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.
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