1902 Encyclopedia > Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Cambridge
Mass., United States




CAMBRIDGE, a city of the United States, in the county of Middlesex, Massachusetts. It lies on Charles River, three miles N.W. of Boston, with which it is connected by two bridges, with long causeways, and by horse railroads, or tramways It is the seat of Harvard University, the oldest, richest, and most thoroughly equipped literary institution in the United States. Connected with the university is an observatory, in 42° 22' 48" N. lat. and 71° 8' W. long. Under the name of Newtown a settlement was made on its territory, then much more extended than at present, by some of the first company of English colonists on Massa-chusetts Bay in 1630. It was then proposed to make it the capital of the colony; but the neighbouring peninsula of Boston was found more convenient for commerce and defence against the Indians. The order of the colony court in 1636 having provided for planting a college at Newtown, its name was changed to Cambridge, in honour of the English university town, where some of the leading men of the colony had been educated. The first company of settlers, being Mr Hooker's church and congregation, moved to Connecticut in 1636, to find better farm-land. Their rights were purchased by another body of colonists just arrived from England. The present site of the college halls was originally "fortified" by palisades, within which the settlers found protection at night for themselves and their cattle against a possible inroad of the savages. Here was set up the first printing-press in the United States, and from it issued John Eliot's translation of the Bible, for the Indians, in their own language. Under the title of Cambridge Farms," the present town of Lexington, incorporated as such in 1712, was a part of the original town. The town of Brighton, now annexed to the city of Boston, formerly South Cambridge, or Little Cambridge, was separated and received its present name in 1807; and the west part of the original settlement, known as Menotomy, was marked off in the same year, as West Cambridge, now known as Arlington. Between this place and Cambridge is North Cambridge ; and the districts of the city nearest to Boston, by the two bridges, are called Cambridge Bort and East Cambridge. Cambridge was incorporated as a city in 1846. It is for the most part level, with much marsh land near the river, portions of which are in process of being reclaimed. The cemetery of Mount Auburn is on the western border of the city. The 'population of Cambridge in 1874 was 50,337 ; the numbers of polls for voters, 11,983; of dwellings, 7383. The valuation was—of personal property, $17,532,971; of -real, $49,043,700 ; total, $66, 576,671. The net debt of the city incurred for water-works, streets, school-houses and other improvements, is $3,792,135. The city appro-priation for 1874 was $2,771,508. Total cost of the water-works, $1,399,396. The police department, with 60 officers, cost $71,710; fire department, $97,355; filling up low lands, $650,000. The average number of paupers, 129; net cost of their maintenance, $38,000. Cost of street lighting, $20,157. The system of public schools is very complete and efficient, including a high school, 7 grammar schools, 18 primaries, and a training school,—with 183 teachers; cost of maintenance, $260,187'47. Cambridge was the site of the camp of the first American army, at the outbreak of the War of the Bevolution. with Great Britain. From it went the detachment which intrenched on Bunker's Hill; and here Washington took command of the army, July 3, 1775.







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