Roadside History: Republic of Indian Stream

May 05. 2017 8:21PM

New Hampshire historical marker number: 1

Date established: 1958 in Pittsburg

Location: North side of Route 3 at the town park

What the sign says: "In 1832 the settlers of the area between Indian Stream and Hall's Stream, claimed by both Canada and the United States, set up the independent republic of Indian Stream. Yielding to New Hampshire in 1836, Indian Stream became part of Pittsburg and in 1842 was recognized by treaty as United States territory."

The back story: The Republic of Indian Stream or Indian Stream Republic was an unrecognized constitutional republic in North America, along the section of the border that divides the current Canadian province of Quebec from New Hampshire. It existed from July 9, 1832, to August 5, 1835.

Described as "Indian Stream Territory, so-called" by the United States census-taker in 1830, the area was named for Indian Stream, a small watercourse. It had an organized elected government and constitution and served about 300 citizens.

The area was first settled by Europeans under a land grant, not from the King of Great Britain, but from the St. Francis Indian chief called King Philip by his white neighbors, after the King Philip who had led many successful raids on New England settlements during the 1670s.

The establishment of Indian Stream as an independent nation was the result of the ambiguous boundary between the United States and the British Province of Quebec as defined in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

Canada and the U.S. both sent in tax collectors and debt-collecting sheriffs. The double taxation angered the population, and the republic was formed to end the issue until such time as the United States and Great Britain could reach a settlement on the boundary line. Some of the citizenry considered Indian Stream to be part of the U.S., but not a part of New Hampshire. The Indian Stream assembly declared independence on July 9, 1832, and produced a constitution.

On April 2, 1836, a resolution "that New Hampshire has a right to exercise an unconditional control over the territory of Indian Stream" was approved by the citizens of Indian Stream.

Sources: Wikipedia, State of New Hampshire.

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