Andover, Massachusetts

Andover, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Andover, Massachusetts
Andover's Old Town Hall

Location in Essex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°39′30″N 71°08′15″W / 42.65833°N °W / 42.65833; -71.1375
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Essex
Settled 1642
Incorporated 1646
Government
 - Type Open town meeting
 - Town Manager Reginald "Buzz" Stapczynski
 - Board of
   Selectmen
Ted Teichert (2012)
Mary Lyman (2011)
Alexander Vispoli (2010)
Jerry Stabile (2010)
Brian Major (2012)
Area
 - Total  dunams (83.2 km2 / 32.1 sq mi)
 - Land
 - Water
Elevation
Population (2000)
 - Total 31247
 Density
 - Urban density
 - Rural density
 - Metro density
 -  Density
 -  Density
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01810
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-01465
GNIS feature ID 0619444
Website www.andoverma.gov

Andover is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was incorporated in 1646 and as of the 2000 census population was 31,247. It is part of the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Massachusetts-New Hampshire metropolitan statistical area.

Part of the town comprises the census-designated place of Andover.

Establishment and incorporation

In 1634, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts set aside a portion of land in what is now Essex County for an inland plantation, including parts of what is now Andover, North Andover and South Lawrence. In order to encourage settlement, early colonists were offered three years' immunity from taxes, levies and services (except military service). The first permanent settlement in the Andover area was established in 1641 by John Woodbridge and a group of settlers from Newbury and Ipswich.

Shortly after they arrived, they purchased a piece of land from the local Pennacook tribal chief Cutshamache for the price of "six pounds of currency and a coat" and on the condition that Roger, a local Pennacook man, would still be allowed to plant his corn and take alewives from a local water source. Roger's Brook, a small stream which cuts through the eastern part of town, is named in his honor. In May 1646 the settlement was incorporated as a town and was named Andover. This name was likely chosen in honor of the town of Andover in England, which was near the original home of some of the first residents. The first recorded town meeting was held in 1656 in the home of settler John Osgood in what is now the town of North Andover.

The old burying ground in what is now North Andover marks the center of the early town. Contrary to popular belief, the towns split due to the location of the Old North Church, also located in what is now North Andover. So technically, what is now Andover was not incorporated as a township until many years after 1646. The villagers from the southwestern part of the town were tired of walking all the way to the extreme north of what was then Andover, and decided to build their own church central to what is now Andover. Early on the general populace was concentrated together around the Old Center (North Andover) for protection from feared Indian attacks, but the Indians were fairly peaceful until the outbreak of King Philip's War in 1675. King Philip was an Indian who organized a revolt against the white settlers throughout most of New England. Six Indian raids occurred between 1676 and 1698 until ever-increasing numbers of white settlers established control of the land.

In November 1798, David Brown led a group in Dedham, Massachusetts in setting up a liberty pole with the words, "No Stamp Act, No Sedition Act, No Alien Bills, No Land Tax, downfall to the Tyrants of America; peace and retirement to the President; Love Live the Vice President,"[1][2][3] referring to then-President John Adams and Vice President Thomas Jefferson. Brown was arrested in Andover, Massachusetts but because he could not afford the $4,000 bail, he was taken to Salem for trial.[4] Brown was tried in June 1799.[1] Brown wanted to plead guilty but Justice Samuel Chase wanted him to name everybody who had helped him or who subscribed to his writings.[1] Brown refused, was fined $480,[4][5] and sentenced to eighteen months in prison, the most severe sentence then imposed under the Alien and Sedition Acts.[1][4]

Witchcraft

During the Salem witch trials in 1692, Andover resident Joseph Ballard asked for help for his wife from several girls in the neighboring Salem Village who were already identifying witches there. After visiting Elizabeth Ballard, the girls claimed that several people in Andover had bewitched her: Ann Foster, her daughter Mary Lacey Sr. and her granddaughter Mary Lacey Jr. During the course of the legal proceedings, more than 40 Andover citizens, mostly women and their children, were formally accused of having made a covenant with the Devil. Three Andover residents, Martha Carrier, Mary Parker, and Samuel Wardwell, were convicted and executed. Five others either pled guilty at arraignment or were convicted at trial: Ann Foster, Mary Lacey Sr., and Abigail Faulkner Sr. (daughter of Andover's minister, Francis Dane) in 1692 and Wardwell's wife Sarah and Rev. Dane's granddaughter, Elizabeth Johnson Jr. in 1693. Those who were not executed were granted reprieves by Gov. William Phips, but the convictions remained on their records. In 1713, in response to petitions initiated in 1703 by Abigail Faulkner Sr. and Sarah Wardwell, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Dudley reversed the attainder on the names of those who were convicted in the episode.

The two parishes and the division of the town

By 1705, Andover's population had begun to move southward and the idea of a new meeting house in the south end of town was proposed. This was strongly opposed by the people living near the original meeting house in the north, but the dispute was finally settled in 1709 when the Great and General Court divided Andover into two parishes, North and South. After the division of the two parishes, South Andover established the South Parish "Burying-Yard," as it was called, with early Andover settler Robert Russell the first to be interred at age 80 in December, 1710.[6] But despite this split, the town remained politically one unit.

For many years Andover was geographically one of the largest towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; in 1826 a third parish was established and West Parish Church was constructed on Reservation Road. In 1854, a measure was passed to divide the town into two separate political units according to the old parish boundaries. The name Andover was assumed by the more populous and wealthy West and South parishes, while the name North Andover was given to the North Parish.