Today, the New Hampshire State Quarter Coin remembers their ratification of the Federal Constitution on June 21, 1788.
From the Proceedings of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Volume IV, June 1899 – June 1902:
Hon. Henry M. Baker of Bow was unable to be present but sent his address entitled, “New Hampshire in the Struggle for Independence,” which was read by Rev. N. F. Carter:
New Hampshire is small in extent but great in achievement.
Its domain covers only 9,305 square miles. Its length is about 170 miles with an average width of nearly 55 miles.
It is diversified by many hills, mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers whose beauty and charm are acknowledged by all lovers of the peaceful and picturesque in nature.
Its cities and villages are busy hives of industry and homes of comfort and joy.
Its citizens are thrifty, energetic, honest, patriotic and religious.
Schools of all grades are maintained and illiteracy is a disgrace. Only about one per cent. of the native population is unable to read and write.
Temples of worship adorn the country and city alike. Piety, reverence for law and authority, the recognition of personal rights and obligations and self-respect, prevail.
These are inheritances from the sturdy settlers of the state who, building their homes upon the ever-advancing frontier, reclaimed their farms from the primeval forest.
They led independent lives but, by combination when necessary and patriotic insistence at all times, they resisted oppression, secured freedom and established self-government in the new world for themselves and for us.
In the formation and adoption of the Federal Constitution New Hampshire bore a worthy part.
No state was represented in the Constitutional Convention by better men than John Langdon and Nicholas Gilman.
Others were more prominent in discussion and more tenacious for personal triumph, but no delegation was more united for the establishment of a firm government which would preserve the nationality and freedom acquired by valor.
Their names will endure and be honored so long as fidelity and patriotism are revered and constitutional free government is the hope and pride of men.
The people of New Hampshire ratified the Constitution by a decisive vote and completing the requisite number of states made it operative throughout the land.
The hope of all who believed in personal rights and free government was realized and the oppressed in every nation took fresh courage.
Ever since the world has marched with light step toward the time when men everywhere shall govern themselves in the name of justice.
The subsequent history of New Hampshire fully sustains the high and honorable standard established in Colonial and Revolutionary times.
In all patriotic, moral, educational, progressive and other noble aims and purposes the Granite State maintains her proud record.
In closing, permit me to recapitulate a few of the many just claims New Hampshire has to a high rank in the patriotic history of the struggling colonies which became states.
First. New Hampshire was the first colony to suggest a Declaration of Independence. As early as May, 1775, the Provincial Assembly of New Hampshire addressed the Continental Congress officially on that subject.
Second. New Hampshire was the first colony to permanently rid herself of a governor appointed by the crown.
Third. New Hampshire was the first colony to establish independent self-government upon a constitutional basis.
Fourth. New Hampshire was the first to commit an overt hostile act against the military power of Great Britain, to assault a fort in possession of His Majesty’s troops, to compel them to surrender and to capture and remove the military supplies and equipments of her king. This was done not to repulse an attack made by the British but was of itself an original attack upon His Majesty’s troops in garrison, who were inactive and not hostile except through loyalty to their king. Moreover, it antedated the Declaration of Independence by more than a year and a half.
Fifth. New Hampshire supplied more than one half of all the American troops engaged in the battle of Bunker Hill — the first hotly contested battle of the Revolution.
Sixth. New Hampshire furnished two thirds of all the troops under Stark at the battle of Bennington. His victory there culminated in the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga and was the decisive battle of the war for independence.
Seventh. New Hampshire, after 1777, issued no bills for currency and in 1781 returned to coin payments. A record unsurpassed in the history of other states.
Eighth. New Hampshire in times of great anxiety and doubt ratified the Federal Constitution by a decided majority and being the ninth state to do so gave life to the Federal government and made perpetual the liberty won in battle.
Such is a brief and imperfect statement of some of the brave deeds and wise acts of a small but patriotic state.
It is a record of which every son of New Hampshire and every lover of heroism and genius everywhere may be proud and from which all may learn wisdom, patriotism and devotion.
The New Hampshire State Quarter Coin shows with a view of Portsmouth, circa 1780.