Like most of the northeastern United States, Northampton was founded by a small group of Puritans.  In 1653 a group of twenty four people came to Western Massachusetts in pursuit of easier trade with the Natives and better land for farming.  They granted a charter in 1654 to plant and possess Nonotuck.  The city of Northampton wasn’t incorporated until 1884.  The city seal represents important principles of what Northampton was originally founded on and still continues to strive for.   The saying on the seal says in Latin, “caritas, education, justitia.”  This saying means, caring, education, and justice which are three concepts that the people of Northampton have held tightly to since the city’s founding.

Over the years, Northampton has been a hub for progressive political and social movements.  One of the most significant historical movements that took place in Northampton was the creation of a Utopian community called the Northampton Association back in the early 19th century.  The Northampton Association was a community that combined ideas of radical abolition with a communally owned and operated silk mill.  For a period of time this silk mill was the home of Sojourner Truth, a freed slave who bought her first home in Northampton.  It was a project based around creating a self-sustaining community that was concerned with abolishing racial and gender divides.   Although this community ultimately failed due to economic reasons it is a very early example of the progressive mindset that still lives on in Northampton today.

Pride and Joy stands behind the founding principles of Northampton and celebrates the ideals of being socially and politically progressive city where all kinds of people are welcomed and celebrated.  We carry products that help to spread Northampton pride because it is such a unique and beautiful city and the experiences that people have here truly don’t happen anywhere else.

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