The site of today's New Bedford was purchased from the Wampanoag people in 1652. In 1699, the Quakers erected a meetinghouse, the first English establishment there. Through the mid-1700s, Joseph Russell, Joseph Rotch, and Isaac Howland built up the whaling industries with a tryworks for rendering oil from blubber, whaling ships, and a candle factory. New Bedford's deep harbor and access to Boston and New York markets spurred its rise as the whaling capital in the 1800s.
Last updated: February 2, 2022