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SOUTHAMPTON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 492 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SOUTHAMPTON, a township of Suffolk county, New York, occupying the western part (W. of Easthampton) of the south-eastern peninsula of Long Island, S. of the Peconic Bay and N. of the Atlantic Ocean. Pop. (1900), 10,371; (1910), 11,240. Separated from the ocean by a narrow beach only, in the south-western part .of the township are the nearly landlocked East Bay and Shinnecock Bay, and farther east are Mecox Bay, (landlocked) and other ponds near the ocean. At Canoe Place, an old portage, Shinnecock Bay and Peconic Bay are less than 3 m. apart. On the northern shore of the township are the small settlements called Flanders, Southport, Sebonac, North Haven and North Sea. Nearer the south shore and served by the Long Island railway are Speonk, Westhampton, Quogue, Good Ground, Shinnecock Hills, Southampton (pop. in 1910, 2509), Water Mill and Bridgehampton, from which there is a branch line of the Long Island railway to Sag Harbor. Good sailing and sea-bathing are obtained at several places; and the golf links of the Shinnecock Golf Club, at Shinnecock Hills, is one of the best in the country. The first " summer cottages" were built near the village of Southampton in the latter part of the decade 187o-188o, and the summer colony was long called the "New York Annex" or the "Annex." The village of Southampton has been called the Newport of Long Island; in it is the Rogers Memorial Library (1893). The whale fishery was formerly important; it began here about 166o. The Shinnecock Indians long took part in it and many of the men of the tribe were lost in the wreck of the " Circassian " here on the 31st of December 1876. The Indians now on the reservation are mostly mixed bloods with a large proportion of negro blood. Southampton was settled in s64o, probably before Southold, by a " company of undertakers " formed in March 1639 at Lynn, Massachusetts, who received from James Forrett, agent of the proprietor, William Alexander, Lord Stirling, a patent dated the 17th of April 164o for 8 m. square of land and whose deed from the Indians is dated the 13th of December 1640. Their first attempt to settle was broken up by the Dutch. The name may have been taken in honour of Henry Wriothesley, earl of Southampton. The settlement was a commercial scheme, and in spite of the rigid Puritanism of Abraham Pierson, their first pastor and a sympathizer with New Haven, the people voted to attach themselves to Connecticut (1645). The Mosaic law was adopted for the government of the township. In 1678 Governor Edmund Andros, in a note to the home government, said: " Our principall places of trade are New York and Southampton, except Albany for the Indyans." The village of Southampton was incorporated in 1894. See Geo. R. Howell, Early History of Southampton, L.I. (2nd ed., Albany, 1887), and the Town Records (4 vols., Sag Harbor, 1874-1879), with notes by W. S. Pelletreau.
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