Portsmouth-born John Langdon was elected New Hampshire's first United States senator. Langdon, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a signer, was serving as president (governor) of the state at the time of his election.
Paine Wingate, born in Amesbury, Massachusetts, but later of Stratham, New Hampshire, was elected New Hampshire's second U.S. senator.
The Senate convened for the first time at Federal Hall in New York City. New Hampshire senators John Langdon and Paine Wingate both took their seats, but because only eight senators were present, there were not enough to constitute a quorum. The body was forced to adjourn each day until April 6, when it achieved its first quorum of 12 members, out of the eligible 22.
The Senate drew lots to determine the three classes of senators. Senator John Langdon was assigned the Class 3 seat (with a six-year term to expire in 1795) while Senator Paine Wingate was assigned the Class 2 seat (with a four-year term to expire in 1793).
Vice President John Adams administered the oath to support the Constitution to all senators present, including John Langdon and Paine Wingate. The statute regulating the taking of an oath, mandated by Article VI of the Constitution, was enacted on June 1, 1789.
The Senate elected Samuel Livermore as its president pro tempore. Born in Waltham, Massachusetts, but later of Holderness, New Hampshire, Livermore was elected president pro tem for a second time on December 2, 1799.
Senator Levi Woodbury of Portsmouth became chairman of the Committee on Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation), serving until 1831. In 1841 Woodbury served in the Senate again as the state's Class 2 senator (1841-1847).
New Hampshire-born John Shackford was elected Senate sergeant at arms, serving until his death in 1837.
John Parker Hale of Dover began his Senate service as the first United States senator elected on an antislavery ticket.
New Hampshire's Class 3 senator, Charles Gordon Atherton of Nashua, became chairman of the Committee on Finance and served until 1849. In March 1853 Atherton began a term as the state's Class 2 senator but died in November.
Jared Warner Williams, born in West Woodstock, Connecticut, but later of Lancaster, New Hampshire, was appointed to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Charles G. Atherton on November 15. Williams took his Senate seat on December 12 but questions were raised as to whether his appoointment expired when the state legislature met, or only when it elected a successor. After a committee investigation, the Senate adopted a resolution in August 1854 declaring that "the right of representation under the appointment" had expired. The vacant seat was filled on July 30, 1855, with the election of former senator John P. Hale.
A professor of mathematics, astronomy, and meteorology at Dartmouth College, James Willis Patterson of Hanover began his Senate service. Patterson became one of eight senators implicated in the 1873 Crédit Mobilier scandal and although a Senate committee report recommended his expulsion, no final action was taken because his elected term expired.
The Senate elected John Robert French as its sergeant at arms, a position he held for the next 10 years. French, originally of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, had recently served as a United States representative from Edenton, North Carolina.
Charles Henry Bell of Exeter was appointed to fill the term that began on March 4, a vacancy caused by the state legislature not being in session to elect a replacement for Senator Bainbridge Wadleigh. Charles Bell, a relative of former New Hampshire senators Samuel Bell (1823-1835) and James Bell (1855-1857), presented his election credentials to the Senate on March 18 but they were immediately challenged. In April the Committee on Privileges and Elections reported that Bell was not entitled to his seat but the Senate, after much debate, voted 35 to 28 to seat him. For all the controversy, Bell served just three months before a successor was elected for the remainder of the term.
Senator Henry William Blair of Plymouth and later Manchester became chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor (today's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions), serving until 1891.
Henry W. Blair was appointed to fill the Senate term that began March 4, a vacancy caused by the state legislature not being in session to elect a replacement for the seat previously held by Blair himself, who had not been a candidate for renomination. On June 17, Blair was elected to the full term. After his Senate service Blair returned to the House of Representatives for one term.
A marble bust of the nation's first vice president, John Adams, was placed above the rostrum in the Senate Chamber. Sculpted by New Hampshire-born artist Daniel Chester French, the work was one of the original five commissioned for the Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection.
Jacob Harold Gallinger began his 27 and 1/2 years of service in the Senate, a record for a senator from New Hampshire. Born in Cornwall, Ontario, Gallinger practiced medicine in Concord before entering politics.
The Senate moved to accept a marble statue of Revolutionary War Major General John Stark, born in Londonderry but later of Concord, and a marble statue of Salisbury, New Hampshire, native Daniel Webster for placement in Congress's National Statuary Hall Collection.
Senator Jacob H. Gallinger was appointed chairman of the Republican Conference's Committee on Committees, serving until 1913. On March 5, 1913, Gallinger was elected Republican Conference chairman, serving until 1918.
Deadlocked over the election of a new president pro tempore, the Senate agreed to a system in which Republican Jacob H. Gallinger would alternate presiding in the post with Democrat Augustus Bacon of Georgia and three other Republican senators.
Born in West Pembroke, Maine, but later of East Concord and Concord, Henry Styles Bridges began the first of his five Senate terms and served a total of 24 years and 11 months before his death in 1961. During his tenure in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Bridges opposed President Roosevelt's attempts to reorganize the Supreme Court and used his position as ranking Republican to block New Deal measures.
Beginning in 1947, Styles Bridges, a Republican Party stalwart, served in a variety of leadership positions during his 24 years in the Senate: chairman of the Republican Conference Committee on Personnel (1947-1953); chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (1951-1953); Senate minority leader (1952-1953); and chairman of the Republican Policy Committee (1955-1963).
Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, but later of Temple, New Hampshire, Senator Charles William Tobey became chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency (today's Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs), serving until 1949.
Senator Charles W. Tobey became chairman of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce (today's Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation) and served until his death in July of that year.
Norris H. Cotton of Lebanon took his seat in the Senate, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Senator Charles W. Tobey on July 24, 1953. Reelected to three full Senate terms, Cotton once worked for former New Hampshire senator George H. Moses and served a second, brief interim Senate appointment in 1975.
Beginning in 1963, Senator Norris H. Cotton served in a variety of party leadership positions during his Senate tenure: chairman of the Republican Conference Committee on Personnel (1963-1967), Republican Conference secretary (1971-1972), and Republican Conference chairman (1973-1974).
John Anthony Durkin, born in Bookfield, Massachusetts, but later of Manchester, New Hampshire, began his Senate service. The November 1974 general election between Republican Louis Crosby Wyman and Durkin for the seat of retiring senator Norris H. Cotton resulted in the closest election in Senate history. Durkin won the initial recount by ten votes but a second recount awarded Wyman the seat by two votes. In December, Durkin contested the result in the Senate and on July 30, 1975, the full Senate voted to declare the seat vacant. New Hampshire scheduled a special election for September 16, 1975, which Durkin won by over 27,000 votes.
The Senate passed a resolution formally naming room S-113 in the Capitol the Styles Bridges Room.
Senator Robert C. Smith became chairman of the Select Committee on Ethics, serving until 1999. In November 1999, following the death of Rhode Island senator John H. Chafee, Smith became chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, serving until 2001.
Republican senator Robert C. Smith announced that he would change his party affiliation to Independent. The following November, however, Smith announced that he was changing back to the Republican Party. Smith noted that because his home town in New Hampshire had not yet changed his voter registration, he had technically never left the Republican Party.
Senator Judd Gregg of Greenfield and Rye became chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, serving until 2005. That year Gregg became chairman of the Committee on the Budget, serving until 2007.
Senator John Sununu, born in Boston but later of Bedford, New Hampshire, received his first Golden Gavel Award for presiding over the Senate for 100 hours in a single session. Sununu received a second gavel in 2006.