Somersworth, New Hampshire
Strafford county. This town was formerly a part of Dover. It was incorporated in 1754. It is bounded N.W. by Rochester, N.E. by Salmon fall river, which divides it from Berwick, Me., and S.W. by Dover. It is 11 miles N. by W. from Portsmouth, and 45 E. from Concord.
The White Mountains may be seen from the summit of Otis' hill; also the steeples of the meeting houses in Portsmouth and the masts of the shipping in the harbor.
The soil of this town is well adapted to Indian corn, and almost all kinds of grain and grass. The tide flows on the east side of this town, four miles to Quamphegan falls. The river is of sufficient depth, till within a mile of said falls, for vessels of 250 tons. The S. part of this town is bounded on Cocheco river, from its confluence with the Piscataqua to the mouth of Fresh creek, near a mile, and from thence by said creek to its head, nearly a mile and a half.
There are but two ponds of note in this town: Humphrey's pond on the line of Dover, 200 rods long and 120 rods wide; and Cole's pond, 150 rods long and 75 wide.
Red and yellow ochre, also iron ore, have been found in this town. The ochre has been used in painting houses, and has been found to make a durable paint.
At Great Falls are extensive manufactories, and a large and beautiful village.
This town was settled between 1650 and 1700, by William Wentworth and others. Many of the first settlers were killed or taken captive and carried to Canada. Ebenezer Downs, who was a quaker, was taken by the Indians at Indigo hill, in 1724, and carried to Canada. He was grossly insulted and abused by them, because he refused to dance as the other prisoners did for the diversion of their savage captors.
Nicholas Pike, author of a popular system of arithmetic, was born in this town, October 6, 1743.
John Wentworth, son of the Hon. John Wentworth, was born in this town, July 14, 1745, and was graduated at Harvard college, 1768. He entered on the study of the law, and settled at Dover. When application was made to him to put an action in suit, it was his practice to see the parties or to write to them, stating the consequences of a legal process, and advising them to settle their differences between themselves. By this mode of procedure he was instrumental in preventing many vexatious lawsuits; and was entitled to the appellation of peace-maker. He was a member of the continental congress in the revolution, and died January 10, 1787.
Hon. Thomas Wallingford was born at Bradford, Mass., in 1697. He came to this town in the early part of his life; and by a diligent application to business, from a small beginning became one of the richest men in the province.
Ichabod Rollins was born in Somersworth in 1721. He was a judge of probate for the county of Strafford, and died January 31, 1800. Population, in 1830, 3,090.