MASSACHUSETTS, one of the United States, so-called from a tribe of Indians, formerly at Barnstable, or from Moswetuset, the aboriginal name of Blue Hill, a few miles s. of Boston. It lies between 41° 23' and 42° 52' north latitude, and 69° 50' and 73° 30' west longitude from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Vermont and New Hampshire; east by the Atlantic; south by Rhode Island and Connecticut; and west by New York. Its superficial area is 7,500 square miles.
Physical Aspect. — The surface of this state in greatly diversified, and the soil may be divided into three distinct zones — mountainous in the western, hilly in the central and northern, and level in the southeastern sections. Salt marshes are numerous on most of the maritime border. The soil is exceedingly varied. In the southeastern part it is mostly light and sandy; interspersed, however, with numerous spots that are fertile. In the middle and northern sections, particularly toward the seaboard, it is of much better quality, but distinguished more for its superior cultivation, than its natural fertility. The more western parts, especially in the valley of the Connecticut river, have generally a strong, rich soil, excellent for grazing, and suited to most of the purposes of farming.
Mountains. — The Green mountain range passes through the western part of the state, from north to south. The principal chain takes the name of Нооsac mountains, the highest summits of which are the Saddle and Taghkanic. The other elevations, noted for thnr size and height, are Wachusett, Mount Tom. Mount Holyoke, Mount Toby, Blue and Pow-Wow hills.
Rivers and Bays. — The principal rivers are the Connecticut, Merrimack, Concord, Nashua, Pow-Wow. Ipswich, North, Sangua, Charles, Mystic, Neponset, Taunton, Chickapee, Deerfield, Westfield, French, Miller's, and the Housatonic. Massachusetts bay lies on the easterly side of the state, between Capes Cod and Ann. Numerous others bays indent the coast, the principal of which are, Buzzard's, Barnstable, Plymouth, and Cape Cod.
Islands. — The most notable of these are Martha's Vineyard, the Elizabeth islands (sixteen in number), Plum island, and those in Massachusettss bay.
Cilimate. — The climate is generally favourable to health, though persons with feeble lungs living near the seaboard, are liable to suffer from the ocean winds. The air from the interior is generally dry, serene, and salubrious. The summers are pleasant, but subject to excessive heat, often followed by a depression of temperature,
of 50° Fahrenheit in a few hours. The winters are generally rigorous, the thermometer often standing below zero.
Productive Resources. — The principal products are horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, silk, wool, buy, fish, spermaceti, whale and other fish oil, wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, potatoes, orchard and garden fruits, and Indian corn. Among the fossil resources are marble, granite, freestone, slate, flagstone, and various kinds of ochre and clay. This state abounds in mines of iron ore, and has also some coal.
Manufactures. — Massachusetts is dintinguished as a manufacturing state. Water-power (or the supply of machinery is abundant in nearly every section of the state. There are five or six hundred cotton and woollen factories. Calico-printing and carpet-weaving are also largely carried on. Boots and shoes, leather, wrought and cast iron, straw hats, cabinet-work, paper, and oil, are extensively manufactured. Firearms are also manufactured at the national armory in Springfield.
Railroads and Canals. — Massachusetts has a greater number of railroads, in proportion to its area, than any other state in the Union. There are, within the limits of the state, about forty different roads, exclusive of their various branches, with a total length of over 1,200 miles, and built at an aggregate cost of rising $50,000.000. Their principal centres are Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, and Fitchburg. The principal canals of Massachusetts are, the Middlesex, 27 miles long, connecting the Merrimack river at Lowell with Boston harbor; the Blackstone, 45 miles long, from Worcester to Providence; and the Hampshire and Hampden, 22 miles long, from the Farmington canal (now disused), on the Connecticut line, to Northampton.
Commercе — The commerce of Massachusetts centres chiefly on Boston, and is inferior only to that of two other states (New York and Louisiana) in the Union. It exports and imports in 1850 were over forty millions of dollars. Amount of shipping owned within the state, 685, 442 tons.
Education. — The university of Cambridge is the oldest and best-endowed school in the United States; attached to it are schools of law, medicine, divinity, and science. William's college, at Williamstown, and Amherst college, are also flourishing institutions. At Andover, Newton, and Worcester, theological seminaries are established. Academies and common schools exist throughout the state.
Population. — In 1790, 378.717; in 1800, 423,245; in 1810, 472,040; in 1820, 523,287; in 1830, 610,408; in 1840, 737,699; in 1850, 994,499. Number of slaves in
1778, 18,000. Slavery was abolished in 1761.
Government. — The executive power is vested in a governor, lieutenant-governor, and council; and the legislative power, in a senate of forty members, and a house
of representatives; all elected annually by the people, on the second Monday in November, excepting the council, which is chosen by the legislature. The judiciary is vested in a supreme court, court of common pleas, and such other courts аs the legislature may establish. The judges are appointed by the governor, and hold their offices during good behavior. The right of suffrage is enjoyed by every male citizen, twenty-one years of age(excepting paupers, and реrsons under guardianship), who has resided in the state one year, and tn the election district six month, and shall have paid a state or county tax (or been exempted therefrom) two уеars next preceding any election.
History. — The coasts of Massachusetts, after Cabotand Cartier's voyage, were annually visited for trade with the natives, and for fishing, yet little was known of the interior, until Captain Smith, the hero of Virginia, explored its shores from the Penobscot to Сaре Cod, and penetrated its interminable forests. It was Smith who gave that whole country the name of New England. That region was not permanently settled until 1620, when a party of 101 Independents who had fled from England to Holland, in 1608, in consequence of persecutions, obtained a grant of land from the Virginia Company, intending to settle within their jurisdiction. But through accident or treachery, they reached the coast within the jurisdiction of the Plymouth Company, from whom they subsequently obtained a patent. The great moral spectacle which this little company of emigrants presented, can not be рassed unnoticed. Deprived of the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of their own consciences and judgments, they left England, with their pastor, John Robinson, and became voluntary exiles in Holland. They cherished the sentiment, however, "England, with all thy faults, I love thee still," and they felt a yearning to live where they might retain their language and laws in their purity and strength. They therefore turned their thoughts toward the wilds of America, where no restraining power should interfere with their religious privileges ; and obtaining a grant from the London or Virginia Company, they left Delft Haven, in Holland, in August 1, 1620, in the Speedwell. They were joined at Southnmpton, England, by the Mayflower, bearing a number of business men of London, who had formed a partnership with those from Holland. The Speedwell, however, proved unseaworthy, and the whole company, numbering in men, women, and children, as before remarked, 101 souls, sailed from Plymouth in the Mayflower on the 16th of September. They reached the American coast and descried the bleak hills of Cape Cod, on the 19th of November. For a month they laid at anchor, and in the meanwhile they entered into a solemn political compact, and chose John Carver their governor for the first year. Exploring parties were sent ashore to find a good place for settlement; and on the 2ist of December the harbor of Plymouth was sounded, and found fit for shipping, and the shore well-watered and wooded, and there they landed, and commenced a settlement. They named the place New Plymouth, and soon afterward obtained a charter. In 1628, the Plymouth council granted to a number of nonconformists, of Devonshire, the territory of New England, lying between the Merrimack and Charles rivers, and three miles beyond, and extending to the South sea. A company of planters, with their families were sent out and founded the town of Salem. In 1629, the patentees obtained a charter from Charles I., confirming the grant of the council, and incorporating them under the name of the Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay. Subsequently to this period, other grants and accessions were made, and the colony of Massachusetts extended its jurisdiction over the present state of Rhode Island, a part of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, and Acadia. In 1641, the settlements of New Hampshire were incorporated with Massachusetts. In 1643, the four colonies, Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven, entered into articles of confederation, under the title of the "United Colonies of New England." In 1652, Maine placed itself under the protection of Massachusetts, called the county of "Yorkshire," and remained a part of her territory, with some modifications, until it became a sovereign state. In 1686, the charter government of Massachusetts Bay was taken from her, and a president placed over the dominion from Narraganset bay to Nova Scotia. The same year, Sir Edmund Andros arrived at Boston, with a commission as royal governor of all New England. Plymouth, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, immediately submitted to his jurisdiction. A few months after, Connecticut was, added, and in 1686, his power was further extended over New Jersey and New York. In 1689, Plymouth was united to Massachusetts by royal order, and its old charter confirmed. In 1691, Plymouth, Massachusetts, Maine, and Acadia, were formed into one гоуal colony, under the name of "Massachusetts." In 1699, New Hampshire and Massachusetts were placed under the Jurisdiction of New York, but were again reunited in 1703, and thus continued until 1741, when a final separation took place. In conformity to the original grant of the Plymouth Company, Massachusetts claimed an indefinite extent of country westward, which was adjusted with New York, by ceding all her territory west of a line, running north and south, one mile east of Geneva, and was known as the "Genesee Country." In 1776, on the declaration of independence, Massachusetts formed a state constitution, which went into operation in 1780, and, with the exception of the amendment in 1820, is the same as the one of the present dny. In 1778, it ratified the constitution of the United States. The motto of the seal is, Ense petit placidam sub libetate quietem — "By his sword he seeks the calm repose of liberty."