Wentworth, Benning

Wentworth, Benning, 1696–1770, American colonial governor, b. Portsmouth, N.H. A leading merchant of Portsmouth, he served in the colonial assembly and council, and, when New Hampshire was established as a separate province, he was appointed (1741) governor; he served until 1767. With no legal justification he made vast grants of land W of the Connecticut River in the region claimed by New York, including among the beneficiaries his friends, his relatives, and himself. The New Hampshire Grants (later the state of Vermont) thus became a much-disputed area. Bennington, Vt., took its name from his first name.

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