city, Bristol county, southeastern Massachusetts, U.S. It lies on the east shore of Mount Hope Bay, at the mouth of the Taunton River, 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Providence, Rhode Island. Its site was included in Freeman's Purchase, a tract of land bought from Native Americans in 1659 by Plymouth colonists and settled in 1686. Originally part of Freetown, it was separately incorporated as the town of Fallriver in 1803. Renamed Troy, it reverted (1831) to its earlier name (derived from the Algonquian term Quequechan, meaning "Falling Water"). Abundant waterpower, a fine harbour, and a moist climate encouraged textile milling in the town as early as 1811, and by 1871 the city was a leading cotton-textile centre. It was the scene of numerous labour strikes, and its millworkers played a prominent role in the American labour-union movement. In 1892 Fall River was the site of the notorious ax-murder trial of Lizzie Borden, who was acquitted of hacking her father and stepmother to death.
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