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Worcester, Massachusetts: History See also: Timeline of Worcester, Massachusetts and List of people from Worcester, MA Worcester was founded in 1673 by Samuel Chapin as "Quinsigamond" (meaning "beautiful river"), after the principal Native American tribe living there. The original settlement site is now part of the city's North End. It was first settled by a handful of Puritan families moving south from Boston along the Blackstone River. In 1674, a group led by Reverend John Eliot established an Indian trading post nearby; this 'Indian Farm' became known as Millbury shortly thereafter when it separated from Quinsigamond to establish its own identity on land purchased directly from Chief Sannup (also spelled Sanap). During King Philip's War (1675–78), four Indian raids swept across central Massachusetts and eastern Connecticut; one such raid destroyed much of what later became downtown Worcester in 1676 but failed to destroy Quinsigamond or Millbury.