The New Hampshire Charter


Chapter 3 of The History of the Town of Keene by Griffin. See Citation here.

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The New Hampshire Charter

After the major battles of the French and Indian wars, in 1749, some settlers returned to the township at upper Ashuelot. According to Griffin the Governor of New Hampshire at the time did not recognize the township because there were no documents of the land grants from the Massachusetts Government. The New Hampshire Governor though it to be too expensive to settle the land and did not give actual recognition until 1753. Upon the grant of the “New Hampshire Charter of Keene” Upper Ashuelot was given the name Keene, after the Spanish Minister Sir Benjamin Keene whom the New Hampshire Governor was close friends with.

The significance about this charter is that is that New Hampshire somehow acquired the territory, but a few years later down the road, Indians would raid the town of Keene, quoting that the land was not rightfully the English’s, and that they were there stolen land.  My inference and room for further research wonders how New Hampshire was granted that land in the first place. It does not seem there was a proper exchange with the Natives of the territory.

The document below is an excerpt from Griffin’s The History of the Town of Keene. Though it’s a dated document, you can view the documentation of the Charter of Keene on pages 104-108. The document specifies the precise boundaries granted to the town of Keene and who the first settlers are. The document also specifies taxes that those settlers are assigned to pay to the Motherland on England.


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