Amherst College was founded there in 1821 and incorporated in 1825.
In the early 1800s, it was the intellectual capital of the U.S.
It has one of the finest harbors on the east coast. Originally, it was almost an island, connected to the mainland by "Boston neck", a strip just wide enough for one road (one of the reasons it could hold out so long in its rebellion against the English). Over the years, the neck was widened until it became wider than the "head" attached to it. Part of this filling-in process created the Back Bay.
Concord was very much of a retreat from the bustle of city life until, in the 1840s, the railroad began to make it a suburb of Boston.
Also site of one of the first battles of the Revolution.
William Cullen Bryant practiced law there, and served in minor offices, from 1816 until 1825, when he moved to New York. He married a local woman, Francis Fairchild.
Home of late 1841 until fall of 1845 when, after publishing his first book, he began a tour of Britain.
Birthplace, in 1808, of Enoch Pratt, a large iron-and-steel monger and philanthropist.
(See Dwight, Travels, III, p81, according to which it had 1264 inhabitants in 1810).
Home of Frederick Douglass from late 1838 to late 1841.
A harbor town at the mouth of the Merrimack River, it was devastated by Jefferson's embargo.
Home of a Capt. Abel Coffin, and Mrs. Coffin who were the guardians of the "Siamese Twins" until they came of age and rebelled on 5/11/32. (The Two). Their physician, Dr. John Brickett, also lived there.
Sam Clark, father of James Freeman Clark settled there to practice medicine soon after his marriage; also the country home of Sam's stepfather, James Freeman, where he largely raised and educated J.F. Clark.
The birthplace, between 1773 and 1788, of the very influential philanthropists, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, and their brother Benjamin, who made a career in Ohio as a lawyer and judge, and eventually U.S. Senator.
In the late 20s and early 30s, George Bancroft and Joseph Green Cogswell conducted the famous Round Hill School there, "a school well known for its strict but kindly discipline, its thorough instruction on the plan of the German gymnasium, and the vigorous outdoor life and manly spirit it fostered" (DAB, IV-273).
In the mid 1840s, it was the site of an experiment in communal living, the Northampton Association of Education and Industry.
Birthplace, in 1764, of Henry Ware (senior).
Home of the Ames Paper Mill, owned by David and John Ames, a highly advanced facility where new hires were thoroughly investigated and sworn not to divulge anything of the plant's operations. These operations were described in some detail in Anne Royall's Sketches..., p292 (Noted in James, Anne Royall's U.S.A., pp142)
Also noted in James: Chapin, Sketches ... Old Springfield.
On the right bank of the Taunton River.
The lower Merrimack River runs parallel and 3 miles south of Essex County's (and Massachusett's) boundary with New Hampshire.
By 1841, it was a strong abolitionist center. Among the abolition leaders were members of the Coffin family, one of whom, William C., introduced Frederick Douglass to a Nantucket anti-slavery convention on August 16, 1841. Douglass's speech there put him well on the way to achieving national fame.
A trip up the river: Near the mouth of the river are Salisbury, the birthplace of Caleb Cushing, and Newburyport, home of many interesting individuals. Going upriver, one passses Haverhill, to the north, Lawrence (also north) a center of early water-power based textile industry in Massachusetts, North Andover (and , and Lowell, the most famous textile manufacturing town in its time
"Navigable for vessels of 150 tons, and eminently useful for the mill seats which it furnishes."
Source: Dwight, Travels, III, p81