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HISTORIOAL.

ORIGINAL.

HISTORY OF THE COUNTY OF WORCESTER.

RIVERS CONTINUED. The notice of the streams in our last number, was merely intended as a general description of those rivers, that leave the County. It was consequently imperfect. Other streams of importance, will be noticed in the several towns, where they are found. On page 90, a material error occurred, in the description of French river. The mistake arose from the circumstance of there being two streams that formerly bore this name. The venerable Whitpey fell into the same error. French river, properly so called, or as it is sometimes styled Stony river, has its principal source in Spencer, then passing through Burncoat pond in Leicester, it receives the Rawson brook, that rises in Paxton, and afterwards the waters of the Henshaw pond in Leicester, and also a small feeder from Charlton, then through Oxford and Dudley, it enters the state of Connecticut, where it unites with the Quineboag, also from this County. It afterwards takes the name of Thames, and empties into Long Island sound near New London.

Somse errors also are found in the description of the Blackstone river. Its main branch originates also from Paxton, and passing through the easterly part of Leicester, then entering the southwesterly part of Worcester, it passes into Ward, where it is called Kettle brook, and there receives the waters of Ramsborn pond from Sutton, it was called by the Indians Packachoag,* then again appearing in Worcester, it unites with the Tatnuckor Half way river, from Holden. This stream takes its name from the circumstance of our ancestors considering it a middle point between Boston and Springfield, now taking the name of Blackstone river, it then passes on through Millbury and Uxbridge to Rhode Island. Its tributary,which we called Mumford's river, is named West river, which rises in Upton from two ponds, and falls into the easterly side of the Blackstone in Uxbridge. The real Mumford's river rises in Sutton and Douglas, from Manchaog and Badluck ponds, and passing through Northbridge, falls into the westerly side of the Blackstone, before its junction with West River in Uxbridge.

This in the early records of Worcester is written Pakachoog, and aftetwards Bocachoge, and Vol. I. Hist. Col. Boggachoag.

CIVIL DIVISIONS.

*This County is subdivided into fifty four towns or townships ;-the following

Table will show the order of these Incorporations, with the amount of their numbers and relative wealth.

*1720, *1722,

95

77

In 1820.

1825. Names. Dale of Incorporation. Pop.

County Taz. Polls.

Dolls. Cis. Lancaster

1653, May 18 1,862 | 438 140 01 Mendon

1667, May 15 2,254 494 177 67 Brookfield 1673, October 15 2,292 537 182 96 Worcester 1684, October 15 2,962 753

485 94 Oxford *1693,

1,562 338 99 42 Sutton 1715, June 21 2,056 | 452

135

32 Westborough 1717, November 181 1,326 297 101 18 Leicester

1,252

293 | 114 71 Rutland

1,262 307 127 07 Uxbridge 1727, June 27 1,551 429

135

91 Southborough 1727, July 6 1,030 | 254

87

66 Shrewsbury 1727, December 19 1,458 | 388

123 54 Lunenburg 1728, August 1 1,209 278 102

37 Dudley

1731, February 2 1,615 405 108 83 Harvard 1732, June 29 1,597

374 112 Grafton

1735, April 18 1,154 365 114 71 Upton

1735, June 14 1,088 247 64 71 Hardwick 1738, January 10 1,836 403 130 60 Bolton 1738, June 24 1,229

292 91 Storbridge

1738, June 24 1,633 400 139 43 Holden 1740, January 9 1,402 333 103

54 Leominster 1740, June 23 1,790 444 128 84 Western

1741, January 16 1,112 283 90 01 Douglas

1,375 286 77 06 New Braintree 1751, January 31 888

203

86 48 Spencer

1753, April 3 1,548 377 133 55 Petersham 1754, April 20 1,626

138 26 Charlton

1754, November 22,134 | 499 190 03 Princeton 1759, October 20 1,261

309 124 72 Westminster 1759, October 20 1,634 421 125

31 Templeton 1762, March 6 1,331 332 98 83 Athol 1762, March 6 1,211

303 90 Oakham 1762, June 7

986 229 67 Fitchburg 1764, February 7 1,736 393 109 42 Winchendon

1764, June 14 1,263 322 90 60 Paxton

1765, February 12 613 155 50 00 Royalston 1765, February 16 | 1,424 362

101 77 Asbburoham 1765, February 22 1,230 288 84 72 Northborough 1766, January 24

1,018
269

82

95 The date of the Incorporation of these towns is variously stated in différent authorities.

*1746,

28 394

01 65

38

In 1820.

1825. Names. Dale of Incorporation, Pop.

County Tar. Polls.

Dolls.. Cis. Hubbardston 1767, June 13 1,367 334 100 01 Northbridge 1772, July 14 905 199 50 59 Barre

1774, June 14 2,077 540 185 32 Ward

1778, April 10 608 124 48 23 Milford

1780, April 11 1,160 276 101 18 Sterling

1781, April 25 1,710 455 144 14 Berlin 1784, March 16 625

184 54 11 Gardner 1785, June 27

911 208 59 41 Boylston 1786, March 1 902 205 73

53 Phillipston 1786, October 20 916 244 71

77 Dana 1801, February 18 664 154

23 West Boylston 1808, January 30 886 219 68 82 North Brookfield 1812, February 28 1,095 | 268

07 Millbury 1813, June 11

926 249 88 54 Southbridge 1816, February 15 1,066 247 83 54 No. of towns............

..54 Population in 1820..

.73,625 Polls in 1820............

.17,852 County Tax in 1825............ ...6,000 Each of these towns is entitled to send a Representative to the General Court. Twenty of them may send two each, two others may send three each, and Worcester is entitled to four, making the whole representation of the County in one branch of the Legislature at least eighty members. The County also forms a Senatorial district, and chooses five Senators to the State Legislature.

DISTRICTS FOR THE CHOICE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO CONGRESS.

The towns following, to wit: Northborough, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Paxton, Oakham, New Braintree, and Hardwick, together with such towns as lie south of them, form the Worcester South District. The other towns in the County, together with Ashby, Shirley, Townsend, Pepperell, and Groton, in the County of Middlesex, form another Congressional District called the Worcester North District.

PAROCHIAL DIVISIONS. Each town contains at least one Congregational Parish, obliged by law to support a Protestant teacher of piety and morality.-Brookfield and Mendon include two such Corporations. Parishes or Precincts are distinguished from Religious Societies in this, that they are designated by territorial boundaries, and have jurisdiction over the polls and estates of all persons within their limits, who have not united themselves to some other Parish or Religious Societies. These Societies are already numerous, and are annually increasing. The Congregationalists have already two in Worces. ter, and one in each of the towns of Fitchburg, Harvard, Leominster, and Petersham. The Congregationalists are the most numerous sect. All other denominations do not probably comprise one fourth of the population. The whole number of Parishes, or Soci. eties, is as follows:Congregationalists..........

.62 Baptists......

.27 Universalists.....

10 Methodists........

.4
Friends or Quakers..

.3
Episcopalians.......
Presbyterians.....

1
Shakers.....

.1

.........

• Total, 110 These various Societies have at least one hundred edifices for public worship. Many of them are elegant buildings, adorned with spires, bells and clocks. There are upwards of eighty stated ordained Ministers belonging to these various Churches now resident in the County. The number is constantly subject to variation.

POPULATION. By the census of 1820, the whole number of Inhabitants was 73,625. The numbers by different enumerations were as follows: A. D. 1764

31,543 1790

56,807 1800

61,921 1810

64,910 1020

73,625 The numbers are now probably increasing at a much greater ratio, than at any former period. For at least half a century, this County has been the great Hive, that has sent out annually its swarms of emigrants to Vermont, to the western parts of New York, Obio, and other parts of the United States, as well as to Canada.The introduction of Manufactures and the improvements in Agriculture, have given a new stimulus to domestic industry, so that our young men find it as easy to gain a subsistence at home as by travelling abroad. The tide of emigration has consequently in a great measure ceased.

HISTORY.

From the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, no permanent settlements were established by Europeans on the northern parts of the Continent until the year 1607, when Jamestown in Virginia was planted by the English. Soon after the Dutch took possession of Hudson's river, and founded Albany and New York. In 1620 the first Colony of New England was planted at Plymouth, in Massachusetts, by the English Puritans. This colony was planned and founded by chosen men every way calculated to be the pioneers or forlorn hope in such a hazardous and bold adventure. Although voluntary exiles from their native land, there were in tbis little band, men eminent in their own country for extensive learding, stern fortitude, manly courage, and exalted piety. Many of them were from families of fortune and of high distinction. They had not been idie spectators in the wars of the low countries, nor did they leave the schools of Leyden with dishonor. They were induced to the undertaking from an unconquerable love for posterity, and an ardent desire to enjoy civil and religious liberty unmolested. They realized their anticipations in the success of their enterprise. The results that followed this humble beginning, have fixed upon these veteran pilgrims the recollections of a wide spread posterity; and the gratitude of all free people of every region hails them as “the leaders of this great march of humanity.”Their names are embalmed in the memories of their descendants, and their sufferings, their fortitude, and their faith, have been celebrated by the most exalted efforts of genius and of eloquence. The canvas has glowed with their forms, and poetry has lent her aid to perpetuate the memory of their trials and their victory.

Thousands, actuated by the same holy impulse, immediately prepared to follow them. In 1628 Salem was planted, and Charlestown in 1629. In 1630, the principal planters of Massachusetts, at the vast sacrifice of fortune, the endearments of home and the delights of country, established themselves on our coast. This year they laid the foundations of Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, Watertown, and Cambridge. With the accomplished, the learned, and the opulent Winthrop at its head, a regular Government was established. This year 14 ships arrived with 1500 passengers, men, women and children.

The obnoxious decrees of the Star chamber, and the cruel persecutions of that odious bigot, Archbishop Laud, “ sifted the wheat of the threc kingdoms,” and furnished abundant good seed, to plant the deserts of New England, with men of stur

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