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Our Plural History | Springfield, MA
This statue of Miles Morgan, one of Springfield's earliest inhabitants, was erected by his descendents and can be found in Court Square in downtown Springfield.
Photo by Richard Norman, PhD.

Table of Contents

Colonial Period

Early in the seventeenth century, Europeans began the colonization of North America. The Europeans laid claim to new territories and an abundance of natural resources. Farmers, fishermen, ship builders, artisans and craftsman saw the Americas as a "land of opportunity." Others arrived as political or religious dissidents in pursuit of freedom or a chance at building pure communities of the faithful. >More

William Pynchon
Founder of the city of Springfield, Pynchon and his family helped build Springfield from a trading post on the outskirts of the colony to a thriving commercial city.

John Pynchon
After his father returned to England, John Pynchon expanded the fur trade in the valley and secured land claims from many Native Americans.

Indentured Servitude in Colonial Springfield
The seventeenth century in the British colonies of North America presented an unprecedented opportunity for laborers. Over half of all immigrants during this period came to the colonies as bonded or indentured servants, contracted to provide labor to a particular master for a fixed period of time in exchange for passage overseas.

Conflict and Cooperation among the First Peoples and European Settlers
European colonization of the Connecticut River Valley set in motion drastic changes for the First Peoples of the region. A clash of cultures - marked by differences in languages, customs, and contrasting world views, including differing conceptions of land ownership and private property - made integration and cooperation between native groups and European colonists nearly impossible.