Hadley, Massachusetts

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Hadley is a town in Hampshire County in the proximity of the five colleges, Northampton and Amherst Massachusetts, United States. The population was 4,793 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The area around Hampshire Mall and Mountain Farms Mall along Route 9 is a major shopping destination for the five college area and surrounding communities.




Hadley was first settled in 1659 and was officially incorporated in 1661. Its settlers were primarily a discontented group of families from the puritan colonies of Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut, who petitioned to start a new colony up north after some controversy over doctrine in the local church. At the time, Hadley encompassed a wide radius of land on both sides of the Connecticut River, but mostly on the eastern shore. In the following century, these were broken off into precincts and eventually the separate towns of Hatfield, Amherst, South Hadley, Granby and Belchertown. The early histories of these towns are, as a result, filed under the history of Hadley.

Edward Whalley and General William Goffe, two Puritan generals hunted for their role in the execution (or "regicide") of Charles I of England, were hidden [1] in the home of the town's minister, John Russell. During King Philip's War, an attack by Native Americans was, by some accounts, thwarted with the aid of General Goffe. This event, compounded by the reluctance of the townsfolk to betray Goffe's location, developed into the legend of the Angel of Hadley, which came to be included in the historical manuscript "History of Hadley" by Sylvester Judd.[1]

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