Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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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 DELAWARE): the same governor was often sent our for the two colonies together, but the assemblies were separate.


—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 MAINE) New Hampshire gained the whole northern part of her present area, but took as a southern boundary a line three miles north of the Merrimac river to its most southwestern bend, and thence directly west.


—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 BURGESSES), composed of a senate of twelve, chosen annually by districts, and a house of representatives, chosen annually by the towns according to population; imposed a property qualification of £200 on senators and £100 on representatives; provided that state officers should be "of the Protestant religion"; gave the right of suffrage to "male inhabitants over twenty-one, paying a poll tax"; gave the executive power to a "president", chosen annually by popular vote, or by the legislature in default of a popular majority, with the title of "his excellency," and having a property qualification of £500, together with an advisory council of five, chosen by the legislature. A new constitution was framed by a convention at Concord, Sept. 7, 1791-Sept. 5, 1792, and during the continuance of the convention was ratified by the town meetings. Its principal changes were the alteration of the title of the executive to "governor," and a provision for the periodical submission of the constitution to the people for decision on the necessity of revision. It has been thus submitted a great number of times, but only twice amended. In 1852 all property qualifications for state officers were abolished. In 1877 the term of the governor and legislature was extended to two years; state elections were changed from March to November; the religious qualification was abolished; and the senate was enlarged to twenty-four members.


—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 CONSTITUTION), but when the ratification was accomplished, the state became reliably federalist. The leader of the democratic party of the state was John Langdon; but, though his personal popularity made him United States senator until 1801, he never succeeded until 1805 in making his state democratic. John T. Gilman, the federalist leader, was regularly re-elected governor for eleven years, and the legislatures were of the same political complexion. The strongest indications of a change were visible in 1804. In the elections of that year the democrats secured the electoral vote of the state, the legislature, and through it the United States senator; and Gilman had a majority of but forty votes for governor. In the following year Langdon was elected governor, and the state remained democratic until 1813, with the exception of the years 1809 and 1810. In 1812 the federalists again elected Gilman governor, and a majority of the legislature. Following a precedent which the democrats had recently set in Massachusetts (see that state), they proceeded to reconstruct all the courts of the state, substituting a series of courts with new names and federalist judges. Both sets of judges held their appointed sessions; the court officers in some places supported one set, and in others their opponents; and law and justice were suspended until the new court triumphed. In 1816, the democrats in turn carried the state, secured its electoral vote and the legislature, removed the federalist judges, and appointed democrats in their places. They went further and attacked the charter of Dartmouth college, whose trustees were federalists and had the power to fill vacancies in their number. An act was passed changing the name of the college to Dartmouth University, modifying the charter, and enlarging the number of trustees. Two college organizations appeared. The new one, backed up the legislature, secured the buildings and records; but the old one, after prolonged litigation, carried the case to the United States supreme court, and there secured a verdict on the general ground that the charter, though granted originally by the king, was a contract which the federal constitution forbade the state to violate.


—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 AMERICAN PARTY), had carried the lower house of the legislature; and in the spring of 1835 they elected the governor, Metcalfe, all the three congressmen, and a heavy majority of the legislature. In March, 1856, the democrats succeeded in electing Wells governor by a majority of eighty-eight votes out of 66,510, but they were still in a minority in the legislature. During the summer the republican party was organized in the state, and carried it in November. From that time until after 1870 New Hampshire was republican in all elections, state, congressional and presidential, with the exception of a single democratic congressman in 1863. The popular majorities were never large, but they were sufficiently persistent to result regularly in the election of a republican governor, and the maintenance of a republican majority in the legislature.


—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 their names), and the following: Chas. G. Atherton, democratic congressman 1837-43, and United States senator 1843-9 and 1853 (see PETITION): Henry W. Blair, republican congressman 1875-9, and United States senator 1879-85; Wm. E. Chandler, secretary of the navy under Arthur; John Taylor Gilman, governor (federalist) 1794-1805 and 1813-16; Nicholas Gilman (brother of the preceding), democratic congressman 1789-97, and United States senator 1805-14; Isaac Hill, democratic United States senator 1831-6, and governor 1836-9 (see BANK CONTROVERSIES, III,.); John Langdon, democratic United States senator 1789-1801. and governor 1803-9 and 1810-11; Samuel Livermore, federalist congressman 1789-93, and United States senator 1793-1801; James W. Patterson, republican congressman 1863-7, and United States senator 1867-73; William Plumer, federalist United States senator 1802-7,and democratic governor 1812-13 and 1816-19; George Sullivan, democratic congressman 1811-13, and state attorney general 1816-35; and Levi Woodbury, governor 1823-4, democratic United States senator 1825-31. secretary of the navy and treasury under Jackson and Van Buren (see ADMINISTRATIONS XI-XII.). United States senator 1841-5, and justice of the supreme court 1846-51. (see JUDICIARY.)


—See Bouton's Provincial Papers of New Hampshire; Chase's Early History of New Hampshire (1856); 1 Coolidge and Mansfield's History of New England: Belknap's History of New Hampshire (to 1790); Barstow's History of New Hampshire (to 1819); Sanborn's History of New Hampshire (to 1830); Whiton's Sketches of the History of New Hampshire (1833); Dartmouth College vs. Woodicard. 4 Wheaton's Reports. 518; Fogg's Statistics of New Hampshire (1874); 2 Daniel Webster's Private Correspondence, 575 (index of letters from Ezekiel Webster, 1802-29); Woodbury's Writings.


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