Manchester: A Brief Record of Its Past and a Picture of Its Present, Including an Account of Its Settlement and of Its Growth as a Town and City; a History of Its Schools, Churches, Societies, Banks


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10 Manchester. settled in Exeter. The dispute between these claimants descended to their heirs and was the seed of much strife. The first settlement of Londonderry was made in 1719 by Scotch Irish people, who obtained from John, the grand- son of the Rev. John Wheelwright, a deed dated October 20, 1719, which conveyed to them a tract of land ten miles square, in what was known as the “chestnut country” from the abundance of its chestnut trees, which also gave the name of “Nutfield” to Londonderry. To them in 1722 the governor of the province made a grant which was the third within the present limits of Manchester. The first was a gift in 1663 to the Indian chief, Passaconnaway, who had been reduced to poverty, and the second, which included nearly half of Manchester and was the ancient Chester, was made by the governor in 1720 to a number of men who, wrongly supposing the settlers of Londonderry to be Irishmen and Roman Catholics, were anxious to obtain beforehand the territory on which the latter had settled. Their plan was thwarted by their ignorance of civil engin- eering and their consequent inability to fit their deed to the land in question. The Presbyterian settlers of Londonderry had played much the same part in Scotland as the Puritans in England. Persecuted by Episcopalians and Roman Catholics, they sought a refuge in the north of Ireland, and, after fighting for their religious rights and enduring the memorable siege of Londonderry, followed the Puritans to the new world, coming to Boston in 1718 and to Londonderry the next year, introducing in this country the cultivation of the po- tato and the spinning of flax. They were eminently men of energy, independence and a bluff honesty, and of them were the first settlers of Manchester in 1722. Till then the territory of the latter town had been occu- pied by Indian tribes, of whom the Namaoskeags, who were subject to the Pennacooks, dwelt around Amoskeag Falls.

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