1976 13¢ New Hampshire
State Flags Issue
Issue Date: February 23, 1976
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 8,720,100 panes of 50
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
New Hampshire Becomes 9th State
On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire ratified the U.S. Constitution and was admitted to the Union.
What is now New Hampshire was home to about 5,000 American Indians before European settlement. Most of these people belonged to the Algonquian Indian family. These Native Americans built houses called wigwams out of bark and animal skins. Hunting and fishing were supplemented by small-scale farming of corn. The Algonquian Indians often fought with their neighbors, the Iroquois.
It is unknown which European explorer first reached today’s New Hampshire. But, by the early 1600s, many expeditions had set foot on this land. In 1603, Martin Pring, an Englishman, sailed a trading ship up the Piscataqua River. Pring may have landed at the site of present-day Portsmouth. In 1605, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain landed on the New Hampshire coast. The English captain John Smith reached the Isles of Shoals in 1614.
King James I of England was very interested in settling the New England area. In 1619, he founded the Council for New England to organize and encourage settlers. The council gave David Thomson control of a large chunk of land in the New Hampshire area. Thomson settled in Odiorne’s Point, which is now part of Rye, in 1623. Edward Hilton established another settlement in the 1620s. Hilton’s group settled Hilton’s Point, which is now called Dover. Other early settlements include Stawbery Banke at the site of present day Portsmouth in 1630, and Exeter and Hampton in 1638.
The Council for New England granted a large tract of land to John Mason and Sir Ferdinando Gorges in today’s Maine and New Hampshire. The land was divided between the two men in 1629. Mason called his land New Hampshire – he was originally from Hampshire, England.
New Hampshire was made part of the colony of Massachusetts in 1641, then King Charles II made it a separate province in 1680. The king named John Cutt as New Hampshire’s first provincial governor.
Between 1689 and 1763, the British and the French fought a series of four wars in North America. Both sides fought with the assistance of Indian allies. These two great Colonial powers fought for control of inland territories and for domination of the fur trade. As a result of the wars, the British gained control of most of France’s land in North America.
During the French and Indian wars, two Colonial leaders from New Hampshire earned great fame. Robert Rogers, the leader of a group of soldiers known as Roger’s Rangers, and John Stark both contributed to the British victory in this series of conflicts.
Colonial New Hampshire was very rural and had little industry. Most of the people were farmers who kept busy clearing land and raising food. When the colony took its first census in 1767, it was determined that 52,700 people made their homes there.
Although the king appointed New Hampshire’s governor and governor’s council, the people of New Hampshire enjoyed a great deal of independence. The people elected assemblymen who attended to Colonial affairs, and there was little interference from the crown. However, the taxation and trade laws passed by Great Britain during the 1760s upset the colonists.
The famous patriot leader Paul Revere rode to New Hampshire in December of 1774 to warn of an increase in British troops in the area. This prompted New Hampshire patriots under the leadership of John Sullivan to seize arms from a British military fort in New Castle. This raid was one of the first Colonial military actions against the British.
When the War for Independence broke out in Massachusetts in 1775, New Hampshire responded by sending hundreds of “minutemen.” New Hampshire’s soldiers served with distinction. Interestingly, New Hampshire was the only colony of the original 13 in which no actual fighting took place.
New Hampshire was the first colony to form its own independent government. On January 5, 1776, it adopted a temporary constitution. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution. New Hampshire’s approval of the document put the Constitution into effect and officially made it the United States of America’s ninth state.
After the American Revolution, life remained much the same in New Hampshire. The vast majority of people were engaged in agricultural pursuits. However, with the start of the American Civil War, a new industrial growth began. The state’s industrialization continues to this day.
New Hampshire was well known as a leader in the anti-slavery movement. These beliefs were reflected in the fact that 34,000 of the state’s citizens served with Union forces. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard built many ships for the war effort. These ships were essential for the Union blockade of Southern ports.
After the war, industrial growth increased. Primary industries included textiles, woodworking, and leather. The new factories attracted thousands of immigrants from Canada and Europe. However, many of the state’s farmers left the state to claim free land in the West. Thus, the state’s agricultural output decreased while industries grew.
New Hampshire’s industries continued to grow throughout the 1900s. During World War I and World War II, Portsmouth built ships and other vessels needed by the U.S. Navy. The state’s textile mills made military uniforms. Other industries flourished as well. As a result, the state became increasingly urban.
Today, New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not collect a general individual income tax or a general sales tax. This low-taxation policy has attracted many new businesses and factories to the state. During the 1980s, the state enjoyed unprecedented growth. As New Hampshire entered the 21st century, the state focused a great deal of attention on preserving the environment, while maintaining its industrial base.
Issued as part of the ongoing Bicentennial celebration, the 13¢ State Flags pane was a first in U.S. history. This was the first time a pane with 50 face-different stamps was issued. Each state is represented by its official flag, with the stamps arranged on the sheet in the same order each state was admitted into the Union.
New Hampshire State Flag
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was a thriving center for shipbuilding by the time of the American Revolution. When the Continental Congress decided to create a Navy, the first three ships were built on John Langdon’s shipyard on an island in Portsmouth Bay.
In 1776, the crew at Langdon’s shipyard laid the keel for the USS Raleigh, the first warship of the U.S. Navy. Two months later, the vessel was launched into immediate action against England. After two years of service, the Raleigh ran aground and was seized by the British, a painful loss to New Hampshire and the young nation.
Langdon’s shipyard didn’t stay in New Hampshire long, either. The facility is still in Portsmouth Bay, but in 1820 the island became part of Kittery, Maine, as the new state entered the Union. That was long after the New Hampshire legislature voted in 1784 to make the Raleigh and the shipyard on the island the focus of its state seal.
The topics shown on the seal weren’t the only things to move beyond New Hampshire’s control. Artists often altered the image, adding people or casks of rum. The state finally put an end to the artistic license in 1909, with a law that formalized the design.
The Bicentennial Series
The U.S. Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the U.S., an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
The U.S.P.S. issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period in honor of the U.S. bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (U.S. #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters, and remembers the events and patriots who made the U.S. a world model for liberty.