Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS, a State in the North Atlantic Division of the North American Union; bounded by Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and the Atlantic Ocean; one of the original 13 States; number of counties, 14; area, 8,040 square miles; pop. (1890) 2,238,943; (1900) 2,805,346; (1910) 3,366,416; (1920) 3,852,356; capital, Boston.

Topography.—The surface of the State is mostly rough and rugged, with irregular mountain systems. The coast counties are, however, mostly level, with low, rounded hills, and rocky eminences on the coast. Cape Cod is a low, sandy arm of land extending in a semicircle around Cape Cod Bay. There are numerous salt marshes in the E. part of the State. The W. part of Massachusetts is traversed by two mountain chains, the Taconic and the Hoosac, the latter a continuation of the Green Mountains of Vermont. Between these ranges is the Hoosac valley, which at its N. end is 1,100 feet above the sea. Mount Greylock and Mount Washington are the highest points of the State; the former has an altitude of 3,505 feet and the latter 2,624 feet. A rugged tableland 1,000 feet high extends E. from the Hoosac range to the Connecticut river valley, with a series of trap ridges reaching their highest elevations in Mount Tom (1,200 feet) and Mount Holyoke (1,120 feet). The valleys of the Connecticut and Housatonic are noted for their beautiful scenery. The coast line is very irregular, being indented by numerous bays, the largest of these being Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Buzzards, all of these affording excellent harbors. The Connecticut, with its tributaries, the Westfield, Deerfield, Millers, and Chicopee rivers, forms the principal river system of the State. The Blackstone, Hoosac, Housatonic, Charles, Nashua, Taunton, and the Merrimac are large and navigable streams.

Geology.—The rocks of Massachusetts are largely of metamorphic nature. The sands of the E. portion and Cape Cod are of glacial deposit. The rocks in the E. are of the Laurentian, Cambrian, and Carboniferous periods, and the Connecticut valley is largely Triassic. The mountains in the W. are chiefly of Silurian origin. The sandstones of the Connecticut valley are rich in fossil footprints.

Mineral Production.—The most important mineral product is stone, especially granite. The value of the stone production is about $4,000,000 annually. Clay products are valued at about $2,000,000. The total value of mineral products is about $7,000,000 per year. The State ranks first in the production of granite.

Soil.—Most of the soil is too rocky for cultivation and is suited only for pasturage. In the central counties and in the river valleys the soil is more fertile, and agriculture is carried on to a small extent, the principal crops being garden vegetables, dairy products, hay, maple sugar, and cranberries. Of the latter, the sandy coast plains produce over 300,000 bushels annually.

Agriculture.—The State is not an important producer of agricultural products, as its chief importance is industry. The production and value of the principal crops in 1919 was as follows: corn, 2,640,000 bushels, valued at $4,541,000; tobacco, 15,400,000 pounds, valued at $7,130,000; hay, 656,000 tons, valued at $17,712,000; potatoes, 2,970,000 bushels, valued at $5,643,000. The statistics of live stock are as follows: horses, about 65,000, valued at about $10,000,000; milch cows, about 160,000, valued at $10,500,000; cattle, about 85,000, valued at about $2,200,000; sheep, about 30,000, valued at about $175,000; swine, about 110,000, valued at about $1,700,000. The production of wool is about 130,000 pounds yearly.

Manufactures.—Massachusetts is preëminently a manufacturing State. The abundant water supply and transportation facilities give the State opportunities for the most varied manufactures. Lowell is noted as the largest carpet milling city in the United States. Worcester has the largest steel wire works in the world, and Holyoke ranks first in paper manufacturing. North Easton in shovels, and Lynn in electrical instruments. Lawrence is noted for its cotton and woolen mills; Haverhill, for shoe factories; Dalton, for note paper; Taunton, for cotton and silverware; Chicopee, for bronzes, automobiles and cotton; Roxbury, for rubber goods; Wakefield, for rattan; and many other cities and towns have individual industries. In 1914 there were in the State 12,013 manufacturing establishments. The wage earners numbered 606,698. The capital invested amounted to $1,548,961,000. There were paid in wages $341,310,000, and the value of the materials used amounted to $931,384,000, and the value of the completed products amounted to $1,641,373,000.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 159 National banks in operation, with $54,292,000 in capital, $21,306,950 in outstanding circulation, and $20,747,200 in United States bonds. There were also 196 mutual savings banks, with $1,089,550,000 in deposits, and 104 trust and loan companies with $37,406,000 capital and $31,661,000 surplus.

Education.—The total enrollment for the public schools of the State in 1918 was 607,805. The average daily attendance was 506,478. The teachers, supervisors, and principals numbered 19,609. The State has always been notable for its progress in educational matters. Attention has been given in recent years to vocational education. There are many excellent private schools. The colleges include Harvard University, Amherst College, Williams College, Holy Cross College and Boston University. For women there are Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Wellesley College.

Charities and Corrections.—The State takes abundant care of its dependents. The charitable and correctional institutions in the State include the State Infirmary at Tewksbury, the State Farm at Bridgewater, the Norfolk State Hospital, the Lyman School for Boys at Westboro, the Industrial School for Boys at Shirley, the State Industrial School for Girls at Lancaster, and several sanitaria. The prisons include the State Prison in Boston, the Massachusetts Reformatory at Concord, the Reformatory for Women at Sherburn.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Congregational, Regular Baptist; Methodist Episcopal; Unitarian; Protestant Episcopal; Spiritualist, and Universalist.

Finances.—The total receipts for the fiscal year 1917 amounted to $55,402,628. Expenditures amounted to $56,062,128. At the close of the year there was a cash balance of $11,526,346. The funded debt of the State amounted to $126,555,662. Railroads.—The total mileage in the State for 1919 was 4,936 miles, of which about 2,141 miles was main track. The roads having the longest mileage were the Boston & Albany and the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroads.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of one year. Legislative sessions are held annually beginning on the first Wednesday in January, and are not limited as to length of time. The legislature has 40 members in the Senate and 240 in the House. There are 16 representatives in Congress. The State government in 1920 was Republican.

History.—The history of Massachusetts begins with the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620, though it is probable that portions of the coast were temporarily settled by Norwegians as early as A. D. 1000. In 1628 another colony was established at Salem, and both were united under one government with Maine in 1692. In 1675, an Indian chief, named Philip of Pokaneket, or King Philip, began a war which had for its object the entire extermination of the English. This war lasted three years, and ended by the death of King Philip himself. From this time till the Revolutionary War Massachusetts enjoyed a period of comparative peace and prosperity. When the oppressive measures of the English Parliament finally brought about the rupture with the colonies, none took a more active or more prominent part than Massachusetts in the National cause. The passage of the Stamp Act aroused the wildest excitement; and its repeal the following year was received with demonstrations of joy. The arrival of the “Romney” man-of-war renewed the excitement, and Massachusetts issued a circular letter to the colonies, which the British ministry in vain commanded the authorities to rescind. Then followed the Boston massacre in 1770, the destruction of the tea in 1773, and the Port Bill in 1774. The Revolutionary War had its outbreak in Massachusetts, the bloodshed at Lexington and the contest of Concord being the instigative incidents that led to the war. Its earliest event was the siege of Boston, made notable by the battle of Bunker Hill, the acceptance of the command by Washington at Cambridge, and the evacuation by the British. In 1780 a constitution was framed for the State, and adopted by popular vote. In 1786 the tranquillity of the State was again disturbed by a party of rioters, who, under the leadership of Daniel Shays, attempted to resist the authorities, but the revolt was suppressed. On the breaking out of the Civil War in 1861 Massachusetts was among the first to offer assistance to the National cause; and, till the final success of the Federal army, continued to perform a patriotic and liberal part.

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Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921