Calendar & News
Library & Genealogy
Give to HSCC
Monadnock Moment No. 153
Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation - 1763 to 18270
The Ninth State
A grand celebration was held in Keene, New Hampshire on June 30, 1788. A parade of horsemen traveled to Swanzey in the morning and returned to Keene at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Upon their return they were joined by other local citizens and were accompanied by music as they paraded through the town.
The group proceeded to a small hill in the village where the Reverend Aaron Hall presented an eloquent speech. After the speech, thirteen toasts were drunk. Following each toast, guns were fired and the crowd cheered. At 8:00 o'clock in the evening a forty foot bonfire was ignited and fireworks were exhibited. The day ended with an elegant ball.
Why were Keene's 1,300 residents indulging in such a grand celebration? Nine days earlier the state of New Hampshire had voted, by the narrow margin of 57 to 47, to adopt the Constitution of the United States. Although Cheshire County had voted 11 to 10 against ratification, Keene's representative, the Reverend Aaron Hall, had voted in favor. New Hampshire was the ninth and deciding state to vote favorably on the document. As a result, this new federal constitution became the law of the land. The people of Keene must have realized that they were commemorating a momentous occasion in the nation's history as they celebrated the new federal government more than 220 years ago.
History Packet No. 6 has a full copy of Rev. Hall's speech and other biographical information.