Uxbridge is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts first settled in 1662, incorporated in 1727, originally part of Suffolk County, and Mendon, and named for the Earl of Uxbridge. The town, (population 13,560, estimate 2012) is located southwest of Boston and south-southeast of Worcester, at the midpoint of the Blackstone Valley National Park. Two Uxbridge Quakers served as national leaders in the anti-slavery movement. Uxbridge "weaves a tapestry of early America"
Indigenous Nipmuc people near 'Wacentug" (river bend), deeded land to 17th century settlers. Uxbridge granted rights to America's first woman voter, Lydia Chapin Taft. The first hospital for mental illness in America was established here. Deborah Sampson posed as an Uxbridge soldier, and fought in the American Revolution. A 140 year legacy of manufacturing military uniforms and clothing began with 1820 power looms. The Board of Selectmen approved Massachusetts's first women jurors. Uxbridge became famous for woolen cashmeres. "Uxbridge Blue", was the first US Air Force Dress Uniform. BJ's Wholesale Club distribution warehouse looms large here today.
Colonial era, Revolution, Quakers, and Abolition
John Eliot started Nipmuc Praying Indian villages. "Wacentug" natives sold land to settlers in 1662, "for 24 pound Ster". Mendon began in 1667, and burned in King Phillips War. Western Mendon became Uxbridge in 1727, and Farnum House held the first town meeting. Nathan Webb's church, was the Colony's first new Congregational church in the Great Awakening. Lydia Chapin Taft, voted in the 1756 Town meeting, a first for women.
Seth and Joseph Read. and Simeon Wheelock joined Committees of Correspondence. Baxter Hall, was a Minuteman drummer. Seth Read fought at Bunker Hill. Washington stopped at Reed's tavern, en route to command the Continental Army. Samuel Spring, was one of the first chaplains of the American Revolution. Deborah Sampson, enlisted as "Robert Shurtlieff of Uxbridge". Shays' Rebellion also began here and Governor John Hancock quelled Uxbridge riots. Simeon Wheelock, died protecting the Springfield Armory. Seth Reed was instrumental in adding E pluribus unum to U.S. coins. Washington slept here on his Inaugural tour.
Transportation, education, public health and safety
The Tafts built the Middle Post Road's Blackstone River bridge in 1709. "Teamsters" drove horse "team" freight wagons, on the Worcester-Providence stage route. The Blackstone Canal brought horsedrawn barges to Providence through Uxbridge for overnight stops. The "crossroads village" was a junction on the Underground Railroad. The P&W Railroad ended canal traffic in 1848.
A 1732 vote "set up a school for ye town of Uxbridge". A grammar school was followed by 13 one room district school houses, built for $2000 in 1797. Uxbridge Academy (1818), became a prestigious New England Prep School.
Uxbridge voted against smallpox vaccine . Samuel Willard (physician) treated smallpox victims, was a forerunner of modern psychiatry, and ran the first hospital for mental illness in America. Vital records recorded many infant deaths, the smallpox death of Selectman Joseph Richardson, "Quincy", "dysentary", and tuberculosis deaths. Leonard White recorded a Malaria outbreak here in 1896 that led to  firsts in control of malaria as a mosquito-borne infection. Uxbridge led Massachusetts in robberies for a quarter of the year in 1922, and the town voted to hire its first night time police patrolman.
Industrial era: 19th century to late-20th century
Bog iron and three iron forges marked the colonial era, with the inception of large-scale industries beginning around 1775—examples of this development can be seen in the work of Richard Mowry, who built and marketed equipment to manufacture woolen, linen, or cotton cloth,. and gristmills, sawmills, distilleries, and large industries. Uxbridge reached a peak of twenty different industrial mills. Daniel Day built the first woolen mill in 1809. By 1855, 560 local workers made of cloth. A small silver vein at Scadden, in SW Uxbridge, led to unsuccessful commercial mining in the 1830s.
North Uxbridge housed Clapp's 1810 Cotton Mill, Chandler Taft's snd Richard Sayles Rivulet Mill, the granite quarry, and Rogerson's village. Crown and Eagle Mill was "a masterpiece of early industrial architecture". Blanchard's granite quarry provided curb stones to New York City and regional public works projects. Peter Rawson Taft's grandson, William Howard Taft, visited Samuel Taft House.
John Sr., Effingham and John W. Capron's mill pioneered US satinets and woolen power looms Charles A. Root, Edward Bachman, and Harold Walter expanded Bachman-Uxbridge., and leadership in women's fashion. The company manufactured US Army uniforms for the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the nurse corps, and the first Air Force "dress uniforms", dubbed "Uxbridge Blue". Time Magazine covered Uxbridge Worsted's proposed a buyout to be the top US woolen company. One of the largest US yarn companies, Bernat Yarn's largest plant was located here from the 1960s to the 1980s. A historic company called 'Information Services', operated from Uxbridge, and managed subscription services for 'The New Republic', among other publications, in the later 20th century.
Late-20th century to present
State and national parks developed around mills and rivers were restored. The Great Gatsby (1974) and Oliver's Story (1978) were filmed locally including Stanley Woolen Mill. The Blackstone Valley National Historic Park contains the Blackstone Canal Heritage State Park, of the Blackstone River Greenway, the Southern New England Trunkline Trail, West Hill Dam, a 567 acre wildlife refuge, parcels of the Metacomet Land Trust, and Cormier Woods. 60 Federalist homes add to 54 National, and 375 state-listed historic sites, including Georgian Elmshade, (where War Secretary Alphonso Taft had recounted local family history at a famous reunion). Capron's wooden mill survived a 2007 fire at the Bernat Mill. Stanley mill is being restored while Waucantuck mill, was (mostly) razed. In 2013 multiple fires again affected this town and included a historic bank building and a Quaker home from the early 1800s. See National historic sites.