NEGAPATAM, a seaport of British India, in the Tanjore district of Madras, forming one municipality with Nagore, a port 3 m. N. at the mouth of the Vettar river. Pop. (1901) 57,190. It carries on a brisk trade with the Straits Settlements and Ceylon, steamers running once a week to Colombo. The chief export is rice. Negapatam is the terminus of a branch of the South Indian railway, and contains large railway workshops. It is also a depot for coolie emigration. Negapatam was one of the earliest settlements of the Protuguese on the Coromandel coast. It was taken by the Dutch in 1660, becoming their chief possession in India, and by the English in 1781. From 1799 to 1845 it was the headquarters of Tanjore district. There is a large population of Labbais, Mahommedans of mixed Arab descent, who are keen traders. Jesuit and Wesleyan missions are carried on.
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