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Pembroke, Wyndham, Bow & * Dunbarton, Concord, Epping,

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* Kingston & East Kingston, Sandown & *Hawke, Greenland, Newington, Stratham, New Market, Southampton & Newtown, Kensington, * Plastow Atkinson, Hampstead, Salem, Pelham, Dover, Madbury, Durham, Lee, Somersworth, Barrington, * Gilmanton & Barnstead, *Sanbornton &

? Meredith, Rochester, Amherst, Litchfield &

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*Nottingham w.}

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In Strafford, New Ipswich, * Boscawen & Salisbury, Temple & * Peterborough, *Wilton & Lyndeborough, Mile strip & Duxbury Farm, * Mason & Raby, New Britton, *Warner, Perrystown & Fisherfield,

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Dunstable, Hollis, *Merrimack & Bedford, Derryfield *Goffstown, Weare, Hopkinton, Henneker, * Dearing, Hillsborough & Society Land, Francestown &? *New Boston,

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New Chester,
* Plimouth,
Cockermouth,
Alexandria,
Romney,
Holderness,
*Campton, &
Thornton,
Lebanon,
*Hanover,
Relham,
Canaan,
Cardigan &
Grafton,
Lyme,
* Orford,
Dorchester,
Wentworth,
Piermont &
Warren,

* Haverhill, Bath, Lyman, Gunthwait, Landaff & Morristown, Apthorp, * Lancaster, Northumberland, Stratford, Cockburn, Conway, Shelburne, and the Towns above,

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“ That Precepts signed by the President of this Congress, be sent to the Selectmen of each Town Named in this List singly to be represented, to Elect & choose a Person to Represent them in Congress to Meet at Exeter on the Twenty-first day of December next; also to the Town or Parish marked * where Towns or Parishes are classed together, To Notify theseveral Towns or Parishes in their respective Classes to meet at the most convenient Place in thier Town or Parish to accommodate the whole Electors, To choose some Qualified to Represent them as aforesaid : and all Selectmen are directed to give the Electors fifteen days Notice of the time and occasion of meeting. Said Members when met to set in Congress as often and so long as they shall judge requisite for Acting the Publick Business of this Colony : And to be Impowered by their constituents to Prosecute such measures as they may deem Necessary for the Publick good During the Term of one year from their first meeting, Unless they shall see fit to Dissolve themselves sooner.

"And in case there should be a recommendation from the Continental Congress for this Colony to Assume Government in any way that will require a house of Representatives, That the said Congress for this Colony be Impowered to Resolve themselves into such a House as may be recommended, and to remain such for the aforesaid Term of one year.”

In addition to equalizing the apportionment of representation the effect of the enactments of the Fourth Congress was greatly to reduce the membership of succeeding bodies, an effect which becomes at once evident in the comparatively small numbers of the next Congress, of which the roll shows but seventy-five.

This, the Fifth Congress, met December 21, 1775, pursuant to precepts issued by the preceding body. On January 5, 1776, in accordance with a recommendation of the Continental Congress, dated November 3, 1775, it was voted : “ That this Congress take up Civil Government”; also “ That this Congress, Assume the Name, Power, & Authority of a House of Representatives or Assembly for the Colony of New Hampshire”; and that precepts should be issued for an annual election as they should thereafter prescribe.

In accordance with this provision, the house of representatives voted on the eighteenth of September, 1776:

“ That Precepts signed by the President of the Council And Speaker of the House of Representatives, Issue to the Same Towns, Parishes and Places in this State for the choice of a New House of Representatives (as issued for the same number of Representatives for the present House) to meet at Exeter on the third Wednesday in December next & to continue for one year. •

The act of November 14, 1775, passed by the Fourth Provincial Congress, which had temporarily determined the basis of representation, appears to have remained in force throughout the remainder of the period until the constitution adopted in 1783 went into effect on June 2, 1784. The number of representatives varied slightly from time to time, on account of occasional revisions in the grouping of the less populous towns, but no radical changes were made until New Hampshire emerged from her political vicissitudes a full fledged state.

The Basis of Representation in the House of Representa

tives in New Hampshire since 1783.

Under the constitution of 1783 every town, parish, or place entitled to town privileges, having 150 ratable polls, was entitled to send one representative to the General Court; and 300 was made the mean increasing number of ratable polls to entitle a town, parish, place, etc., to an additional representative." It is of interest to note that this basis and ratio remained fixed for more than ninety years, or until changed by the convention of 1876.

And even then allowing four inhabitants for each ratable poll, the change of base from ratable polls to population did not change the ratio. Thus the only changes made in the constitution of 1783 materially affecting representation have been those relating to the smaller towns. Convention of 1791-92.

The first house of representatives elected under the constitution of 1783 contained only ninety-one members ; and up to September 7, 1791, when the first convention for revising that constitution assembled, the largest number had been ninety-four.

In that convention, however, because of the growth of the population of the State, the fear was commonly expressed that the house of representatives would soon

1 The Constitution of Massachusetts of 1780 established the same basis, 150 ratable polls for the first representative, but made 225 the mean increasing number for an additional representative.

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