New Bedford, Ma.

New Bedford has always been “outside of the box”, so to speak. During the war of independence, it was the only “free” port in the colonies. New Bedford was the site of the first naval engagement of the war. On September 5th, 1778, the British land at Clark’s Point and proceed to burn the city. Torching everything except the warehouses that held the rum stored by the privateers that had been terrorizing British merchant ships.

It is also believed that Captain Henry J Robert’s experience in chairing a church meeting while stationed in New Bedford in the 1860’s inspired him to later write Roberts Rules of Order.

Having Quaker roots, the city has always been a thorn in the side of the national government. During the time of slavery, New Bedford was part of the Underground Railroad. Many slaves stowed on cotton ships that brought the raw product to the city for manufacturing. The most famous slave was Fredrick Douglass

New Bedford was the home of Berkshire Hathaway

In 1955 Berkshire Spinning merged with the Hathaway Manufacturing Company which was founded in 1888 in New Bedford, Massachusetts by Horatio Hathaway as a cotton milling business. Hathaway was successful in its first decades, but it suffered during a general decline in the textile industry after World War I. At this time, Hathaway was run by Seabury Stanton, whose investment efforts were rewarded with renewed profitability after the Depression.. After the merger, Berkshire Hathaway had 15 plants employing over 12,000 workers with over $120 million in revenue and was headquartered in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

The plant along with other mills was the draw for many Western European Immigrants like those from the British Isles, and the Iberian Peninsula, (and Poland.)

4 thoughts on “New Bedford, Ma.

  1. Given the historical value of Oxford Village, it is very strange that a few unaware residents of Fairhaven continue to refer to the largest collection of pre-Revolutionary War housing in the area as “Poverty Point.”

    Among other first-rate historical monuments, Oxford Village contains the memorial to the last survivor of the Mayflower, the monument to the first solo circum-navigator of the world, the home of the first Japanese to have been to the United States (John Manjiro), one of the homes of a leading painter of the 19th Century (a Fairhaven resident), and the Fairhaven Colonial Club

    The village has always been Oxford Village, as can be demonstrated by observing every map that has ever been published of the area, including all of the maps published in the 19th Century.

    The notion that the name came into use when the first bridge to New Bedford was built early in the 19th Century is without historical foundation and has never been demonstrated in any historical document.

    Apparently this monicker may actually have been started somewhere in the early 20th Century when those living in the Main Street & Center Avenue of Fairhaven wished to keep their social distance from the folks living in Oxford Village.

    Whatever the origin of this self-deprecatory title, it is a demonstration of either a concerted effort to obscure the historic significance of the Village by those at odds with American origins, or a bewildering manifestation of the lack of self-awareness by those who make use the term.


  2. John, How about some photos to spice up your narrative?
    Don’t forget that Robert E. Lee engineered the design of Fort Rodman.
    The original New York Yankees were whaling millionaires who went to NYC to add to their fortunes; among them Hetty Green who walked around with millions in a shopping bag.


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