/ee"steuhn/, n.1. a city in E Pennsylvania, on the Delaware River. 26,027.2. a city in SE Massachusetts. 16,623.
* * *town, seat of Talbot county, eastern Maryland, U.S. It is situated in the tidewater region along the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, near the head of Tred Avon River (estuary). It was settled by Quakers (Quaker) in 1682 and established as a town in 1710 when the area was chosen as the site of the county courthouse (built c. 1712). The town was called Talbot Court House until 1789, when the present name, probably attributable to Easton, England, was adopted.The town is an agricultural trading centre and has light manufacturing (power tools, distillation equipment, laxatives, and highway flares). The Third Haven Friends Meeting House (1682–84) was the nucleus of an early Quaker settlement and is one of the oldest frame structures for worship in the United States. Nearby are Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (west) and Wye Oak State Park (north), which preserved a 460-year-old white oak, 96 feet (29 metres) high and nearly 32 feet (10 metres) around the trunk, a spectacular example of Maryland's official state tree; in 2002 the tree was felled in a storm. Easton is noted for its annual Waterfowl Festival (November). Inc. 1906. Pop. (1990) 9,372; (2000) 11,708.city, seat (1752) of Northampton county, eastern Pennsylvania, U.S. It lies at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware (Delaware River) rivers (bridged to Phillipsburg, New Jersey) and is part of the Lehigh Valley industrial complex that includes Allentown, Bethlehem, and Wilson.Easton was laid out in 1752 by William Parsons (Rosse, William Parsons, 3rd earl of), at the request of Thomas Penn, on land obtained from the Delaware Indians in the notorious Walking Purchase of 1737, a treaty that enforced Indian resettlement. The town was named for the English estate (Easton) of Penn's father-in-law, Thomas Fermor, 1st earl of Pomfret. During the French and Indian Wars (French and Indian War), Easton was the scene of several Indian peace councils; it served as an outpost during the American Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence was read on July 8, 1776, from the steps of the Old Courthouse (a marker in the city's “Great Square” recalls the occasion). In 1829 the Lehigh Canal from Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) to Easton was opened, and Easton developed as a shipping centre for coal.The surrounding area is rich in natural resources—farmland, limestone, slate, iron ore, and timber. The company Binney & Smith Inc. established a factory in Easton at the beginning of the 20th century to make slate pencils but quickly began manufacturing crayons; its world-famous Crayola crayons are still made there. Other factories in the locality produce pipe couplings, plastic and paper food containers, and specialty minerals.Lafayette College in Easton was chartered in 1826, but classes did not begin until 1832. The Easton home (1757) of George Taylor, signer of the Declaration of Independence, has been restored. Nearby Hugh Moore Park includes a restored section of the Lehigh Canal, with locks, a mule-drawn canal boat, and a locktender's house. Inc. borough, 1789; city, 1887. Pop. (1990) city, 26,276; Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton MSA, 595,081; (2000) city, 26,263; Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton MSA, 637,958.
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