United States Geography in the Early Republic - NEW HAMPSHIRE
The "Granite State", with many of the highest mountains in the Eastern
U.S., New Hampshire is just west of Maine, separated by a long straight
border. The southern 35 miles or so of that border consists of the Salmon
Falls River, which runs into Great Bay on
which Portsmouth lies.
The Connecticut River forms almost
all of New Hampshire's western boundary, separating it from Vermont.
The southern border is mostly a straight east-west line separating the
state from Massachusetts.
The Merrimack River divides in half
the Southern third of the state before heading east to the Atlantic, meandering
parallel to the eastern one-fourth of the NH-MA border.
A (rather superficial) County by County Tour
The physical arrangement is roughly as follows:
Sullivan, Merrimack, Belknap,
Cheshire, Hillsboro, Rockingham
Coos County is the northernmost; very
long (north-south) and narrow; extends over 1/3 of the n-s extent of the
state; very mountainous with few towns; contains the Presidential range,
incl. the 6288 foot Mt. Washington, and several others of about 5000 feet;
borders on Canada to the north; has a long stretch of the upper Connecticut
River for boundary with Vermont.
Counties of New Hampshire
One of the smallest counties, around a bit south of the center of the
state. The wide, and 25 mile long Lake Winnipesau forms much of its northern
border. It contains the towns of Lakeport, Laconia, Meredith, Belmont,
and the Gilmonton Iron Works.
Fairly large county around the middle of the border with Maine.
Most of it is taken up by White Mountains National Forest.
Medium size county on the southwest corner of the state, bordering
Vermont and Massachusetts. Contains Walpole, Keene, Marlboro, Swanzey,
At the top of the state, and around 80 miles from north to south, it
is tall and thin, and very thinly populated. Contains some of the highest
peaks of the state.
One of the two largest counties. Forms the west half of the middle
third of the state. Contains some of the highest peaks of the state. Also
the towns of Canaan, Lebanon, Hanover. As with Carroll Co, much,
if not most of it is taken up by White Mountains National Forest, though
bordering on the Connecticut River, it has much more cultivatable land
than its neighbor.
Makes up the middle of the bottom three counties. Contains Manchester
About 30 miles from the southern border of NH, just north of Hillsboro
In the southeastern corner of the state. It contains the only bit of
ocean frontage; around 20 miles of it, also the towns of Exeter
and Portsmouth. At the northern end of that shoreline is Great Bay.
Sits on the southernmost 30 miles or so of the NH-Maine border. Contains
Dover, and fronts on part of Great Bay.
Small county on the Connecticut River - the next-to-southernmost western
Cities and Towns of New
Major town (and state capitol?) on the Merrimack River.
Home of R.W. Emerson's 2nd wife.
Town near the "Notch of the White Mountains". Birthplace of Benjamin
G. Willey (Bowdoin 1822) and Lory Odell (Bowdoin 1823).
Home town of Salmon
P. Chase and his uncles Philander
and Dudley (a U.S. Senator from VT); founded in part by his grandfather,
also named Dudley, who immigrated from England.
In Sullivan County, near the 2,789
foot Croydon Mt., and across the Connecticut River from Windsor,
Near the south of Grafton County,
on the Connecticut River.
Home of Dartmouth College,
where Daniel Webster graduated.
Webster also won a famous supreme court case concerning Dartmouth, preventing
the state from modifying the charter it had granted to the college, and
establishing an important precedent for the inviolability of contracts,
such as those chartering a corporation granted by a state.
Home of Franklin
Pierce (president 1853-57), and his father, Benjamin, revolutionary
war hero and governor of the state for a couple of terms in the 1820s.
New Hampshire's only major seacoast town. Home of Daniel
Webster's early law practice.
Birthplace of Seargent
S. Prentiss, where his father was a shipmaster until ruined by embargo
and/or War of 1812. They remained in the area, moving a few miles inland
to a farm near Gorham.
Also home of Jeremiah
Mason, and his son Alfred, Nathaniel
Hawthorne's first college roommate.
Rivers, Streams, Lakes of New Hampshire
Forms most of the boundary between VT and NH, after which, it runs
straight south across Massachusetts and Connecticut, to finally empty into
Long Island Sound.