As one of the original 13 colonies, some of New Hampshire's most interesting facts center around its struggle for independence and its many notable firsts. New Hampshire's most notable first was being the first colony to establish an independent government.
Dover, the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire, was founded in 1623 by Captain John Mason along the Piscataqua River. In 1638, Reverend John Wheelwright, the brother-in-law of the infamous Anne Hutchinson, first established the city of Exeter after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony due to the Anitnomiam Controversy. In 1640, the colony existed as part of a coalition with Massachussetts. The coalition lasted until 1680, when the king appointed a president and council and charged the residents with electing a house of representatives. This spirit of liberty and independence would inspire the state motto, "Live Free or Die," as well as battles over territory rights. These battles finally came to a head in the mid-18th century when a dispute with New York over the New Hampshire Grants territory led to rebellion. As a result, the colony was the first to establish an independent government on Jan. 5, 1776. In 1777, they declared the New Hampshire Grants an independent state and named it Vermont.