young men for college, and prepared 
teachers for our common schools. The influence of these in- 
stitutions has been very great and excellent, contributing so 
largely, as they have, towards elevating the standard of intelli- 
gence and of character among the young people of the state. 

The first academy established in New Hampshire was that of 
Phillips Academy at Exeter, chartered by the state two years be- 
fore the Revolutionary war, and opened for students the same 
year with the close of that struggle. Its founder, John Phillips, 
LL. D., a graduate of distinction from Harvard University, be- 
sides large gifts to the colleges of Dartmouth and Princeton, 
and also to the academy of the same name at Andover, Mass., 
gave to the academy at Exeter over sixtj'-five thousand dollars, 
a noble endowment for such an institution at that day. This 
academy in its long career of unvarying distinction and success 
as a classical school, and now for some time devoting itself solely 



to fitting young men for college, has been without a superior in 
our countr)' in the sphere it has sought to fill. It has furnished 
its advantages to some four thousand students, towards one half 
of whom have entered college, and among these have been some 
who have won positions among the most eminent of the land, in 
scholarship, literature and statesmanship, in the pulpit, at the bar 
and on the bench. 

Five years later the academy of New Ipswich was chartered, 
" for the purpose," in the words of the charter, " of promoting 
piety and virtue, and for the education of youth in the English, 
Latin and Greek languages, in writing, arithmetic, music and the 
art of speaking, practical geometr)', logic, geography, and such 
other of the liberal arts and sciences or languages as opportunity 
may hereafter permit." Such language, as well as the preamble 
of the charter — "whereas the education of youth has ever been 
considered by the wise and good as an object of the highest 
consequence to the safety and happiness of a people, as at an 
early period of life the mind easily receives and retains impres- 
sions, and is most susceptible of the rudiments of useful knowl- 
edge," — together with the concluding provision of the charter 
exempting all the properties of the academy from taxation and 
its students from a poll tax, a favor granted by the state to other 
similar institutions, indicate the spirit with which such charters 
were given. This institution, whose naine was changed subse- 
quently to Appleton Academy, honored in its list of instructors 
and graduates, still maintains its high position. 

Five other academies were chartered by the state prior to the 
close of the last century, at Atkinson, Amherst, Chesterfield, 
Haverhill and Gilmanton, the first and last of which, aided by 
endowments, have continued in useful operation to the present 
time. Since 1800 some fifty additional academies have been 
established, some of which have risen to a position of promi- 
nence and distinction. 

The history of Kimball Union Academy at Meriden has been 
of no ordinaiy interest. The conception of it originated with a 
young clergyman in a neighboring town, who had enjoyed the 
advantages of foreign travel and, having been greatly impressed 
•with the character of the English classical schools, was led to 
the desire of seeing a similar institution established in his neigh- 
borhood, that should not only maintain a high standard of in- 
struction but assist young men to the gospel ministry. The 
idea was adopted by other clergymen, and at an ecclesiastical 
convention comprised of two neighboring ministerial associa- 
tions, one from Vermont and the other from Xew Hampshire, it 
was decided to go forward and found the contemplated institu- 
tion. At a subsequent meeting of this convention it was de- 



cided to call an ecclesiastical council to inaugurate the matter. 
This council was convened at Windsor, Vt., and was comprised 
of delegates from the General Associations of Connecticut, Mas- 
sachusetts and New Hampshire, and from the General Con- 
vention of Vermont. Among these delegates were President 
Dwight of Yale College, Professors Porter, Woods and Stuart 
of Andover Theological Seminary, and three of the professors 
of Dartmouth College. The convention, having been opened 
with religious services and a discourse by President Dwight, pro- 
ceeded with care and deliberation to prepare a constitution for 
the contemplated academy, the provisions of which were in the 
main, two years later, included in the charter given by the legis- 
lature of New Hampshire in 1813. The academy was located 
at Meriden in this state as a result of a donation at that time of 
six thousand dollars by the Hon. Daniel Kimball of Meriden, 
who also at his decease left by bequest to the institution the 
principal part of his estate. The academy very appropriately 
took the name of its earliest principal donor. Commencing 
operations in 18 15, for a quarter of a century its advantages 
were enjoyed by young men only, but in 1840 the institution 
was opened to the admission of young ladies as students also. 
Founded upon a basis of veiy high educational and religious 
aims, prosperous from the first, with an attendance of late years 
averaging between two and three hundred annually, it has as- 
sumed a front rank among the best similar institutions of the 
land, and its influence has been vast and good. 

Pinkerton Academy at Derry, incorporated a year later than 
Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, went into operation the 
same year with the latter and has similarly had an honorable, 
useful career maintjiined to the present time. It also derived its 
name from its two earliest generous donors, the brothers Major 
John Pinkerton and Deacon James Pinkerton of Derrj'. 

Several of the prominent academies of the state have been 
especially fostered by distinctive religious denominations. Such 
is the "New Hampton Literary Institution," especially sustained 
by the Freewill Baptist denomination, whose site and buildings 
were originally and mainly obtained through the munificence of 
a liberal resident of that town, Rufus G. Lewis, Esq. Such is the 
very flourishing '-New London Literary and Scientific Institu- 
tion," generously cherished by the Baptists and without a rival 
among the schools patronized by that denomination. Such is 
the " New Hampshire Conference Seminary and Female Col- 
lege" at Tilton, an honor to the Methodist denomination. Such 
also is "St. Paul's School" for boys, the attractive Episcopal in- 
stitution at Millville, Concord, incorporated by the legislature 
in 1850, and greatly indebted for its foundation to the generos- 


ity of Dr. George C. Shattuck of Boston. This has now for 
years justly been a favorite school with Episcopalians, beyond, 
perhaps, any other which they support. 

Most honorable mention is also merited for such institutions 
as Francestown Academy, established in 1818 ; Blanchard Acad- 
em\-, Pembroke, incorporated the same year ; Hopkinton Acad- 
emy, incorporated in 1827 ; Boscawen Academy, incorporated in 
1828 ; Nashua Literary Institution, incorporated in 1841 ; and 
Penacook Academy at Fisherville, incorporated in 1866. Others 
might justly be added to this list. All these academical institu- 
tions, with perhaps two exceptions, are open to students of both 
sexes, while the state has some similar institutions of a high 
character devoted entirely to the instruction of j'oung ladies. 
Such is the "Adams Female School " at Derry, of veiy honora- 
ble history in its teachers and graduates. Such is the large, 
flourishing, and beautifully situated institution at West Lebanon, 
"Tilden Young Ladies' Seminary," incorporated in i86g, and 
bearmg the name of the gentleman through whose liberal gifts 
its buildings were erected. Such is the Robinson Female Sem- 
inary at Exeter, bearing the name of the gentleman through 
whose munificent bequest, larger than any other literary insti- 
tution in the state ever received at its foundation, it was estab- 
lished. Such also was the young ladies' seminary maintained 
and taught by Miss Catherine Fisk of Keene, which for a quar- 
ter of a century was of the highest reputation. 

These numerous academical institutions of the state, estab- 
lished with high religious as well as educational aims, and ever 
conducted in accordance with the spirit and purpose of their 
foundation, many of them occupying sites so remarkable in their 
commanding prospect and beauties of surrounding scenery as to 
be an education in themselves, these academical institutions, 
now largely supplemented and worthily rivaled by the high 
schools established in all the cities and large towns of our state, 
together with the normal school more recently established, are 
the pride and almost chief honor of New Hampshire. 




Agriculture is the oldest of all arts, the parent of all civiliza- 
tion and the support of all true progress. The Creator ordained 
it as the chief occupation of man. He placed the first human 
pair in the garden " to dress it and to keep it." If they had 
been content with their "lot," material and spiritual, and had 
kept their first "estate," real and moral, horticulture would have 
been the principal employment of their descendants. But a 
restless love of change and an unfortunate emigration from his 
primitive home have rendered our great progenitor in these par- 
ticulars the federal representative of his race ; specially of the 
universal " Yankee nation." A stale jest, falsely imputed to a 
son of the Granite State who never uttered it, has passed into a 
proverb, that " New Hampshire is a good state to emigrate from." 
It may be true that other states are benefited by such emi- 
gration, for 

"Men are the erowlh our rugged soil supplies 
And souls are npened in these Northern skies."* 

But it is my purpose to demonstrate, "here and now," that New 
Hampshire is a good state to live in ; and, paradoxical as it may 
seem, for those very reasons which are so often urged to induce 
men to. leave it. The climate, scenery, fertility and salubrity of 
our state will bear a favorable comparison with those of other 
countries ; for every region of the globe has its discomforts and 
deprivations. There is no Eden since the first compulsory emi- 
gration, and the compensations which a kind Providence has set 
over against the natural defects of our native state render it one 
of the best homes for the farmer in the world. 

New Hampshire needs no apologies ; she asks no favors. 
True she has some rough and rocky acres which it is hard to 
own and harder to till ; but she also has sheltered vales, sunny 
hills and rich plains that amply reward the labors of the hus- 
bandman. The sun nowhere on earth looks down on more at- 
tractive landscapes than the valleys of our numerous rivers pre- 
sent, either when nature has put on her summer glories or when 
the fields wave with the golden harvests. Look at the crops 
that honest industry secures. In the monthly report of the 

•Thoughts are sometimes repeated, because the author wished to make each chapter a com- 
plete dissertation. 


United States Department of Agriculture for January, 1869, 
New Hampshire leads all the states in her average crop of Ind- 
ian corn. It is set down at forty bushels and eight-tenths per 
acre, at an average price of one dollar and forty-three cents per 
bushel. Vermont stands next, averaging thirty-eight and one-half 
bushels to the acre. We have often been assured that the soil of 
our new states was inexhaustible ; that all that was needed from 
the farmer was " to tickle the soil with the plow, and it would 
laugh with a harvest." Yet Illinois, the richest state in agricul- 
tural products in the Union, produces less maize and wheat to the 
acre than New Hampshire, and the average price of both those 
staples is less than one-half what it is in the Granite State. 

California has turned from mining to agriculture, a very wise 
change. She is fast becoming the best wheat-raising state in 
the Union. Minnesota and Kansas stand on a par with her, 
yielding, on an average, fifteen bushels to the acre, but Vermont 
reports sixteen and stands at the head of the list. Some of the 
Western states fall as low as five, six and eight bushels of wheat 
to the acre. The richest soil badly cultivated soon runs out. 
Good crops require hard labor, and in a few years, if the ele- 
ments that are taken from the surface in annual crops are not 
restored, the best land will become exhausted. 

Barrenness is the fruit of slovenly culture everj'where. "Old 
Virginy never tires " says the negro song, but her soil was worn 
out before the war. It was said to be the tobacco crop that 
ruined it. Now it seems, when Yankee iudustry holds the plow, 
and Yankee prudence enriches the decayed acres, that the very 
desert begins to bud and blossom as the rose. Virginia calls 
for the sons of New Hampshire to regenerate that ruined state. 
But New Hampshire needs her own sons at home. Why leave 
our schools, churches and cultivated society here to dwell in a 
mixed population, hateful and hating one another, and cultivate 
a soil exhausted by bad husbandry and desolated by war, and 
work harder and earn less than you would on the old home- 
steads ? If you go to a new state you must create all your good 
institutions anew. It will require the labor of a life-time to se- 
cure as many comforts as you turn your back upon at home. 

In 1859, before the war, corn was not w'orth harvesting in 
some of the Western states. It commanded only ten cents per 
bushel, and one bushel of corn made two gallons of whiskey ! 
What a paradise was the West then to those ardent advocates of 
the largest liberty in domestic trade, and who now complain 
that heavy duties are a severer restraint on self-indulgence than 
the Maine law and the Gospel united. 

The war elevated a great many things besides brave men ; it 
increased the estimation of a great many worthless things be- 


sides political demagogues. It enriched the West, by raising 
the price of corn, for a few years, from ten cents to one dollar 
and twenty-five cents per bushel ; and the price of whiskey from 
thirteen cents to four or five dollars per gallon. But a reaction 
has come ; and values have fallen. " Thus, the whirligig of time 
brings in his revenges." Surely the world does move ; and 
multitudes of our New England farmers move West, with the 
delusive hope of bettering their condition. Imagine a colony 
of men and women reared under the shadow of our lofty moun- 
tains, dropped down in the midst of an almost limitless prairie, 
in whose horizon the sun rises and sets, as in the ocean ; with 
not a mound, hill, stone or tree to give variety to the landscape. 
After gazing upon this monotonous picture for a few years, how 
ardently does the most unbelieving sceptic pra)' for faith to re- 
move one of our New Hampshire mountains into this dead sea 
of verdure ! On his return to his native land, how does his 
heart leap with joy at the bare sight of a New England land- 
scape ! Surely, " variety is the spice of life." 

New Hampshire is a good state to stay in, because men live 
long and grow old in it. Its bracing air promotes longevity. Dr. 
Belknap, in his history of the first settlers of New Hampshire 
says : " In that part of America which it falls to my lot to de- 
scribe, an uncleared and uncultivated soil is so far from being 
an object of dread that there are no people more vigorous and 
robust than those who labor on new plantations ; nor, in fact, 
have any people better appetites for food. A very large propor- 
tion of the people of New Hampshire live to old age ; and many 
of them die of no acute disease, but by the gradual decay of 
nature. The death of adult persons between twenty and fifty 
years of age is very rare compared with European countries." 
" When no epidemic prevails not more than one in seventy of 
the people of New Hampshire die annually." It must be re- 
membered that this was written before the advent of Venetian 
blinds, damask curtains, double windows, India rubber strips, 
air-tight stoves and woolen carpets. Houses were heated by 
open fires which changed the air everj' hour. Men were accus- 
tomed to the healthy stimulus of pure air, bright sun-light and 
moderate fires within doors ; and without furs, flannels or over- 
shoes they became inured in their daily toils to the effects of 
pinching frosts and driving snows, so that they were not debilita- 
ted at home by excessive heat nor chilled abroad by excessive cold. 

Fifty years ago farmers in New Hampshire raised the food for 
their families, and the wool and flax to clothe them, from their 
own soil. They had little money ; their trade was chiefly by 
barter, exchanging wlieat, maize and oats, for salt, iron and mo- 
lasses. After the introduction of manufactures and railroads, 


the rural population, like the rivers, gravitated toward the cities ; 
or, like the clouds, vi^as dispersed over the boundless West. The 
agriculture of the state has suffered greatly from this depletion ; 
but better days are coming. We argue thus because all the best 
lands this side the Rocky mountains are already occupied by 
actual settlers or owned by railroads and speculators. We are 
also assured by the United States surveyors, that there is a broad 
belt of land beyond the one hundredth meridian of longitude, 
twelve hundred miles in length, e.xtending from Texas to the 
British Possessions, and varying in breadth from three to six 
hundred miles, which is unfit for cultivation. General Hazen 
affirms that not one acre in a hundred of that vast territory can 
ever be successfully tilled. The average rainfall of only ten 
inches per annum sets the seal of perpetual desolation upon 
this great desert. Irrigation, as in Utah, cannot remedy its bar- 
renness, because the adjacent mountains do not furnish a supply 
of water. If Sahara, with its sands, were in the same place, it 
would not prove a more effectual barrier to emigration and agri- 
culture. We may therefore anticipate, before the advent of 
another generation, a refluent tide of emigrants to the old home- 
steads of New Hampshire. The war of Western farmers upon 
the railroads confirms this opinion. If three fourths of the 
value of com in the Eastern markets are consumed in freight, 
the producers will prefer to raise the crops, even at an increased 
expense, in the regions where they are consumed. Good farms 
and comfortable dwellings, now unoccupied, await the returning 
prodigals ; for the seventy-eight thousand farmers of 1S40 have 
diminished to forty-six thousand five hundred and seventy-three 
in 1870, though nearly twenty-four thousand were added to the 
population during the same period. 

New England has been justly styled the "brain" of the coun- 
try. The enterprise that has formed states, churches, schools 
and colleges in the West, the energy that has transformed deserts 
into cultivated fields, reared cities and bound the continent to- 
gether by iron rails, originated among the bleak hills of the 
northeastern portion of the continent. 

New Hampshire has contributed its full share both of brawn 
and brain to these magnificent results. Though her staff of la- 
borers has been diminished by the repeated conscriptions of new 
states, yet, during the thirty years preceding the Rebellion the 
wealth of the state was doubled. Every man had a competency 
and pauperism was almost unknown. Notwithstanding the heavy 
burdens which the war has imposed upon the productive in- 
dustry of the state, the people are still prosperous and happy. 
Nearly two thousand years ago Roman agriculture had declined. 
Augustus felt the insecurity of his throne without a thrifty rural 


population to support it. He stimulated agriculture by lega- 
enactment, and invited Virgil to sing its pleasures and its prof, 
its. The poet wrote his Georgics and kindled new enthusiasm 
among all the wealthy farmers. His closing words are appro- 
priate to us : 

"Oh happy if he knew his happy state, 
The man who, free from business and debate, 
Receives his easy food from Nature's hand 
And just returns of cultivated land." 

More than forty years ago DeTocqueville visited this country. 
He scanned our institutions with the eye of a philosopher. His 
report was more candid and commendatory than that of any 
other foreigner who has written concerning us. He was hope- 
ful of the United States chiefly because of the general distribu- 
tion of real estate among the inhabitants. " Every man," says 
he "has a stake in the hedge." Almost every voter is a land- 
owner. This is peculiarly true with reference to New Hamp- 
shire, in which there are probably more owners of real estate 
than in the whole of England. There the estates of earls or 
dukes are larger than our counties. The nobles own the soil ; 
the peasants till it. When the country is in peril the millions 
have little patriotism ; for they have little to lose and nothing to 
gain. Shelley in his ode to the men of England says : 

"The seeds ye sow another reaps; 
Tlie weahh ye find anotller keeps ; 
The robes ye weave another wears ; 
The arms ye forge another bears." 

With us the land-owners are the sovereigns. They love their 
homes, whether on the hill or in the vale, and are ever ready at 
their country's call to defend them. The patriot loves his home, 
however "cribbed, cabined and confined" he may find his quar- 
ters, for f 

"The smoke ascends 
To Heaven as lightly from the cottage hearth 
As from the haughty palace." 

Our safety and prosperity depend upon this devotion to our 
native soil. With contentment and industry, our farms will sup- 
ply every reasonable want. An improved agriculture will en- 
large our manufactures and commerce. "A threefold cord is 
not easily broken.'' But if we intend to live in New Hampshire 
and board at the West, we may at some unexpected crisis find 
our supplies cut off. A single short crop in the new states 
would bring gaunt famine to our doors. A combination of spec- 
ulators may, at any time, raise the price of flour beyond the 
means of the poor. The railroad kings can, at their pleasure, 
produce the same result, by e.xorbitant freights. But the New 
Hampshire farmer who raises the wheat and corn that supply 
his table, who feeds his own domestic animals, "drives his own 


team afield," rides in his own carriage, reads his own books, 
supports his own church and school, and represents his own 
town, is independent of them all. No rich broker can lock up 
his gold ; no speculator can withhold his supplies ; no railroad 
king can dole out his rations ; no aristocratic millionaire can 
take his children's bread and cast it to dogs ; no scheming 
politician can command his vote. He is every inch a man, "in 
body, mind and estate." Let us thank God that we have "a 
goodly heritage," where, with honest toil and contented minds, 
we may be healthful, hopeful, happy and prosperous. Truly 
New Hampshire is a good state to live in. 



The first settlers of New Hampshire came to trade, mine, fish 
and plant ; but commerce took precedence of agriculture. Ships 
were essential to the existence of the first settlers. Their pro- 
visions were imported in them ; the products of their industry 
and trade were exported in them. For the first hundred years 
of the existence of the state, many large fortunes were acquired 
by merchandise. The provincial governors and the early aris- 
tocracy were merchants. Portsmouth, the chief maritime town 
in the state, was for nearly a century the seat of government 
and the centre of influence. From 1775 to 1807, the legislature 
was itinerant, meeting at Portsmouth, Exeter, Concord and Hop- 
kintoii, as it was deemed most convenient to the members. One 
session was held in each of the following towns — Dover, Amherst, 
Charlestown and Hanover. Since 1807, Concord has by general 
consent been regarded as the seat of government. Portsmouth, 
being the chief political and commercial town in the state, gave 
tone to society and direction to legislation. The earliest exports 
from the state consisted of fish, lumber, turpentine, peltry, sas- 
safras, provisions and live stock. From the beginning of the 
present century to 1807, the annual imports of Portsmouth 
amounted to about $800,000 ; its exports during the same time 
averaged nearly $700,000 per annum. The encroachments of 
France and England upon American commerce and the embargo 
and non-intercourse acts of our own country nearly ruined the 
trade of Portsmouth. Besides a small coasting business, the 



West Indies and Great Britain engrossed most of the commerce 
of New Hampshire. 

Ship-building also occupied a large number of men dwelling 
on the banks of the Piscataqua ; but the din of war drowned 
the " hum of business " and mechanics left the dock for the 
deck and manned rather than built ships. Portsmouth has never 
recovered her commercial prosperity. Her imports, in 182 1, 
amounted to $333,986; in 1834, $117,932; in 1840, §115,678; 
in 1850, $19,998 ; in i860, $16,920, which was scarcely more 
than one fiftieth of its imports in 1807. Her e-xports have been 
far less than her imports. Mr. Brewster in his " Rambles about 
Portsmouth," says : 

"At the present day we do not see the busy wharves, the fleets 
of West Indiamen, the great piles of bags of coffee, and the 
acres of hogsheads of molasses which we used to see ; nor do 
we see Water street crowded with sailors, and the piles of lum- 
ber and cases of fish going on board the West Indiamen for 
uses in the tropics. But if that day is gone by, we have other 
occupations, and the old town seems as bright and handsome 
as ever." 

The following description of the commerce of Portsmouth at 
the present day, is from the pen of a distinguished gentleman of 
that city, to whom I am indebted for other valuable suggestions : 

" I find from the custom-house books, that the direct duties 
from imports into this port were for 1869, $15,133.06; 1870, 
$27,498.50; 1871, $46,635.71 ; 1872, $12,721.60; 1873, $7,754.- 
47 ; 1874, $5,671.95. In the two latter years almost all of this 
was from coal ; a cargo of iron is a rara avis indeed, and one 
cargo of salt yearly would be a full average. The fishery is the 
only maritime business which can be said to flourish here, unless 
the very large amoutits of coal from Pennsylvania for distribu- 
tion by rail to the interior can be called such." 

Following is a statement of duties received at the port of 
Portsmouth, from 1840 to 1870, inclusive, from the records of 
the Custom House : 

1840. . 

■ 53,056 





1856. . 






1841 - 

. 40,702 











.842. . 










■ 2,464 


• ■5>757 



1854- ■ 






1869. . 


.844. . 

• "61932 








3. .87 

.870. . 


.845. ■ 

• 8.373 

Note.— Dr. Dwight, in his Travels, gives the following schedule of duties on imported goods 
from 1801 to .S.o: .80., J. 65,614; 1S02, $.54,087; 1804, $2.0,4.0; 1806, $222,596; .808, 
$5. ,231; 1810, $61,464. 




In the ancient republics, the actor and orator enlightened the 
citizens on all matters pertaining to politics and morals. Libra- 
ries were few and small. Among private citizens only the wealthy 
and learned owned manuscripts. Hence Dr. Johnson, in his 
dogmatic style, said to Sir Adam Ferguson, "Sir, the boasted 
Athenians were barbarians. The masses of every people must 
be barbarians where there is no printing." In more recent 
times, Wendell Phillips describes the power of the press in still 
more exaggerated language. He says : 

" It is a momentous truth that the millions have no literature, no school, 
and almost no pulpiti but the press. Not one in ten reads books; but every 
one of us, except the very few helpless poor, poisons himself every day with 
a newspaper. It is parent, school, college, pulpit, theatre, example, coun- 
selor, all in one. Every drop of our blood is colored by it. Let me make 
the newspapers, and I care not who makes the religion or the laws." 

Prior to the Revolutionary war, less than a score of news- 
papers were published in the United States. They had been in 
existence only two centuries in England, and had not then be- 
come the fourth estate in the realm. The press was still under 
censorship, and papers were suppressed and their publishers im- 
prisoned for criticising public men and measures. During the 
reign of George IV., Leigh Hunt was imprisoned a year for 
printing something derogatory to the character of "the first gen- 
tleman in Europe," as that heartless libertine was styled by his 
admirers. In 1776, the entire issues of the newspaper presses 
in America would not probably equal the circulation of some of 
our city dailies. The papers of that day contained little original 
matter. An editor was not necessarily a writer of leaders, giv- 
ing tone and direction to public opinion, but a mere compiler of 
readable articles from books, or the editor and critic of commu- 
nications furnished by contributors. The movements of Euro- 
pean monarchs and generals were chronicled with scrupulous 
fidelity. The great tides of public opinion abroad were sup- 
posed to determine the slight ripples that washed the American 
shores. The speeches of English and French orators were often 
reprinted in full. 

As early as 1756 Daniel Fowle established a weekly paper 
in Portsmouth, called the New Hampshire Gazette. It is said 


that he had suffered imprisonment in Massachusetts for his fear- 
less criticism of the official acts of the colonial government. 
Those Puritan magnates did not allow their decrees to be ques- 
tioned. The Gazette was a small sheet filled with the latest 
news from England, with a few local paragraphs. Colonial top- 
ics were sometimes introduced ; and during the Indian wars, the 
sufferings of the frontier towns were faithfully chronicled. At the 
present day we look with wonder upon the frequent advertise- 
ments of fugitive slaves. It seems that the colored man was less 
contented under Puritan than under Southern masters. Slaveiy 
was abolished in New Hampshire in 1784; then apprentices be- 
came estrays. Mr. Fowle printed the Gazette for thirty years. 
Its circulation, while he owned it, never exceeded five hundred 
copies. This first child of the American press* in our state, this 
first heir of Mr. Fowle's invention, still exists in the form of a 
double sheet, rich in materials and widely circulated. 

After the close of the Revolutionary war papers were pub- 
lished in several of the leading towns of the state, but they 
soon failed for want of patronage. The people were too illiterate 
to prize good reading and too poor to purchase it. In 1790, 
George Hough issued the Concord Herald. It was a small 
sheet containing a few well selected articles and some local news. 
It lacked editorial ability and never became a power in the state. 
After the beginning of the nineteenth centur}', when the people 
had become more intelligent and prosperous, the political press 
assumed greater importance and exerted a broader influence. In 
1809, Isaac Hill purchased the New Hampshire Patriot, which 
had been published for si.x months by William Hoitt. Mr. Hill 
introduced a new era in journalism. He was bold and defiant, 
a man of decided opinions, advocating them with uncommon 
ability and rather provoking than shunning opposition. He 
became the champion of the democratic party and the uncom- 
promising foe of the federalists. During the second war with 
England party spirit became almost ferocious and party feuds 
irreconcilable. Since that day the utterances of the press have 
been more pointed, personal and incisive. The men of to-day 
are not satisfied with calm, dignified essays, such as in the last 
century appeared over the names of Junius, Brutus and Cato in 
New Hampshire papers. A competent critic thus characterizes 
the productions of the two periods : 

" Turning over the old files of the Portsmouth Gazette, Keene Sentinel and 

*The first press in Cambridge was set up in 1638. The first thing printed was the Free- 
man's Oath; the second an almanac, and in 1640 the Bay Psalm Book. The first press in 
Pennsylvania was established in 1656, four years after Penn's Presses appeared in 
the following order: in New York, 1693; at New London. Conn., 1700; at Newport, R. I., 
1714 ; at Annapolis, Delaware, 172(1 ; at Charleston, S. C, in 1730; at Newbern, N. C, 1757 ; 
at Savannah, Lia., 1762 ; in Maine in 1730. At the time of the Revnlutiun there were about 
forty presses in the United States. 


Amherst Cabinet, you look in vain for the fierce invective, stinging person- 
ality, the tart reply and the dexterous argument of more recent journalism. 
Yet the press of sixty years ago was the product and reflection of its own 
times. It gave way to the hardier and more versatile journals as untutored 
labor yields to scientific skill. It left an unblemished name. It had hurt no 
man's feelings; it had injured no man's reputation. Like the good Athenian 
it might claim for its epitaph, that no citizen had worn mourning on its ac' 
count. Pleasant be its memory ! " 

About fifty public journals are now published in New Hamp- 
shire. The wide-spread demand for information has called in 
the aid of science and invention to facilitate the art of printing. 
The presses used a century ago would now be a burden to the 
owner. The Columbian press, invented by George Clymer of 
Philadelphia, in 18 18, was in its day an exceedingly valuable aid 
to printers. More recently the powerful cylinder presses con- 
structed by Richard M. Hoe of New York enable publishers to 
multiply books and papers as fast as the reading public demand 
them. "By the cylinder press, worked by steam, in connection 
■with the stereotype process, as many as forty thousand impres- 
sions of a newspaper can be taken in an hour." 


Political economists find it a very difficult portion of their 
work to define such terms as Wealth, Value, Currency, Money, 
Credit and Capital. Whole volumes have been written on these 
words alone. Adam Smith's definition of wealth, as "the pro- 
duce of land and labor," is now repudiated ; for land itself is 
wealth. In the city of London, an acre of land varies in value 
from fifty thousand to ten millions of dollars, exclusive of build- 
ings. In the midland counties of England an oak, the natural 
growth of the soil, is sometimes worth three hundred dollars 
upon the stump. More recent authors, therefore, return to the 
oldest definition of wealth on record, as given by Aristotle. He 
says : "And we call wealth everything whose value is measured 
by money." The criterion of wealth is exchangeability. Any- 
thing material or immaterial has value which can be bought and 
sold. Coined money alone has a permanent value, because it is 
exchangeable among all persons, at all times and in all places 
in the same countrj-. "Gold and silver," says Burke, "represent 
the lasting conventional credit of mankind." Credit, in the 


form of debts due from indi\'iduals or corporations, has a com- 
mercial value, owing to the confidence or belief which business 
men entertain that the instruments of credit, notes and bills, 
may be exchanged for money or commodities. Paper money 
rests on the same basis ; with loss of confidence comes depreci- 
ation. "Credit," says Mr. Webster, is to money what money is 
to commodities ;" consequently credit is capital. Mr. Macleod 
says : "A banker is a trader who buys money, or money and 
debts, by creating other debts;" and "banks are shops" where 
bankers do their business. 

It has been the prevailing belief for centuries, that the word 
bank is derived from the Italian banco, a bench or table, because 
the Italian money dealers kept their money piled on benches or 
tables in the sight of customers ; and that a bankrupt was one 
whose bench was broken ("banco rotto") and the owner e.xpelied 
from the fraternity. A very different etymology is now current. 
Muratori says that the Italian banca or banco is of Gothic origin. 
It comes from "banck," a heap or mound. This was metaphori- 
cally applied to a common fund formed by the contributions of e 
company. A bank, then, is literally "a pile of money." The 
Venetians called the forced loan made by the government to pay 
the public debt in 1171, a "Banco" or "Monte." The latter 
word is from the Latin " mons" a mountain. Writers in the 
17th century use the "mons" for bank, as "Mons Negotionis," a 
bank of trade. The first bankers in Venice were two Jews, who 
obtained leave of the senate to deal in securities and a. d. 1400. 
The Bank of Venice dates only from 1587. 

Mr. Macleod in his "Theory and Practice of Banking," says : 
"The business which is technically called banking seems to have 
been invented by tlje Romans. It is true that there were abund- 
ance of money dealers at Athens and other places, but their 
business seems, as far as we can discover, to