The History of Boston, Massachusetts
January 10, 2017
January 10, 2017
It doesn’t matter where you look in the state of Massachusetts; you are going to find a lot of historical info. As one of the original 13 colonies and a key player in the American Revolution, you could spend a lifetime learning all that the state has to offer. Perhaps some of the most interesting histories, however, comes from the capital of the state, Boston.
Most people consider the history of Boston to have begun when the Puritans entered the area, but it was inhabited many years before that time. The entire Shawmut Peninsula was, at one time, connected at the south to the mainland and was home to some prehistoric Native Americans. It is thought that the area was inhabited thousands of years before today.
When the Puritans arrived in 1630, they had taken an unusual route. The fleet of ships landed in what would eventually be known as Salem but they were not happy with the lack of food. They then went to Charleston, but there was no water. Eventually, they settled in what was to eventually become Boston, acquiring the land from William Blaxton, the first English settler.
The Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay colony signed the Cambridge Agreement in 1628. This established the colony as their entity, although they were still accountable to the King. John Winthrop established a settlement, known as “A City upon a Hill.” It eventually was merged with the Plymouth Colony that had been founded in 1620.
In the late 1600s and 1700s, the area experienced smallpox outbreaks. The most severe of the epidemics killed 844 people and over 50% of the inhabitants caught the disease. As some people fled the city to avoid the virus, they ended up spreading it. They experienced a large earthquake in 1755 and a fire in 1760 that destroyed 349 buildings.
Eventually, Boston went through the American Revolution and continued to grow, both in their population and in their economic strength. Boston, Massachusetts became an important seaport by the 1800s and one of the world’s wealthiest international ports.
There is much more to learn about the area of Boston or you can take an extended visit and learn all that Massachusetts has to offer. The history is rich and the more you look, the more you will learn about how Boston has shaped, not only the state of Massachusetts but the world.