Joseph Dow's History of Hampton: PROBABLE POPULATION, IN 1680

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It has been estimated that the white population of New Hampshire, in 1675, was not far from four thousand. If this estimate is correct, and the number remained the same is 1680, the ratio of the legal voters to the whole population was very much less than it is at the present time. But this estimate is probably much too high. It may be difficult to ascertain the relative population of the several towns; but there are good reasons for thinking that Hampton contained at least one-quarter of the whole population of the province. Though it is uncertain what number inhabitants was here in 1680, yet fortunately the number at the beginning of 1686, is known, and it is hardly probable that during the six intervening years, the number had diminished. From an entry in the diary of Capt. Henry Dow, under date of Jan. 17, 1685-6, it appears that the whole number of inhabitants in the town, was 707; and that, of this number, 495 lived on the north side of Taylor's river, and 212 on the south side. The whole number in the province did not probably exceed three thousand.

Preparatory to the meeting of the general assembly, a public fast was observed, February 26, to ask for the Divine blessing and "the continuance of their precious and pleasant things." The assembly met at Portsmouth, on the 16th day of March, and was opened with prayer and a sermon by Rev. Joshua Moody, the pastor of the church in that town.

One of the first acts of the government after the assembly had met, was to prepare and dispatch a letter to the governor and council of Massachusetts, expressing their regret at the separation that had taken place, in which they had acquiesced only in submission to Divine Providence and the commands of the king; and their desire to maintain friendly relations, and to show themselves serviceable to the sister province, should opportunity offer.

The assembly held four sessions, and, with the consent of the president and the council, enacted such laws as were required. Inferior courts were established in all the towns except Exeter. By whom the court at Hampton was held, is not now known.

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