DOVER, a city and the county seat of Strafford county, New Hampshire, U.S.A., on the Cochecho river, at the head of navigation, 10 m. N.W. of Portsmouth. Pop. (1890) 12,790; (1900) 13,207, of whom 3298 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 13,247. Land area, 26·4 sq m. It is at the intersection of two branches of the Boston & Maine railway, and is served by several interurban electric lines. The street plan is irregular. Dover has a fine city hall of red brick and freestone; a public library containing (1907) 34,000 volumes, the Wentworth hospital; the Wentworth home for the aged, a children’s and an orphans’ home. The Strafford Savings Bank is said to be the largest and oldest savings institution in the state. Dover has long had a considerable commerce, both by rail and by water, that by water being chiefly in coal and building materials. The navigation of the Cochecho river has been greatly improved by the Federal government, at a cost between 1829 and 1907 of about $300,000, and in 1909 there was a navigable channel, 60-75 ft. wide and 7 ft. deep at mean low water, from Dover to the mouth of the river; the mean range of tides is 6·8 ft. The Cochecho river falls 311 ft. within the city limits and furnishes water-power for factories; among the manufactures are textiles, boots and shoes, leather belting, sash, doors and blinds, carriages, machinery and bricks. In 1905 Dover ranked fourth among the manufacturing cities of the state, and first in manufactures of woollens; the value of the city’s total factory product in that year was $6,042,901. Dover is one of the two oldest cities in the state. In May 1623 a settlement was established by Edward Hilton on Dover Point, about 5 m. S.E. of the Cochecho Falls; the present name was adopted in 1639, and with the development of manufacturing and trading interests the population gradually removed nearer the falls; Hilton and his followers were Anglicans, but in 1633 they were joined by several Puritan families under Captain Thomas Wiggin, who settled on Dover Neck (1 m. above Dover Point), which for 100 years was the business centre of the town. As the settlement was outside the jurisdiction of any province, and as trouble arose between the two sects, a plantation covenant was drawn up and signed in 1640 by forty-one of the inhabitants. Dissensions, however, continued, and in 1641, by the will of the majority, Dover passed under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts and so remained for nearly half a century. The town, between 1675 and 1725, suffered greatly from Indian attacks, particularly from that of the 28th of June 1689 at Cochecho Falls. Dover was first chartered as a city in 1855. Within the original territory of the town were included Newington, set off in 1713, Somersworth (1729), Durham (1732), Medbury (1755), Lee, set off from Durham in 1766, and Rollinsford, set off from Somersworth in 1849.
See Jeremy Belknap, History of New Hampshire (Philadelphia, 1784–1792); and Rev. Dr A. H. Quint’s Historical Memoranda of Persons and Places in Old Dover, N.H., edited by John Scales (Dover, 1900).