New Hampshire


One of the United States, so named by John Madison, to whom a portion of its territory was granted in 1629, after Hampshire in England, the county from which he emigrated.  It lies between 4241' and 4511' north latitude, and 7040' and 7228' west longitude from Greenwich, and is bounded north by Canada East, east by Maine, from which it is separated in part by Salmon Fall river; southeast by the Atlantic; south by Massachusetts; and west by Connecticut river, which separates it from Vermont.  Superficial area 9,411 square miles.

Physical Aspects-- Taking into consideration the small extent of surface in this state, it is more varied in its natural features than any other in the Union.  Commencing at the seashore, we find a sandy beach, bordered by extensive salt marshes, which are intersected by numerous creeks.  In the midst of this beach there is a bold promontory, called the "Boar's Head."  For the first 20 or 30 miles from the sea, the country is either level or variegated by rolling swells, fertile valleys and small conical hills.  The remainder of the state is greatly diversified by sloping woodlands, rich intervales, rugged mountains, fruitful valleys, foaming cascades, crystal rivers and silvery lakes, which from their wild and picturesque effect, have distinguished this country as the "Switzerland of America."  The soil is as varied in its character as the surface; a considerable portion is fertile, and it is generally better adapted to grazing then tillage. The "intervale Lands," on the borders of the large rivers, are esteemed as the most valuable, particularly if they are enriched by annual floods.  The uplands, of an uneven surface, and of a warm, moist, stony soil, are regarded as the best for grazing.  The sandy pine plains are the poorest and often are of little or no use, except for growing wood.

Mountains-- The most considerable of these are the White mountains, the Monadnock, Moosehillock, Ossipee, Sunipee, Patuckoway, and Kearsarge.

Rivers, Lakes and Bays-- The principle rivers are, the Connecticut, Merrimack, Androscoggin, Salmon Fall, Piscataqua, Exeter or Swamscot, Saco, Upper and Lower Ammonoosuc, Sugar, Ashuelet, Winnipiseogee, Contoocook, Lamprey, Nashua, Margallaway and Piscataquog.  The chief lakes are the Winnipiseogee, Umbagog, Ossipee, Massabesick, Sunipee, Newfound, and Squam.  There are two "Great bays" in this state; the largest situated at the confluence of Swamscot, Winnicut and Lamprey rivers; the other at the southwest corner of Lake Winnipiseogee.  Merrymeeting bay is situated at the easterly end of the same lake.

Islands-- The only islands worthy of note are the Isles of Shoals, seven in number, off Portsmouth harbor, and numerous islets in Winnipiseogee lake.  Of the latter, Long Cow, and Davis' are the largest, and are in a high state of cultivation.

Climate-- The climate, like that of the states adjacent, is subject to the extremes of heat and cold, but the air is generally salubrious and pure. Along the seaboard, invalids subject to complaints of the lungs generally suffer from the ocean winds.  Morning and evening fires become necessary from September til May.  The streams are generally locked up in ice, and in the open country the snow often abides on the earth from November till April, and in the woods till May or June.

Productive Resources-- The chief products of this state are, horses, mules, horned cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, sugar, butter, cheese, hay, wood, lumber, wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, potatoes and Indian corn.  On the mineral resources there are iron, lead, silver, tin, zinc, magnesia, soap-stone, granite, feldspar and mica.

Manufactures-- The principle manufactures of this state are cotton and woolen goods, cast iron, paper, leather, boots and shoes, carriages, furniture, hats, pottery-ware, mechanical and agricultural instruments &c

Railroads and Canals-- There are about 600 miles of railroads in New Hampshire, a large proportion of them radiating from Concord, the political capital of the state, to almost every point of the compass.  The only canals in the state are those for facilitating the navigation of the Merrimack river.

Commerce-- New Hampshire has but the single port of Portsmouth on the Atlantic, and its direct foreign commerce heretofore has been extremely small, amounting in the aggregate to less than $60,000 in 1851; but in increased facilities afforded by the opening of railroad communication between Portsmouth and the interior of the state will materially enlarge its foreign trade.  The shipping owned within the state amounts to about 23,000 tons.

Education-- The principal literary institutions of the state are Dartmouth college at Hanover, attached to which is New Hampshire medical school; and theological seminaries at Gilmanton, Concord and New Hampton.  There are also 70 or 80 academies, and about 3,000 common schools throughout the state.

Government-- The legislative power is vested in a senate, of 12 members, and house of representatives, of about 300 members, and the executive power in a governor and five councilors, all elected by the people, the second Tuesday in March.  The right of suffrage is vested in every male inhabitant, of 21 years, excepting paupers and persons not taxed.  The judiciary power is vested in a superior court, and court of common pleas.  Judges are appointed by the governor and council during good behavior, or until seventy years of age.

Population-- In 1790 was 141,899; in 1800 was 183,762; in 1810 was 214,3601; in 1820 was 244,161; in 1830 was 269,328; in 1840 was 284,574 and in 1850 was 317,964.  Number of slaves in 1790 was 158; in 1800 was 8 and in 1810 was 1.

History-- The first permanent settlements in New Hampshire were made at Little Harbor, Portsmouth and Dover, in 1623.  In 1641, all the colonists of this state placed themselves under the protection of Massachusetts, and formed a part of the county of Norfolk.  In 1679, it was again constituted a separate province by Charles II, and in 1680, the first assembly convened.  In 1690 it reunited with Massachusetts, from which, two years after, it was again separated against the wishes of the people.  In 1695, the two provinces were placed under the jurisdiction of New York, but were reunited in 1702, and thus continued until 1741, when a separate governor was appointed over each, and New Hampshire ever after constituted a distinct government.  During the war of independence the government was conducted by a temporary administration.  The state constitution was established in 1784, which with the amendments of 1792, forms the one at present in force.  In 1788, this state, in convention, adopted the constitution of the United States.