Dartmouth, Massachusetts

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Dartmouth is a town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States established in 1664. The population was 30,665 at the 2000 census. It is the location of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth.

The villages of Hixville Village Historic District, Bliss Corner, Padanaram Village, Smith Mills and Russells Mills Village Historic District are located in the town.

Contents

History

Dartmouth was the first settled in 1652 and was officially incorporated in 1664. It was named for the town of Dartmouth, Devon, England, where the Puritans originally intended to leave from for America. The land was purchased with trading goods from the Wampanoag chiefs Massasoit and Wamsutta by elders of the Plymouth Colony; reportedly thirty yards of cloth, eight moose skins, fifteen axes, fifteen hoes, fifteen pairs of shoes, one iron pot, and ten shillings' worth of assorted goods .[1] It was sold to the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers, who wished to live outside the stringent religious laws of the Puritans in Plymouth. There are still Quaker meeting houses in town, including the Smith Neck Meeting House, the Allens Neck Meeting House, and the Apponegansett Meeting House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its borders were originally named in the charter (and set by King Philip) as the lands of "Acushnea, Ponagansett, and Coaksett." This includes the land of the towns of Westport, Fairhaven, and Acushnet, and the city of New Bedford. In 1789, the towns of Westport and New Bedford, which included Fairhaven and Acushnet, separated and were incorporated as towns themselves.

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