For general information about Massachusetts, visit its wikipedia page.
Massachusetts has been significant throughout American history. Plymouth was the second permanent English settlement in North America. Many of Massachusetts' towns were founded by colonists from England during what was called the Great Migration in the 1620s and 1630s.
During the eighteenth century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution and the independence of the United States from Great Britain.
In the late eighteenth century, Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to abolish slavery. Also, it was a center of the temperance movement and abolitionist activity before the American Civil War.
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legally recognize same-sex marriage.
The state has contributed many prominent politicians to national service, including the Adams family and, more recently, the Kennedy family.
Massachusetts was one of the 13 original States. Maine was legally part of Massachusetts from early Colonial times, although geographically separated; Maine became a separate State in 1820, leaving Massachusetts with nearly its present boundaries. A long-standing border dispute with Rhode Island was finally settled with a sizable exchange of territory in 1862. Census coverage included all of Massachusetts from 1790 on. The counties comprising Maine were reported separately in 1790-1810.. Totals for 1790-1810 do not include counties comprising Maine, reported separately (population 96,540 in 1790, 151,719 in 1800, 228,705 in 1810). Total for 1890 includes 4 Indians in prison, not reported by county.
Births, Marriages, and Deaths
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Map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Showing Counties, Cities and Towns