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The city of Northampton (/n??r?θæmpt?n/) is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. As of 2012, the estimated total population of Northampton (including its outer villages, Florence and Leeds) was 28,592.

History

The area now called Northampton was once known as Norwottuck, or Nonotuck, meaning "the midst of the river" by its originalPocumtuc inhabitants. According to various accounts, Northampton was named by John King (1629–1703), one of its original settlers, or possibly in King's honor, since it is supposed that he came to Massachusetts from Northampton, England, as he was born there. The Pocumtuc confederacy occupied the Connecticut River Valley from what is now southern Vermont and New Hampshire into northern Connecticut. The Pocumtuc tribes were Algonquian and traditionally allied with the Mahican confederacy to the west. By 1606 an ongoing struggle between the Mahican and Iroquois confederacies led to direct attacks on the Pocumtuc by the Iroquoian Mohawk nation. The Mahican confederacy had been defeated by 1628, limiting Pocumtuc access to trade routes to the west. The area suffered a major smallpox epidemic in the 1630s following the arrival of Dutch traders in the Hudson Valleyand English settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the previous two decades. It was in this context that the land making up the bulk of modern Northampton was sold to settlers from Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1653.

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