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Massachusetts


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Facts and Figures Massachusetts takes its name from the Massachusett tribe, which lived in the Great Blue Hill region, south of present-day Boston. The name "Massachusett" supposedly means "at or about the Great Hill."
Official Symbols of MassachusettsOfficial Symbols of Massachusetts
The Boston Creme Pie, created in the 19th century, was chosen as the official state dessert on December 12, 1996.
Famous Bay StatersFamous Bay Staters
Important Dates in MassachusettsImportant Dates in Massachusetts
Mayflower CompactThe Mayflower Compact
was the first agreement for self-government ever put in force in America. It was drawn up because the Puritans (Pilgrims) wanted to avoid the failures of earlier colonies by establishing a government prior to settlement. It was signed aboard the Mayflower on November 11, 1620 (old style).
Massachusetts Bay ColonyMassachusetts Bay Colony
The Governor and Company of Massachusetts Bay in New England was chartered in 1629, and given the right to govern a tract of land extending from three miles south of the Charles River to a point three miles north of the Merrimac, west to the Pacific Ocean.
Shays' RebellionShay's Rebellion
involved debt-ridden farmers in western and central Massachusetts, many of whom were threatened with loss of their properties and imprisonment. They demanded court reforms and the issuance of paper money for paying their debts.
John EndecottJohn Endecott
was one of the founders of the colony of Salem in 1628. He served as Governor of Massachusetts several times between 1630 and 1664, in which capacity he earned a reputation as a fair, but strict, leader who rigorously enforced Puritan religious beliefs and punished, often severely, those he believed to be offenders.
Anne HutchinsonAnne Hutchinson
came into conflict with Puritan leaders of the Bay Colony with her belief that salvation could be achieved without "assistance" from any minister or church. That belief led to her banishment.
Increase MatherIncrease Mather
was a leader in the Puritan church who doubted the effectiveness and fairness of the Salem Witch Trials while never publicly denouncing the trials themselves, nor the people who conducted them.
Paul ReverePaul Revere
was one of many Boston businessmen who protested against British policies. His depiction of the Boston Massacre fueled colonial hatred, and he was one of the band of "Indians" who took part in the Boston Tea Party.
Myles StandishMyles Standish
came to America with the Pilgrims in 1620, despite not being a member of their religion. As military commander of Plymouth Colony until his death, his military skills served the Pilgrims well against hostile Native Americans, but he also had enough diplomatic skill to establish and maintain peace and trade relations with friendly natives.
John WinthropJohn Winthrop
was one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and then went on to serve as Governor of the colony twelve times. As Governor, he was conservative and somewhat aristocratic, but just and magnanimous at the same time.

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