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In 1623 under an English land grant, a group of settlers sent by Capt. John Smith established a fishing colony near what is now Rye and Dover. By misinterpretations of the charter, South New Hampshire was annexed with Massachusetts between 1641 and 1643. After a 38 year union with Massachusetts, New Hampshire became a separate colony in 1679.
During the French and Indian Wars, Great Britain acquired control of the northeastern United States. New laws that restricted colonial trade and increased taxes led to the Revolutionary War. On January 5, 1776, New Hampshire became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain and established its own government.
New Hampshire joined the Union on June 21, 1788 becoming the 9th state. The state was against slavery and sent around 34,000 troops to fight with the Union during the Civil War. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard built ships that were used to blockade many southern ports during the war.
The state is highly industrialized manufacturing machinery, pulp, paper and electrical products, and clay and stone products. It also has poultry and dairy industries and grows fruit and vegetables. Perhaps the biggest boost to the state’s economy is tourism, annual revenues exceed $3 billion.
New Hampshire holds claim to several firsts in the nation. The very first public library was founded in Peterborough. The first potato was planted at present day Derry in 1719. The state also has the longest covered bridge in the U.S., the Cornish Windsor Bridge crosses over the Connecticut River and is 460 foot long.
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