Exploration and Settlement of Massachusetts

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The first Europeans to view what would become the Commonwealth of Massachusetts may have been the Norse around the year A.D. 1000, but the historical record is murky. Other early explorers or the area included the following:

Settlement efforts by the English began in earnest in 1620 with the establishment of Plymouth Colony by a group of religious separatists. An ill-fated commercial venture was established at Cape Ann in 1625; some of its settlers moved on the following year to found Naumkeag, which would later be called Salem. Other early settlements developed at Mount Wollaston, Wessagusset (later Weymouth) and Nantasket.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded in 1630, became the dominant force in the area.

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Age of Exploration & Colonial Settlement (pre-1763) - MMSD Electronic Library
... American Journeys : Eyewitness Accounts of Early American Exploration and Settlement A "Digital Library and Learning Center," presented by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Contains eyewitness accounts of North American exploration. Visitors ...
http://www.mmsd.org/elib/elib.cgi?cat=11;o=alpha