New Hampshire – The Granite State

Greetings from New Hampshire postcard, available at Legends' General Store.

Greetings from New Hampshire postcard, available at Legends’ General Store.

Greetings from New Hampshire

Part of the New England Region and one of the original 13 colonies, the Granite State, also called the White Mountain State, is the 5th smallest by area and 10th least populous of the United States. The first permanent settlement was at Hilton’s Point (present-day Dover) in the early 1600s. In 1776, New Hampshire was the first of the colonies to establish an independent government and its state constitution. Its nickname, “The Granite State,” is about the extensive granite formations and quarries. It was the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in June 1788.

Before Europeans moved in, New Hampshire was primarily divided between the Androscoggin and Pennacook Indian Nations.

New Hampshire was an important center for textiles, shoes, and papermaking. Many French Canadians migrated to the state to work the mills in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The state still ranks second in the percentage of Americans claiming French American ancestry. In the 1930s and 40s, manufacturing industries moved to the southern states, with defense contractors moving into the abandoned mills in the 1950s and 60s. The state’s population boomed in the 1980s with better highways connecting to the Boston region.

New Hampshire Flag

The state flag of New Hampshire features the State Seal on a blue background. The Seal features the frigate USS Raleigh, surrounded by a laurel wreath with nine stars. The wreath is an ancient symbol of fame, honor, and victory, while the nine stars represent the state being the ninth to join the Union. The water stands for the harbor of Portsmouth, with granite land representing New Hampshire’s rugged landscape and its people’s sturdy character. The USS Raleigh was built at Portsmouth in 1776 as one of the first warships of the new American Navy.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated February 2024.

Also See:

Destinations Across America

National Parks

United States Geography

U.S. States