The forests themselves have crept backward, step by step, at the point of the all-conquering plow. Populous villages and productive farms cover the ancient territory. Hampton-built vessels ply the seas; mill wheels whirr; stability is written everywhere.
Hampton has long since ceased to exert the influence formerly wielded. From her proud position as one-fourth of the province, she has become only one of 167 towns ; but on the other hand, out of her territory have sprung six flourishing towns and parts of three more. The balance may, after all, be in her favor. By the state census ordered in 1786, returns from 138 towns gave a population of 95,801. Kingston was one of those that failed to report. Reckoning her population the same as in 1775, and making no deduction for the district south of the Shapley line, we find the growth of old Hampton in the following figures:
|Population of||Kingston, (census of 1775)||961|
|Population of||East Kingston||420|
|Population of||Hawke (Danville)||301|
|Population of||Hampton Falls||569|
|Population of||North Hampton||659|
How large a number to add to the four and a half thousand out of Sandown, Seabrook and Rye, it is impossible to tell; probably but few from the first; the most thickly settled part of Seabrook; and no inconsiderable population along the beach and on the fertile soil of Rye.
The "silent city," laid out in "the Ring," about 1653, has also become populous, and a new enclosure will soon be needed; while many, who used to walk these streets and bear their part in the affairs of town and province, lie in unmarked graves on battle fields, or beneath the ocean waves.
The province has become the state. The seat of government, first at Portsmouth, on several occasions in Hampton, latterly at Exeter, is now permanently removed to Concord; and, though financial distress is still apparent, the towns have repudiated the paper currency scheme, and, by an honest policy, laid the foundation for future prosperity.
To crown all, the British flag no longer waves over the land; the colonies have burst their fetters, and have become a nation.