His Majesty Counsell and House of Representatives in the Province of New Hampshire

The Occom Circle

His Majesty Counsell and House of Representatives in the Province of New Hampshire

Name (variant)

General Assembly of New Hampshire


Portsmouth, New Hampshire


The Council and Assembly, along with the Governor, made up the colonial government of New Hampshire. Council members were appointed by the King of Britain while members of the Assembly were elected by constituents. Wheelock and Dartmouth College had a rocky relationship with the New Hampshire government. Between 1761 and 1766, Wheelock received limited support from the Assembly. The governor at the time, Benning Wentworth, was an Anglican who generally opposed anything Congregationalists tried to do. B. Wentworth defeated an attempt by Henry Sherbourne, a George Whitefield devotee and the speaker of the Assembly, to grant Wheelock recurring funding, but he did later allow the Assembly to grant Wheelock a one-time payment of £50. However, when it fit his political needs, B. Wentworth was willing to relax his policy on Congregationalists. He offered Wheelock tracts of land in the western Connecticut River Valley in 1763 and 1765, largely because he was trying to claim that territory for New Hampshire. Wheelock fared better under Benning's successor, John Wentworth, who became governor in 1767. J. Wentworth granted Wheelock the land for Dartmouth and enthusiastically supported his move. He became a member of the College's first board, along with several members of the colony's Council. The Assembly was much less supportive of the new College than the Governor and Council were. It vigorously opposed Wheelock's attempts at incorporation (governance over the College's town) and hesitated to let Dartmouth return to New Hampshire after a brief period of unity with Vermont (June 1778-February 1779). The State's first constitution, established in 1783, even banned anyone involved in the administration of "a College" from holding a seat in the state government, although this policy was removed in the 1792 constitution.


Belknap, Jeremy. The History of New Hampshire, Volume 1. New Hampshire: S. C. Stevens and Ela & Wadleigh 1831. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Hoefnagel, Dick and Close, Virginia L. “Dresden: What is in the Name.” In Dartmouth College Library Bulletin, November 1997. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/Library_Bulletin/Nov1997/HoefnagelClose.html Accessed 9/9/2013.