The tribe may have believed they were granting usage rights to the land, not giving it up permanently.
The settlers used the land to build the colonial town of Old Dartmouth (which encompassed not only present-day Dartmouth, but also present-day New Bedford, Acushnet, Fairhaven, and Westport).
During the years leading up to the First World War, a sizable eastern-European Jewish community joined them in New Bedford.
Some became prominent merchants and businessmen, mainly in textiles and manufacturing.
Until 1800, New Bedford and its surrounding communities were, by and large, populated by Protestants of English, Scottish, Welsh, and Dutch origin.
During the first half of the 19th century many Irish people came to Massachusetts.
In 1818, Irish immigrants established the Catholic mission that built St. Later in that century, immigrants from Portugal and its dependent territories of the Azores, Cape Verde, and Madeira began arriving in New Bedford and the surrounding area, attracted by jobs in the whaling industry; many had family members who had worked on whaling ships.
As the Portuguese community began to increase, they established the first Portuguese parish in the city, St. French Canadians also secured a foothold in New Bedford at about the same time, and they built the Church of the Sacred Heart in 1877.
Many families of the city were involved with it as crew and officers of ships.
Similarly, Polish immigrants began arriving in the late 19th century and established the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1903.
A number of Jewish families, arriving in the late 19th century, were active in the whaling industry, selling provisions and outfitting ships.
New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because during the 19th century, the city was one of the most important, if not the most important, whaling ports in the world, along with Nantucket, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut.
Before the 17th century, the Wampanoag, who had settlements throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, were the only inhabitants of the lands along the Acushnet River.