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Exeter History
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Early Exeter History 1638-1887
Written by Edward Chase, Jr.   

From Exeter, New Hampshire: 1888-1988, by Nancy Carnegie Merrill
Published by Peter E. Randall, Portsmouth, NH, 1988

Exeter is a small town in southeastern New Hampshire centered around the falls where the fresh-water Exeter River meets the salty, tidal Squamscott. The location of an early settlement at the fall line is probably no coincidence because the natural resources found there suited the needs of the early settlers so admirably.

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Exeter is a Seaport
Written by Carol Walker Aten   

From: Cross-Grained & Wiley Waters: A Guide to the Piscataqua Maritime Region, Jeffrey W. Bolster, Editor, published 2002, Peter Randall Publisher, Portsmouth

EXETER WAS A SEAPORT. Today it is hard to imagine the marshy, silty banks of the salty Squamscott River were once the edges of a busy tidal water that for two centuries floated schooners, wherries, and gundalows back and forth to the Atlantic Ocean. But it began even longer ago than that.

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Exeter’s Alewives
Written by Carol Walker Aten   

From: Cross-Grained & Wiley Waters: A Guide to the Piscataqua Maritime Region, Jeffrey W. Bolster, Editor, published 2002, Peter Randall Publisher, Portsmouth

THE WORD ALEWIFE* (Alosa pseudoharengus) may be a corruption of the seventeenth century aloofe, thought by some, debated by many, to be a Native American name translated as "bony fish." Indeed, the fish was an important source of food and bait to the Wampanoag and Squamscott Indians who inhabited the Piscataqua thousands of years ago, as it was to the early colonists who settled Exeter in the 1630s.

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A Brief History of African-Americans in Exeter
Written by Carol Walker Aten   

After Exeter was officially settled in 1638 by British immigrants, the Native American Indians of the area-Squamscott Indians, a sub-tribe of the southern New Hampshire Penacooks and an Algonquian people, were displaced. A second wave of immigrants followed, mostly British in origin, many who established the milling industries on the river or trades connected with the shipping industry. As some of these settlers established their own wealth, they accumulated enslaved people-fifty lived in town according to census records from 1767.

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