Belknap is known as the founder of the Massachusetts Historical
Society, America's prototype for such organizations. He ministered
in Dover, New Hampshire, and Boston, Massachusetts. In 1775 he
was chaplain for American troops in Cambridge.
His writings include a History of New Hampshire, 1784-92
and A Discourse Intended to Commemorate the Discovery of America
by Columbus. Alexis de Tocqueville declared Belknap America's
best native historian.