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Honoring The States: The 9th State - New Hampshire...

New Hampshire is the 9th state to ratify the US Constitution on June 21st, 1788. It was the first state to declare independence from England in 1775. Known as "The Granite State", New Hampshire has the highest peak in the northeastern United States. It is said that the very first alarm clock was invented in this state. Written by General John Stark in 1809, the state motto in New Hampshire is "Live Free or Die". This state has many beautiful mountains, lakes, valleys, and rivers, and has 13 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline. The capital is Concord, the state bird is the Purple Finch, the state flower is the Purple Lilac, and the state tree is the White Birch.

About 11,000 years ago, early indigenous people lived on the land we now know as New Hampshire. They divided into tribes and spoke dialects of Abenaki. The first tribes were the Penacook, Winnipesaukee, Pigwacket, Sokoki, Cowasuck, and Ossipee. Today, these groups are collectively called the Abenaki, which means "People of the Dawnland". They set up villages by the water in order to farm, hunt, fish, and live with the land. They had no records of "owning" land because they were a part of it.

By the early 1500's, European explorers came and observed the way of life of the Abenaki. The Vikings may have been the first Europeans to visit the state. The Europeans came with small pox and the flu between 1615-1620, and the indigenous people had no natural immunity against these types of diseases. Early settlers also began claiming ownership over the land that the indigenous were living on, kicking them out of their homes. Most of the Native people were either killed by disease or chased out of their homes and sent away to find new places to live by the late 1600's. Today, New Hampshire has less than 1,000 Abenaki who speak their native language.

In 1776, New Hampshire declared its independence from England as the very first colony to do so. The colonists sent troops and supplies during the Revolutionary War. In 1777, New Hampshire military troops fought in the Battle of Bennington and helped the colonists win. At the end of this war, on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire entered the union as the 9th state.

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