Reed. Dec. 20 17,57, wMth Letter from ye Commissioners for settling the
Boundary Lines betw-een ye provinces of Massachusetts Bay & New Hamp-
shire Cenr 79
Thecommissionof1737.it will be remembered by persons familiar with
this question, reported in substance as follows:
That if the second charter of the Province of Massachusetts Bay covered
all the territory tliat the first charter covered, then the line should commence
at the Atlantic ocean, three miles north of the mouth of the Merrimack river,
and thence running westerly and northerly, keeping at three miles' distance
from the river to the junction of tlie Winnipiseogee and three miles further
north, thence due west to his majesty's other dominions; but if it did not,
then the dividing line should begin at a point three miles north of the Black
Rocks and thence due west to his majesty's other dominions. Tliese lines
are all shown on the plan.
But both parties appealed from this decision, and the matter was carried
before the King in council. This august body seems to have been run by
I 86 HISTOk\' ()!â â iNICW lIAMrsHIKE. [^737
New Hampshire s paid agent, one George Thomlinson, and the line was estab-
lished at three miles north of the river to Pawtucket falls, and thence due
west, etc. This gave New Hampshire some 700 square miles of Massaclui-
setts more than that Province had ever claimed, consequently her willingness
to pay all the expenses of running the lines that make the area of that State
to-day 1,400 square miles larger than Massachusetts.
These records and maps are not only interesting historical documents, but
they show past all controversy that the boundary line matter was settled by
the king's decree, that the execution was served, the land set off, the lines
run and marked on the ground, the plans returned, accepted and recorded,
and the whole business executed as perfectly and thoroughly as it was possi-
ble to fix any division line anywhere at that time. It was all done with the
cordial assent and concurrence of New Hampshire. Massachusetts protested
against it, but without avail. The line thus established has been the line ot
juri.sdiction ever since. Massachusetts set the bounds stones at the angles
in 1S27 : they are all there to-day, and mark the angles in the line. Mr. Spof-
ford has run on the ground, and there is not the slightest doubt of its correct-
ness substantially, and wh}' any person should now suppose for a single mo-
ment that a boundary line thus established by both parties can be changed at
the option of one. and without the consent and against the wishes of the in-
habitants living near it, is a mystery we shall not attempt to solve.
East Kingston was incorporated in 1738. Rev. Peter Coffin was settled as
minister the following year and was dismissed in 177^.
' The Scotch settlers of Londonderry came to this wintry land to have
'' A faith's pure shrine,"
Â» " To make a happy fireside clirae
For weans and wife."
Tiiey were hard-headed, long-headed, level-headed, uncompromising, uncon-
quered. and unconquerable Presbyterians. They were of a stern and rugged
tvpe. They clung to the tenets of the Presbyterian faith with a devotion, con-
stancy, and obstinacy little short of bigotry, and in it was mingled little of
that charity foi" others of a different faith " which sufiereth long;" nor is this
surprising, when we consider the circumstances of their lives, and the stock
to which they belonged. They were the descendants of a brave and heroic
race of men and women, who had resisted the encroachments of the " Estab-
lished Church" of England, risen in opposition to it, and in 1638 entered in-
to a "solemn league and covenant" to maintain the reformed religion in
Scotland, and to resist and put down popery and prelacy : hence the name of
For the preservation of their religious liberty and their form of faith the
Covenanters had struggled, and fought, and suffered amid the moors and
mountains and fastnesses of Scotland with a fortitude and heroism unsur-
passed. Manv laid down their lives to secure its preservation; many strug-
gled bravelv on during the troubled years, bearing aloft the ensign of their
1737] ROYAL PROVINCE. iS/
f;iith, wliicli tlicv believed to be the only true faith, and their banner the only
true standard of the cross.
The foot of the persecutor followed the faithful to Ireland, and there they
felt the avenging arm of resisted and arbitrary power. Some of those who
had taken part in the brave defence of Londonderry, Ireland, owned land hert
which was occupied by their sons. The story of the past, of the conflicts in
Scotland, the flight to Ireland, the endurance and sufterings and sacrifice:
and final triumphal the "siege of Derry," were fresh in their memories,
they were engraven on the tablets of their souls, and the lessons influenceo
their lives. So the faith of the stern, grim Covenanter was transplanted to
Londonderry. It took root and flourished on this soil, and grew with r
strong, steady, and solid growth. The Scotch settlers were a conservativt
and thinking people, and their institutions were the result of thought. Mani
of the characteristics, sentiments, and much of the feelings of the Cove-
iian'crs were here, and these have not entirely died out of their descendants.
The religious side of the characters of the first residents was largely developed.
The town of Windham, incorporated in February, 1739, has been stronglv
orthodox from the beginning. Many families attended meeting at what i.s
now East Derry. After attending to their morningduties, the whole family, â
men, women, and children, â would walk eight or nine miles to meeting,
listen to two long sermons, and then return to- their homes, seldom reaching
them until after dark. So they prized the sanctuary, and appreciated and
dearly loved the faith in whicli tliey trusted.
The first religious meetings were holden in barns during the warm season
for eleven years, when, in 1753, the first meeting house was built, on a high
elevation south-east of Cobbett's pond, now known as â¢â Cemetery Hill."
Their Scotch ancestors, exiles from the lochs and glens of Scotland, could
not forget the customs of the dear old father-land. So they located the burial-
place of themselves and their kindred in the shadow of the kirk. It is a
beautiful spot. The lovely lake nestles at the foot of this white-washed hill,
shimmering with brightness in the suramersun, and in the autumn mirroring
in its bosom all the beauty of the forest trees. It is a pleasant place on which
to pitch one's tent after the weary march, when with folded arms the silent
ones will rest undisturbed till the reveille call at the great awakening. So the
dead rested near where the living \^â orshipped, where in summer davs, through
the opened windows which let in the sunshine and the breath of flowers, the
words as they fell from the lips of the living preacher might be borne by the
breezes which gently w'aved the grass that grew and the flowers that bloomed
on the mounds of the peaceful sleepers.
The first pastor was Rev. William Johnston, who receiveda call to settle
here in July, 1746.
The towns cut off from Massachusetts petitioned to be re-
anne.xed. but their plea was met and successfully combated by
Thomlinson. " About the same time, Governor Belcher procured
a petition, from his si.x friends of tiie council of New Hamp-
IIISTOKV <ll' NKW HAMI'SIHKIC,
shire, to the King, praying" that the whole Province might be
annexed to the government of Massachusetts. This matter had
been long in contemplation with these gentlemen ; but was now
produced at the most unfortunate time which could have been
chosen. Their petition was at once rejected." '
The boundary line between the two Provinces was finally
surveyed and determined in 1741 ; the curved line from the
ocean to Pawtucket Falls being determined by George Mitchell ;
the line thence to the Connecticut river being surveyed by
Richard Hazen ; and the eastern boundary by Walter Bryant.
The enemies of Governor Belcher in both Provinces finally
triumphed and accomplished his downfall. He was succeeded
in Massachusetts by Governor William Shirley, and in New
Hampshire by Governor Benning Wentworth.
Governor Belcher was soon after appointed governor of New
Jersey, where he was held in the highest esteem, and where he
died in August, 1751, in his seventy-sixth year. In some in-
stances Governor Belcher was imprudent and unguarded. He
was zealous to serve his friends, and hearken to their advice.
He paid no court to his enemies, but openly treated them with
contempt. His language to them was severe and reproachful.
He had by far too mean an opinion of their abilities, and the
interest which they had at court. He had a consciousness of
the general integrity of his own intentions, and appears to have
been influenced by motives of honor and justice.^
ROYAL PROVINCE, 1 741-1760.
Governor Bensing Wentvvorth â Wentvvorth Hall â Martha H ilton
â A Cold Winter â Epping â Windham â Brentwood â French and
Indian War â Louisbl'rg â Sir William Pepperrell â Pepperrell
House â William Vaughan â Number Four â Incorporation of
various Towns â Rumford (Concord) â Wrestling Matches â Old
Style and New Style â The Bow Case â Coos County â The " Sev-
en Years' War " â Rogers' Rangers â Rev. John Houston â An Auda-
cious Reconnaissance â A Fierce Fight in the Woods â John Stark
â Conc^uest of Canada â Saint Francis Indians â Quebec and
Montreal â Pontiac and Major Rogers â Rogers House.
"DENNING WENTWORTH was commissioned governor of
the royal Province of New Hampsliire in 1741. From the
graceful pen of Fred Myron Colby is the following tribute to
his memory : â
Few names hold more e.xalted rank in the annals of the old
thirteen colonies than that of Wentvvorth. The progenitor of
our colonial family was William, a cousin of the ill-fated chan-
cellor of Charles the First, who arrived in New Hampshire as
early as 1640. Benning Wentworth was a great-grandson of
William. His father was John Wentworth, who was lieu-
tenant-governor of New Hampshire from 1717 till 1730. The
son graduated at Harvard, and afterwards was associated with
his father and uncle in the mercantile business at Portsmouth.
He several times represented the town in the Provincial As-
sembly, was appointed a King's councillor in 1734, and finally,
in 1 741, became the royal governor of the Province. His life
HISTORY OF Xr.W HAMPSHIRE.
was long, active and distinguished, and during liis career New
Hampshire advanced rapidly in wealth and prosperit}-, though
not so fast as the governor did. He laid heavy tribute on the
Province, and exacted heavy fees for grants of land. He had
I74>] ROYAL PROVINCE. igi
the right perhaps. That he was a right brave and distinguished
looking cavalier, and well fitted to lead society at a provincial
court, his portrait at Wentworth Hall abundantly shows. It
represents him dressed in the height of fashion, with a long
flaxen peruke flowing in profuse curls to his shoulders. He has
a handsome, dignified face, the lips wearing an engaging smile,
and the air generally of face and figure of one who is " lord of
the manor." Indeed, there was everything in the career of the
worthy governor to give him, what in Europe used to be called,
the "bel air." Fortune had taken him by the hand from the
very cradle, and some beneficent fairy, throughout all his life,
seemed to have smoothed away all thorns in his path, and scat-
tered flowers before him. He died at the age of seventy-four,
having lived as fortunate and splendid a life as any gentleman
of his time in the new world.
Despite its air of grandeur, Wentworth Hall, at Little Harbor,
is an architectural freak. It is seldom that one will find so
large a house that is as irregular and straggling as this one is.
The rambling old pile looks as if it had been put together at
different periods, and each portion the unhappy afterthought of
the architect who designed it. It is simply an extension of
wing upon wing, and this whimsical arrangement is followed up
in the interior. The chambers are curiously connected by
unlocked for steps and capricious little passages, that remind
one of those mysterious ones in the old castles, celebrated by
the writers of the Anne Radcliffe school.
It was in 1749 '^hat he commenced to build this mansion, and
it was completed the ne.xt year. He had been fascinated by
the beauty of the place, and the magnificent structure which
rose at his command was worthy of its situation. Where he
obtained his plan no one knows, but perhaps the irregularity of
the structure was compensated by the grandeur and sumptu-
ousness of its adornments. Everything about the mansion was
on a grand scale. The stables held thirty horses in time of
peace. The lofty gateways were like the entrance to a castle.
The offices and out-houses might have done credit to a Kenil-
worth or a Middleham. As it now stands, girt by its ancestral
ig2 HISTOUV OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. L'74I
trees, looking out upon the sea, the house seems a patrician of
the old regime, withdrawing itself instinctively from contact
with its upstart neighbors. Having an existence of four gener-
ations and more, a stately, dignified, hospitable home before
Washington had reached manhood, the Wentworth house may
claim the respect due to a hale, hearty old age, as well as that
â due to greatness.
Few houses in America have had as many illustrious visitors.
Rooms under its roof have been occupied by Governor Shirley
of New York, Lord Loudon, commander-in-chief of the British
forces in America, Sir Charles Knowles, Admiral Boscawen,
George Whitefield, and other worthies of that period. Stately
merrymakings have been celebrated in its old halls.
The first door on the right hand of the hall opens into the
grand parlor of the old governor, which still retains all of its
former magnificence. The paper on the walls is the same that
was put on at the time the mansion was erected, and the carpet
on the floor was put there by Lady Wentworth more than
eighty years ago.
In this room, surrounded by the wondering invited guests of
the governor, was consummated the marriage ceremony which
Longfellow has celebrated in his " Tales of a Wayside Inn,"
between Wentworth and his chamber-maid. It was something
of a change for Martha Hilton. She was a girl of matchless
beauty, but very poor. When young she had scandalized her
neighbors by glimpses of bare ankles as she promenaded in
scant costume. A puritanic dame one time remonstrated with
the maiden in rather severe terms for exhibiting so much of her
beauty. But Martha answered not abashed, " Never mind how
I look ; I yet shall ride in my own chariot, ma'am." It was a
true prophecy. After a lapse of years, attracted by her grace,
her beauty, her wit and good sense, Benning Wentworth offered
her his hand, and they were married on the governor's si.xtieth
Around the Council Room are some grand old portraits, thir-
teen in all. They are all in handsome gilt frames and some of
them have rare histories, if they could be told.
At the entrance of the Council Chamber are seen the racks
for the twelve guns, carried when occasion required by the
o-overnor's guards. In the billiard room, which adjoins this
apartment, still remains the ancient spinet, now time-worn and
voiceless, but whose keys have many a time been touched by
194 uisToKV IIP m;\v hami'siiire. L'74^
the jewelled white fingers of aristocratic belles. Washington
listened to its music once when he visited here in 1790, the
guest of the hospitable Colonel Wentworth. Here, too, is seen
in one corner, the old buffet which, in the olden time, has held
many a full and empty punch bowl. Opening out of the larger
apartment are little side rooms where illustrious guests. General
Loudon, Admiral Boscawen, Lord Pepperell and many others,
have played at cards and other games, until the "wee sma'
hours." About the whole hall there is a choice venerableness.
In 1770, Benning' Wentworth breathed his last in the arms of
his faithful wife. The governor rewarded her care and faithful-
ness by bequeathing her his entire estate. The great house
was not long without a master, however. Lady Wentworth,
after living single about a year, fell into the matrimonial traces
a*ain, but without changing her name. She outlived her second
husband several years, and at her death, in 1804, left the old
mansion to her daughter Martha, whom she had by Colonel
Michael Wentworth. She was buried beside her first husband,
in the churchyard of St. John's, in Portsmouth.
The mansion at Little Harbor continued to be occupied by the
second Martha Wentworth, who was also a Lady, her husband
being Sir John Wentworth, until 18 16, when they went to
England, from whence they never returned.
The winter of 1741 was famous throughout New England as
much colder than any which preceded it. Probably no year
since could furnish testimony for cold either so intense or pro-
tracted. The snow, which covered the whole country as early
as the 13th of November, was still found the ne.\t April covering
the fences. The Boston Post Boy for January 1 2th, reports a tent
on the Charles River for the entertainment of travellers. The
Boston Netvs Letter for March 6th, tells us that "people ride
every day from Stratford, Conn., to Long Island, which is three
leagues." Even as far east as New London, we are told that
the " ice extended into the sound as far as could be seen from
the town ; " and that Fisher's Island was united .to the main-
land by a solid bed. On March 28th, the Boston News Letter
reports that the people living on Thompson's Island had crossed
1 74-] K()\AL ri<o\'i.\'CE. f95
over to Dorchester to church on the ice for the fifteen preceding
As late as the 9th of July, a letter from New London, Conn.,
reports on the east side of the Connecticut river a body of ice
as large as two carts can draw, clear and solid, and adds very
artlessly that "it might lay there a month longer, were it not
that so many resort, out of curiosity, to drink piuich made out
of it." On the 17th of July snow was still lying in a mass in
the town of Ipswich, Mass., nearly four feet thick. But the
most marvellous record of that season is tlie statement made by
Alonzo Lewis, author of the "Annals of Lynn," Mass., that
" Francis Lewis, the signer of the Declaration of Independence,
drove his horse from New York to Barnstable, the whole length
of Long Island Sound on the ice."
Epping was set off from I'lxeter in 1741. Rev. Robert Cut-
ler was the first minister, settled in 1747. Me was succeeded
in 1758, by Rev. Josiah Stevens ; in 1793, by Rev. Peter Holt ;
in 1826, by Rev. Forest Jefferds ; in 1842, by Rev. Calvin
Chapman; in 1849, ^Y Rev. Lyman White.
The town has claimed among its distinguished residents,
General Henry Dearborn, Governor William Plumer, Senator
John Chandler, William Plumer, Jr., and Governor Benjamin F.
The Quakers and Baptists had a foothold in the town ver)'
early in its history. Jonathan Norris, Joshua P'olsom, and his
son, Benjamin Folsom, were among the leaders of the former
society. Among the Baptists, Rev. Dr. Samuel Shepard was a
preacher for nearly half a century.
1 Windham, from 1719 to 1742, was a parish of Londonderry,
a part and parcel of that historic Scotch settlement.
It is doubtful if any permanent settlements were made till the
advent of the Scotch in 1719 in the Londonderry colony. The
first house in Windham was established on Copp's hill, south-
east of Cobbett's pond, about 1720. Its occupant was John
Wacldell. In 1721 David Gregg, .son of John Gregg, of London-
derry, Ireland, and grandson of Captain David Gregg, a Scotch-
ig6 HISTOKY OF NEW }IAMPSHIKE. [^74-
man and captain in Cromwell's army, established himself hi the
west side of the town. He was the uncle of Andrew Gregg,
member of the U. S. Senate from Pennsylvania, in 1 806-7.
This David Gregg was joined by Alexander McCoy from the
highlands of Scotland. In 1723 John Dinsmoor, son of John
Dinsmoor of Scotland, located near the Junction. In 1728 or
'29 John Archibald settled in the north part of the town.
About 1730, Lieut. Samuel Morrison, son of Charter James
Morrison of Londonderry^ N. H., and grandson of John Morri-
son of Scotland, settled in the east of the town, in the "Range."
He was the ancestor of the Morrisons at Windham.
In 1733, Henry Campbell of Londonderry, Ireland, and the
grandson of D.micl Campbell of Scotland, settled in the east
of the town, on Beaver river, and where his descendants
" live unto this day." About this same date Alexander Simpson
and Adam Templeton struck for settlement here.
John Cochran, of Scotch blood, came in 1730, hewed from tlic
wilderness his farm, upon which his descendants have since
lived. Alexander Park and John Armstrong appeared soon
These are some of the pioneer fathers : William and Robert
Thompson, Joseph Waugh, Thomas Ouigley, Alexander and
James Dunlap, Johli Kyle, John Morrow, Hugh Graham, John
and James Vance, Samuel and William McAdams, James Gil-
more, Andrew Armour, John Hopkins, Daniel Clyde, William
Thom, John Stuart, Hugh Brown, Samuel Kinkead, Francis
Smilie, Alexander Ritchie, William Jameson, Nathaniel Hemp-
hill, James Caldwell, who were here in early times, and, with
the exception of William Thom, not a single descendant of any
of this list, bearing the family name, remains in town to-day.
Immediately after the first settlement had been made in Lon-
donderry, near what is now the east village, individuals would go
from home to the more distant glebes to work in summer, and
would return in the winter. Many young men lived in this
manner several years, laboring thus to prepare a home for their
future companions. When the home was provided they went
or sent to Scotland, or to the Scotch settlements in Ireland,
i~4~\ KOVAI. PROVINCE. 197
tor the brave lass who had consented to cross the wide ocean
to meet her stern lord in the wilderness, and by her presence
to cheer, to brighten, and to bless his home and life.
Land was cheap, and John Hopkins purchased a large tract
for a web of linen cloth. Neighbors were far apart, oftentimes
as far as three miles, and it was said, " we were obliged to go
three miles to borrow a needle, not being able to buy one."
There were no grist-mills nearer than Haverhill or Andover,
Mass., so the grain was carried on poles trailed from the horse's
back. They often broke their corn into meal by placing it be-
tween two revolving stones, this being a hand-mill called a cairn.
They lived mainly on what could be raised in the ground. They
possessed but little wealth, for their lot was like their father-
land, Scotland, cast in a cold wintr)' land, with a hard and rocky
North Hampton and South Hampton were incorporated in
Brentwood was incorporated in 1742. It was taken from
Exetei", including the present town of Freemont, and had been
known as Keenborough. A meeting-house had already been
built. Rev. Nathaniel Trask was settled as the first minister
of the place. He was succeeded, in 1 801, by Rev. Ebenezer
Flint ; in 1S13, by Rev. Chester Colton ; in 1826, by Rev. Luke
A. Spofford ; in 1831, by Rev. Jonathan Ward ; in 1833, by Rev.
Francis Welch; in 1839, M' ^^'^'- John Gunnison ; in 1841, by
Rev. James Bout well ; in 1854, by Rev. Charles Dame. Elder
Samuel Shepard was settled over a society of Baptists in the
town in 1775 and continued until his death, in 1816.
Governor Benning Wentworth had been received at Ports-
mouth with great marks of popular respect upon the publi-
cation of his commission in December, 1741. He had been a
heavy loser by the failure of Spanish officials to meet their obli-
gations to him, and his claim and other neglected claims of
English merchants against the Spanish government led to the
declaration of war on the part of Great Britain to seek redress.
In his first address to the General Court of New Hampshire he
"did not forget to recommend a fi.xed salary for himself, not
I9H Ill.-^IDKN' (II' \l:\\ IIAMP.SLIIKK. [ 1 744
.subject to depreciation ; luir the payment of expenses which
liacl arisen on account of the boundary lines." '
"The Assembly, in their answer, acknowledged the wisdom
and justice of the King in determining the long controversv