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Talk:History of Massachusetts

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 Definition A history of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. [d] [e]
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From Talk:Massachusetts: History:

Name change
Shouldn't this article be at History of Massachusetts? Benjamin Lowe 14:52, 9 April 2007 (CDT)

well that's an interesting policy question for all states. The Massachusetts: History format naturally leads to MAssachusetts: Economy/Education/Government etc, with the stress on the state. Richard Jensen 15:41, 9 April 2007 (CDT)
well we now have people (including me) editing both Massachusetts: History and Massachusetts, History .... grr. Richard Jensen 00:25, 24 April 2007 (CDT)


more ideas?

Fantastic article! But I have two ideas that may be worthwhile, or not. (1) There is a void in this article for the years 1787 to 1820, and in fact, between those years a lot of action was occurring on the Massachusetts coast. Salem, Ma. was the wealthiest place in America in the 1790s, due to its worldwide shipping. ["The financial and physical risks taken by the merchants and crews made Salem by 1800 the Nation's richest city per capita." [National Park Service, Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Interior, 1987), p. 17.] Ocean-going vessels from Salem were the first American ships to reach Russia [Ibid., p. 109] and were among the earliest to reach China (they were the first from New England, but the very first American ship to reach China had left from N.Y. [Ibid., p. 110.] Perhaps these are facts worth mentioning in the state's history? (2) And what about the most infamous crime of murder in 19th century America, the double-murder at the Lizzie Borden home in Fall River, in 1892? So we have the wealthiest place in America in 1800, and the most ghastly place, in a manner of speaking, in 1892. If these topics are deemed worthy of inclusion, I could add them, or someone else. Thank you for considering these suggestions.

Salem--yes please add some material there! it's a great place even if you likewitches. As for Lizzie Borden, that's Wikipedia's specialty. Richard Jensen 06:39, 7 October 2007 (CDT)


Okay. Thank you for your support, Professor Jensen. I have written a first draft of a new section, but I don't feel confident enough to add it to this existing page without making a mess of things. For one thing, my section uses footnotes, whereas the existing page does not use footnotes. So I am putting what I have written here, where it can be fine-tuned and then interpolated into the existing page by someone more skilled in page construction. So here goes:


Age of Sail and Fantastic Wealth

During the 1780s up to the War of 1812, a great flurry of activity took place along the northeast Massachusetts coast. By the 1790s the city of Salem had surpassed the port of New York to become the capital of America’s ocean-going trade. Canny seafaring merchants such as Elias Hasket Derby (known at the time as “King Derby” and described by an official U.S. government history as “probably America’s first millionaire”) had made Salem by the year 1800 the wealthiest spot in America. [Footnote: "The financial and physical risks taken by the merchants and crews made Salem by 1800 the Nation's richest city per capita." [National Park Service, Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Interior, 1987), p. 17; see also p. 46-7.]] Ocean-going vessels from Salem were the first American ships to reach Russia [Ibid., p. 109] and were among the earliest to reach China [they were the first from New England to reach China, but the very first American ship to reach China had left from N.Y. [Ibid., p. 110.] Salem ships frequented the West Indies, Spain, Portugal, Calcutta, Bombay, Manila, Canton, and other far-flung places; and as a result, Salem’s wharves were a continuously bustling bazaar of exotic goods and sights that intoxicated one’s senses. Although the sea trade slowed down somewhat at various times for various reasons, Salem’s shipping industry continued with lucrative rewards throughout the nineteenth century, but by the 1870s Boston and New York had overtaken Salem as the primary ports of America. Many of the beautiful Federalist buildings that exist today on Salem’s Derby Street (facing Salem Harbor) hark back to the magnificent adventurous time of the early 1800s in Massachusetts history.

[For the early rise of Salem’s shipping industry, see Phillips, James Duncan. Salem in the Eighteenth Century (Salem, Massachusetts: Essex Institute, 1969).]


This is my first try. I am sure it can be perfected. I didn't want to make it too long.Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 07:37, 7 October 2007 (CDT)

Nice job Jeffrey! I added the text and made few small changes. Note that footnotes are located between the < ref > and < / ref > codes. Richard Jensen 07:53, 7 October 2007 (CDT)
Wow! Thank you so much, sir! You made my text sound so much better! Hey, I'm now going to send you the seven unpublished books I've written so you can edit them . . . no, just kidding. I am having so much fun here.Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 07:59, 7 October 2007 (CDT)
Looking in the U.S. Government's Salem book, I see that (1) the first American voyage to China was the Empress of China, out of New York. The second, was Derby's Grand Turk: "The vessel was the first from America to try to dangerous Straits of Malacca at Sumatra." (p.110)Jeffrey Scott Bernstein 08:06, 7 October 2007 (CDT)

Needs development--right now doesn't cover anything past 1900

As a History Editor, as well as a resident of Massachussetts, this needs major work if it purports to be an overall history -- I think we've had a thing or two happen since 1900. Would anyone like to concentrate on pre-1900 and get this to Developed status? I moved it back to Status 2. Howard C. Berkowitz 09:11, 17 June 2010 (UTC)