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SOUTHOLD

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 514 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SOUTHOLD, a township of Suffolk county, New York, occupying the peninsula at the N.E. of Long Island, and including the islands E.N.E. of this peninsula, Plum Island, on which defences protect the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound, Little Gull Island, on which there is a lighthouse, Great Gull Island, and Fisher's Island. Pop. (1900), 8301; (1910, U.S. census), 10,J77. Excluding the islands to the east, the township is about 25 M. long and its average width is 2 m.; the Sound shore is broken only by Mattituck and Goldsmith's inlets, but the southern shore is broken with bays and necks of land. The surface is hilly, with occasional glacial boulders. The Long Island railway serves the principal villages of the township, Mattituck, Cutchogue, Peconic, Southold and Green-port (pop. in 1910, 3089), and from Greenport steamers run to Shelter Island, Sag Harbor, New London and New York. Beyond Greenport are the villages of East Marion and Orient. Greenport has some shipping and some oyster fisheries, asparagus is grown at Mattituck, and Peconic Bay is noted for its scallops. Southold is a summer resort, and it is historically interesting as one of the first English settlements on. Long Island. The first permanent settlement here was made in 164o; land wasbought from the Indians in August (a lease from the proprietor William Alexander, Lord Stirling, had been secured in 1639), and on the 21st of October 164o a Presbyterian church was organized under John Youngs, who came from New Haven and had been connected with a St Margaret's church in Suffolk, England, probably at Reydon, near Southwold; and it is possible that the settlement was named from Southwold, though as it was commonly called " the South Hold " by early writers and a settlement on Wading River was called West Hold, the name was probably descriptive. A meeting-house was built in 1642, and biblical laws were enforced. Southold was originally one of the six towns under the New Haven jurisdiction, but in 1662 was placed under Connecticut; in 1664 it objected strongly to the transfer of Long Island to the duke of York; in 167o refused to pay taxes imposed by Governor Francis Lovelace of New York; in 1672 petitioned the king to be under Connecticut or to be a free corporation; in 1673, when the Dutch got control of New York, withstood the Dutch commissioners, with the help of Connecticut; and, in 1674, after English supremacy was again established in New York, still hoped to be governed from Connecticut. The township was chartered by Governor Edmund Andros in 1676. Greenport was not settled until the first quarter of the 19th century, and was incorporated as a village in 1838. See Epher Whitaker, History of Southold, L.I.: Its First Century (Southold, 1881) ; Southold Town Records (2 vols., Southold, 1882-1884), and an address by C. B. Moore in Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Formation of the Town and the Church of Southold, L.I. (Southold, 189o).
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