The Ninth State: New Hampshire's Formative Years

By Lynn Warren Turner | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I

REVOLUTIONARY
NEW HAMPSHIRE

Before the Revolution, the people of the different parts of New‐ Hampshire, had but little connexion with each other. —Jeremy Belknap

"On the 30th of November [1782. ]," wrote a young New Hampshire farmer, "the provisional treaty was signed, in which Great Britain explicitly acknowledged the independence of the United States.... The evils & privations occasioned by a war of eight years, made the tidings of an honorable peace a joyful event to the nation." 1 News of the treaty did not actually reach the people of New Hampshire generally until March 29, 1783, when the New Hampshire Gazette published the announcement in a letter which had been received from John Taylor Gilman, delegate to the Continental Congress. With becoming gravity, President Meshech Weare and the committee of safety postponed formal celebration of this event until the twenty-eighth day of the following April, after Congress had proclaimed the end of hostilities. 2 Then, from daybreak until midnight, the assembled magistrates, lawmakers, aristocrats, clergymen, and townspeople in Portsmouth, the old social capital of the state, made merry over the return of peace with bells, guns, sublime anthems, prayers of grateful eloquence, an elegant dinner, a splendid ball, illuminations, and fireworks. 3 The humble people of the state, who probably disapproved of Portsmouth's extravagance, were equally and dutifully thankful for England's capitulation. Matthew Patten of Bedford paused at the end of his customary round of duties to record in his diary, "I0th was a day of Rejoicing in this town on acct of the peace and I Recd a dollar from William Duncan toward his note.... and in the afternoon and Evening several thunder showers which produced a great deal of Rain." 4 Thus, in their various ways, did the people of New Hampshire celebrate the major turning point in our national history.

New Hampshire's participation in the struggle for independence had perhaps been as wholehearted as that of any of the thirteen original states. Although some of the oldest English "plantations" in the New World lay within its borders, the royal colony of New Hampshire ranked only tenth among the original thirteen in population and contained less than 4 percent of the total number of inhabitants living between Maine and Georgia in 1775. Nevertheless, it had been one of the earliest to

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The Ninth State: New Hampshire's Formative Years
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Ninth State - New Hampshire's Formative Years *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword *
  • Preface *
  • Chapter 1 - Revolutionary New Hampshire *
  • Chapter 2 - Constitution Making *
  • Chapter 3 - Peace and Depression *
  • Chapter 4 - Personal Politics *
  • Chapter 5 - A Fragment of Social History *
  • Chapter 6 - In the Federal Union *
  • Chapter 7 - Constitutional Revision *
  • Chapter 8 - The Rise of Parties *
  • Chapter 9 - Federalists and Republicans *
  • Chapter 10 - Federalist Decline *
  • Chapter 11 - The Old Order Yieldeth *
  • Chapter 12 - Democracy Triumphant *
  • Chapter 13 - Federalist Collapse *
  • Chapter 14 - Blockade and Embargo *
  • Chapter 15 - Drifting Toward War *
  • Chapter 16 - In the War with England *
  • Chapter 17 - The Indian Summer of Federalism *
  • Chapter 18 - Peace Abroad: War at Home *
  • Chapter 19 - Tribulations *
  • Chapter 20 - The Demise of Federalism *
  • Chapter 21 - Reform and Freedom *
  • Appendix - Maps and Explanations *
  • Notes *
  • Index *
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