Roadside History: Exeter served as NH's capital for 14 years

March 10. 2017 7:52PM

N.H. historical marker number: 32.

Date established: 1965 in Exeter.

Location: Front Street/Route 111, in front of Exeter Town Offices.

What the sign says: "Founded by Rev. John Wheelwright in 1638, Exeter was one of the four original towns in the colony. Following New Hampshire's provisional declaration of independence on January 5, 1776, it served as the capital of the new state during the period of the American Revolution."

The back story: In 1774, the anti-England rebellious Provincial Congress began to meet in Exeter Town House after Royal Gov. John Wentworth banned it from the Colonial capital in Portsmouth. In July 1775, the Provincial Congress had the provincial records seized from royal officials in Portsmouth and brought to Exeter, which then became New Hampshire's capital for 14 years.

According to former Gov. Hugh Gregg, the Republican Party was born in Exeter on Oct. 12, 1853, at the Squamscott Hotel at a secret meeting of abolitionists.

Sources: State of N.H., Wikipedia


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