Place:Amherst, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States

Watchers


NameAmherst
Alt namesAmherst Villagesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001759
Hadley Eastsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001759
Hadley East Precinctsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001759
Hadley Third Precinctsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001759
Third Precinctsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25001759
TypeTown
Coordinates42.367°N 72.517°W
Located inHampshire, Massachusetts, United States     (1730 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Amherst is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States in the Connecticut River valley. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,819, making it the largest community in Hampshire County (although the county seat is Northampton). The town is home to Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, three of the Five Colleges. Amherst consistently ranks as one of the most progressively liberal regions of the United States, due in large part to five colleges within the area. The Amherst-Northampton region is known as the Happy Valley due to the art and music communities, progressive ideas, prestigious colleges, and large student population. Unlike some other towns of the same name, the name of the town is pronounced without the h ("AM-erst"), giving rise to the local saying, "only the 'h' is silent", in reference both to the pronunciation and to the town's politically active populace.

The communities of Amherst Center, North Amherst, and South Amherst are census-designated places.

Amherst is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lying northeast of the city of Springfield, Amherst is considered the northernmost town in the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor Metropolitan Region.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The earliest known document of the lands now comprising Amherst is the deed of purchase dated December 1658 between John Pynchon of Springfield and three native inhabitants, referred to as Umpanchla, Quonquont and Chickwalopp. According to the deed, "ye Indians of Nolwotogg (Norwottuck) upon ye River of Quinecticott (Connecticut)" sold the entire area in exchange for "two Hundred fatham of Wampam & Twenty fatham, and one large Coate at Eight fatham wch Chickwollop set of, of trusts, besides severall small giftes" . Amherst celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. The Amherst 250th Anniversary Celebration Committee was established to oversee the creation and implementation of townwide activities throughout 2009. The Amherst Historical Society also organized events, including a book published by them and written by Elizabeth M. Sharpe, Amherst A to Z.

When the first permanent English settlements arrived in 1727, this land and the surrounding area (including present-day South Hadley and Granby) belonged to the town of Hadley. It gained precinct status in 1734 and eventually township in 1759.

When it incorporated, the colonial governor assigned the town the name Amherst after Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst. Many colonial governors at the time scattered his name amidst the influx of new town applications, which is why several towns in the Northeast bear the name. Amherst was a hero of the French and Indian War who, according to popular legend, singlehandedly won Canada for the British and banished France from North America. Popular belief has it that he supported the American side in the Revolutionary war and resigned his commission rather than fight for the British. Baron Amherst actually remained in the service of the Crown during the war—albeit in Great Britain rather than North America—where he organized the defense against the proposed Franco-Spanish Armada of 1779. Nonetheless, his previous service in the French and Indian War meant he remained popular in New England. Amherst is also infamous for recommending, in a letter to a subordinate, the use of smallpox-covered blankets in warfare against the Native Americans along with any "other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race." For this reason, there have been occasional ad hoc movements to rename the town. Suggested new names have included "Emily," after Emily Dickinson.

In 1786, as the American Revolution was ending, many soldiers returning home found themselves in debt because they had been unable to attend to business and property while away fighting. Farmers unable to pay taxes and debts had their property and livestock confiscated by the courts. Daniel Shays, a Pelham resident who was promoted from the ranks to a captain in the Revolutionary Army, organized Shays' Rebellion.

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Amherst, Massachusetts. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.