Chesterfield NH Historical Society
Chesterfield NH Historical Society

1756 - 1761 - An Era of Conflict

The first map shows the various towns circa 1757.  It is an excrept from the Blanchard & Langdon map published in 1761, showing conditions at the end of the French & Indian War in New England (1756-1761.)



Peace was assured by 1760 when the Montreal was captured by the British. The next year New Hampshire issued new charters to area towns, as the 1752 charters had not been complied with due to the danger. Chesterfield’s charter was issued in 1761.


The map notes, “Captives have been carried by the Indians” on the Vermont side of the river opposite “No 4 Charles Town”.  A substantial fort was built here above Fort Dummer to protect the settlers in Keene and other southerly towns.  We call it “Fort No. 4” today, though earlier it was called the “Fort at Township No. Four”, the fourth of the line of towns established in 1736.


Also, note that Hinsdale is on both sides of the river, and that there are several new towns. On the west bank of the river are the new towns of Brattleborough, Guilford and Fulham (Dummerston). These towns were also chartered by New Hampshire in 1752. On the east side of the river, charters and new names were given to older towns which were now to be called Chesterfield, Swanzey and Keene.


This flurry of activity by New Hampshire was related to a dispute with the Province of New York, which held a competing claim to the lands on the west bank of the river. There was no Vermont until much later. The New Hampshire – New York dispute, called the New Hampshire Land Grants, continued until 1764, when the King ruled in favor of New York and made the Connecticut River’s west bank the new Province boundary.  However, this created more conflict resulting in Vermont declaring itself a Republic in 1777. 



Settlement grew rapidly after the area charters, and by 1767 there were enough towns that a group of them were grouped together to form the Cheshire County.  Above map was sent as part of a manuscript to Concord.

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1756 - 1761 - An Era of Conflict.pdf
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1767 Cheshire County.pdf
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