New England and the 13 colonies were not always known as the names we have today.

Case in point, Connecticut was named 'Quinnehtukqut' after the Algonquin name meaning "beside the long tidal river", according to It was called that until it was "Americanized".

Did you know that before New Hampshire was a state, it was a fishing colony long known for its pristine countryside and the Piscataqua River. There, London fish merchants "settled near the river’s mouth at a place they called Little Harbor or 'Pannaway,' now the town of Rye, where they erected salt-drying fish racks and a 'factory' or stone house," according to

New Hampshire and fishing have always gone hand in hand, but did you know before New Hampshire was officially titled, it was a part of the country where men and women came to see undeveloped land and enjoy its spectacular fishing and scenery?

Mick Haupt via
Mick Haupt via

In fact, Captain John Smith of Virginia loved the solitude of this northern area so much that he dubbed it 'North Virginia', which stuck for a while. Captain John Mason was also a proponent to keeping the land "free of high rents and extorted fees", just as Captain Smith wanted, and thus the origin of the "Live Free or Die" attitude (not the state motto, which wasn't until much later).

The area stayed as 'North Virginia' until the King James dubbed it 'New England' and agreed to keep the land free as long as it always remained subject to English sovereignty.  We know how that ended.

Granite Staters could have been know as North Virginians, but thank goodness John Mason was allowed to rename the area New Hampshire, after his hometown of Hampshire, England.

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