Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
NEW HAMPSHIRE, one of the original states of the American Union. Its territory, with the boundaries described below, was granted by Charles I, to John Mason, by charter dated Nov. 7, 1629, modified and confirmed by another charter of April 22, 1635. During the commonwealth period in England the New Hampshire settlers, like those of Maine, came under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and so remained for nearly forty years, 1641-79. In 1675 one of Mason's grandsons applied to the king for restitution of the territory, and, after a hearing, a royal decree was issued Sept. 18,1679, reciting that Massachusetts had usurped authority over the territory, and that the territory "hath not yet been granted unto any person or persons whatsoever," and ordered that it should become a royal province. It remained a royal province until the revolution, but had no charter, its existence as a separate colony depending on the king's will. The relation of the colony to Massachusetts bore some resemblance to the connection between Delaware and Pennsylvania (see
—BOUNDARIES. The grant of 1629 was of "all that part of New England between 40° and 48° north latitude," between Maryland and the St Lawrence. The grant of 1635 was more circumspect in its assignment of boundaries, as follows: from the middle part of "Naumkeck river," eastward along the seacoast to Cape Ann, and "round about the same to Pischataway harbour"; thence to the head of "the river of Newgewanacke" [Salmon Falls]; thence "northwestwards till sixty miles be finished"; and from the Naumkeck "up into the land west sixty miles, from which period to cross over land to the sixty miles end aforesaid." These words seem to designate a territory whose northern boundary was a line northwest from the Salmon Falls to the Connection river, while the southern boundary was considerably south of that which is now the southern boundary of New Hampshire. In the final settlement (see
—CONSTITUTIONS. In the opening of the revolution New Hampshire applied to congress for directions as to civil government, and congress, by resolution of Nov. 3, 1775, recommended the formation of a temporary state government. In accordance with this recommendation, a convention at Exeter, Dec. 21, 1775-Jan. 5, 1776, adopted the state's first constitution, without submitting it to popular vote. It was very brief, and practically left both the legislative and executive powers of government in the hands of a house of representatives or assembly, chosen by towns, and a council chosen by counties. A convention at Concord, June 10, 1778-June 5, 1779, framed a new constitution, which was rejected by the towns. A new convention at Exeter, June 12, 1781-Oct. 31, 1783, framed a new constitution which, having been variously amended in the town meetings during the two years of the convention's existence, was ratified by popular vote, and went into force June 2, 1784. It declared New Hampshire a "free, sovereign and independent state"; gave "towns, parishes, bodies corporate, and religious societies" the power to provide for the support of Protestant ministers, but without establishing any state church; gave the legislative power to a "general court" (see
—GOVERNORS. John Langdon, 1784-6; John Sullivan, 1786-8; John Langdon, 1788-90; Josiah Bartlett, 1790-94; John T. Gilman, 1794-1805; John Langdon, 1805-9; Jeremiah Smith, 1809-10; John Langdon, 1810-12; William Plumer, 1812-13; John T. Gilman, 1813-16; William Plumer, 1816-19; Samuel Bell, 1819-23; Levi Woodbury, 1823-4; David L. Morrill, 1824-7; Benjamin Pierce, 1827-9; John Bell, 1829-30; Matthew Harvey, 1830-31; Joseph M Harper, 1831; Samuel Dinsmoor, 1831-4; William Badger, 1834-6; Isaac Hill, 1836-9; John Page, 1839-42; Henry Hubbard, 1842-4; John H. Steele, 1844-6; Anthony Colby, 1846-7; Jared W. Williams, 1847-9; Samuel Dinsmoor, 1849-52; Noah Martin, 1852-4; Nathaniel B. Baker, 1854-5; Ralph Metcalf, 1855-7; William Haile, 1857-9; Ichabod Goodwin, 1859-61; Nathaniel S. Berry, 1861-3; Joseph A. Gilmore, 1863-5; Frederic Smyth, 1865-7; Walter Harriman, 1867-9; Onslow Stearns, 1869-71; James A. Weston, 1871-2; Ezekiel Straw, 1872-4; James A. Weston, 1874-5; person C. Cheney, 1875-7; Benjamin F. Prescott, 1877-9; Nathaniel Head, 1879-81; Charles H. Bell, 1881-3;.
—POLITICAL HISTORY. The ratification of the constitution in New Hampshire was accomplished with difficulty (see
—Thereafter the state remained democratic until 1856; though the single electoral vote cast against Monroe in 1820 came from New Hampshire, it was cast rather on personal than on party grounds. In 1824 and 1828 the state's electoral vote was cast for John Quincy Adams, while he was still one of the republican (democratic) candidates; but when parties were fairly reformed, the state, under the leadership of Isaac Hill and Levi Woodburry, was as strongly democratic as ever. The whig vote in the state was seldom over 40 per cent, of the whole, and was more usually about 30 per cent.; even in the general whig success of 1840, the democratic majority in the state was 6,386 out of a total vote of 58,954 for electors, and for state officers the majority was about 2,000 larger. It was not until 1847 that any break was made in the democratic supremacy in the state; in that year one of the four congressmen was a whig, and another a free-soiler. In these two congressional districts, comprising the four southern countries of the state, the democrats were beaten, until the redistricting, after the census of 1850, made all the districts again democratic; but the democratic majority in the rest of the state was always large enough to control all the general state elections, and the governors and legislatures were still steadily democratic.
—In 1835 the democrats lost control of the state. At the previous election their opponents, under the common name of Americans, or "know-nothings" (see
—In 1871 the democrats succeeded in making a tie in the state senate, and in securing one majority (165 to 164) in the lower house; and, as the scattering vote prevented their candidate for governor from having a clear majority on the popular vote, he was elected by the legislature. The same thing happened in 1874, the democrats having a larger majority in both houses of the legislature. During the same period (1871-82) the congressional representation was republican, except 1871-3, when all three congressmen were democrats; 1873-7, when two were democrats; and 1877-9; when one was a democrat. With these exceptions the state has been republican by very small but very steady majorities. In 1880 the vote for governor was as follows: Bell (republican). 44,434; Frank Jones (democrat), 40,815; W. S. Brown (greenback), 503. The legislature is 1881-2 stands as follows: senate, sixteen republicans, 8 democrats; house, 179 republicans, 114 democrats.
—Among the political leaders in the state's history have been John P. Hale, Franklin Pierce, Daniel Webster (see
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