Fun facts about the New Hampshire legislature

Here are some of our favorite, and most interesting, did-you-know facts about the NH legislature

  • The very first NH Legislature, the Assembly of 1680, spent time coming up with the definition of a drunkard (“staggers in his going” was one part of it). That same year legislators approved the death penalty for everything from blasphemy to witchcraft to insubordination of children.
  • In 1722 the House required all members to wear a sword during sessions or be fined 1 shilling.
  • In pre-Revolutionary NH, lawmakers outlawed traditional Christmas celebrations hoping to prevent disorderly conduct. Among the things banned: halloing, huzzaing, firing guns, beating drums, throwing clubs at tame fowl and gambling.
  • In 1786 an armed mob of 200 men surrounded the Legislature and held its members captive. They were unhappy about the lack of currency in the state.
  • The ever-frugal Legislature didn’t install electricity in the Statehouse until 1910, long after many homes had it.
  • In 1920 women’s suffrage was won giving women the right to vote and hold office. The 1921 N.H. State Legislature had two women serving in the House of Representatives. (Click here for an amazing photo of the entire Legislature for 1921-22.)
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