New Hampshire State Papers

 

 

EARLY STATE PAPERS

 

OF

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

INCLUDING

THE CONSTITUTION OF 1784,

JOURNALS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND

RECORDS OF THE PRESIDENT

AND

COUNCIL FROM JUNE 1784 TO JUNE 1787,

WITH AN APPENDIX

 

 

CONTAINING

AN ABSTRACT OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS RELATIVE TO THE FORMATION, PROMULGATION, CONSIDERATION, AND ADOPTION OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION, AND

ILLUSTRATIVE NOTES.

 

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VOLUME XX.

 

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ALBERT STILLMAN BATCHELLOR,

 

EDITOR AND COMPILER. .

 

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MANCHESTER:

JOHN B. CLARKE, PUBLIC PRINTER.

1891.

 

 

 

 

JOINT RESOLUTION relating to the preservation and publication of portions of the early state and provincial records and other state papers of New Hampshire.

 

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

That His Excellency the Governor be hereby authorized and empowered, with the advice and consent of the Council, to employ some suitable person and fix his compensation, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to collect, arrange, transcribe, and superintend the publication of such portions of the early state and provincial records and other state papers of New Hampshire as the Governor may deem proper; and that eight hundred copies of each volume of the same be printed by the state printer, and distributed as follows : namely, one copy to each city and town in the State, one copy to such of the public libraries in the State as the Governor may designate, fifty copies to the New Hampshire Historical Society, and the remainder placed in the custody of the state librarian, who is hereby authorized to exchange the same for similar publications by other states.

Approved August 4, 1881.

 

 

 

 

To A. S. Batchellor, Editor of State Papers:

 

You are authorized to collect, arrange, transcribe, and superintend the publication of the New Hampshire Town Charters, as recommended in the section numbered one, in the Report of the Committee of the Governor and Council, submitted and adopted in May, 1889;* and the Journals of the Assembly, Provincial Congress, Legislature and Councils of New Hampshire, previous to the year 1800, as recommended in the section numbered two in said report.

You are also authorized to include in said work such rolls of the soldiers of New Hampshire in the French and Indian and Revolutionary wars as may be available, and which have not already been published in the volumes edited by Isaac W. Hammond, Esq.

You will also cause such explanatory notes and citations, tables of contents and indexes, with such illustrative papers, maps and plans as you may deem useful, to be prepared and made a part of your work.

This I deem proper to be done, and I give these directions in accordance with the provisions of the joint resolution relating to the preservation and publication of portions of the early state and provincial records and other state papers of New Hampshire, approved August 4th, 1881.

Given under my hand at Concord this 16th day of October, A. D. 1890.

D. H. GOODELL,

Governor.

 

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*This report is printed in the preface to Vol. XVIII, this series,

 

 

PREFACE.

 

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The temporary constitution, adopted by the revolutionary assembly of New Hampshire in 1776, was superseded in 1784 by a new constiュtution. This instrument gave the State a government which was still largely parliamentary. It provided for a chief executive, but gave him no veto on legislation, and surrounded him with a council chosen by and from the legislative branch. At the time of the adoption of the constitution, the people of the American states had come to a full realization of the impotence of the confederacy which had been formed under the Articles of Confederation, and of the necessity for a more efficient organic law for the union. This epoch has been well described as the "critical period in American history." The experience of New Hampshire at this time was not essentially different from that of the other American states. The performance of some of their most important federal duties could not be enforced upon the states, and domestic conditions were deplorable. The burdens imposed by the war were oppressive. A depreciated, fluctuating, and insufficient currency was a potent factor in the demoralization of business. Interstate commerce was at the mercy of conflicting legislation from as many legislatures as there were states, and foreign trade was subject to all the caprices of foreign avarice and intrigue. In this and the two succeeding volumes the legislative journals and executive records will be given entire, for the period beginning with the inauguration of government under the constitution of 1784 and ending with the close of the political year 1792-93, when a new constitution "took place." The Town Papers, edited by the late Isaac W. Hammond, being volumes XI, XII, and XIII of the full series of which the present volume is a continuation, and Mr. Hammond's vol‑

 

 

 

 

PREFACE. 5

 

umes XVII and XVIII of Miscellaneous State Papers, contain much illustrative matter which is contemporaneous with these journals. The Hammond volumes are freely cited in this work. Their contents are an essential part of the record, and the influences that then moved legislation cannot, in most instances, be discerned without reference to the petitions, remonstrances, and other documents which their editor comprehensively described as "Town Papers" and "Miscellaneous Papers." The public and private acts which were the product of the legislation of this period, so far as can now be ascertained, were never published in full. The more important laws of a general and permanent nature were included in compilations, such as the Revised Laws of 1792. All the acts both of a public and private nature are supposed to be contained in Mss. volumes in the office of the Secretary of State. The State has furnished a valuable key to these in the "Index to the Laws of New Hampshire," edited by the late Dr. Edward Aiken, and published under the direction of the Secretary of State. In the preparation of the volume of journals and executive records now presented, an arrangement has been pursued which places them in convenient and natural order for reference. No elimination of any part of the record has been permitted. The original printed journals have not been found for all the sessions in the three years from June, 1784, to June, 1787. Where such printed journals were accessible they have been consulted and compared with the Mss. journals, (a complete series of which has been preserved for the period during which the constitution of 1786 was in force,) and all material differences indicated by the use of brackets or otherwise. The records of the executive council for this period were never before printed.

It should be noted in reference to the records of the president and council, that the numbering of the official Mss. volumes begins with the political year 1784-85. The nominations as well as confirmations and other official acts of that body for two years, are contained in a single volume, which is numbered and described as "1 P. & C,"

After the close of the second political year, a separate record of nominations was kept in a volume which is designated "1 B. N." The record book which contains the other contemporaneous acts of the president and council is designated " 2 P. & C."

 

 

 

 

6 PREFACE.

 

Following the method of Mr. Hammond in previous volumes a method with which those who consult the work are presumed to be familiar an index of names and an index of places are separately given. These will indicate the page on which every name of person and place mentioned in the book may be found. In addition to these, indexes of subjects and of biographical notes have been provided. The star paging in the margins indicates the volume and page of the Mss. records from which the copy is made. The object of this work is to give the full official record through as long a period of time as possible within the space allowed, and thus to make it more generally available for the public use. This view may not entirely preclude, but it necessarily restricts, the appendage of elaborate historical or critical notes. Tables of officials and biographical notes and citations accompany the text, and are intended, like the indexes, as aids to those who, as officials or as students, may have occasion to use the work. In its preparation the official co-operation of His Excellency Governor David H. Goodell and the members of his council, and of His Excellency Governor Hiram A. Tuttle and the members of his council, has been cordially extended, and is acknowledged with pleasure. Mr. Otis G. Hammond has been an efficient assistant. Every needed service within their power has been afforded by the official custodians of contemporaneous state records and references. It has been necessary, however, to make the largest use of the archives preserved in the office of the Secretary of State. The Hon. Ezra S. Stearns, the present Secretary, has not only afforded in the work every official courtesy, but he has given it the benefit of his excellent judgment and his thorough knowledge of the general and documentary history of the state.

THE EDITOR.

 

 

 

GENERAL CONTENTS.

 

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Constitution of 1784 9-30

State officers, 1784-5 31-36

Senate Journal, June session, 1784 39-53

Members of House, 1784-5 57-61

House Journal, June session, 1784 62-89

Senate Journal, October session, 1784 93-115

House Journal, October session, 1784 119-160

Senate Journal, February session, 1785 163-183

House Journal, February session, 1785 187-223

Records of President and Council, 1784-5 229-297

State officers, 1785-6 299-301

Senate Journal, June session, 1785 305-330

Members of House, 1785-6 333-337

House Journal, June session, 1785 338-388

Senate Journal, October session, 1785 391-410

House Journal, October session, 1785 413-452

Senate Journal, February session, 1786 455-483

House Journal, February session, 1786 487-546

Records of President and Council, 1785-6 549-569

State officers, 1786-7 571-575

Senate Journal, June session, 1786 579-605

Members of House, 1786-7 609-612

House Journal, June session, 1786 613-668

Senate Journal, September session, 1786 671-683

House Journal, September session, 1786 687-713

Senate Journal, December session, 1786 717-747

House Journal, December session, 1786 751-801

Records of President and Council, 1786-7 805-835

Appendix 839-880