The sufferings of the Pilgrims, from exposures by sea and
land, were such, that one-half the number died before the full opening
of the spring. Not unfrequently the hands and feet of the men, while
fishing in the bay or hunting in the woods, were frozen; and it is said
that the whole company was once reduced to a single pint of corn. Of
this each person had five kernels, which were parched and eaten. The
ruling elder, William Brewster, lived for months together without
bread. "Of so great labor it was to found New England." It was
fortunate for the colony that the natives of that region had, a few
years previous, been mostly swept away by a fatal disease, and thus the
land was left open for possession. Yet they by no means neglected to
hold themselves in readiness for defence. They chose the heroic Miles
Standish, on the 17th of February, captain of their military force, and
soon after mounted the great guns from "The Mayflower" on Burial Hill.
On the 16th of March (O. S.) they were surprised by the sudden
appearance of Samoset, a friendly Indian, who, stalking in
amongst them, cried out, "Welcome, Englishmen!" which was the first
word coming to them from a native since arriving on the coast. Through
the influence of this Indian, and Squanto, who had learned a
little of our language while a captive in England, the colony, on the
22d of March, entered into a treaty of peace with Massasoit,
the father of King Philip, which remained in force for half a century.
On the 5th of April "The Mayflower" left for England. Gov. Carver died,
William Bradford was chosen governor in his place, and Isaac Allerton
assistant; and on the 12th of May following, Edward Winslow and Mrs.
Susanna White were married, which was the first marriage in the colony.
"The spring," says Gov. Bradford, "now approaching, it pleased God the
mortalitie begane to cease amongst them, and ye sick and lame recovered
apace, which put, as it were, new life into them, though they had borne
their sadd afflictions with as much patience & contentedness as I
thinke any people could doe."
[fireplace, Standish House.]
Purchasing the interests of the London merchants in 1627,
the Plymouth colonists became the sole proprietors of the land, and
continued a distinct government until 1691, when, by the charter of
William and Mary, it was united with the Colony of Massachusetts and
The civil basis of the other settlements of the State was a patent,
signed by King James, Nov. 3, 1620, incorporating the Duke of Lenox and
others as the Council of Plymouth, and granting to it that part of
America which lies between the fortieth and forty-eighth degrees of
north latitude. Two years afterwards a settlement was commenced,
through the efforts of Mr. Thomas Weston, at Weymouth; and another, by
the influence of the Rev. John White, at Gloucester, 1624. This colony,
under the direction of Roger Conant, removed the next year to Naumkeag,
which was subsequently called Salem. At the same time a plantation was
begun by Capt. Wollaston at Merrymount, in Braintree.
On the 19th of March, 1628, the Council of Plymouth gave to Sir Henry
Rosewell and others a patent of an immense tract of land included by
two lines,— the one three miles north of the Merrimack, and the other
three miles south of the Charles River, — and extending from the
Atlantic westerly as far as the South Sea, or Pacific Ocean. By the
royal charter, which passed the seals March 4, 1629, granting this
land, a corporation was created under the name of "the Governor and
Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England."
In the year following, seventeen ships, with more than fifteen hundred
people, mostly Puritans or Nonconformists, and some of them persons of
distinction, arrived at Salem, with Mr. John Winthrop as governor of
the colony. They settled at Dorchester, Roxbury, Watertown, and
Cambridge; and during the summer of that year, attracted by a fine
spring of water at Shawmut, Mr. Winthrop and some other leading men
erected there a few cottages, and thus laid the foundation of the
metropolis of New England.
The ensuing winter was one of great severity. The houses of the
colonists were uncomfortable, and their clothing and provisions scanty.
Many perished by the cold, and others subsisted by shellfish, and the
roots and acorns which the wilderness provided. As many as two hundred
died before the closing of the year, among whom were the Rev. Francis
Higginson of Salem, his colleague, Mr. Skelton, and, soon after their
arrival, Mr. Isaac Johnson and his excellent lady Arbella, who, as one
has said, "left an earthly paradise in the family of an earldom to
encounter the sorrows of the wilderness, for the entertainments of a
pure worship in the house of God, and then immediately left that
wilderness for the heavenly paradise."
On the 19th of October, 1630, the first General Court was held, in
which it was enacted that those only should be made freemen who
belonged to some church in the colony, and that freemen alone should
have power to elect the governor and his assistants. The former law was
repealed in 1665. As emigration steadily increased, and as it was soon
found that the freemen could not easily assemble to transact business
in person, it was ordered, in 1634, that these should meet only for the
election of magistrates, who, with the representatives chosen by the
several towns, should have the power of enacting laws. And thus began
the system of democratic representation in the colony. Ten years later
the magistrates, or assistants, and the deputies, after much
discussion, were organized into separate branches in the government.
Though escaping from intolerance in the mother-country, the colonists
themselves, with all their virtues, had not learned from the gospel to
be tolerant; and, near the close of 1635, the Rev. Roger Williams,
Minister at Salem, and, two years later, Anne Hutchinson and the Rev.
John Wheelwright, were, for heretical opinions, banished from the State.
In 1643 the Colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut and New
Haven, entered into a confederation, which continued till 1686, for
mutual defence against the Indians and the Dutch, but under the
provision that each colony was to retain its own distinct and separate
The laws of the colony were, in 1648, collected, ratified and printed;
and, in the same year, Margaret Jones of Charlestown was tried and
executed as a witch. In 1652 a mint was established for coining money;
and the Province of Maine was made a county of Massachusetts, under the
name of Yorkshire.
By the year 1665 Massachusetts had settled many towns,— as Lynn,
Marblehead, Ipswich, Newbury, on the seaboard; Andover, Haverhill then
a (frontier settlement) Sudbury, Lancaster, Brookfield, in the
interior; and Deerfield, Northampton, Hadley and Springfield, in the
rich valley of the Connecticut River. The militia amounted to 4,000
foot-soldiers and 400 cavalry; and the shipping, to 132 vessels. By the
labors of Thomas Mayhew, John Eliot, and others, ten Indian towns had
been converted to Christianity.
The year 1675 is memorable for the breaking-out of King Philip's War,
during which the united colonies lost as many as 600 men, and had as
many as 600 dwelling-houses reduced to ashes. Philip, an able warrior,
whose Indian name was Metacomet, ruled the Wampanoags and
resided at Mount Hope, near Bristol, in Rhode Island. Observing the
encroachments of the English on the hunting-grounds, and instigated by
the execution of three of his tribe for the murder of John Sassamon, he
artfully secured the aid of other tribes, and commenced hostilities by
an attack June 24, on the people of Swansey while returning from
church, during which eight or nine of them were slain. In September,
seventy young men, the flower of Essex County were massacred and buried
in one grave at Bloody Brook, in Deerfield; and Northfield and Hadley
were attacked. In an encounter with the Narragansetts in a swamp in
Kingstown, R.I., in December, Gov. Winslow, with an army of 1,800
troops, killed and wounded about 1,000 Indians, burned 600 wigwams, and
thus seriously weakened Philip's power who, nevertheless, continued
during the winter his savage work, burning the towns of Lancaster,
Medfield, Marlborough, Groton, Sudbury, and murdering or carrying many
of the people into merciless captivity. But, tribe after tribe
deserting Philip, he returned to Mount Hope; and, his wife and son
being soon after captured, he said, "Now my heart breaks: I am ready to
die." On the 12th of August, 1676, Capt. Benjamin Church with a small
body of men came upon him. An Indian of the party shot him through the
heart; and thus fell the last king of the Wampanoags, and with
him the power of the Indians in New England.
The towns in New Hampshire which in 1641 had been annexed to the State
were in 1677 formed into a separate government; yet the divisional line
was not settled until 1743.
By a decision in chancery, June 28, 1684, the charter of Massachusetts
was abrogated; and, two years subsequent thereto, Sir Edmund Andros was
sent over as governor of New England. His arbitrary administration gave
great offence to the people; and, on the news of the accession of
Prince William to the throne in 1689, the citizens of Boston threw the
governor and fifty of his associates into prison, and restored the
former magistrates. In 1692 King William, granted a new charter by
which the Plymouth Colony was united with that of Massachusetts, and
under it Sir William Phips, a native of Woolwich, Me., was appointed
governor. He arrived in Boston May 14, 1692; and among the earlier acts
of his administration was the institution of a court for the trial of
certain persons accused of witchcraft.
This strange delusion, threw the colony into as much excitement as the
war with King Philip had done in 1675; and the apology of the clergy
who fell into it must be, that such men as Sir Matthew Hale, of the
King's Bench, regarded witches as in league with evil spirits, and
amenable to the supreme penalty of the law. It commenced in February
1692, in the family of the Rev. Samuel Parris of Danvers. His daughter
Elizabeth, and his niece Abigail Williams, began to act in a peculiar
way, and accused his servant Tituba of bewitching them; while John, her
husband, accused others, that he might save his wife. Commencing thus,
the delusion spread from family to family, through Beverly Andover,
Ipswich, Gloucester, and other places. Prosecutions were instituted,
unreliable testimony against the accused accepted; and, before the end
of September, nineteen persons were hung, and Giles Corey, who refused
to be tried by jury, was pressed to death.
At first the accusations were brought only against those of humble
rank; but when Mr. John Bradstreet, the lady of Sir William Phips, and
others in high standing began to be mentioned as in fellowship with
Satan, the opinion of the rulers changed: a special court was held, and
nearly a hundred and fifty persons then in prison for witchcraft were
At the commencement of the seventeenth century, most of the learned men
who colonized the State had passed away; and, on account of the labor
the reduction of the wilderness demanded, but very few had risen to
fill their places. The style and spirit of the pulpit had declined, and
the people had almost lost the art of psalm-singing in the churches;
yet the love of liberty, as evinced by the steady opposition to the
tyranny of the royal governors, was year by year becoming stronger.
In what was called Queen Anne's War, a party of French and Indians,
under Heptel de Rouville, attacked, in the spring of 1704, the town of
Deerfield, reduced it to ashes, killed forty-seven of the inhabitants,
and led one hundred, among whom was the Rev. John Williams and his
family, into captivity. Port Royal was captured in 1610 by a force
mostly from this State. The name of the place was changed to Annapolis,
and Acadia was annexed to the British realm. This war, closed by the
Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, was followed by a peace of nearly thirty
years. During this period many new settlements were made in the
interior of the State, and towns incorporated.
King George's War commenced in 1744; and, early in the following year,
an army under the command of William Pepperell, to which this State
contributed more than 3,250 men, laid siege to Louisburg, a French
fortress of great strength on the Island of Cape Breton and, aided by
an English fleet, under Sir Peter Warren, on the 16th of June effected
a capture of the garrison. The expense of the expedition was met by the
British Government; and the money ($612, 330.41 in silver and copper)
arrived in 1749 at Boston, where it was deposited in the State
treasury. The war was terminated by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in
1748, and the acquisitions of territory made in the contest were
mutually restored. The boundaries between the French and English
colonies were, however, still undefined; and the struggles for
territorial dominion along the frontiers broke out into open
hostilities in 1754, and resulted in the capture of Quebec, Sept. 13,
1739, and the establishment of the Saxon domination in America. During
this war, about a thousand of the Acadians were, through the agency of
Gen. John Winslow, transported to this State, but many of them
subsequently returned to France.
In order to meet the expenses incurred in this war, it was proposed by
the British ministry to lay a tax upon the colonies; and this was
attempted by the Stamp Act, passed in 1765, requiring stamps to be put
on bonds, deeds, and other printed matter.
This act of tyranny was denounced by the patriotic leaders of the State
and country, who declared that taxation without representation was
unconstitutional and iniquitious. The obnoxious act was repealed the
following year: but in 1767 another bill for levying duties on paper,
tea, and glass, became a law; to which and other measures the
opposition was so strong, that several men-of-war and about four
thousand British troops were sent the ensuing year to Boston to protect
the authorities, and enforce the execution of obnoxious acts of
Parliament. On the 5th of March, 1770, a collision occurred between the
troops and some citizens, in which three of the latter were killed, and
several wounded; and in December, 1773, a party of men disguised as
Indians boarded some British ships laden with tea in Boston Harbor, and
threw the contents into the sea.
On receiving an account of this. Parliament passed, March 31, 1774, the
Boston Port Bill, which prohibited intercourse by water with the town,
and removed the custom-house to Salem.
Gen. Thomas Gage the newly appointed governor, arrived in Boston, May
13, 1774, and occupied the town with four regiments of British
soldiers. On the nineteenth of April, 1775, he sent a detachment to
destroy some military stores at Concord; and on their way occurred the
battle of Lexington, from which the opening of the drama of the
Revolution may be dated.
"On the 10th of June," says Mr. Lossing, "Gage issued a
proclamation declaring all Americans in arms to be rebels and traitors,
and offering a free pardon to all who should return to their
allegiance, except those arch-offenders, John Hancock and Samuel Adams.
These he intended to seize, and send to England to be hanged. The
vigilant patriots, aware of Gage's hostile intentions, strengthened
their intrenchments on Boston Neck: and, on the evening of the 16th of
June, Gen. Ward sent Col. Prescott, with a detachment of one thousand
men, to take possession of and fortify Bunker's Hill, within
cannon-shot of the city; and, laboring with pick and spade all that
night, they had cast up a strong redoubt of earth on the summit of that
eminence before the British were aware of their presence. Gage and his
officers were greatly astonished at the apparition of this military
work at the dawn of the 17th.
"The British, generals perceived the necessity for driving the
Americans from this commanding position before they should plant a
heavy battery there; for, in that event, Boston must be evacuated.
Before sunrise (June 17, 1775) a heavy cannonade was opened on the
redoubt from a battery on Copp's Hill in Boston and from shipping in
the Harbor, but with very little effect. Hour after hour, the patroits
[sic] worked on in the erection of their fort; and at noonday their
toil was finished, and they laid aside their implements of labor for
knapsack and muskets. Gen. Howe, with Gen. Pigot and three thousand
men, crossed the Charles River at the same time to Morton's Point, at
the foot of the eastern slopes of Breed's Hill, formed his troops into
two columns, and marched slowly to attack the redoubt. Although the
British commenced firing cannons soon after they had begun to ascend
the hill, and the great guns of the ships and the battery on Copp's
Hill poured out an incessant storm upon the redoubt, the Americans kept
perfect silence until they had approached within close musket-shot.
Hardly an American could be seen by the slowly approaching enemy; yet
behind those mounds of earth lay fifteen hundred determined men.
"When the British column was within ten rods of the redoubt,
Prescott shouted "Fire'' and instantly whole platoons of the assailants
were prostrated by well-aimed bullets. The survivors fell back in great
confusion, but were soon rallied for a second attack. They were again
repulsed, with heavy loss; and, while scattering in all directions,
Gen. Clinton arrived with a few follower's, and joining Howe as a
volunteer. The fugitives were rallied, and they rushed to the redoubt
in the face of a galling fire. For ten minutes the battle raged,
fearfully; and, in the meanwhile, Charlestown, at the foot of the
eminence, having been fired by a carcass from Copp's Hill, sent up
dense columns of smoke, which completely enveloped the belligerents.
The firing in the redoubt grew weaker; for the ammunition of the
Americans became exhausted. It ceased; and then the British scaled the
bank, and compelled the Americans to retreat, while they fought
fiercely with clubbed muskets. They fled across Charlestown Neck,
gallantly covered by Putnam and a few brave men; and, under that
commander, took position on Prospect Hill, and fortified it. The
British took possession of Bunker's Hill, and erected a fortification
there. There was absolutely no victory in the case. The Americans had
lost, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, about four hundred and fifty
men. The loss of the British, from like causes, was almost eleven
hundred. This was the first real battle of the Revolution, and lasted
almost two hours."
On the second day following, Gen. Washington assumed the command of the
American army then lying at Cambridge; and erecting a line of batteries
from Winter Hill, near the Mystic river, through Cambridge, Brookline,
and Roxbury, as far as Dorchester Heights, he held the British forces
beseiged in Boston until Mar. 17, 1776, when they set sail for Halifax,
and the war was transferred from our soil to that of other States. From
the beginning of this grand struggle for civil freedom until its close
by a definitive treaty of peace signed at Paris, Sept. 3, 1783,
Massachusetts continued. by her voice, in council, by her efforts in
raising men and money, as well as by the valor of her sons upon the
battle-field, to sustain the cause of liberty. Of the forty thousand
soldiers in the American army in 1776, ten thousand were her sons; and,
by her steady arm, one-fourth of the burden of the entire war was borne.
In 1780 the State framed and adopted a constitution, declaring that
"all men are born equal;" and under this provision it was decided by
the Supreme Court of the State that slavery was abolished. John Hancock
was elected the first governor under the Constitution in 1780, and held
his office until 1785, when he was succeeded by James Bowdoin.
In the ensuing year occurred an insurrection called "Shay's Rebellion,"
which agitated the people, and alarmed the government. It grew out of
the scarcity of money, caused by the interruption in trade and the
drain upon the finances of the country, by the war.
A convention of the disaffected met at Hatfield on the 22nd of August,
1786, and made known their grievances. Soon afterwards a body of about
1,500 insurgents, led by Daniel Shays, who had been a captain in the
Revolution, assembled at Northampton, and prevented the sitting of the
courts; they also, in December, took possession of the court-house in
Springfield, and interrupted the proceedings. In January, 1787, an army
of 4,000 men was raised by the State, to suppress the insurrection.
Gen. William Shepard, with one part of this force, repelled the advance
of the insurgents upon the arsenal at Springfield, Jan. 25; and Gen.
Benjamin Lincoln, with another part of the army, followed the
retreating rebels to Petersham, where 150 were made prisoners, and the
remainder fled. Fourteen of those taken were tried, and condemned to
death, but afterwards set at liberty.
In convention, Feb. 6, 1789, by a vote of 187 to 168, the State
ratified and adopted the Federal Constitution of the United States, and
warmly sustained the administration of George Washington, the first
To the embargo laid upon the vessels of the country in 1808, to the
policy of President Madison and the war of 1812, the State was
generally opposed. The loss of commerce, revenue, and the expenses of
the war, were seriously felt: and the news of the treaty of peace,
signed at Ghent, Feb. 18, 1815, was received with acclamations and joy
by all classes of the people. In 1820 a convention was held for the
revision of the Constitution; and this year Maine, from 1692 till then
a province of Massachusetts, became an independent State.
At the opening of the rebellion in 1861, the State responded promptly
to the demand for men, during the continuance of that ensanguined
contest, sent forth, under the lead of John Andrew, governor from 1861
to 1865, regiment after regiment, store after store, ship after ship,
to meet the exigency. Wherever there was fighting to be done, — at Bull
Bun, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Winchester, Chattanooga, Gettysburg,
Coal Harbor,— there was the old Bay State most nobly represented. The
whole number of men furnished by the State during the war (being a
surplus of 13,492 over every call) was 159,254. The whole number of
colored troops was 6,039. Since the closing of the war of the
Rebellion, which resulted in the liberation of the slave from bondage,—
a long-cherished aspiration of the State,— it has enjoyed unexampled
prosperity; and in its varied mechanical industries directed by
intelligence, in its liberal appropriations for its well-conducted
institutions of learning and benevolence, in its multiplied facilities
for intercommunication, in its regard to health, temperance, and
integrity, in its civil and social order, and in its steady aim for the
good, the grand, the beautiful and the true, it gives assurance that it
will still maintain its position as one of the leading States of the
Since the war, legislation has, in general, been more strenously
directed to securing closer conformity with ethical standards in
politics, business and social relations. In this period there was much
fluctation in the treatment of the liquor traffic until 1875, when the
prohibitory law was repealed and a license law substituted, with local
option in regard to issuing licenses. In 1869, the district school
system was abolished, and town management by a school committee
substituted,— by which more uniformly good instruction is secured, with
a more economical expenditure of the public money. The notable event of
the year was the "Peace Jubilee," in Boston, in June. In 1873 occurred
the world's "Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival," also
held in Boston. In October of the same year a great fire consumed the
buildings from a tract of about sixty-five acres, in the chief business
section of Boston. The Mill River disaster, in which there was such
destruction of property and life by the bursting of a dam, occurred in
the same year. In 1874 came the death of Senator Sumner. In 1875 were
celebrated the centennials of Lexington and Concord, of Bunker Hill,
and of Washington's taking command of the army at Cambridge. In the
autumn died Vice-President Wilson. In 1879 a law was enacted admitting
women to vote for members of school committees,— the first decided
triumph of the women suffragists in Massachusetts.
THE COUNTIES, ALPHABETICALLY
[with their towns, a county map, and some comments.]
cock-eyed county map from the US Census
Barnstable County (Cape Cod)
There are 15 towns — Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster,
Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich,
Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown,
Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet,
The first of the list is the shire town.
Berkshire County overview
The county embraces 32 towns, which are Adams,
Cheshire, Clarksburg, Dalton,
Egremont, Florida, Great
Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough,
Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, North Adams, Otis,
Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy,
Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington,
West Stockbridge, Williamstown and Windsor.
Pittsfield is the seat of justice for the county.
Bristol County overview
Bristol County contains three cities, — New
Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton, — and seventeen towns; these being
Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Easton,
Fairhaven, Freetown, Mansfield,
North Attleborough, Norton, Raynham,
Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset,
Swansea (Swansey) and Westport.
The courts are held at New Bedford and Taunton.
County (Martha's Vineyard and Elizabeth
The towns embraced in this county — six in number — are Chilmark, Cottage
City, Edgartown, Gay Head, and Tisbury,
on Martha's Vineyard, and Gosnold,
comprising the Elizabeth Islands.
Edgartown is the county seat.
[West Tisbury was divided from Tisbury in 1892. Cottage City became Oak
Bluffs in 1907. Gay Head became Aquinnah in 1998.]
The county has six cities and twenty-nine towns; the first being Gloucester, Haverhill,
Newburyport and Salem; and the towns, Amesbury, Andover,
Beverly, Boxford, Bradford,
Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton,
Ipswich, Lynnfield, Manchester,
Marblehead, Merrimac (Merrimack), Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury,
North Andover, Peabody, Rockport,
Rowley, Salisbury, Saugus,
Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham
and West Newbury.
Salem, Lawrence and Newburyport are the shire towns.
[Manchester is now known as Manchester-by-the-Sea, though this seems to
Franklin County overview
It embraces 26 towns, namely: Ashfield,
Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont,
Colrain (Coleraine), Conway, Deerfield,
Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden,
New Salem, Northfield, Orange,
Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick,
Wendell and Whately.
Greenfield is the capital town.
Hampden County overview
It contains two cities and twenty towns. The first are Springfield and Holyoke; and the latter Agawam, Blandford,
Brimfield, Chester, Chicopee,
Granville, Hampden, Holland,
Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Montgomery, Palmer,
Russell, Southwick, Tolland,
West Springfield and Wilbraham.
Springfield is the county seat.
[East Longmeadow split from Longmeadow in 1894.]
Hampshire County overview
It now embraces one city (Northampton
— also the county seat) and 22 towns. The latter are as follows: Amherst, Belchertown,
Chesterfield, Cummington, Easthampton, Enfield,
Hatfield, Huntington, Middlefield, Pelham,
Plainfield, Prescott, Southampton,
South Hadley, Ware, Westhampton,
[Dana (in Worcester County), Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott are
extinct towns. They were drowned to make the Quabbin reservoir.]
Middlesex County overview
The county contains seven cities — Cambridge,
Newton, Somerville, Waltham
and Woburn. There are forty-seven towns,
viz.: Acton, Arlington,
Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough,
Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford,
Dunstable, Everett, Framingham,
Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington,
Lincoln, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford,
North Reading, Pepperell, Reading,
Sherborn, Shirley, Stoneham,
Stowe (Stow), Sudbury, Tewksbury,
Townsend, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Watertown, Wayland, Westford,
Weston, Wilmington, and Winchester.
The shire towns are Cambridge and Lowell.
Nantucket County overview
One town: Nantucket.
The county contains one city — Quincy,
and twenty-six towns — whose names are as follows: Avon, Bellingham,
Braintree, Brookline, Canton,
Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, Foxborough,
Franklin, Holbrook, Hyde Park, Medfield,
Norfolk, Norwood, Randolph,
Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole,
Wellesley, Weymouth and Wrentham.
Dedham is the shire town.
[Hyde Park was annexed to Boston on January 1, 1912.]
Plymouth County overview
There are now 26 towns and one city, — Brockton.
The towns are Abington, Bridgewater, Carver,
Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover,
Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston,
Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield,
Mattapoisett, Middleborough, Norwell, Pembroke,
Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester,
Rockland, Scituate, Wareham,
West Bridgewater and Whitman.
The shire town is Plymouth.
Suffolk County overview
The county consists of the cities of Boston
and Chelsea, and the towns of Revere and Winthrop
— the first mentioned city being the capital of the county and of the
Worcester County overview
Division after division has been made in the original towns, until
there are now 57, and two cities, — Worcester
and Fitchburg; the first being the
capital. The towns are Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton,
Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton,
Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick,
Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester,
Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, New Braintree, Northborough, Northbridge, North Brookfield, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Petersham,
Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston,
Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling,
Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton,
Westborough, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westminster and Winchendon.
[Millville was incorporated in 1916, splitting from Blackstone. East
Brookfield is the State's newest town, splitting from Brookfield in
1920. Dana was flooded over to make the Quabbin Reservoir in the