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New townships in New Hampshire


Swift river
Swift river

Toward the end of this period of warfare, the wilderness of New Hampshire was opened to settlement. Hundreds of large tracts of land were sold under Benning Wentworth, who became the first royal governor of New Hampshire in 1741. Other land grants were made by the Masonian Proprietors, who in the mid-1740s had purchased the rights to Mason’s lands from his heirs. During lulls in the hostilities between 1713 and 1740, many new farms and towns were established in New Hampshire. New Hampshire saw an unprecedented surge in new settlement just before and after 1763, when the French and Indian War ended with a British victory.

Dozens of new townships were established, both east of the Connecticut River and to the west in what is now Vermont, a disputed territory that was also claimed by New York. Land was purchased by immigrants planning to settle and speculators hoping to profit from a quick resale.

New York won its claim to the lands west of the Connecticut River in 1764, when the king fixed New Hampshire’s western border as the river’s west bank. The disputed territory, known as the New Hampshire Grants, later became Vermont. Wentworth was succeeded by his nephew, John Wentworth, in 1767. The new governor directed the building of roads to the interior to help the many new towns develop.

Other public projects were undertaken, and trade opportunities were expanded. John Wentworth was also influential in founding Dartmouth College in 1769. The colony’s justice system was divided into five counties to make it more accessible to the people of the interior. The governor established a strong militia. Although Wentworth opposed the British taxes that the colonists hated so bitterly, he remained loyal to Great Britain. When the American Revolution broke out in 1775, he was forced to leave. "New Hampshire" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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