Amherst is a city in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Situated in the Connecticut River valley, Amherst had a population of just under 38,000 as of the 2010 census. While Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Amherst is the largest city.
A Brief History of Amherst
Late in the 17th century, John Pynchon purchased the land on which Amherst lies from members of the Umpanchla, Quonquont, and Chickwalopp tribes. The community gained precinct status in 1734 and was officially incorporated as a township in 1759. Jeffrey Amherst, from whom the city received its name, was a hero of the French and Indian War.
As of 2006, 49% of Amherst citizens are registered Democrats, 6% are registered Republicans and 43% are politically unaffiliated. As of 2008, 76% of Amherst residents are white, 5% are African-American, 9% are Asian and 6% are Hispanic.
Educationally, Amherst is home to Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. These three colleges are members of what is known locally as the Five College Consortium, of which 28,000 students are members.
Notable residents include Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Edward Hitchcock, Robert Francis, Helen Hunt Jackson, Julie McNiven, Jamila Wideman and Uma Thurman.
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