The Town of Southampton is located in southeastern Suffolk County, New York, U.S., partly on the South Fork of Long Island. As of the United States 2010 Census, the town had a total population of 56,790. The town contains a village of Southampton.
The town was founded when settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts established residence on lands obtained from local Shinnecock Indian Nation in 1640. The first settlers included eight men, one woman, and a boy who came ashore at Conscience Point. These men were Edward Howell, Edmond Farrington, Edmund Needham, Thomas Sayre, Josiah Stanborough, George Welbe, Henry Walton and Job Sayre. Before the company departed Lynn, more families were added: Daniel Howe, John Cooper, Thomas Stephens, Allen Breed, John Jessup, William Harker, Christian Connolly, Thomas Halsey, Thomas Newell, John Farrington, Richard Odell, Philip Kyrtand, Nathaniel Kirtland, Thomas Farrington and Thamas Terry.
By July 7, 1640, they had determined the town boundaries. During the next few years (1640–43), Southampton was further increased in population by 43 families.
The first meeting house was on a hill that is the site of the current Southampton Hospital. The oldest existent house in the town is the Halsey House at 249 Main Street, which was built by Thomas Halsey, one of the first Englishmen to trade with the Shinnecocks.
Southampton has 47 public and private cemeteries, not including Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which is claimed as an Indian burial ground that is no longer in active use.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 295.6 square miles (765.6 km²), of which, 138.9 square miles (359.7 km²) of it is land and 156.7 square miles (405.9 km²) of it is water. The total area is 53.02% water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 54,712 people, 21,504 households and 13,805 families residing in the town. The population density was 394.0 people per square mile (152.1/km²). There were 35,836 housing units at an average density of 258.0 per square mile (99.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 87.98% White, 6.62% Black or African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.89% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 1.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.59% of the population.
There were 21,504 households out of which 27.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $53,887, and the median income for a family was $65,144. Males had a median income of $47,167 versus $32,054 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,320. About 5.3% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.2% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
Land claim dispute
There is a question mark over ownership of parts of this area including Shinnecock Hills, as it is claimed by the Shinnecock Indian Nation as their land that was illegally seized in a white land grab in 1859.
In 2005 the nation filed a lawsuit against the state wanting the return of 3,500 acres (14 km²) in Southampton around the tribe’s reservation and billions of dollars in reparations. The disputed property includes the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which Native American representatives say is the location of tribe burial grounds.
The core of the lawsuit is over a 1703 deal between Southampton and the tribe for a 1,000-year lease. The suit charges that a group of powerful investors conspired to break the lease in 1859 by sending the state Legislature a fraudulent petition from a number of Shinnecock tribesmen. Although other tribal members immediately protested that the petition was a forgery, the Legislature approved the sale of 3,500 acres (14 km²) of former tribal land.
The town of Southampton is claimed to have spent over $732,000 in legal fees in relation to this lawsuit.
Communities and locations
Government and politics
The town maintains a police department.