Variant name of place

South hold; Southold-Town; South Hole

Geographic position

41.0647° N, 72.4261° W


General note

Southold is located in northeast Long Island, New York and is the oldest English town in the state of New York. The Corchaug Indians, who occupied the land that would become Southold until Puritans from the New Haven colony settled the land in 1640, called the area Yennecott and had cleared much of the land before the Puritans’ arrival. The New Haven magistrates bought the title to the land making up present-day Orient Point to Wading River from the Corchaug Indians, and the colonists soon after built a church that served as the religious and political center of the town. As the population increased in the second half of the 17th century, large divisions of land were made. The Indians in the area contracted fatal diseases, were pushed out, were enslaved, or later intermarried with black slaves and had children who were enslaved. In 1664, Southold severed ties with Connecticut and became the subjects of the Duke of York, and Southold was granted the land from Plum Island to Wading River. As English subjects, 150 men went to Ticonderoga after 1754 and fought in the French and Indian War. During the Revolution, British troops occupied Southold, and many Southolders left for Connecticut while others were loyalists. When the British left New York in 1784, many Southolders who had left returned to Southold and helped to rebuild the town. In 1767, Occom suggested a tract of land in Long Island near Southold as a new location for the Indian school. He also visits the town later as an intinerant preacher. In a 1771 letter to Wheelock, David Avery writes of a revival in religion in Southold.