Fact-Check: No, Fall River, Massachusetts, Was Not ‘Built by Immigrants’

Representative Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) alleged the host-city of his response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, Fall River, Massachusetts was “built by immigrants.”

Fact-Check: MOSTLY FALSE

What is now Fall River was first founded in the 1600s by English settlers who were not “immigrants” but colonists. A native-born family, the Bordens ran a mill in what became the town for generations before and after the American revolution.

Industrialization began when Col. Joseph Durfee, a native-born Revolutionary War hero built the first factory in 1811. Later, at the end of the 19th Century, a wave of immigrants swelled the town’s population. Immigrants, however, never made up a majority of the population of Bristol County, where Fall River lies, even at their early 20th Century peak.

Here is a bit from Wikipedia:

In 1653, Freetown was settled at Assonet Bay by members of the Plymouth Colony, as part of Freeman’s Purchase, which included the northern part of what is now Fall River. In 1683, Freetown was incorporated as a town within the colony. The southern part of what is now Fall River was incorporated as the town of Tiverton as part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1694, a few years after the merger with Plymouth Colony. In 1746, in the settlement of a colonial boundary dispute between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Tiverton was annexed to Rhode Island, along with Little Compton and what is now Newport County, Rhode Island. The boundary was then placed approximately at what is now Columbia Street.

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