books which might be of general interest to students of the "Early
Republic" period -- If you find any worth purchasing after following
one of these links, a portion will go to support of this web site:
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough a "story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work."
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs. From book description: "For more than three decades, Jeffrey D. Sachs has been at the forefront of international economic problem solving. But Sachs turns his attention back home in The Price of Civilization, a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity.
Amhurst College was founded there in 1821 and incorporated in 1825.
Small town around 25 miles north of Boston, in western Essex County, where a religiously conservative school was established in reaction against the liberalization of Harvard (which became a Unitarian institution early in the 19th century).
It it difficult, and will take quite some time, to do justice to Boston, of course.
In the early 1800s, it was the intellectual capital of the U.S.
It has one of the finest harbors on the east coast. Originally, it was almost an island, connected to the mainland by "Boston neck", a strip just wide enough for one road (one of the reasons it could hold out so long in its rebellion against the English). Over the years, the neck was widened until it became wider than the "head" attached to it. Part of this filling-in process created the Back Bay.
About 10 miles south southwest of old Boston (just the penninsula).
Concord was very much of a retreat from the bustle of city life until, in the 1840s, the railroad began to make it a suburb of Boston.
Also site of one of the first battles of the Revolution.
Family seat of Edward Everett's ancestors, starting with Richard, about 1642.
A couple of miles northwest of the center of Northampton, on the mill river. An early center of silkworm farming (which flourished only briefly), and cloth manufacturing. It grew around the nucleus of the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, an experiment in communal living, whose principles were religiously tolerent and liberal. The commune was also a gathering place for Garrisonian abolitionism. The commune, and leter the village, were home for several years to Sojourner Truth, one of the last slaves held in New York State (where slavery existed until 1828). She became a popular and famous antislavery and feminist speaker.
Home of the pastorate of Samuel Hopkins from 1743-69.
William Cullen Bryant practiced law there, and served in minor offices, from 1816 until 1825, when he moved to New York. He married a local woman, Francis Fairchild.
County seat of Franklin County, about 10 miles south of the Vermont border, and near the junction of the Deerfield, Connecticut, and Green Rivers. Home from about 1830 up to early 1860s of George T. Davis, publisher of the Franklin Mercury, lawyer, and onetime congressman.
One of the early (textile) manufacturing centers of Massachusetts.
About 10 miles west-northwest of Boston. Site of the first real battle of the American Revolution, along with Concord.
An early center of textile manufacturing, just up the Merrimack River from another almost as famous manufacturing city, Lawrence. One of the innovations of Lowell was their system of recruiting young country girls, housing them in dormitories, and employing them, generally until they were ready to marry. The owners prided themselves on treating the girls well and looking out for their morals. Whether or not the treatment was what it claimed to be, Lowell was a source of fascination for foreign visiters as well as Americans from far away, such as David Crockett, whose account can be found in the Annals of America (vol 6, p90).
In its early days a center of shoe manufacturing. Later a stronghold of radical abolitionism. Just a few miles down the coast from Salem.
Home of late 1841 until fall of 1845 when, after publishing his first book, he began a tour of Britain.
On about the northern boundary of Boston Bay.
Birthplace, in 1808, of Enoch Pratt, a large iron-and-steel monger and philanthropist.
In Essex County
(See Dwight, Travels, III, p81, according to which it had 1264 inhabitants in 1810).
Occupying the tip of a narrow penninsula thrust 3-4 miles out into Boston Bay.
The main town of the Nantucket Island, which is its own county.
Long famous as a base of whaling enterprises. A sizeable town on the west bank of the Acushnet River, where it empties into Buzzards Bay. In Bristol, the southernmost county of the Massachusetts mainland.
Home of Frederick Douglass from late 1838 to late 1841.
About 8 miles WSW of Boston.
Sam Clark, father of James Freeman Clark settled there to practice medicine soon after his marriage; also the country home of Sam's stepfather, James Freeman, where he largely raised and educated J.F. Clark.
Home of the conservative Theologicay Seminary that was founded in reaction to Harvard's increasing liberalism.
Birthplace of, in 1805 of William Lloyd Garrison. Benjamin Perley Poore was also born "near Newburyport" in 1820 [Webster's Bio..]. William Kettell was born and raised there, Caleb Cushing was raised, and spent much of his life serving the community there.
A harbor town at the mouth of the Merrimack River, it was devastated by Jefferson's embargo.
Home of a Capt. Abel Coffin, and Mrs. Coffin who were the guardians of the "Siamese Twins" until they came of age and rebelled on 5/11/32. (The Two). Their physician, Dr. John Brickett, also lived there.
On the Connecticut River in Western Massachusetts.
The birthplace, between 1773 and 1788, of the very influential philanthropists, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, and their brother Benjamin, who made a career in Ohio as a lawyer and judge, and eventually U.S. Senator.
In the late 20s and early 30s, George Bancroft and Joseph Green Cogswell conducted the famous Round Hill School there, "a school well known for its strict but kindly discipline, its thorough instruction on the plan of the German gymnasium, and the vigorous outdoor life and manly spirit it fostered" (DAB, IV-273).
In the mid 1840s, it was the site of an experiment in communal living, the Northampton Association of Education and Industry.
Only about 3 miles inland from Salem. Named for a famous family of the area.
County seat of Berkshire County, and situated on a pass in the Berkshire Mountans.
Plymouth Bay, famous for its early settlers, the earliest "Pilgrims" is about 30 miles down the coast from Boston.
At the very tip of Cape Cod (Barnstable County).
About 15 miles northeast of Boston, also on the coast. Home of a very early group of puritan settlers. Famous for a rash of trials and executions of "witches". Also home of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the three famous Peabody sisters, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophie.
Set on an unindented part of the shoreline between Boston Bay and Plymouth Bay.
3-4 miles southwest of Framington, near the bottom of Middlesex County.
Birthplace, in 1764, of Henry Ware (senior).
Lies near the bottom of the state on the Connecticut River. Became a manufacturing center at an early date, and housed the largest federal arsenal of the nation.
Home of the Ames Paper Mill, owned by David and John Ames, a highly advanced facility where new hires were thoroughly investigated and sworn not to divulge anything of the plant's operations. These operations were described in some detail in Anne Royall's Sketches..., p292 (Noted in James, Anne Royall's U.S.A., pp142)
Also noted in James: Chapin, Sketches ... Old Springfield.
In Berkshire County, about 10 miles N. of Great Barrington, and 15 mi. S. of Pittsfield. Home of Jonathan Edwards' mission to the Indians from 1751-58.
County seat (present day) of Bristol County. Isaac Babbitt (1799-1862), metalurgist and inventor was born here, founded a metalwares factory (later known as Reed and Barton), and remained until 1834, when he went to Boston.
On the right bank of the Taunton River.
Center of the huge county of Worcester, which makes up about the middle one fourth of Massachusetts.
A long curved penensula with only a 5 mile wide connection to the mainland, cut across by Cape Cod Canal. It ends in Cape Cod, and Provincetown. It is shaped somewhat like a bowl surrounding Cape Cod Bay.
Westernmost county, through which the Berkshire Mountains run. Also part of the Housatonic River, Pittsfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Lenox, Adams, Southfield.
Comprises the island of Martha's Vineyard, 50-60 miles south of Plymouth. Some of its towns are Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chappaquiddick, Chilmark, Menemsha, and Gay Head. The county also contains a string of islands called the Elizabeth Islands, just north of Martha's Vinyard. These include Cuttyhunk, Nashawena, and Naushon.
Northernmost coastal county. Contains Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Beverly, Danvers, Middletown, Lawrence, Andover, Amesbury, Salisbury, Newburyport. Boston in the Federal era was said to be dominated by the "Essex Junto", a group of rich conservative men from this more rural county. Their name is also linked to the Hartford convention, which, during the War of 1812, considered the possiblity of New England's seceeding from the U.S.
The lower Merrimack River runs parallel and 3 miles south of Essex County's (and Massachusett's) boundary with New Hampshire.
Northernmost county of the Connecticut Valley tier. Contains Northfield, New Salem, Deerfield.
Middle county of the Connecticut Valley tier. Contains Northampton, Easthampton, Westhampton, Leeds, Florence, Amhurst, Hadley.
Southernmost of the "Old Hampshire" counties centered around the Connecticut River.
The island county furthest from the mainland. Famous for its whalers.
By 1841, it was a strong abolitionist center. Among the abolition leaders were members of the Coffin family, one of whom, William C., introduced Frederick Douglass to a Nantucket anti-slavery convention on August 16, 1841. Douglass's speech there put him well on the way to achieving national fame.
Enclosed by the long, semicircular penninsula of Barnstable County.
Cuts across a neck leading to the long penninsula of Barnstable County.
This river, which drains the highlands of Vermont and New Hampshire, remains broad as one follows it up through Massachusetts. Many towns were already established along it by the 1830s. It runs through a tier of 3 moderate sized counties: Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin, while to its east and west are very large (which usually means sparcely populated) counties, namely Berkshire and Worcester, that traverse the whole state from north to south.
Just north of Hingham. Tucked in behind the southernmost barrier reef guarding Boston harbor.
Appears very minor, but feeds the Barkhamsted Reservoir in CT.
The northernmost river of Massachusetts, with Newburyport at its mouth. The first roughly 30 miles of the Merrimack are 3 to 4 miles south of the New Hampshire border, running parallel, as if the border were defined by this distance from the river. Then, as the Massachusetts - New Hampshire border ceases to meander and becomes a straight line, the river crosses that line and ascends into New Hampshire.
A trip up the river: Near the mouth of the river are Salisbury, the birthplace of Caleb Cushing, and Newburyport, home of many interesting individuals. Going upriver, one passses Haverhill, to the north, Lawrence (also north) a center of early water-power based textile industry in Massachusetts, North Andover (and , and Lowell, the most famous textile manufacturing town in its time
"Navigable for vessels of 150 tons, and eminently useful for the mill seats which it furnishes."
Source: Dwight, Travels, III, p81