New Hampshire (Hayward)

John Hayward, Gazetteer of the United States of America.... (Philadelphia: James L. Gihon, 1854), 100-103.
"The first law passed by New Hampshire, after it became a province, was enacted in 1693, amid the terrors and distresses of the sanguinary war with the Indians and the French, and shows how regardful of education the people at that time were. The law runs thus: it is ' enacted and ordained, that for the building and repairing of meeting-houses, ministers houses, school-houses, and allowing a salary to a schoolmaster in each town within this province, the selectmen in the respective towns shall raise money by an equal rate and assessment upon the inhabitants; and every town within this province (Dover only excepted during the war) shall, from and after the publication hereof, provide a schoolmaster for the supply of the town, on penalty of ten pounds; and for neglect thereof, to be paid, one half to their majesties, and the other half to the poor of the town.'

"In 1719, a law was passed which ordained that every town having fifty householders, or upwards, shall be constantly provided with a schoolmaster to teach children and youth to read and write.

"In 1783, the voice of New Hampshire on the subject of education was expressed in language worthy of a free and sovereign state, and contained in the constitution of government then voluntarily adopted. It is as follows: 'Knowledge and learning, generally diffused through a community, being essential to the preservation of a free government, and spreading the opportunities and advantages of education through the various parts of the country being highly conducive to promote this end, it shall be the duty of the legislators and magistrates, in all future periods of this government, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries and public schools, to encourage private and public institutions, rewards and immunities for the promotion of sciences and natural history.'

"Since the adoption of the constitution, the acts of the government in favor of common schools have been liberal. They are now by law established throughout the state, and every child and youth may enjoy the benefits of education proffered by them. For their support, by a law of the state, about $100,000 is annually raised by a tax upon the people. The literary fund, amounting to $64,000, formed by a tax of one half per cent, on the capital of the banks, has been distributed to the different towns. The proceeds of this fund, and also an annual income of about $10,000, derived from a tax on banks, are appropriated to aid in support of schools, besides what is raised by the several districts themselves.

"There are, according to the last census of the United States, 2127 common schools, and 83,632 scholars attending them, being 1 in every 3 and 40/100 of the whole population of the state, and being a greater number, in proportion to the inhabitants, than is furnished from state in the Union, with but one exception. There are only 942 individuals in the state, over 20 years of age, who can neither read nor write, being only 1 to 307 of the population, and being a less number than in any other state, one only excepted.

“The number of academies and high schools in the state is about 70, being 1 to every 4000 inhabitants. The number of students attending them is 5799, being on an average more than 80 to an institution, and 1 to about every 50 of the inhabitants. This intermediate class of institutions between common schools and colleges is generally in a flourishing condition. Most of them are private corporations for public purposes, and need more funds for their support, that they may accomplish with greater energy the work devolving upon them.

"Dartmouth College, named after the Earl of Dartmouth, an early benefactor, is one of the most flourishing in the United States, and is situated in the south-west part of Hanover, about half a mile east of Connecticut River, on a beautiful and extensive plain, where there is a handsome village. It was founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, D. D., and chartered by royal grant in 1769. The funds, which are respectable, were obtained by donations from individuals, and by grants from the legislatures of New Hampshire and Vermont. The buildings are good, and six in number — all of them of brick except one, and most of them bearing names of benefactors."

Boundaries. — This state is bounded north by Eastern Canada, east by Maine, south-east by the Atlantic and the State of Massachusetts, south by Massachusetts, and west and northwest by Vermont. Situated between 42° 40' and 45° 16' north latitude, and 70° 35' and 72° 27' west longitude. Its length is 168, and its greatest breadth about 90 miles, and it comprises an area of about 7987 square miles.

First Settlers. — The first discovery of New Hampshire was in 1614, and the first settlements made by Europeans were at Dover and Portsmouth, in 1623; only three years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth.

Government. — The executive power is vested in a governor and five councillors, chosen annually by the people. The legislature consists of the Senate, comprising 12 members, chosen in 12 districts, and the House of Representatives, chosen annually in the month of March, every town having 150 ratable polls being entitled to send one, and an additional representative for every 300 additional polls. The legislature assembles annually at Concord, on the first Wednesday of June. All male citizens, of 21 years and upwards, except paupers and persons excused from taxes, have a right to vote for state officers — a residence of at least three months within the town being required to entitle the person to vote.

Judiciary. — The Superior Court of Judicature consists of a chief justice and two associate justices, who hold one term annually in each of the ten counties of the state, for the hearing and determining of questions of law, and petitions for divorce. This court is also vested with chancery powers.

The judges of the Superior Court of Judicature are, ex officio, judges of the Court of Common Pleas. This court, before whom all actions for the recovery of debts and the enforcement of contracts, and all jury trials, are brought, consists of one of the justices of the Superior Court, or one of the justices of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas and of two county judges, who are generally appointed from among the yeomanry, whose principal duty it is to attend to the ordinary business of the county, its roads, expenses, &c. Terms are held semiannually, in each of the counties.

Most of the religious denominations, which are found in the country at large, appear in New Hampshire, as might be anticipated from the freedom of religious inquiry and profession. In numbers, the Baptist denomination ranks next to the Congregationalists and Presbyterians. But the Episcopal branch of the church of Christ was early founded in the colony, and was greatly encouraged by several of the royal governors. The Methodists are numerous, and there are communities of Friends, or Quakers. But it is believed that the many important interests of society, in which good citizens may unite without infringing on a good conscience, are tending to soften the asperities of religious controversy, and to bring the community more and more into a state of mutual forbearance, if not of mutual esteem. Thus Bible societies, and societies for the promotion of temperance, the associations which spring out of the great cause of education, and those which relate to agriculture, mechanic arts, general science, and mutual improvement in knowledge, especially by lectures and the founding and use of social libraries, all tend to occupy healthily the powers of the mind, and produce or promote that condition of civilization which becomes a free, vigorous, moral, and Christian state.

That such advances are really making is evident to the observer. They have, indeed, been gradual, but actual. The early colonists were often almost disheartened at the prospect before them, and complained of the difficulty of procuring a subsistence. It is well remarked by Dr. Belknap, that they too much neglected the cultivation of the soil, whose productiveness they had not properly tested, while their chief attention was given to the fishery, the lumber trade, and the procuring of furs. Many temptations, too, were thrown in their way, as occurred to other settlers in New England, by invitations to settle elsewhere. Lord Saye and Sele urged the colonists to people Barbadoes, where he possessed an interest. Cromwell, at a subsequent period, invited the tried and faithful Puritans to settle in Ireland, where the province of Ulster had long been devastated, and stood in need of inhabitants; or to enter on his new conquest of Jamaica, and become West India planters. Few, comparatively, however, were prevailed on to go; and those who staid became more and more accustomed to the country, and attached to it.

And now, what is the result ? A healthy, active, intelligent, and industrious population is found, even among the mountain fastnesses of " the Granite State," not unaptly characterized as the Switzerland of America. They subdue the soil, and it yields its treasures; and if not in so great abundance of cereal grains, at least in valuable pasture — the grazing interest being very considerable throughout the state. Yet the improvements of modern agriculture are noticed and adopted. In islands of the beautiful Winnipiseogee — a favorable location, it must be confessed —136 bushels of Indian corn have been raised on the acre! * One would suppose that the fertility of the western prairie could offer little temptation to the farmer who might produce such a crop, and remain among his own paternal fields; especially when the contrast is made between the healthiness of a northern climate, in a high, hilly region, pure water flowing plentifully, all facilities for happily training a family; and a country where, indeed, labor is comparatively light, land cheap, and winters lose much of their rigor and length; but fever and ague sap the constitution, and send back the adventurer a lean, sallow invalid for life, or lay him prematurely in the grave.

Of recent years, the legislature has, in its wisdom, encouraged the investigation of the mineral treasures of New Hampshire. The employment of Dr. C. T. Jackson for this purpose has resulted in the discovery that this state is richer in this respect than any of its sisters. We do not say that it has the gold of California, — as, happily for its inhabitants, it has not, — nor that of North Carolina or Georgia; but the variety of its minerals is great, and the deposits of several of the most useful, if not most costly ores, are not infrequent. Grant that it abounds in granite and in ice. It has also a hardy and sagacious population, which can makethat ice and granite articles of profitable commerce.
The increase of manufacturing establishments, in which scientific skill is tasked to mould the raw material into useful fabrics and forms, renders the possession of water power a great desideratum. In few spaces of equal extent, it is believed, does there exist a greater water power than in this state. And human ingenuity will not be backward in turning this encouraging circumstance to profit. Statistics of several establishments will be found in the following work, under the heads of their respective localities.

Of all the features of the state, the White Mountains must be regarded as not only the most prominent, but the most interesting. Forming the highest land in North America east of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes, they have become a favorite resort of the tourist, who is in search either of health or pleasure. Dr. Belknap supposed that the highest peak would be found to be, when accurately measured, — which in his day it had not been, — over 10,000 feet high. But since that period it has been satisfactorily ascertained that it falls short of 7000. The ascent, perilous as it has been accounted, is often effected, and generally repays the task. But the remembrance of those dreadful avalanches, which, in one melancholy instance at least, produced havoc, and ruin, and loss of life, will long impress the imagination seriously, and give solemnity to the wild solitudes of the mountains.

The engineer will think and calculate otherwise. And his is, in fact, the prevailing view now taken of heights of land and bodies of water. The latter, which abound in the region of the White Mountains, not only give animation to a landscape, and irrigate for the agriculturist or cattle-breeder the lands in their vicinage, but, directed by the hand of Science, and duly restrained and managed, facilitate human labor, and lay a foundation for national wealth. For if, as one of this profession f argued, " rivers were made to feed navigable canals," the elevations where are found the sources of the Androscoggin, Saco, Mjerrimac, Connecticut, and many other streams, on whose banks and by whose waterfalls villages of manufacturers must rise, will not be contemplated by the practical improver without deep interest.

It is a great happiness, as well as honor, for the state, that its history has been so ably and respectably written, and at so early a period in the development of its resources. Dr. Belknap was eminently calculated to accomplish the work he undertook. It required research and patient labor ; but he could labor and persevere, though under great embarrassment and difficulty, unknown, probably, by his successors in the ministry, but requiring in his day all fortitude and faith. His education had providentially fitted him for his task. Brought up under the eye of the New England historian, the Rev. Mr. Prince, whose spirit of accurate and industrious inquiry is celebrated, he had the advantage of consulting his collections, and imbibed a taste for the employment. Prince followed Mather, and Mather drew from Hubbard, and he from Winthrop and Winslow. Belknap completes the chain to our own times; and his history is quoted with that respect and confidence which honor his name, still further honored by the state in being attached to a lately constituted county.

Deficiencies in his work are, indeed, noticed, particularly in articles of natural history and natural philosophy. But, with the progress in science that has since been made, and the facilities for observation which have since been secured, the supply of these deficiencies will be easy. Nor can it be so difficult as it was originally to secure the evanescent tradition of events. The late and lamented John Farmer, Esq., and his living associate, as well as other members of the Historical Society, have done much to perpetuate New Hampshire history, whether of the state or of smaller communities, or of individual men.

The state is restricted on the sea-coast, and has but one avenue to the ocean. The Piscataqua presents for future improvement advantages that a perspicacious and thriving people will not be long in ascertaining and employing. The railroad from Portsmouth to Concord, opening an easy access to the great north and west, will give to the beautiful harbor of Portsmouth a foreign and domestic commerce hitherto unknown.

Though restricted on the sea-coast, and in this view not to be compared with her sister states of New England, the State of New Hampshire is yet second among them in extent of territory. That it may be filled with a prosperous, happy, exemplary population, who shall enjoy and improve the rich privileges of Christian freemen, which, in the good providence of God, now form their favored lot, and transmit them unimpaired to the latest posterity, is the writer's fervent wish and prayer.
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