Old New Hampshire Highway Number Four was incorporated by an act of the New Hampshire legislature in the autumn of 1800. It wound out of Portsmouth, a seaport that once rivaled Boston, drove west through Concord, north past Penacook, through Boscawen, Salisbury, Andover, and Wilmot on its way to Lebanon and the Connecticut River. These names string history like beads. The Penacook tribe assembled each year on the banks of the Merrimack at the site of the present town that bears their name. I grew up thinking Boscawen an unusual Indian name; it is Cornish, surname of an admiral victorious over the French in the eighteenth century. Andover's land was granted to veterans of the Louisburg Expedition against the French, but the first house did not go up until 1761, a year after the English conquest of Canada put an end to Indian raids. We need no reminding in 1985 that Lebanon turns up in the Old Testament.
This article originally appeared in the 1985 premiere issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy (Volume 1, Issue 1): http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol1/iss1.
"Rusticus: Notes on Class and Culture in Rural New Hampshire,"
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 24
, Article 13.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol24/iss1/13