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New Hampshire

State facts

Origin of the State Name

New Hampshire was named for Hampshire, England, by Captain John Mason


New Hampshire has 4 nicknames. The first is the one by which the state is commonly known.

Granite State: for our extensive granite formations and quarries Mother of Rivers: for the rivers of New England that originate in our Mountains White Mountain State: for the White Mountain Range Switzerland of America: for our beautiful mountain scenery


Concord is the seat of New Hampshire government. It is centrally located in the state on the Merrimack River. Check for our quick links at the bottom of the page for more NH Gov information.


New Hampshire became the 9th state on June 21, 1788. It was one of the original 13 colonies.


1,315,809 - July, 2008

Local Government

New Hampshire has 10 counties, 13 municipalities, 221 towns and 22 unincorporated places.

State Seal, Flag and Symbols

New Hampshire has adopted many symbols over the past 200 years, beginning with the first state seal in 1775 and continuing to the most recent symbol, the State Tartan in 1995.

The flag, seal and various symbols are all ways the state identifies itself. They had been adopted by the legislature as symbolic of the state in one way or another.


Live Free or Die. The motto comes from a statement written by the Revolutionary General John Stark, hero of the Battle of Bennington.

State Seal


New Hampshire's first seal, created in 1775, consisted of a pine tree, a fish, and a set of five arrows. The arrows stood for the five counties at the time, while the pine tree and fish represented the state's major economic resources. In 1784, when the state's new constitution became effective, the legislature decided to change the seal to keep up with the changing times. The coastal town of Portsmouth had become a thriving ship building center, and the legislature wanted to portray this industry. So, with a rising sun in the background, the new design would feature a ship on stocks. However, as time went on, this 1784 design became a victim of artists' whims and fancies. The scene continually changed. People appeared on docks, and barrels of rum materialized. In 1931, the legislature voted to regain control of the seal's design. Today, the seal is unchanging. The frigate Raleigh, one of the first ships that the Constitutional Congress authorized for the nation's navy, graces the center of the seal. The date on the bottom of the seal now reads 1776. The rum barrels are gone, the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean, and a wreath of laurel frames the entire scene.


The state flag has the state seal centered on a blue field surrounded by laurel leaves with nine stars

State Emblem

A replica of the Old Man of the Mountain surrounded with the name of the state above and the motto below.

State Symbols

State Bird.The purple finch. Adopted in 1957. State Tree. The white birch. Adopted in 1947. State Insect. The ladybug. Adopted in 1977. State Flower. The purple lilac. Adopted in 1919. State Amphibian. The red-spotted newt. Adopted in 1985. State Animal. The white tailed deer. Adopted in 1983. State Gem. Smokey Quartz. Adopted in 1985. State Mineral. Beryl. Adopted in 1985. State Rock. Granite. Adopted in 1985. State Wildflower. Pink Ladyslipper. Adopted in 1990. State Butterfly. Karner Blue. Adopted in 1992. State Freshwater Game Fish. Brook Trout. Adopted in 1994. State Sal*****er Game Fish. Striped Bass. Adopted in 1994. State Tartan. Adopted in 1995. State Sport. Skiing. Adopted in 1998.


New Hampshire is located in northeastern United States. The total area of the state is 9,304 sq miles (24,097 sq km), comprising 9,027 sq miles (23,380 sq km) of land and 277 sq miles (717 sq km) of inland water. New Hampshire is bordered on the north by the Canadian province of Quebec; on the east by Maine and the Atlantic Ocean; on the south by Massachusetts; and the on the west by Vermont. Its geographic center lies in Belknap county, 3 miles (5 km) east of the town of Ashland.

It is one of the six New England states, the others being Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Geographies sometimes speak of the state as the "Mother of Rivers." Five of the great streams of New England originate in its granite hills. The Connecticut River rises in the north; the Pemigewasset River starts in the Profile Lake in the Franconia mountains and joins the Winnipesaukee at Franklin to form the Merrimack River; the Cocheco and Salmon Falls rivers join at Dover to form the Piscataqua River; and two of the principal rivers of Maine, the Androscoggin and the Saco, have their beginnings in northern New Hampshire.

New Hampshire has 1300 lakes or ponds and about 40 rivers with a total milage of about 41,800 miles.


The highest point is Mount Washington at 6,288 feet (1,918 m); lowest point is sea level; approximate mean elevation is 1,000 feet (305 m).


New Hampshire has a changeable climate, with wide variations in daily and seasonal temperatures. The variations are affected by proximity to the ocean, mountains, lakes or rivers. The state enjoys all four seasons. Our summers are short and cool; winters are long and cold; fall is glorious with foliage. The weather station on Mount Washington has recorded some of the coldest temperatures and strongest winds in the continental United States.

Flora and FaunaNew Hampshire is heavily forested with an abundance of elm, maple, beech, oak, pine, hemlock and fir trees. Mount Washington features rare alpine plants such as Greenland sandwort, Labrador tea, alpine bearberry, dwarf cinquefoil and dwarf birch, willow and balsam fir.

Among native New Hampshire mammals are the white-tailed deer, muskrat, beaver, porcupine and snowshoe hare. Threatened animals include the pine marten, arctic tern, purple martin, peregrine falcon, whip-por-will and osprey. The Karner Blue butterfly, lynx, bald eagle, shortnose sturgeon, Sunapee trout, Atlantic salmon and dwarf wedge mussel are on the state's endangered species list.


New Hampshire’s state government has three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. To obtain information on one of these branches, select the corresponding link. Other quick links are to the State´s Personnel Directory, State Services Directory and e-Gov Services.

Executive Branch

* Governor John Lynch

* Executive Council

* State Agencies

* State Office Locator

Legislative Branch

* General Court’s Web Site

* Bill Tracking System

* Who’s My Legislator

Judicial Branch

* Judicial Branch Web Site

* Supreme Court Slip Opinions


* State Personnel Directory

* State Services Directory

* e-Gov Services

Quick find NH Unemployment information for those who have lost their jobs or in the position of possibly losing them in the near future

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