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Newburyport, Massachusetts

City: Newburyport

County: Essex

State: Massachusetts

Lat/Long: 42.8125, -70.877778

Newburyport, Massachusetts is a coastal city and seaport in Essex County, Massachusetts. It is situated on the south bank of the Merrimack River, three miles from the Atlantic Ocean and thirty-five miles north-northeast of Boston. Newburyport was originally part of Newbury, which English livestock investors established in 1635. From 1635 to 1685, citizens of Newbury grew crops and raised cattle. After 1685, foreign commerce and shipbuilding brought industrialists, merchants, and tradesmen to the area in large numbers, and in the 1760s, inhabitants of the water side of Newbury petitioned the Massachusetts General Court to break away from Newbury and form a new town. In January 1764, the General Court granted this petition, passing a law creating the separate town of Newburyport. The new town became a center of shipbuilding during the late colonial, revolutionary, and early national periods, with the Merrimack River dotted with shipyards constructing ships of all varieties. After the War of 1812, Newburyport experienced an economic downturn, as shipbuilding moved to ports that could accommodate larger vessels. Comb, textile, and shoemaking rejuvenated the town and its economy, and the arrival of immigrants from French Canada, Ireland, and Europe in the 1840s and 1850s to work in the factories gave the town a cosmopolitan favor. In May 1851, the General Court incorporated Newburyport as a city.

Angelo Heilprin and Louis Heilprin, eds., Geographical Dictionary of the World in the Early 20th Century with Pronouncing Gazetteer, reprint ed. (New Delhi: Logos, 1990), 2:1279; John J. Currier, History of Newburyport, Mass. 1764-1805 (Newburyport, MA: John J. Currier, 1906), 5, 13, 21-24, 209; John Hardy Wright, Images of America: Newburyport (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1999), 7-8.