Nathaniel Rochester

Nathaniel Rochester, an American pioneer, born in Westmoreland co., Va., Feb. 21, 1752, died in Rochester, N. Y., May 17, 1831. In early life he became a merchant at Hillsboro, N. C., and was a major of militia. In 1775, at the head of his command, he captured the British Gen. McDonald and the thousand Scotch recruits whom he was endeavoring to embark at Wilmington. In 1776 Rochester was a member of the convention which framed the constitution of North Carolina, and was appointed commissary general. After the war he became a merchant and manufacturer at Hagerstown, Md. About 1800 he made large purchases of land in the Genesee valley; and in 1818 he removed to Rochester, which in 1812 had been named after him.

Nathaniel Sotwell

See Southwell.


Natick, a town of Middlesex co., Massachusetts, on the Boston and Albany railroad, at the junction of the Saxonville branch, 17 m. W. by S. of Boston; pop. in 1870, 6,404. Charles river flows through the S. E. portion, and Cochituate lake, which supplies Boston with water, is partly within the town. Farming is carried on to some extent, but the principal business is the manufacture of boots and shoes, for which there are 15 or 20 establishments. There are also a hat factory and a base-ball manufactory. The town has a national bank, a savings bank, water and gas works, a fine public library and library building, a high school, a weekly newspaper, and eight churches. Natick was incorporated in 1781. The first Indian church in New England was erected here in 1660, on the site now occupied by the Unitarian church. John Eliot preached here, and in the cemetery is a monument to his memory.


See Soda.

Natural Bridge

See Bridge, Natural.

Natural History

Natural History, strictly speaking, the history of universal nature or of all natural objects, their qualities and forces, their laws of existence, their origin (as far as possible), and their mutual relations to each other and to man. The study of the physical forces of nature, however, has been separated into distinct branches of science, under the names of natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, &c; leaving for natural history proper the investigation of the structure, properties, and uses of the inanimate bodies called minerals, and of the various kinds of living things, both animal and vegetable, including their description, collection, preservation, determination, and arrangement in a natural series, and embracing as principal divisions zoology, botany, and mineralogy. For details on these divisions, the articles Animal. Botany, Comparative Anatomy. Geology, Mineralogy, Physiology, Zoology, and the various animal and vegetable classes in their respective order.

Natural Philosophy

Natural Philosophy, a term formerly used to include all those sciences which relate to the material universe, in contradistinction to those which relate to the mind or metaphysics. The wide extent of the term and its consequent vagueness have led to a gradual restriction of its application, until at present it embraces only mechanics and physics. For the former, see the article Mechanics. The term physics is usually considered as including the sciences of hydromechanics, pneumatics, acoustics, heat, light, electricity, and magnetism. Each of these will be found treated in this Cyclopaedia under its appropriate head.