New Hampshire History Timeline

By | May 12, 2022

Long the ancestral home of the Indians, this land was first colonized by the British in the early 1600s.

In 1629, a settlement built near present-day Rye was named New Hampshire, after the English county of Hampshire. Portsmouth was founded one year later.

The scattered communities here united in 1639, and later agreed to become part of the Massachusetts colony. That contentious and contentious agreement (or union) never really worked, and in 1691 it was permanently separated from Massachusetts, becoming the Royal Province (colony) of New Hampshire.

Differences with England over high (excessive)taxation, land restrictions and other issues caused powerful landowners and merchants in England’s 13 original colonies to riot, and they subsequently declared their independence from Great Britain.

Personal dignity and place of honor led the New Hampshire colony to adopt its own constitution in 1776, many months before the American Revolutionary War ended and the Declaration of Independence was signed in the city of Philadelphia. New Hampshire became the ninth and last required state to ratify the new United States constitution on June 21, 1788. and John Langdon (of New Hampshire) became the nation’s first sitting vice president.

Across America, the plight of black slaves in southern states was a contentious issue. During the administration of Franklin Pierce , New Hampshire’s only president of the United States (1853โ€“57), that moral dispute between northern and southern states culminated, and in 1861 the American Civil War began.

During that bloody civil war, New Hampshire supported the Northern (or Union) cause, contributing more than its share of troops and supplies. The Civil War lasted four years and nearly 5,000 of New Hampshire’s best were dead.

The state’s economy peaked after that war as new companies and factories attracted job-seeking immigrants to the state. Later, during World War I, the leather, footwear, and textile industries in New Hampshire were the leading industries.

Then the Great Depression of the 1930s resurfaced its existence across the land, proving to be financially disastrous across New Hampshire and the entire United States of America. At the end it was World War II, which helped rebuild (and motivate) the state’s economy. His shipyards built destroyers and submarines for the navy, and his factories supplied boots and uniforms for the war effort. In the 20th century, New Hampshire was the textile capital

America , but as that industry has gradually moved south ( attracted by lower labor costs), the agricultural, filing and paper-filled industries are in between.

Today, the southeast’s modern high-tech industries, statewide tourism and the popular winter skiing venues of the White Mountains are also significant factors in the overall economy.

The state’s official motto, “ Live Free or Die, “certainly fits this rugged land of mountains, deep blue lakes , endless forests, and picturesque New Hampshire-like small towns of fierce, determined pride in the traditions and values โ€‹โ€‹of early America, very much alive.

New Hampshire timeline


  • (1622) King James I granted the area between the Salem and Merrimack rivers to John Mason, Sir Ferdinando; granted area between Merrimack and Kennebec rivers to David Thomson
  • (1623) Dover Settlement founded
  • (1629) John Mason received a grant of land and named the new settlement New Hampshire
  • (1641) Massachusetts colony gained control of New Hampshire settlements
  • (1642) Massachusetts School Act, required children to be taught by reading, citizenship, religion
  • (1645) First registered slave in Portsmouth
  • (1690) Warship, Falklands built for the British Navy at Portsmouth
  • (1691) New Hampshire permanently seceded from Massachusetts, becoming the Royal Province (colony) of New Hampshire.


  • (1717) John Wentworth became lieutenant governor of New Hampshire
  • (1734) Religious revival, Great Awakening, swept across New Hampshire
  • (1741) Bennington Wentworth became Governor of the Colony
  • (1765) King George III Stamp Act came into force
  • (1774) New Hampshire first states to declare independence from England; Powder run happened
  • (1776) Declaration of Independence read on the steps of the Houses of Parliament; independent government established; the state adopted a revolutionary constitution
  • (1778) New Hampshire first states to hold a constituent assembly
  • (1783) New Hampshire first states to demand a constitution to be referred to the people for approval
  • (1788) American constitution ratified; New Hampshire becomes the 9th American state


  • (1808) Capitol founded in Concord
  • (1809) Independence Day Fort constitution explosion killed 14 people
  • (1813) Devastating fire at Portsmouth
  • (1819) Taxation for ecclesiastical purposes prohibited by religious act of tolerance
  • (1833) First American public library founded in Peterborough
  • (1840) The Webster-Ashburton Agreement defined the official boundary between the state and Canada
  • (1853) Hillsborough native Franklin Pierce became the 14th American President
  • (1864) Largest wooden ship, USS Franklin built in Portland
  • (1865) 18th New Hampshire Regiment led Union troops to Richmond, Virginia during the Civil War


  • (1905) Treaty of Portsmouth signed at Portsmouth ended the Russo-Japanese War
  • (1916) New Hampshire considered first major
  • (1938) First air passenger tram in North America installed at Gun Mountain
  • (1939) USS Squalus, sunk off Portsmouth; 26 killed
  • (1945) German U-boats of World War II surrender at Portsmouth
  • (1961) New Hampshire native, Alan Shepard, became the first American in space
  • (1964) New Hampshire Lottery started
  • (1986) Shuttle Challenger exploded; New Hampshire schoolteacher, Christa McAuliffe, killed


  • (2003) Rocky’s Symbol, Old Man of the Mountain, collapsed
  • (2005) Heavy rains caused roads, bridges to be wiped out, over 1,000 evacuees, seven died, property damage exceeded $15.8 million
  • (2007) New Hampshire first states to recognize same-sex unions
  • (2008) State of emergency declared after ice storms damaged electical grids

New Hampshire History