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About Our Government

Amoskeag Bridge and Fall, Manchester, NH
Amoskeag Bridge and Falls

Manchester's rich history began in 1621 with a much disputed land grant to Captain John Mason. The first settlement was known as Derryfield and received its charter in 1751 from Colonial New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth. On June 13, 1810, Derryfield changed its name to Manchester to honor the vision of industrialist Samuel Blodget who planned to make Derryfield the “Manchester of America”. The population at that time was 615.

In 1846, residents petitioned the State of New Hampshire to have the Town of Manchester become the City of Manchester.  The first mayoral election occurred in September 1846, and Hiram Brown was elected.  According to Manchester's Charter, a Board of Mayor and Aldermen governs this City. While considered a strong mayoral form of government, the Board holds much power on policy and budget. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has consistently endeavored and succeeded in supporting growth of the City with quality of life for its residents. There are twelve wards in the City, which elect local and state governmental representatives.

Much of Manchester's growth can be attributed to the rise and industrial strength of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company whose production of cotton goods was the highest in the world at the turn of the 20th century.  The Amoskeag Manufacturing Board initially designed the streets, lots and parks of this great City. Many of the City's buildings were originally owned by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company and were later donated for public uses.

The City of Manchester has grown to a population of 110,378 (in 2013).  In 1997, the City  embarked upon and completed a $6.3 million dollar restoration of its City Hall. Ten years later, in 2007, the first "green" roof in Manchester was installed on the roof of the City Hall connector.

As the largest city in New Hampshire Manchester has been visited by almost every candidate for the Presidency, from Abraham Lincoln to the current President of the United States. The City of Manchester has had its share of economic reversals but now boasts of a new civic center and baseball field for a semi-professional team, an active downtown, shopping malls, historic and cultural activities, quality educational programs and good neighborhoods. Manchester has been ranked by US News & World Report and Money Magazine as One of the Top Ten Cities to Live In".