Taken from The New Hampshire Gazette 1817
Literature & Science.—The only college in this state is in the town of Hanover. It was called Dartmouth college from the Right Hon. William, Earl of Dartmouth, who was one of its earliest and principal benefactors. Its charter was obtained in the year 1769. There is an institution annexed to the college, called Moore’s school, containing between 50 and 60 scholars.
The number of academies and incorporated schools in this state is about 20. One of the academies is in Exeter, and is called Phillips Exeter Academy. It was founded in 1781 ; its condition is very flourishing, and its reputation and usefulness very extensive. There are also smaller academies at Gilmanton, New-Ipswich, Chesterfield, Atkinson, etc. For accounts of those institutions, the reader is referred to the descriptions of the towns where they are situated.
Banks.—There are four banks at Portsmouth, viz. the New-Hampshire Bank, incorporated 1792, N. H. Union Bank, incorporated 1802, Portsmouth Bank, incorporated 1803, and the Rockingham Bank, incorporated 1813. There are also banks at Dover, Exeter, Haverhill, and Keene, all incorporated in 1803, and at Amherst and Concord, incorporated in 1806.
Insurance Companies.—Of these institutions, there are in New-Hampshire four, all of them at Portsmouth. They have power to effect insurance upon vessels and their cargoes, as well as other goods and chattels. They insure also against lire upon buildings and merchandise, against captivity, and against loss of life.
Progressive Population.—The earliest census or authenticated estimate of the population of this state, which we have been able to find was made in 1680, when this territory was under the British government. The province, as it was then called, then contained only four towns, viz. Portsmouth, Dover, Exeter, and Hampton. The number of qualified voters at that time, were in Portsmouth 71, in Dover 61, in Hampton 57, and in Exeter 20, making a total of 209. No regular estimate of the whole population was made before the year 1749, at which time, the province was under the immediate government of Gov. Wentworth. The progressive population of the state since that time is as follows ; in 1749, it amounted to 30,000 ; in 1767, it was 52,000; in 1775, it was 82,000; in 1790, it was 141,000 ; in 1800, it was 183,000 ; and in 1810, it was 214,460, of whom 37,200 were legal voters. The advance of population therefore in ten years was 30,602. This must have been the natural increase, because New-Hampshire does not gain so much by emigration from her sister states as she loses by emigration to Vermont, New-York, and the western country. Where land can be obtained at so cheap a rate, and the means of subsistence are so easy as in the new settled parts of our state, much encouragement is necessarily given to early marriage, and indeed an unmarried man, of the age of thirty, is rarely to be found in our country towns.
Our young farmers, having cleared a small tract of land and provided the means of present accommodation, soon experience the truth of the old adage, that ” it is not good for man to be alone.” Having the prospect of immediate support before their eyes, they feel no dread of early connections. Indeed a female soon becomes the indispensable partner of agricultural labour in our new settlements, where the land is brought to pasture and the business of a dairy has commenced, over which it is the province of women to preside, and with whom it is at once an object of interest and ambition.
Manufactories.—The manufacturing interests of New-Hampshire have been recently in a state of rapid progression. This state contains more than thirty incorporated factories in the branches of cotton and woolen, many of them on an extensive scale. There are also several others which are not incorporated. Most of them have been established within five or six years past, and are, with few exceptions, now in operation. These establishments will be particularly mentioned in the accounts of the respective towns where they are situated, viz. Exeter, Dover, Peterborough, Milford, Lebanon, New-Ipswich, etc. etc.
There is also the New-Hampshire Iron Factory Company, incorporated in 1805, the Haverhill and Franconian Iron Factory Company, incorporated in 1808, the N. H. Mineral Company, incorporated in 1811, the New-Boston Wire and Iron Factory Company, incorporated in 1812, the Bath Alum Company, incorporated in 1812, and the N.H. Glass- Manufactory Company at Keene, incorporated in 1814.
There are also several furnaces for casting iron, hollow ware, etc. for rolling and slitting iron, casting brass cannon, and at Exeter there is a good manufactory of small arms. Carding and spinning machines, all kinds of cabinet work and turnery, wool and cotton cards, all kinds of articles in the cooper’s line, bricks, tiles, and potters wares, are manufactured in various parts of the state, as also ardent spirits and essences of various kinds, hats, shoes, boots, saddles, and harness, carriages of all sorts; tin, copper, and brass ware, clocks, bells, combs, millstones, ploughs, and all the implements of husbandry.
The earliest traffic that was known in this state was that of the fur trade with the Indians. The next trade was in fish, and the next in lumber. In former years the banks of the Piscataqua were covered with excellent pine timber, which was exported in various forms. The first settlers erected many sawmills on the branches of the rivers, and a brisk trade in this branch was carried on for many years. When the lands adjacent to the rivers were stripped of their first growth, it was supposed that the lumber business would decline. This however has not been the fact. From an interior circuit of 40 or 50 miles, timber is transported for exportation. During a period of several years after the revolution, the partial imposts and impolitic restrictions of our government excluded foreign vessels front our ports, while a deficiency both of capital and enter-prize, prevented the merchants of the Piscataqua from exploring the many new sources of commerce, which were opened by their national independence, and which their brethren in other seaports were improving with avidity. But the operations of the Federal government have introduced a more equal system of imposts and other regulations of trade by which the commercial interests of this as well as of other parts of the union have been rapidly advanced. The officers of the customs in New-Hampshire are appointed by the national executive, and the revenue arising from its commerce, goes into the national treasury. The salutary effects of the attention of congress to the navigation of New-Hampshire is evident from the situation of this as well as of some other states in the union.
New-Hampshire is situated in the bosom of Massachusetts, with only a narrow strip of sea coast and only one port belonging to her; her interior country is spread extensively along the borders of adjacent states in such a manner, as to compel her to a commercial connection with them. All her towns which lie on her southern border, and most of those which lie on her western border, find it more convenient to carry their produce to the markets either of Newburyport, Boston or Hartford than to Portsmouth. The towns situated on the Saco river and those on the northern part, of the Connecticut, will necessarily communicate with the markets in the District of Maine. The lumber, which is cut on the upper banks of the Merrimack, is rafted down that river and exported from Newburyport or Boston, while most of that which is cut on the Connecticut river is carried to Hartford. The largest and best part of New-Hampshire is therefore cut off by nature from all commercial intercourse with her only sea port. Lumber being a bulky article, is always transported to the nearest emporium, and when it is possible, by water carriage. All other heavy articles, such as pot and pearl ashes, beef, pork, cheese, butter, flax, etc. which require wagons or sleighs, as also live cattle, sheep, and swine will always be sent to the most advantageous market. These circumstances sufficiently explain the fact, that the government of New-Hampshire have never been able, either before or since the revolution, to concentrate within this state its proper commercial advantages, nor even to ascertain the value of its native productions.
It is impracticable therefore to describe particularly the number or value of the articles of trade which are produced in New-Hampshire and exported from the different ports of Massachusetts and Connecticut. To confine the detail to the port of Portsmouth would give a very imperfect and indistinct idea of the productiveness of the state. Such facts and estimates however which have been obtained on this subject, will be developed under their proper heads.
The staple commodities of New-Hampshire, may be said to consist of the following articles, viz. lumber, provisions, horses, neat cattle, fish, pot and pearl ashes, and flax-seed. The total value of the exportation from Portsmouth from October, 1789, to October, 1790, was $296,839,51 cents. In 1798, the total value in that year was $723,241. In 1810, it was only $234,650. This diminution was caused by the existing commercial restrictions. Since 1810, the commerce of Portsmouth has revived very slowly.
Free Masonry.—The grand lodge of New-Hampshire was incorporated December 30, 1805, for 20 years. There are a number of lodges in the state subordinate to this grand lodge, viz. Washington, St. John’s, Jerusalem, Franklin, Benevolent, etc. etc. Trinity Chapter of Royal Masons at Hopkinton, and St. Andrew’s Royal Arch Chapter at Hanover.
Societies.—The number and character of the societies in this state reflect honour upon the taste, intelligence and humanity of its inhabitants. There are two mechanical societies, viz. New-Hampshire and Walpole, both incorporated in 1805, two missionary societies, the New-Hampshire and Piscataqua; a marine society, a bible society, two agricultural societies, and a medical society, which was incorporated in 1791. The medical society is divided into districts, viz. the eastern, centre, and western. The eastern and centre districts contain the fellows and associates elected from the counties of Rockingham, Strafford, and Hillsborough; the western contains those elected from Cheshire, Grafton, and Coos. The annual meeting is held at Concord on the first Tuesday of June. There are several incorporated musical societies in this state, viz. Rockingham, Concord, Handellian, Londonderry, Plymouth, Central, etc. the professed objects of all which are the circulation of approved tunes, the diffusion of a classical taste, and the enjoyment of all the pleasures arising from the social cultivation of sacred harmony. There are library societies incorporated in every considerable township of the state. There is perhaps no mode of public improvement so practicable in a small community as that of social libraries. Of these establishments, New-Hampshire contains at least two hundred, comprising in the whole nearly 10,000 well selected volumes. There are also in this state a large number of societies for the distribution of religious tracts, several for the suppression of immorality, and several to promote the observance of the sabbath. Education receives as much encouragement in this state as in any part of the world. The legislature of New-Hampshire in 1808, passed an act making the following provisions, that the selectmen of the several towns and parishes, and places in this state be empowered and required to assess annually upon the inhabitants of their respective towns, parishes and places, according to their polls and rateable estates, and also upon improved and unimproved lands and buildings of non-residents, in a sum to be computed at the rate of seventy dollars for every one dollar of their proportion of public taxes for the time being, and so on for a greater or less sum, which sums when collected to be appropriated to the sole purpose of keeping an English
school or schools within the town or parish for which the same shall be assessed, for instruction in the various sounds and powers of letters in the English language, reading, writing, English grammar, arithmetic, geography, and such other branches as are necessary to be taught in an English school. And furthermore, no person to be deemed qualified to teach any such schools, unless he or she shall procure a certificate from some able and respectable English or grammar school-master, or learned minister of the gospel, or preceptor of some academy, or the president, professor, or a tutor of some college, that he or she is well qualified to teach such school, and likewise a certificate from the selectmen or minister of the town or parish to which he or she belongs, that he or she sustains a good moral character; this certificate to be presented to the selectmen or committee for inspecting schools in the town or parish where such school is to be kept, previous to the commencement of such school. Also, that each town in the state shall at their annual meeting, appoint three or more suitable persons to visit and inspect the schools in their respective towns or parishes, at such time as shall be most convenient for the parties concerned, and in a manner they may judge most conducive to the progress of literature, morals, and religion.
State Prison.—The state prison of New-Hampshire is a handsome stone building erected at Concord three stories high, containing thirty-six cells. The prison is connected with the keepers house, a building of four stories. The whole is enclosed by a wall fourteen feet in height. The workmanship of this edifice is not surpassed by any thing of the kind in the United States. The internal affairs of the prison are under the superintendence of three directors and a warden who officiates as the keeper. These officers are appointed by the
governor and council. The minister of the town officiates as chaplain. The business of the prison is regulated in a manner highly creditable to the immediate officers. At present there are about thirty convicts, most of whom are employed in the manufactory of wooden screws, of which article, nearly ten thousand gross were manufactured for the proprietors in less than twelve months. There are other articles fabricated here, such as door hinges and almost every description of smiths work. The employment of the prisoners is constant and systematized, and their food plain and wholesome. These circumstances, in addition to the regularity of their discipline, and the healthy situation of the prison, at once alleviate the pains of confinement and afford opportunity for reflection and amendment. This subject naturally leads to a cursory retrospect of the criminal laws of the state.
In 1792, the following crimes were punishable with death by the laws then existing ; murder, treason, rape, sodomy, burglary, arson, robbery, and forgery of public securities. In June, 1812, a bill was enacted by the legislature, making great alterations in this criminal code. By that and subsequent statutes, murder and treason only are made punishable by death, while other crimes, before considered capital, are now made punishable by imprisonment for life in the state prison; for minor offences the term of confinement is proportionally shortened.