Dorchester, MA: history, population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.

New England > Massachusetts > Dorchester

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Norfolk county. This ancient and respectable town lies on Dorchester bay, in Boston harbor, 5 miles S. from Boston and 7 N.E. from Dedham. Population, 1837, 4,564. It was first settled by a party of Puritans from England. These pilgrims landed from the ship Mary and John, at Nantasket, on the 11th of June, 1630, and on the 17th day of that month they located themselves at the Indian Mattapan, and called it Dorchester, in honor of their pious and learned friend, the Rev. John White, of Dorchester, 120 miles W. from London. The town was incorporated on the 7th of September following, and included most of the territory of the towns of Milton, Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, and that part of Boston on which stand "Dorchester Heights," memorable for their sudden conversion into a fortress, for the protection of Boston harbor, by order of Washington, on the night of March 4, 1776. These lands were obtained from the Indians by purchase, not by combat. The present limits of the town are about 6 by 3 1/2 miles. Dorchester furnished pioneers for the settlement of many parts of the country. A party from this town crossed the trackless wilderness in 14 days, and settled Hartford, on Connecticut river, in 1635. In 1695, another party emigrated from this place, and settled Dorchester, in South Carolina, and afterwards Medway, in Georgia. The soil of Dorchester is rocky, but very fertile and under a high state of cultivation. It is exceedingly productive, particularly of vegetables, fruits and flowers. Its surface is greatly variegated, presenting a continual succession of picturesque and delightful views of the the country, city, and sea.

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