NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS, a city and the county-seat of Hampshire county, Massachusetts, U.S*A., situated on the Connecticut river, about 16 m. N. of Springfield. ' Pop. (1910 census) 19,431. The city has an area of 35-3 sq. m. The chief village, Northampton, is on the New York, New Haven & Hartford, and the Boston & Maine railways. It lies on the border of the meadow-land, and with its irregular, semi-rural streets, and venerable trees is considered one of the prettiest villages in New England. About 2 m. S.E. of Northampton is Mount Holyoke (954 ft.), which may be ascended by carriage road and mountain railway, and the summit of which commands a magnificent view. The city is the seat of a state hospital for the insane; of the Clarke School for the Deaf (1867, founded by John Clarke of Northampton) ; of Smith College, one of the foremost colleges for women in the country; of the Mary A. Burnham School for Girls (1877), a preparatory school chiefly for Smith College, founded by Miss Mary A. Burnham; and of the Miss Capen School (preparatory) for girls. Besides the college library, there are in Northampton two public libraries, the Clarke (1850) and the Forbes (1894). The Forbes library was established with funds left by Charles E. Forbes (1795-1881), from 1848 to 1881 a justice of the state supreme court. The People's Institute was started as a Home-Culture Clubs movement by George W. Cable, who became a resident of Northampton in 1886. The Smith Charities is a peculiar institution, endowed by Oliver Smith (1766-1845) of Hatfield, who left an estate valued at $370,000, to be administered by a board of three trustees, chosen by electors representing the towns of Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Amherst and Williamsburg in Hampshire county and Greenfield and Whately in Franklin county the beneficiaries of the will. The will was contested by Smith's heirs, but in 1847 was sustained by the supreme judicial court of Massachusetts. Of the total sum, $200,000 was to accumulate until it became $400,000. Of this $30,000 was to found Smith's Agricultural School at Northampton, which opened for instruction in 1908; an income of $10,000 was to be paid to the American Colonization Society, but this society failed to comply with the restrictions imposed by the will, and the $10,000 was incorporated with the Agricultural School fund; and $360,000 was devoted to indigent boys and girls, indigent young women and indigent widows. The remainder of Smith's property was constituted a contingent fund to defray expenses and keep the principal funds intact. Florence, a village on the Mill river in the city limits, is a manufacturing village, silk being its principal product, and cutlery and brushes being of minor importance. The value of the city's factory products increased from $4,706,820 in 1900 to $5,756,381 in 1905, or 22-3%. Northampton was first settled in 1654, became a township in 1656, and was incorporated as a city in 1883. In September 1786, at the time of the Shays Rebellion, the New Hampshire Gaeette (still published; daily edition since 1890) was established here in the interest of the state administration. Jonathan Edwards was pastor here from 1727 to 1750. Caleb Strong (1745-1819), a member of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787, and governor of Massachusetts in 1800-1807 and 1812-1816; Joseph Hawley (1723-1788), one of the most prominent patriots of western Massachusetts; Timothy Dwight; Arthur (1786-1865), Benjamin, and Lewis (1788-1873) Tappan, prominent philanthropists and anti-slavery men; and William D. Whitney were natives of Northampton.
See J. R. Trumbull, History of Northampton (2 vols., Northampton, 1898-1902).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)