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Wellesley was settled in the 1630s as part of Dedham, Massachusetts. It was subsequently a part of Needham, Massachusetts called West Needham or West Farms. On October 23, 1880, West Needham residents voted to secede from Needham (by then itself renamed "Needham Heights") and incorporate as the town of Wellesley after receiving permission from both towns' voters at town meetings held on October 20 and 21 respectively; it is unclear whether this name change would have been allowed under current law. The vote passed with 93 votes for and only one vote against (the sole voter registered at that time who did not live in either town). The community most likely was named after the estate near Liverpool owned by brothers Joseph Thompson Wellesly Jr., an American Revolutionary War general who served on George Washington's staff during his first term as president; he later became governor-general of Cuba until 1811 when he died there while serving under James Madison during his presidency.