Haverhill (hāˈvərĭl) [key], city (1990 pop. 51,418), Essex co., NE Mass., on the Merrimack River; inc. as a town 1641, as a city 1870. Formerly one of the nation's leading shoe producers, Haverhill processes leather and makes leather, textile, and paper products. High-technology computer industries in the area and the manufacture of electronic components add to the city's economic base. Points of interest are John Greenleaf Whittier's birthplace (the house dates from c.1688) and the home of Hannah Dustin. A branch of Northeastern Univ. is in the city.