Preface & Contents


This is a collection of five of the earliest maps of Cheshire County, and a narrative history of the township grants. The original maps were made in the period 1753-1816, when the boundaries and names of our towns were being determined. These maps, with one exception, are details taken from much larger maps of the Province -and later the State -of New Hampshire.

The maps can be found at the Library of Congress, The New Hampshire Historical Society, and the New Hampshire State Library. Most of them are rare, and one, the “Plan For a New County,” has been virtually unknown until now. This publication marks the first time that these maps of Cheshire County have been made conveniently available.

In the history and map commentary that follow, the words “town” and “township” are used in their traditional New England sense, describing a specific geographic area upon which local government is based. Typically thirty-six square miles in area, the towns were given or “granted” by the Provincial government to groups of individuals whose responsibility it was to settle and improve the land.

The bounds of Cheshire County that we recognize today were not set until 1827, after the last of these maps was made. In this portfolio, however, maps and text refer to Cheshire County as if it had had its modem boundaries from the time of first settlement.



The Township Grants and Settlement of Cheshire County

Map Commentaries

Map 1   1753    New Hampshire’s Western Frontier
Map 2   1761    Southwestern New Hampshire
Map 3   1767    Plan For a New County
Map 4   1784    Cheshire County
Map 5   1816    Cheshire County References


Map 1   1753    New Hampshire’s Western Frontier
Map 2   1761    Southwestern New Hampshire
Map 3   1767    Plan For a New County
Map 4   1784    Cheshire County
Map 5   1816    Cheshire County