Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: Hampton Courts / Constitutional Conventions of '76 and '88

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Hampton Courts

In 1875 a Police Court was established in Hampton, Charles M. Lamprey, Esq., Justice -- which continued ten years, with occasional sittings; but, in 1885, the inhabitants having become convinced that a tribunal of this kind was not needed in Hampton, it was abolished by law.

In 1889 the Rockingham County Probate Court, held hitherto alternately at Exeter and Portsmouth, was established to be held also at Hampton, named, on the fourth Tuesday of December and February, annually.

Constitutional Conventions of '76 and '88

In 1876 the town voted, fifty-four to forty-one, in favor of revising the State Constitution. Joseph Dow was elected delegate to the Constitutional Convention, which met at Concord, December 6. In the short space of ten days, its work was completed, and thirteen amendments submitted to the people; all but two of which were ratified at the annual town meetings the following spring. Hampton gave large majorities in favor of the eleven amendments. This was the convention, which made elections and sessions of the Legislature biennial, and changed the time of state elections, from March to November. All the towns have been visibly affected by these changes.

The only Constitutional Convention since 1876, was the one in November, 1888, also in Concord, to which Joseph Johnson was chosen delegate from Hampton. As one result, our farmer representatives have the busy month of June at home, and exercise the function of law-makers when the farm sleeps under winter snows.

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