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i 7 3 i 1896 


Town of Amherst, 








$)rea» of (!* arpenter & ^Stoveljoxx^s. 




Zo the memory? of 










Amherst is child of Hadley, grandchild of Hartford and Wethers- 
field, great-grandchild of the settlements that, clustering around Boston 
Harbor, united to form the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. Never 
was there more honored lineage, never a more honorable descendant. 
The life-story of those strong men and true-hearted women who braved 
the perils of the North Atlantic and dared the dangers of a wilderness 
unknown that, in a stranger land, they might find the freedom which a 
jealous and imperfect civilization denied, who built their rude cabins in 
Roxbury and Cambridge and Charlestown, surrounding primitive meeting- 
houses wherein they found "freedom to worship God," their story, rich in 
heroism, in devotion to principle, in glorious self-sacrifice, has been written 
and rewritten, in poetry and prose, in song and legend, in history and 
romance, until it has become a classic. Nor has the historian slighted the 
doings of that goodly company who sailed from Boston Harbor, rounded 
Cape Cod, traversed the waters of Long Island Sound and ascended far up 
New England's fairest stream, the broad Connecticut, until they reached the 
fertile meadows where they planted the first inland settlement and called it 
Hartford. Hadley's history has been written by a master hand, a noble 
history, bravely written, a wealth of information secured to generations yet 
to come. What of Amherst? A settlement in 1731, a district in 1759, a 
town in 1776, its history has, up to this time, remained unwritten save in 
the pages of old record books, with naught else to preserve it save the 
memory of succeeding generations. The history of Amherst should have 
been written long time ago ; each passing year destroys or renders less 
available historic matter of interest and value ; each year removes from the 
scene of life's activities men and women whose memories are treasure- 
houses of historic fact. These facts borne in mind furnished a leading 
motive to those who have compiled and published this History of the Town 
of Amherst. Claiming no special fitness for the work, realizing that others 
might, if they would, achieve greater success in such an undertaking, they 
believed that the time for action had come, that a history of Amherst 
should be written, and written now. Realizing fully the magnitude of the 
work involved, they entered upon it with the determination that no effort 
should be spared to make the history worthy of the town. In what they 
have succeeded, in how much they have failed, time must bear witness. 


A town, not without a history, but without an historian. Such a dis- 
tinction is not to be coveted, but it has rendered Amherst unique among 
the towns of any considerable size or importance situate in Massachusetts 
or New England, dating back in time of settlement to the earlier years of 
the Eighteenth century. Amherst is not a town of mushroom growth such 
as dot the prairies of the West, whose history can be written in one brief 
paragraph. It is rich in historic incident and association ; it occupies 
historic ground. The forests that clothed its hills and valleys once 
resounded with the savage cries of King Philip's dusky warriors as they 
rallied to the attack upon Old Hadley. the parent settlement. Along its 
highways marched the captive troops of Burgoyne on their weary journey 
from Saratoga to Boston. Later on, these same highways re-echoed to 
the hurried tread of Shays' insurgents retreating to Pelham after their 
unsuccessful attack upon the arsenal at Springfield. Amherst militia-men 
were in the army that Gov. Strong reviewed on Boston common when a 
British fleet threatened invasion during the war of 1812. For more than 
one hundred and sixty years Amherst, as settlement, precinct, district 
and town, has borne an honored and honorable part in history-making 
events in the life of the grand old Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
The history of such a town is worth the writing, and the reading- 
That writing might well have engaged the services of some student of 
history, some polished rhetorician, but such have failed to embrace the 
opportunity and, lacking these, the task has fallen upon one who may, 
with some propriety, be regarded as an intruder in the field of historical 
writing. The importance of the work and the inexpediency of longer 
waiting may excuse what otherwise might seem presumption on the writer's 

For many years the proprietors of the Amherst Record have been 
engaged in the collection of material relating to the history of the town of 
Amherst. This was done, at the first, with no settled purpose of writing 
and publishing an historical work, but with knowledge that such material 
is of value and should be preserved. When the suggestion of compiling 
and publishing a history of Amherst was first made to some of the older 
and more influential residents of the town, it was received with such hearty 
favor and so warmly encouraged that a determination was formed to enter 


upon the work forthwith. After careful consideration, it was decided to 
arrange and print the history in two parts, to be bound together in the 
same volume. The first should contain such matters relating to the general 
history of the town and its inhabitants as could be gathered from available 
sources of information, the second, a transcription of the records of town- 
meetings from the earliest days of the settlement down to the year 1800, 
with a record of the more important votes passed at such meetings from 
1800 up to and including the year 1865. The material for the second 
part being already in hand, the work of printing began at once. The 
records from 1735 to 1800 have been copied entire, and generous extracts 
made from the town books covering the period between 1800 and 1866. 
The value of these records can hardly be estimated in dollars and cents. 
They are a mine of information, and by placing them in print they have 
been made easily accessible and rendered secure from loss or injury. 

The matter contained in Part I. has been collected from sources 
almost innumerable. Two aims have ever been in mind, completeness 
and accuracy. The task involved was the greater in that there had 
been no previous attempt at historic writing in connection with the 
town of Amherst. The lands comprised in the township of Amherst once 
formed a part of Hadley, hence for the earlier history of the settlement 
recourse must needs be had to the records of the parent town. The Hadley 
records were carefully examined and afforded an abundance of interesting 
and valuable information. Other facts relating to the town's beginnings 
were gathered from Judd's History of Hadley and from the unpublished 
manuscripts of Sylvester Judd, now in possession of J. R. Trumbull of 
Northampton, to whose courtesy in permitting free access to this most 
valuable collection the publishers are greatly indebted. In the arrange- 
ment of matter it was thought best that the opening chapters should follow 
closely the chronological order of prominent historical events up to the 
time of the founding of Amherst College, while after that date particular 
subjects should be treated under separate chapter headings. Thus the first 
eight chapters of the History are devoted to a review of the causes leading 
to the settlement of Hadley, the early history of that settlement, the setting 
off from Hadley of its " Third Precinct," the first settlers in the precinct, 
the founders of Amherst families, the organization of the First church and 
settlement of its first pastor, the first school-houses, the boundaries of the 
lands comprised in the precinct and annexations of land as made from time 
to time, the laying out of highways, and matters of interest concerning the 
early settlers, their homes and their occupations. In the ninth chapter is 
recorded the service of settlers in the precinct in the French and Indian 
wars, largely compiled from manuscript archives on file in the State-house at 
Boston. This is followed by a chapter containing facts relative to the 


setting off of Amherst as a district, including an interesting biographical 
sketch of Teffery, Lord Amherst, written for this work by Prof. Herbert B. 
Adams of Johns Hopkins University. A very complete and accurate history 
is given of the part borne by Amherst and its inhabitants in the war of the 
Revolution. But little of this matter has before appeared in print in any 
form. The list of Amherst soldiers who served in the war is compiled from 
original muster-rolls now on file among the state archives. Especial interest 
must attach to the story of the treatment accorded by the patriots to the 
tory element which was powerful in the town. 

The next prominent event in Amherst history was the effort made to 
divide the town, and the bitter controversy which led to the organization of 
the Second parish ; these subjects are treated at considerable length. Three 
chapters are devoted to the " Shays Rebellion," one of the most unique 
events in Massachusetts history, which affected the whole commonwealth 
but had its storm-center in Western Massachusetts, with Amherst and 
Pelham as rallying points for the insurgents. Much of interest concern- 
ing this attempted revolution is gathered from Minot's history, printed at 
Worcester in 1788, while valuable documents concerning it have been 
copied from the state archives and are printed for the first time in this 
volume. The history of Amherst Academy is of peculiar interest, from 
the fact that it was the first literary institution established at Amherst which 
gained more than local celebrity, and that it furnished a foundation for 
Amherst College. The originals of the petition for establishing the acad- 
emy and the charter granted it by the state are copied entire from the state 
archives. Four chapters are devoted to an outline history of Amherst 
College, especial attention being paid to the part borne in its establishment 
by Amherst citizens. Brief sketches are given of the presidents of the 
college and prominent events of their several administrations. 

Nearly 80 pages are devoted to the churches and other religious organ- 
izations of the town. This material was gathered largely from church and 
society records, access to which was readily granted by those having them 
in charge. Of particular interest are the records relating to the controversy 
between the First and Second parishes, the ownership of the meeting-house 
in the North parish and the great church quarrel in the South parish. The 
doings of the Hampshire East Association and Hampshire East Conference 
are here recorded. A chapter is devoted to educational institutions, includ- 
ing public and private schools. Extracts are made from records of the old 
school districts and sketches given of the Mount Pleasant Institute, the 
Amherst Female Academy, and other academies and schools well-known 
in their day. A chapter on agriculture gives a very complete history 
of the Hampshire Agricultural society, describing the old-time cattle-shows, 
and the controversy that arose over the purchase of the society's grounds 


at East Amherst. Two chapters are devoted to a review of manufacturing 
industries, prominence being given to the textile industries which flourished 
for a time at North Amherst and the many manufacturing enterprises which 
centered at East Amherst and about the New London Northern depot. 
Residents of Amherst at the present time will be surprised to learn the 
extent and variety of the industries that from time to time have found a 
home in Amherst. Some twenty pages are devoted to a history of the 
various railway enterprises in which the town and its citizens have inter- 
ested themselves. The " Hampshire and Franklin" and "Amherst Branch" 
railway companies may well be considered as the forerunners of the two 
railway lines that now pass through the town. 

Other subjects treated under special chapter headings are banks, post- 
offices and courts, newspapers and printing, libraries and lyceums, fire 
organizations, militia companies, taverns and stage-routes, liquor selling 
and societies for the promotion of temperance, the care of the town's 
poor, cemeteries, village improvement, public improvements, including 
street-lighting, concrete walks, water supply and sewers, highways and 
bridges, public buildings, crimes, accidents and epidemics, schemes for 
acquiring wealth, including the " mulberry craze," the " mining craze " and 
assessment insurance, old business firms, old houses, town politics, amuse- 
ments and celebrations, weather phenomena, the " old cannon," slavery 
and the abolition movement, authors and scientists, natural features of the 
town, locality names, society organizations. Fifty pages are devoted to the 
part borne by the town and its inhabitants in the war for the preservation 
of the Union. This feature of the History is as complete and accurate as 
careful investigation of all available sources of information could make 
it. It is presented in a form calculated to make it especially valuable for 
reference. An outline history of the Massachusetts Agricultural College 
occupies nearly forty pages, containing matter which must prove of value to 
the future historian of the college. 

Six appendixes contain lists of town officers and representatives to the 
General Court, an exhaustive review of the town debt, showing how it was 
contracted and what payments have been made upon it, tables showing 
appropriations made for certain specific objects since the first settlement, 
a tabular review of total appropriations and expenditures for the past fifty 
years, valuation lists and tax-rates for the past thirty years, complete valu- 
ation lists for the year 1759, when the district was set off, and the year 
1776, when it became a town, a voters' list compiled in 1802 and original 
documents of interest in connection with the town's early history. A 
special feature of the work is its illustrations, comprising a large number 
of portraits of some of the best known of the earlier inhabitants, together 
with many landscape views and pictures of old buildings, some of the 


latter yet standing, others existing but in memory. The work involved ia 
securing the originals of these illustrations was very great; many of them 
were copied from old daguerreotypes and oil paintings : many were pro- 
cured from parties residing in distant parts of the country. The publishers 
consider themselves fortunate in having secured the portraits of so many 
representative men ; they regret that of others whose names frequently 
occur in these pages no portraits are in existence. For the uniform excel- 
lence of these illustrations great credit is due to J. L. Lovell, the artist 
photographer, who secured nearly all the negatives from which the plates 
were made, and in them may be found some of his best work. The half- 
tone plates from which the illustrations were printed are the work of the 
Springfield Photo-Engraving company. It will be noticed that this History 
does not contain a portrait of any man now living. There are many 
residents of the town yet living whose portraits would honor these 
pages, but all could not be printed, and the task of selecting certain ones 
among them would be ungrateful. 

In compiling the material contained in this volume the publishers 
have received valuable assistance from many sources. A complete list of 
individuals who have willingly and gladly aided in the work would occupy 
more space than the publishers feel at liberty to devote to it. There are 
some whose services deserve special recognition, and the publishers take 
pleasure in extending their cordial thanks to the officials in charge of the 
state archives at Boston, to James R. Trumbull of Northampton, to Presi- 
dent Henry H. Goodell of the Agricultural College, to Librarian William 
I. Fletcher of Amherst College, to Town Clerk Charles H. Edwards, to 
Charles O. Parmenter, to Henry Jackson, to Deacon Thomas B. Read of 
South Amherst, to Loomis H. Merrick, and to any and all who have in any 
way aided them in their labors. The citizens of Amherst generally have 
shown a generous interest in the undertaking and have gladly furnished 
any desired information in their possession. Without their cordial coop- 
eration success would have been impossible. Many valuable manuscripts 
have been contributed by lineal descendants of the earlier settlers. 

This History contains no attempt at fine writing, makes no claim to 
especial literary merit. It is a record of facts, written in language concise 
and fairly intelligible, and so arranged that the reader will have little diffi- 
culty in referring to particular subjects. Comprehensive in design, it deals 
with many subjects in detail, the aim being to make it especially valuable 
as a book of reference. It is compiled in the main from original manu- 
scripts ; copies have not been used when originals could be obtained. 
Many interesting and valuable documents are copied entire, liberal extracts 
being made from others. Especial prominence has been given to matters 
pertaining to the earlier history of the town. Anything of possible value 


concerning that history that could be secured is here preserved. So far as 
possible the line has been drawn between fact and tradition. While an 
attempt has been made to bring the History down to date the happenings 
of recent vears have been accorded comparatively little space. 

The publication of this volume will naturally invite criticism. While 
an attempt has been made to secure accuracy in all its details, it is hardly to 
be expected that it should be entirely free from errors. In many instances 
there has been discovered a conflict of authorities concerning matters here 
recorded; where such has occurred that authority has been accepted which 
has proved most uniformly accurate and reliable. Great difficulty has been 
experienced in insuring accuracy in recording the names of the earlier 
inhabitants. Old-time methods of spelling were largely phonetic, and a 
man's name underwent surprising transformation as it was recorded by one 
and then by another of his contemporaries. The common names such as 
Smith and Clark and Strong, could generally be recognized despite the 
various orthographical indignities to which they were subjected. Abbre- 
viations were common, some readily recognized, others, like ''Toon" for 
Mattoon and "Crummy " for Abercrombie, taxing the resources of one not 
an expert in philology. Confusion is also caused in many cases by the 
number of persons bearing the same name, family names being handed 
down from generation to generation. Such names as Daniel Dickinson 
and Jonathan Cowls and Edward Smith have figured on the assessors' rolls 
from the date of earliest settlement down to the present time. In indexing 
these names but one title has been used, although apparent that the refer- 
ences relate to different persons. The names of Cowls and Cowles are 
indexed together, being of common origin. 

Several persons who have expressed a deep interest in the publication 
of this History have urged that space be accorded to genealogical reviews 
of the families of the earlier settlers. The publishers would have been 
glad to accede to this request, had they not realized that the addition of 
any considerable amount of matter to that already in hand would necessi- 
tate the publishing of the History in two volumes, making it more cum- 
bersome and less convenient as a book of reference. There can be little 
question that, at some time in the future, probably not far distant, the gen- 
ealogies of families prominent in the first settlement of Amherst will be 
written and published ; the tendencies of the times are encouraging to labor 
in the field of genealogical research. There is hardly a family that can trace 
back its ancestry to the earlier settlers in New England but numbers among 
its members some one who is engaged in collecting statistics concerning 
the family history. Valuable beginnings for the genealogies of Amherst 
families may be found in the genealogies of Hadley, Amherst, Granby and 
South Hadley families compiled by Lucius M. Boltwood and published in 


Judd's History of Hadley, and in the lists of Amherst families compiled 
by James W. Boyden and now on file in the office of the Amherst town 
clerk. These sources of information are in the main correct and are of 
great interest and value. 

Brief biographical sketches are here presented of certain citizens who 
were prominent in the town in their day and generation. The list is not as 
complete as might be desired ; it is possible, even probable, that names 
have been omitted from the list whose owners well deserve special mention. 
In making their selections the publishers have been largely governed by 
the prominence accorded to individuals in the town records and in the mass 
of historical data which they have collected. Information concerning 
many men known to have been prominent in the earlier history of the town 
has been gained with great difficulty. Some of the families once leaders 
in the community have no living descendants so far as can be ascertained. 
While it is matter for regret that these sketches are incomplete there is, on 
the other hand, reason for congratulation that so much of information con- 
cerning the early settlers has been secured and is here recorded. 




Indian Deed of Lands — River Indians — Original Bounds of Hadley — Causes 
Leading to Hadley's Settlement— Beginnings of the Town of Hadley — 
Indian Wars, 1675 — '74^, • • • • • - • 1 

Early Settlements in Hampshire County — Division of Hadley Outer Commons 

— Equivalent Land — Flat Hills Lands — East Inhabitants in 1731. . 10 

Founders of Amherst Families — Biographical Sketches of the Early Settlers, 22 

Burial Ground for East Inhabitants — Occupations — Wild Animals — Hadley 
Votes Concerning East Inhabitants — Third Precinct Set Off. . . 29 

David Parsons, the First Minister— Organization of the First Church — Mr. 

Parsons' Salary and Firewood — The First Meeting-House, . 34 


School Appropriations by Hadley and by the Third Precinct — First School- 
Houses — Lands Comprised in Hadley Third Precinct — Annexations of 
Land, . . . . . . . . . . 41 

The First Highways — Encroachments on Highways — Hadley Votes Concern- 
ing Roads and Bridges — John Morton and NathanDickinson — New High- 
ways Laid Out, . . . . . . . . .48 

Innkeepers — Cemetery and Town Lot — Occupations — Pauper Expenses — 
Negroes — Physicians — Lawyers, . . . . . 56 

French and Indian Wars — An Old Lawsuit — Amherst Troops in the Wars — 

Petitions for Relief — Militia Company, . . . . .61 

Petition to Become a District — The District Organized — Amherst and Lord 

Amherst — Province Taxes — Statistics in 177 1. . . . . 65 


Amherst in the Revolution — Minute Men — Tories — The Canadian Campaign 

— Names of Amherst Soldiers, . . . . . -77 

The Committee of Safety — Tories Imprisoned — Simeon Strong's Blanket — 
The Battle of Saratoga — Hiring and Drafting Soldiers, . . .86 

Prominent Patriots — Ebenezer Mattoon — Leading Opponents of the Revolu- 
tion — Josiah Chauncey — John Field— The Boltwoods, . . .98 

Proposed Division of Amherst — Petition Against a Division, . . . 102 

Controversy Concerning a New Minister — Dr. David Parsons — Action by 

Church and Parish — Ecclesiastical Councils — Second Parish Organized, 108 

Second Parish Meeting House — Rev. Ichabod Draper, the First Pastor — A 

Letter of Discipline — Decree by the General Court, . . .114 

Hard Times Following the Revolution — Causes Leading to the Shays Rebel- 
lion — Heavy Taxation — Legal Troubles — Mob Law at Northampton — 
Neighborhood Conventions — Arraignment of Government by Hatfield 
Convention, . . . . . . . . .118 

Conspiracy Against the Supreme Court — Daniel Shays — Action by the Gen- 
eral Court— Militia Called Out — Bloodshed at Springfield — Retreat of the 
Insurgents, . . . . . . . . . 123 

Pursuit of the Insurgents — Correspondence Between Lincoln and Shays — The 
March to Petersham — Terms of Amnesty — Amherst Men who Took the 
Oath of Allegiance — The Conkey Tavern — The Clapp Tavern, . . 129 

Statistics in 1777, 1779, and 1781 — Counterfeiting — Industrial Movements — 
Merchants and Traders — Amherst in 1800 — War of 1812, . . . 137 

Origin of Amherst Academy — Petitions to the Legislature — Act of Incorpor- 
ation — Life at the Academy — Mary Lyon — Academy Teachers, . . 143 

Old-Time Catalogs— Amherst Students at the Academy — Academy Laws — 
Officers of the Corporation — Principals and Instructors — Courses of 
Study, . . . . . . . . . .150 


Origin of Amherst College — The Charity Fund — Convention of Churches 
— Negotiations with Williams College — First College Building Erected — 
Noah Webster's Address, ....... 155 

Zephaniah Swift Moore, First President of Amherst College — Rufus Graves — 
Samuel F. Dickinson — Hezekiah W. Strong — Life at the College in its 
Early Days — Heman Humphrey Elected President— How the Charter was 
Secured — Events of President Humphrey's Administration, . . 162 

Edward Hitchcock Elected President — Generous Endowments by Samuel 
Williston and others — President Hitchcock's Resignation — Professors and 
Instructors — Original Deed of College Land. .... 175 

Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens Who were Born in the Years 

Dating from 16S6 to 1720, ....... 182 

The First Church — Pastors and Terms of Service — Meeting-Houses — Vestry 
and Agricultural Hall — Church Music — The Parsonage — Parish Funds — 
The Present Church Edifice, ....... 198 

The Second Church — Pastors and Terms of Service— First and Second 
Meeting-Houses — Janitor's Duties — Church Music — Differences Between 
the First and Second Church. ...... . 209 

The South Church — Pastors and Terms of Service — Troubles in the Church 

Organization of a Xew Parish — The Meeting-House — Church Music, .215 

The North Church and Parish — Organization and Offcers — Pastors and Terms 
of Service— Oliver Dickinson's Meeting-House — The Pew Deeds — The 
Pulpit and Communion Service — The Ministerial Fund, . . . 224 

The College Church — Its Pastors — Church Building — Zion Chapel — College 

Mission Work, ......... 231 

The Baptist Church— Connection with Churches in New Salem and Northamp- 
ton — Independent Organization — Pastors and Terms of Service — The 
Meeting-House — Methods of Raising Funds — Miscellaneous Votes. . 234 

Methodist Episcopal Churches— Grace Church — St Bridget's Church — Second 
Advent Church — Universalist Church — Church Associations — Hampshire 
East Association — Hampshire East Conference, .... 242 



Education in Amherst — School Buildings — School District Records — Grading 
the Public Schools — The High School — Superintendents and Teachers — 
School Appropriations — Terms and Vacations — Private Schools — Mt. 
Pleasant Classical Institute — "Amherst Female Academy" — Other Insti- 
tutions, .......... 259 


Agriculture in Amherst — Farm Products — The First Agricultural Society — 
Cattle Shows from 1846 to 1850— East Hampshire Agricultural Society — 
Dissensions among the Members — Hampshire Park and Hall — Creamery 
Associations, ......... 276 


Manufacturing Interests — Paper Making — Textile Industries — Amherst Cotton 
Factory — Woolen Mills — Hat Manufacturing— L. M. Hills & Son— Iron 
and Steel Manufactures — Kellogg Plane Factory — The Roper Repeating 
Rifle — Bowie Knife Pistols — Hoop Skirts — Wire Goods — Cooking Stoves 
— Carriage Making — Children's Carriages and Sleds, . . . 286 

Miscellaneous Manufactures — "Burnham's Mills" — Wood-working Establish- 
ments — Faucets — Tanneries — Brick-making — American Button Company 
— Bonnet-making — Lesser Industries, . . . . . 301 

The First Railway in Massachusetts — Connecticut River Road — Hampshire 
and Franklin Railway — Mount Holyoke Railway Company — Amherst 
Branch Railroad — The Amherst and Belchertown Railway Company — 
New London Northern Road — Massachusetts Central Railway Company. 307 

Banks, Post-Offices and Courts — The First Amherst Bank — Hampshire and 
Franklin Bank — First National Bank — Amherst Savings Bank — Post- 
Offices, Post-Masters and Mails— Courts, Court Sessions and Court 
Officers — Justices of the Peace, ...... 327 

Newspapers and Printing — The First Printing Press — J. S.& C.Adams — New 
England Inquirer — Hampshire and Franklin Express — Local News and 
Advertisements — Hampshire Express — The Amherst Record — Other 
Newspaper Ventures — Miscellaneous Publications. . . . 337 

Libraries and Lyceums — Constitution and By-Laws of the First Library — Agri- 
cultural Library— The North Amherst Library — The Center Library — The 
North Amherst Lyceum — The South Amherst Lyceum — Lyceums at the 
Center and at East Amherst, ....... 347 

Fire Department and Fires — The Old Volunteer Companies — The First Fire 
Engines — Cataract Engine Co. — Deluge Engine Co. — Lafayette Hook and 
Ladder Co. — Reservoirs — Fire Apparatus — Pelham Water Introduced — 
Alert Hose Co. No. 1 — Hose Co. No. 2 — Great Fires in Amherst. . 358 


Amherst Militia — The North and South Companies — Militia in the War of 
1812 — The Hampshire Rangers — The Cavalry Company — Amherst Artil- 
lery Company — Company C — Company K, . . . . 369 

Taverns and Stage Routes — Pioltwood's Tavern — The Mansion House — 
Hygeian Hotel — Baggs* Tavern — Inns at North, East and South Amherst 
— Early Stage Routes — Stage Drivers. ..... 380 

Liquor Selling and Intemperance — Drinking Habits in Early Times— First 
Efforts to Check the Evil — Temperance Association at South Amherst — 
Washington Total Abstinence Society at East Amherst— Washington 
Society at North Amherst — West Center Society — Reform Club — W. C. 
T. U. — Good Templars Organizations — Liquor Licenses, . . . 388 

The Care of the Town's Poor — Early Methods — The Poor Farm and Alms- 
house— Expenses at the Almshouse — The Night Police — The Lock-up — 
The Smith Charities. ........ 396 

Town Cemeteries — The Old West Cemetery — Cemeteries at North and South 
Amherst — Wildwood Cemetery— Village Improvement — The Commons — 
The Ornamental Tree Association— Village Improvement Societies at the 
Center, at East Amherst, South Amherst, North Amherst and the "City," 403 

Public Improvements— Street Lighting — The Introduction of Gas — The 
Amherst Gas Co. — Electric Lighting— Concrete Walks— Water Supply — 
The First Survey — The Amherst Water Co.— Spring Water Co. — Sewers, 416 

Highways and Bridges — The Northampton Bridge—Street Sprinkling— Tri- 
angle Street Fight — The Town Hall, ...... 428 

Crimes, Accidents, Epidemics — Fatal Accidents — Murders— Birdie Danahey 
— Small-Pox in Amherst, ....... 435 

Schemes for Acquiring Wealth — The Mulberry Craze — Mining Stock Invest- 
ments —Assessment Insurance — Old Business Firms, . . . 442 

Old Houses — Town Politics— Amusements and Celebrations — Amherst's Cen- 
tennial—Weather Phenomena — Storms and Flood — The " Blizzard,"' . 450 

The Old Cannon — Slavery and the Abolition Movement — Authors — Scientists 

— Natural Features — Locality Names — Public Conveniences — Societies, 460 


Amherst in the Civil War — Action Taken by the State Government — The 
Raising of Troops — Regiments in which Amherst Men Served — Mass 
Meetings and Flag-Raisings in Amherst — Raising Men and Money — 
Death of Adjutant Stearns — Amherst Men Killed and Wounded in the 
Early Battles of the War, ....... 474 

Hard Times in 1863 — The Conscription Act — Amherst's Enrollment — The 
Draft at Greenfield — Substitutes and Commutation — Battles in 1S63 — 
Measures to avoid the Draft — Return of the 27th— Amherst Men Killed 
and Wounded in 1864 — The Roll of Honor — Losses in Battle — Service 
by Regiments — Muster by Months — War Expenses of the Town, . . 482 

Regimental History — Twenty-Seventh — Thirty-Seventh — Fifty-Second — 

Tenth — Twenty-First — Fifty-Fourth, ...... 493 

Service Record, by Regiments, of Each Man who Served on Amherst's 
Quota, and Others Whose Names Appear on the Marble Tablets in the 
Town Hall, ........; 503 

Amherst College — Administration of President Stearns — Gifts and Bequests 
— College Buildings — New Departments — The College in the War — The 
50th Anniversary — Julius H. Seelye Elected President — Gifts to the Col- 
lege — Members of the Faculty — The Library — Physical Culture — The 
" Amherst System " — Greek Letter Fraternities, .... 524 

The Agricultural College- — Causes Leading to its Establishment — Hon. Mar- 
shall P. Wilder's Address — The Agricultural College Commission — Presi- 
dent Hitchcock's Report— Plans for a College— The " School of Agricul- 
ture " — The Morrill Land Grant Act— Its Provisions — Massachusetts 
Accepts the Grant — The Agricultural College Trustees Incorporated — 
Their First Report — Securing a Location — Amherst's Subscription to the 
Fund — The Lands Purchased — Amherst's Petition, . 532 

Hon. Henry F. French Elected President — Plan for Organization — Locating 
the Buildings — Prof. Paul A. Chadbourne Succeeds President French 
— Injunction against the Town — Courses of Instruction — Buildings Con- 
tracted for— College Bonds and Loans — William S. Clark Elected Presi- 
dent — Requisites for Admission — The College Opens — President Clark's 
Report — Grants by the General Court— New Buildings— Gifts to the Col- 
lege — Unsuccessful Effort to Remove the College from State Control, . 543 

Graduation of the First Class — Endowment of Prizes— Alumni Association 
Organized — Changes in the Faculty — Labor Fund Established — Experi- 
mental Work — Free Scholarships — Hard Times at the College — President 


Clark's Resignation— Reorganization— Charles L. Flint Elected President 
—Levi Stockbridge Succeeds President Flint— Final Attempt to Remove 
the College from State Control— Proposal to Raise a College Fund— Paul 
A. Chadbourne Elected President ....•• 553 

The State Experiment Station Organized— James C. Greenough Elected 
President— New Buildings Erected— Henry H.Goodell Elected President 
—Hatch Experiment Station Formed— Grant by the National Government 
—Additions to College Equipment— State Appropriations -Student Organ- 
izations—Value of the Work Accomplished by the College . . 5 6 ' 

Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens, . . . • • 57 1 

List of Representatives in the General Court. Selectmen, Town- 
Clerks, Town Treasurers, and Moderators of Town-Meetings, 
1735-1S96, .......••• 5 8 4 

Town Finances, ......-•• 5 8 9 

Valuation Lists, . . . . • • -597 

Population, Families, Voters' List 1802, ..... 604 

Soldiers of the Revolution, ....... 610 

Old Manuscripts. ........ 613 

Index, .......... 617 

Addenda, .......... 641 

Errata, ........ • • 642 


Town-Meeting Records, ....... i 

Index to Town-Meeting Records, . . . . • -257 

List of Illustrations. 

Lord Amherst. facing title page 

Seal of Amherst, II. 

Old Map of Town. 17 

Dickinson, Sq John 22 

Dickinson, Sq Chester 22 

Dickinson. Zebina 22 

Dickinson Judge John 22 

Dickinson, Mrs Ame 22 

Old Clapp House, 30 

Simeon Clark's House, 30 

Kellogg House at East St.. 30 

Old House at South Amherst, 30 

Oldest House on the Bay Road, 30 

" Ye Kunk." 39 
Watch owned by Nathaniel Smith, 39 

Old Boltwood House, 44 

Old House at M A C, 44 

Daniel Dickinson's House, 44 

Dickinson Tavern, 44 

Cowles House MAC, 44 

John Nash's Tavern Sign, 58 

Strong House, 60 

Henderson House, 60 

Mattoon, Ebenezer, 100 

Colton, Aaron M ro8 

Parsons, Dr David 10S 
First Parish, Fourth Meeting-House,io8 

Nathan Dickinson House, 134 

Conkey Tavern, 134 
Autograph Manuscript of Daniel 

Shays, 135 

Old Whiting House and Elm, 141 

Brick School House, 144 

Amherst Academy, 144 

Stearns, William A 155 

Seelye, Julius H 155 

Moore, Zephaniah S 155 

Humphrey, Heman 155 

Hitchcock, Edward 155 

Amherst College 1856. 177 

Scene on Fort River, 177 

Wright, Silas 185 

Webster, Noah 185 

Adams, Charles D 185 

Delano, Charles 185 

Baker, Osmyn 189 

Boltwood, Lucius 189 

Conkey, I Frank 189 

Conkey, Ithamar 189 

Roberts, Reuben Sr 195 

Roberts, Reuben Jr 195 

Cushman, John R 195 

Cushman, Ephraim 195 

Smith, Rev J T 198 

Parker, Rev S P 198 
Moyce, Rev P J 198 
Merrick, Rev James L 198 
Belden, Rev Pomeroy 198 
Hunt, Rev W W 198 
King, Rev E P 198 
First Parish, Second Meeting-House,203 
First Parish, Third Meeting-House, 205 
Second Parish, First Meeting House, 209 
Second Parish, Second Meeting- 
House, 209 
North Congregational Church, 223 
South Congregational Church, 223 
Dickinson, Oliver 230 
Cowles, Oliver 230 
Montague, Jemima 230 
Montague, Zebina 230 
College Well, 231 
Amherst College Church, 231 
Baptist Church, 234 
Wesley M E Church, 242 
M E Church at North Amherst City, 242 
Grace Episcopal Church, 246 
First Universalist Church, 250 
St Bridget's Church, 250 
Amherst as seen from Pelham before 

1850, 271 

Mt Pleasant Institute, 271 

Hills, Henry F 286 

Jones, Thomas 286 

"Hills, Leonard M 286 

Watson, Oliver 286 

Burnham, George 286 

Clapp, Oliver M 286 

Kellogg, James 2S6 

W S Clark's House. 288 

Old Mill at North Amherst. 288 

Pleasant St looking North, 292 

Fearing's Shop, 292 

An old wood cut of common, 296 

Rifle shop, 296 

Dickinson, Daniel 312 

Nash, John A 3 12 

Nash, Samuel 3 12 

Dickinson, Enos 312 

Greene, Moses B 312 

Clark, Simeon 312 

I. eland. John 3 12 

Boltwood Tavern Sign, 332 

South Amherst Post-office Sign. 332 

Dickinson, Edward 335 

Gaylord, Eleazar 337 

Baker, Alfred 337 

Eastman, Solomon K 337 

List of Illustrations. 


Boltwood, Elijah 

Gallond, George B 

Palmer, Frederick A 

Smith, William W 

Mack, David 

Mack, Samuel E 

Sweetser, Luke 

Adams, John S 

Holland, Seneca 

Old Fire Bucket, 

Merchants Row 1S65. 

Merchants Row 1879, 

Hat of Hampshire Rifles. 

Merchants Row 1S96. 

Amherst House, 

Field Building 1859, 

Hygeian Hotel, 

Oldest Stone in West Cemetery. 

The Common 1870. 

The Common 1895, 

Cash Row, 

Chase's Block, 

Town Hall, 

M A C Barn and House, 

Phoenix Row before 18S0, 

Phoenix Row 1840, 

Judge John Dickinson's House, 

Delano House, 

Warner House, 

Maple Avenue, 

Palmer's Block, 

Amherst House and Stage. 

Fish, Seth 

Fish. D B N 

Gridley, Timothy J 

Belden, Rufus 

Smith, Benjamin F 

Amherst College Fraternity Houses 
Alpha Delta Phi House, 
Delta Kappa Epsilon House, 

Page. Page. 

337 Delta Upsilon House. 528 

337 Chi Phi House. 528 

337 Chi Psi Lodge, 528 

337 Psi Upsilon House, 528 

338 Beta Theta Pi House 530 
338 Theta Delta Chi House, 530 
338 Phi Delta Theta House. 530 
338 Phi Gamma Delta House. 530 
338 Phi Kappa Psi House, 530 
364 French, Henry F 532 
368 Flint, Charles L 532 
368 Chadbourne, Paul A 532 
376 Clark. W S 532 
382 Mass Agricultural College, 550 
382 McConihe. Sarah S 572 
384 Dickinson, Jerusha 572 
384 ( 'ooke, ( ieorge 572 
404 Stearns, Frazar A 572 
407 Kellogg. Fleazer A 575 
407 Converse, Daniel 575 
423 Ingram, Ezra 575 
423 Hastings, Thomas 575 
433 Dickinson, Porter 575 
433 Dickinson, Waitstill . 575 
447 B03 den, James W 576 
447 Carter, Samuel C 576 
450 Hunt, William A 576 
450 Fitch. Newton 576 
459 Lessey, Chauncey W 581 
459 Howland. Warren S 581 
459 Beston, John Jr 581 
459 Merrill, Calvin 581 
470 Montague, George 581 
470 Snell, Ebenezer S 581 
470 Nims, Seth 581 
470 Smith, Cotton 581 
470 Slate, Jonathan S 581 

Henderson, Timothv 581 

52S Warner, David S 581 

528 Parsons. David 581 


A History of Amherst, Mass. 


Indian Deed of Lands. — River Indians. — Original Bounds of 
Hadley. — Causes Leading to Hadley's Settlement. — Begin- 
nings of the Town of Hadley. — Indian Wars, 1675 — 1 74&- 

The lands comprised within the present limits of the township of 
Amherst are a part of those acquired by John Pynchon of Springfield, by 
purchase from the Nonotuck or Norwottuck tribe of Indians in 1658. In 
1653 a number of men residing in Windsor, Hartford and other places in 
Connecticut petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts to grant them 
a plantation at Nonotuck, above Springfield. This petition was granted 
and the General Court appointed three men of Springfield, John Pynchon, 
Elizur Holyoke and Samuel Chapin, to divide the land into two planta- 
tions, the petitioners to have one of them. In December, 1658, Major 
Pynchon secured from the Indians the following deed of land : 

This deed embraces the land from the mouth of Fort River, and Mount Hol- 
yoke, on the south, to the mouth of Mohawk brook and the southern part of Mount 
Toby, on the north, extending easterly nine miles into the woods. 

•• Here followeth a copy of a deed or writing whereby the Indians of Xolwotogg, 
upon the river Ouienecticott, made sale of certain lands unto Maj. John Pynchon, 
of Springfield, together with the copy of the said Maj. John Pynchon his assign- 
ment of the said deed to the use and behoof of the inhabitants of Hadley, and his 
acknowledgment thereof. 

Be it known to all men by these presents that Chickwollop alias Wahillowa. 
Umpanchella alias Womscom, and Ouonquont alias Wompshaw, the sachems of 
Nolwotogg, and the sole and proper owners of all the land on the east side of 
Ouonicticot river, from the hills called Petowamachu, and from the mouth of the 
brook or river called Towunucksett. and so all along by the great river upward or 
northward to the brook called Nepassooenegg. and from the hither part of south 
end of the great hills called Kunckquachu, (being guessed at near about nine miles 
in length) by the river Quenecticott — We the aforenamed Chickwallop alias Waah- 
illow. Umpanchala alias Womscom. and Ouonquont alias Wompshaw. of Xolwo- 
togg, on the one party, do give, grant, bargain and sell unto John Pynchon, of 
Springfield, on the other party, to him, his assigns and successors forever, all the 


grounds, woods, ponds, waters, meadows, trees, stones, &c. lying on the east side 
of Quenicticot River, within the compass aforesaid, from the mouth of the little 
Riverett called Towenucksett, and the hills Petowomuchu northward up the great 
river of Quenecticot, to the Brook Nepowssooenegg, and from the south end of 
the hills Quaquachu, being near about nine miles in length, from the south part to 
the north part, and all within the compass from Quenecticot River eastward nine 
miles out into the woods, all the aforesaid tract of ground called Towunucksett, 
Sunmukquommuck, Suchaw, Noycoy, Gassek, Pomptuckset, Mattabaget. Wun- 
naquickset, Kunckkiunk-qualluck, Neposeoneag, and to the south end of the great 
hill called Kunckquachu, and for nine or ten miles eastward from the great river 
out into the woods eastward — We the said Chickwallop, Umpanchella, and Ouon- 
quont, do for and in consideration of two hundred fathom of wampom, and twenty 
fathom and one large coat at eight fathom, which Chickwallop sets off, of trusts, 
besides several small gifts, and for other good causes and considerations do sell, 
give, grant, and have given, granted, bargained and sold to John Pynchon, of 
Springfield, and to his assigns and successors all and singular the aforenamed 
land, or by whatever other name it is or may be called, quietly to possess, have and 
enjoy the aforesaid tract of ground free from all molestations or incumbrances of 
Indians, and that forever, only the Indians aforenamed, and in particular Quon- 
quont, doth reserve and keep one corn field about twelve, sixteen, or twenty acres 
of ground, a little above Mattabaget, by the brook called Wunnaquickset, lying 
on the south side of the said brook, and compassed in by a swamp from that brook 
to the great river, and also they reserve liberty to hunt deer, fowl, &c. and to take 
fish, beaver or otter, &c. but otherwise all the aforesaid premises the said John 
Pynchon, his assigns and successors and their heirs shall forever enjoy absolutely 
and clearly, free from all incumbrances of any Indians or their corn fields forever, 
except as before excepted. And in witness hereof, we the said Indians do sub- 
scribe our marks this present twenty-fifth day of December. 1658. It is only the 
corn field on this or south side of the brook called Wunnuckeckset. and the little 
bit of ground by it within the swamp and betwixt the swamp and the great river 
which the Indians do reserve, and are to enjoy. But the little corn field on the 
other side or further side or north side of Wunnaquickset, and all the other corn 
fields within the compass of ground aforenamed, the Indians are to leave and yield 
up, as witness their hands. 

The mark — of Umpanchla alias Womscom. 
The mark — of Quonquont alias Wompshaw. 
The mark — of Chickwalopp alias Wowahillowa. 

Witness to this purchase and that the Indians do fully sell all the lands afore- 
mentioned to Air. Pynchon. and that the marks were subscribed by the Indians 

Joseph Parsons. 

Edwd. Elmore. 

Joseph Fitch, 

Samuel Wright. 

Arthur Williams, 

The mark R. T. of Rowland Thomas, who was privy to the whole discourse 
and conclusion of the purchase, and Joseph Parsons was present and acquainted 
with the whole agreement; the other witnesses came in to testify to the subscrib- 
ing, and that the Indians owned all as it was read to them. 


The Indians desired they might set their wigwams at sometimes within the 
tract of ground they sold without offence, and that the English would be kind and 
neighborly to them in not prohibiting them fire-wood out of the woods, &c. which 
was promised them." 

In the earlier part of the i 7th century the Indians dwelling in Western 
Massachusetts near the Connecticut river belonged to four small tribes or 
clans, the Agawams, located at Springfield and West Springfield, the War- 
anokes at Westfield, the Xonotucks or Norwottucks at Northampton, 
Hadley and Hatfield, the Pocomtucks at Deerfield. They were generally 
known as " River Indians," and numbered between ten and eleven hun- 
dred. They were allied to the Xipmucks or Nipnets, who inhabited the 
interior of Massachusetts, but were not subject to a common sachem. 
The principal chiefs of the Norwottucks were Chickwallop, Umpanchala 
and Quonquont. They claimed to be the owners of most of the lands on 
both sides of the river, Chickwallop of the southern, Umpanchala of the 
middle and Quonquont of the northern part. They seem to have been 
ever ready to dispose of their lands to the whites, and while the prices 
paid will hardly bear comparison with real estate values at the present 
time, there is little doubt the Indians were as well satisfied with their bar- 
gains as were the purchasers. In making these sales the Indians generally 
reserved the rights of fishing and hunting on the granted premises, which 
from the Indian standpoint constituted the principal value of land. In 
view of the general charge that the American Indians have been robbed 
and defrauded of their rightful heritage, it is pleasing to know that the 
lands of Amherst were fairly purchased of their Indian owners and fairly 
paid for. 

Major Pynchon charged the residents of Hadley for the land pur- 
chased on the east side of the Connecticut river ^62, 10s. That this was 
considered a high price at the time is shown by an extract from a petition 
to the General Court by the citizens of Hadley, dated May 25, 1663 : 
"We have purchased of the Indians at such rates as we believe never any 
plantation in New England was purchased.'' The deed was assigned by 
Major Pynchon to "the present Inhabitants of Hadley." Oct. 28, 1663, in 
a writing in which he says he acted in the purchase as an agent entrusted 
by them. Pynchon received his pay from individuals and not of the 
town, from 1661 to 166S. The account was balanced Nov. 12, 1669. 
The sums were paid in money, grain and merchandise. 

In October, 1663, the General Court determined that the bounds of 
Hadley, on the east side of the river, should be five miles from their 
meeting-house place up the river, five miles down the river and four miles 
from the most eastern part of the river. In October, 1672, the people of 
Hadley petitioned the General Court for an enlargement of their township. 


In their petition they said: "The common feeding place of our working 
cattle, whereby we carry on our husbandry, is without our town-bounds." 
This "common feeding place" was probably in the present town of 
Amherst. In answer to this petition the General Court decreed. May 7, 
1673 : "that their bounds shall run from their meeting-house five miles up 
the river, five miles down the river and six miles from their meeting-house 
eastward." In April, 1739, Oliver Partridge of Hatfield was employed 
to survey the township according to the grant of 1673. He first ascer- 
tained the point or place that was exactly six miles clue east of the old 
meeting-house, and from that point measured north five miles and south five 
miles and from each extremity of this line of ten miles he ran a line 
directly west to the Connecticut river. His south line was 7 miles and 94 
rods long and his north line 4 miles and 142 rods. 

The first white settlers in the town of Hadley came from Hartford, 
Wethersfield and Windsor, Conn. Between the years 1647 and 1657 
serious differences arose among the members of the church at Hartford. 
Thomas Hooker, the beloved pastor for many years, died July 7, 1647 anc l 
was succeeded by Samuel Stone, a good man yet lacking something in 
prudence and in the spirit of conciliation which had kept the church free 
from discord during the ministry of Mr. Hooker. Mr. Stone endeavored 
to introduce some new practices into the church ; these, according to the 
historian Trumbull, related to the qualifications for baptism, church mem- 
bership and the rights of brotherhood. Some of the prominent members 
of the church, including Gov. Webster, Andrew Bacon and William Lewis, 
opposed the innovations ; councils from the neighboring churches were 
convened and attempted to reconcile the parties but without avail. The 
minister was sustained by a majority of the church-members, and in the 
latter part of 1657 or the early part of 165S the minority formally with- 
drew from the church, proposing to form a union with the church at Weth- 
ersfield. The General Court interfered in March, 1658, and prohibited 
the church from proceeding with the withdrawers in a course of discipline 
and forbade the withdrawers to prosecute their object. 

In the early part of 1658 the minority of the church sent men up the 
river to view the lands east and north of Northampton. May 20, 165S, 
Capt. John Cullick and Elder William Goodwin, two prominent men 
among the " withdrawers " as they were called, presented a petition to the 
Genera] Court at lioston, representing that they with several others wished 
to come under "the pious and godly government " of Massachusetts, and 
desiring " whether we may, without offence, view any tract of land unpos- 
sessed within your colony, in order to such an end. and in case we 
can present any thing that may be to the encouraging of a considerable 
company to take up a plantation, either at Nonotuck or elsewhere, we may 


have your gracious allowance to dispose ourselves there." This request 
was granted, May 25, 1 65S, with the provision that " they submit themselves 
to a due and orderly hearing of the differences between themselves and 
their brethren." The agreement or engagement of those who intended to 
remove from Connecticut to Massachusetts is dated at Hartford, April 18, 
1659 and is signed by 60 names, of which 3S were of men who belonged 
to Hartford. 20 to Wethersfield and two to Windsor; of this number 18 
did not remove to Hadley or remained there but a short time. 

May 28, 1659, the General Court appointed Capt. Pynchon, Lieut. 
Holyoke and Dea. Chapin of Springfield, nnd William Holton and Richard 
Lyman of Northampton a committee " to lay out the bounds of the new 
plantation, on either or both sides of the river, as they shall see cause." 
This committee reported, Sept. 30. 1659, that they had laid out the planta- 
tion on both sides of the river and designated the following as the boun- 
daries : " On the East side of said river their southerly bounds to be from 
the head of the Falls above Springfield and so to run cast and by north 
the length of nine miles from the said river : And their Northerly bounds 
to be a little brook called by the Indians Nepasoaneage up to a mountain 
called Quunkwattchu, and so running eastward from the river the same 
length of nine miles : from their southerly bounds to the northerly bounds 
on the east side the river is about 11 or 1 2 miles." It is believed that the 
broad street and the homelots were laid out in 1659 and that a party of 
the " engagers," as they were termed, came to the plantation and established 
themselves there the same year. Nov. 9, 1659, seven men called 
"Townsmen" were chosen "to order all public occasions." Oct. S. 1660, 
a meeting was held at the house of Andrew Warner and a series of votes 
was passed and signed by 28 persons who were probably all that had 
taken up their residence in the new plantation. By an order of the 
General Court, May 22, 1661, the settlement was named Hadley, from a 
town of the same name situated in the county of Suffolk, England. 

From 1660 until 1675 the inhabitants of Hadley prospered in their 
affairs. The rich meadow-lands yielded bountiful crops of grain and their 
cattle found good pasturage in the swamps and lowlands. On the 12th of 
December, 166 1, the town ordered the erection of a meeting-house: the 
work was begun in 1665 but was not completed until 1670. The first 
minister was Mr. John Russell, Jr., who was born in England, graduated 
at Harvard college in 1645 ar >d preached in Wethersfield beginning in 1649 ; 
in 1659 or 1660 he removed to Hadley, where he died in 1692. In those 
early days, among the settlers of New England, religion and education 
went hand in hand, and as early as 1667 we find the inhabitants of Hadley 
making a grant of land for a grammar school, the funds to establish which 
had been provided by Edward Hopkins. Esq., at one time governor of 


Connecticut, who lived for a time in Hartford, returning afterwards to 
England where he died in March, 1657. Hadley received from Mr. Hop- 
kins' estate the sum of ^308, which furnished the foundation for the 
Hopkins grammar school, one of the most noted educational institutions 
of New England. In 1665 the town voted to give "^20 per annum for 
three years towards the maintenance of a school-master, to teach the 
children and to be as a help to Mr. Russell, as occasion may require." 
Caleb Watson appears to have been the first school-master. In May, 1667, 
the inhabitants of the town on the west side of the river petitioned the 
General Court to be set off as a separate parish ; this petition was opposed 
by the inhabitants on the east side and it was not until December, 1669, 
that a committee appointed by both parties agreed on the terms for an 
amicable separation. The town of Hatfield was incorporated the 31st of 
May, 1670. 

In 1675 began the first of a series of Indian wars which for nearly 
ninety years devastated the valley of the Connecticut, turning the settle- 
ments into armed camps, ravaging them with fire and sword, burning the 
dwellings and torturing and murdering their inhabitants. The pages of 
Haclley's history are stained with blood, but they are bright with deeds of 
valor and self-sacrifice. In 1662, Philip, on the death of his father Mas- 
sasoit and his brother Alexander, became chief of the Wampanoags, an 
Indian tribe whose hunting-grounds were in the eastern part of Massa- 
chusetts and Rhode Island. He at once entered into negotiations with 
chieftains of other tribes, his aim being to secure their aid in inaugurating 
a war of extermination against the English. Hostilities were begun in 
June, 1675, at Swanzey, and in August a party of horsemen commanded 
by Captains Hutchinson and Wheeler fell into an ambuscade near Brook- 
field and eight of their number were killed outright, three others being 
mortally wounded. This was followed by the burning of Brookfield, its 
inhabitants taking refuge in a fortified house and making such a stout 
defence that when reinforcements arrived the savages fled. The Indians 
concerned in this attack were Nipmucks. Toward the last of July Philip 
left his stronghold in the swamp at Pocasset, and with a band of his 
followers made his way into the Nipmuck country. The Indians about 
Hadley had for a long time acted in a suspicious manner, and Captains 
Beers and Lathrop from the eastern part of the colony were ordered with 
their companies to that town where they had under their command 180 
men. The Indians were ordered to deliver up their arms; they expressed 
their readiness to do this, but deferred the matter until night when, it being 
the 25th of August, they secretly left their fort and Med up the river. They 
were pursued by the forces under Beers and Lathrop, and being overtaken 
near the base of Sugarloaf mountain in South Deerfield an engagement 


followed in which the Indians lost 26 killed and the English 10. This was 
followed within a week by the burning of Deerfield and an attack upon 
Northfield where nine or ten white men were killed. Captain Beers with 
36 mounted men while on the way to Northfield fell into an ambuscade, 
and after a gallant battle against heavy odds the Englishmen who survived, 
only sixteen in number, retreated and made their way to Hadley. 

September 1st an attack was made upon Hadley by a band of Indians, 
who it is supposed were Xipmucks and Wampanoags that had come from 
the east. The inhabitants were assembled in the meeting-house engaged 
in public worship. The Indians made an attack upon the meeting-house; 
it was the custom of the time for the inhabitants to carry arms when they 
attended meetings, and they returned the fire of the Indians ; the advan- 
tage was with the latter, when *" Suddenly and in the midst of the people 
there appeared a man of a very venerable aspect, and different from the 
inhabitants in his apparel, who took the command, arranged, and ordered 
them in the best military manner, and under his direction they repelled 
and routed the Indians, and the town was saved." This man, as was 
afterwards proved, was Gen. William Goffe, one of the judges who presided 
at the trial of Charles I. of England and condemned him to death. Gen. 
Goffe and Gen. Edward Whalley, another of the •'regicides,'' fled from 
England on the restoration of Charles II. and coming to Hadley were 
received by Rev. John Russell and concealed in his house for many years. 

In September, Captain Lathrop and So young men marched from 
Hadley to Deerfield to assist in securing a large quantity of wheat that 
was there in stack. They arrived safely at their destination, and after 
threshing the grain the baggage wagons were loaded and, Sept. 18, the 
party set out on their return. Arriving nearly opposite Sugar-loaf moun- 
tain, their path lay across a stream on which the events of that day con- 
ferred the name of " Bloody Brook." Concealed in the thickets by the 
side of the stream was a party of 700 Indians ; the company halted when 
part way across the morass to rest and to watch the passage of the teams. 
The Indians from their ambush opened a deadly fire and in less than an 
hour Capt. Lathrop and all of his command with the exception of seven 
or eight were slain. The noise of the battle was heard by Capt. Morely 
who sallied out from Deerfield with a small company of men and attacked 
the Indians as they were stripping the slain ; although greatly outnumbered, 
his command soon put the savages to flight, they were assisted in the 
pursuit by Major Treat and one hundred men from Hadley who arrived at 
an opportune moment. The number of white men killed in the fight at 
Bloody Brook is given by Rev. Mr. Russell of Hadley as 71. 

*History of Three of the Judges of Charles I. published in 1794 by President Stiles. 


Oct. 5, a body of Indians said to number about 100 attacked Spring- 
field, killed two men and one woman and burned some 30 dwelling-houses 
and many barns. Oct. 19, an attack was made upon Hatfield but the 
Indians were repulsed. During the remainder of the year the Indians 
caused little trouble to the settlers, although the latter were constantly 
apprehensive of an attack. Rev. Mr. Russell estimated the number of 
whites killed in Hampshire county during the year at 145. of whom about 
43 or 44 were inhabitants of the county the remainder coming from other 
parts of the colony. In the autumn and winter of 1675 palisades were 
built about the town of Hadley consisting of rows of stakes or posts, 
about ten feet in length, planted two feet deep in the ground and standing 
eight feet above ground. 

In the spring of 1676 the Indians opened hostilities in Hampshire 
county by an attack upon Northampton, March 14; they were repulsed 
with considerable loss, after burning five houses and five barns and killing 
four men and one woman. About April 1 three men were killed at Hock- 
anum. May 18, a party of mounted men numbering from 150 to 160 from 
Springfield. YVestfield, Northampton, Hadley and Hatfield, assembled at 
Hatfield and marched from there to a place called " the falls," now known 
as Turners Falls, where about daybreak the following morning they sur- 
prised the Indians in their wigwams and killed between 130 and 180 men, 
women and children. On their return they were in turn attacked by the 
Indians and 38 whites were slain. May 30, a party of Indians estimated 
to number 250 attacked Hatfield, burning many houses and barns without 
the fortification. A rescuing party of 25 men crossed the river from 
Hadley and gave battle to the Indians, five Hadley men being killed. On 
June 12 an attack was made upon Hadley by about 250 Indians, but the 
garrison having been largely reinforced by troops from Connecticut the 
Indians were repulsed. Three soldiers who were surprised outside the 
fortifications were killed. This was the last Indian attack in Hampshire 
county in 1676. Sept. 19. 1677, a party of Indians attacked Hatfield, 
killed twelve persons and took seventeen captives ; proceeding to Deerfield 
they killed one and captured four; the captives were taken to Canada. In 
October the corn-mill at Hadley was burned. There were no more Indian 
attacks on Hampshire county towns during the year, which witnessed the 
close of what Avas known as " King Philip's war." 

In 1688 began what was known as " King William's war," between 
tlu- English and French. The American colonies of the two nations were 
early involved in the conllict. the French securing as their allies some of 
the northern tribes of Indians. Hampshire county escaped the ravages 
of war in 1689 and 1690, but there were many alarms and men were often 
called to arms. Sept. 15. 1 694, a combined attack was made by the French 


and Indians upon the fort at Deerfield. but they were repulsed. Oct. 5, 
1696, Richard Church of Hadley was slain by Hudson River Indians: 
four of the latter were tried and two were found guilty and shot to death 
at Northampton, Oct. 23. These were the first executions in Hampshire 
county. During this war which lasted nearly ten years, 28 of the inhabi- 
tants of Hampshire county were killed and several captured. 

In May, 1702, still another war began between England and France, 
extending the following year to the colonies. Feb. 29. 1704. the French 
and Indians attacked Deerfield, their combined forces numbering about 340 
men. The attack was in the early morning, the sentinels were unfaithful 
and had retired to rest and the entire party entered the place undiscovered. 
They broke in the doors of houses, dragged out their startled inhabitants, 
killed such as resisted and took prisoners nearly all the remainder; 38 
were slain and 112 made captives, among the latter being Rev. John 
Williams, his wife and five children. Two men escaped and hurried to 
Hatfield; returning with a small body of men they overtook and attacked 
the enemy, but were compelled to retreat with a loss of nine of their 
number. The captives were taken to Canada. 22 being killed or dying on 
the way; 28 remained in Canada and 60 returned. May 13, 1704. a 
party of Indians attacked a hamlet of five families at Pascommuck, near 
the northeast end of Mount Tom in Northampton and killed 19 persons, 
capturing 14 others. This war came to an end in 17 13, having lasted ten 
years ; during this time 103 persons were slain in Hampshire county or in 
excursions from it. 

The fourth Indian war lasted from 1722 to 1726 ; some soldiers from 
Hadley served at Northfield and Deerfield but no person belonging to the 
town was killed or injured during the war. The fifth war began in 1744 
and lasted until 174S. June 17, 1745. Louisburg in Cape Breton surren- 
dered after a siege of 49 days to an army from New England aided by a 
British squadron. In the English army were troops from Hadley, probably 
some from the east settlement. In a garrison that bravely defended a fort 
at Charlestown, N. H., in April, 1747, were six men from the Second and 
Third Precincts of Hadley, viz., Eleazar Smith, William Boltwood, Nehe- 
miah Dickinson, Nathaniel Church, Jr., Josiah Swan and Ebenezer Dickin- 
son. Of the sixth and final Indian war more will be recorded later on. 

From the beginning of the first Indian war in 1675 until the close of 
the fifth in 1748 the inhabitants of Hadley were compelled to devote a 
large part of their time and effort to military affairs. A feeble little 
settlement in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by savage foes, 
knowing not at what moment or from what quarter to expect an attack, it 
is wonderful that its inhabitants maintained stout hearts and refused to 
relinquish their homes bought at so dear a price and surrounded by such 


manifold dangers, but such a thought seems never to have possessed them. 
The same spirit that moved them to separate from the churches in Hartford 
and Wethersfield and to found a plantation where they could enjoy the 
fullest measure of religious liberty, continued to animate and strengthen 
them when attacked by heathen hordes. They loved their new homes 
better than the old and were ready to do anything and dare everything to 
protect and maintain them. They preferred rather to dwell in an armed 
camp than to return to the peaceful plantations down the river. They 
gave not of their lives alone but of their substance as well, contributing 
their full share toward paying the expenses of long and bloody conflicts. 
Such was the fibre of the men, and of the women too, who founded the 
old town of Hadley, the parent town of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst 
and Granby. No honor paid to them by their descendants can be too 
great, too loving. 


Early Settlements in Hampshire County. — Division of Hadley 
Outer Commons. — Equivalent Land. — Flat Hills Lands. — 
East Inhabitants in 1731. 

The earliest settlement made by the English within the present 
boundaries of Hampshire county was at Northampton in 1654. The 
second was at Hadley in 1659 and at Hatfield, then a part of Hadley, the 
same year. In 1700, the first permanent settlement was made at East- 
hampton. In 1725 South Hadley, then a part of Hadley, was settled and 
in 1732 became the Second Precinct of the parent town. Ware was 
settled in 1729. In 1731 families from Northampton, Hatfield and Hadley 
settled in Belchertown, then known as " Cold Spring." In 1732 a settle- 
ment was made at Southampton and one at Pelham in 1739. In 1662 the 
county of Hampshire was established by an act of the General Court, 
being the fifth county in Massachusetts. It embraced the lands within the 
present boundaries of Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin and Berkshire 
counties, and also included lands in Connecticut ; at the time of its erection 
it contained three settlements, at Springfield, Northampton and Hadley. 
Springfield was made the shire town, and the courts were to be held at that 
place and at Northampton alternate years. A settlement was made at 


Westfield, then known as " Woronoco " in 1666, the settlers coming from 
Springrield and Northampton. In 1670 Hatfield was set off from Hadley 
and incorporated as a town. The same year a settlement was made at 
Deerfield, then known as " Pocumtuck." This was followed, three years 
later, by a settlement at " Squakheag," afterwards known as Northfield. 
This completed the line of settlements along the river-bank, at Springfield, 
Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Deerfield and Northfield prior to the year 
1703 when the bounds of the Third Precinct of Hadley were laid out. 

•• King Philip's war " came to an end in 1677. and for ten years the 
inhabitants of Hadley were allowed to engage in peaceful pursuits unmo- 
lested. They increased in numbers and finding themselves in need of 
more land for tillage and pasturage began to consider the division of their 
lands to the eastward. These lands had been granted to them by the 
General Court in 1673, on petition signed by 3S persons. At a meeting of 
the town held April 10, 1688 the following vote was passed: 

■• Voted by the Towne that all their Comon lands lyeing within their Bounds 
shall be laid out into particular Alottments to the proprietors and Inhabitants of 
this Towne of Hadley acording to the rule they shall agree upon. 

Voted by the Towne that every proprietor and Inhabitant shall receive his- 
proportion in said Comon lands acording to a former Custom viz: acording to a 
200 pound estate or a 150 or a 100 or 50 &c : or as the Towne shall see meet to 
grant to persons that have had no former grant of lands." 

In July of the same year the second Indian war began, continuing ten 
years ; during this period the attention of the inhabitants was turned to 
military affairs and to the protection of their lives and property from the 
savages. There is no further allusion to a division of lands, in the town 
records, until 1699, when the following appears : 

•• At a Leagall Towne meting January S. 1699. 
Voted that Capt. Cook Left Kellogg .Mr Samuell Porter Cornet Dickinson 
Sergt Daniell Marsh Be A Committy To consider A method that may be best for 
the Laying out of The Commons ; And Accordingly to make Report thereof to ye 

There is no minute on the town records as to whether this committee 
made a report, but under date of March 4, 1700, the following appears : 

•• Voted by the Towne that 3 miles and one quarter Eastward from the meeting- 
house And so from the north side of mount holyoke unto the mill River shall Lye 
as Common Land forever supposing that this Line will take in the whole of the 
new Swamp. 

Voted that the Rest of the Comons Eastward shall be Laid out in three 
Devisions that is to say Betwixt the Roade Leading to Brookfield and the mill 
River notwithstanding there is Liberty for the Cutting wood and timber so Long 
as it Lyeth unfensed. 

There is Likewise to be left betwixt every Division forty Rods for highways :. 
And what will be nesesary to be left for highways East and West Threw every. 


Division: is to be left To the discression of the messirers: And every one to have 
a proportion in the first or second Devision: And every one to have a proporsion 
in the third Devision : And every householder to have a fifty pound Allotment. 
And all others who are now the proper Inhabitants of Hadley from sixteen years 
old and upwards to have a five and twenty pound Allotment in said Commons." 

It is evident from this vote and from action subsequently taken by 
the town that the lots in the first and second divisions were intended as 
homelots and those in the third division as pastures for cattle. 

March 3, 1701, the following votes were passed : 

'• Voted by the Town that the proprietors of the Commons Agreed on to be 
Laid ought to the proper Inhabitants of sixteen years old mensioned in the vote in 
.March Last past: is to be understood as an accommodation to the parent or master 
■ of such Inhabitant and is to be Laid ought to his allotment. 

Voted that the Commons agreed upon this time twelve months To be Laid 
ought be done as soone as conveniently may be and that we now proceed to the 
drawing of Lots in order thereto. 

Voted that so many as desire Their Lots to lye together may have Liberty to 
agree together and draw but once and so have their Lots Laid Sucksessively. 

Voted that in the Laying ought of the Commons : having had Respect to the 
poules according to the vote last past that the Rest be Laid ought according to 
the meadow Land that each person is now in the possession of. 

Voted that in the Laying ought of the Commons the first Lott shall begin next 
the path that Leads to Brookfield : And so to be Laid Norward Till they come to 
the mill River : And the next Lott to be on the second Division Next to said path : 
And so to go on to the said mill River." 

Judd states in his history of Hadley that " In a division south of 
Mount Holyoke, lots were drawn in this manner. As many papers as there 
were proprietors were numbered, and put into a box and well shaken. 
Each proprietor drew out one of these papers, or if any were absent, the 
moderator drew for them." It is probable that in this, or in some similar 
fashion, the lots were drawn which decided the first individual ownership 
of lands in the town of Amherst. From the Hadley " town book " are 
copied the names of the following persons who had a part in this first dis- 
tribution of Amherst lands.* 

*For a plan of the lots drawn in the third division, see Town Records, Part II. of this volume, 
p. 152. 


J J 




First Division. 
Brookfield road. 

Jonathan Marsh, 
Samuel Nash, 
Ebenezer Nash. 
Samuel Marsh, 
Ephraim Nash, 
Samuel Crow, 
Thomas Selding, 
John Selding, 
William Rooker, 
Joseph Smith, 
Widow Craft, 
Sam'l Dickinson, 
Mr. Wm. Williams, 
John Cowle, 
John Graves, 
Stephen Belding, 
Ebenezer Billing, 
Samuel Belding. Jr., 
Daniel Warner, 
Widow Warner, 


























Joseph Smith. 
Ebenezer Wells, 
Nathaniel White, 
John Smith, Tailor, 
John Preston, 
Nathaniel Warner, 
Daniel Hubbard. 
Col. Samuel Partrigg, 
Samuel Partrigg, Jr.. 
Sam'l and Eben'r Moody. 
John Ingram. Sr., 
John Ingram, Jr.. 
Samuel Ingram, 
Nathaniel Ingram, 
Jonathan Ingram. 
Thomas Goodman, 
John Smith. Orphan, 
Samuel Barnard, 
Highway 40 rods wide, 







1 1 









2 5 




3 1 




3 2 


2 3 


Highway 40 rods wide. S. of Fort River. 9 

51 Preserved Smith. 17 8 

Highway 40 Rods N. end of Wells's Hill. 

Samuel Gaylord. 

William Gaylord, 

Wid. Hannah Porter, 

Samuel Porter, 

Hezekiah Porter 

John Porter, 

Experience Porter. 

Ichabod Porter, 

Peter Montague. 

Mill River, North. 

Second Division 

Brookfield Road. 

John Goodman. 

Aaron Cook, Esq., 

Thomas Hovey, 

Westwood Cook, 

Samuel Cook. 
Highway 40 rods 

Moses Cook. 

Samuel Boltwood, 

Daniel Marsh. 

Thos. Dickinson. 

Deac. Samuel Smith. 

John Montague, 

Isaac Warner. 

Daniel Warner, 

Widow Cooke, 

Ens. Chileab Smith. 

Samuel Smith, son of Ch 

Luke Smith. 

Ebenezer Smith. 

John Smith. 

Mr. Isaac Chauncey. 

Town Lot. 60 acres, 

George Stillman, 

Ichabod Smith, 

Jacob Warner. 

Highway 40 rods, "runs down to 
Foot's Folly from New Swamp." 



removed 1734. 





5 2 

over 26 
Folly. 27 

New Swamp, and runs to Foot's 

39 Samuel Church, 45 o 

40 Josiah Church. 24 14 

41 Joseph Church. 16 1 

42 John Taylor, Sr., 6S 11 

43 John Taylor. Jr., 17 S 

44 Eleazar Warner, 17 S 

45 John Hilyard, 17 8 

46 William Brown, 17 8 

47 Nathaniel Dickinson, 3 11 

48 Edward Church. 35 o 

49 Samuel Smith. Sr., 17 8 

50 James Smith, 46 n 





Land of Coleman, 

John Kellogg, 32 

Edward Kellogg. 17 

Lt. Joseph Kellogg, 55 

Nathaniel Kellogg, 17 

Mr. Samuel Russell, 4 

Mr. Jonathan Russell, 7 

John Nash, 31 

Joseph Nash. 31 

Thomas Nash, S 
Highway 32 rods in breadth. 

Neh'h Dickinson & sons. 113 

Timothy Eastman, 69 

Peter Tilton, 59} acres, 39 
Commons, North. 









March i, 1703, the town of Hadley passed the following vote : 

'• Voted That whareas we the Towne of Hadley About 3 yeres since Agreed 
upon Laying out A Trakt of our Common Land: east of the Towne: we desire 
that the Towne mesurers would proceed to Lay it ought to the Towne Agreement 
And we desire and expect that Inasmuch as it is to be Laid in Large peces That 
they do it for one penny per acre in pay which they may demand of each person 
According to the number of Acres Laid ought for him or them and we oblige our- 
selves to pay them accordingly." 

The town measurers, Capt. Aaron Cooke, Capt. Nehemiah Dickinson 
and Mr. Samuel Porter, proceeded to lay out these " Large peces " of 
land, unaided by a surveyor's compass ; they began at the Brookfield road 
and, in running their line northerly, in order not to include the ' New 
Swamp" and other lands, they inclined 13 or 14 degrees easterly of the 
east line of Hadley. This caused them to encroach upon province lands, 
now in the town of Belchertown and Pelham. May 3, 1703, the following 
vote was passed by the town : 

'■Voted, that whereas the towne mesurers have Laid out according to our 
order: Three divisions of Land East of our Town : That we desire the Clerk to 
Record said Lands in the Towne Booke together in the same order as they were 
drawn for by the Inhabitants According to the List presented by said mesurers:— 
for the doing of which we will pay him what is reasonable out of the Town Rate.'' 

The lots in the first and second divisions were each 240 rods in length 
and in breadth as given in the foregoing table. The first division extended 
from the Brookfield road to Mill river, a distance of 1961 rods, including 
120 rods that was set apart for three highways, each to be 40 rods in 
width. In this division 60 lots were laid out, comprising some 2760 
acres. In the second division 37 lots were laid out, comprising 2343 acres 
and extending north from the Brookfield road 1674 rods, including 1 12 
rods set apart for three highways. This division did not extend as far 
north as Mill river. The lots in the third division were two miles in 
length and the number of lots drawn was 93, two persons who drew in the 
other divisions receiving an equivalent elsewhere and three others drawing 
as one. The width of the 93 lots, according to the measurers, was 1971 
rods and no land was set aside for highways. The division as laid out 
contained 7884 acres. In the drawing for lots in the first and second 
divisions the head of a family apparently drew 17.V rods in width, or 26+ 
acres, for himself, and half as much for each son between 16 and 21 years 
of age. Men over 21 who were not householders seem to have had no 
more than minors. In the drawing of lots in the third division the head 
of a family appears to have drawn 10 rods and 6 feet in width, or 41 ?,- 
acres, for himself, and half as much for sons between 16 and 21, besides 
what he drew for meadow land. It would seem, therefore, that as originally 


laid out, the extreme length of the lands in Amherst was 197 i rods, or a 
little over six miles, and the breadth three and three-fourths miles. The 
number of acres comprised in the territory was 12,987. 

As before stated, the Hadley measurers in running their east line in 
1703 without the aid of a compass, carried the line too far to the east and 
encroached upon what was afterwards known as equivalent land. The 
south line of Massachusetts, run in 1642, was several miles too far to the 
south, and the colony granted south of the true line 105,793 acres of 
land, mostly to Suffield, Enfield and Woodstock. After a long controversy, 
it was agreed that Massachusetts should give to Connecticut the same 
number of acres as an equivalent, and the towns named should remain in 
Massachusetts. In 17 15 two men from Connecticut and one from Massa- 
chusetts laid out this equivalent land, 51,850 acres of which was to the 
east of Hadley, part of it being comprised in the present limits of Belcher- 
town and Pelham. The west line, of this land cut off some 3000 acres 
from the third division laid out by the Hadley measurers in 1 703. Sylvester 
Judd in unpublished mss. states that the Pelham line cut off one and one- 
half miles from the two miles in length of the most northerly lots as 
originally laid out in the third division ; as the line passed further south 
less was taken off, and the lots below those granted to Samuel, Hezekiah 
and John Porter were of full length. In 1738 the town voted to lay out 
land north of the old division of 1703 and south of Mill river "to those 
who had lost land in the 3d division by running the town line against 
Pelham." The names of those to whom this land was granted were as 
follows : 

Samuel Partridge, Mr. Jones and Samuel Russell. 

Ebenezer Selden. Edward Church. 

Samuel Barnard. William Rooker. 

John Goodman, ' Nathaniel Dickinson. 

Eleazer Warner. Dea. Nathaniel White, 

Ichabod Smith, Samuel Crow. 

John Montague, Jacob W T arner, 

Nathaniel Warner. John Preston, 

Edmund Hubbard. Peter Montague, 

Solomon Boltwood, John Taylor, Sr. & Jr.. 

Samuel Smith. Geo. Stillman, 

Thomas Dickinson, Timothy Eastman. 

Daniel Marsh. John Selden. 

Samuel Porter. Isaac Warner, 

Daniel W T arner, Samuel and Ebenezer Nash. 

Thomas Goodman. 

This land was in the region known as " Flat Hills." It was divided 
in two tiers and made 654 acres, 137 rods. For each two acres of land 
lost from the third division they were allowed ii acres here. It was voted 


in November, 1738, "to sequester 100 acres nextto north lot in 2ddivision 
for use of the 3d precinct." The third division extended further north 
than the second division. 

Of the 97 persons who drew lots in the first and second division, 78 
were residents of Hadley, 16 of Hatfield and three non-residents. The 
number of families in Hadley in 1701 was about 70, all living on the old 
broad street and the highway at the north end. The laying out in 1703 
was according to polls and meadow-land in 1701, and to the drawing of 
that year. Of the 97 persons who became the first proprietors of the 
lands now comprised in the town of Amherst, but a small proportion ever 
occupied their lots in person. The distribution was completed in 1703; 
the same year was signalized by the beginning of a war between England 
and France, which extended to the colonies and lasted for ten years. 
During this war the French and their Indian allies made frequent attacks 
on the English settlements in the Connecticut valley, burning Deerfield and 
rendering life and property unsafe without the limits of the fortified towns. 
There was little inducement to make new settlements and land in the three 
divisions was held at little value by its owners. Judd says that in 1703 
land in Amherst was not worth a pistareen an acre ; later it was valued at 
from three to four shillings. There is a tradition, mentioned by Judd in 
the Hadley history and by Holland in his history of Western Massachu- 
setts, that the first settler on these lands was a Mr. Foote, who came from 
Hatfield. Holland says : " A Mr. Foote, probably from Hatfield, is said 
to have built a shanty in the east part of the town prior to 1703. The 
location was a little north of the East parish meeting-house. He chose the 
spot, thinking that he could subsist thereby hunting and fishing, but failing 
to do so, he left, and, in commemoration of his folly, the east part of the 
town was for many years called " Foote-Folly Swamp ! " Judd deemed it 
probable that the first permanent settlement was made in 1727 or 1728. 

In the Hadley town records the first mention of the " east inhabitants " 
is found under date of Jan. 5, 1730, when a committee was appointed to 
lay out a burying place for them. If the tradition concerning Foote be 
disregarded, there is no record and no way of ascertaining as to who was 
the original settler in the present bounds of Amherst, nor where the first 
house was erected. There is reason to believe that the first settlement 
was at East Amherst, on the highway between the second and third divis- 
ions. In 1731 Hadley voted to divide among its inhabitants the "Inner 
Commons, - ' which in 1700 they had voted should "Lye as Comon Land 
forever." The provisions of this vote were not carried out until 1 741, but 
a list of the inhabitants taken in 1 73 1, who afterwards had a part in the 
distribution, gives the names and ratable estate of 18 persons under the 
heading of " Fast Inhabitants." These names were as follows : 

Hn ©lo flDap of 

Hmberst, flfoass-, 

flDaoe about 1772. 

( wan (HtUfrw JM*f * ■ ' 


John Ingram, Sr., John Ingram, Jr., 

Ebenezer Kellogg, John Cowls, 

Jonathan Cowls, Samuel Boltwood, 

Samuel Hawley, Nathaniel Church, 

John Wells, Aaron Smith, 

Nathaniel Smith, Richard Chauncey, 

Stephen Smith, John Nash, Jr., 

Joseph Wells. Ebenezer Scovil, 

Ebenezer Ingram, Ebenezer Dickinson. 

Of these, John Cowls, Jonathan Cowls, Samuel Hawley, John Wells, 
Stephen Smith and Joseph Wells came from Hatfield, the remainder being 
from Hadley. Only five of these names are found in the original allot- 
ment of lands, those of John Ingram, Sr., John Ingram, Jr., Samuel 
Boltwood, John Nash and John Cowls. The others had doubtless acquired 
their land by purchase or inheritance. It is impossible to state with 
accuracy the precise locations of the houses of these " East Inhabitants,'* 
but from a map of the town drawn about the year 1770 we are enabled to 
locate the following: Jonathan Cowls (spelled Cole) lived on a highway 
running northwesterly from the highway between the first and second 
divisions; John Nash, on the highway between the first and second divisions 
in the second house south of the meeting-house ; Ebenezer Dickinson, on 
the highway between the first and second divisions at the north part ; 
Nathaniel Smith, on the highway between the first and second divisions in 
the first house south of the meeting-honse. This map has been badly 
defaced and portions of it lost, but gives a fair idea of the distribution of 
the inhabitants at the time it was made. 

It would thus appear that of the eighteen original settlers but four 
were living in the present bounds of Amherst in 1770. Of the remaining 
fourteen, John Wells had removed to Hardwick, Joseph Wells to Sunder- 
land, Aaron Smith to Shutesbury where he died in 1759, Richard Chauncey 
to Whately where he died in 1790, Stephen Smith to Sunderland where he 
died in 1760; Nathaniel Church had also removed, but where he went is 
not recorded. Ebenezer Scovil died in 1731, the same year he removed to 
the new settlement. Ebenezer Ingram and John Cowls died in 1735, John 
Ingram, Jr. in 1737, Samuel Boltwood in 1738, and Ebenezer Kellogg in 
1766. There is no record of the death of John Ingram and Samuel 
Hawley: the former was living in 1742 "at an advanced age," and the 
latter, born in 16S6, probably died before the map was made. The descend- 
ants of John Cowls removed to Belchertown. John Ingram, Jr. left four 
sons, Samuel, Philip, John and Reuben. On this map we find a Philip 
Ingram (spelled " Ingraham ") living on the highway between the first and 
second divisions, near Mill Valley, and a John Ingraham living on the east 
highway near the north part. 


Between 1731 and 1738 the following persons were added to the 
population of the settlement : 

Joseph Clary, 
Solomon Boltwood, 
William Murray, 
Peletiah Smith, 
Ebenezer Williams. 
Joseph Hawley, 
John Morton, 

Jonathan Atherton. 
Charles Chauncey. 
Nathan Moody. 
John Perry, 
Zechariah Field, 
Samuel Hawley. Jr. 
Moses Smith. 

Zecheriah Field, Joseph Hawley, Samuel Hawley, Jr. and John Morton 
came from Hatfield, Ebenezer Williams from Deerfield, the remainder from 

Of these, the following may be located on the map : Peletiah Smith, 
on the west highway, near what is now known as Mill Valley ; Ebenezer 
Williams, on the east highway toward South Amherst; John Morton, on the 
east highway north of where the East Cong'l church now stands : Nathan 
Moody, on the west highway a little way over College hill ; Moses Smith. 
on the Bay road. Jonathan Atherton died in 1744 and John Perry removed. 
Solomon Boltwood died in 1762 and left a son Solomon ; on the map is 
found Lt. Solomon Boltwood living on the highway running from the west 
highway toward Hadley. Zechariah Field died in 173S and left a son 
John ; the map has a Lieut. John Field living at the intersection of the 
west highway with the highway leading toward Hadley. 

From 1739 to 1745 there were 34 persons added to the settlement, as 
follows : 

Samuel Ingram, 
John Field, 
David Nash, 
Moses Hawley, 
Moses Warner, 
Aaron Warner, 
Jonathan Nash. 
Nathaniel Coleman, 
Jonathan Moody. 
Samuel Church, 
Daniel Dickinson, 
John Dickinson. 
Moses Dickinson, 
Nathan Dickinson, 
Jonathan Dickinson, 
Jonathan Smith, 
Nehemiah Strong, 

Noah Baker. 
Charles Wright, 
Preserved Clapp. 
Westwood Cook. Jr.. 
Joseph Eastman. Jr.. 
Deac. Eleazar Mattoon. 
Rev. David Parsons, 
Peter Smith, 
Nathaniel Kellogg, 
Ephraim Kellogg, 
Alexander Porter. 
Elisha Ingram. 
Phinehas Smith. 
David Smith. 
Joseph Morton. 
Daniel Smith. 
Seth Kibbe. 

( )f these, David Nash removed to South Hadley, Phinehas Smith to 
Granby, and Noah Baker to Sunderland: David Smith returned to Hadley. 


Joseph Morton and Seth Kibbe died. The following appear upon the 
map : Moses Warner and Aaron Warner, on the west highway just north of 
the meeting-house ; Jonathan Nash, on the east highway, toward South 
Amherst ; Jonathan Moody, a little north of the Bay road but off the high- 
way : Samuel Church, on the west highway near the Bay road ; Daniel 
Dickinson, on the west highway, a little north from the Bay road; Nathan 
and Jonathan Dickinson, on the east highway just north of the highway 
leading to Pel ham ; Jonathan Smith, on the west highway toward the north 
part : Joseph Eastman, on the west highway at the north ; Rev. David 
1'arsons, on the west highway nearly opposite the meeting-house; Elihu 
Ingram, on the west highway south of highway leading to Hadley. There 
is a Coleman given on the map, on the east highway near where the South 
Cong'l church now stands ; this may have been Nathaniel Coleman's home; 
his son, Dea. Seth Coleman, lived on the west highway just north of the 
highway that crossed the second division. John Dickinson was living at 
the time the map was drawn but his name does not appear on it. Moses 
Dickinson did not die until 1803. but his name also is missing from the 
map. Nehemiah Strong died in 1772 and left a son Simeon born in 1736. 
The map gives the residence of Simeon Strong, Esq. at the junction of the 
west highway and the highway leading to Hadley. Charles Wright removed 
to Pownal, Vt., prior to 1762. Preserved Clapp died in 1758 and left a 
son Oliver born in 1744; the map gives the residence of Oliver Clapp on 
the east highway just south of the road leading to Pelham. Westwood 
Cook died about 174S and left a son Moses born in 1726. The map gives 
the residence of a Moses " Bascom," which should be Moses Cook, on 
the west highway near the highway branching off to the northwest. Eleazar 
Mattoon died in 1767, leaving a son Ebenezer born in 1720 ; on the map 
the residence of Ebenezer "Toon," which should be Mattoon, is given on 
the westhighway near the north part. Peter Smith did not die until 1787, 
but his name does not appear on the map. Nathaniel Kellogg died in 
1750 and Ephraim Kellogg in 1777. The records contain nothing con- 
cerning Alexander Porter. 

Between the years 1745 and 1763 the following persons were added 
to the population : 

Daniel Kellogg, David Smith. 

Abraham Kellogg, Xoah Smith, 

Ebenezer Kellogg, Jr.. Martin Smith, 

Joseph Church, Eleazer Smith, 

Isaac Hubbard, John Petty or Pettis, 

Moses Cook, John Cowls, Jr., 

Jacob Warner, Oliver Cowls. 

Gideon Dickinson, Benjamin Harwood, 

Reuben Dickinson, Samuel Elmer, 


Joseph Dickinson, 
Ebenezer Dickinson, Jr.. 
Nathan Dickinson, Jr., 
Ebenezer Dickinson, 3d, 
Simeon Dickinson, 
Noah Dickinson, 
Jonathan Dickinson, Jr.. 
Jonathan Dickinson, 
Azariah Dickinson, 
Nathaniel Dickinson, 
Nehemiah Dickinson, 
David Dickinson, 
Thomas Hastings, 
Simeon Strong', 
Ens. Josiah Chauncey, 
Isaac Goodale. 
Elijah Baker, 
Simeon Pomeroy, 
John Keet, 
Jonathan Edwards, 
Alexander Smith, 
Edward Smith, 
Pelatiah Smith, Jr., 
Simeon Smith, 
Jonathan Smith, Jr., 
Thomas Morton, 

Of these, Thomas Hastings, Hezekiah Belding, John Allis and John 
Billing came from Hatfield, Elijah Baker, John Keet, Jonathan Edwards, 
Simeon (lark and Gideon Henderson from Northampton, Simeon Pomeroy 
from Southampton; the remainder from Hadley. The following are found 
upon the map: Daniel Kellogg, on the east highway north of the highway 
crossing the second division ; Joseph Church, on the west highway at the 
north part; Gideon Dickinson, on the east highway at the north part ; 
Reuben Dickinson, on the east highway at the north part ; Joseph Dickin- 
son, on the west highway at the north part ; Nathan Dickinson, Jr., on the 
east highway toward the south part; Noah Dickinson, on the east highway 
a little south of the highway leading to Pelham ; Nathaniel Dickinson, on 
the highway leading northwest from the west highway : Thomas Hastings, 
a little east of the east highway toward the south part; Josiah Chauncey, 
on the west highway toward "Mill Valley;" Isaac Goodale, on the west 
highway at junction of highway leading to the northwest: Simeon Pomeroy, 
on the east highway toward the south part; Jonathan Edwards, probably 
the " Dea. Edwards" on the map, on the east highway toward the south 
part: Alexander Smith, on the west highway toward "Mill Valley;" David 
Smith and Noah Smith, on the highway leading northwest from the west 

Eli Colton, 
James Merrick, 
Solomon Boltwood, Jr., 
William Boltwood, 
Ebenezer Mattoon, 
Simeon Clark, 
John Nash, Jr., 
Ncadiah Lewis, 
John Ingram, 3d, 
Philip Ingram, 
Reuben Ingram, 
Hezekiah Belding, 
William Murray, Jr.. 
John field, Jr., 
John Allis, 
John Billing, 
Preserved Clapp, 
David Blodget, 
Jonathan Moody, Jr., 
Asahel Moody, 
Benjamin Rhodes, 
Justus Williams, 
Thomas Bascom, 
Gideon Henderson, 
Abner Adams. 


highway; Martin Smith, on the highway leading to Pelham ; John Petty, 
on the south road crossing the second division ; Oliver Cowls, (spelled 
" Cole ") on the northwest highway ; James Merrick, on the west highway 
at the south part; William Boltwood, on the west highway toward " Mill 
Valley;" Simeon Clark. " Dea, Clark" on the map. on the highway leading 
to Hadley ; Noadiah Lewis, on the highway leading to Hadley ; Hezekiah 
Belding, on the east highway at the north part ; John Field, Jr.. on the 
highway running northwest ; John Billing, on the west highway toward 
" Mill Valley ;" David Blodgett, on the east highway just north of the 
highway leading to Pelham; Justus Williams, on the east highway toward 
the south part ; Gideon Henderson, on ihe northwest highway. 

Resides the names of the original settlers and the additions prior to 
1763 as given in Judd's History, there are found upon the map the following 
names: Lemuel Moody, Israel 1 hckinson, Lieut. Dickinson, Timothy 
Green, Reuben Cowls, Lieut. Jonathan Field, Widow Ingram, Stephen 
Smith, Solomon Gould, Silas Matthew, John Williams, William Rood, Enos 
Dickinson. Stephen Cole, Abner Lee, Aaron Warner, Jr., Gideon Dickinson, 
Jr., Timothy Hubbard, Joel Billing, Thomas Hastings, Jr., Joseph Nash and 
Eli Parker. Concerning six of these, Lieut. Jonathan Field, John Williams, 
Stephen Cole, Abner Lee, Timothy Hubbard and Joseph Nash, but little is 
to be found in the records. Of those remaining, Lemuel Moody was 
probably the son of Jonathan Moody who came to Amherst between 1739 
and 1745. Israel Dickinson was the son of John Dickinson who came to 
Amherst before 1745. " Lieut."' Dickinson was probably Reuben Dickin- 
son, son of Ebenezer, one of the original settlers. Timothy Green was 
born in 174S and came to Amherst from Hadley. Reuben Cowls was son 
of Jonathan, one of the original settlers. The widow Ingram was doubt- 
less the widow of John Ingram, Jr., also one of the first settlers. Stephen 
Smith was son of Stephen who came to Amherst before 1739. Solomon 
Gould came to Amherst from Hadley before 17G0 and Silas Matthew before 
1772. William Rood might have been a son of Benjamin Rhodes. Enos 
Dickinson was son of Nathan who came to Amherst about 1742. Aaron 
Warner. Jr., was son of Aaron who came to Amherst between 1739 and 
1745 ; Gideon Dickinson, Jr., of Gideon who came before 1763 ; Joel 
Billing, of John who came before 1763; Thomas Hastings, Jr.. of Thomas 
who came before 1763. Eli Parker came from Hadley and died in 1829, 
aged 93. 



Founders of Amherst Families. — Biographical Sketches of the 
Early Settlers. 

Among the eighteen "east inhabitants" of Hadley in 1731 was 
Ebenezer Dickinson, the founder of a family in Amherst which has claimed 
more numerous descendants and exercised a greater influence over town 
affairs than any other. Ebenezer Dickinson was the son of Nehemiah, 
who died in Hadley in 1723 in his 79th year, and the grandson of Nathaniel 
who removed from Wethersfield to Hadley in 1659, being one of the 
original settlers. Ebenezer had four sons, Gideon, Ebenezer, Reuben and 
Joseph, and five daughters, Abigail, Sarah, Mary, Jerusha and Experience. 
Gideon married in 1745 Hannah, dau. of Nathaniel Edwards of Amherst; 
they had three sons, Gideon, Elisha and Samuel, and five daughters, 
Hannah, Abigail, Sarah, Martha and Naomi. Ebenezer 2 Dickinson 
married in 1734 Chloe Holton ; they had five sons, Ebenezer, Roswell, 
Luther, Zimri and Joseph, and two daughters, Chloe and Experience. 
Reuben commanded a company from Amherst in the Revolutionary war, 
and after the war removed to Thetford, Vt. His children were, Reuben, 
Sarah, Esther, Ruth, Josiah, Solomon, Elijah, Josiah, Rachel. Joseph 
Dickinson married (1) Martha daughter of Jonathan Dickinson, by whom 
he had Joseph and Martha; (2) a second Martha Dickinson, by whom he 
had a son Ira. Abigail Dickinson married in 1740 Samuel Ingram, by 
whom she had two children, Lydia and Sarah. Sarah Dickinson married 
in 1743 Asa Adams. Mary Dickinson married in 1757 Noah Dickinson, 
son of Jonathan, by whom she had a daughter Mary. Jerusha Dickinson 
married in 1763 David Blodgett. Experience Dickinson died in Hadley 
in 1 770, unmarried. 

Between the years 1739 and 1745 there came to the east settlement 
Daniel, John and Moses Dickinson from Hadley and Nathan and Jonathan 
Dickinson from Hatfield. Daniel Dickinson married in 1779 Sybil, 
daughter of Josiah Dickinson ; their children were, Sophia, Henry, Char- 
lotte, Samuel, Sylvanus, Elihu, Lucy, Daniel and Edward. John Dickinson 
married in 1741 Esther, daughter of Nathaniel Dickinson of Sunderland, 
by whom he had three sons, Nathaniel, Israel and Waitstill. Moses 
Dickinson married Thankful, daughter of Chileab Smith, by whom he had 
Hannah, Moses, Lois, Aaron, Medad, Mercy, Elijah, Eli and Judah. 
Nathan Dickinson was three times married. By his first wife, Thankful 





Warner, he had Nathan, Ebenezer, Irene and Enos ; by his second wife, 
Joanna Leonard, Azariah, Elihu, Shelah, Thankful, Lois, Asa, Levi, Joanna ; 
by his third wife, Judith Hosmer, Stephen and Judith. Jonathan Dickinson 
married in 1745 Dorothy, daughter of John Stoughton, of Windsor. Conn., 
by whom he had Lucy, Dorothy, Jonathan, Joel, Samuel, Stoughton and 

From 1745 to 1763 rive more Dickinsons removed to the east settlement, 
Jonathan, Azariah, Nathaniel and Nehemiah from Shutesbury and David 
from Hadley. Jonathan married in 1724 Mary, daughter of Nathaniel 
Smith of Hatfield, and had children Simeon, Noah, Jonathan, Mary and 
Martha. Azariah married in 1747 Eunice, daughter of John Stoughton of 
Windsor, Conn.; their children were Eunice, Hannah, Azariah and Oliver. 

Nathaniel was twice married ; by his first wife. Thankful , he had 

Mary. Nathaniel, Josiah, Elijah, Rachel, Rebecca and Salome ; his second 
wife was Jemima Wales ; by her he had no children. Nehemiah married 
in 1749 Amy, still another daughter of John Stoughton, and by her had 
Nehemiah, John and Simeon. The records contain no mention of descend- 
ants of David Dickinson. Bearing in mind the small number of the early 
settlers, the length of the foregoing list gives ample reason why the Dick- 
inson family should have gained great prominence in the community from 
the beginning. 

There were two Smiths, Aaron and Nathaniel, among the east inhabi- 
tants in 1 73 1 ; they were brothers, and sons of Ichabod Smith of Hadley, 
and grandsons of Philip, one of the original settlers of Hadley, whose 
death was ascribed by Cotton Mather to witchcraft. Aaron was married 
in 1724 to Mehitable, daughter of John Ingram, and had four children, 
a son who died young, Jemima, Philip and Aaron. Nathaniel Smith was 
the first physician in Amherst, where he died July 21, 1789, aged 84. He 
had three children, Nathaniel, Dorothy and Rebecca. There were three 
Smiths added to the settlement between 1731 and 1739, Stephen from 
Hatfield and Peletiah and Moses from Hadley. Stephen was son of Jonathan 
and grandson of Philip ; he removed from Amherst to Sunderland where 
he died in 1760; his children were Stephen, Joel, Titus and Mary. 
Peletiah was son of Samuel and grandson of Chileab. He married in 172 1 
Abigail, daughter of William Wait; their children were Elizabeth, Pelatiah, 
Abigail and Lucy. Moses was brother to Aaron and Nathaniel ; he married 
in 1732 Hannah, daughter of Samuel Childs of Deerfield ; their children 
were Moses, Simeon, Hannah, Catharine, Azubah, Elizabeth, Amasa, 
Samuel. Noadiah and Oliver. Betw-een 1739 and 1745 five Smiths were 
added to the settlement, Jonathan and Daniel from Hatfield, and Peter, 
Phinehas and David from Hadley. Jonathan married in 1722 Hannah, 
daughter of Benoni Wright of Hatfield, and had children Jonathan, Martin, 


David, Noah, Hannah, Abigail, Rebecca and Jerusha. Judd says "Daniel 
Smith was crazy;" there is no mention of him or his descendants in early 
records. Peter was the son of Chileab 3 and the grandson of Chileab 1 
Smith, who was in Hadley in 1673 ; Peter married Amy Bissell of Windsor, 
Conn, and had children Chileab and Elisha. Phinehas soon removed to 
Granby and David returned to Hadley. 

From 1745 to 1763 nine persons bearing the name of Smith were added 
to the population, Alexander, Edward, Peletiah, Jr., Simeon, Jonathan, Jr., 
David, Noah, Martin and Eleazar. Of these, Peletiah, Jr., was son of Pele- 
tiah, Simeon son of Moses, and Jonathan, Jr., Noah and Martin sons of Jona- 
than. Alexander and Edward were sons of Joseph 2 , and grandsons 
of Joseph 1 Smith who came to Hadley from Hartford in 1680. David 
was son of Luke and grandson of Chileab. Eleazar was son of John', 
grandson of John 1 , and great-grandson of Philip, one of the original 
settlers of Hadley. Alexander married in 1743 Rebecca Warner of West- 
field ; their children were Nathaniel Alexander, Hannah, Joseph, Rebecca, 
Elias and Samuel. Edward married Hamutal, daughter of Benjamin 
Ellsworth of East Windsor, Conn.; they had children Benjamin, Timothy, 
Hewitt, Tryphena, Sarah, Roxana and Lucy. Peletiah, Jr. married in 1755 
Rhoda Morgan ; their children were Reuben, Rhoda, Sarah, Mary, Aaron, 
Phinehas and Samuel. Simeon married in 1763 Rachel, daughter of 
Nathaniel Strong of Northampton ; their children were Simeon, Asa, 
Electa, Rachel and Sylvanus. Jonathan, Jr. married in 1756 Rebecca, 
daughter of Dr. Nathaniel Smith ; they had one child, Jerusha. David 
resided in Amherst but a few years. Noah married in 1766 Mary, daughter 
of Edward Elmer; their children were Hannah, Jonathan, Reuben, Noah, 
Andrew, Polly, Rebecca, Sarah and Abigail. Martin married in 1760 
Lucy, daughter of Preserved Clapp ; they had children Levi, Josiah, 
Solomon, Jonathan, Martin, Stephen, Wright and Phineas. Eleazar was 
twice married, first to Lydia Thomas of Lebanon, Conn., and second to 
Abigail, daughter of Thomas Hale of Longmeadow ; his children, all but 
the last-named by his first wife, were : Lydia, Lucina, Eleazar, Ithamar, 
Sarah, Ethan, Achsah, Justin and Seth. 

John Cowls and Jonathan Cowls were numbered among the east inhabi- 
tants in 1731. They came from Hatfield, were brothers and sons of 
Jonathan, grandsons of John 2 and great-grandsons of John 1 Cowls who 
removed from Farmington, Ct. to Hatfield about 1664. John Cowls married 
Mary — — , and had children Israel, Abia, John, Martha and Mary. 
Jonathan Cowls married in 1732 Sarah Gaylord ; their children were Sarah, 
( Hiver, Jerusha. Jonathan, I )avid. Josiah, Eleazar, Reuben, Enosand Simeon. 
( )f the eight sons of Jonathan, five married and had large families of 


Three of the east inhabitants bore the name of Ingram, John, Sr., John, 
Jr. and Kbenezer. John Ingram, Sr. was the son of John, who was free- 
man in Hadley in 1683. He married in 1689 Mehitable, daughter of John 
Dickinson; their children were Elizabeth, John, Ebenezer, Hannah. 
Mehitable, Rebecca. Jonathan. Experience and Elisha. John Ingrain. Jr. 
married in 1719 Lydia, daughter of Samuel Boltwood ; their children were 
Samuel, Sarah. Philip, John. Reuben and Kbenezer. Elisha, Samuel, 
Philip. John and Reuben remained in Amherst, married and reared large 

Ebenezer Kellogg was one of the east inhabitants in i 731. He was son 
of Nathaniel, and grandson of Joseph who removed from Boston to Hadley 
as early as 1662. He was a captain and resided successively in Hadley, 
Amherst, New Salem and Stow. He married in 1716 Elizabeth, widow of 
Philip Panthorn, and had two children. Martin and Ebenezer. Nathaniel 
Kellogg, father of Ebenezer, removed to the new settlement about 1739. 
He married in 1692 Sarah, daughter of Samuel Boltwood- their children 
were Nathaniel. Ebenezer, Ezekiel, Samuel. Sarah, Abigail, Mary, Ephraim 
and Experience. Ephraim. son of Nathaniel and brother of Ebenezer, 
was among the east inhabitants previous to 1745: he married, in 1741, 
Dorothy, daughter of Samuel Hawley ; their children were Ephraim, 
Martin, Dorothy, Abigail. John, Sarah and Joseph. Daniel and Abraham 
Kellogg came to the settlement between the years 1745 and 1763; 
they were sons of Nathaniel- and grandsons of Nathaniel' Kellogg. 
Daniel was three times married, first in 1751 to Esther, daughter of John 
Smith of South Hadley, by whom he had four children, Daniel, Aaron, 
David and Jonathan; second in 1758 to Thankful, widow of Joseph 
Hawley; third to Sarah, daughter of Josiah Powers of Northampton. 
Abraham was married in 1758 to Sarah, daughter of Jonathan Cowls; 
their children were Sybil. Sarah, Samuel and Abraham. 

Among the east inhabitants in 1 73 1 was Samuel Boltwood. He was 
son of Samuel who was killed at Deerfield in the French and Indian war 
in 1704, and grandson of Robert Boltwood one of the first settlers in 
Hadley. He married in 1703 Hannah, daughter of Nathaniel Alexander. 
Their children were Hannah. Samuel. Sarah. Mary. Martha, Abigail and 
Jemima. Solomon Boltwood, brother of Samuel, came to the settlement 
before 1739. He married Mary, widow of John Pantry, Jr. of Hartford 
and daughter of John Norton of Farmington, Conn.; their children were 
Ruth, Sarah, William, Solomon, Ebenezer and Mary. 

In the first list of east inhabitants appears the name of Samuel 
Hawley. He was son of Joseph Hawley of Northampton and grandson 
of Thomas Hawley of Roxbury. He settled in Hatfield whence he removed 
to the east settlement in Hadley. He married in 1708 Mehitable, daughter 


of Samuel Belding ; their children were Lydia, Samuel, Joseph, Moses, 
John, Dorothy and Mary. His sons Samuel, Joseph and Moses, remained 
in the east settlement where they married and raised large families. 

The name of Nathaniel Church is also found on the list of east 
inhabitants in 1 73 1 . He was probably the son of Samuel Church of 
Hadley. He married in 1727 Rachel McCranney of Springfield by whom 
he had these children : Nathaniel, William Harrison, Rachel, Malachi, 
Jesse, Eber, Timothy, Samuel, Experience, Ruth, Mary, David, Jonathan and 
Benjamin. Samuel Church, brother of Nathaniel, came to the east settle- 
ment between 1739 and 1745. He married Margaret, daughter of Samuel 
Smith; their children were Margaret, Sarah, Abigail, Thankful, Daniel, 
Eunice and Giles. Another brother, Joseph, came to the settlement 
between 1745 and 1763. He married in 1755 Abigail, daughter of Jona- 
than Smith ; their children were Samuel, Abigail, Joseph, and Sylvanus. 

Richard Chauncey was one of the east inhabitants in 1731. He was 
a son of the Rev. Isaac Chauncey of Stratford, Conn., who in 1696 was 
ordained over the Hadley church. Richard married in 1729 Elizabeth, 
daughter of Jonathan Smith of Hatfield; their children were Oliver, 
Elizabeth, Eunice, Jerusha, Medad and Abigail. Charles Chauncey, 
brother to Richard, came to the new settlement before 1739. He 
married in 1740 Sarah Ingram, by whom he had children Catharine, 
Dorothy and Isaac. In 1746 he married Mary Gaylord, by whom he had 
Eunice and David. Josiah Chauncey, brother to Charles and Richard, 
came to the east settlement between 1745 and 1763. He occupied many 
important offices and removed about 17S1 to New York state. His children 
were Elizabeth B., Mary, Sarah, Josiah, Isaac, Moses, and Samuel. 

The list of east inhabitants in 1 73 1 contains the name of John Nash, 
Jr. He was the son of John and grandson of Timothy Nash who removed 
from Hartford to Hadley in 1663. John Nash was a deacon in the church 
and died about 1778. He married in 17 16 Hannah Ingram ; their chil- 
dren were Jonathan, David, Hannah and John. His three sons continued 
to reside in the new settlement where they married and raised large 
families of children. 

Among those added to the east inhabitants between 1731 and 1739 
were Zechariah Eield, Nathan Moody and John Morton. 

Zechariah Eield was the son of John of Hatfield and grandson of 
Zechariah who removed from Hartford to Northampton in 1659. Zecha- 
riah 2 was married in 1705 to Sarah, daughter of Dea. John Clark of 
Northampton ; their children were Ebenezer, Rebecca, Sarah, Mary and 

Nathan Moody was the son of Samuel' and grandson of Samuel 1 
Moody. He married in 1735 Abigail Montague; their children were 


John, Josiah and Abigail. Jonathan, brother to Nathan, came to the new 
settlement between 1739 and 1745. He married in 1730 Bridget Smith; 
their children were Huldah, Jonathan, Asahel, Lemuel, Eldad. Medadand 

John Morton was son of Joseph of Hatfield and grandson of Richard 
Morton who removed from Hartford to Hatfield in 1670. John Morton 
married in 1730 Lydia, daughter, of Samuel Hawley ; their children were 
Ruth, Rhoda, Thomas. Lydia, John and Joseph. 

In the list of those added to the new settlement between 1739 and 
1745 are found the following names : Moses and Aaron Warner, Nathaniel 
Coleman, Nehemiah Strong, Preserved Clapp, Westwood Cook, Jr., Joseph 
Eastman, Jr., Eleazar Mattoon and David Parsons. 

Moses and Aaron Warner were brothers, sons of Jacob'", grandsons 
of Jacob' and great-grandsons or Andrew Warner, who removed from 
Hartford to Hadley in 1659, being among the first settlers. Moses Warner 
was married in 173S to Mary Field ; their children were Mary and Moses. - 
Aaron Warner was a blacksmith, probably the first in Amherst. His 
children were Maribee, Ruth, Aaron, Lucy. Noadiah, Hannah, David, 
Jonathan and Elisha. Jacob Warner, brother to Moses and Aaron, came 
to the settlement between 1745 and 1763. His children were Wareham, 
Jacob, Anna, Abigail. Esther, Reuben and Sarah. 

Nathaniel Coleman was son of Nathaniel, grandson of John and great- 
grandson of Thomas Coleman who was one of the first settlers in Hadley. 
Nathaniel'"' Coleman married in 1739 Mercy Smith; their children were 
Seth, Thankful, Azubah and Enos. 

Nehemiah Strong was son of Samuel Strong of Northampton. He 
was twice married, (1) to Hannah Edwards, by whom he had children 
Nehemiah, Mary and Simeon: (2) to Catherine Barrett of Sunderland. 

Preserved Clapp was son of Preserved Clapp of Northampton. He 
married in 1730 Sarah, daughter of Christopher West of Guilford, Conn.; 
their children were Preserved, Sarah, Lucy, Irene, Miriam, Oliver, Alary, 
Timothy and William. 

Westwood Cook was son of Westwood and grandson of Capt. Aaron 
Cook. He married in 1723 Joanna, daughter of Moses Cook ; their children 
were Jane, Moses, Mary. Joannah. 

Joseph Eastman, Jr. was son of Joseph'- and grandson of Joseph 1 
Eastman who removed in 1682 from Salisbury to Hadley. Joseph 1 ' 
Eastman married in 1746 Sarah Ingram; their children were Sarah, Ruth, 
Joseph, Ebenezer, John, Mercy, Lydia, Miry, Hannah and Tilton. 

Eleazer Mattoon was son of Philip Mattoon of Springfield and removed 
to the new settlement from Northfield ; his children were Elizabeth, 
Ebenezer and Sarah. 


Rev. David Parsons was son of Rev. David and was born in Maiden, 
March 24, 17 12 ; he was graduated from Harvard college in 1729. He 
married Eunice, daughter of Gideon Wells of Wethersfield, Conn. Their 
children were Eunice, David, Salome, Mary, Gideon and Leonard. 

Among the names of those added to the east settlement between 1745 
and 1763 are found the following: Thomas Hastings, Isaac Goodale, 
Elijah Baker, Simeon Pomeroy, Jonathan Edwards, James Merrick, Simeon 
Clark, Hezekiah Belding, John Billings and Gideon Henderson. 

Thomas Hastings was son of Thomas 2 and grandson of Thomas 1 
Hastings, who was born in Watertown in 1652 and afterwards removed 
to Hatfield. Thomas 3 Hastings married Mary, daughter of Joseph Belden 
of Hatfield ; their children were Esther, Sarah, Thomas, Aaron. Waitstill, 
Samuel, Sybil, Moses, Mary, Elisha, Tabitha and Lucy. 

Isaac Goodale (or Goodell) was born about 1730; he was twice 
married, (1) in 1753 to Huldah, daughter of Thomas Burt of Northampton, 
by whom he had childred Isaac, Mercy, Thomas, David and Eleanor ; 
(2) in 1805 to Prudence Billings. 

Elijah Baker was son of John Baker of Northampton. He was twice 
married, (1) in 1757 to Rebecca, daughter of Jonathan Smith, by whom 
he had children Elijah, Hannah, Enos, Sarah and Martin ; by his second 
wife he had a daughter Martha. 

Simeon Pomeroy was son of Samuel Pomeroy of Northampton and 
was born in 1725. He married in 1747 Abigail Smith ; their children were 
Abigail, Eunice, Lucy, Simeon, Mary, Jerusha, David, Mary. Dorcas, 
Samuel and Moses. 

Jonathan Edwards was son of Nathaniel Edwards of Northampton 
and was born in 1722. He married in 1748 Rebecca, daughter of Samuel 
Smith of Sunderland ; their children were Jonathan, Rebecca, Nathaniel. 
Lydia, Philip, Mary, Sarah, Hannah and Martha. 

James Merrick was son of James of Monson and was born in 1729. 
He married in 1754 Esther Colton of Longmeadow ; their children were 
Mary, Lucy, Sarah, James, Samuel, Esther, and Aaron. 

Simeon Clark was son of Increase Clark of Northampton and was 
born in 1720. He married in 1749 Rebecca, daughter of Nathaniel 
Strong; their children were Eunice, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Lois, Asahel, 
Justus, Mary and Jerusha. 

Hezekiah Belding was son of Samuel, grandson of Stephen and great- 
grandson of Samuel Belding who removed from Wethersfield to Hatfield. 
Hezekiah llelding was four times married, (1) in 1752 to Mary, daughter 
of Jonathan Dickinson; (2) to Abigail, daughter of John Nash of Hat- 
field; (3) in 1767 to Martha Eield of Sunderland; (4) in 1795 to 


Martha, daughter of Widow Smith of Hadley. His children were Mary, 
Elizabeth. Submit. Hepzibah. Abigail, John, Elihu and Martha. 

John Killings was son of Richard", grandson of Samuel and great- 
grandson of Richard' Billings who removed from Hartford to Hatfield 
in 1661. John Billings was twice married, (i) to Jerusha, daughter of 
John Waite of Hatfield, and (2) to Sarah, daughter of William Mat- 
thews. His children were Joel. Hannah. Lois, Ursula, John, Moses, Aaron, 
ferusha, David, Martha. Sarah and Ame. 

Gideon Henderson resided in Northampton and Sunderland before 
removing to the east settlement. He married in 1740 Sarah Baker; their 
children were Sarah, Gideon. Mehitable, Elizabeth, Mary, Timothy and 

These necessarily brief and incomplete biographical sketches of the 
early settlers in the limits of the present township of Amherst contain the 
names of most of those who were prominent in the early history of the 
precinct, district and town, and many as well that have descended from 
generation to generation, and are borne by their lineal descendants to-day. 
They explain why it is that the names of Dickinson and Smith and Cowls 
and a score of others are found on nearly every page of the old precinct 
records, and occupy so prominent a place in assessors' lists and muster- 
rolls, and later on in town directories. Many of these names may be — 
some have been — traced back to the earliest settlements in Massachusetts, 
and further back, across the Atlantic, to their original homes in England.. 


Burial Ground for East Inhabitants. — Occupations. — Wild Animals. 
Hadley Votes Concerning East Inhabitants. — Third Pre- 
cinct Set Off. 

The first minute in the town records of Hadley in relation to the east 
inhabitants is a rather gruesome one, relating as it does to the laying out 
of a burial ground for their use. It is found under date of Jan. 5, 1730, 
and reads as follows : 

"Voted that the East Inhabitants have Liberty Granted them for a Burying" 
place there In some Convenient place and made choice of John Ingram Samuel 
Boltwood and John Xash Jun. to view and lay out about an acre of Land for said 
use in a Convenient place and form and make return thereof at next March 


The committee was prompt to accomplish its work, as is found on the 
records under date of March 2. 1730 : 

''The Comity in Jan. Meeting abovesaid made Return as follows: They have 
laid out the Burying place fifteen rod joyning on Nath' Church's Lot west, and 
twelve rod Last in the highway, being about an acre and twenty rod of ground : 15 
rod in length 12 in Bredth." 

The principal occupation of the early inhabitants of the east settle- 
ment at Hadley was farming; they tilled the soil as their fathers and 
grandfathers had done before them. Much of the land in the first and 
second divisions was of excellent quality, rewarding their labors with 
abundant crops. The leading products were Indian corn, wheat, rye, barley 
and peas. The grain was ground at a mill located on what was known as 
the Mill river, which marked the northern boundary of the first division; 
the flour was bolted by hand. Much of the land was free from timber and 
only required plowing to fit it for planting the seed. The Indians had a 
custom of burning the grass and leaves in November of each year, to 
render hunting easier and to make the grass grow ; this custom was gen- 
erally adopted by the whites. These burnings were continued in some 
places as late as 1750, but a law was passed in 1743 to restrict these fires. 
Good timber was far from abundant and at an early date restrictions were 
made upon cutting and using it. Horses, cattle, sheep and hogs were 
pastured in the woods; cows were under a keeper, but young cattle roamed 
without restraint and were often allowed to remain in the woods until 
winter. Town rates, ministers' rates and private debts were mostly paid 
in grain, the price of which was fixed at a certain sum in money. 

A few of the early settlers combined some other occupation with that 
of farming; Nathaniel Smith, who was among the first of the east inhabi- 
tants, was a doctor, the first to practice his profession in the new settle- 
ment. Aaron Warner, also one of the first settlers, was a blacksmith and 
practiced his trade in 1741. Ebenezer Kellogg kept an inn from 1734 to 
1737, and was also engaged in trade. Many of the farmers could turn 
their hands to carpentering or rough mason-work, and their wives and 
daughters spun flax and carded wool and wove the cloth that was fashioned 
into garments not always shapely but comfortable. " Candlewood " and 
tallow-dips provided light of an evening, but the latter were esteemed a 
luxury only to be indulged in on state occasions. Beef, pork and corn- 
meal were staple articles of diet, with shad and salmon in their season. 
The Connecticut river was formerly very prolific in shad, but the fish was 
little esteemed. Wildcats and bears were also numerous; blackbirds and 
< rows were such a nuisance to the fanners that bounties were offered for 
their destruction. Deer and turkeys were numerous and were hunted 
both by the Indians and the whites. 


In Amherst records under date of 1767 is found the name "Wolfpit 
brook," showing that wolves were formerly caught in pits here, as in other 
places. That they were numerous and caused havoc among sheep is proved 
b\ the bounties offered both by towns and by the state for their destruction. 
Two wolves were killed in Amherst in 1765 and the following application 
for the state bounty is found in the archives at Boston : 

'• Mr. Treasurer— This is to certify, that there has been paid out of the Town 
of Amherst for one grown wolf killed on & near this District since the 1st 
Day of March last, and the head thereof brought unto one of our constables, 
and the ears thereof cut off in the Presence of some of ourselves, as the Law 
directs, and so certified unto us. in the whole the sum of two pounds, which sum we 
desire you to allow to our District, by paying the same unto Simeon Strong, our 
District Treasurer. Dated in Amherst aforesaid, the Seventh Day of May Anno 
Dom. 1765. 

John Billings j 

Simeon Clark [ Selectmen 

Moses Dickinson 1 

In 17S7 Amherst paid Isaac Hubbard £6 for killing a wolf. In 1805 
two wolves ranged for some time from the northern part of Amherst and 
Hadley to the northern part of Montague, and killed many sheep. Men 
from three or four towns turned out after a light snow and surrounded and 
killed them. 

A glance at the plan of Amherst in 1770 shows that the inhabitants 
were about evenly divided between the east and west highways. There 
was no one living on the main highway crossing the second division, and 
but three on the highway that crossed the same division further south. 
There was an extensive settlement at the north end, and another at the 
south end near the Bay road. The centre of population was probably not 
far from where the first meeting-house had been erected, on College hill. 

The east inhabitants having been provided with a burying place, we 
find no further mention of them in Hadley town records until 1731, when 
under date of Jan. 3 the following appears : 

•■ Voted That the East Inhabitants that are at the charge of hireing a min- 
ister their shall be abated their fifth part of the 120 pound Salary above mentioned 
to the Rev' 1 M 1 Chauncey." 

And again under date of March 5, 1733 : 

"Voted and Granted that when Ever there be occasion and opportunity to 
settle a good orthodox minister among our East Inhabitants, that the then East 
Inhabitants of our Town shall have and it is hereby Granted unto them to have 
the fee property and disposition of the two Lots of Land in the Second and third 
division of out Lands known by the name of Town Land or Lots to Give, Grantor 
Dispose of as they shall think Best in order to the Settleing a good orthodox 
minister among them."" 


Again under date of August 27, 1733 : 

''Voted That our East Inhabitants may have Liberty to hire a minister to 
Preach among them six months this year and that if they so do they shall be 
abated one half of their rate to our minister: and so in Proportion for the time 
they Hire not Exceeding six months." 

It would thus appear that the east inhabitants had hired a minister 
previous to 1731, but who this minister was there is nothing in the records 
to show. The inhabitants of Hadley first precinct were willing that the 
new settlers should hire a minister, but at the same time desired that they 
should continue to contribute to the support of Rev. Mr. Chauncey. This, 
naturally, was little to the liking of the east inhabitants, who found them- 
selves subjected to two ministerial rates. There was but one means by 
which this injustice could be remedied ; that was by forming a separate 
precinct, and in June, 1734. John Ingram and others signed a petition 
which was presented to the General Court, praying that such a precinct 
might be set off. In the General Court Records under date of June 6, 
1734, the following appears : 

"A Petition of John Ingram and a Great Number of other Inhabitants of a 
Tract of Land lying in and near the Township of Hadley Bounded Easterly on 
the East bounds of said Town Northerly on Sunderland Southerly on Mount 
Holyoke & Westerly from the east bounds of Hadley about two miles and three 
Quarters Showing their distance from the place of Publick Worship in said Town 
and theirAdvantageous Situation for their being made a precinct and therefore 
praying that they be constituted a separate precinct accordingly — 

In the House of Representatives Read & Ordered That the Pet" serve the 
first precinct in Hadley with a Copy of the Petition that they shew cause if any 
they have on the first Thursday of the next Sitting of the Court why the prayer 
thereof should not be Granted. 

In Council Read & Concurred." 

The Hadley records under date of June 26, 1734, contain the 
following entry : 

"At a Legal meeting of the First Precinct Voted Dea Eastman Moderator for 
said meeting it being put to vote whether we are willing to set off our East Inhab- 
itants a separate Precinct and it past in the negative. 

Voted that they will make answer to the Petition to the General Court to 
shew the unreasonableness thereof. Voted Elez r Porter Capt. Smith Leut Moses 
Cook'Dea Eastman and Job Marsh a Committee to draw up something in order to 
send to the General Court against said Petition and left to their discretion to send 
a man clown if they think best to manage that business to the General Court at 
the Town's Charge." 

The '• something " drawn up by this committee was carried to Boston 
by Capt. Luke Smith and proved such an effective argument that the 
petition was not granted at the time. A later minute in the records shows. 
that : 


•• Ebenezer Kellogg, John Wells. Nath 1 Church, Peletiah Smith and Nath 
Smith do enter their Decent against paying of Capt. Smith for going to Boston 
upon the Town Business Respecting a Petition of the East Inhabitants." 

December 10, 1734, a second petition headed by Zechariah Field and 
signed by the east inhabitants, praying that they might be set off a separate 
precinct, was presented to the General Court. This petition is missing 
from the state archives. In the General Court Records under date of 
December, 1734, is found the following : 

•'On the petition of Zechariah Field and othersof the town of Hadley praying- 
as entered the 10th Currant. — 

Ordered That the prayer of the petition be Granted, and the Lands hereafter 
bounded and Described with the Inhabitants thereon be and hereby are Erected 
into a Seperate and Destinct Precinct Accordingly ; The precinct being of the 
Contents of ten miles and three Quarters in bredth and Seven miles in length; 
Bounded westerly on a Tract of Land Reserved by the Town of Hadley to ly as 
Comon forever. Southerly on Boston Road, Easterly on the Equivalent Lands and 
northerly on the Town of Sunderland And the petit" and Inhabitants of the said 
Precint are hereby obliged and Enjoyned within three years to Build a Convenient 
House for the Publick worship of < lod, Settle a Learned orthodox Minister among 
them (one of Good Conversation) & provide for his handsome & honorable Support ; 
and the better to Enable them to proceed herein. It is hereby further Ordered 
that the Lands Lying and being within the said Precinct belonging to Non Resi- 
dent proprietors (not belonging to the old Precinct in Hadley) be and hereby are 
subjected to a Tax of two pence per acre — for the Space of Six years next coming 
to be applied for the Support of the ministry there." 

The lands comprised within the present limits of the township of 
South Hadley were set off as the second or south precinct of Hadley in 
1732 ; the new precinct, or what is now Amherst, thus became by the act 
of separation " Hadley Third Precinct." It had previously been known 
as " Xew Swamp," " Foote's Folly Swamp." "Hadley Farms," ''Fast 
Farms," " Hadley Outer Commons " and "East Hadley." The warrant 
for the first meeting in the new Precinct was signed by Eleazar Porter, 
justice of the peace, and was dated Sept. 22, 1735. It was served by 
Ebenezer Kellogg and the meeting was held Oct. 8. At that time it was 
the custom to hold two town meetings annually, one in January when 
ordinary business was transacted, and one in March when officers were 
elected for the ensuing year. Previous to 1735, and for many years there- 
after, the year was considered to end March 25 instead of Jan. 1, and this 
has frequently caused a confusion of dates in copying and quoting from 
ancient records. Thus January, February and March up to the 25th were 
accounted a part of and dated as the preceding year. The Third Precinct 
adopted the custom of the town in holding its regular meetings in January 
and March, and also introduced a custom of holding special meetings which 
has continued up to the present time. Samuel Hawley was chosen moder- 



ator of the first meeting, and together with John Ingram and Samuel 
Boltwood was chosen a member of the committee to call precinct meetings. 


David Parsons, the First Minister. — Organization of the First 
Church. — Mr. Parsons' Salary and Firewood. — The First 

One of the conditions imposed by the General Court in setting off the 
new precinct was the building within three years of a " Convenient House 
for the Publick worship of God," another the settling of a "Learned 
orthodox Minister among them " and providing " for his handsome and 
honorable Support." To fulfilling these conditions the inhabitants of the 
Third Precinct addressed themselves at their first public meeting, appoint- 
ing a committee to have charge of building the meeting-house and voting 
to hire a minister half a year. This committee engaged the services of 
Rev. David Parsons, Jr., who began preaching in the Third Precinct in 
November, 1735. Mr. Parsons was son of Rev. David Parsons who was 
settled in the ministry at Maiden and afterwards at Leicester, and grand- 
son of Joseph Parsons, Esq. of Northampton. He was born in Maiden, 
March 24, 17 12, and was graduated from Harvard college in the class of 
1729. He married Eunice, daughter of Gideon Wells of YYethersfield, 
Conn. Three years after graduation he took the degree of A. M. at 
Harvard, the theme of his thesis on that occasion being " Whether all the 
Sacred writings are contained in the books of the Old and New Testa- 
ment," which he answered in the affirmative. He was described by a 
lifelong friend as "a man of strong intellectual powers, with a penetrating 
eye, giving token of that shrewd and judicial mind which made his counsel 
valued ; retaining his classical learning beyond most men of his age, but 
with ' divinity ' as his favorite study : a doctrinal preacher, reverent in 
manner, devout in temper and fervent in prayer. His sermons were 
scholarly and orthodox to a degree." Judd says in his history of Hadley, 
"April 26, 1 76 1, Mr. Parsons of Amherst preached at Hadley a spring 
sermon, from the beautiful description of spring in Solomon's Songs 11 : 
10 — 13." And again : " Mr. Parsons of Amherst preached a sacramen- 
tal sermon at Hadley, March 31, 1754, from Cant. 1:12." At a meeting 


held March 10. 1755. the precinct voted to raise fifteen pounds of money 
to be paid towards the minister's rate. At a meeting held Sept. 16, 1736, 
it was again voted to hire a minister six months. The earliest pages of 
the old Precinct and District records, which up to 17S2 were the parish 
records as well, and which are copied in the last part of this volume, are 
largely given up to votes concerning the Rev. David Parsons, his salary, 
his settlement and his firewood, and to votes concerning the building and 
"seating 1 ' of the meeting-house. At the risk of some repetition, it is 
thought best to present here in connected form the doings of the early 
inhabitants of the Third Precinct in regard to their first minister and their 
first meeting-house. 

In April, 1737. the Precinct voted to give David Parsons. Jr. a call to 
settle in the ministry ; the salary was to be ^80 the first year and £5 to 
be added yearly until the sum amounted to ^100. It was also voted to 
build him a house. 40 feet in length. 2 1 feet in breadth and two stories 
high, and to give him the two lots of land granted by the town of Hadley 
in 1733. In [uly of the same year it was voted to try to get more lands 
for his settlement. In September it was voted to give him £120 pounds 
salary. These inducements evidently were not sufficient, for in November 
it was voted to hire a minister for five months and to give him 40 shillings 
a Sabbath. Mr. Parsons preached in Southampton in 1737 and 1738, 
but that he also preached in the Third Precinct is shown by bills that were 
allowed at the Precinct meeting March 16, 1738, including one from John 
Cowls of five shillings for keeping Mr. Parsons' horse, and eight shillings 
to Jonathan Cowls for keeping Mr. Parsons upon the Sabbath. December 
15, 1738. it was voted to raise ^Tioo for Mr. David Parsons for preaching 
the year past. Under the same date is found the first vote in relation to 
Mr. Parsons' firewood, which afterwards proved such an important item in 
the allowance for his support. July 12, 1739, the inhabitants of the 
Precinct extended still another offer to Mr. Parsons to settle there in the 
ministry. They voted to give him the two lots of land granted by the 
town of Hadley and ^175 of money towards building his house. In Sep- 
tember of the same year they voted as his salary ^100 the first year and 
agreed to make yearly additions until the salary amounted to £ 160. Sept. 
28, 1739, Mr. Parsons accepted the call and Nov. 7. 1739. as is learned 
from the old record book, he was " ordained Pastor of the Church of 
Christ in Hadley Third Precinct, which was gathered on that Day &: con- 
sisted of the Persons hereafter mentioned."' 

The persons who thus united to form the first church in Hadley Third 
Precinct were : 



David Parsons, pastor, 
Samuel Mauley, 
Pelatiah Smith, 
Aaron Smith, 
Nathaniel Smith, 

John Ingram. 
John Nash, 
John Cowls. 
Jonathan Smith, 
Jonathan Cowls, 

Nathaniel Kellogg, 
Eleazer Mattoon, 
Ebenezer Dickinson, 
Ebenezer Kellogg, 
Joseph Clary, 
Richard Chauncey. 

These names include those of ten of the 18 men who were numbered 
among the east inhabitants in 1 73 1. Of the other eight, four died previous 
to 1739 and two had removed. Stephen Smith and Nathaniel Church were 
residents of the Precinct in 1739 but their names do not appear on the 
church roll. To these original members of the church there were added 
Jan. 1, 1740, "by recommendation from other churches," the following: 

Mehetabel Hawley, Wid. Abigail Smith, 

Alary Cowls, Elizabeth Mattoon, 

Wid. Hannah Boltwood. Sarah Hawley, 

Wid. Lydia Ingram, 

Sarah Clary, 

Rebecca Hawley, 

Sarah Kellogg, 

Sarah Dickinson, 

Mary Boltwood, 

Abigail Moody. 

David Smith. 
Hannah Smith, 
Sarah Cowls, 
Martha Boltwood, 
Mehetabel Ingram, 
Abigail Field, 
Hannah Nash', 
Elizabeth Smith, 
Ruth Boltwood, 

Elizabeth Kellogg, 
Wid. Sarah Field, 
Mehetabel Smith, 
Abigail Smith, 
Elizabeth Chauncey, 
Hannah Murray, 

Of these 28 persons all but one were females and were the mothers, 
wives and daughters of the original members. Of the sixteen original 
members all but one, the minister, were house-holders, married and had 
children. Of the women who united with the church there were six wdiose 
husbands were not members. The whole number of families represented 
in the church by either husband or wife was 24, the whole number in the 
settlement 29. Four days after the church was organized the pastor bap- 
tized Jonathan, the son of Jonathan and Sarah Cowls, and in less than a 
month he baptized three more children. During the first pastorate there 
were 583 baptisms, nearly all of children. Two of the females who united 
with the church were young and unmarried, Elizabeth Smith and Ruth 
Boltwood. The sons and daughters of the families first represented in the 
church numbered in all over 190, not all living at one time, but there was 
no lack of a youthful element in parish or congregation. 

The salary voted to Mr. Parsons at the time of his settlement was 
^100 for the first year, with an annual increase until the sum should 
amount to ^TiCo. This was to be paid in " Province Bills of ye old Tenour 
or one-third so much of ye New," until the year 1741. Province bills were 
first issued in Massachusetts in 1702, to supply a lack of circulating 
medium. As these bills increased in number their value suffered a corre- 
sponding decrease. In May, 1736, a new issue of bills was made, which 


was ordered to be equal to coined silver at 6s. Sd. per ounce, or three 
times as much as the old. Thereafter the first issues were known as " old 
tenor " and the later one as "new tenor " or " lawful money." In Novem- 
ber, 1 741, there was still another issue, of which one pound was to be 
equal in value to four pounds of "old tenor." This latest issue then 
became ''new tenor" and that of 1736 was referred to as "middle tenor." 
The precinct further agreed that after 1741 it would pay Mr. Parsons' 
salary in money, "if any be passing" or in some commodity equivalent to 
"money on the footing money now stands." The salary was to be paid 
annually in the month of March. This salary was to be raised by a rate 
upon polls and estates; these as they were recorded in the year 1738 were 
as follows: Polls 35, each valued at £1, 5s. 6d.; estates ^1101, 10s. 6d.; 
the rate was made at one shilling on the pound. In 1746 it was voted to 
allow Mr. Parsons 35 shillings the ounce for his salary ; in 1750 this had 
arisen to £5 the ounce. In 1754 and 1755 the district added each year 
to Mr. Parsons' salary £92, 10s. "old tenor," and in 1756 £13, 6s. 8cl. 
"new tenor." In 1757 the addition was ,£15 "lawful money." In 1759, 
1760 and 1761 the entire salary was for each year ,£66, 13s. 4d. "lawful 
money." In 1762 and 1763 the sum of £§0 lawful money was voted. 
In 1764 a committee was appointed to consult with Mr. Parsons in regard 
to his salary, and he suggested the sum of £&o lawful money with firewood, 
or £"93, 6s. 8d. without firewood. The latter proposition was accepted. 
This salary was to be paid in money, or should that be scarce, in grain and 
other necessaries of life. 

Judd says in his Hadley history : " I never found in any records a 
minister who consumed so much wood as Mr. Parsons." In 1738 it was 
voted : " yt Each head & teame be Improved to get firewood for Mr. 
Parsons." In 1742, 60 loads were provided, each load containing probably 
from two-thirds to three-fourths of a cord; in 1743, Mr. Parsons received 
70 loads of wood, in 1744, 80, in 1749, 90 and in 1751., 100 "good" loads. 
For a long time the value of wood was only the expense of cutting and 
drawing it; in 1742 it was valued at eight shillings the load old tenor, in 
1750, three shillings per load new tenor, in 1763, 18 shillings old tenor. In 
1745 the precinct voted £40 old tenor for providing the wood, in 1747 it 
paid Dea. Ebenezer Dickinson ,£36 for furnishing it. In 1749, £122, 10s. 
was appropriated and in 1750 £13, 10s. " lawful money." After 1764 Mr. 
Parsons provided his own firewood as per agreement. The early settlers 
made use of oak, walnut and other hard woods as firewood ; pine, chest- 
nut and other soft woods were not generally used until a comparatively 
recent period. The old fashioned fireplaces of generous proportions with 
the strong draught furnished by the great stone chimneys were great con- 
sumers of fuel. 


At the first meeting of the Third Precinct it was voted to build a 
meeting-house and to set it on the hill east of John Nash's house ; a com- 
mittee was appointed to see to the building. November 25 of the same 
year it was voted to set the meeting-house near the " Hartling Stake ;" 
Dec. 25 it was voted to set it upon the east end of Noah Smith's lot, and 
Nov. 14, 173S the former votes were revoked and the original location, on 
the hill east of John Nash's house, was decided on. The house was to be 
45 feet in length, 35 in breadth, to be covered with "quarter-boards" of 
spruce and roofed with spruce shingles " with out sap." March 22, 1737, 
it was voted to frame, raise and cover the meeting-house that year. Dec. 
15, 173S, it was voted to raise ^19 for framing the meeting-house and ^3, 
17s. were voted to Ebenezer Kellogg for rum and sugar which were prob- 
ably important factors at this as at all old-time " raisings." The house 
was built upon the hill where the Amherst College observatory now stands, 
which was then about the center of the common. It was not completed 
until 1753, although meetings were held in it before 1742. March 25, 
1743, it was voted to provide fastenings for the meeting-house doors and to 
secure the windows; it was also voted to give Aaron Warner 30 shillings 
to sweep the meeting-house and to "give a signe " when to go to meeting, 
for one year. March 16, 1 741, it was voted to build a pew for the minister's 
wife and said pew was to be where " Rev. Mr. David Parsons shall chuse." 
November 3, 1744, it was voted to build two pews in the meeting-house, 
one upon the woman's side and one upon the men's side, and also to finish 
the outside of the house; December 11 the vote respecting the building 
of pews was revoked and it was voted to build all pews around the sides 
of the meeting-house. November 16, ij^S, £ 100 was voted for building 
pews in the meeting-house. August 3, 1749, it was voted to seat the males 
together and the females together. A committee was appointed to " seat" 
the meeting-house ; in so doing they were to have regard to age, estate and 
qualifications. This question of "seating" the meeting-house seems to 
have been one of the most vexatious problems with which the inhabitants 
of the Third Precinct had to deal. A person's seat in the meeting-house 
was to a certain extent an index of his standing in the community. This 
fact must have occasioned rivalry and jealousy, for although the early 
inhabitants were a God-fearing people they were not superior to the weak- 
nesses of human nature. It was no light or agreeable task that the com- 
mittee on '• seating " the house were called upon to perform ; however ably 
or conscientiously they may have accomplished their work the result was 
bound to awaken criticism. There were certain seats that were regarded 
as of especial dignity and honor, and these were awarded to persons on 
whom wealth or official dignity were esteemed to confer their title. The 
committee which first seated the house consisted of five persons, but Jan. 




18, 1750, it was voted to seat the meeting-house anew and four other 
persons were added to the committee, making nine in all. July 5, 1753, 
it was voted to make four pews in the meeting-house, "where the Hind 
seats are " and to move the other seats forward. March 22, 1754, four 
persons were granted liberty to build a pew where the " two hind seats " 
were, and the " Late Seators " were requested to consider if they could 
reasonably make any alterations in seating the house. March 24, 1755, 
the committee was desired to make some alterations so as to provide for 
new comers. March 24, 1760, a committee of five was chosen to seat the 
meeting-house, and still another committee for the same purpose Feb. 1, 
1762. Dec. 19, 1763, twelve persons were granted leave to build a pew 
in the place of the " two hind seats in the upper Teer in the Gallary," but 
were to resign the same when the district required it. Jan. 5, 1767, the 
house again required seating and a committee of five was appointed to 
attend to the matter. March 16, 1768 it was voted that children and 
"Prentices " should be required to keep their seats. Jan. 21. 177 1, it was 
voted to make some changes in seating the meeting-house. 

Nov. 15, 1750, it was voted to provide glass for mending the meeting- 
house windows and Dec. 2, 1751, to finish the meeting-house the year 
ensuing. No picture or likeness of the first meeting-house exists : it is 
probable that none was ever made. Drawing and painting were not among 
the accomplishments of the early inhabitants and the photographer's 
camera was unknown. It could not have been a very ornamental structure ; 
the only rules that governed colonial architecture in those days were utility 
and the covering of a maximum of space at a minimum of expense. It 
probably was of the dimensions specified in the original vote to build it. 45 
feet in length and 35 in breadth. It had galleries, and the seats in these 
were probably reserved, as was the custom, for persons of inferior estate. 
It had no bell and the signal for attending worship was the blowing of a 
conch shell, which was indifferently written as " konk " or "kunk" by 
keepers of the early records. A salary was voted each year to some able- 
bodied and strong-lunged person for sweeping the meeting-house and 
blowing the conch. There was no musical instrument of any kind as an 
aid to the congregational singing, except it might have been a tuning-fork 
or pitch-pipe. There was no artificial light or heat, unless some of the 
good dames brought with them their foot-stoves and filled them with coals 
at the house of some hospitable neighbor. Carpets were an unknown 
luxury, and the hard wooden seats, innocent of cushions, were calculated 
to keep their occupants fully awake to the spiritual admonitions that came 
from the pulpit. 

The officers of the parish were a clerk and deacons. John Nash, the 
first clerk elected, served for many years. Eleazer Mattoon had the 


title of deacon in 1739; he may have been a deacon at Northfield. 
Ebenezer Dickinson was called deacon in 1740, John Nash in 1742, Jona- 
than Edwards in 1766, Simeon Clark in 1770, Eleazar Smith in 1782. The 
committees on building and seating the meeting-house were made up of 
the most influential men in the parish. The original building committee 
consisted of Samuel Boltwood, Ebenezer Dickinson, John Cowls, Peletiah 
Smith and John Ingram, Jr. The committee appointed in 1749 to seat the 
meeting-house included Lieut. Jonathan Smith, Solomon Boltwood, John 
Nash, Dea. Ebenezer Dickinson and Lieut. Ebenezer Kellogg. 

In the church records under date of May 31, 1741, is found the first 
minute in regard to the use of wine at communion services ; it reads as 
follows : 

" The church voted to raise a contribution of 5s. upon each communicant for 
purchasing a stock of wine for the year ensuing, and procuring furniture for the 
communion table, which amounted to the sum of — " 

Contributions of 4s. 6d. were voted in 1742 and 1744, and in the 
records under date of March 26, 1746 is the following: 

" At a church meeting regularly warned the church voted that such members 
■of the church as neglected to pay in their part of the contribution within four weeks 
after it was publickly called, should be together as persons who walk disorderly." 

The additions to the church for the first 25 years after its organization 
numbered as follows: In 1741, 24; 1742, 10; 1746, 6 ; 1747, 2 ; 1748, 
2: 1749, 1; 1750, 3; 1751, 2; 1752, 5; 1753, 4; 1754, 9; 1755, 5; 

^s 6 ^; 1757- - ^ ^s 8 ' 6 ; 1759*4; 17 60 - II: 17 62 ' 6 ; 1 7 6 3^ 7- 

In 1735, the year that David Parsons began his ministry in the Third 
Precinct of Hadley, a great revival of religion had taken place among the 
inhabitants of towns in the Connecticut river valley. Four years later, or 
the same year in which the church in the Third Precinct was organized, 
there was another great religious awakening in which George Whitefield, 
the evangelist, took part. There can be little question that this arousing 
of religious interest had a marked effect upon the membership of the new 
church, adding to its numbers and cementing them more closely in the bonds 
of Christian fellowship. Under the ministrations of David Parsons the 
church grew and prospered, with no serious division among its members 
until his death, which occurred Jan. 1, 1781. 



School Appropriations p,y Hadley and by the Third Precinct. — 
First School Houses. — Lands Comprised in Hadley Third 
Precinct. — Annexations of Land. 

It is probable that for many years after the first settlement at East 
Hadley, and after the setting off of the Third Precinct, the children of the 
early settlers attended school in the parent town. The Hadley records 
under date of March 6, 1748, contain the following: 

" Voted that one hundred Pounds (old tenor) be granted and raised for and 
towards the Support of Schooling in the Second and third precincts : that is to 
say, Fifty Pounds for the use of the Second Precinct and Fifty Pounds for the 
use of the Third Precinct." 

This is the first reference that can be found in regard to schooling in 
the Precinct, although Tudd considers it probable that some private schools 
were established before that date. In 1734, Samuel Mighill, an old school- 
master, resided in the Precinct. May 17, 1754, the town of Hadley appro- 
priated £6, 13s. for schooling in the Second Precinct; South Hadley had 
been set off as a separate district and the Third Precinct had become the 
Second. Aug. 5 of the same year Hadley voted that the money appropri- 
ated for schools in the Second Precinct " be employed in hiring some suit- 
able schoolmaster." March 3, 1753,^80 old tenor was voted by Hadley 
for schooling in the Second Precinct ; March 1. 1756, the sum was increased 
to ^"150, old tenor. March 7, 1757, Hadley allowed ^"20 "lawful" for 
schooling in the Second Precinct. The following year the town voted that 
the Precinct should be set off as a separate District and, consequently, 
made no further provision for the maintenance of its schools. 

The early schools in the Precinct were generally taught by men. 
They were long kept in private rooms and were in session but a few months 
each year. The pay of the school-masters was small, a part of it being 
borne by the parents of the pupils. Free public schools were unknown 
until a much later period. In Judd's unpublished mss. is found the record 
of a conversation with John Dickinson of Amherst, born in 1757, in which 
Mr. Dickinson said that when he was young he thought no schoolmistresses 
were employed in the public schools ; girls went to school, but there was 
not much schooling. " Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Pierce used to keep school 
in Amherst after they were run down in Hadley. Dickinson was very odd 
in pulpit and school. A boy said he made more fun in the pulpit than 


Mr. P." The Mr. Pierce mentioned above was Josiah Pierce of Hadley, 
who began to teach school in Amherst Oct. 27, 1766 ; he taught six months 
or more in the year for three years. His pay was 32 shillings, or $5.33 a 
month, and his board. In winter evenings he kept ciphering schools a few 
weeks at one shilling an evening. In the winter from 30 to 40 attended 
his day school in Amherst, and in summer about half as many. March 
29, 1769, he dismissed the school for want of wood. He probably taught 
Latin if desired. 

The first vote in the Third Precinct records in regard to schooling is 
found under date of March 13, 1749, or about one year after the first 
recorded grant of school money by the town to the precinct. The vote 
was to hire three " scool Dames " for three or four months in the summer 
season to teach children to read. The first record of an appropriation for 
schools by the Precinct is under date of March 22, 1754; the amount was 
£4. The records contain no further mention of school appropriations 
until March 19, 1759, when it was voted to raise ^20 ; this was the year 
that the Precinct was raised into a District, by the name of Amherst. The 
appropriations made for schooling in the years immediately succeeding 
were as follows: Jan. 23, 1760, ^10, 13s., 4c!.; March iS, 1760, £13, 6s., 
Sd.; March 2, 1761, ,£14; Dec. 22, 1 76 1, ,£5 "more"; April 28, 1762, 
^"13, 6s., Sd.; Dec. 19, 1763, ^"24; Dec. 17, 1764, ^20; Jan. 6, 1766, 
£ 2 7 ; J<™. 5, 1767, £27; Jan. 4, 1768, ^24; Jan. 2, 1769, £27, 10s.; 
Jan. 1, 1770, £29, 6s.; Jan. 18. 1773, £35; Jan. 24, 1776, ^26; Jan. 20, 
i779»j£3°5 Nov. 14, 1777, £50 ; Jan. 12,1778, £50; Nov. 5, 1778, £100 ; 
Dec. 28. 1778, £iG6\ Jan. 3, 1780, /T400; Dec. 4, 17S0, ^300 ; Nov. 7, 
1781, £24; Jan. 7, 17S2, ^24; Jan. 20, 1783, £36; Oct. 16, 1783,^30; 
Jan. 19, 17S4, ^45; Nov. 15. 1784,^30; Jan. 3, 1785 £30, Oct. 13, 
1785, /"40. The enormous increase in school appropriations in the years 
1778 and 1780 was caused by a great depreciation in the currency, and 
the sudden drop to ^,"24 in 1781 marks a restoration of normal values at 
the close of the war of the revolution. 

The location of the first school-houses in the District was attended 
with the same difficulties and even more discussion than the choice of the 
site of the original meeting-house. With the population scattered over a 
wide extent of territory, and with poor facilities for travel, it is not strange 
that parents desired to have the school-houses located as near as possible 
to their own homes. At a meeting held Jan. 5, 1761, it was voted to build 
two school-houses, and at the same time a committee was appointed to 
consider whether it would be best to have two or three. Apparently they 
decided upon three, for Dec. 22 of the same year it was voted to build 
three school-houses, one at the center, " near the place where Moses War- 
ners house formerly stood," one at the north, " in the highway that runs 


east and west between Joseph Church and Jon'th Coles," and one at the 
south, "in the highway south of Nath'll Colemans Lot.*' The center 
school-house was to be on the site now occupied by Hunt's block, the north 
near where the North Cong'l church now stands, and the south not far 
from the site of the present grammar school-house in South Amherst. 
These school-houses were not built at the time, for Oct. 18,1762, it was again. 
voted to build three school-houses, and three committees were chosen to 
have charge of the matter, one to decide on the location, a second to 
•• wait on " the first committee, and a third to build the houses. These 
committees probably were unable to agree among themselves or to arrange 
the matter to the District's liking, for Dec. 17, 1764, a vote was passed to 
build four school-houses, a "north," a "south,'" an " east middle" and a 
" west middle." Committees were chosen to fix upon the locations and 
other committees to attend to the building, and the District voted to abide 
by their decision. Work was probably begun on the center or "middle" 
school-houses soon after, and one of them was completed as early as Jan. 
6, 1766, for at a meeting held that day it was voted to remove the meeting 
to "the School House which is near Landlord Warner's dwelling House." 
This school-house stood where W. W. Hunt's store now is ; it was a low, 
one-story building with chimney and fire-place near the east end. At the 
same meeting it was voted that the price of summer work upon the school- 
houses should be two shillings per day and the price of fall work one 
shilling and sixpence. Carpenter's work in summer was to be two shillings 
and eightpence. and in the fall two shillings and fourpence. March 17,1768, 
it was voted to remove the school-house near Landlord M. Warner's. Jan. 
14, 1772. it was voted that the school-house near Edward Smith's house be 
removed to the east side of the street. 

In 1752, the town of Hadley granted £60 for schooling in the Second 
Precinct, and it was voted to spend half the sum for hiring a school-master 
in the fall and the remainder for hiring "school dames" in the summer. 
July 5, 1753, it was voted to provide three schools in the precinct, equally 
divided according to the number of scholars. The north school-house 
was apparently located in that section now known as the " city," which 
fact excited some jealousy among the residents of the west street ; at a 
meeting held Jan. 4, 1768. it was voted that the north school be kept one- 
half of the time in the west street. Oct. 23, 1769, it was voted to allow 
the north and south schools their proportion of money for schooling. Jan. 
21, 1 77 1. the selectmen were instructed to set up a new school at the north 
end of the District six weeks in addition to the present school. Aug. 17, 
1772, the district voted to "improve M'r William Guy Ballentine for Six 
months from his first Entering in the School." Judd says that Mr. Ballen- 
tine taught Latin and English and read theology with Mr. Parsons. Jan. 


i8, 1773, it was voted to postpone till the March meeting the article pro- 
viding for more schooling for small children in English. March S, 1773, 
it was voted to allow five months schooling to " each quarter of the town." 
April 14 of the same year the District voted to be at the expense of twelve 
months grammar schooling in the winter season. Nov. 5. 1778, it was 
voted that the persons who sent scholars should provide wood for the 
schools ; also that school should be kept three months at the north school- 
house and three months in the west street the ensuing winter. Jan. 7, 
1779, it was voted that money raised for schooling in the north 
part of the town should be used in the north school house. Oct. 21, 
1779, a committee was chosen to see how many schools should be kept 
in town and at what places. This committee reported at a meeting 
held the 6th of Jan., 17S0, that six schools should be maintained that year, 
one in the west street in the northern part of the town, one " in the street 
leading from Ezra Roods to Andrew Kimbals," one at each school- 
house near the " middle of the town, one in the west street in the southern 
part of the town, and one in the school-house at the southern part of 
the town;" at an adjournment ofthis meeting it was voted to have eighteen 
months schooling in town "the present year;" this allowed three months 
schooling at each of the schools. May 13, 1783, it was voted to grant the 
west street their proportion of money to be used by them in employing 
school dames. Nov. 15, 1784, the selectmen were instructed to set up six 
schools within the town, four in places they had usually been kept in and 
.two in such places as they saw fit. Jan. 3, 1785, it was voted that schools 
should be kept three months in the year. Of the earlier private schools 
in town there is no record, but a woman living in Hadley told Judd, the 
historian, that when a girl she had attended a school for young ladies in 
Amherst, taught by a man; this was before Amherst academy was established. 
When the petition of the " east inhabitants " of Hadley to be set off 
as a separate precinct was granted by the General Court in 1734, the terri- 
.tory comprised in the precinct was described as being seven miles in length 
and two and three-quarters miles in breadth, bounded on the north by Sun- 
derland, on the east by equivalent lands, on the south by the Boston road 
and on the west by Hadley common lands. In laying out the lands in the 
third division there had been an encroachment on the equivalent lands, 
and when later on the line was run by compass it was found that upwards 
of 3000 acres had been wrongfully included in this division. To compen- 
sate those who had drawn lots there that were taken from them by the later 
survey, the town granted to them in 1738 about 600 acres in that section 
known as " Flat Hills."' The lands included in the second division were 
.not all laid out in 1703; the first division was laid out as far north as 


the Mill river, and the second, beginning at the Boston or Brookfield road, 
1674 rods to the north. In the Hadley records under date of March 5, 
1744. is found the following: 

•• Voted and Granted to the Second Precinct in Hadley so much Land north 
of Dea. Mattoon's Land in the third Precinct as shall make them Equal in Quality 
by a rule of Proportion to be Considered by their tax to what was Granted to the 
first precinct which land shall be laid out to them and Judged as to the Quality by 
a Committee for that purpose appointed if the Land may their be found for them. 

Voted Dea. John Smith Sen Dr Eastman Lew Chiliab Smith Nat hI Kellogg 
Jun. and Dea. Matoon to be a Committee for the affair abovesaid." 

Again under date of Jan. 7, 1744-5 : 

■• The Committee abovesaid having viewed the land in the third Precinct in 
Hadley north of Dea. Mattoon's Land Agreeable to the Town's vote abovesaid 
have Surveyed and Set out to the Second Precinct in Hadley two parcels of land 
hereafter Delinated which said Committee Judge is not more than an Equivalent 
to them by the Rule of Proportion Agreeable to their tax. 

The Land Lyeth in Two Tracts and is bounded as follows, viz. one Tract of. 
about 1S5 acres is bounded East and west on Highways north on the mill river and 
south on Dea. Matoon's land beginning at the NT. W. corner of Sd Matoon's land 
from which it runs north 15 East 240 Rods to the mill river from thence said river 
is the west Bounds till it gets about ten Rods East of Nathaniel Kellogg's Corn 
mill. Thence south three hundred and forty Rods to Matoon's land. Thence 
west i7 c north one hundred and fifty Rods to the first Boundery. 

The other Tract contains about 35 acres and is bounded North W on the mill 
river and south on Land of Thomas Goodman and East on a Highway beginning 
at the N. East Corner of said Goodman's Land from which it runs N. 100 Rods to 
the mill River and from said Goodman's N. E. Corner it runs west 140 Rods to the 
mill River Note that in both tracts of Land there is Highways runing thro, the 
Land of 4 Rod wide Each where they are Prickt in the Plan; or where the Roads 
now run up the flat Hills and by the mill River. 

Joseph Eastman i 

Nath'l Kellogg Jnr , Committee." 

John Smith > 

The land thus laid out to the Second Precinct, afterwards South 
Hadley, was in the northerly part of the second division, and included the 
land not distributed in 1703. 

In Hadley records under date of Jan. 5, 1759, the following appears: 

"Voted and Granted to the Inhabitants of the First and Second Precincts in; 
said Hadley, and to the Inhabitants of the District of South Hadley, .all the Com- 
mon or undivided Lands, excepting those that are in possession of particular 
persons by Incroachment. lying in the Second precinct of Hadley aforesaid, to be 
divided to the aforesaid Precincts of Hadley. and to the said District, in the same 
proportion that each of said parties or Societies paid in the Province Tax in the 
same year that the aforesaid District of South Hadley was made a district by. the, 


Under date of Jan. 4, 1762 : 

" Voted That a petition be preferred to the Great and General Court praying 
that the Higeway near Joseph Clary's in Amherst being surrounded' by Inhabitants 
of Amherst, may be annexed to Amherst, and that Charles Phelps Esqr and Josiah 
Peirce be a Committee to prepare and prefer the same. 1 ' 

At the same meeting that this vote was passed a committee was 
appointed to make a plan of the highway. At a meeting held Nov. 29 of 
the same year Hadley appointed a committee of five to sell the town's 
right in the sequestered lands in Amherst on the best terms they could 

In 1759, when the Second Precinct of Hadley was erected into the 
District of Amherst, Isaac Ward, Reuben Ingraham, Philip Ingraham, 
Isaac Hubbard, Edward Elmer and their respective estates were annexed 
to the new district. In November, 1772, the line between Amherst and 
Hadley was run by Simeon Parsons and the selectmen of the two towns; 
its directions and distances as recorded in Hadley records were as follows : 
"Beginning at a Stake and Stones at the Pay Road, and running N. 12 
Et 670 rods to a Stake and Stones at the Southwest corner of Richard 
Chauncey's lot ; then N. 8° 15' Et 142 rods to a Black Oak Tree at the 
So Wt corner of John Billings Lot markt W. M. then N. io° Et 307 rods 
to a. Stub and heap of Stones at the So Wt corner of Solomon Boltwood's 
Lot; then N. 13° Et 93 rods to a Spruce Staddle at the end of a Ditch at 
the So Wt corner of John Taylor's Lot ; then N. 8° Et 336 rods to a Ditch 
called Porter's So Wt ditch; then N. 12 Et 370 rods to a Stub the South 
Side of Hadley Mill River, then N. n° Et 380 rods to a Stake and Stones 
that we now set up at Sunderland line." Judd says in his unpublished 
mss.: "In laying out Flat Hills, 1784, the east line of Amherst extended 
north of the north line of the third or east division, not far from 573 rods 
to the N. E. corner. This upper lot is bounded east on town line and west 
on Mill river, and next lot south has Mill river W. and N. Third division 
was 197 1 rods at W. end and 2051 reds at E. end; add 573 rods at N. 
end and the E. line of Amherst was 2624 rods or 8 miles and 64 rods long. 
It was longer because oblique." In 1779 Amherst petitioned for the annex- 
ation of the eastern part of Haclky inner commons ; Hadley voted, May 
13, 1779, that the petition be dismissed. 

By an act of the General Court passed in 1788, John Dickinson, 
Nehemiah Dickinson, Simeon Dickinson and Silas Wright and their estates 
were set off from the town of Hadley and annexed to the town of Amherst, 
also the bridge over the Mill river in the county road leading through 
Amherst to Sunderland. Soon after 1800 Amherst made a second attempt 
to annex the Hadley inner commons, but was again defeated. The matter 
was brought before the General Court, and Mr. Kellogg who represented 


Hadley at the time proposed if this was done that the Connecticut river should 
be made the western boundary of Amherst, and Hadley a parish of Amherst. 
This caused a fellow member to remark that he " had heard of the sow 
eating up the pigs, but never before heard of the pigs eating up the sow." 
That settled the matter. Feb. 18, 1S12. what was known as the " Mountain 
division " was annexed to Amherst, extending the town boundary on the 
south from the Bay road to the summit of Mt. Holyoke. It began at the 
southwest corner of Amherst's bounds and ran in the direction of Amherst's 
west line to the north line of South Hadley. Thence by the north line of 
South Hadley and Granby to Belchertown line, thence by Belchertown line 
to southeast corner of Amherst, thence by the south line of Amherst to the 
first corner or bound. 

Feb. 17, 1814, the following act was passed by the General Court : 

■• Be it enacted, etc. — That all the lands and the inhabitants thereon, lying and 
being in Hadley. described within the following limits and bounds, not already 
annexed to Amherst, be. and the same are hereby set off from Hadley, and 
annexed to Amherst : that is to say. beginning at the southwest corner of David 
Smith's land, being the northeast corner of Noah Smith's land, lying in the town of 
Amherst, on the east line of Hadley : thence running west, to the west end of the 
first division of lands in Hadley, to a town-way: thence northwardly, on the west 
line of said division, as far as the same extends: and thence, on the same corner 
to the south line of Sunderland, to the original northeast corner of Amherst : 
thence southwardly, on the original line between Amherst and Hadley, to the 
first mentioned corner. 

Be it further enacted, That the respective valuations of the towns of Hadley 
and Amherst, be so altered, in consideration of the above, that the sum of one 
cent, in the proportion of one thousand dollars, be taken from Hadley and put to 
Amherst: and that all taxes already granted or assessed by the town of Hadley, 
on the polls and estates hereby set off, be collected in the same manner as though 
this act had not been passed." 

This was the the last considerable addition to the lands com- 
prised in the township of Amherst. In 1S15 an act was passed that 
slightly altered the boundary line between Hadley and Amherst. In 
1800, John Thayer, Ebenezer Bliss, Reuben Thayer and Nathaniel Goodale 
were set off from Belchertown and annexed to the second parish of Amherst, 
for " parochial privileges.*' Later on the farm of Elias Smith, situated on 
the road from Amherst to Hadley, was annexed to Amherst. In 1795, 
Amherst refused to have any part of Belchertown annexed ; later on it 
refused to receive a part of Pelham. The original surveyors of Hadley 
outer commons intended that the tracts of land laid out should be of equal 
breadth, extending from the Brookfield road to the Mill river. The narrow- 
ing of the third division owing to its encroachment on the equivalent lands, 
the addition of the " Flat Hills" territory, and the annexation from time to 
time of other lands formerlv included in the boundaries of Hadlev, have 


given to the town of Amherst its present irregular outline. In the atlas of 
Massachusetts published by George H. Walker & Co. of Boston in 1891, 
the east line of Amherst is found to be a little less than nine miles in 
length, while the extreme breadth near the south part of the town is four 
miles and at the north a little over three miles. The territory contained in 
the three divisons laid out in 1703 amounted to over 13,000 acres, which 
was reduced to about 10,000 acres by the cutting off of the equivalent 
land. Including the additions, the territory now comprised within the 
town limits amounts to something like 16,000 acres. 


The First Highways. — Encroachments on Highways. — Hadley 
Votes Concerning Roads and Bridges. — John Morton and 
Nathan Dickinson. — New Highways Laid Out. 

Aside from the gospel ministry, there was no other one subject that 
occupied so much the attention of the early settlers as the laying out and 
maintenance of highways. Every new settlement as it was laid out had its 
main street extending from end to end, and as the settlers grew in numbers 
cross streets and parellel streets were added. Prom the main street there 
would be narrow highways leading to the woods, the meadows and the 
river. When a journey of any distance was to be made dependence was 
placed upon the old Indian trails, which frequently marked out the paths 
of highways that succeeded them. Travel was mostly by foot or horseback, 
carriages being unknown in this section until well along in the eighteenth 
century. The wagons or carts that were used for the conveyance of farm 
produce were heavy and substantially-built affairs. The first well-marked 
road passing through the present limits of Amherst was the old Bay road, 
leading through lirookfield to Boston. Judd says in his Hadley history 
that in early days there was a " Nashaway Path " north of Fort river. In 
1674 and many years after, the Bay road crossed Fort river near the south 
end of Spruce hill. In his unpublished mss. Judd says that the Bay road 
was laid out May 2, 1732, by a jury of 12, under Ebenezer Pomeroy 
sheriff. Concerning this historic highway more will be recorded in a later 


When the Hadley outer commons were first surveyed, in accordance 
with the vote of the town there were left between the first and second, and 
between the second and third divisions, spaces for highways 40 rods in 
width. There were also left spaces forty rods in width for highways to 
cross the first and second divisions. It is supposed that this great width 
was allowed that the future inhabitants in laying out their travel-ways 
might deviate from a straight line and take advantage of the most favorable 
portions of the land for road-making. But whatever the object, the result 
was a series of encroachments upon the highways by abutters, and seem- 
ingly endless controversies whose echoes have hardly died away at the 
present clay. In 1754, Hadley reduced the western highway to 20 rods in 
width and the eastern to 12 rods; the width of the cross highways was 
also reduced. In 17SS, Amherst narrowed the highways to six rods and 
some to four rods in breadth, and sold the land thus gained to owners of 
adjoining lots. 

January 5, 1735, shortly after Hadley Third Precinct was set off, the 
town of Hadley voted as follows : 

•■ Voted That Each Precinct in Hadley may and shall take Effectual Care for 
the keeping in good Repair all the Roads or highways Belonging to their own Pre- 
cincts Respectively in such a way. manner or method by a Rate or otherways as 
they shall think best from time to time. Bridges only Excepted which are to be 
done at the charge of the Town in such manner as they shall see cause." 

The following appears in Hadley records under date of March 

5> x 744: 

"Voted That there shall be a Highway laid through the third Division of 
Land East of the Town to Pelham bounds where the Committee appointed shall 
think best; and said Committee to purchase said Highway as cheap as they can." 

It is evident that the encroachments upon the highways in the Third 
Precinct must have begun at an early date, for in Hadley records under 
date of March 4, 1745, the following appears : 

"Voted that there be a Committee to lay out all the Streets or Highways in 
the East Precinct the same Bredth as per Record they shall appear to be as near 
as may be in the same places and on the same Corners as they were originally laid 
out making known original Bounds as Stakes Mark d Trees and Ditches etc. their 

Voted Committee Capt. Cook Leut Chilliab Smith Nath 1 Kellogg Ebenezer 
Kellogg Ebenezer Dickinson and Solomon Boltwood." 

This committee performed its task and reported to a meeting held 
Jan. 6, 1745-6, when the town passed the following votes : 

"Whereas their was a Committee Chosen and appointed Last March Town 
meeting to lay out anew the Streets and Roads in the Third Precinct of Hadley ; 
and they having clone the work: and returned the Plan thereof: 



Voted That said Return According to the said Plan be Excepted and Confirmed 
Whereas it appears to the Town by the Plan abovesaid that many persons 
have Encroched upon the Streets and highways in said third Precinct 

Voted That Col Porter Job Marsh and Nath 1 Kellogg Jun. and Ebenezer 
Dickinson Lt. Jonathan Smith be a Committee in the behalf and at the Charge of 
the Town to Persecute said Tresspassers and Incrochments to Effect in Law or 
to Compound with them by Selling or Exchanging for other Lands what they have 
taken in out of the highway as abovesaid and as said Committee shall think Best." 

In Hadley records under date of March 7, 1747. is found the first 
mention of a bridge in the Third Precinct : 

" Voted Committee to build or impower some person to build a Bridge over 
Fort River in Pelham Road Deac" s Ebenezer Dickinson and John Nash." 

In 174S there was felt the need of a road through the first division, 
and Hadley voted under date of Jan. 2 : 

"'Voted a Committee to look out a convenient place for a Road through the 
first Division in the third Precinct, and to discourse the owners of the Land, and 
make Report where they Judge a Road may most suitably be laid out and what 
terms the Land may be had upon, at the meeting of the Town next March : Col. 
Eleazer Porter, Dea" John Nash and Lieut. Nath 1 Kellogg. 

Voted a Committee to build a convenient Cart Bridge over Fort River, near 
the mill in the third Precinct, at the expense of the Town, Dea" s John Nash and 
Ebenezer Dickinson, and M 1 ' Solomon Boltwood and Lieut. Ebenezer Kellogg." 

The same year under date of March 6 the following vote was recorded : 

"Voted Committee to view the Bridge over the Mill River in the 3' 1 Precinct, 
and make report to the Town, whether they judge it convenient, to rebuild the 
same, or to build another in some other place, and what place they think most 
suitable, if the place where the Bridge now is. be not by them thought most con- 
venient be chosen. 

Voted Messi Peletiah Smith, Daniel Dickinson and Nathaniel Coleman be 
joined with Dea John Nash &c. Committee for building a Bridge over the Fort 
River near the mill in the third Precinct chosen last January." 

Nothing was done in regard to rebuilding the bridge over Mill river 
that year, and at the meeting held March 5, 1749. the following vote was 
passed by the town : 

''Voted That whereas a vote of this Town was past March 6, 174S, relating to 
rebuilding the Bridge over the mill River in the third precinct: but no committee 
was chosen to manage said affair : Messi. Joseph Smith, Benj" Smith and Jonathan 
Dickinson be a Committee for that affair, and they are accordingly desired and 
impowered to pursue the Instructions of the said vote, and to make Report to the 
Town at the next Town meeting." 

In j 746 the town of Hadley engaged in a controversy with John Mor- 
ton of the Third Precinct, accused of encroaching upon the highway 
between the second and third divisions, which was carried on before 
referees, the county courts and the General Court for more than fifteen 


years. In 1750 and afterwards Nathan Dickinson was joined with John 
Morton as defendants in the various actions brought by the town for 
trespass. Morton and Dickinson came from Hatfield and were the first 
settlers in the eastern division of the Third Precinct. They laid claim to 
most of the land in the highway adjoining their lots and refused to give it 
up. They evidently had full belief in the justice of their claim as appears 
from their memorial to the General Court. The case was a celebrated one 
in its daw and as the first of many highway controversies that have arisen 
in Amherst is worthy of extended consideration. There is no record as 
to the final settlement of the case, but as the decision of the countv court 
and referees favored the town it is probable that Morton and Dickinson 
were dispossessed or made some satisfactory settlement for the lands they 
had taken. The records of Amherst contain but little in regard to the 
controversy, but those of Hadley bear many allusions to it: from them the 
following are quoted : 

"April 19. 1749. Voted that Eleazer Porter Esq Dea Joseph Eastman. Lieut 
Nathaniel Kellogg, Dea Ebenezer Dickinson and Dea John Nash be a Committee 
authorized and impowered. in behalf and at the cost of the Town, To sue and prose- 
cute to Effect in Law John Morton incroaching upon the Highway in the third 
Precinct; as also all other persons who have made, or shall make Incroachments 
on. or incumber the high-ways in said Precinct." 

"July 26, 1750. Voted That application be made to the Great and General 
Court for some Relief under the Difficulties subsisting in the Third Precinct of 
this Town, relating to the Highways or land sequestered for Highways within said 

Voted that Eleazer Porter Esq and Messi Benjamin Dickinson and Josiah 
Peirce, be a Committee to prepare a Petition, in behalf of this Town to be preferred 
before the Great and General Court, praying their Direction and Help in order to 
remove the Difficulties subsisting in the Third Precinct of the Town relating to the 
High-ways or land Sequestered for High-ways within said Precinct: and they are 
desired to prepare the same, by the time of the said Court's next sitting. 

Voted that Eleazer Porter Esq. is desired to prefer our Petition respecting the 
High ways to the General Court at their next session.'' 

■• Nov. 19, 1750. Whereas there has long subsisted a Controversy between the 
Town of Hadley on the one part, and John Morton and Nathan Dickinson of 
said Hadley on the other Part, relating to some land by the said Town formerly 
Sequestered for an High-way between the Second and Third Divisions of Land in 
the Third Precinct ; and all measures hitherto taken for a Reconciliation have 
proved ineffectual : 

Therefore voted That the said Controversy be submitted to the Determination 
and final Decision of the Hon'' 1 John Chandler and James Minot Esquires, Col 
Nahum Ward Esq. They viewing the said Land in Controversy, and hearing the 
parties and setting out the said Sequestered Land between the said Second and 
Third Divisions; and also those Lands Sequestered for an Highway between the 
said Second Division and the first Division in said precinct : all as near as may be 
to the original laying out of the same in the year 1703. as may appear to them from 


the Records of the Town and such Boundaries as are to be found remaining, and 
that M r Benjamin Day of Springfield, Surveyor, be impowered to assist in Run- 
ning the Lines ; and Stephen Warner and Nath 1 Church of Hadley to carry the 

Said John Morton and Nathan Dickinson being present when the said vote 
was past, and giving their voice in and Consent to the same. Allso 

Voted that Eleazer Porter Esqr. Lieut Nathaniel Kellogg and Dea. Ebenezer 
Dickinson be a Committee to manage the affair in behalf of the Town, at the Cost 
of the Town." 

•• March 25. 1751. Voted that the Treasurer be, and hereby is Impowered and 
ordered to pay out of the Treasury to the Committee for managing the affair 
relating to the Controversy subsisting in the East Precinct about the Town Land 
&c, appointed Nov. 19, 1750, such Sum or Sums of money as they shall call for to 
carry on the said affair."' 

•• May 11. 1752. Voted That Messi David Smith, Moses Porter and Samuel 
Smith Jun. be a Committee Impowered, in Behalf of the Town, and at the Cost of 
the Town, to prosecute and Eject such persons as are Trespassers, and shall 
Trespass upon any of the Lands by the Town Sequestred for Highways in the 
Third Precinct, and also that the said Committee is fully authorized and Impow- 
ered by the Town to make Sale of so much of the said Sequestred Land, as may 
be needful for the defraying the Charge of such Prosecution, as also to Reimburse 
the Charge and Cost the Town has already been at, about said Land. They 
always leaving at least Twenty Pole in Breadth for Highways: and likewise, that 
the said Committee are fully authorized and Impowered, in Behalf of the Town, to 
Compound and agree with any person or persons Trespassing on any part of the 
said Land on such Terms as they shall judge equal and just. 

Voted That Eleazer Porter Esqr. and Messi Nathaniel Kellogg, Edmund 
Hubbard, David Smith, Enos Nash, and Moses Porter, be a Committee, to 
Examine the case represented to the Town by Samuel Gaylord, Complaining he 
has not his full Complement of Land by him purchased of the Town, in the third 
Precinct: who are fully authorized and Impowered, in Behalf of the Town, to 
agree with the said Gaylord; and also to represent the Town in any Case that 
may be depending in Law. relating thereto/' 

"March 29. 1754. Voted That the Sequestration of those lands between the 
Divisions of land in the Second or East Precinct, which the Town of Hadley 
formerly reserved for Highways, is taken off: saving with regard to such parts of 
the said lands as are now established for Highways, and such parts as have been 
already disposed of by the Town of Hadley. 

Voted to Impower, Elect and authorize Messi John Nash, Ebenezer Dickinson 
and Jonathan Dickinson, Inhabitants of the Second Precinct in Hadley, as a Com- 
mittee on behalf of the Town, in their name, to prosecute in Course of Law. and 
finally, and to Effect to Dispossess and Eject all such persons as have Trespassed 
upon the lands formerly Sequestred for Highways or Common Roads; Provided 
always the Second Precinct be at the whole Charges of the Prosecution in the Law. 

Voted That the Town do give, grant, alien, convey and confirm to the Inhabi- 
tants of the Second Precinct in Hadley all the several Tracts of land originally 
Sequestred by the Town of Hadley, within the bounds of said precinct, for the use 
of Roads or Highways, save so much as the town now have established for High- 
ways, and such parcel or part of said lands as hath been given or sold to any 
person or persons in any of the said land, and any such part as is Trespassed upon. 


or in possession of such Trespassers: Provided the said second precinct pay to the 
first precinct their Proportion of the Charges expended about said lands upon the 
Two Committees and their Surveyor, and their Charges for Entertainment, Being 
Ten Pound Lawful money: as also the South District their Proportion of the 
aforesaid Charges, if they (being set off from said Town) have just and Legal 
Rights thereto." 

'• .March 11. 175;. Met and put to vote whether the Town is of the mind to 
appoint and authorize Agents to make answer to Messi John Morton and Nathan 
Dickinson Complaining against the Town, relating to the Highways, and past in 
the affirmative. 

Voted That Capt. Jonathan Smith and Messi Ebenezer Dickinson and John 
Nash, are appointed and authorized, in behalf of the Town, to appear and make 
answer to the complaint of Messi John Morton and Nathan Dickinson, relating to 
the High-ways, with Power of Substitution." 

" Oct. 28. 1756. Voted Messi Ebenezer Dickinson, Josiah Chauncey and 
Jonathan Smith be appointed and authorized to appear and make answer, in behalf 
of the Town, to Messi Nathan Dickinson and John Morton in the Case relating 
to the Highways." 

•• Dec. 19. 1759. Voted That the Committee appointed to make answer to the 
memorial of Morton and Dickinson be Impowered to attest the memorial of 
Amherst in answer to Morton and Dickinson, if Amherst Committee desire it. and 
they apprehend it not prejudicial to the Town."' 

At a meeting held Nov. 29, 1762, Hadley appointed a committee to 
make sale of the town's right in the sequestered lands and Jan. 10, 1763, 
voted to dispose of the right at a vendue. There are few references to 
this case in Amherst records ; when the controversy began Amherst was 
but a precinct and the control of the highways rested in the town. As 
will be noted in Hadley records, the town grew tired of the contest in 
1754, and voted to turn the matter over to the Precinct. The first allusion 
to the matter in Amherst records is found under date of March 21. 1753, 
when a committee was appointed to ''take advice of sum Gentelmen " 
concerning the lands sequestered for highways. July 5 of the same year the 
members of the committee were instructed to take advice and to act in the 
affair according to their best judgment. Nov. 21, 1759, a committee was 
appointed to make answer to the General Court against the petition of 
Morton and Dickinson. April 28, 1762, a committee was chosen to settle 
with the Hadley committee concerning the highways. Amherst, both as a 
precinct and as a district, appears to have aided Hadley in all possible 
ways in the contest with Morton and Dickinson, and to have accepted 
readily the task of prosecuting the offenders. To understand the attitude 
assumed by Morton and Dickinson, it may be well to read the following 
abstract of an entry in the General Court records, under date of October, 

"John Morton and Nathan Dickinson petitioned the General Court, stating 
that 15 years since they had purchased lands in the third division, running through 


the whole breadth of the division, and had built on or near the westernly end of 
their respective lots. In March, 1754, the selectmen of Hadley laid out a private 
way across the whole breadth of petitioners' lots, alleging that the land so taken 
away was the estate of the town. Complaint was made to the court of general 
sessions, and in May, 1757. was submitted to a referee; the referee having con- 
sidered the case reported against the complainants."' 

That Morton and Dickinson were not the only persons who attempted 
to add to their possesions by taking land from the highways, is shown by a 
complaint made in 175S against Moses Smith and Nathaniel Kellogg for 
fencing in a part of the Bay road; they were ordered to move their fences 
back. In 1759, Daniel Kellogg was complained of " for erecting a wood 
mansion house, log shop and some fence upon the street between the 
second and third divisions of the east precinct." Reuben Dickinson was 
also complained of for a barn and fence in the same street. In 1754, a 
road was laid out through the East Precinct, Pelham and " Quabbin " to 
Hardwick. " Quabbin " was the original name of the lands now com- 
prised in the town of Enfield and Greenwich. This road began at the 
upper end of the "pine plain " in Hadley, ran to the " Hartling stake " 
near where the Amherst house now stands, crossed the second division 
and then went on to Pelham. It did not follow the old path all the way. 
This road then first became a county road. 

The early settlers called the low places between mountain peaks 
"cracks", and the paths or roads that ran through them "crack roads ". 
Such a path was in existence before the settlement of either Amherst or 
South Hadley in what was known as the "Round Hill crack " where is 
now the highway between these towns. This "crack " was also known as 
"Turkey pass " from its use by hunters after turkeys and deer. The 
"crack road" to South Hadley from Pine hill on the Bay road in Amherst 
was laid out in 1762 and accepted in 1763. 

In Judd's unpublished mss. is found the following account of the 
laying out of highways by the selectmen of Hadley, March iS, 1754: 
these highways were in the East Precinct, but the precinct records do not 
allude to this action : 

•■ No. 1. Between Jonathan Cowls and land lately Samuel Gaylord's, 10 rods 
wide. This was across first or west division. It was next to Gaylord's lot whii li 
was on south side of the road but went 10 rods east of Gaylord's lot to Highway 
Xo. 2. 

Xo. 2. From .Mill river to Bay road, twenty rods wide, between first and 
second divisions. Began at a red oak on the side hill east of the dug path leading 

i d r Mill river below Ephraim Kellogg's mill, and extending to the 

Bay road on the south. The whole distance, exclusive of that from Daniel Dick- 
inson's to Samuel Church's is 1813 rods, but not so much in a straight line. The 
line crooks about in the old 40 rods highway. Did not begin so far north as Mill 
river. When these lots were laid out in 1703 it was called i960 rods from the Hay 
road to Mill river. 


No. 3. Highway north and south between second and third divisions, begin- 
ning at Bay road and going north on west side of road to end of the division, in all 
1568 rods. This road is 12 rods wide, except a little distance near Fort river it is 
18 rods. 

No. 4. Between Ebenezer Dickinson's and Josiah Chauncey's land, ten rods 
wide, east to the road running north and south between second and third divisions. 
Length, 26S4 rods. 

No. 5. Between Jonathan Dickinson and Moses Warner's lots, north of 
Warner's lot N. 11 E. 20 rods made breadth of the road — then E. u S. 100 rods, 
thence E. 17- S. 144 rods to S. E. corner of Jonathan Dickinson's lot, then S. 17° 
W. to Moses Warner's N. E. corner 16 rods. Thence back on Warner's land to 
beginning -only 244 rods long. ( Was not this the Foots' Folly road?) 

Xo. 6. Between Solomon Boltwood and Simeon Clark. Began 6 rods X. of 
Simeon Clark's X. W. corner; then E. 5 X. 100 rods on S. side of road: then E. 
30 X. 72 rods to X. side of road, which ends 1 rod S. of William Boltwood's south 
door; thence E. 44 S. 76 rods on X. side of road ; thence S. 1 1 W. 20 rods to the 
"Hartling Stake " on S. side of road. Road 20 rods wide in every part. (This is 
the old X. road — present road at X. end of square, that is, it was part of Hadley 
X. road to Amherst.) 

Xo. 7. Between Moses Cook and Xathaniel Coleman. Began S. 11 W. 20 
rods, from X*. Coleman's S. E. corner: then W. 5- X. 247 rods on S. side of the 
road to W. end 20 rods wide. 

Xo. 8. Between John Dickinson's and Ebenezer William's land. Began at 
William's S. E. corner, run W. 9 X. through the division Road 10 rods wide south 
of this line. 

Xo. 9. Lies on S. side of John Keets' land and runs through the third divis- 
ion, 2 rods wide. Corner. E. io-i S. 

Two of the highways ran X. and S.: 6 were across the first andsecond divisions 
(3 each probably) and one across the eastern division." 

The old •• Middle road." from rear of the " pine plain " homelots to 
the line of Amherst, was laid out in the path called the "middle highway," 
Oct. 26, 1769, by the selectmen of Hadley. 

Osmyn Baker, in a conversation with Mr. Judd in 1S5S, said that 
when he was young the house of his grandfather, Elijah Baker, and that of 
Gen. Mattoon's father stood on opposite sides of the street, where they are 
placed on the plan of the town drawn about 1770 and before alluded to. 
This was the end of inhabitants on that road and the land north was poor. 
There were no houses for three-quarters of a mile north of Elijah Baker's ; 
the road then stopped and did not go to Mill river but turned off each way 
to the east and west and these cross-roads were inhabited. In 17S8 a new- 
road was laid out from Sunderland to the Bay road, passing through the 
third division in a diagonal course. It is supposed that this road followed 
the general lines of West Pleasant street. Shays street and the road to 

Jan. 7, 1750, Hadley appointed a committee to build a bridge in the 
Third Precinct, --over the Gutter in the Street near William Murray's 


house." Aug. 3, 1 76 1, a committee was appointed to make a plan of the 
land where a bridge over the Mill river, near Joseph Clary's, was thought 
to be needful, and also of the highway in that place. 

The first mention of highways in the Third Precinct records is found 
under date of March 10, 1735-6, when it was voted that highway work 
should be done by " heads and Teams," and that a team should be equal 
to a hand per day. March 16, 1738. it was voted that highway work should 
be done by ''pools," i. e. polls. This vote was repeated in 1740 and 1742. 
but in 1743 it was voted that the highway work should be brought into a 
rate. The prices allowed for highway work rose and fell with the fluctua- 
ting value of the currency. The highest prices paid were in the spring 
and summer months. The same sum was allowed for a man as for a team. 
In 1765, Amherst voted for repairs (in labor) £50, in 1777,^40; in 1783, 
,£60; in 1784, £jo; in 1 79 1, ^100. Surveyors of highways were first 
appointed in 1763. In 1774, it was voted that the highways should be 
put in equal repair with the county roads. Jan. 2, 1769, Amherst appointed 
a committee to ascertain the bounds of the townways in the district, to erect 
sufficient boundaries, and to prosecute persons who had made encroach- 
ments on the highways. Highways were discontinued from time to time 
and new ones laid out. Damages were claimed and allowed to individuals 
for roads laid out over their land, and there were frequent exchanges of 
land for highway purposes. In 1799, the Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike 
corporation was chartered for the construction of a road from the east line 
of Amherst to Worcester, passing through the towns of Pelham, Green- 
wich. Hardwick, New Braintree, Oakham. Rutland, Holden, and Worcester, 
and uniting with the "great road in Shrewsbury." leading from New York 
to Boston. 


Innkeepers. — Cemetery and Ti >wn Lot. — Occupations. — Pauper 
Expenses. — Nkoroes. — Physicians. — Lawyers. 

The first innkeeper in the Third Precinct was Ebenezer Kellogg, from 
1734 to 1737, and again from 1752 to 1757. From 1744 to 175^. Ephraim 
Kellogg, brother to Ebenezer. kept an inn. From 1757 to 1 7 7 1 , Moses 
Warner kept an inn near the meeting-house, which proved a great conven- 


iencc for the hungry and thirsty voters at district meetings. From 175810 
1766, Moses Smith kept an inn on the Bay road. From 1758 to 1763, Alex- 
ander Smith kept an inn on the highway between the first and second divis- 
ions, south of the meeting-house. Among the other innkeepers in the earlier 
history of the town were Martin Kellogg. 1771-73 ; Gideon Parsons, 1777-78; 
Flisha Ingram, 1779-82 ; Oliver Clapp, 177S-85 ; Seth Wales, 1779-80; 
Daniel Cooley, 1780: Ezra Rood, 1779-84; Nathaniel Dickinson, 1781 ; 
Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr., 1783-85 ; David Trowbridge, 1781-82 ; Joseph Pet- 
tis, [783-88 ; Nathaniel Peck, 1785-87 ; John Belden, 1787. The old inns or 
taverns were a peculiar feature of earl}' life in New England. Most of them 
were simply large dwelling-houses, with two or three-'spare"rooms where trav- 
elers could lodge for the night, and find a supply of food and drink. More 
attention was paid to supplying the wants of the thirsty than of the 
hungry. The bill of fare was simple but substantial and the prices charged 
were reasonable. But unpretentious as were these country taverns, they 
were the center of social life in the community. Here were held the old- 
fashioned country dances, and here after the cows were milked and the 
•• chores " done for the night the farmers assembled to discuss neighbor- 
hood matters, talk politics, smoke their pipes and season their discussions 
with New England rum. Here the village oracle established his head- 
quarters, relating anecdotes of earlier clays and giving opinions on matters 
of politics, theology, and social economics that had behind them the 
authority that comes of years and of experience. 

The early settlers in New England were a temperate people, but most 
of them came from England where indulgence in intoxicants was general. 
Following the custom prevalent in the mother country, licenses to sell 
liquor were granted, but only to persons of approved standing in the com- 
munity. The common drinks were wine and beer, until rum was brought 
from the West Indies. Beer was first made from imported malt, but later 
on of malt made from grain raised in the settlements. Cider was used as 
a beverage from an early date, and from its cheapness and the ease with 
which it could be manufactured became a common drink. " Flip", made 
of beer, sugar and spirits, was introduced near the close of the seventeenth 
century : it soon became a favorite tipple. Drinking in moderation was a 
general custom, sanctioned by public sentiment. Liquor played a promi- 
nent part at ••raisings" and in nearly all public celebrations. There was 
some drunkenness, but little of an offensive character, and apparently, in 
the earlier years, little poverty or suffering resulting from it. 

Retailers of liquors were licensed aside from tavern-keepers, and of 
these Amherst seems to have had more than its proportionate share. 
Judd in his unpublished mss. gives the following list of 25 men who were 
licensed retailers in Amherst between the years 1759 and 17S4: Josiah 


Chauncey, 1759-67 ; Peter Smith, 1759-60; Nathaniel Coleman, 1761-62 ; 
Elisha Ingram, 1766-73 ; John Field, 1768-73 ; Eli Parker, 1773 ; Solomon 
Boltwood, 1773; Elijah Smith, 1783; Jacob McDaniel, 1783-85; Elijah 
Hastings, 17S8; Ephraim- Kellogg, 1783; Moses Rowe, 1783; Simeon 
Peck, 1782; Samuel Peck, 17S3 ; Stephen Smith, 1785-87 ; Chiliab Smith, 
177S ; Thomas Bascom, 1778 ; Moses Cook, 1779-87 ; Zebina. Montague, 
17S4-S8 : Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr., 1779-80; Elisha Smith, 1780-81 ; John 
Nash, 1784; Andrew Kimball, 1785-88; Ebenezer Boltwood, 1782-88; 
Eli Putnam, 1782-84. In 1789, Seth Wait, Nathaniel Peck, Joseph Pettis 
and Oliver Clapp were innkeepers; in 1790, Gideon Parsons. In 1785, 
John Nash kept a tavern near where the house of Mrs. Edward Tuckerm an 
now stands. Some of these taverns or inns had more than a local celebrity 
and were closely connected with public events of great importance. Of 
such was the old " Clapp tavern " at East Amherst, a sketch of which will 
be given in connection .with the events of the Revolutionary war and the 
Shays rebellion. 

In January, 1730, the Town of Hadley voted to its '* east inhabitants " 
liberty for a burying place and appointed a committee to lay it out ; in 
March of the same year the committee reported that they had laid out an 
acre and twenty rods of land " joyning on Nath'l Church's lot west." 
This, with additions made later on, comprised the land in the old " West 
cemetery." From time to time the inhabitants of the Precinct, District and 
Town passed votes in relation to fencing and caring for this cemetery. 
The first person to be buried there was John Scott, who died Oct. 3, 1737, 
aged 27. He was a school-teacher and came from the "Elbows", now 
Palmer. March 14, 1764, it was voted to provide a grave cloth for the use 
of the district. Hearses for conveying the dead to the cemeteries were 
unknown in this section until the beginning of the 19th century. There is 
a story to the effect that when Deacon Eleazer Mattoon died in 1767 the 
snow was so deep upon the ground it was proposed to draw his body to the 
cemetery, two miles distant, upon a hand-sled, but the Rev. David 1'arsons 
would not listen to the proposition and the bearers placed the coffin upon 
their shoulders and walked with it through the snow the entire distance to 
the place of burial. 

Amherst had a town-lot, that embraced some of the land upon which 
the Amherst College buildings now stand, and extended to the north and 
south. March 5, 1739, the town of Hadley passed the following vote: 

•• Voted an addition to the West end of the Town Lot Lying in the;,' 1 Precinct 
of Hadley, said addition to Extend twenty two rod west upon the north side of 
said Lot and twenty rod on South side of said Lot, and said addition to Lxtend 
lour rod north against .Nathaniel Smith's lot.'* 



This town lot or common was partly a swamp and partly grown up to 
white birch ; it was used as a pasture ground for cattle. On the east side 
there was a goose-pond skirted with alders. 

The Kelloggs, who were the first innkeepers, seem also to have been 
the first to engage in milling. The first grist-mill was owned by Ephraim 
Kellogg and was situated "far up on Mill river." March 3, 1740, Hadley 
••granted to Nathaniel Kellogg liberty to erect a saw mill on Mill river at 
the place called the biggest falls." In 1744, Nathaniel Kellogg had a corn- 
mill on Mill river, 340 rods north of the upper end of the second division. 
There was a mill on Fort river prior to 174S. but the name of the owner is 
not recorded. In 1741, Hadley voted that " 15 rods wide of the highway 
joining south on Jacob Warner, leading through the second tier, should be 
given up to the East Precinct, they to dispose of it to Aaron Warner to 
encourage him to set up a blacksmith's trade among them." There were 
few traders in the settlement ; in 1764. Ephraim Kellogg traded in molasses, 
salt, rum, etc. Between 1759 and 1764, Josiah Chauncey and Elisha Ingram 
were licensed to sell tea, coffee and chinaware. 

The expense of caring for the poor was small. Jonathan Atherton 
suffered from stone in the bladder, which when extracted by surgeons in 
1 743 weighed three ounces ; he was aided by the precinct and by individuals. 
Of the French people who were driven from their homes in Nova Scotia 
and dispersed among the British colonies in 1755 and 1756, nearly a thou- 
sand came to Massachusetts and one family was sent to Hadley in 1761. 
l'he\' were known as " French neutrals " and were supported by the town. 
Amherst contributed to their support and in 1767 appropriated 50 shillings 
to aid in sending them to Canada. I )aniel Smith was insane for many years 
and was partly supported by Hadley and partly by Amherst. In the 
Province laws, under date of Jan. 12, 1759, by the same act that erected 
the Second Precinct into a district, it was ordered that Daniel Smith, " an 
indigent person in said town, be supported at the Expence of the Town of 
Hadley and of said District in equal Moieties." In 1779 and after, Moses 
Hawley and wife, and in 17S9, widow Mehitable Smith, received aid from 
the town. In 1S07, Aaron Kellogg, insane, and Caesar Prutt, an aged 
negro, were put up at vendue and the former was bid off for a year at S50 
and the latter at S65. In 17S9, the town appropriated £6 for the support 
of the poor; in 1793, ^20; in 1S01, $75, and in 1S09, S150. 

In 1765, there were six negroes in Amherst; three at least were owned 
as slaves, one by Josiah Chauncey, one by John Adams and one by 
Ephraim Kellogg. There were other slaveholders in earlier years. In 
1738, Zechariah Field had a slave valued at ^130. Ebenezer Kellogg 
owned slaves. Richard Chauncey, John Ingram, Sr. and Daniel Kellogg, 
had each a negro, probably a slave. 


Nathaniel Smith was the first resident physician in the Third Precinct, 
where he practiced his profession until his death in 1789. Dr. Crouch of 
Hadley also had considerable practice in the East Precinct. Physicians 
in the early days used medicines of undoubted strength if not efficacy. 
With them it was frequently a case of kill or cure. Bleeding and blister- 
ing were standard remedies for almost every known or unknown ailment; 
calomel was in high repute. They also used medicines that at the present 
day are unknown to the pharmacopoeia. In 1762, Dr. Crouch paid five 
shillings, old tenor, to David Blodgett of Amherst for five snake balls ; 
these balls were made of parts of the rattlesnake and were esteemed to 
possess great medicinal virtues. Seth Coleman began the practice of 
medicine in Amherst in 1767 and died in 18 16. William Kittredge was a 
physician here in 1784, remaining but a few years. Perhaps the most 
noted of the earlier physicians of Amherst was Dr. Robert Cutler, who 
began to practice in Pelham, in 1770, removed to Amherst before 1787 and 
did not die until 1835. Residents of Amherst now living remember well old 
Dr. Cutler. Samuel Gamwell practiced his profession in Amherst as early 
as 1793. 

The first justice of the peace in Amherst was Josiah Chauncey, 
appointed about 1758, the second, Simeon Strong, in 1768. Simeon 
Strong was one of the most noted of men who have resided in Amherst. 
Me was son of Xehemiah Strong and was born March 6, 1736, in North- 
ampton. He removed with his father's family to Amherst in 1741, was 
graduated from Yale College in the class of '56, read law with Col. Wor- 
thington of Springfield, was representative to the General Court in 1767 
and 1769, and senator in 1792 and 1793, arose to great eminence in his 
profession and in 1800 was appointed one of the justices of the Mass. 
supreme court. He died while in office, Dec. 14, 1805. He was one of 
the incorporators of an association chartered in 1792 for the purpose of 
building canals around the falls in the Connecticut river at South Hadley 
and Turners Falls. His son Simeon, born Feb. 22, 1764, was graduated 
from Vale College in 1786 and practiced law in Conway and Amherst 
Another son, Solomon, born March 2, 1780, was graduated from Williams 
College in 1798, practiced law in Royalston, Athol. Westminster and Leom- 
inster, was member of Congress 1815-19; in 18 19 was appointed judge of 
the circuit court of common pleas and in 1821 judge of the court of 
common pleas, a position he held until 1842. Two other sons of Judge 
Strong, Hezekiah and John, practiced law in Amherst, both Josiah 
Chauncey and Simeon Strong lost their office as justices because they were 
unfriendly to tin- cause of the Revolution, and in their stead were- appointed, 
in 1775. Moses Dickinson; in 17S1. Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr., and in [783, 
Ebenezer Mattoon. Jr. 


(Oldest House in Town.) 



French and Indian Wars. — An Old Lawsuit. — Amherst Troops in 
the Wars. — Petitions for Relief. — Militia Company. 

In 1744, some fifteen years after the first settlement was made at East 
Hadley, war between Great Britain and France began in Europe and soon 
extended to the colonies. In this, as in the earlier wars, France made 
allies of the Indians. To guard against attacks from the savages Massa- 
chusetts maintained garrisons at Heath. Rowe. and "East Hoosuck", after- 
wards Adams. There was also a fort garrisoned by Massachusetts men at 
Charlestown, X. H.. which was attacked in April, 1747. and bravely 
defended. Among the garrison were rive men from Hadley South and 
East Precincts, Eleazer Smith. William Boltwood, Nehemiah Dickinson, 
Nathaniel Church, Jr., and Fbenezer Dickinson. In a list of mounted 
soldiers that went in quest of the enemy to " Capt. Bridgman's fort, above 
Northrield," under command of Captain Seth Dwight, Oct. 22, 1747, and 
were out six days, are found the names of Sergeant Solomon Boltwood, 
Joseph ( Ian. Aaron Smith. Pelatiah Smith, Hezekiah Belding, Samuel 
In-ram and William Boltwood. 

As a result of the scouting expedition to the north in October, 1747, 
a lawsuit was brought by Fphraim Kellogg against Solomon Boltwood, 
which was among the celebrated cases of the time. Lieut. Boltwood was 
ordered to go with a detachment of men to the relief of the people on the 
northern frontiers, who had been assaulted by the enemy. The order was 
given by Lieut. Jonathan Smith of Hadley, who procured Fphraim Kellogg's 
mare for Beltwood to ride on. Soon after, Kellogg sued Boltwood, claim- 
ing that the latter had rode the mare so severely she was in a great measure 
ruined. The matter came before the courts and a great mass of evidence 
was taken. Among the witnesses was Isaac Hubbard, who testified as 
follows : 

•• In October I happened to be at the House of Charles Wright when M r Sol- 
omon Boltwood and Company returned from up the Country the time when Mr. 
Boltwood had Ephraim Kelloggs mare and there 1 heard one of the Company 
Setting forth how Exceeding quick they came from Sunderland: and Altho I 
Cannot Speak Positively Concerning" the Number of Minutes, yet I well Remember 
that in the time of it I made a Calculation how far they would Ride in one Hour 
and I Remember it was Above Twenty Six mile' so that it must be made Ten 
minnits the Space they Rode was four miles So C all d by Every one that is 
Acquainted with the Rhoad ; and went out of the House and viewe J the Horses, 
and found they Sweat Exceedingly and smok 1 very much." 


A mare that could cover four miles of poor roadway in ten minutes 
must have been considered a very valuable animal in those days, and it is 
small wonder that her owner desired a round sum to recompense him for 
her "ruin". But Jonathan Smith testified for the defence, his evidence 
going to show the mare was little injured. His testimony was, in brief, 
that he was the officer that sent out the party for the relief of the frontiers, 
by order of Col. Porter, in the fall of the year 1747. Mr. Solomon Bolt- 
wood was the head of the party and he rode upon Ephraim Kellogg's 
mare. After their return, hearing that Kellogg complained that his mare 
•was abused, he took notice of her from time to time and never saw her 
otherwise to appearance than sound and well. She was then with foal, 
had afterwards a likely colt, and to all appearances remained sound up to 
the time of the trial. The case was before the courts for a long time, was 
left out to arbitrators and finally settled by agreement. 

In the company under Capt. William Lyman at Fort Massachusetts in 
"East Hoosuck" in 1747-4S were William Murray and Isaac Goodale. In 
the company of Capt. William Williams, out from March 10 to Oct. 20. 
174S. were Jonathan Dickinson, Eleazer Mattoon and Aaron Smith. In 
Col. Joseph Dwight's company, on the Western frontiers from Aug. 7 to 
21, 174S. were the following from the East Precinct: Ensign Solomon 
Boltwood, Corp'l Joseph Hawley, Josiah Chauncey, Ebenezer Dickinson, 
Ebenezer Kellogg, William Boltwood, John Ingram and Nathaniel Church, 
Jr. There were, probably, men from the Third Precinct of Hadley in the 
army that besieged and captured Louisburg in 1745, but their names are 
not known. Soldiers were enlisted for this expedition in all the Hampshire 
county towns. This war continued until 174S, when it was ended by the 
treaty of Aix la Chapelle. 

The last of the French and Indian wars was begun in 1 754, continu- 
ing for nearly ten years. Many men from the East Precinct took part in 
the struggle. In the company commanded by Capt. Israel Williams in 
1754-55 were Corp'ls Nathan Dickinson and Preserved Clapp. A part of this 
company went to Huntstown (now Ashfield) to guard the inhabitants while 
they were gathering their corn. In 1755, an expedition was undertaken by 
the English against Crown Point, a French fortress on Lake Champlain. 
Capt. Moses Porter of Hadley led a company in this expedition and among 
the men under his command were the following from the East Precinct: 
Serg't Reuben Dickinson, David Dickinson, David Smith, Jonathan 
Moody, Jr., Nathaniel Dickinson, Preserved Clapp; in a company under 
Capt. Elijah Smith of '"Cold Spring" (Belchertown) were Josiah Chaun- 
cey, Samuel Cutler. ( >liver Cowls, Abner How, Eleazer Harwood, Philip 
Ingram: in Thomas Kdward's company of Col. Joseph Dwight's regiment 
were Joseph Clary, David Dickinson, Oliver Cowls, Samuel Hawley, Jr. 


and his son Elijah. The latter died previous to March 19, 1757. His 
father received, by order of the General Court. " the full allowance for his 
son's subsistence on his return from ye army at Lake George in 1755." 
In Lieut. Jonathan Dickinson's company, Col. Israel Williams' regiment, 
called out to defend the Western frontiers when Fort William Henry was 
besieged in 1757, were Lieut. Jonathan Dickinson, Nehemiah Dickinson 
and Abner Adams. In Col. Williams' regiment at Charlemont from Jan. 
24 to Nov. 30, 1757, were Nathaniel Dickinson, Jonathan Moody, Asahel 
Moody, Justus Williams and Simeon Smith. In Lieut. Joseph Billings' 
company that marched to the relief of Fort William Henry when it was 
invested in 1757 were John billing, Samuel Church and John Nash. In 
1758, an expedition was organized for the invasion of Canada, and a regi- 
ment was raised in Hampshire county by Col. Israel Williams for this 
service. In Elisha Pomeroy's company, among the men who enlisted in 
April and May and were paid on an average for 45 days' service, were 
Corporals David Smith and Joseph Dickinson and Oliver Cowls, David 
Dickinson, Noadiah Lewis, Thomas Morton. Caesar Prutt and Justus 
Williams. Others from the Hast Precinct who took part in this expedition 
were Nathan Dickinson, Jr., John Keet, Jr., Micah Guilford, Alexander 
Smith, Abner How, Moses Warner, David Blodgett, Lemuel Moody, Eli 
Colton, Paul Guilford, Charles Chauncey, Samuel Graham. Eleazar Har- 
wood, Isaac Ward, Abner How, Charles Wright. Philip Ingram. In Selah 
Barnard's company in 1760 were Ebenezer Harwood, Solomon Sawtell, 
Micah Guilford. Benjamin Harwood, Zechariah Harwood, Simeon Rude, 
Jabez Snow, Josiah Chauncey. Aaron Smith, Jr. was in Major Roger's. 
Rangers, and was captured near Ticonderoga, March 13, 175S. 

A list of those from the East Precinct who took part in this war, com- 
piled by Judd, contains the following names that do not appear above : 
Elijah Piaker, Peletiah Bucknam, Benjamin Bucknam, Nehemiah How, 
Isaac Temple, Nathan Davis, Simeon Walker, John Gould. In the fight- 
ing in the vicinity of Lake George, Sept. 8, 1755, Zebadiah Williams, 
" perhaps of Amherst," was killed. 

There is no minute concerning these wars in the precinct records. 
Bounties were paid by the government to the soldiers who enlisted for the 
expeditions against Louisburg and Crown Point ; most of those who 
engaged in the service were young men, attracted by the liberal pay and 
with a desire to travel and see something of the world. 

Soon after the close of the French and Indian wars the General Court 
was flooded with petitions for aid by relatives of soldiers who had been 
killed, wounded, or carried into captivity. The following, on file among 
the state archives, were presented by residents of Pelham and East Hadley : 


" Petition of John Conkey of Pelham & Aaron Smith. Sr. of Hadley, to the 
Hon. Andrew Oliver of Boston, secretary for the province. 

Pelham Sept' ,r y e 19 th 175S. 

Honoured Sir > 

In as much as there is notification to those that have their relations in Captivity 
to make it known to you 

These are therefore to inform that my son Joshua Conkey of Pelham and 
Aaron Smith of Hadley who were in the Publick Service under Major Rogers and 
was taken the 13 th of March last Near Ticonderoga and as we are informed are 
alive now in Keneda we therefor pray that you will take proper Care that they be 
brought home as soon as may be which is all at present from your Humble 

John Conkey 
Aaron Smith. Sen r " 

March ig, 1760, Petition of Isaac Ward. 

•' Whereas my Son Isaac Ward of Captain Elijah Smith's Company was, in 
November last, left Sick at Crown Point, without any Provincial, being allowed to 
Stay, to take care of Him: upon receiving Information thereof, I was at the Charge 
of Sending two men to his relief; who proceeded as far as Green Bush with their 
horses, and finding it impractable to Cross the Lake at that Time Returned Home 
again, without Getting any Intelligence of my Said Son; whereupon I Sent another 
man who went with his horse as far as Said Green Bush where he got Intelligence 
that my Said Son Died about the twentieth Day of December last, and So pro- 
ceeded no further; and as my Said Son is made up in Said Captain Smith's Muster 
Roll, many Days Short of the Time when he Died — 

I Humbly Pray that Your Excellency and Your Honours would Graciously 
Grant what You in Your Wisdom Shall Judge reasonable for the Charge I was at 
on account of my Said Son : and also Wages for him from the Time he was made 
up to in Said Captain Smith's Muster-Roil to the Time of his Death." 

This was accompanied by a bill of expenses amounting to over ^14; 
the General Court allowed him £6, 2, 4. 

May 23, 1764, Benjamin Rhoades petitioned the Governor, Council 
and General Court for pay for the loss of the services of his apprentice 
Thomas Quiggle, who was a private soldier at Crown Point and afterwards 
at Ticonderoga, when, being sent by his officers after some provisions "he 
froze his feet in so Terrible a manner that he Lost all his toes & hath been 
under ye care of chirurgeons ever since & is not yet Healed — by which 
your Petitioner hath greatly suffer'd in ye Loss of his Labor & ye Costs 
of his Maintenance &c." The committee of the Genera] Court to whom 
the petition was referred, reported in favor of giving Mr. Rhoades £3. 

A militia company was organized in the precinct soon after 1740, its 
first officers being Jonathan Smith, lieutenant, and Kbcnezer Kellogg, 
ensign. Jonathan Smith became captain about 1749 and Ebenezer Kellogg 
lieutenant. Some of the first settlers had taken part in the earlier Indian 
wars, so the military spirit was not lacking. The training received in these 


companies and the experience gained in the campaigns against the French 
and Indians were of incalculable service later on when the war against 
England began. The colonists while few in number, possessing little 
knowledge of the science of war, were naturally good fighters, and having 
a thorough acquaintance with the country were enabled to take advantage 
of the frequent mistakes of the enemy. The militia companies of the 
early days were intended not so much for ornament as for service. Their 
discipline was hardly of the character inculcated at West Point, and their 
maneuvers would excite more laughter than applause if executed at the 
present day, but they learned how to fight and how to obey, two necessary 
attributes of the soldier of to-day as of him who lived one hundred and 
fifty years ago. They were sadly lacking in arms and equipment and 
uniforms, viewed from a modern standpoint, but they possessed fighting 
qualities that would put to shame many of the finely equipped companies 
of the present time. 


Petition to Become a District. — The District Organized, — Amherst 
and Lord Amherst. — Province Taxes. — Statistics in 177 i. 

In 1753, the Second Precinct of Hadley was erected into the district 
of South Hadley, and the old Third Precinct became the new Second. 
The lands at South Hadley were settled earlier than those at Amherst, and 
the settlers south of the mountain increased more rapidly than those in 
the East Precinct, in 173 1 outnumbering the latter two to one. There was, 
however, a steady growth in the East Precinct that was destined in a few 
years to give it a larger population than South Hadley or even the parent 
settlement, although for many years the latter continued to rank first in 
wealth and taxable estate. For many years before they were set off as 
districts, the South and East Precincts could have united and out-voted the 
First Precinct and controlled the town, but there is nothing in the old 
records to show that such action was ever attempted or even contemplated. 
A majority of the selectmen were always chosen from the old village, 
excepting in 175 1 and 1757. The first selectman and the first assessor 
to represent the East Precinct were chosen in 1732. In 1756 the inhabi- 
tants in the East Precinct exceeded those in the old First Precinct. 


As long as the precinct organization was continued, it was necessary 
for the transaction of town business to go to the old village ; this, as years 
passed by and the population of the East Precinct steadily increased, 
came to be regarded more and more as a hardship. The need of a district 
organization was apparent, and in 1758 steps were taken to bring it about. 
The following paragraphs, quoted from the Province Laws in 1758 and 
1759, show the method of procedure : 

"June S, 175S. A Petition of John Nash and Others, a Committee of the 
Second Precinct in Hadley in the County of Hampshire — Setting forth the incon- 
veniences they Labour under by being connected with the first Precinct, as well on 
account of their high Taxes, from which they do not reap a proportional Advan- 
tage, as on account of their Distance from the Place where their Town Meetings 
are constantly held, and praying that they with the Addition of some of the Inhab- 
itants of the said first Precinct may be erected into a distinct and separate District 
agreeable to the Limits mentioned, accompanied with, 

A Certificate from Isaac Ward and Others, Resident on a Tract of Land, lying 
in the first Precinct in said Town, and adjoining to the second, shewing that they 
are desirous of being incorporated with the said second Precinct, as a separate and 
distinct District, they being much more conveniently situated for transacting 
Business there, than where they now belong. 

In the House of Representatives Read and Ordered. That the Petitioners 
serve the Clerk of the first Precinct in the Town of Hadley with an Attested Copy 
of this Petition, that they shew cause, if any they have, on the second Friday of 
the next Sitting of the Court why the Prayer thereof should not be granted. 

In Council. Read and Concurred." — Council Records, vol. XX 1 1., p. 381. 

"January 9. 1759. A petition of the Inhabitants of the second Precinct in 
Hadley Praying as entered 8 June last to be erected into a District. 

In Council Read again together with the Answer of the first Parish in the 
Town of Hadley ; and the other Papers accompanying the same. And Ordered 
That Benjamin Lynde and William Brattle, Esq rs with such as the honourable 
House shall join be a Committee to take the Petition and papers under considera- 
tion and report what they judge proper to be done thereon. 

In the House of Representatives Read and Concurred and M r Tyng, M r Niles 
and Capt. Stevens are joined in the Affair." 

"Jan. 12, 1759. The Committee appointed the 9" 1 Instant on the Petition of 
the Inhabitants of the second Precinct in Hadley reported according to Order. In 
Council. Read and Accepted. And Ordered That the Petitioners have leave to 
bring in a Bill for erecting the Second Parish in Hadley into a District agreeable 
to the foregoing Report. And further Ordered That Daniel Smith an indigent 
Person in said Town be supported at the Expence of the Town of Hadley and of 
said District in equal .Moieties. 

In the House of Representatives Read and Concurred." 

"An act for erecting the Second Precinct in the Town of Hadley, in the 
county of Hampshire, into a District by the name of Amherst. 

Whereas the inhabitants of the second precinct in the Town of Hadley, in the 
county of Hampshire, have petitioned this court, setting forth sundry difficulties 
they labour under by means of their not being a district and praying they may be 
so erected, — 


Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council and House of Representatives. 

That the said second precinct in Hadley, according to its present known 
bounds, be and hereby is erected into a separate and distinct district by the name 
of Amherst : and that the inhabitants thereof do the duties that are required, and 
enjoy all privileges that towns do or by law ought to enjoy in this province, that of 
sending- a representative to the general assembly only excepted: and that the 
inhabitants of said district shall have full right to join witli the inhabitants of the 
said town of Hadley in electing a representative annually, and shall be notified of 
the time and place of election with the inhabitants of the said town of^Hadley. by 
a warrant from the selectmen of Hadley. directed to the constable of 'said district, 
requiring him to warn the inhabitants of said district to attend the meeting for that 
purpose at the time and place by them assigned, which warrant shall be seasonably 
returned by said constable ; and the representative may be chosen indifferently out 
of siid town or either of the districts, his pay and allowance to be borne by the 
town of Hadley and the said districts, in the proportion_that they respectively pay 
to the province tax. 

And be it further enacted. 

That Isaac Ward. Reuben Ingraham. Phillip Ingraham. Isaac Hubbard and 
Edward Elmer, and their respective estates lying within the bounds of the tract of 
seventeen hundred and seventy-seven acres petitioned for, and adjoining to the 
said second precinct line, be and hereby are annexed to the said district, there to 
enjoy privilege and do duty. 

And be it further enacted. 

That Timothy Dwight Esq r be and hereby is directed andjimpowered to issue 
his warrant, directed to some principal inhabitant within said district, requiring 
him to warn the inhabitants of said district qualified to vote in town affairs, to 
assemble at some suitable time and place to choose such officers as are necessary 
to manage the affairs of said district: provided, nevertheless, the inhabitants of 
said district shall pay their proportionable part of all such town, county and 
province charges as are already assured in like manner as tho* this act had not 
been made." [Passed Feb. 13, published Feb. 14, 1759.] 

Judd says, Hadley consented that East Hadley should be a district, 
but opposed the annexation of the five families, who seem to have resided 
on the road leading; from Amherst to Sunderland. Two minutes regarding; 
the matter are found in Hadley records, one under date of March 6, 1758, 
which reads as follows : 

" Voted That the East Precinct be sett off a saparate District according to their 
present Bounds." 

The other, under date of Feb. 8. 1760 : 

•• Voted That the District of Amherst, shall have their proportionable part 
of the Town Stock of Powder. Lead and Flints, as they paid in the last Province 
Tax, before they were erected into a separate District " 

The town and district organization was practically the same ; their 
powers were identical, save that to towns was reserved the privilege of send- 
ing representatives to the General Court. Amherst chose a delegate to the 
Provincial Congress in 1774, thus assuming the privilege accorded only to 


towns. In 1776, it assumed the name of the " town of Amherst ", to which 

it had no legal title. No special act for its incorporation as a town was 
ever passed, but March 23, 1786. it was enacted by the General Court that 
all districts incorporated prior to Jan. 1, 1777. should be towns. This 
carried with it the privilege of sending a representative to the General 
Court, a privilege that was also a duty, as it appears that in 17S2 Amherst 
was fined £28, 6, S for not sending a representative ; one-half this fine 
was afterwards remitted. In the management of its own affairs the district 
was supreme, electing officers, making rates and controlling highways. The 
first meeting in the new District was held March 19, 1759, with Ebenezer 
Dickinson moderator, when a full list of officers was elected. 

There has been more or less controversy as to how the name Amherst 
came to be bestowed upon . the District. The statement has been made 
that in the bill for erecting the District, the name " Norwottuck " was written 
in, and afterwards erased by Governor Pownall and " Amherst " substituted. 
The records at the state house in Boston contain nothing to verify this 
statement, and no documentary evidence can be found to substantiate it. 
It is possible, and even probable, that the name " Norwottuck " was sug- 
gested and favored by some of the residents in the Second Precinct. It was 
the old Indian name for this section of the Connecticut valley, signifying 
"in the midst of the river." The privilege of bestowing names upon the 
new districts was one of the perquisites of the colonial governor, and there 
is every reason to believe that when the bill erecting the District was passed 
by the General Court, a blank was left for the name and this blank was 
filled in by the governor with the word " Amherst". At that time Thomas 
Pownall, Esq. was governor-general of the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay, under appointment of King George II. of England. He was an 
intimate friend of General Jeffery Amherst, whom the king had placed in 
command of the expedition against Louisburg, and this friendship, coupled 
with the success of the expedition and the fame and honor which it brought 
to Gen. Amherst, made it natural and fitting that the name Amherst should 
be bestowed upon the new District. 

The following interesting article, concerning the name "Amherst" and 
Lord Amherst, was written especially for this History by Prof. Herbert B. 
Adams of Johns Hopkins University, a native of Amherst, who has in 
many ways shown his interest in the preparation of this work. 


The name Amherst is of old English origin and was first applied to 
a landed estate in the parish of Pembury, in the county of Kent. Early 
forms of the name were Hemhurste and Hemmehurst, compound words 
formed by prefixing the Saxon Hem, meaning a border, to the Saxon Hurst, 


meaning a wood. Amherst therefore probably signifies the border of a 
forest, or Edge-wood* 

The Amherst family derived its name from the situation of its land. 
Gilbertus de Hemmehurst is on record as early 12 15. The family occupied 
its Amherst estate for over five centuries, but now lives at a country-seat 
called •• Montreal House'", near Seven Oaks. Kent. The present owner is 
Earl Amherst, who signs his name simply " Amherst ". His father and 
grandfather before him were Earls, but the man in honor of whom our 
town was named in 1759 was, at that time, Major General Amherst. 

Jeffery Amherst was born January 29, 17 17. He was the second son 
of a barrister and early (173 1) entered the English army, serving as staff- 
officer, under General Ligonier and the Duke of Cumberland, in those old 
wars which England waged for the defense of Hanover and in alliance 
with Frederick the Great. In 1758 Colonel Amherst was called home from 
German}- and made a Major General by William Pitt, who was looking for 
new and efficient men to lead the English campaigns against the French 
in America. Braddock had been defeated and killed. Oswego and the 
lake region were lost. The Earl of Loudon had failed to capture Louis- 
bourg and was now recalled. 

In May. 1 7 5 S , General Amherst was put in command of the Louis- 
bourg expedition, with over 12,000 troops and a great fleet of which Bos- 
cawen was Admiral. Under Amherst was Brigadier Wolfe, bold, dashing, 
and eager for glory, but not distinguished like his chief for prudence and 
absolute self control. Parkman says of Amherst : " He was energetic and 
resolute, somewhat cautious and slow, but with a bulldog tenacity of grip". 
Amherst had the best fighting qualities of his race and nation, and was 
withal sagacious, far-sighted, and eminently humane in his policy of dealing 
with men. 

On the eastern coast of the island of Cape Breton may still be seen, 
in a land-locked harbor, the ruins of old Louisbourg, once the French strong- 
hold, guarding the Northern Atlantic. Captured in 1745. by a provincial 
army under Colonel Pepperrell (see a good account in New England Mag- 
azine, June, 1895 ) the place had been ignominiously restored to France by 

* Ik Marvel (Donald G. Mitchell) long ago adopted '"Edgewood" for the name of his place. 
Professor F. A. March, of Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., a graduate of Amherst College and one 
of the most eminent English philologists in America, says, in a letter dated Sept. 14. 1895 : "I can 
find nothing more to establish or explain the history of Amherst suggested by the earlier forms 
which you mention. I would take kemme as descriptive of hurst. Amherst = a border fodder-wood, 
bordering an open meadow, perhaps, or a stream. That makes a good name enough to be an 
accepted hypothesis for the given facts. But the general run of the names of hurst makes one 
suspect that the hemme is a variation of hatnme or helmc for elmme. and that the original name was 
an enclosed wood, or elm-wood, or Ham ' s or Am's-wood." 

Thus we have a pleasing variety of good old Saxon etymologies to choose from. Still another 
is Homewood, if we accept the derivation of Amherst from Hamhurst by dropping the letter "h." 
Homewood is as good a name as Edgewood or Elmwood. Amhurst is a family name in England. 


treaty in r 748. Since then the fortifications had been greatly strengthened. 
They were a mile and a half in extent and enclosed an area of 120 acres 
in the form of a peninsula triangle, protected on two sides by the sea and, 
on the land side, considered impregnable. In spite of the difficulties 
occasioned by heavy surf and a craggy shore, a landing was effected at 
Fresh Water Cove by the gallantry of Wolfe and his soldiers, supported 
by Amherst and the whole army. The British fleet cooperated and destroyed 
the French shipping. General Amherst commanded operations and con- 
ducted the siege. Batteries were erected at various points around the 
harbor. By means of trenches the siege-guns were brought nearer and 
nearer to Louisbourg, whose great bastions began at last to give way. 
After an heroic defense of two months, the French commander was com- 
pelled to sue for terms. Amherst demanded the surrender of the whole 
garrison as prisoners of war and a definite reply within an hour. A French 
officer was sent out to beg for more honorable conditions, but Amherst 
refused to parley. He sent back a curt and peremptory message to Drucour, 
the commandant : " You will have the goodness to give your answer, yes 
or no, within half an hour.'' A contemporary account says : " A lieuten- 
ant-colonel came running out of the garrison, making signs at a distance 
and bawling out as loud as he could, ' We accept ! We accept ! ' He 
was followed by two others, and they were all conducted to General 
Amherst's headquarters." 

Louisbourg was duly surrendered July 26, 175S, with all its stores and 
munitions of war, together with the whole island of Cape Breton and also 
the Isle St. Jean or Prince Edward Island. All the outlying coast-pos- 
sessions of France in this region were thus cut off at one blow. It was a 
signal victory. Throughout the English colonies men thanked God and 
took courage. England went wild with joy. The flags captured at Louis- 
bourg were carried in triumph through the streets of London and were 
placed as trophies in the cathedral of St. Paul. In recognition of his dis- 
tinguished services General Amherst was made Commander-in-Chief of the 
K ing's forces in America and his name was honored throughout the English- 
speaking world. 

From the beginning of recorded history towns have been named after 
illustrious men. The town of Amherst,* Massachusetts, is a living monu- 
ment to the hero of Louisbourg. On the 13th of February, 1759, (see 
Acts and Resolves, vol, iv., [73), the precinct hitherto known as East 

Le oi tin- I nited States shows that " Amherst " is a local name not 
only in Massachusetts, bul also in Maim-. New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Wiscon- 
sin, Minn. isi it a and Is; nis, is. I here is .1 town called "'Amherst " in Nova 5i "i i 1 (midway between 
st. John and Halifax) on the Bay of Fundy; and there is an " Amherst Island", the chief of the 
M.i "i lien group, at the entrance to the Gull of St. Lawrence. I here is an Amh< rstburg in ( Intario, 
in Amherst island in Lake Ontario. The name is applied to a seaport in Burmah, to 
islands off the coast of Arakan, and to a group ofl Kon 1. 


Hadley, or Hadley Farms, or East Farms, was made a separate district* with 
all town privileges except special representation and with the distinctive 
historic name of Amherst. Our beautiful town, still on the edge of the 
woods in almost every direction, was a fitting although unconscious revival 
in New England of the old English Hemhurst, for the conscious purpose 
of honoring the man who bore the Amherst name and who had restored 
the greatest conquest in American colonial history. The recovery of Louis- 
bourg was absolutely necessary for the siege of Quebec in 1759 by Wolfe 
and the final occupation of Canada in 1760 by General Amherst. 

It is a great mistake to suppose that French dominion in America was 
destroyed at Quebec. Wolfe's exploit was another glorious victory, but it 
did not end the war. The French army escaped, returned again in 1760 
under Gen. Levis, and defeated Wolfe's successor, General Murray, before 
the walls of Quebec, as Wolfe had defeated Montcalm. But for the oppor- 
tune arrival of an English fleet, the reckless Murray would have lost all 
that the daring Wolfe had won. It was left for General Amherst to capture 
the army of Le'vis at Montreal, where, after taking Ticonderoga, Crown 
Point. Oswego, Fort Niagara, and restoring all posts lost by his predeces- 
sors, Amherst brought together three English armies in a masterly strategic 
combination. Under Amherst's orders Murray moved up the St. Lawrence 
from Quebec with 2,500 men, the remnant of Wolfe's forces. Brigadier 
Haviland advanced northwards from Crown Point with 3.400 men, forced 
the passage out of Lake Champlain, and marched through the woods to 
the St. Lawrence to unite with Murray below Montreal. Amherst descended 
the river from Lake Ontario with 10,000 soldiers, 1.000 Indians, and all 
his artillery. It was considered something of an exploit by his contempor- 
aries. Sir Joshua Reynolds, with unerring instinct, seized upon that descent 
of the rapids with an army in open boats as the most heroic scene in 
Amherst's life time. He is represented as watching the passage of the 
flotilla at one critical point as he stands upon the heights above the river. 
For artistic reasons the great painter pictured his hero in the full regalia 
of a Knight of the Bath, with armor glistening, the red sash over his 
shoulder, and a golden sunburst upon his breast. His helmet is removed 
and rests before him, while he leans thoughtfully upon a marshal's trun- 
cheon, with the map of Canada spread out before him. 

Horace Walpole, in his Memoirs of George II. (111. 287-288) says : 
" Wolfe, with all the formidable apparatus of modern war, had almost 

*Judd. in his excellent History of Hadley, p. 426, says ••Amherst was a district in August. 1775, 
and a town in January. 1776. The date of its incorporation as a town is not known." Amherst 
simply grew as a District. She acted with Hadley in public matters as long as it was convenient 
to do so. and then virtually seceded. Amherst obtained practical recognition as a separate town 
by independent representation in the General Court two years before the United Colonies declared 
themselves free from the mother country. 


failed before Quebec : Amherst with barks and boats invaded Montreal, 
and achieved the conquest, though, what would have daunted the heroes 
of antiquity, he had the cataracts to pass. He surmounted that danger 
with inconsiderable loss*, and appeared before Montreal on the very same 
clay with General Murray." The English armies then closed around the 
French on the island of Montreal as the Germans closed around Sedan, 
Sept. i, 1870, when Sheridan, shutting his field glass, said to Moltke, "It 
is all over with the French now." It was all over with the French then, 
on that morning of the 7th of September, 1760, when the three armies of 
Amherst, Murray, and Haviland, came together from those far-distant 
points of departure, Oswewo, Quebec and Crown Point. 

On the following day, Vaudreuil, the French governor, signed the 
capitulation of Montreal, and with it surrendered all Canada, on the terms 
demanded by General Amherst. " Half a continent,"' said Parkman, " had 
changed hands at the scratch of a pen."' 

The present generation is in danger of forgetting who Amherst was 
and what he did to make our forefathers rejoice in his name for our 
town. They knew the reason for their rejoicing. The pulpits of New 
England resounded with Amherst's praises. The pastor of the Old South 
Church in Boston said to his congregation: "We behold His Majesty's 
victorious troops treading upon the high places of the enemy, their last 
fortress delivered up, and their whole country surrendered to the King of 
Great Britain in the person of his General, the intrepid, the serene, the 
successful Amherst." In like manner all the churches of Massachusetts 
observed a clay of Thanksgiving. Parliament gave the victorious Com- 
mander-in-Chief a vote of thanks and he was appointed Governor General 
of British North America. He took up his residence in New York City 
and was knighteclt at Staten Island, Oct. 25, 1761, by authority of the 
King and William Pitt. 

Sir Jeffery Amherst returned to England in November, 1763, and was 
for many years a popular hero. Honors and emoluments were heaped 
upon him all the rest of his days. In fact, he became Commander-in-Chief 
of all the Forces of Great Britain and was the adviser of the English gov- 
ernment during the war of the American Revolution. In 17S7 he was 
created Lord Amherst of Montreal, having already in 1776 been made 
Baron Amherst} of Holmesdale, Kent. When at last, in 1795, he resigned 
the office of Commander-in-Chief, he refused an earldom. The following 
year he was made Field Marshall. He died August 3, 1797, at the ripe 

*Amherst lost 64 boats and 100 lives in the Cedar Rapids alone. 

Magazine <>i . Imerii an History, 11., 502. 
{The supporters to the Amherst coat-of-arms are two Indians in full battle array. The family 
motto is Constantiaet Virtute. 


old age of eighty, leaving no children. His title and property and country- 
seat ' % Montreal " in Kent, passed to Ids nephew. William Pitt Amherst, 
whose name commemorates the great minister to whom the Amherst family 
and the English nation owed in no small degree their glory in America. 
Jeffery Amherst* should be remembered as the hero of Louisbourg and as 
the conqueror of Canada. 

In the General Court Records, under date of October, 1759, the fol- 
lowing appears : 

•■ A Petition of Jonathan Smith and others Selectmen of Hadley. Setting forth 
that the District of Amherst being taken off from said Town, they are apprehen- 
sive that part of the province Tax which ought to be paid by Amherst still lies 
upon Hadley. and that said District ought also to be assessed for part of the 
Representative's pay in 1757 and 175S. And praying the Interposition of this 
Court for their Relief. 

In the House of Representatives; Read and Voted That the Tax laid upon 
the Town of Hadley in the County of Hampshire this year shall be assessed and 
levied upon said Town, and upon the District of Amherst in the same County in 
the proportion following that is to say. Two hundred and eighty pounds seven 
shillings and ninepence thereof upon the Polls and Estates of the Inhabitants of 
said Town: and one hundred and thirty-eight pounds fifteen shillings and nine- 
pence thereof upon the Polls and Estates of the Inhabitants of said District, and 
the Assessors of said Town and District respectively are hereby ordered to govern 
themselves accordingly in making their Assessments." 

At the session of the General Court in May, 1761. the western part 
of Hampshire county was set off and incorporated as a distinct county by 
the name of Berkshire. At this same time there arose a controversy among 
the towns in Hampshire as to whether Northampton or Hadley should be 
the shire town. The towns on the west side of the Connecticut river gen- 
erally favored Northampton, while those on the east side preferred Hadley. 
Amherst sent a petition to the General Court signed by Jonathan Dickin- 
son, Peter Smith, John Dickinson, John Field and Joseph Eastman, select- 
men, urging the claims of Hadley, as nearest the center of the county, 
and being itself "very handsomely situated". One great objection to 
Northampton was the difficulties experienced in crossing the river, particu- 
larly in times of flood. 

*There is no life of Amherst. His dispatches are preserved in the public record offices at London 
and Halifax. In Albany there are many of his letters to Col. Bradstreet, Sir William Johnson and 
Gov. DeLancey. written by secretaries but bearing Amherst's well-known signature. Other original 
materials are printed in the X. Y. Colonial Documents, vol. vn. and in the Aspinwall Papers. 
Among the Parkman mss. in the Mass. Hist. Society are copies of five letters from Amherst to Pitt, 
written at Louisbourg. Parkman's " Pontiac " and his " Montcalm and Wolfe " contain many inter- 
esting passages relating to General Amherst. See also G. E. Hart's "Fall of Xew France" and 
numerous references in Winsor's Xarrative and Critical History of America, vol. v.: Wright's Life 
of Wolfe ; Stone's Life of Sir William Johnson ; and Lanman's Michigan. Lodge's Portrait--, vol. 
vni.. lias a very inaccurate sketch of "Jeffery, First Lord Amherst."' Leslie Stephen's Dictionary 
of Xational Biography (18S5) sives a better notice, with a short iist of authorities, by H. M. Stephens, 
who justly says of Amherst: "His greatest glory is to have conquered Canada : and if much of 
that glory belongs to Pitt and Wolfe, neither Pitt's combinations nor Wolfe's valor would have 
been effectual without Amherst's steady purpose and unflinching determination." 


In 1 76 1 , the province tax of Amherst was ,£142, 3, 9; in 1762, the 
same; in 1763, ,£92, 7, 11 ; in 1764 and 1765, the same; in 1766, ,£75, 
16, S ; in 1767, £16, 2, 3 ; in 1769, ^56, 17, 6 ; in 1770, .£47, 7, 11. 
Amherst's proportion of the representative's pay was. in 1761, £4., 10; in 

i7 62 > £5 I in I 7 6 3. £3, 4; in i7 6 4- £3 ; in 1 7 6 5^ £ 6 < 2 I in n GCj < £l, 
10; in 1767, £8, s ; in 1769, £9, io ; in 1770, £5, 10. 

The following statistics of Amherst in 177 1 are taken from Judd's His- 
tory of Hadley : Ratable polls, 196 ; unratable polls, 9 ; dwelling houses, 
120; barns, 84; shops, 14; gristmills, 2; sawmills, 3; potash works, 2; 
money at interest, ^"1312 ; stock in trade. ,£"73 ; horses, three years old 
and more, 153 ; oxen, four years old and more, 187 ; cows, three years old 
and more, 319 ; sheep, one year old and more, 647 ; swine, one year old 
and more. 214; barrels of cider made, 524; acres of tillage land, 1292 ; 
bushels of grain raised, 6596; acres of English and upland mowing, S27 ; 
tons of hay from it. 720 ; acres of fresh meadow, 389 ; tons of hay mowed, 
337 ; acres of pasturage, 419. These statistics were copied by Mr. Judd 
from original papers in the state house. From other sources he gained 
the following: Families in 1765, 104; white people in 1765, 639; white 
people in 1776, 915 ; polls in 1784, 276. Side by side on the same page 
with these figures are other statistics of the same date from Hadley, South 
Hadley and Granby. They show that Amherst had. in population and in 
many branches of industry, outstripped the parent town. Thus while 
Amherst had 196 "ratable" polls, Hadley had 147, South Hadley 131, and 
Granby 95. Amherst had 120 dwelling houses, Hadley 88, South Hadley 
79, Granby 61. Amherst had 89 barns, Hadley 82, Granby 47. Amherst 
had £2 more money at interest than Hadley, but Hadley's stock in trade 
was ^1252 while Amherst's was but ,£73. Amherst had the most horses, 
oxen, cows, sheep and swine ; it had also the rather doubtful honor of 
making the most barrels of cider. Hadley had more tillage land and 
raised a much larger quantity of grain, but Amherst had nearly four times 
as many acres of English and upland mowing and raised a proportionally 
larger quantity of hay. Hadley had the largest number of acres of fresh 
meadow, Amherst the most acres of pasturage. Amherst had five more 
families than Hadley in 1765, 86 more white people in 1765, 234 more 
white people in 1776 and 73 more polls in 1784. 

1 Iadle_\- had 39 corn-houses; the other towns returned none. The 
''unratable polls" were those of old and infirm men. Of the mills in 
Amherst, besides those owned by the Kelloggs, which have been referred 
to before, there was a mill owned by John Adams, perhaps the one on 
Mill river; Simeon Clark owned three-fourths of a mill and another was 
owned in iaths. The potash works in Amherst were owned, one by Martin 
Kellogg, the other by Elisha Ingram, Moses Warner and John Billings. Resi- 


dents of Amherst who had^ioo or more at interest were: Solomon 
Boltwood, ^300; Nehemiah Strong, ^200; Simeon Strong, £100; 
Nathaniel Smith, ^100: Nathaniel Dickinson, ^100. Solomon Boltwood 
and Daniel Kellogg had each eight cows, and Mr. Boltwood had 35 sheep. 
The cider made in the four towns averaged 4^ barrels to a house. There 
was a distillery in Amherst ; Col. Ephraim Smith, born in Hadley in t 788, 
told Mr. Judd that he had carted many loads of cider to Amherst to be 
distilled, by a man who lived near where the South Cong'l church now 
stands. The same man carried on a rye distillery, and rye was carried 
from Hadley to Amherst and gin returned. Amherst had many maple 
trees and considerable quantities of sugar and molasses were made. 
Horses were of inferior grade and were chiefly used under the saddle. The 
harness was simple, generally made by the shoemaker and rope-maker. 
Horses were used in farming operations before oxen. 

In 1767, Simeon Smith, son of Moses Smith who lived on the Bay 
road in Amherst, started a wagon freight route between Amherst and 
Boston, over the Bay road by way of Brookfield. This was the pioneer 
route of the kind in Hampshire country. He sometimes carried loads that 
weighed more than a ton. which, over the rough country roads, must have 
proved a severe tax upon his horses. He carried to Boston grain, meat, 
farm produce and quantities of potash, the latter worth in Boston in 1770 
34 shillings per cwt. On his return trips he would bring back supplies 
for the traders, including generous quantities of New England rum. 

Between the years 1750 and 1775. horses were valued at what in our 
currency would amount to from Sio to S40. The charge for hiring a horse 
was from one to twopence per mile traveled. When oxen were introduced 
they took the place of horses in farming occupations. Oxen were worth 
from Si 5 to S45 per yoke. Early in the iSth century, Hadley began to 
fatten cattle for the Boston market, an example that was followed in 
Amherst soon after its first settlement. Cattle were driven to Boston and 
sold on credit, the result being many lawsuits in the Hampshire courts. 
Some cattle were killed and the meat salted down in barrels before being 
shipped to Boston. There were few regular butchers in this section, 
farmers slaughtering their own cattle when in need of fresh meat. Great 
quantities of pork were raised and consumed, this being the principal meat 
food of the early settlers. The pork was salted clown in brine, some of it 
being afterwards smoked in large pieces. The old name for lard was suet... 
and it brought about the same price in the market as butter. Hogs, fat 
and lean, were driven from the Connecticut river to Boston ; considerable 
quantities of pork were shipped to market in barrels. 

Cows were fairly plentiful, their price ranging, in our money, from S7 
to Si 1. Milk was a staple article of diet: combined with bread or hasty- 


pudding it furnished many a breakfast and supper table. Cows were 
allowed to run at large and during most of the year were able to secure 
sufficient feed. Sometimes they were placed in charge of a keeper, but as 
a general thing the bells they wore were considered a sufficient guarantee 
against their straying away and becoming lost. Sheep were raised both 
for mutton and wool. The price of live sheep in 1790 was one penny per 
pound, the price of wool previous to the Revolution, from eight pence to 
■one shilling per pound. A carding machine was erected in the north part 
of Amherst in 1S03 ; previous to this the wool was carded by women. 
Some of the best wool was not carded but combed ; from this worsted 
was spun. 

Hens were early introduced and were kept by all farmers. They sold 
for from fourpence to sixpence each in 1700, while eggs were worth three- 
pence per dozen. Tame turkeys were far from plentiful, but wild ones 
abounded. Geese were rare in Hampshire county until the middle of the 
iSth century. There was always a good market for geese-feathers, the 
price previous to 1750 being 18 shillings, old tenor, per pound. Wild bees 
were hunted, many swarms being found in the woods and on the mountain. 

Tobacco was in general use both for smoking and chewing. The 
traders in Hampshire county sold great quantities of pipes. Cigars were 
not introduced until near the end of the century. Little patches of tobacco 
were raised in Amherst as in surrounding towns. The price of leaf 
tobacco was from twopence to sixpence per pound. 

Butter and cheese were made in large quantities for home consump- 
tion. The price of butter in 1775 was five or sixpence, of cheese four or 
fivepence. A mill for making linseed oil was established at North Hadley 
in 1795. 

Wild strawberries, dewberries and huckleberries abounded. They 
were gathered by the children, many of them to be eaten at home and 
some to be sold in the market at a penny a quart. Checkerberries were 
abundant and highly esteemed by the children. 

Chestnuts and walnuts were very plentiful. Chestnuts have always 
been regarded as common property, but from an early time walnuts came 
to be regarded as a regular farm crop to be gathered and sold in the 
markets. Many walnut trees were cut and sold for timber and firewood. 

Watches and clocks were luxuries known to but few of the early 
settlers; they depended lor the time of day on hour-glasses, sun dials, and 
■"noon-marks" on the window casings. Dr. Nathaniel Smith had an old- 
Eashioned "bullseye" watch, still treasured by Mrs. Enos baker, one of 
his lineal descendants. 

The first carriage owned in Amherst was a " fall-back chaise," taxed 
to Simeon Strong in 1791. The first one-horse wagons made in this 


vicinity were manufactured by Mason Abbe at Amherst. Joseph Smith of 
Hadley bought one of Abbe, in 1808. In 1S09, Abbe removed to 

The spring plowing was done in Amherst and surrounding towns from 
April 10 to April 25. Barley, flax, rye, oats and peas were sown in April 
and the first week in May. Corn was planted from May 5 to 23, hoed the. 
first time from June 1 to 15, the second time from June 15 to July 5. the 
third time from July 6 to 25 ; stalks were cut from Sept. 5 to 14, and corn 
picked from Sept. 24 to Oct. 14. Homelots were mowed the first time from 
June 14 to July 5, the second time from July 15 to Aug. 10. The 
meadows were mowed from July 1 to 10. Rye and wheat were reaped from. 
July 19 to Aug. 5. Barley was mowed the last week in July. Peas were 
''hooked'' from Aug. 23 to Sept. 5. Oats and rye were cradled from Aug. 1, 
to 15. Flax was pulled from Aug. 1 to 10, spread and turned in September, 
taken up the last of October. Fall plowing was done and winter rye and. 
wheat sowed in September. Potatoes were dug, beans gathered, turnips 
pulled and pumpkins carted in October. They had severe frosts that fre- 
quently did great damage to crops. 


Amherst in the Revolution. — Minute Men. — Tories. — The Cana- 
dian Campaign. — Names of Amherst Soldiers. 
Amherst bore an honorable part in the war of the Revolution. When 
kingly oppression was no longer to be borne, the words of defiance that 
were uttered on the shores of Massachusetts Bay found ready and resonant 
echo from the valley of the Connecticut. From no town in the valley was 
there a more prompt and patriotic response than Amherst gave to the com- 
mittee of correspondence at Boston. The District, still a district although 
it had assumed the name of town, was among the first to pledge its strong ' 
support to a declaration of independence of Great Britain, before such a 
declaration had been formulated. It was ready to pledge money and men. 
and supplies, anything needful for carrying on the war for independence. 
The martial spirit of its citizens, in many instances strengthened by 
experience gained in the French and Indian wars, was ready for the conflict 
which, it was recognized, was inevitable. Nor was this a mere spasm of. 
patriotism, destined to die out when confronted with the grim realities of 


war. During the long years of bloody strife that were to follow, with a 
large percentage of its citizens personally engaged in the conflict, oppressed 
by heavy taxation, Amherst was prompt to honor every demand that was 
made upon it for the support of the " common cause ". This, too, in 
presence of enemies at home, who had no sympathy with the principles 
and objects for which the colonists contended. There is no prouder page 
in Amherst history than that which tells of what was done by its patriotic 
citizens in the war for independence. The sons and grandsons of men 
English-born, with reverence inbred in them for all that pertained to the 
kingly estate, they had breathed deeply of the free air that wanders over 
the mountain-peaks and through the valleys of New England and felt in 
every fibre of their being that they too might be, must be, free. They were 
not optimistic from ignorance ; they knew the power of England and 
realized the fate that awaited them should the conflict go against them ; 
they realized the heavy odds in opposition, but they believed the Lord was 
on their side and they knew that one, with God, was a majority. 

The old town records contain in outline the history of these eventful 
years, an outline that can never be filled in as fully as it ought, but it gives 
to us an insight into the character, the motives and the deeds of those who 
dwelt in Amherst when the crystallization of the American nation was first 
in process. The names of some who took part in the eventful contest are 
here recorded, but the list is not complete, nor can it ever be. The 
names that are missing from this roll of honor are recorded in a Book 
unseen of human eyes. Without repeating in full the many votes passed 
by Amherst during the revolutionary period, it may be well to summarize 
them, giving such additional facts as are at the historian's command. 

Ian. 26, 1774, a committee was appointed to draw up a letter to be 
sent to the committee of correspondence at Boston. The members of that 
committee, five in number, were among the most influential men in the 
community, and included two men, Reuben and Nathaniel Dickinson, who 
had taken part in the French and Indian war. The letter they prepared, 
stirring and patriotic in tone, may be found on page 68 of the District 
records ; it was accepted, entered upon the town book and forwarded to 
the committee of correspondence at Boston. Sept. 20, 1774, a standing 
committee of correspondence was chosen, and Oct. 3, of the same year. 
Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr. was elected a delegate to the first Provincial 
Congress, which met at Concord, Oct. 1 1. Jan. 2, 1775, Mr. Dickinson was 
•elected a delegate to the Provincial Congress which met at Cambridge. 
Feb. 1, of that year. Hadley voted, Jan. 13, 1775, that its selectmen 
.should confer with the districts of Amherst and South Hadley and the 
town of Granb.y to know whether or not, they or any of them, would unite 
with Hadlev to send a delegate to the Congress at Cambridge, but Amherst 



seems to have forestalled this action by choosing a delegate of its own. 
Feb. 23, 1775. Amherst voted to purchase a supply of powder, lead and 
Hints, and at the same meeting voted to pay the province money then in the 
District's possession or that remained to be collected to Henry Gardner of 
Stowe, rather than to Harrison Gray; the latter held his appointment from 
the king. A committee of inspection was chosen at this meeting, also one 
to procure subscriptions for the needy persons in Boston and Chaflestown. 
April 19, 1775. came the ''Lexington alarm." to which the ••minute 
men " throughout the colony responded. It was the prompter's call to the 
overture of the might}- war drama, that was to extend through long and 
weary acts until the final curtain descended upon a nation new-born and 
consecrated for all time to liberty under the law. A congress of committees 
from every town and district in Hamphire county, except Charlemont and 
Southwick, had been held in Northampton, Sept. 22 and 23, 1774. "to 
consult upon measures to betaken in this time of general distress in the prov- 
ince, occasioned by the late attacks of the British Parliament upon the consti- 
tution of said province.'' Amherst was represented at this convention by 
Moses Dickinson, Jacob Mel )aniel and John Dickinson. A series of resolu- 
tions was adopted, calling, among other things, for a Provincial Con- less to 
assemble at Concord in October, recommending that no province money 
be paid to " H. Gray, treasurer", and exhorting all the inhabitants of the 
county to acquaint themselves with the military art. under such persons as 
they might choose, and to supply themselves with arms and ammunition. 
In accordance with these resolutions, companies of " minute men " were 
formed in nearly every town and district, prepared to march to the scene of 
disturbance on the first alarm. It was natural that the command of the 
Amherst company should be entrusted to Reuben Dickinson. A son of 
Ebenezer Dickinson one of the original settlers, in the prime of life, a 
prominent man in district affairs, his military experience gained in the 
French and Indian wars especially fitted him for the position. His company 
was one of the first from this vicinity to respond to the Lexington alarm, 
and with him. under his command, went the following men: 

Joseph Dickinson. 2d lieut., Ezra Rood, serg't, Adam Rice, corp '1. 

Ebenezer Eastman. corp"l. Clement Marshall. Ebenezer Kellogg. 

John Hodden, John Ingram, Reuben Dickinson. Jr.. 

Thomas Morton. John Eastman. Ebenezer Mattoon, 

Samuel Buckman. Luke Corfm. Stephen Smith. 

Waitstill Dickinson. Eldad Moody. Timothy Green. 

Azariah Dickinson. Ebenezer Dickinson. Elihu Dickinson. 

Martin Smith. Reuben Smith. Simeon Smith, 

William May. Ambrose Williams. 

Other members of this company came from surrounding towns : 
Daniel Shavs of Pelham. afterwards leader of the Shays rebellion, was a 


sergeant in it. The company marched to Cambridge and was in commis- 
sion eleven days, although some of its members remained longer in service. 
The men on the "alarm roll " of the company were paid ,£89, 1, 5. 

Lieut. Noah Dickinson of Amherst also led a company to Cambridge 
at the time of this alarm ; the following Amherst men were in his command : 

Henry Franklin, serg't, Lemuel Moody, serg't, Joel Moody, corp'l, 

David Blodgett, Oliver Clapp, Elisha Dickinson, 

Amasa Allen, Stephen Cole, Chileab Smith, 

Nathaniel Dickinson, Hezekiah Cole, Jacob Warner, 

Elihu Hubbard, Zachariah Hawley. 

In Capt. Noadiah Leonard's company that responded to this alarm, 
and served seven days, were the following from Amherst : 

Reuben Bishop, Samuel Field, Elias Smith, 

Moses Hastings, Simeon Pomeroy, Gideon Henderson, 

Samuel Gould, John Billings, Isaac Goodale. 

In Lieut. Eli Parker's company, that also responded to this alarm, 
were the following from Amherst : 

Thomas Bascom, serg't, Joel Billings, Thomas Hastings, 

Gideon Dickinson, John Ingram, Noah Smith, 

Elijah Hastings, Reuben Cowls, Enos Coleman, 

Elijah Elmore, John Lee. 

These companies all served in the Hampshire county regiment com- 
manded by Col. Ruggles Woodbridge of South Hadley. The latter part of 
April, 1776, the "minute men" disbanded. Capt. Reuben Dickinson 
organized, May 1, a new company that served for three months and eight 
da vs. This contained many members of the old company, as is shown 
by the following list of Amherst men : 

Adam Rice, serg't, Ebenezer Kellogg,Jr.,corp'l, Elihu Dickinson, corp'l, 

Levi Smith, fifer, Elijah Alden, Samuel Buckman, 

Benjamin Buckman, Elijah Baker, Luke Coffin, 

Giles Church, Azariah Dickinson, David Hawley, 

John Hastings, Ebenezer Kellogg, Henry Lee, 

Archelas Leonard, Clement Marshall, John Dickinson, 

David l'ettis, Caesar Prutt, Daniel Rolf, 

James Shay, Ambrose Williams, Richard Waite. 
Shelah Dickinson. 

Daniel Shays was 2d lieut. of this company. The pay of the com- 
pany to Aug. 1, 1775, was .£280, 12, 10. 

("apt. James Hendrick of Amherst led a company to Cambridge at the 
time of the Lexington alarm ; from a return of his command from Charles- 
town Camp Xo. 3, dated Jan. 13, 1776, the following Amherst names are 
taken : 



Joel Moody, serg't, 
Stephen Smith, 
Samuel Ingram. 
Elisha Dickinson, 
Ethan Billings, 
Jonathan Edwards. 

Reuben Dickinson, Jr., 
Joseph Nash, 
Aaron Dickinson, 
Ebenezer Pettis, 
Henry Dyer, 
Timothy Smith. 
Elijah Elmer. 

Joseph Pettis, 
Amariah Dana. 
Martin Smith, 
Levi Clark. 
John Lee, 
Timothy Smith. 2d. 

In a list of eight-months' men who served from the outbreak of the 
war, many of them being ''minute men" who afterwards enlisted in the 
Continental service, are found the names of the following Amherst men : 

In Capt. Noadiah Leonard's company: 

Moses Cook, serg*t, 
Simeon Pomeroy, 
Aimer Nash, 
Gideon Henderson, 

Samuel Church. 

Samuel Gould, lieut, 
Moses Hastings, 
John Billings, 
Isaac Goodale, 
Amos Nash, 

Samuel Field, corp'l. 
Samuel Gould. 
E lias Smith. 
Ebenezer Field, 

Joseph McClench. 

Robert Brown. 

Stephen Hills. 

In Capt. John Wiley's company : 

John Burns. Michael Kief, 

In Capt. Moses Kellogg's company : 

Thomas Dunton, Simeon Forbes. 

John Nichols. 

In Capt. John Popham's company: 

Jeremiah Lampson, — Weston, 

A return of men belonging to Ephraim Coney's company, dated Cam- 
bridge, Oct. 7, 1775, contains the name of Daniel McGrath of Amherst, 
who was taken captive June 17, the day of the battle of Bunker Hill. 
Capt. Moses Kellogg's company was " on command to Quebec " and 
Robert Brown and John Nichols are said to have enlisted in " the train," 
i. e. the artillery. Capt. Popham's company was connected with Col. 
Richard Gridley's regiment of artillery. The company commanded by 
Capt. Reuben Dickinson, numbering 60 men, was stationed June 14, 1775, 
"at the college." This company took part in the battle of Bunker Hill, 
June 17, but was not in the intrenchments. Sept. 30, 1775, the company 
was stationed on the west side of Prospect Hill, and in December at Lach- 
mere's Point, where one of its members, Abel Woods of Shutesbury, was 
wounded by a cannon-ball from a British man-of-war. 

May 4, 1775, Amherst appointed a committee to provide stores for 
the army assembled at Cambridge. At the same meeting the District 
" entered into an examination of Mr. Josia.h Chauncey." While the spirit 
of patriotism was strong within the District, an influential body of citizens 
remained loyal to King George. John Dickinson estimated that nearly 


half the inhabitants were tories or neutrals ; among the more prominent 
tories were Dr. David Parsons, Simeon Strong, Solomon and William 
Boltwood, Josiah and Isaac Chauncey. Mr. Dickinson stated to Mr. 
Judd that the residents in Shutesbury and Pelham were ready to assist, 
" in a mob way or otherwise," in disposing of the troublesome element. 
But the patriots in Amherst were abundantly able to fight their own battles; 
and were prompt to discipline such as were unfriendly to the " common 
cause." Josiah Chauncey held a commission from the king as justice of 
the peace, and this he was ordered to burn, also to deliver his firearms into 
the hands of the selectmen. He also held a commission as captain in the 
militia, received from Gov. Hutchinson in 1773. John Field held a com- 
mission as lieutenant in the same company and John Nash one as ensign. 
At a meeting of officers held in Northampton, Nov. 11, 1774, these officers, 
and thirty others, renounced all authority they might have by commission 
from Gov. Hutchinson, but this did not satisfy the patriots in Amherst ; 
they made Mr. Chauncey give them his commission and burned it in public, 
with some display. At a meeting held May 9, it was voted that John 
Nash should destroy his commission and that the arms of Mr. Chauncey 
should be returned to him. May 24, 1775, Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr., was 
elected a delegate to the Congress to be held at Watertown the 31st of 
that month ; and July 10, Moses Dickinson was chosen as representative 
to the General Assembly to be held at Watertown the 19th. The Rev. Dr. 
David Parsons was an ardent tory, and doubtless took little pains to conceal 
his disapproval of the actions of the patriots ; at a meeting held Aug. 10. 
1775, a committee was appointed to go to him and desire him to attend the 
meeting, but there is no record as to the committee's success in their mission. 
June 13, 1776, the District voted that if Congress should declare the 
colonies independent of Great Britain, " the inhabitants of the town of 
Amherst solemnly engage with our lives and fortunes to support them in 
the measure." A noble pledge, as nobly to be fulfilled. 

June 25, 1776, the General Court ordered that 5000 men should be 
raised. Those going from six counties were designed for Canada, from 
four counties for New York, where Gen. Washington had established his 
headquarters. The troops to be raised in Hampshire county were to mart h 
to Canada, and were offered a bounty of £7 each. The number to be 
raised in the count)- was 754, of which Amherst was to furnish 27, Hadley 
13, South Hadley 12, Sunderland 9, and other places in proportion to their 
population. This order was followed on the 1 oth of July, immediately 
after the declaration of independence, by an order for the enlistment 
of every 25th man in the state, to reinforce the northern army. The form 
of enlistment in Hampshire and Berkshire counties was as follows : 


•• We the subscribers do hereby severally inlist ourselves into the Service of 
the United American Colonies, until the first Day of January next, if they Should 
require it: — and each of us do engage to furnish and carry with us into the Ser- 
vice aforesaid, a Good effective Fire Arm & Blanket; (also, a good Bayonet & 
Cartridge Pouch, and a Hatchet, or Tomahawk or Cutting Sword, if possible. 
And we severally consent to be Formed into a Regiment under the Command of 
such Field Officers. Captains and Subalterns as are or may be appointed & com- 
missioned by the American Congress & when so formed, we engage to March 
under said Officers into Canada with the utmost Expidition, and we further agree 
during the Time aforesaid to be subject to such Generals or superior Officers as 
are or shall be appointed, and to be under such Regulations in every respect as 
are provided for the American Army. 

Dated the of A. I). 1776." 

Among the first to respond to this call was Capt. Reuben Dickinson, 
who enlisted a company of 86 men from Amherst and adjoining towns. 
This company was attached to Col. Ruggles YYoodbridge's regiment and 
marched. to Ticonderoga. They served from July i, 1776 to March 1, 
1777 and received pay at the rate of one penny per mile and one clay's 
pay for each 20 miles. Following are the names of the men from Amherst : 

Timothy Henderson. corp*l. David Adams, drummer. Firmin Woods, 

John Billings, Jr., Daniel Lane, David Hawley. 

Hezekiah Cowls. John Hodden. Elihu Dickinson, 

Amasa Allen. Gideon Lee. Noah Hawley. 

Enos Rolf. Noah Gould. John Workman, 

James Barnes. Abner Nash, Simeon Pomeroy. 

Simeon Peck. Jr.. Samuel Gould. Jr., Benjamin Rolf, 

Adam Dike, John Hastings. 

In Zaccheus Crocker's company of Col. \\ right's regiment were the 
following from Amherst: 

Silas Billings. Joel Dickinson, Archelus Leonard. 

April 23, 1777, two battalion of 750 men each were ordered from 
Hampshire county for two months' service around Ticonderoga. The 
following men from Amherst responded to this call, and were enrolled in 
Capt. Oliver's company of Col. Grafton's regiment : 

Reuben Dickinson, Jr., James Barnes, Elijah Baker. 

David Pettis. Joseph Aldrich. Hezekiah Cowls, 

Samuel Gould. Preserved Briggs. 

John St. Clair served in Sumner's company and John Fox in Flower's 

company of Grafton's regiment ; Xoah Gould. Samuel Harper and 

Bigelow in Shays' company in Putnam's regiment, David Hawley in 
Day's company of Alden's regiment, Nath'l Vale in Alvord's company of 
Shephard's regiment and Samuel Buckman in Miller's company of Putnam's 

8 4 


A pay-roll of Capt. Eli Parker's company in Col. Leonard's regiment 
of miiitia, who marched from Hampshire county to Ticonderoga, May 8, 
1777, contains the names of the following men from Belchertown, Granby 
and Amherst, the particular place of residence not being given. Their 
enlistment was for two months : 

Eleazer Warner, istlieut, Samuel Cook. 2d lieut., 
Silas Matthews, serg't, David Town, serg"t, 
Timothy Stockwell, serg't, E. Nash, drummer, 
Amasa Smith, corp'l, Samuel Hastings, corp'l, 

Nathaniel I!utterfield,corp'l, Moses Alvord, 

John Burchit, 
Enos Cook. 
Silvanus Chapin. 
Samuel Deane, 
Enos Goodman. 
Oliver Hastings, 
John Kibbee, 
Amos Lamb. 
Lewis Morgan, 
Daniel Plumley, 
Caleb Smith, 
Stephen Shumway, 
Samuel Taylor, 
Jonathan Warner. 
Sewal Warner, 
Jeremiah Pike, 

John Bush, 
Juda Clark, 
Benjamin Clough, 
Jonas Ellwell. 
Eliph' Gaylord, 
Timothy Hilyard. 
Ebenezer Kentfield, 
Elisha Moody, 
Simeon Peck. 
Daniel Reed, 
Paul Smith, 
Enoch Thayer, 
William Towne, 
Enos Woodbrady, 
David Worthington, 
Aaron Smith. 

Enos Day, ensign, 
Matthew Moody, serg't, 
Reuben Smith, lifer. 
John Cole, corp'l, 
Joshua Burt. 
Jonathan Burnett. 
Israel Cole, 
Adonijah Cole, 
Daniel Gould. 
Joseph Goodale, 
Elijah Hannum, 
Silas Lee, 
William Montague, 
James Persifield, 
Daniel Smith, 
Elisha Steele, 
Amasa Shumway. 
William Towne, 2d. 
William Waite. 
Joshua Whitney, 
Nathan'l Abbott. 

In Capt. Aaron Haynes' company in the Canadian campaign were 
Selah Dickinson, who served from April 1 to December, 1776, and Ebene- 
zer Kellogg, who enlisted May 1, and died Nov. 22, of the same year. 

In a list of those who served at least six months previous to March, 
1777, at Dorchester, in ("apt. Oliver Lyman's company, were the following 
from Amherst : 

1 [enry Lee, serg't. 
Isaac Gould, 
Nathaniel Edwards, 

Jonathan Warner, 
Azariah I Hckinson, 
Simeon Dickinson. 

John Fox, 
Levi Dickinson, 

In a list of those who served two months from May 7 to July 8, 1777, 
under Capt. John Thompson, called out to reinforce the Northern army, 
are found the following Amherst names : 

Noah Dickinson, lieut., 
Levi Smith, fifer, > 

Simeon Dickinson, 
Elijah Dickinson, 
Thomas Morton, 

Luke Coffin, serg't, 
David Blodgett, 
Levi Dickinson, 
Timothy Dickinson. 
Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. 

Ebenezer Eastman, corp'l, 
Benjamin Buckman, 
Zimri Dickinson, 
John Ingram, 

[n Capt. Jeremiah Ballard's company with the northern army from 


May 10 to July 20, 1777, were Lieut. Jonathan Dickinson, David Lord 
and Aaron Smith. 

In July. 1777. Capt. Reuben Dickinson marched with his company to 
Mosses' creek to reinforce the army and was attached to Col. Elisha Porter's 
regiment. The company served 3S days and included the following men 
from Amherst : 

Joel Moody, serg't, Daniel Benjamin. Azariah Dickinson, 

Medad Dickinson. Medad Moody. Thomas Williams. 

Giles Church. John Dickinson. Enos Cook, 

Amos Ayres Nathaniel Dickinson. Timothy Green. 

Samuel Ingram. Henry Chandler. Joseph Pettis. 

Reuben Smith. 

Amherst was represented in the expedition that marched for the 
defense of Pennington. Aug. 17. 1777. by the following men, under com- 
mand of Capt. Oliver Smith : 

Jonathan Ingram. John Kibbee, Moses Kellogg. 

Elihu Dickinson, Ebenezer Pomeroy. 

They supplied their own provisions, carried their own baggage, and 
were out seven days. 

Aug. 9, 1 7 77. there was a call for further reinforcements for the Northern 
army, and Capt. Moses Hawley and Capt. Samuel Cook went to the front 
and were attached to Col. Woodbridge's regiment in the army of Gen. 
Gates. In Capt.Hawley's company were Lieut. Jonathan Dickinson, Lieut. 
Elisha Baker and Serg't Lemuel Clark of Amherst ; in Capt. Cook's com- 
pany were the following Amherst men : 

Ebenezer Mattoon, lieut., Luke Coffin. serg"t. Adam Rice,, serg't. 

Levi Smith, lifer. David Blodgett. Zimri Dickinson. 

Timothy Dickinson. Simeon Dickinson. Isaac Marshall. 

Abner Nash, Jacob Warner. Philip Ingram. 

Capt. Hawley's company was out from Aug. 14 to Nov. 29; Capt. 
Cook's company from Aug. 17 to Dec. 7 : the latter was in the battle of 
'• Bemis Heights", Oct. 7. These companies, as well as that under com- 
mand of Capt. Reuben Dickinson, took part in the battles of Sept. 19 and 
Oct. 7. and were present at the surrender of Burgoyne, Oct. 17. 

Aug. x8, 1777, there was an alarm at New Providence, and of the 
companv under Lieut. Noah Dickinson's command that responded, being 
out four clays, were the following, mostly from Amherst : 
Isaac Hubbard, serg't, Joseph Dickinson, serg't, Henry Franklin, serg't, 
Josiah Warner, serg't, Ebenezer Mattoon. Aaron Alvord. 

John Ingram. Abner Adams. . Amariah Dana. 

William May. Martin Kellogg, Justus Williams, 

Ebenezer Dickinson. Daniel Church. Jeremiah Cody. 

Zachariah Hawlev. John Eastman. Elisha Dickinson, 

Levi Dickinson. 


There was an alarm at Stillwater, Sept. 23, and Capt. Reuben Dick- 
inson responded with his company in which were the following Amherst 
men : 

Noah Dickinson, lieut., Henry Franklin, serg't, Josiah Warner, serg't, 

Thomas Marshall, corp'l, Benjamin Buckman, corp'l, Stephen Smith, 

John Ingram, Elihu Dickinson, David Blodgett, 

David Cowls, Nathan Dickinson, Elihu Hubbard, 

William May. Simeon Cowls, Hezekiah Belding, 

Ebenezer Dickinson, Lemuel Moody, Timothy Green. 

Ebenezer Eastman, Henry Chandler, Seth Dickinson, 
Elijah Dickinson. 

In January, 1777, a call was issued for men to serve three years; 
among those who enlisted were the following from Amherst : 

Willis Coy, Reuben Dickinson, Samuel Gould, 

David Pettis, Joseph Young, Samuel Brown. 

Noadiah Lewis enlisted to serve during the war. 

In the foregoing list of names, some that are credited to Amherst 
cannot be found on any list of inhabitants at that time. The muster- 
rolls and pay-rolls from which they were copied are far from accurate and 
complete in giving the towns to which the soldiers belonged, but it is thought 
best to give all the names that appear on these rolls as coming from 
Amherst, lest by omitting those that are unfamiliar an injustice should be 
done. If there is repetition of names, it must be borne in mind that the 
same men served in different commands, and that, especially as regards 
the Dickinsons, there were many individuals of the same name. 


The Committee of Safety. — Tories Imprisoned. — Simeon Strong's 
Blanket. — The Battle of Saratoga. — Hiring and Drafting 

While the soldiers that Amherst sent out were engaged in active ser- 
vice against the enemy, the patriots who remained at home were as busily 
engaged in suppressing toryism which flourished in Amherst to a notable 
degree. Jan. 21, 1777, the District appointed .1 committee to notify the 
Rev. David Parsons that his conduct was " not friendly with regard to the 


Common Cause.'* Mr. Parsons' reply is not on record. July 7 of the 
same year the selectmen brought in a list of four persons who were 
•• supposed to be Inimical to the Interest of the United States." It is 
interesting to note that at a meeting held Aug. 12. each of these names was 
ordered to be stricken from the list. The action of the town in striking 
these names from the list was not in accordance with the sentiments of the 
local committee of safety, which at the time was impowered with, or arro- 
gated to itself, police powers of extraordinary latitude. Committees from 
other towns were called in consultation, the accused were summoned before 
them, with the following result as shown in a memorandum, not dated, 
contained in the state archives : 

•• At a meeting from the several Towns (viz.) Sunderland, Shutesbury and 
Leverett, by request of the Committee of Safety together with the Militia Officers 
of the Town of Amherst, to advise with and take into Consideration the Dangerous 
Situation of that town together with the State of America from a number of per- 
sons, in the aforesaid Town who are suspected to be Enemies to the American 
States after examining and questioning the following Persons before this Body 
namely Ebenezer Boltwood, John Field. John Nash, Simeon Strong, Esq., John 
Field Jun. Samuel Boltwood. Moses Cooke, Ephraim Kellogg, John Boltwood. It 
is our Opinion that all the above mentioned persons are all unfriendly to their 
country & ought to be esteemed as such — It is therefore the Steadfast Resolve of 
this Body that the above named persons together with Dea n Edwards, Daniel 
Kellogg. Joseph Church and Esq r Chauncey be confined Namely Eben r Boltwood 
John Field John Nash Simeon Strong Esq r John Field Jun Sam 1 Boltwood Moses 
Cooke John Boltwood Esq Chauncey be confined all together at the house M r John 
Field now Dwells in with a Sufficient Guard to attend them on their own cost may 
have license if they please to attend publick worship under s' 1 Guard also Dea n 
Edward Daniel Kellogg Joseph Church and Ephraim Kellogg be confined to their 
farms with this penalty that if they break over said limits that they be closely con- 
fined upon their own cost these have also liberty to attend publick worship & funerals 
within the limits of their own town and retire immediately home — It is also resolved 
that all and every of the above named Persons make an immediate Surrender of their 
fire Arms powder Ball Sword. Bayonet Cutlass and every warlike implement that 
may be of quick & Dangerous use into the hands of this body or their committee 
chosen for that purpose to be kept & justly appraised with the owners name and an 
exact account of every utensel Delivered to said Committee to be kept till further 
orders: we are also of opinion that not any of the above named Persons or any 
belonging to their families be allowed to keep a house of entertainment If they Do 
they will incur the Despleasure of this Body." 

The committee of safety having taken this action, application was 
made by them to the General Court to learn what should be done with these 
prisoners, for such, in a restricted sense, they were. The following minute 
shows how this application was received at Boston : 

•• The Committee to whom was referred the inimical of John Billing in behalf 
of the Committee of Amherst, and also the Petition of sundry Inhabitants of said 
Town, have considered the same and are of opinion that the Laws of the State 
have made ample provsion for the punishing of offenders. 


That the Persons apprehended & under Guard ought forthwith to be carried 
before the next Justice of the Peace for the County of Hampshire. And the Charges 
against them be exhibited in writing. That such Justice may, if the matter alledged 
shall appear to him a Violation of the Law of the State order them to Recognize 
in reasonable Sums with Surety, to appear before the next Superior Court of Judi- 
cature &c for Said County to answer thereto, and in the mean Time to keep the 
Peace and be of good behavior or Commit them to Goal if the Nature of the 
crime shall appear to him to require it — and in case the charges exhibited against 
them shall not appear sufficient to induce the Justice to commit them to Prison for 
Trial, or to oblige them to find sureties to answer the cause before the Sup Court 
The said Persons now under Guard be released from their confinement. 

D. Sewell. 
Sep 10 th 1777 Read & approved Jn° Avery Dep Sec'y." 

The petition of the imprisoned men, alluded to above, was addressed 
to the Council and read as follows : 

"To the Hon ble Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay Humbly shows the 
Subscribers Inhabitants of the Town of Amherst, in the County of Hampshire 
and now Prisoners in close confinement in Said Amherst by order of a Body of 
People from several Towns lately assembled there, that on the twenty six Day of 
June last past a legal Meeting of the Inhabitants of said Town was holden there 
persuant to the late act of the General Court of this State in order to examine and 
determine whether any of the Inhabitants were inimical to the Cause of America 
So as to be dangerous to the Safety of the States, which Meeting being thence 
continued by several adjournments to the 12th day of August current it was voted 
by a full and clear Majority of said Inhabitants that the Names of all such Persons 
as had been Exhibited on the List by the Selectmen as Suspected Persons (being 
only four in Number) should be struck off from the List, and there having been no 
other Names voted by the Town to be added to said List, the Meeting was dis- 
solved. Afterwards to wit on the 25 th Day of August Current we were required in 
the Name of a body of People assembled at the Meeting House in said Town to 
appear there, and having accordingly appeared we were soon ordered under Guard, 
and after sometime of confinement brought separately before the same People and 
demanded of in the Name of the Body by one who officiated as Chairman to make 
direct answer to this Question (viz) Are you desirous to be independent of the ( rown 
of Great Britain according to the Declaration of the Congress passed in the 
War 1776? to which some of us answered expressly in the Negative, others 
answered that having been Present at the Meeting that was called by order 
of the General Court for collecting the sentiments of the People, they did 
not vote for Independence because they were not of opinion it would be for 
the Interest of the Country. Another question was then commonly put (viz.) 
have you ever altered your opinion Since? Which was answered in the 
negative — whereupon Each one was remanded into Confinement, untill the Number 
of the Examined and confined amounted to thirteen, who being ordered back to 
th ■ Same Body of People a certain Paper was ordered by the Chairman to be read 
to US by the Clerks as the Resolves of the whole Body; a true copy of which (as 
lieve) and of the Question put to us we shall herewith exhibit, in the Hand 
writing of him who officiated as Clerk tho we are not able to procure an attestation 
of it as by the Authority of which, and according to the Tenor of it we are now 
imprisoned and although no mention is therein made what Shall be the Duration 


of our Confinement, yet we were told before the same Body of People that it was 
their Intent that we should be thus confined untill Application Should be made to 
the General Court to know how we should be disposed of: and we are informed 
that it was by them left with the Com tee of Amherst to make such Application. 
But whereas we think it probable that the Cognisance of such a matter will belong 
to the Hon Ue Council rather than to the General Court, we beg y r Honors Candid 
Attention to the Matters herein set forth, and that this our Representation may be 
admitted and attended to by the Hon ble General Court or Council according as one 
or the other Shall receive the Application from the Com"' 1 ' — and accordingly we 
hereby inform your Honors that we know of no .Matter proved or alledged against 
us as the Cause of our Confinement but what is above Expressed : that we were 
not called upon by the People assembled to answer to any Matter of Charge nor 
accused of having done or attempted anything against the Interest of the States ; 
and whenever any of us alleged that whatever were our private Sentiments respect- 
ing the War. we had done our full Proportion in the Expence of the War, no one 
appeared to contradict or deny it. Having made this our humble Representation 
to your Honors, we beg your kind Attention to our Situation and Circumstances, 
and that your Honors in y r Wisdom & Justice would be pleased to grant us all that 
Relief and Liberty which our past Conduct which we trust has been innocent & 
inoffencive affords us Grounds to hope for & Expect and as in Duty bound shall 

Amherst. Aug 1 29 th 1777 

Josiah Chauncy, Simeon Strong. John Field. 

Ebenezer Boltwood, Moses Cook. Samuel Boltwood, 

John Field, Jun'r John Boltwood. John Xash. 

The troops in the field were sadly in need of supplies and frequent 
calls were made upon the towns for provisions and clothing. In January, 
1776, Hampshire county was called upon to furnish 300 blankets, of which 
Amherst was to supply eight. The selectmen, finding it difficult to secure 
the blankets and fire-arms necessary to equip their soldiers. " impressed " 
a blanket from Simeon Strong. Esq. a leading Tory. "Squire Strong brought 
suit against David Blodgett, the town constable, and the case was carried 
before the General Court, which, after protracted discussion, rendered the 
following judgment : 

"On th3 Petition of Moses Dickinson and others. Selectmenof the Town of 
Amherst, respecting an Action brought against David Blodgett. Constable of that 
Town, by Simion Strong, Esq., for forcibly taking from him the said Strong a 
Blanket : 

Resolved, that the Selectmen pay the said Strong for his Blanket at the 
apprized Value thereof and that the Action commenced by the said Strong against 
the said Blodget be stayed: and that the Parties suffer the Costs which have 
arisen to them respectively. "" 

In August of the same year the Commissary General was ordered to 
deliver to Air. Simeon Smith 125 pounds weight of gunpowder for the town 
of Amherst. In 1777, Amherst received £2 1. o. 9. in payment for mileage 
and canteens. Feb. 5, 1776, a convention of the -> Committees of Safety*' 


in the several towns in Hampshire county was held at Northampton ; at 
this gathering Amherst was represented. The convention considered the 
suffering condition of the Northern army and advised the committee of 
supplies to forward at once such supplies as were necessary for the comfort 
of the army, "not doubting that the General Court will approve thereof." 
The campaign against Burgoyne by the Northern army was ably con- 
ceived and skilfully executed. The surrender of Eurgoyne's army was 
the first great victory for the Continental cause, the better appreciated 
because won against great odds and at a time when the fortunes of the 
revolutionists were at a low ebb. The army under Gen. Gates was largely 
composed of Massachusetts men, among whom none did better service 
than the troops from Hampshire county and from Amherst. They were 
represented at every important battle and skirmish in the campaign and were 
present at the final surrender. Of the Amherst men who were engaged in 
the conflict, none bore a more honorable part or in after life achieved 
greater distinction than Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. He served first as lieu- 
tenant in the company of Capt. Samuel Cook and afterwards was lieutenant 
in Capt. Furrival's company of artillery. During the campaign, while at 
his home in Amherst, he was ordered by Gen. Gates to proceed to Spring- 
field and convey a number of cannon from that place to the field of oper- 
ations in New York. He rode from Amherst to Springfield on Sunday and 
with a small body of men accomplished the task; as he afterwards took 
pleasure in saying, "those cannon told at Saratoga." Lieut. Mattoon took 
an active part in the battle of Saratoga, and the Hartford (Conn.) Courant 
under date of Jan. n, 1836, published a most interesting report of the 
battle written by him, in a letter addressed to Philip Schuyler, Esq. From 
this letter a few brief paragraphs are quoted : 

•• ( ien. Gates, indeed, obtained the honor of capturing Burgoyne and his army : 
but let me tell you, sir, that it was more through the wise and prudent counsels of 
your brave and distinguished ancestor, and die energy and intrepidity of Generals 
Lincoln and Arnold, than through the ability and foresight of Gates." 

"The action of the 19th of September (Bemis Heights) commenced about ten 
o'clock a. M. and continued during the day, each army alternately advancing and 

•' On the 7th of October the American army was posted, their right wing rest- 
ing on the North River and their left extending on to Bemis' heights. Generals 
Nixon and Glover commanding on the right, Lincoln the centre, and Morgan and 
Lamed the left. The British army, with their left resting on the river, commanded 
by Phillips: their center by Gen. Redheisel ; and the extreme right extending to 
the heights, was commanded by Lord Balcarras, where he was strongly fortified. 
Their light troops were under the command of Gen. Frazier and Ld. Auckland." 

■■In a few minutes, Capt. Furrival's company of artillery, in which I was 
lieutenant, was ordered to march towards the fire, which had now opened upon our 
piquet in front, the piquet consisting of about 300 men. While we were marching, 


the whole line, from the river up to our piquet or front, was engaged. We advanced 
to a height of ground which brought the enemy in view, when we opened our fire. 
But the enemy's guns, eight in number, and much heavier than ours, rendered our 
position untenable." 

"We then advanced into the line of infantry. Here Lieut. M'Lane joined me. 
In our front there was a field of corn, in which the Hessians were secreted. On 
our advancing towards the corn field, a number of men rose up and fired upon us. 
M'Lane was severely wounded. While I was removing him from the field, the 
firing still continued without abatement." 

■• During this time a tremendous firing was heard on our left. We poured in 
upon them our canister shot, as fast as possible, and the whole line, from left to 
right, became warmly engaged. The smoke was very dense, and no movements 
could be seen: but as it soon arose, our infantry appeared to be slowly retreating, 
and the Hessians slowly advancing, their officers urging them on with their 

" The troops continuing warmly engaged. Col. Johnson's regiment coming up, 
threw in a heavy fire, and compelled the Hessians to retreat. Upon this we 
advanced with a shout of victory. At t'.ie same time Auckland's corps gave way.' 

" The firing had now principally ceased on our left, but was brisk in front and 
on the right. At this moment. Arnold says to Col. Brooks, (late Governor of 
Massachusetts.) ' Let us attack Balcarras' works.' brooks replied -No. Lord 
Auckland's detachment has retired there: we can't carry them.' ' Well. then, let us 
attack the Hessian lines.' Brooks replies, ' With all my heart.' We all wheeled to 
the right, and advanced. Xo fire was received, except from the cannon, until we 
got within eight rods, when we received a tremendous fire from the whole line. 
But few of our men. however, fell. Still advancing, we received a second fire, in 
which a few men fell, and Gen. Arnold's horse fell under him. and he himself was 
wounded. He cried out, ' Rush on. my brave boys.' After receiving the third fire, 
Brooks mounted their works, swung his sword, and the men rushed into their works. 
When we entered the works, we found Col. Bremen dead, surrounded with a num- 
ber of his companions, dead or wounded. We still pursued slowly : the fire, in the 
mean time, decreased. Xight-fall now put an end to this day's bloody contest. 
During the day we had taken eight cannon and broken the center of the enemy's 

Gen. Mattoon concludes his description of the battle with the follow- 
ing account of the surrender of Burgoyne. as witnessed by himself : 

-Just below the island we passed the river and came to Gen. Gates' markee, 
situated on a level piece of ground, from 130 to 150 rods south of Schuyler's creek.. 
A little south and west of this, there is a rising ground, on which our army was 
posted, in order to appear to the best advantage. A part of it was also advanta- 
geously drawn up on the east side of the river. About noon on the 17th, Gen. Bur- 
goyne. with a number of his officers rode up near to the markee in front of which Gen. 
Gates was sitting, attended with many of his officers. The sides of the markee were 
rolled up. so that all that was transacted might be seen. Gen. Burgoyne dismounted 
and approached Gen. Gates, who rose and stepped forward to meet him. General 
Burgoyne then delivered up his sword to Gen. Gates, who received it in his left hand, 
at the same time extending his right hand to take the right hand of Gen. Burgoyne.' 

•• After a few minutes' conversation. Gen. Gates returned the sword to Gen. 
Burgovne, who received it in the most graceful and gentlemanly manner. The rest 


of Burgoyne's officers then delivered up their swords, and had them restored to 
them likewise. They then all repaired to the table and were seated ; and while 
dining, the prisoners were passing by." 

The surrender of Burgoyne was followed by the release from service 
• of large bodies of Massachusetts troops, who had been called out to 
reinforce the Northern army and whose term of enlistment lasted for only 
a few months. But with the cessation of hostilities along the northern 
frontier came attacks in other quarters, demanding new levies to fill the 
Continental armies. In the closing months of the year 1777 Gen. Wash- 
ington and his army were in camp near Philadelphia; the battles of Bran- 
dywine and Germantown had been fought and the British had taken pos- 
session of Philadelphia. But early in 1 7 78 the United States had concluded 
a treaty with France, and a French fleet was making ready to take an active 
part in the contest. The British troops evacuated Philadelphia in June, 
retreating to New York. In July the French fleet came to anchor off New 
York harbor. It was decided to make a combined attack by land and sea 
upon Newport, R. I., then held by a British army of 6000 men under Gen. 
Pigot. Gen. Sullivan, in command of the American army in the east, had 
been directed by Gen. Washington to call upon Massachusetts, Connecticut 
and Rhode Island for 5000 militia, a call which was promptly answered. 
April 20, 1778, the Massachusetts General Court ordered that 2000 men 
should be raised to fill up the fifteen battalions which the state was 
required to furnish ; of these, 242 were to come from Hampshire 
county. The fine for refusing to go was ^20. The term of service was 
nine months, and each man was to have sixpence a mile for travel. On 
the same day an order was passed for raising 1300 men for North River 
and 200 for Rhode Island, of which Hampshire county was required to 
furnish 182. During the same year another order was passed to raise 
1800 men for Rhode Island, of whom 199 were to come from Hampshire. 
June 23 an order was passed to raise 1000 men to guard the prisoners sur- 
rendered by Burgoyne. Of the men who enlisted for one year and did 
service in the state of Rhode Island, were Lieut. Ebenezer Mattoon, Elijah 
■ Dickinson and Philip Ingram of Amherst. 

Jan. 22, 177S, a muster-roll of Capt. Reuben Dickinson's company, 
belonging to Col. Porter's regiment, bore the names of the following 
Amherst men : 

David Peters, Hezekiah Cowls, Joseph Aldrich, 

Elijah Baker, John Fox, David Hawley, 

James Barnes, Samuel Buckman, Noah Gould, 

Nathaniel Yale, Enos Rolfe, Samuel Harper, 

John Sanglere, John Woodbury. Noah Bigelow. 

These men were enlisted for three years, except Woodbury, who 



enlisted for eight months. A list of men drafted for nine months service 
from their arrival in Fishkill in 17 78, contains the following names of 
Amherst men who were in Col. Porter's regiment : 

David Leonard. Timothy Dickinson, Zimri Dickinson, 

Benjamin Buckman, Simeon Peck, David Gould. 

May 15, 177S. Amherst hired nine men for three years' service in the 
Continental army; the only Amherst man among them was Ebenezer' 
Boltwood. The following Amherst men served in Capt. Samuel Fairfield's 
company of Col. Nathan Sparhawk's regiment at Dorchester, during the 
latter part of 1778: Timothy Green, Henry Chandler, Joseph Kimball, 
Elias Smith. March 11, 1778, Amherst voted that persons not own- 
ing independence of the crown of Great Britain should not be allowed 
to vote. Nov. 5 of the same year a vote was passed in favor of a 
new constitution ; this vote was repeated at a meeting held May 17, 1779. 
July 12, 1779, Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. was chosen a delegate to the state 
convention at Concord. Oct. 21, 1779, the sum of ,£434. 10 was granted 1 
to replace money taken out of the treasury to pay bounties and mileage to 

June 8, 1779, the General Court passed an order to raise 800 men for 
service in Rhode Island and 2000 men to fill up the Continental battalions. 
Of the troops for Rhode Island, Hampshire county was to furnish 102. 
A pay-roll of Capt. YVoodbridge's company, in Rhode Island service, that 
continued to Jan. 1, 17S0, contains the names of the following, credited to 
Amherst : 
Simeon Dickinson. Elisha Dickinson. Oliver Briggs. 

Thev were to have ^16 per month in addition to the continental pay 
Of the 2000 men for general service Hampshire was to raise 228. The 
time service was to be nine months, and the fine for refusing to go 
when drafted .£45. Oct. 9 there was another order passed to raise 2000 
men, of which number Hampshire was to furnish 450. The fine for refus- 
ing to serve was £50. Each soldier was to receive £16 per month in addi- 
tion to his Continental pay. a bonus of £30 from the town he repre- 
sented, and to draw two shillings mileage. 

The nine months' men who were drafted under the act of June 8 were 
attached to Col. Porter's regiment; Amherst is credited with the following . 

Jonathan Allen. Joseph Kimball, Joseph Young, 

William Ewing, Daniel Darby. William Darby. 

The following names are of men raised in Amherst for service in 
Rhode Island, under the same act. who served in Capt. Joshua Woodbridge's, 
company of Col. Nathan Tyler's regiment : 


Timothy Ingram. David Blackman, Samuel Dickinson, 

Elihu Dickinson, Jonathan Belding, Lewis Coleman. 

Joseph Goodale, Oliver Briggs, Thaddeus Gilbert, 

Asaph Lane, Zimri Dickinson. 

Early in July, 1779, British troops numbering some 2600 engaged in 
a marauding expedition up Long Island sound, burning the towns of Fair- 
field and Norwalk and plundering New Haven. An attack was planned on 
New London, but the British forces were recalled to New York. In the 
American garrison at New London, in Capt. Elijah Dwight's company, 
from July 20 to Aug. 25, were the following men from Amherst: 

Luke Coffin, lieut., Enos Nash, Silas Lee, 

John Boltwood, Joseph Church. Nathan Smith, 

Reuben Ingram. Nathan Perkins. Enos Kellogg, 

Zimri Dickinson, Elihu Warner, Silas Wright, 

Carmi Wright Thomas Adams, Eldad Moody. 

Daniel Gould. David Lord. 

The name of Silas Johnson does not appear in this list, but from 
other sources it is learned that he served at New London, and afterwards 
at West Point and in Washington's army in its retreat " across the Jerseys." 

The year 1780 brought with it new demands for troops and supplies 
upon the residents of Hampshire county. As the war dragged on from 
year to year, their resources were steadily diminished and it grew harder 
and harder to furnish the quotas of men that the needs of the American 
armies demanded. But there was no regret for action ahead}- taken. 
no thought of purchasing peace at the price of liberty. Great induce- 
ments were offered to men to enlist in the military service ; these fail- 
ing, drafts were resorted to. There had been a steady and alarming 
depreciation in the value of the Continental currency, and Oct. 16, 17S0, 
Amherst voted £10,000 to pay for beef for the army. Dec. 18 of the 
same year, a committee was appointed to enquire and report to the town 
how soldiers might best be procured to serve in the Continental army, for 
three years or during the war. This committee reported at an adjourned 
meeting held Dec. 28, and Amherst voted to offer bounties in money and 
clothing in addition to Continental pay to such as would enlist. At the 
same meeting £460, " new currency " was appropriated for beef and grain 
to supply the army. During the year there were in the Continental service 
near West Point the following men from Amherst : 

Simeon Morton. .Aaron Bartlett, Lemuel Root, 

Edward Gould, Zimri Dickinson. Noah Hawley, 

Hezekiah Moore, Gideon Moore, William Moore. 

Nathan Perkins. Joseph Bobbins. Solomon Dickinson, 

Joseph Kimball. 


During the summer of 17S0 a large force of men assembled as Spring- 
field, who were enlisted for the term of six months and also marched from 
that place to reinforce the Continental army. They were enrolled in divis- 
ions ; in Capt. Dix's company of the seventh division were the following- 
men, credited to Amherst: 

Hezekiah Moore, Gideon Moore, William Moore. 

Lemuel Conant, Noah Hawley, Lemuel Root, 

Solomon Dickinson, Simeon Morton, Zimri Dickinson. 

David Lord. 

In Ebenezer Kent's company of the eighth division were : 
Joseph Kimball, Joseph Robbins, Edmund Gould. 

In the thirteenth division were : 

Aaron Bartlett. Nathan Perkins, Jr. 

In a list of men who were enlisted by Col. Porter for three months, 
in accordance with an order of the General Court pissed June 22. 1780. 
are the names of the following from Amherst : 

Reuben Warner. Levi Smith, William Ri( . 

Azariah Dickinson. Nathaniel Peck. Elisha Warner, 

Jonathan Kellogg, Daniel Prince. 

In a list of men drafted to march to Horse Neck under Col. Samuel 
Howe in 1780, are the names of the following men who are credited to 

Robert Anions. Benjamin Leach. Levi Nash, 

John Boltwood. Solomon Boltwood, Zachariah Field. 

April 2, 1781, Amherst voted that persons who had paid any money 
for hiring soldiers the preceding year should be allowed the same. July 
30 of the same year, a committee was appointed to hire the men that were 
required of the town for three months' service in the army. The men 
hired by this committee served in Capt. Oliver Coney's company of Col. 
Sears' regiment, from Aug. 12 to Nov. 15 ; their names were as follows : 

Solomon Dickinson, cop'l, John Fox. drummer, Simeon Morton. 

Levi Dickinson, Joseph Kimball. Noah Hawley, 

Eli Parker. Edward Gould. John Belding. 

Elijah Ingraham. 

During the year the following were hired to serve in the army for three 
years : 

Hezekiah Moore. Daniel Squier, Silas Billings. 

Josiah B. Gould. Samuel Prince. Daniel Abbott, 

Jepthah Putnam, Roger Crary. Thomas Squier, 

William Moore. 


Obed Hunt and William Moore enlisted for six months. The men of 
the town eligible for military service were divided into classes; each class 
was required to furnish a man and see that he received his bounty. Under 
the order of the General Court passed in December, 1780, Amherst enlisted 
eight men, five at £60, two at £70 and one at £§0. Daniel Ellis enlisted 
May 15, 1 78 1, for three years and received .£60 : Samuel Prince enlisted 
Aug. 1, 1 78 1, for the same term and received the same bounty. The fol- 
lowing memoranda are copied from the state archives : 

•• Mustered and Received of Cap' Ebenezer Mattoon chairman of Class No. 1 
for the Town of Amherst a certain Isaac Heart a Recruit Inlisted for the Term of 
Three Years." 

•• These May Certifie that the Class whereof I was one for Procuring a man in 
the Continental Service for the term of three years hired Jepha Putnam and gave 
him for a hire the sum of Sixty pounds paid in Silver money. 

Sign' 1 Jos Williams, Head of the Class. 

Amherst, June 15 th 1781. 

To the Selectmen of Amherst."' 

The state and town taxes levied to provide funds to carry on the war 
were heavy and oppressive. In 1779 and 1780, Massachusetts assessed on 
its inhabitants five taxes, payable in bills, amounting nominally to 17^- 
millions of pounds. Of this sum ill millions of pounds, or $37,000,000, 
were assessed in two taxes in 1780 to call in continental bills. When these 
bills were paid in, they were worth about one cent on a dollar in silver. 
In April, 178 1, one dollar in silver was equal to $200 in bills. In those 
clays the soldiers frequently paid $50 for one meal or for a mug of flip. 
In 1780, two state taxes were laid upon Amherst, ,£"16,283 an< ^ £ l ^i^ >1 2>-> the 
two amounting to $109,653, payable in continental bills. The polls were 
assessed ^20 in each of the two rates. In the same year a tax was laid 
on Amherst of ^768, " hard money." A new state constitution was 
adopted by Massachusetts in January, 17S0; under this constitution 
Amherst elected, in October of the same year, Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr. as 
its representative ; he was re-elected in 17S1 and 1783. In 1784 and 1785, 
Capt. Eli Parker served as representative; in 17S7 and 178S, Daniel 

All through the war, and even after its close, the residents of Amherst 
who were loyal to the continental cause were troubled by the toryism of 
their neighbors. The discipline inflicted in the early stages of the struggle 
upon Josiah Chauncey, Simeon Strong, and John Nash, and the significant 
votes concerning the attitude assumed by the Rev. David Parsons were 
not without a salutary effect. Isaac Chauncey, son of Josiah. was among 
those whose loyalty to the king and enmity to the revolution were not kept 
within proper bounds ; in 1 776, the committee of safety ordered that he 
should remain within the bounds of his father's farm "except on Sundays 


and to Funerals," and later on caused him to be confined in the jail at 
Northampton, as "an enemy to America." He petitioned the General 
Court for release, claiming that he was out of town and did not know that 
the notification had been served, that he had not a fair trial and should be 
released on bail pending a new trial ; but he was given " leave to withdraw " 
the petition. Later on he was "confined to certain limits," but, on Aug. 26, 
1776, was advertised by the committee as having "clandestinely departed 
('tis supposed) to some part of Connecticut on no good design ; this is there- 
fore to desire the good people of that State or of other States, where he 
may be found, to secure him in such manner that he may not have it in 
his power to injure America." Lieut. Robert Boltwood was advertised 
after the same fashion. The warrant committing Mr. Chauncey to jail 
was found among the papers of Capt. Aaron Wright, at that time the 
jailer of Hampshire county, after his death ; it reads as follows : 

"To Capt. Aaron Wright, keeper of the jail in Northampton, in the County of 
Hampshire and Colony of Massachusetts Bay: — 

Sir: As Isaac Chauncey of Amherst in the county and colony aforesaid, hath 
been convicted before the committee of correspondence of Amherst, aforesaid, 
of being an enemy to, and acting in opposition to the just rights and privileges of 
America, you are hereby desired to take into custody and closely imprison him 
the said Isaac Chauncy, till he shall be dismissed by lawful authority. 

John Billings, Chairman of Com. 
Amherst. April 12. 1776. 

According to the within direction, I have committed Isaac Chauncey to Capt. 
Wright, Jail-keeper in Northampton. The cost is 16s. 

Martin Smith, Constable. 
April 13. 1776." 

The "within direction " alluded to by the constable, was addressed to 
Capt. Wright, and read as follows : 

" To Capt. Aaron Wright : 

Sir: You are hereby informed that it is expected that you hold Mr. Isaac 
Chauncy in custody upon his own cost, until the judgment of cost be satisfied and 
you own charges secured. The cost is £1. 17s., 6d. Likewise thefeeof the officers 
entered on the mittimus. 
Amherst, May 10. 1776. Johx Billings, Chairman." 

In September of the same year, the Amherst committee sent another 
person to Northampton jail, who had been convicted before them " of 
being notoriously inimical to the cause of American liberty." 

Rev. Abraham Hill, the pastor at Shutesbury, was a violent tory and, 
at the same time, a great friend of Rev. David Parsons ; it is probable that 
the two " exchanged pulpits " and that Mr. Hill mixed up politics with 
theology, for in January, 1780, Amherst voted that he should not be allowed 
to preach in the town again. The political controversies waged between 


neighbors on week-days were not allowed wholly to subside even on Sun- 
day, for it is stated that in the intervals between the morning and afternoon 
services the whigs and tories waged such a war of words that they quite 
broke up the afternoon meeting. 


Prominent Patriots. — Ebenezer Mattoon. — Leading Opponents of 
the Revolution. — Josiah Chauncey. — John Field. — The 
Bolt woods. 

Among the men of Amherst who were ardent patriots and whom the 
events of the Revolutionary war brought prominently to the front were 
three, Reuben Dickinson, Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr. and Ebenezer Mattoon, 
Jr., who deserve more than a word of mention. 

Reuben Dickinson was son of Ebenezer Dickinson, one of the earliest 
settlers in Amherst. In the expedition against Crown Point in 1755, 
during the French and Indian war, he served as sergeant in the company 
commanded by Capt. Porter. When the convention held at Northampton 
in 1774 advised the people to perfect themselves in military discipline, he 
organized a company of militia or "minute-men " and led them to Cam- 
bridge at the time of the Lexington alarm. The company served eleven 
days and was disbanded ; May 1, 1775, Capt. Dickinson organized a com- 
pany which served for three months and eight days. A part of this 
company was present at the battle of Bunker Hill, but not in the intrench- 
ments. Zaccheus Crocker of Shutesbury was lieutenant of the company, 
and Daniel Shays of Pelham ensign. John Dickinson, a member of the 
company and then in his 18th year, told Judd the historian in 1847, that 
one-half the company was ordered out in the morning but did not go. He 
thought the men were not short of powder but were driven off by bayonets. 
When the call was issued by the General ('(nut, June 25, 1776, for troops 
to reinforce the Northern army, Capt. Dickinson enlisted a company of 68 
men from Amherst and surrounding towns, which took part in the expedi- 
tion against Ticonderoga, being out from July 16, 1776 to March 1, 1777. 
In July, 1777, Capt. Dickinson with his company was stationed at Mosses 
Creek, and on their return from that place were at once ordered out on an 
alarm to Stillwater. The company took part in the battles of Bemis Heights 


and Saratoga, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne. After the 
close of the war Capt. Dickinson removed to Thetford, Vt, but died in 
Amherst, Nov. 12. 1803, at the home of his sister, Mrs. Jerusha Blodgett, 
while there on a visit. He was married and had nine children, five boys 
and four girls. 

Nathaniel Dickinson, Jr. was the son of Nathaniel who removed from 
Shutesbury to Amherst after i 745. Nathaniel, Jr. was graduated from Har- 
vard College in the class of 1 7 7 1 . having as a classmate David Parsons, son 
of the Rev. David. They were the first natives of Amherst who went 
to college. After his graduation he was indentured to Major Hawley of 
Northampton for three years, to study law. and the term of his service had 
just expired when the warning notes of the Revolution were sounded. 
When only 24 years of age he was elected a delegate from Amherst to the 
first Provincial Congress ; he was also elected to the second Congress which 
met at Cambridge, and to the third which met at YVatertown. He served 
as representative to the General Court in 1778, 1780 and 1783. He served 
upon Amherst's committees of correspondence, was the author of a large 
part of the Revolutionary papers of the District, was moderator at town 
meetings, town clerk and treasurer, selectman and assessor, and devoted 
his time largely to public business. In 1781 he was appointed justice of the 
peace by Governor Hancock, after which he was commonly known as " Squire 
Nat." fie was an ardent advocate of the cause of the revolutionists, and when 
that cause was assailed was ever ready to defend it. It is related that once, 
when the Rev. David Parsons was compelled to read from the pulpit a 
proclamation issued by authority of the new government, he added to the 
formal conclusion "God save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," the 
following expression of his own views, " But I say, God save the king. 5 ' 
Whereupon Mr. Dickinson sprang to his feet in his pew and exclaimed in 
tones that echoed through the church, " And / say. you are a damned 
rascal !" Mr. Dickinson married. Dec. 9. 1779, Sarah, daughter of Ebenezer 
Marsh of Hadley, by whom he had two children, Susanna and Walter. 
He died, Nov. 10, 1802, aged 51 years. 

Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. attained to the greatest prominence in public 
affairs of any of the earlier residents in Amherst. Probably no better, 
certainly no more authentic record of his life is in existence than the fol- 
lowing autobiographical sketch, found among his papers after his death 
and copied from the Hampshire Gazstte in which it was printed in 1843. 
It is addressed to William Cogswell, D. D. and reads as follows : 

"To Wm. Cogswell, D. D. 

Dear Sir: — Your printed Circular, addressed to the graduates of 
Dartmouth College, requesting them to furnish you with brief biographical notices 
of themselves, for publication. I duly received. The plan you propose I cordially 


approve — when completed, it will, I think, embody facts that will be very gratify- 
ing to the Alumni of that institution, and also the friends of literature. 

If my own history can add anything to the completion of your plan, it is at 
your service. In replying to your interrogatories I shall follow their numerical 

I was born. 1755. in Amherst, then a precinct of Hadley. My parents were 
Ebenezer Mattoon and Dorothy Smith daughter of Doct. Nath'l Smith of 
Amherst. The earliest knowledge I have of my ancestry extends hack to the year 
1676. Then Philip Mattoon. an unmarried young man (who came 1 believe from 
Glasgow, in Scotland) was among 47 men at Marlboro, who, with others from 
Boston, were sent up under Capt. Wm. Turner to defend the inhabitants on Con- 
necticut river from the invasions of the Indians. The next year, (1677,) he resided 
at Springfield, and was married to Sarah Hawks. About 16S8, he removed to 
Deerfield, where he died in 1696, leaving several sons, one of whom, Eleazer, 
settled at Northfield. He was my Grand-Father. In 1734, he removed to Amherst, 
with his family, my father, Ebenezer, being his only son, then 16 years of age. 
My studies, preparatory for college, were pursued under the tuition of Rev. David 
Parson, the first minister of Amherst. I entered college in 1772 and graduated in 
1776. In the Spring of '76, after examination for degrees, with three others of my 
class, I obtained permission of the faculty to go to Canada, and engage in the 
revolutionary army, receiving a promise that our degrees should be regularly con- 
ferred. Soon after my arrival at Canada, I received a Lieutenant's Commission, 
and performed the duties of an Adjutant for that year. The next year I was 
Lieut, in the Artillery in the northern campaign, and was in St. Clair's retreat from 
Ticonderoga. and in the hard fought battles and capture of Burgoyne. Continuing 
in the army, I was in the battle fought by Gen. Sullivan on Rhode Island. In 1779 
I left the army, returned to Amherst, and was married to Mary Dickinson, of 
Amherst, where I still reside. I studied no profession except that of arms. In 
17S0 and '81, I represented the town in General Court. Was made justice of 
peace in 1782, and held the office till 1796. Was elected Captain in the Militia in 
17S2. Major in '85, Col. in '89, Brigadier in '92, and in '96 Maj. General of the 4th 
division Militia in this Commonwealth. In 1S16 I resigned my Commission of 
Maj. Gen. and was appointed Adjutant General, which office I held until two 
years after, when I was compelled to resign on account of the entire loss of my 
sight. I was a member of the Senate of this Commonwealth two years, 1795 and 
'96. In 1766, I was appointed Sheriff of the (old) County of Hampshire, and con- 
tinued in office nearly 20 years. I was in the 6th and 7th Congress. In 1S20. I 
was a member of the Convention for amending the Constitution of our Common- 
wealth. In 1792, '96, 1820, and '28 I was one of the Electoral College for the 
choice of President and Vice President of the United States. 

I have had six children. .two of whom died in infancy. The names of the four 
are Mary Dickinson. Ebenezer, Noah Dickinson, and Dorothy Smith. Three are 
still living. Mary I), [since deceased] resides in Philadelphia, Ebenezer in Amherst, 
and Noah I), in Ohio. 

In an historical sketch of Gen. Mattoon, written by Zebina C. Mon- 
tague and published in the Hampshire and Franklin Express under date of 
M.iv 21, [858, are many interesting anecdotes concerning his military and 
civil services. When he returned to Amherst after his discharge from the 
army he brought with him an old iron field-piece, a six-pounder, that had 



seen service in the Northern army. After the capture of Burgoyne, the 
Americans replaced their old-fashioned ordnance with the more modern and 
effective cannon captured from the enemy, and the discarded field-pieces 
were many of them given to officers in the »American army. This old 
cannon was stored for many years in Gen. Mattoon's barn, and was used 
in Fourth of July celebrations as well as in celebrating other events of less 
patriotic interest. It was destined to play an important part in a neighbor- 
hood quarrel of which more will be related in succeeding pages. As high 
sheriff of Hampshire count}'. Gen. Mattoon officiated in 1S06 at the execu- 
tion of Halligan and Daly at Northampton, for murder and highway 
robbery. This was one of the first executions in Hampshire county. 
While on a visit to boston in 1816, in connection with his duties as adjutant- 
general, he caught a severe cold which settled in his eyes and soon resulted 
in total blindness. He built the house at East Amherst now owned and 
occupied by 0. P. Gaylord : it was. at that time, esteemed one of the finest 
residences in the village. During the closing years of his life Gen. Mattoon 
drew a pension as a revolutionary soldier. He died, Sept. 11, 1843, aged 
SS years. 

In the Hampshire Gazette of Aug. 29, 1832, appears the following 
list of Revolutionary soldiers from Amherst who applied for pensions : 

Gideon Stetson, John Dickinson, Judah Clark. 

Timothy Henderson, Benjamin Kimball. Simeon Dickinson, 

Nathan Sprout. Silas Johnson, Ebenezer Mattoon, 

Jonathan Dickinson, John Hunt. Samuel Thompson, 

Simeon Pomeroy. .Nathan Kellogg, Jonathan Thayer. 

Prominent among the opponents of the Revolution were the Rev. 
David Parsons, Simeon Strong. Esq., Josiah Chauncey, John Field, and 
three members of the Boltwood family, Ebenezer, Solomon and William. 
( )f David Parsons and Simeon Strong brief biographical sketches have 
already been given. Josiah Chauncey was for many years a leading man 
in the community. The son of Rev. Isaac Chauncey, for many years 
pastor of the church in Hadley, he was born Nov. 14, 1716. In 1758 he 
was appointed justice of the peace, holding that office until the outbreak of 
the war of the Revolution. In 1760 and 1762, he represented Hadley, 
South Hadley. Granby and Amherst in the General Court. From the 
" Memorials of the Chaunceys ", edited by William Chauncey Fowler and 
published in 1S5S, the following is copied : 

"Josiah Chauncy. youngest son of the Rev. Isaac, was born Nov. 4, 1716. 
He resided in Hadley precinct (Amherst) before 1737. He. with his two brothers, 
Richard and Charles, having, in their father's family, enjoyed more than common 
advantages, and. taking a leading part in public affairs, must have had great influence 
in giving a character to the infant town of Amherst. He, if any one, was the 
Father of the Town. He was for a considerable time usually moderator of the 


public meetings; was for a long time justice of the peace; town clerk; selectman; 
assessor; Representative to the General Court. In 1755 he was sent to the General 
Court to appear in behalf of the precinct in its petition to be set off a district: he 
went to boston and secured the object of the petition. As a Justice of the Peace 
many important cases were tried before him. An aged lady, who remembered him 
well told me that there were frequently large collections of people assembled to 
witness the trials before Judge Chauncey. In the time of the Revolutionary War, 
he, like many of the leading men in the region, was suspected of being a Tory. 
They felt that the time had not come to take up arms against Great Britain. Rev. 
David Parsons, Judge Simeon Strong, Dr. Seth Coleman, and others, sided with 
Esquire Chauncey. Mr. Chauncey held no office during the war. but immediately 
on the declaration of peace he resumed his place at the head of affairs. He cul- 
tivated a large and excellent farm about half a mile south of the college now owned 
by Mr. Horace Kellogg. The remains of the fish-pond which he constructed are 
still to be seen. He was a professor of religion from early life. About the year 
1802 he removed with his family from Amherst to Albany Co., now Schenectady 
Co.. X. V.. where he died and was buried the same year." 

John Field was son of Zechariah Field and was born in Hatfield, Jan. 
12, 1 7 iS. He was a prominent man in the community and among the 
large property owners as is shown by Amherst's valuation list in 1770. In 
1773 he was appointed by Gov. Hutchinson a lieutenant of militia, but 
gave up his commission the following year owing to the disturbances 
incident to the outbreak of the war. He married, July 10, 1739, Hannah, 
daughter of Samuel Boltwood, by whom he had eleven children. 

The Boltwoods were among the earliest settlers in the eastern part of 
Hadley, Samuel Boltwood being numbered among the "east inhabitants " 
in 1 73 1, while Solomon came to the new settlement as early as 1737. They 
were men of note, prominent in public affairs and the name of Boltwood 
appears frequently on town and district records. In 1770, Solomon Bolt- 
wood was the largest property-owner in the district, his estate being rated 
at .£228. William, son of Solomon, was commissioned a lieutenant and 
served in the French and Indian war. Solomon, brother to William, and 
his son Ebenezer, were among the earliest merchants, or " traders" as they 
were then called, in the east settlement. 


Proposed Division* of Amherst. — Petition Against a Division. 

The first meeting-house, completed in 1753, afforded at that time and 
for some years after ample accommodations for the worshipers who 
assembled there on the Sabbath, and the voters who gathered on town- 


meeting days. But owing to a considerable increase in population, the 
need of a larger meeting-house became apparent as early as 1 77 i , when the 
question of building one began to be agitated. This question, innocent in 
itself, formed the basis of a controversy that was waged with bitterness 
for many years, whose echoes even now are heard in our town-meetings as 
the rights and privileges of the " center " of the town are placed in oppo- 
sition to those of the outlying villages. It was a bitter struggle at the out- 
set, and but for the sound common-sense displayed by the General Court, 
would doubtless have resulted in a division of the lands in Amherst into 
two parishes and later on two townships. A majority of the first perma- 
nent settlers had located near what is now the center village, and the 
meeting-house was set as near the center of population as could be conven- 
iently. As new members were added to the settlement, the lands to the 
north and south and east were occupied, the population becoming more 
generally distributed over the territory comprised in the District. The 
voters and church-goers at the extremities of the District soon grew into 
a majority, a fact they were quick to appreciate and take advantage of. 
They needed a pretext for action, and this was afforded when the question 
of building a new meeting-house was broached. Their proposition was to 
divide the District by an east and west line through the center, the latter 
thus being placed at the extremity of the two new districts. At a meeting 
held Jan. 13, 1772, the proposition was submitted to the voters and passed 
in the affirmative. Legislative sanction was necessary in order to such a 
division of territory, but that some immediate benefit might be obtained it 
was voted. April 14, 1773, to build two new meeting-houses at the expense 
of the whole District. Of the 120 owners of real estate in the District 
when this controversy began, 70 were opposed to the division, but there 
were in addition some 25 legal votes living at the ends of the District, 
mostly farmers' sons, to whom their fathers conveyed small tracts of land 
that they might, in accordance with legal provisions, vote upon the question. 
This gave a majority to the divisionists, leaving the wealthy property- 
owners at the center powerless as far as any action by the District was con- 
cerned. The natural recourse was an appeal to the General Court for a 
stay of proceedings and a hearing. The following petition was drawn up 
and forwarded to the General Court in May, 1773 : 

" To his Excellency Thomas Hutchinson Esq. Captain General and Governor 
in Chief in and over his Majesty"s Province of the Massachusetts Eay in New 
England and Vice Admiral of the same. 

To the Hon 1 ' 1 his Majesty's Council and House of Representatives in General 
Court assembled at Boston on the 26 th day of May A. D. 1773. 

The subscribing Petitioners Inhabitants of the District of Amherst in the 
County of Hampshire. 

Most humblv shew. 


That the District of Amherst contains a Tract of Land nearly equal to seven 
miles in length and three miles in breadth taken together: That in the year 1735, 
a Precinct or Parish was erected there by the name of The Third Precinct of 
Hadley, in which town said lands then were. That in the year 1738 a Meeting 
House was erected, and in the year 1739 a Minister was settled there. That in the 
year 1759 the same Parish or Precinct was erected into a District by the name of 
Amherst, with some Inhabitants of Hadley Parish with their Farms annexed 
thereto. That your Petitioners are most of them inhabitants of the middle Part 
of the said District, whose Lands and Estates are adjacent to the said Meeting 
House on each side, and towards each end of the District, and that they and their 
predecessors were the first original settlers of the Parish of East Hadley. from 
which said Amherst was erected, who bore the principal part of the burden of 
beginning and bringing forward the settlement at first, of building a Meeting 
House, supporting the Ministry and all other charges; and have continued to bear 
the greater part of Expenses of every kind from the original settlement of the 
Parish to this day. That though they have long held a state of good agreement 
and harmony among themselves, and conducted their affairs both ecclesiastical 
and civil with great unanimity, yet are now in a most unhappy controversy with the 
inhabitants of the remote parts of the District respecting the building a Meeting 
House for Public Worship. That partly by reason of the Inhabitants who were 
admitted from Hadley Parish to be incorporated with Amherst at their own request, 
and because of their great distance from their own Meeting House, partly by 
reason of the increase of settlers in the remoter parts and near the two ends of the 
District, and partly by the methods used by the opposite party to multiply their 
votes, by transferring property from the father's List to the son's who tho' qualified 
according to the letter of the Province Law ought to every equitable purpose to 
be considered as having no property at all : Your Petitioners, though owning the 
greater part of the Property within the District, are yet in respect of their number 
of voters become a minor party, and being as they conceive oppressed and likely 
still to be oppressed by the strength of a prevailing majority, and being under 
necessity thereof to seek redress & Protection in Legislative Power, humbly beg 
leave to open and state their matters of complaint in the following manner (viz.) 

That within two years last past the Increase of inhabitants made it needful to 
provide a new Meeting House for Public Worship : That on a motion for this pur- 
pose, the Inhabitants of the remoter settlements towards each end of the District 
united together in a Design of procuring the district (however small in its extent) 
to be divided into two Districts, so that the extremities of the two Districts should 
be at the present Centre, and your Petitioners on each side of the present Meeting 
I louse, to be at the remote or extreme parts of the two proposed Districts. This 
Proposal was brought before a District Meeting holden on the 13" 1 Day of January 
A. I). 1772. and though opposed by your Petitioners, a vote was then passed for 
the proposed Division, That from a supposed insufficiency in the proceeding, the 
same matter was again brought before a District Meeting holden the io' 1 ' Day of 
March in the same year : and there being then an equal number of voters on each 
side of the question no vote was passed, That afterwards the Party for the Division 
entered into an agreement for effecting their purpose by procuring a .Majority for 
erecting two Meeting Houses at the joint expense of the whole District before any 
Division should be made, or any new District erected, and to place them so as to 
subserve their design of a future Division towards the ends of the present, and in 
the middle of each proposed District, whereby they apprehended that your Peti- 


io 5 

tioners overpowered by their majority, would be finally brought by compulsion to 
join with them in procuring such a Division. That pursuant to this design a meeting 
was holden on the 14 th day of April last past, at which (having previously multi- 
plied their votes in the manner above described) they procured a majority for 
erecting the two Meeting Houses: and a vote was accordingly passed, And tho" 
nothing as yet hath been done in pursuance of said vote, yet your Petitioners are 
threatened with the speedy execution of it. All which votes and proceedings, by 
attested copies thereof herewith exhibited will appear. On which state of facts 
your petitioners humbly beg leave to represent and observe: That the wdiole 
District of Amherst being of no larger extent than nearly as above set forth, cannot 
admit of having a new District erected therefrom in the manner contended for, 
without effecting the ruin of the whole, as neither of the two could be able to 
support public expenses: That the Division contended for is such for which no 
precedent can be procured, nor any reason assigned : That the very remotest of 
the Inhabitants have no further travel to the centre of Amherst than what is 
common to many of the Inhabitants of most of the Towns within the Province. 
.And if any reason could be given for so extraordinary a measure, the same must 
hold and hold much stronger in almost every Town and District and produce 
Divisions and subdivisions throughout the whole. That your Petitioners think it 
most injurious to themselves to be dictated by an opposite Party in respect to their 
tenderest rights, and especially in matters relating to the Worship of God. That 
their opponents are unjustly endeavoring to compel them to join in societies wherein 
they have no disposition to join, and many of them to abandon their Parish, Church 
and Minister, to which they are most cordially united: and to be so incorporated 
together in each respective new formed society with those of an adverse Party, of 
opposite sentiments and exasperated minds: That each of the little, weak and 
already ruined societies must have nothing in prospect but to be if possible further 
ruined by increasing Confusion and Discord among themselves. That vour Peti- 
tioners having acquired their Estates at a rate proportionate to the value of their 
pres nt situation, may not, consistent with justice, have such privileges wrested 
from them. That confiding in the Equity of their cause, they would cheerfully have 
submitted it to the decision of the General Court : but that their opponents (either 
thro' diffidence of the success of their cause, or for some other reason to your 
Petitioners unknown) wholly declining to make any application to the General 
Court for a new District to be erected, have adopted the violent measure of forcing 
your Petitioners to contribute to the expense of the said two Meeting Houses, 
which purpose if executed they consider as a manifest oppression under colour of 
Law. and an high abuse of the Power vested in Towns and Districts by the Acts 
of this Province. That the vote whereof your Petitioners complain was procured 
by voters qualified by unfair means, as above expressed, and that your Petitioners 
having the property of more than half the Estate within the District, and who 
must therefore bear the greater part of the expense, the wdiole of which they 
should esteem to be worse than lost. Your Petitioners further beg leave to repre- 
sent that during the whole controversy they have adopted every pacific measure ; 
have never used any undue method to multiply their voters, choosing rather to want 
a majority than to procure it by unfair m-ans. And now find all attempts of 
Accomodation to be in vain: and despairing of justice without the intervention of 
Legislative Power, Your Petitioners most humbly pray the attention of your PZxcel- 
lency and Honors to their unhappy situation. And though they are sensible that 
no division of Amherst can be made without great prejudice to the whole, and if 


left to their own election should be very far from desiring it in any manner what- 
ever : Yet since the opposite Party seem resolved to please their own humor at the 
expense of your Petitioners" ruin. Your Petitioners most humbly pray your Excel- 
lency and Honors to interpose for their relief, by allowing them, whose interests 
and sentiments are united, to be a corporation and Parish by themselves in the 
middle of Amherst, enjoying all privileges, and being liable to all duties of a Paro- 
chial nature that are incumbent on the District of Amherst, leaving our Opponents 
their election to remain with us on reasonable terms: or be incorporated together 
among themselves as their remote situations will best permit or join to be incor- 
porated with some adjacent towns or Parishes, as they can obtain consent for 
admittance there. And if the granting your Petitioners prayer herein, should seem 
to throw their opponents into much calamity, which your petitioners by no means 
desire, if it may be avoided : Yet since our opponents which are now the Major 
Party will be content with nothing short of Division and Division to be effected 
by such violent means, your Petitioners humbly pray your Excellency and Honors 
to make such a Division as will save and protect an injured and innocent Party : 
and suffer our opponents rather to be ruined alone, than leave them the Power of 
involving your Petitioners with them : Otherwise that your Excellency and Honors 
would provide for our safety by passing an Act or Order for depriving the District 
o! Amherst of the power of raising or assessing any monies on the Inhabitants for 
the building of such Meeting Houses, or for excusing y r petitioners from contri- 
buting any proportion of any Taxes raised for such purpose ; or grant relief to 
your Petitioners in any other way or manner as you in y r great wisdom shall think 
tit. And for the preventing any contention or disturbances that might arise in the 
District between the Parties in the mean time, y 1 Petitioners most humbly pray that 
an Order may be passed for staying all proceedings. either in erecting said Meeting 
Houses, or in Demolishing the present Meeting House until the final Determina- 
tion of y r Excellency & Honors hereon. They also pray that a committee of the 
General Court may be appointed to repair to Amherst, to examine into the Matters 
all :ged in this Petition if y r Excellency & Honors think fit : And that all the costs 
arising by this application may be ordered to be paid by the District of Amherst. 
And as in duty bound shall pray 

Josiah Chauncey 
Simeon Strong 
Jona Dickinson 
Jonathan ('owls 
John Field 
Nathan Moody 
Alex' Smith 
Moses Warner 
Daniel Kellogg 
Elisha Ingram 
Nathan Dickinson 
1 1' zekiah Belding 
W" Boltwood 
Jona Edwards 
Nathaniel Coleman 
Jonathan Moody 
< rideon I lenderson 
Nath 1 Alex 1 Smith 

John Morton 
Moses Cook 
Jona Dickinson Jr. 
David Blodgett 
Gid Dickinson Jr. 
Reuben Cowls 
John Billings 
Thomas Hastings 
Samuel ( rould 
Moses Warner 
I >avid Smith 
Simeon Clark 
Joseph Bolles 
I lezekiah Howard 
Timothy Clap 
Simeon I'eck 

Eben r Kellogg 

Aaron Warner 

Noah Dickinson 
.Simeon Pomeroy 
Joseph Dickinson 
David Hawley 
Thomas Bascom 
Eph"' Kellogg Jr. 
Jonathan Smith 
Jona Nash Jr. 
Martin Smith 
Joel Billings 
Thomas Hastings Jr. 
Nathaniel Smith 
( rideon Dickinson 
Barnabas Sabin 
Edward Elmer 
John Morton Jr. 
I )avid Stockbridge 
Josiah .Moody 


Jonathan Nash John Field Jr. Eben r Dickinson 

Isaac Goodale Xoah Smith Seth Coleman 

Elijah Baker Joseph Church John Xash 

Solo" 1 Boltwood Xoadiah Lewis Joseph Morton 

Waitstill Hastings Silas Matthews 

Nath 1 Peck Timothy Hubbard 

I do hereby certify that the whole Rateable Estate of Amherst as footed by 
the Assessors on their last List amounts to £.7^°° : o 

And of that sum what belongs to one of the Anabaptist persuasion, and others 
not Inhabitants of Amherst amounts to £ 2 ° 2 '■ '5 

And that the Estate of the above named Petitioners on the List amounts 
to .£4220: 13 

Seth Coleman 
1 ) istrict Clerk. 

This petition seems to have had the desired effect so far as any imme- 
diate division was concerned ; on June iS, the General Court passed an 
order staying all proceedings relative to building any new meeting-house 
in the District excepting on or near where the house then stood. Jan. 26, 
1774, Amherst appointed Reuben and Moses Dickinson agents to present 
a petition to the General Court for a division, and also to answer the 
Court's citation, issued on account of the petition printed above. At a 
meeting held June 3, it had been voted by a large majority to divide the 
District by an east and west line from the center of the meeting-house ; 
these agents were to secure, if possible, the authority of the General Court 
for carrying out the provisions of this vote. After a hearing, the General 
Court ordered that a committee consisting of Artemas Ward, Esq. of the 
Council and Mr. Pickering and Col. Bacon of the House " repair to the 
District of Amherst, view the same, hear the parties on the spot, and make 
report what they think proper for the Court to do thereon : and that the 
Inhabitants of s'd District in the mean time wholly surcease & forbear all 
proceedings relative to the building any new Meeting House or Houses in 
said District." March 14, Amherst appointed a committee to meet the 
General Court's committee to consult with them concerning the division of 
the District. There is no record of the committee's report to the General 
Court, but there is reason to believe that it was adverse to those who 
favored division; the following entry is found in the Province Laws, Vol. 
V.: p. 411 : 

" Upon the petition of Josiah Chauncsy and others, inhabitants of the district 
of Amherst, it was, on the 10th of June, 1774, — 

Ordered that the Inhabitants of the said District pay into the original Peti- 
tioners for their costs and charges in and about prosecuting and supporting their 
said Petition the sums of twenty eight pounds, fifteen shillings and eight pence, 
and that the Treasurer of the said District be and hereby is impowered and directed 
to pay the same out of the Treasury accordingly : and that the sum of thirty 


pounds, nine shillings and two pence be paid out of the Province Treasury to the 
Committee appointed at the last Session of the General Court to repair to Amherst, 
for their time and expence in the affair, and that the same be laid on the said Dis- 
trict in the next Province Tax." 

This action of the General Court, and the outbreak of the Revolu- 
tionary war, appear to have put an end to the plan for dividing the town. 


Controversy Concerning a New Minister. — Dr. David Parsons. — 
Action by Church and Parish. — Ecclesiastical Councils. 
— Second Parish Organized. 

The Rev. David Parsons died Jan. i, 1781. Hiswillwas not admitted 
to probate until May, 1786. His son David and Simeon Strong, Esq. 
were made executors. He gave to his son Gideon the " Tavern house " 
and other property. This tavern-house stood on the site now occu- 
pied by the Amherst house ; a man named Trowbridge had first kept 
a tavern there. When Mr. Parsons died the District was considerably 
indebted to him for salary due and unpaid. March 19, 17S1, the District 
appointed a committee to settle with his heirs. This committee failed to 
•effect a settlement, and July 6, 1781, the District voted to pay his executors 
all the salaries due him, in gold or silver, and also to pay interest on the 
amount. Before this settlement was effected, the question as to who should 
succeed Mr. Parsons in the ministry became prominent in district affairs. 
The parties who sought in 1772 to divide the District were dissatisfied with 
the result of their efforts and cherished little love for those who had brought 
their plans to naught. There was also a political question involved. Rev. 
David Parsons was a tory, and while during his life there had been no 
open rupture between himself and members of his congregation, he had 
not from many the high esteem with which in the early times ministers of 
the gospel were wont to be regarded by their parishioners. Now that a 
new minister was to be engaged, the matter of his political preferences was 
felt to be of importance. May 18, 1781, the selectmen were appointed a 
committee to provide a preacher; June 25 of the same year, a committee 
was appointed to join with the church committee "to procure a settlement 
•of the Gospel Ordinances in the Town. " This committee was instructed 
.to employ Mr. David Parsons to supply the pulpit for the present. 

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REV. AARON M. I i 'I. I ON. 



David Parsons was the son of Rev. David Parsons, and was born in 
1749. He was graduated from Harvard College in the class of 1 7 7 1 T 
studied theology with his father, was licensed to preach in 1775, and 
preached in Roxbury, Mass. and ■ in several towns in Connecticut so 
acceptably that he received two or three calls to settle in the ministry. He 
had about made up his mind, owing to the unsettled state of the country 
and his infirm health, to engage in mercantile pursuits, but was persuaded. 
to supply the Amherst pulpit for a time. The following description of 
Dr. Parsons. 1 he received the degree of D. D. from Brown University in 
1800) was furnished by Rev. Samuel Osgood of Springfield, and formed a 
part of the address delivered by Rev. Charles H. Williams, at the exercises 
commemorating the 150th anniversary of the church: 

"Dr. Parsons had the advantage of an uncommonly fine person, of about 
medium height and rather inclined to corpulency, his features regular, eyes raven 
black, and his whole face beaming with intelligence and good nature. He possessed 
social qualities of a high order. His great fluency of utterance, his fine flow of 
social feeling, his extensive knowledge of men and things, and his inexhaustible 
fund of anecdote, seemed to mark him as a leader in almost any conversation that 
might be introduced. His preaching was sensible and instructive, and gave you 
the impression that there was a great deal of reserve power. He read his sermons, 
closely and had little or no action in the pulpit, though he was far from being tame 
or dull in his delivery. He had not only the keenest sense of the ridiculous, but he- 
indulged himself in this way without much restraint." 

Such was the man whom many of the residents in Amherst were 
anxious to secure as successor to his father in the gospel ministry. Doubt- 
less he had faults ; it is said that some of those who seceded from the 
parish on account of his settlement did so owing to a want of confidence 
in his character. Judd says the rumor was that Dr. Parsons used to go to 
ball-rooms to watch the dancers, a heinous offence at one time in the eyes 
of the descendants of the Puritans. But his worst offence was found in 
his political faith ; he was a tory, as his father had been before him. 
This was a fault that many of his congregation, fresh from the battles and 
privations of the Revolutionary struggle, could not condone. The dwellers 
in the District, in their like and dislike of Dr. Parsons, were about evenly 
divided. It is related that on one occasion the admirers and opponents 
of Dr. Parsons passed out of the meetingdiouse and lined up in front of it, 
the two lines being of about equal length. The opposition party had at 
the time no candidate of their own for the ministry ; they were simply 
opposed to the settlement of Dr. Parsons. 

Their opposition was without avail. Sept. 13, 1781, the District 
voted to hire Mr. Parsons as a preacher for three months ; Jan. 7, 1782, it. 
voted to pay him $5 per Sabbath for 39 Sabbaths, and April 8 of the same 
year, to invite him to preach two months on probation for settlement.. 


June 17, the District voted to concur with the church in their invitation to 
Mr. Parsons to settle in the ministry, at the same time stating the sums they 
were prepared to offer for settlement and salary. At a meeting held Aug. 
12, 1782, favorable response was received from Mr. Parsons; bearing in 
mind, doubtless, the recent experience of his father's executors in settling 
accounts with the District, and regarding as well the unstable condition of 
the country's finances, he wrote down in explicit terms his understanding 
of the District's offer, an act that must have endeared him to the methodi- 
cal minds and business-like instincts of his parishioners. The District 
endorsed this qualified acceptance, and appointed a committee to make the 
" usual and decent preparations " for his ordination. 

The steps already taken by the church in regard to Mr. Parsons' call 
and settlement may be outlined as follows: June iS, 1781. it was voted 
'• That as soon as convenient the church will be in a way for the resettle- 
ment of Gospel Ordinances among them," and a committee was appointed 
for the purpose of procuring a preacher to supply the pulpit. This com- 
mittee was instructed to confer with the District committee and to make 
an effort for union and harmony in all measures that should relate to the 
resettlement of the gospel ordinances. At a meeting held June 10, 17S2, 
the following votes were passed : 

"To give Mr. David Parsons a call to settle with this church in the work of 
the Gospel Ministry. 

That the Committee be directed to wait on Mr. Parsons with the foregoing 

That the committee be directed to lay the votes for calling Mr. Parsons to the 
Ministry before the town for concurrence as soon as may be." 

Aug. 19, 1782, the church appointed a committee to confer with Mr. 
Parsons concerning his ordination, fixed as the date for that event the 
second Wednesday in October, appointed the first Wednesday in October 
a day of fasting and prayer preparatory to the ordination, and directed the 
committee to invite the following churches and pastors to assist in the 
■exercises : 

First Church in Springfield, Rev. Robert Breck. 
'The Church in Sunderland. Rev. Joseph Ashley. 
The Church in Hadley, Rev. Samuel Hopkins. 
The Church in Northfield, Rev. John Hubbard. 
I he Church in Greenfield, Rev. Roger .Newton. 
The Church in Barre, Rev. Josiah Dana. 
The Church in Granby, Rev. Simon Backus. 

At a meeting held Sept. 15, 1 7 S 2 , the church voted to change the 
day "f ordination from the second to the first Wednesday in October 
[(),!. 2), and also appointed the day for fasting and prayer one week 


earlier. Oct. 2, 17S2. David Parsons was ordained and installed as pastor 
of the church in Amherst, the ordination sermon being preached by Rev. 
Robert Breck of Springfield. It was a solemn occasion, marking an era 
in ecclesiastical affairs in the District. 

When the opponents of Mr. Parsons found themselves unable to pre- 
vent his settlement as pastor of the church, they withdrew from its com- 
munion and took measures for organizing a new parish. They sought and 
secured an advisory council in which were represented five churches located 
in towns on the west side of the Connecticut river, the delegates meeting 
in Amherst. Oct. 1. 2 and 3. Acting upon the advice of this council. 
twenty-two of the ••aggrieved brethren, " as they termed themselves, 
agreed, Oct. 15, to organize a new church. A second council was sum- 
moned and met in Amherst. Oct. 28 and 29. at the house of Capt. Ebenezer 
Mattoon, from which fact it was afterwards generally known as " Capt. 
Mattoon's Council. " At this council, or immediately after its adjourn- 
ment, a paper was drawn up. signed and submitted to the church, concern- 
ing which the following reference is found in the First church records: 

"They sent to the church a paper called the Testimony and Representation, 

signed by 21 members of ye church, purporting their dissatisfaction at the conduct 
of ye church and their determination to leave them, that they were so grieved at 
their conduct that they could not walk with them. These aggrieved as they style 
themselves presented the church with a report of an exparte council dated Oct. 
2S. 'S2 they had called for advice, which was read and the following votes passed. 

At a meeting of the church on the io"' day of Nov. immediately after divine 
service, the following votes were passed, viz. 

Upon the question proposed whether this church will appear before an Eccle- 
siastical Council chosen by a number of the Brethren who style themselves the 
aggrieved at their adjournment, and endeavour to place wherein the aggrieved have 
given a representation of their wrongs and sufferings? 

Voted in the negative. 

Upon a second question whether this church will unite with the aggrieved 
Brethren in the choice of a mutual council, and submit to their decision the matter 
referred to in the Testimony and Representation ? 

Voted in the affirmative." 

A committee was appointed to await upon the council at their adjourn- 
ment, at the house of Capt. Mattoon, and to present them a copy of the 
church votes. It was voted to send the " aggrieved committee " a letter, 
offering to unite with them in the choice of a mutual council, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to treat with the aggrieved upon the question of sub- 
mitting all matter of grievance to such a council. " Capt. Mattoon's 
council " met on adjournment, Nov. 11 and 12, and, having considered the 
propositions submitted by the church and its pastor, decided that they 
were unequal and unjust. They advised the aggrieved that, unless the 
church would unite with them in calling a mutual council within four weeks, 


they should proceed to organize as a church and settle a minister. This 
advice was promptly accepted and acted upon, and on the 12th day of 
November. 17S2. the Second church in Amherst was organized. Why the 
mutual council, for which both parties to the controversy expressed their 
desire, was not summoned, is not a matter of record. 

The First church did not regard the organization of the Second 
church as regular, and for many years claimed the members of the latter as 
still belonging to the original organization. At a meeting of the First 
church held Dec. 3, 1782, it was voted to summon an ecclesiastical council, 
"to look into the affairs of the church and give their advice respecting the 
Brethren who style themselves the aggrieved." This council was sum- 
moned to meet Jan. 14, and invitations to send delegates were addressed 
to the churches in Northfield, Greenfield, Hadley, Granby, West Spring- 
field, Suffield, Fast Windsor, Hartford, Barre, Rutland, Spencer, Belcher- 
town, Brookfield, Fast Parish, West Windsor, North Parish, and the First 
church in Springfield. ( )f these, but seven churches were represented in 
the council, viz.: Northfield, Greenfield, Springfield, West Windsor, Barre, 
Brookfield and Belchertown. Having considered the testimony presented 
before it, the council recommended the church " to exercise forbearance 
and condescension towards their Brethren who had unwarrantably with- 
drawn from their communion, and cordially to receive them upon their 
return, deeming their return a sufficient retraction of their errors." 

In the Faws and Resolves of Massachusetts, under date of Feb. 13, 
17S3, the following is recorded : 

■■ Resolve on the petition of a number of the inhabitants of the town of 

Resolved, that the petitioners notify the town of Amherst, by leaving with the 
town clerk of said town an attested copy of their petition, and this order thereon, 
to show cause, if any they have, on the second Wednesday of the next session of 
the General Court, why the prayer of the said petitioners should not be granted, 
and that the said town of Amherst be, and hereby are directed, not further to tax 
the said petitioners for the support of the Rev. David Parsons in the ministry in 
said town, or for defraying the charges which have arisen on account of his settle- 
ment in said town, till the fourth Wednesday of the next setting of the General 
Court. This notification is to be performed at least sixteen days before thesecond 
Wednesday of the next session of this court.*' 

In May, [783, the Second Parish was incorporated, the act passed by 
the General Court reading as follows : 

"An Act for incorporating a Number of the Inhabitants of the Town of 
Amherst in the County of Hampshire, into a separate Parish, by the Name of the 
Second Parish in the Town of Amherst 

Whereas a number of the inhabitants of the town of Amherst, in the said 
county, herein-after named, have petitioned this Court to be incorporated into a 
separate parish, for reasons set forth in the petition 


IJ 3 

Therefore be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Gen- 
eral Court assembled and by the authority of the same. That the said petitioners, 

Muses Dickinson, 

Joseph Eastman, 

Peletiah Smith 

Hezekiah Belding, 

John Robins, 

Joseph Robins, 

John Ingraham, 

Nathan Perkins, 

Ebenezer Dickinson, 3d, 

Lemuel Moody, 

Nathan Dickinson. Jr., 

Stephen Cole, 

Amariah Dana, 

David Cowls, 

Benanuel Leach, 

Joseph Eastman, Jr., 

Reuben Dickinson, 

Reuben Dickinson. Jr., 

Amos Ay res. 

Adam Rice, 

Solomon Dickinson, 

Ebenezer Ingraham. 

Zimri Dickinson, 

Phineas Allen, 

and Gad Dickinson together with their estates which they now have, or may here- 
after possess, in their own right, in the said town of Amherst, be, and hereby are 
incorporated into a separate parish by the name of the second parish in the town 
of Amherst." 

Among the names here given in the act of incorporation are those of 
four men who were prominent in the Revolutionary war, Capt. Ebenezer 
Mattoon, Capt. Reuben Dickinson, Lieut. Noah Dickinson and Lieut. 
Joseph Dickinson. They were leading opponents of Dr. David Parsons, 
among the first to withdraw from church communion before his settlement, 
and active in bringing about the organization of the new parish. The 
early records of the Second church have been lost, and it is impossible to 
give with certainty the names of the 22 original members. When the first 
pastor was installed, in 1786, there were 57 members of the church, among 
them the following who were probably of the original number : 

Nathan Dickinson, 
John Dickinson. 
Timothy Green, 
Noah Dickinson, 
Henry Franklin, 
Abijah Williams. 
Azariah Dickinson, 
.Samuel Henry, 
Noah Hawley, 
Oliver Clapp, 
Ebenezer Eastman. 
Gideon Moore, 
Thomas Marshall. 
Joseph Dickinson, 
Simeon Cowls, 
Abner Adams. 
Samuel Ingraham, 
Thomas Morton, 
Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr., 
Justus Williams, 
Jacob Warner, Jr., 
Asa Dickinson, 
Eli Putnam. 
David Blodget. Jr.. 

John Billing, 
Ebenezer Mattoon, 
Ebenezer Dickinson, 
Ebenezer Williams, 
Jacob Warner, 
James Merrick, 2d, 
Andrew Kimbal, 
Noadiah Lewis, 
Joseph Morton, 
Giles Church, 
Nathaniel Dickinson, 2d T 
Waitstill Dickinson, 
John Eastman. 
David Rich. 
Elihu Dickinson, 
Reuben Ingraham. 
Clement Marshall, 
Ebenezer Dickinson. 2d. 
Aaron Billing, 
Gideon Lee, 
Levi Dickinson, 
Nathan Perkins. Jr.. 
Joseph Williams, 
Simeon Dickinson, 

Noah Dickinson. 
Hezekiah Belding, 
Abner Adams, 
John Eastman, 
Ebenezer Dickinson, 2d, 
Amariah Dana, 
Timothy Green, 

Simeon Dickinson, 
Reuben Dickinson, 
Ebenezer Mattoon, 
Ebenezer Dickinson, 
Joseph Eastman. Jr., 
David Cowles, 
John Dickinson. 

Nathan Dickinson, 
Samuel Henry, 
Joseph Eastman, 
Joseph Dickinson, 
Reuben Ingram, 
John Billings, 


Among the deacons who served the church in its earlier years were 
John Billings, Hezekiah Belding, Nathan Franklin, Elijah Eastman, Medad 
J Hckinson, Zechariah Hawley and Eliab Thomas. 

The first meeting of the Second parish after its incorporation was 
held June 24, 1783, at the house of John Billings, who was chosen moder- 
ator of the meeting. Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. was chosen clerk and treas- 
urer for the year. Moses Dickinson, Noah Dickinson and Ebenezer East- 
man were elected " to perform the duty of selectmen with regard to the 
parish;" Amariah Dana. John Billings and Moses Dickinson, assessors; 
John Eastman and Thomas Marshall, collectors. July 7, 1783, the parish 
voted to raise ^50 to provide preaching and to defray other necessary 


Second Parish Meeting House. — Rev. Ichabod Draper, the First 
Pastor. — A Tetter ok Discipline. — Decree by the Gen- 
eral Court. 

July 28, 1783, Oliver Clapp, Nathaniel Dickinson, 2d, and Giles Church 
were appointed " to measure the road to find the center of the parish, for 
the purpose of erecting a meeting-house in the centre, as should be thus 
formed." At a meeting held a few days later, it was voted "to set the 
meeting-house in the nearest convenient place to the centre of the parish," 
and also " to measure from every man's door, to find the centre of travel." 
A committee of twelve was appointed to build the meeting-house. There 
was the usual difference of opinion as to where the building should stand. 
The members of the parish were unable to settle the question satisfactorily 
among themselves ; at a meeting held Nov. 12, 1783. Dea. Smith of Granby, 
Capt. Cooke of Sunderland and Mr. Weston of Belchertown were appointed 
a committee "to affix the place for erecting the meeting-house ", and Dea. 
Gray of Pelham was to serve as a substitute should any of the others fail 
to come. The committee selected a place near Lieut. Dickinson's house, 
about in the center of the common, southeast of where the present house 
of worship stands. The parish voted to accept the location, and also 
voted at the same meeting "to provide one barrel of rum and hall a hundred 
of sugar, for raising said house " and " bread and cheese for the raisers at 


noon, and a comfortable supper at night." The raising of the meeting- 
house was begun on the 19th and completed on the 21st of Nov., 17S3, 
and the first religious service was held in it Feb. 15, 1784. 

Early in 1784, the church and parish concurred in an invitation to 
Rev. Joseph Willard of Paxton to settle with them in the gospel ministry. 
but Mr. Willard declined. In September, 1785, a call was extended to 
Mr. Ichabod Draper to become the pastor of the church, and he accepted. 
The parish offered him ^200 for his settlement, /"6o for his salary the 
first year, £65 the second year, and ^70 for the third year and each year 
thereafter. He was also to receive 30 cords of wood annually, ''as soon as 
he wants it for his own firing." 

Mr. Draper was a native of Dedham ; he was graduated from Har- 
vard College and was about 31 years of age when, Jan. 25, 1786, he was 
installed as the first pastor of the Second Church in Amherst. He con- 
tinued in the duties of the pastorate until, on account of physical infirmi- 
ties, he was dismissed, Oct. 3, 1809. May 29, 1809, it was voted as the 
opinion of the parish that Rev. Mr. Draper's intimities were such as to 
render him in a great measure incapable of performing his ministerial 
duties. The parish offered to pay him his salary and wood as it became 
due until the end of the year, if he would take a dismission. At a meeting 
held June 12. 1809, Mr. Draper's reply to this proposition was considered 
and voted unsatisfactory. A motion was made to see if the parish would 
offer Mr. Draper any further pecuniary consideration to take a dismission, 
and was negatived by a unanimous vote. June 26. 1809, the parish voted 
to take such measures as seemed necessary to dissolve the pastoral relation 
between Mr. Draper and the parish. Sept. 13 of the same vear, it voted 
to concur with the church in an offer to pay to Mr. Draper his salarv and 
wood for that year, and Si 00 additional, if he would take a friendly dis- 
mission ; if he refused, to join with the church in calling a mutual ecclesi- 
astical council. Nov. 16, 1809, the parish committee were instructed to 
hire a candidate to supply the pulpit. Mr. Draper continued to reside in Am- 
herst until his death in 1S27. The second pastor of the church was Nathan 
Perkins. Jr., a native of Hartford, Conn, and a graduate of Yale College 
in the class of 1795. The parish offered him S500 for his settlement and 
$400 for his annual salary, with 30 loads of wood additional. At a meet- 
ing held Aug. 28, 18 10, the vote in regard to the sum to be paid for his 
settlement was rescinded and an annual salary of $500 was offered. He 
was installed, Oct. 10, 18 10, and continued in the pastorate until his death 
in 1842. 

It was natural that the members of the First church and parish should 
regard with jealous interest the proceedings of their seceding brethren. 
They undertook, on different occasions and in various ways, to discipline 


the members of the Second church, whom they professed still to regard as 
members of their own body. As an example of the feeling that existed 
among the members of the elder organization, it is interesting to note the 
contents of a letter which was adopted at a meeting of the First church, 
May 9, 17S4. signed by the pastor and a copy sent to the "withdrawing 
brethren." It reads as follows: 

"The Pastor and church of X in Amherst to ye Brethren who have withdrawn 
themselves from ye communion of the chh and who call themselves the 2' 1 Chh. 
Beloved Brethren : 

The sacred obligation incumbent on you and us. resulting" from 
our profession of X"'- v and from the solemn engagements which you and we 
expressly took upon ourselves when we entered into the communion of the chh. 
and covenanted with each other to walk in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, 
and to watch over one another for our mutual and spiritual good, require and con- 
strain us at the present time to make our solemn and serious address to you on the 
subject of your separation from our communion and the manner in which you 
effected it. We claim no right to exercise spiritual dominion over your faith or 
practice, but think it our duty as fellow Christians, as professed Disciples and Ser- 
vants of one common Lord, whose undoubted right and duty it is on proper occa- 
sions to exhort and admonish one another, to remind you of your duty, and of what 
we judge to be your error and offence. Permit us then with Christian freedom, in 
faithfulness to ourselves and to you, to lay before the several matters wherein you 
are, in our judgement, clearly blameable and irregular, wherein you have manifestly 
err'd from the path of duty, have not walked orderly according to the rules of our 
common profession, and thereby given just cause of offence to us and to the chh. 
of Christ. 

In the first place you have withdrawn from our communion suddenly and pre- 
cipitately and erected a separate communion among yourselves, without even 
requesting our assent, or by giving in regular notice of your intended separation. 

In the next place you separated from us. or from a church which had offended 
you. yet you never dealt with us or with Christian brethren touching matters of 
offence, never conformed your conduct to the plain precepts of the Gospel — you 
neither endeavored to heal the breach, nor made any attempt nor used any means, 
nor allowed any time for reconciliation. You took offence at our proceedings at 
the ordination of our Pastor, on the very next Lord's Day you withdrew from us 
and erected a separate worship. However just might have been your grounds for 
offence, you ought to have sought reconciliation in the use of those excellent means 
that are clearly prescribed by our Divine Lord. There was at least a possibility of 
gaining your offending Brethren. 

Moreover you have repeatedly rejected our offers of treating the supposed 
offences in the ancient regular and Christian method of a Mutual Council of sister 
churches. If your conduct in this sudden separation was good and regular, why 
would you not come to the light that your deeds might be made manifest? 

Lastly, your separation was not only irregular as to the manner, but groundless 
in respect of the matter. We had given you no just ground of offense, and in our 
judgment von have made a Schism in the body of Christ directly contrary to the 
teaching of his ( rospel. 

Hear us then, Brethren, while we would in the spirit- of love and meekness 
solemnly put you in mind to consider the sacred obligations you have taken upon 

m :t passed by the general court. 117 

yourselves, the Duties you owe to our common Lord, to the church of Christ in 
general and to this church in particular, to compare your conduct with those duties 
and obligations, to consider whether you are not in danger of falling within the 
unhappy description of those that cause divisions and offences contrary to the 
doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ and of incurring the condemnation of those that 
are contentious and obey not the truth. 

Hear us brethren, whilst we earnestly beseech you to retract your error, to do 
honour to our Divine Lord and his Gospel, by doing all within your power towards 
a reparation of the injury you have done his cause, and by making such satisfaction 
to your offended brethren as the rules of Christianity, the precepts of the Gospel, 
and the order of the church require." 

To this communication the members of the Second church returned 
a prompt and spirited answer, defending their action and placing upon the 
First church the blame for the differences that existed. As may readily be 
imagined, correspondence of this character did little towards healing the 
breech between the churches and their members. The First church refused 
to recognize the younger organization in any way ; conferences were held 
and the advice of ministerial associations was sought from time to time 
by the one church or the other. In the year 17S8, the General Court 
having been appealed to for aid, the following act was passed, under date 
of June 17 : 

'• An act in addition to the act passed in May, 1783. 

Whereas further provision is necessary for the support of public worship, in 
the said town of Amherst, and to promote the peace and mutual good will of the 
inhabitants thereof. 

Be it therefore Enacted by the Senate & House of Representatives in General 
Court assembled & by the authority of the same, that the inhabitants of the said 
town of Amherst, shall be taken and considered as belonging to that Parish, in the 
said town, where they have usually attended public worship for the term of one 
year, next before the passing of this Act, and that in future the inhabitants of the 
said town, with their heirs and successors, shall have liberty to attend public 
worship at that Parish in the said town, which they shall prefer, and shall pay paro- 
chial taxes where they shall so attend, they producing to the respective Assessors, 
a Certificate from the minister of the Parish to which they shall remove, or from 
the Parish Clerk, in case there be no minister, that they have generally attended 
public worship there, for the space of one whole year together, next preceding the 
date of such certificate ; and previous to such removal, entering their names, express- 
ing their intention, with the Clerk of the Parish from which they shall remove. 

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all taxes or arrears 
of taxes, which have been assessed in consequence of and agreeably to the incor- 
poration Act of the said second Parish, shall be collected in the same manner, as if 
this Act had not been made : Provided that the sons of the inhabitants of the 
second Parish, that have been taxed by the first Parish, and those who have 
removed into the said town, and have attended worship at the second Parish, and 
have been taxed by the first Parish, shall not beheld to pay such assessments. 

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, that any person remov- 
ing into said to*wn. may attend public worship, and pay parochial taxes at either 
Parish, he entering his name with the Clerk thereof, for that purpose. 


And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the real estate 
owned by non-resident proprietors, shall be taxed for the use of the parish where 
the occupier belongs, according to the regulations aforesaid: and if there be no 
occupier who is an inhabitant in said town, then the taxes of it shall be paid to the 
Parish, which such proprietor shall direct.'' 


Hard Times Following the Revolution. — Causes Leading to the 
Shays Rebellion. — Heavy Taxation. — Legal Troubles. - 
Mob Law at Northampton. — Neighborhood Contentions. 
— Arraignment of Government by Hatfield Convention. 

At the close of the war of the Revolution Massachusetts was practi- 
cally bankrupt; the same was true of the towns in the state and of many of 
their inhabitants. The war had been fought and won on promises to pay, 
and now that the struggle was over and the time for redemption of these 
promises drew near, there was nothing in the public treasury and but little 
in private strong-boxes to satisfy the demands of creditors. The Conti- 
nental currency had depreciated until it was worth little more than the 
intrinsic value of the paper it was printed on. To redeem its promises to 
the national government the state must have money; whence could it be 
obtained? Commerce was practically extinct: the fisheries, which had 
been a mine of wealth for many years, had been neglected ; the whale 
fishery, which at the beginning of the war had employed 150 vessels and 
yielded an annual revenue through the island of Nantucket alone of 
/, 1 07,000, at the close of the struggle employed but 19 vessels; manu- 
factures were as yet in their infancy ; agriculture, the leading pursuit of 
the people, had declined in proportion as larger numbers of able-bodied 
i itizens were required for military service. The state must raise the money 
it needed by a tax upon the towns; the latter were but ill prepared to stand 
a further drain on their scanty resources. When the inhabitants of 
Amhersl engaged with their "lives and fortunes" to support the cause of 
independence of Greal Britain, it may be doubted it they fully realized 
how heavy was the financial burden they were about to incur. They were 
poor at the beginning of the war ; they grew more impoverished each year 
that it continued, and when it ended there was little save the liberty for 
which they had fouerht and endured that thev could call their own. The 


war taxes were heavy, but when peace came, instead of a lightening of the 
burden there was an increase that made it greater than the people could 
bear. In addition to the public debt, there had been during the war an 
alarming increase in private indebtedness. The confusion of the times 
had excused or prevented many persons from fulfilling their private con- 
tracts. This public and private indebtedness and the means taken for 
satisfying the same were potent among the causes of a series of public 
disturbances which culminated in what was known as the " Shays' 

It is not intended in these pages to give an extended narrative of 
this insurrection, peculiar in many of its features and resulting most dis- 
astrously to those who engaged in it, but Amherst was the scene of many 
of its incidents and Amherst men took part in it, giving it a legitimate 
place in the town's history. The operations of the insurgents extended 
throughout Massachusetts and into other states, but the following narra- 
tion relates principally to events that occured in this immediate vicinity.' 
The facts as given are mainly derived from '-The History of the Insurrec- 
tions in Massachusetts, in the year 1786, and the Rebellion Consequent 
Thereon," written by George Richards Minot, A. M., and printed at Wor- 
cester in the year 1788, soon after the close of the rebellion. The incidents 
of local character are derived from reliable sources. 

When the war of the Revolution began, the entire debt of Massachu- 
setts was less than ,£100,000 ; at its conclusion the private state debt was 
upwards of £"1,300,000. and the state's proportion of the federal debt not 
less than £1,500,000; besides this there was owing to the officers and 
soldiers who had served in the armies £250,000, making a total of over 
£"3,000,000. The raising of the interest upon this sum, enormous as it 
was then considered, to say nothing of any payment upon the principal, 
was a problem that taxed to the utmost the wisdom of a people as yet but 
little versed in matters of finance. 

The people were prejudiced against laying taxes on foreign imports 
and also against excise, or internal revenue taxation, believing such methods 
opposed to the spirit of republican government ; but the exigencies of the 
times caused compliance with the resolution of Congress for levying a 
general import duty of five per cent. Soon after the close of the war there 
was a great increase in the importation of articles of foreign manufacture ; 
the exports, in comparison, were small, and the balance of trade being 
largely against the states, the difference had to be paid in specie, causing 
an alarming decrease in the circulating medium of the country. Private 
contracts were first made to give way to the payment of public taxes, 
owing to an idea that the scarcity of specie did not admit of the payment 
of both. The former, therefore, were made payable in other property than 


money, by an act passed July 3, 1782, commonly known as the "Tender 
Act." By this it was provided that executions issued for private demands 
might be satisfied by neat cattle, or articles particularly enumerated, at an 
appraisement of impartial men under oath. The operations of this act 
proved most unsatisfactory and the following year it was repealed. The 
scarcity of coin naturally suggested a further increase in the paper cur- 
rency. Great quantities of this medium were still in circulation, having 
been issued during the war. The delinquency in the payment of taxes 
had obliged the state treasurer to anticipate them by issuing orders upon 
the collectors ; these orders had accumulated to a large amount, and became 
a kind of currency at a depreciated value. With the paper money already 
in circulation constantly lessening in value, it would seem that common 
sense as well as common honesty would have protested against any further 
increase of this unsecured indebtedness. In these, as in later times, there 
were speculators who availed themselves of the necessities of government 
to add to their private gain. They purchased securities at a great discount, 
risking the chance that the government would keep faith with its creditors. 
These speculators were held in great public contempt, and it soon became a 
common observation that the government ought not to be compelled to pay 
full value for what had been purchased at a discount. The General Court 
was urged to avail itself of this depreciation for the benefit of the com- 
monwealth ; to the everlasting credit of Massachusetts let it be recorded 
that the attempts of these " readjusters " of the public debt failed com- 
pletely. Another proposition that was made, and favored with consider- 
able enthusiasm, was that a considerable quantity of paper money should 
be issued and, to avoid any difficulty in redeeming it, that it might be by 
law depreciated, at fixed rates, in certain given periods, until at a suitable 
time the whole should be extinguished. The fact that such a proposition 
should be seriously considered, and brought before the General Court, 
shows most clearly to what desperate straits the finances of the people 
had come. 

At the close of the war a vast number of suits were pending before 
the civil courts ; these afforded employment for the lawyers whose numbers 
rapidly increased. The debtor class, a majority in every community, was 
compelled to expend large sums of money in fees for the lawyers and in 
costs of court. At that time imprisonment for debt, a barbarous custom 
imported from England, was sanctioned by law in Massachusetts. The 
people, impoverished through their devotion to the cause of liberty, were 
unable to pay their debts, and found their remaining property subject to 
confiscation and themselves liable to imprisonment at the behest of their 
creditors enforced by the court's decision. Small wonder that the}' began 
to look with aversion upon lawyers as a class, and to regard the courts as 


instruments of oppression. So strong became the antagonism against 
members of the legal profession, they were in many instances excluded 
from the House of Representatives. The action of the courts was freely 
criticized and frequent complaints were urged against the entire judicial 
system of the state. 

From criticism to hostile action was but an easy step. In April, 1782, 
a mob assembled at Northampton of sufficient force to disturb the holding 
of the supreme judicial court and the court of common pleas. This mob 
was raised and led by Samuel Ely, an " irregular " preacher, who had 
acted as a minister of the Gospel several years at Somers, Conn. Holland, 
in his History of Western Massachusetts, describes Ely as " a vehement, 
brazen-faced declaimer, abounding in his hypocritical pretensions to pity, 
and an industrious sower of discord." A council of ministers had com- 
pelled him to leave his parish at Somers, and he removed to Northampton. 
For his connection with the mob at Northampton he was arrested, and 
pleading guilty to the indictment against him, was condemned to a term of 
imprisonment in Springfield. While under sentence, a mob assembled and 
released him. Three persons, who were considered ringleaders in the 
rescue, were arrested and imprisoned at Northampton. Another mob 
gathered to effect their release. The militia, 1200 strong, gathered under 
die command of Gen. Elihu Porter, sheriff of the county, to defend the 
jail. The insurgents. 300 strong, undenCapt. Reuben Dickinson, assembled 
in Hatfield and sent a demand to Gen. Porter that the three men should 
be delivered up forthwith. This demand was acceded to in so far that the 
three men were released upon their parole of honor. The General Court, 
at its session held the following November, pardoned every man concerned 
in the riot except Ely. 

As early as 1781, conventions began to be held in Western Massachu- 
setts to consult upon the real and fancied grievances of the people. The 
first mention of these conventions found in the Amherst records is under 
date of Jan. 25, 1782, when Elijah Baker and Joseph Eastman were chosen 
" to go to Shutesbury on the 30th of January to meet the Towns that meet 
there." Aug. 6 of the same year, John Billings, Elijah Baker and Martin 
Kellogg were appointed delegates to a county convention held at Hatfield. 
Jan. 20, 1783, Amherst voted to pay the delegates to these two conven- 
tions three shillings per clay for their services and an additional sum for 
horse-hire. A convention was held at Deerfield, Sept. 29, 1783, and one 
at Hatfield, Oct. 20 of the same year. At some, if not all, of these con- 
ventions, petitions were drawn up and forwarded to the General Court, 
relating the grievances of the people and praying their redress by legislation. 

Between the years 1783 and 1786, there was little change for the 
better in the financial condition of the people. Taxes continued to be 


high and the means for paying them was no more abundant. During this 
period, however, there are recorded no efforts to interfere with the sittings 
of the courts. August 22, 1786, a convention of delegates from 50 towns 
in Hampshire county assembled at Hatfield, and after voting that the 
meeting was constitutional, drew up a paper containing a long list of 
grievances, supplemented with recommendations to the towns in the county 
and their inhabitants. '1 nese grievances included, among others, the 
existence of the Senate, the mode of representation, the existence of the 
courts of common pleas and general sessions, the supplementary aid 
(granted to the national government), the mode adopted for the payment 
and speedy collection of the last tax, the mode of taxation, as it operated 
unequally between polls and estates, and between landed and mercantile 
interests, the method of practice of the attorneys at law, the want of a 
sufficient medium of trade, to remedy the mischief arising from the scarcity 
of money, the embarrassments of the press, and the neglect of the settle- 
ment of important matters depending between the Commonwealth and 
Congress, relating to monies and averages. The leading recommendations 
were an emission of paper money subject to a depreciation, a revision of 
the constitution, and an immediate assembly of the General Court that the 
grievances complained of might be redressed. It was also voted "That 
this convention recommend it to the inhabitants of this county, that they 
abstain from all mobs and unlawful assemblies, until a constitutional method 
of redress can be obtained." Copies of the proceedings of this conven- 
tion were to be transmitted to the conventions of the counties of Worces- 
ter and Berkshire; a copy was also to be sent to the press in Springfield 
for publication. 

It is hardly possible to conceive of a more severe arraignment of the 
existing government than was contained in this list of grievances. The 
executive, legislative and judicial departments were in turn condemned, 
and a condition of affairs predicated which, had it really existed, would 
have justified a second revolution. It must be borne in mind that this 
paper was not the product of a gathering of irresponsible malcontents, 
bu1 oi delegates selected by the towns they came from and doubtless fully 
competent to represent the views of a majority of the inhabitants of those 
towns. Whatever its subject matter, therefore, it carried it with the weight 
of opinion of Hampshire count}-. It held the government up to public 
contempt; small wonder, then, that individuals should lose respect for 
institutions that collectively they had condemned. Aug. 29, four days after 
the convention had adjourned, was the day appointed for the sitting of 
tic court of common pleas and general sessions of the peace at Northamp- 
ton. On that date a large mob gathered from the various towns in the 
county and took possession of the grounds surrounding tin' court-house 


where the court had already assembled. The numbers of this mob were 
estimated by Minot at some 1500 ; the papers of the day and vicinity give 
a considerably smaller estimate. Many of the mob were armed with 
muskets and swords, and they took no pains to conceal their object, which 
was to prevent a sitting of the courts. A messenger was despatched to the 
justices, politely informing them that, as the people labored under divers 
grievances, it was " inconvenient " that the court should sit for the trans- 
action of business, until there was an opportunity for redress. The officers 
of the court were not slow to understand the meaning contained in these 
politic words and adjourned the court without day: the mob thereupon 
retired and quietly dispersed. Among those who took part in the gather- 
ing at Northampton which prevented the sitting of the courts was a party 
of men from Amherst led by Lieut. Joel Billings. In the manuscript ar- 
chives at the state-house in Boston is a paper which states, " Lieut. Billings 
came in at the head of his party with his Sword Drawn <S; his men mostly 
armed with guns, cutlasses, etc." 

On being notified of this violation of the laws. Governor James Bow- 
doin promptly issued a proclamation calling on the officers and citizens of 
the Commonwealth to suppress such treasonable proceedings; but the 
mischief had been accomplished. On the week succeeding the demonstra- 
tion at Northampton, occurred the day for opening the courts of common 
pleas and general sessions at Worcester. Here, as at Northampton, a 
mob of armed men assembled and prevented the sitting of the courts. 
Similar outrages were committed at Great Barrington and at Concord 
during the month of September. At Great Barrington, three of the four 
justices were compelled to sign an obligation that the}" would not act under 
their commissions until the grievances complained of should be redressed ; 
the jail also was broken open and the debtors confined there released. 
A proclamation had been issued by Gov. Bowdoin for assembling the 
General Court in October, but owing to the riots throughout the state the 
date was changed to Sept. 27. 


Conspiracy Against the Supreme Court. — Daniel Shays. — Action 
by the General Court. — Militia Called Out. — Bloodshed 
at Springfield. — Retreat of the Insurgents. 

Thus far the demonstrations of the insurgents had been directed 
against the inferior courts ; in attacking these, the rioters had made them- 
selves liable to indictment for hisfh misdemeanor. In order to shield them- 


selves from this danger, they determined to prevent the sitting of the 
supreme judicial court. This court was to open at Springfield on Tues- 
day, Sept. 26. The government anticipated trouble and made arrange- 
ments to protect the court in the exercise of its functions. Gov. Bowdoin 
ordered that the court-house should be taken possession of by 600 men 
•under command of Major Gen. William Shepard. On the Saturday even- 
ing preceding the opening clay, 120 men assembled at the court-house and 
quietly took possession ; by Tuesday their numbers had arisen to 300 or 
more. Minot says, "This party was well officered and equipped, and 
■contained the most respectable characters for abilities and interest, in the 
county of Hampshire." The insurgents also gathered, and by Tuesday 
morning they were fully equal to the government party in numbers, but 
•greatly inferior in officers and arms. 

At this time the man whose misfortune as well as fault it was to lend 
a name to the insurrection first assumed prominence in its affairs. Daniel 
Shays was born in Hopkinton in the county of Middlesex in 1747. His 
parents were very poor, so poor as to have depended in some instances 
upon their neighbors for the necessities of life. He had but little educa- 
tion, going to work at an early age for a farmer in Framingham. He after- 
wards lived for a time at Great Barrington, removing from there to Pelham. 
At the age of 28, on the breaking out of the war of the Revolution, he 
-entered the service of his country, with the rank of ensign. At the battle 
of bunker Hill he served in the regiment of Col. Ruggies Woodbridge of 
South Hadley, within the intrenchments. In 1776, he was appointed a 
lieutenant in Col. Varnum's regiment and was detached on recruiting 
.service. He enlisted a company of men, whose engagement to serve was 
based on the condition that he should be their captain. He was allowed 
the pay of a captain, from January, 1777, but a commission was not issued 
to him until 1779. He did gallant service at the storming of Stony Point 
and in the compaign that resulted in the surrender of Burgoyne. He was 
in Col. Putnam's regiment at Newark, N. J., when in October, 1780, he 
was discharged from service. He was a brave man, ambitious, of good 
appearance and pleasing address, but seemingly utterly devoid of principle, 
lie found it easy to enlist men for carrying out his projects however vision- 
ary, and was thoroughly unscrupulous as to the means employed in attain- 
ing his purposes. Such a man was the natural leader of the discontented, 
rebellious victims of a state of public and private affairs for which they 
held Others to be blamed. Associated with Shays was Luke Day of Spring- 
field, who had been commissioned as captain at the outbreak of the Rev- 
olution and had served honorably throughout the war. He wasademagog 
.and a braggart, a fitting associate for Shays. Neither had military abilities 
.suitable to a high command. 


The insurgents were greatly incensed at the government for having 
taken possession of the court-house before their arrival. They sent a 
request to the judges that none who had engaged in the recent riots should 
be indicted, but the judges replied they should execute the laws of the 
country agreeable to their oaths. But the court was unable to transact 
business ; on Wednesday the panel of jurors not being filled, those jury- 
men who appeared were dismissed. On Thursday the court adjourned, 
after resolving that it was not expedient to proceed to the county of Berk- 
shire. Captain Shays who commanded the insurgents paraded his men 
through the streets of Springfield and sent insolent demands to the court,, 
and to Col. Burt, who commanded the government forces in Gen. Shepard's 
absence; the latter, desirous of avoiding bloodshed, allowed the rioters to 
parade, and. after the court's adjournment, when the government troops- 
marched to the defence of the arsenal, the rioters were allowed to occupy 
the ground on which the troops had been stationed. On Friday the rioters 
disbanded, satisfied with what they had accomplished, it is probable that 
there were Amherst men under the command of Shays at Springfield, but 
there are no records in existence from which their names may be ascer- 
tained. ( )f the government forces, there was an Amherst company com- 
manded by Capt. Moses Cook, which "served in Defence of Government 
at Springfield in September, 1786"; the following were members of this 
company : Moses Cook, captain ; Elijah Hastings, Joseph Pettis. Samuel 
Boltwood, Silas Billings, Stoughton Dickinson, Eleazer Boltwood, Solomon 
Boltwood, Levy Cook, David Trowbridge, Zechariah Field, Martin Cook. 
They served seven days and their pay-roll amounted to ^11, 15, 9. 
Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. also served with the government forces for nineteen 
days and received £9, 3, 4. 

September 27, the Legislature assembled, and Governor Bowdoin iru 
an address from the chair made a statement regarding the disturbances 
that had taken place and the measures he had taken to quell them. The 
address was referred to a joint committee, which submitted a report express- 
ing abhorrence of the proceedings against the judicial courts, approving 
the governor's conduct in raising the militia for their defence, promising to 
pay those who had been or should be called into service, recommending a 
revival of the militia law, promising an examination into and redress of all 1 
grievances, and providing that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus 
should be suspended for a limited time. This report was adopted by the 
Senate, and the House agreed to all but the habeas corpus clause, which 
was recommitted. A riot act was also passed, providing that all offenders 
who should continue for the space of an hour their combinations, after the 
act had been read to them, should have their property subject to confisca- 
tion and be liable to a penalty of thirty-nine stripes and imprisonment for 


not more than one year. These proceedings served to alarm and anger 
Shays, and he sent a copy of the following letter to the selectmen of the 
towns in Hampshire county: 

"Pelham, Oct. 23, 1786. 
GENTLEMEN :— By information from the General Court, they are determined 
to call all those who appeared to stop the Court, to condign punishment. There- 
fore, I request you to assemble your men together, to see that they are well armed 
.and equipped, with sixty rounds each man, and to be ready to turn out at a minute's 
warning: likewise to be properly organized with officers. 

Daniel Shays." 

In spite of the action by governor and Legislature, the disturbances 
-continued and increased in violence. Inflammatory appeals to the people 
by the insurgents were published in the press of Western Massachusetts. 
The court of general sessions at Worcester was unable to transact any 
business in November, owing to the interference of a large body of armed 
insurgents; the court sessions at Springfield in December had to be given 
up from similar cause. The rioters having met with the most pronounced 
success in the western counties, determined to confine their operations to 
that section. A committee of seventeen was appointed to raise and 
organize a large force of men in Hampshire county ; among the members 
of this committee were Capt. Shays of Pelham and ("apt. Billings of 
Amherst. The form of enlistment used in recruiting these forces was as 
follows : 

■■ We do Each one of us acknowledge our Selves to be Inlisted into a Company 

Commanded by Capt. & Lieut billiard & in Colo Hazeltons Regiment of 

Regulators in Order for the Suppressing o£ tyrannical government in the 
Massachusetts State, And we do Ingage to obey Such orders as we Shal Res :eve 
from time to — to time from our Superior officers, and to faithfully Serve for the 
term of three months from the Date in Witness hereof we have hereunto Set our 

names the Conditions of Will be for a Sarg' Sixty Shillings P r Month Cop 1 

Fifty Shillings a Month Privet Forty Shillings a Month and if git the Day their 
will be a Consedrable Bounty Ither Forty or Sixty Pounds."' 

There is no record to show how the insurgents expected to raise the 
money to satisfy these "conditions "; owing to circumstances over which 
they had no control the bounty was never paid. The insurgents gathered 
at Worcester in December, where the courts met and adjourned, agreeably 
to til- governor's instructions, until January: the courts at Springfield were 
also adjourned, as Shays and his men had taken possession of the court- 
house, and sent a petition, equivalent to a command, that they should not 
proceed with business. News of these proceedings reached the governor, 
and, the General Court not being in session, the Council advised that 
4,400 men should be raised at once for protecting the courts and punishing 
violations of the law. Of this number, 700 were to be raised in Suffolk 


county, 500 in Essex, Soo in Middlesex, 1200 in Hampshire and 1200 in 
Worcester. These troops were to be raised for 30 days and the command 
of the whole was given to Major General Benjamin Lincoln ; those from 
Hampshire county were ordered to assemble at Springfield on the 18th of 
January. On the 12th of January the governor issued an address to the 
people of the Commonwealth, relating the circumstances that had com- 
pelled the calling out of the militia, and urging all good citizens to cooperate 
with the government in restoring peace and harmony within the borders of 
the state. Jan. 19, a warrant was issued by Governor Bowdoin, addressed 
to the sheriff of Hampshire county, for the apprehension of Capt. Asa 
Fish of South Brimfield, (apt. Alpheus Colton of Longmeadow, Luke 
Day and Elijah Day of West Springfield, Capt. Gad Sacket of Westfield, 
Capt. Aaron Jewell of Chesterfield, Capt. John Brown of Whately, Samuel 
Moore of Worthington, Daniel Shays of Pelham, Joseph Hinds of Green- 
wich, ('apt. Joel Billings of Amherst, Obed Foot of Greenfield, Capt. 
Abel Dinsmore of Conway, Capt. Matthew Clark of Coleraine, Capt. 
Samuel Hill of Charlemont, Capt. Thomas Grover of Montague, and John 
Powers of Shutesburv. This warrant was not returned until April 4, when 
Sheriff Eleazer Porter endorsed it to the effect that he had apprehended 
and committed to jail Colton. Clark and Brown; the rest he had not been 
able to take except Joel billings. " but he being under the sanction of a 
Flagg was released by order of Genl Lincoln." At a meeting held Jan. 
12, Amherst appointed a committee to draw up a petition to the General 
Court, stating the grievances of the people and suggesting measures for 
their alleviation. The petition was drawn up and adopted at a meeting- 
held a week later. 

The proclamation of the governor, the calling out of the militia, and 
other evidence that the government which, up to that time, had partially 
tolerated if it had not countenanced the insurrection, was about to call in 
play all available forces for its suppression, served notice upon Shays and 
his followers that decisive action must betaken sptedily or their cause was 
lost. They decided to attack the arsenal at Springfield which, if captured, 
would afford them abundant supplies of arms and ammunition for carrying 
on the struggle in which they were enlisted. The troops raised in the 
eastern part of the state assembled at Roxbury. Jan. 19, and marched to 
Worcester, reaching there the 2 2d. The courts met at Worcester the fol- 
lowing day, and in presence of the troops commanded by Gen. Lincoln 
the insurgents considered it the part of wisdom not to interfere. Previous 
to the marching of the troops from Roxbury, orders had been given to 
Gen. Shepard to take possession of the post at Springfield. Here he col- 
lected about 900 men being afterwards reinforced with 200 men, all from 
the militia of Hampshire county. This army was furnished with field- 


pieces from the arsenal. If the insurgents were to carry the post, the 
attack must needs be made before the arrival of Gen. Lincoln and his 
army. The forces of the insurgents numbered about 1900, stationed and 
commanded as follows : At West Springfield were 400 men under command 
of Capt. Luke 1 >ay, at Chicopee 400 from Berkshire county led by Eli 
Parsons, and at the east on the Boston road 1100 men under command of 
Capt. Shays. Jan. 24, Shays sent a message to Day, informing him that 
he should attack the post the following day and should count on his assist- 
ance. Day sent a message in reply that he could not assist on the day 
proposed but would the day following. The message of Day was inter- 
cepted and given to General Shepard. Jan 25, Day sent an insolent mes- 
sage to General Shepard, demanding that the troops in Springfield should 
lay down their arms, that their arms should be deposited in the public 
stores, and that the troops should return to their homes upon parole. The 
same day Shays, who was at Wilbraham, sent a message to General Lin- 
coln, stating that he was unwilling to shed blood, and proposing that all 
the insurgents should be indemnified until the next sitting of the General 
Court and until an opportunity could be had for hearing their complaints, 
that the persons who had been taken by the government should be released 
without punishment, that these conditions should be made sure by procla- 
mation of the governor, on which the insurgents should return to their 
homes and wait for constitutional relief from the insupportable burdens 
under which they labored. 

This message was doubtless a blind, intended to delay Gen. Lincoln 
in his march, for no sooner had it been dispatched than Shays started with 
his forces for Springfield. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon they were 
seen approaching the arsenal upon the Boston road. Gen. Shepard, 
impressed with the importance of the occasion, sent repeated messages to 
Shays, inquiring what were his intentions and warning him that if his men 
approached nearer the arsenal they would be fired upon. Shays replied 
that it was his intention to gain possession of the arsenal and barracks. 
As the insurgents continued to advance, Gen. Shepard ordered a discharge 
of cannon, but directed that the first two volleys should be fired in the air ; 
still they advanced, and when within fifty rods of the battery the guns were 
trained on the center of the insurgents' column and fired. The column 
was thrown into dire confusion ; a cry of " murder " arose, and as the 
smoke from the discharge cleared away the insurgents were seen in full 
retreat, the efforts of Shays to rally them being unavailing. Three of the 
party were killed by the cannon, Kzekicl Root and Ariel Webster of (nil 
and Jabez Spicer of Leyden, and one was mortally wounded, John Hunter 
of Shelburne. 


The retreat continued as far as Ludlow, where Shays and his men 
spent the night. The following day they marched to Chicopee, over 200 
men deserting along the route, and there effected a junction with the 
Berkshire men under Eli Parsons. Gen. Lincoln with his troops arrived 
at Springfield. Jan. 27. Although late in the day it was determined to act 
at once and prevent all possibility of a union between the forces of Day 
and Shays. Day was still stationed in West Springfield and had placed 
guards at the ferry-house and at the bridge across Agawam river. Under 
the command of Gen. Lincoln, four regiments and four pieces of artillery 
crossed the river on the ice, while the Hampshire troops, under command 
of Gen. Shepard, marched up the river on the east bank. The insurgents 
under Day's command made no show of resistance, but retreated precipi- 
tately through Southampton to Northampton, throwing away along the 
route their muskets, knapsacks and ammunition ; a few of them were 
captured by the government cavalry. The following clay, Shays, having 
learned of Day's retreat, started with his forces and marched through 
South Hadley to Amherst and thence to Pelham. During this retreat 
many houses were plundered, and one man was killed, the men mistaking 
their own rear guard for the advance of Gen. Lincoln's army. At the 
house of Major Goodman in South Hadley the insurgents stole two barrels 
of rum, his account-books and many articles of household furniture. 
They also broke open the house of Col. Woodbridge and took such articles 
as they desired. Shays endeavored in vain to prevent these outrages. 
From Northampton, the party under Day had continued its retreat through 
Amherst to Pelham, arriving there in advance of Shays. 


Pursuit of the Insurgents. — Correspondence Between Lincoln 

and Shays. — The March to Petersham. — Terms of Amnesty. 

— Amherst Men who Took the Oath of Allegiance. — The 

Conkey Tavern. — The Clapp Tavern. 

Immediately on learning of Shays' retreat, Gen. Lincoln and his 

army started out at 2 o'clock in the morning in pursuit. Shays had several 

hours the start of his pursuers, and when the latter arrived in Amherst 

Shays and his men were already .on their way to Pelham, whither Gen.. 

Lincoln thought it inadvisable to follow them at the time ; he therefore. 



marched his troops to Hadley, to secure the rest of which they were sorely 
in need. Minot says: "Upon an examination of the houses at Amherst, 
it was discovered, that most of the male inhabitants had quitted them to 
follow the insurgents ; and that ten sleigh loads of provisions had gone 
forward from the county of Berkshire, for their use. Under such appear- 
ances, a strict prohibition was laid upon the remaining inhabitants, against 
affording any supplies to their deluded neighbors.'' 

The forces of the insurgents were posted on the east and west hills in 
Pelham, bleak and forbidding in the winter-time and difficult of access 
from the deep snow surrounding them. A more inhospitable place to 
maintain an army for any length of time it would be difficult to select. 
Jan. 30, Gen. Lincoln sent a letter directed to Capt. Shays, and the officers 
commanding the men in arms against the government of the Common- 
wealth. In it he expressed the conviction that the insurgents must realize 
that they were unable to execute their original purposes. He warned them 
that if they did not disband he should approach and apprehend the most 
influential characters among them. They were instructed to tell their 
privates that if the latter would "instantly lay clown their arms, surrender 
themselves to government, and take and subscribe the oath of allegiance 
to this Commonwealth," they would be recommended for mercy to the 
General Court. To this letter Shays returned a counter proposition, to the 
effect that he and his men would lay down their arms on condition of a 
general pardon ; he also requested that hostilities should cease until an 
answer should be received to a petition that had been sent by the insurgents 
to the General Court. The following day three of the insurgent leaders 
came to Gen. Lincoln's quarters at Hadley, bringing a letter signed by Fran- 
cis Stone, 1 )anie] Shays and Adam Wheeler, which read as follows : 

" As the officers of the people, now convened in defence of their rights and 
privileges, have sent a petition to the General Court, for the sole purpose of accom- 
modating our present unhappy affairs, we justly expect that hostilities may cease 
on both sides, until we have a return from our legislature." 

To this Gen. Lincoln sent the following reply: 

HADLEY, January 31 st . 17S7. 
Gentlemen, Your request is totally inadmissible, as no powers are delegated 
to me which would justify a delay of my operations. Hostilities I have not com- 
menced. I have again to warn the people in arms against government, immediately 
to disband, as they would avoid the ill consequences which may ensue, should they 
be inattentive to this caution. 

11. Lincoln." 

The General Courl (omened Feb. 3, 1 7 S 7 . The governor in his 
address gave a review of events connected with the insurrection and the 
measures he had taken for its suppression. The next day a declaration of 


rebellion was adopted by both houses, as well as an approval of Gen. 
Lincoln's offer of clemency to privates and non-commissioned officers 
among" the insurgents, on condition of their surrendering their arms and 
subscribing to the oath of allegiance. They approved the measures the 
governor had taken, desired him to continue them persistently and vigor- 
ously, and promised him such support as was in their province to render. 
The petition of the insurgents was presented, but it was voted "that the 
said paper cannot be sustained." It was plain that the insurgents had 
little hope of favorable action on their petition, for Feb. 3, the same day 
that the General Court convened, they withdrew from Pelham and marched 
to Petersham. Information of this movement was brought to Gen. Lincoln 
at Hadley the same clay at noon, but it was at first supposed to be only a 
removal from the west to the east hill in Pelham. When, about 6 P. m.. 
intelligence was received that the insurgents had left their post and gone 
eastward. Gen. Lincoln at once ordered his troops in pursuit; at 8 o'clock 
the army was in motion and then ensued one of the hardest and most 
fatiguing marches on record. Minot describes it as follows : 

•■ Nothing more than the usual inclemency of the season opposed their march 
until two o'clock in the morning, by which time they had advanced as far as Xew 
Salem. Here a violent north wind arose, and sharpened the cold to an extreme 
; a snow storm accompanied, which tilled the paths ; the route of the army 
lying over high land, exposed the soldiers to the full effects of these circumstances, 
while on their way: and the county being thinly settled, did not afford a covering 
for them within the distance of eight miles. Being thus deprived of shelter by the 
want of buildings, and of refreshment— by the intenseness of the cold, which pre- 
vented their taking any in the road, their only safety lay in closely pursuing a march, 
which was to terminate at the epiarters of the enemy. They therefore advanced 
the whole distance of thirty miles, subject to all these inclemencies, without halting 
for any length of time. Their front reached Petersham by nine o'clock in the 
morning, their rear being five miles distant." 

Anyone who has tramped over Hampshire and Franklin hills at night 
in the dead of winter, with a howling north wind blowing and piling the 
snow as it descends into drifts all but impassable, can appreciate something 
of the dangers and fatigue that were undergone by Gen. Lincoln's troops 
on that forced march from Haclley to Petersham. The advance guard 
entered the town in command of Col. Haskel ; a company of artillery with 
two pieces of cannon immediately followed and the whole body of the 
army was brought up as early as possible. The insurgents were taken 
completely by surprise ; they instantly evacuated the houses in which they 
were quartered and thronged into a back road leading toward Athol, 
scarcely firing a gun. Gen. Lincoln's troops pursued them about two 
miles, capturing about 150 ; of the remainder many returned to their 
homes and others fled into the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and 


New York. This was the last attempt made by any large body of men to 
oppose the government forces in Massachusetts, although for several weeks 
succeeding a kind of guerilla warfare was carried on by the insurgents of 
Berkshire count)-, with damage to property and outrageous assaults on 
individuals. Feb. 7, Gen. Lincoln received a message from Gen. Patterson, 
requesting him to hasten to Pittsfield with his troops. They marched the 
same day to Amherst, a distance of 25 miles, and thence through Hadley, 
Northampton, Chesterfield, Worthington, Peru, Hinsdale and Dalton, to 

Feb. 9, Gov. Bowdoin issued a proclamation for the apprehension of 
Daniel Shays, Luke Day, Adam Wheeler and Eli Parsons; a reward of 
^150 was offered for the capture of Shays and Vj'ioo for each of the 
others. The General Court having learned of the defeat of Shays and 
the ending of organized rebellion, gave serious attention to the conditions 
of indemnity that should be offered the insurgents. The following were 
decided upon : 

'•That the offenders, having laid down their arms and taken the oath of 
allegiance to the Commonwealth, should keep the peace for three years, and, during 
that term, should not serve as jurors, be eligible to any town office, or any other 
office under the government, should not hold or exercise the employment of school- 
masters, innkeepers, or retailers of spirituous liquors, or give their votes for the 
same term of time for any office, civil or military, within the Commonwealth, 
unless they should, after the 1st day of .May. 1788, exhibit plenary evidence of 
their having returned to their allegiance and kept the peace, and of their possessing 
such an unequivocal attachment to the Government, as should appear to the ( General 
Court a sufficient ground to discharge them from all or any of these disqualifications." 

The governor was empowered to extend the release of these conditions 
to such of the privates among the insurgents as had taken up arms for 
the government before Feb. 1st. The persons absolutely excepted from 
the indemnity were : 

••Such as were not citizens of the state, such as had been members of any 
General Court in the state, or of any state or county convention, or had been 
employed in any commissioned office, civil or military : such as, after delivering up 
their arms, and taking the oath of allegiance during the rebellion, had again taken 
and borne arms against the government; such as had fired upon, or wounded any 
of the loyal subjects of the Commonwealth; such as had acted as committees, 
counsellors, or advisers to the rebels: and such as. in former years, had been in 
arms against the government, in the capacity of commissioned officers, and were 
afterwards pardoned, and had been concerned in the rebellion.*' 

All insurgents wire required to take the oath of allegiance : the form 
of this oath may be found on page 138 of the town-meeting records in this 
volume. It is only by consulting the lists of those who subscribed to this 
oath that a correct estimate may be obtained of the large percentage of 


l 33 

Amherst residents who were engaged more or less actively in this rebellion. 
These lists are preserved in the manuscript archives at the state-house in 
Boston, from which the following Amherst names are transcribed. These 
persons appeared before Eleazer Porter, Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr. or Nathaniel 
Dickinson, each of whom was a justice of the peace, during the months 
of February and March, 17S7, and subscribed to the oath : 

Moses Dickinson, 
Martin Kellogg, 
Joel Moody. 
Seth Wood. 
Giles Church. 
Thomas Goodale, 
David Goodale. 
Ezekiel Ingram. 
Israel Dickinson. 
Henry Franklin, 
Eleazer Smith. 
Moses Cook. 
Isaac Goodale. 
Jonathan Warner, 
Josiah Smith. 
( lershom Ingram. 
Asahel Clark. 
Eleazer Dana. 
Elisha Dickinson, 
Gideon Dickinson. Jr., 
Oliver Clapp, 
Zechariah Hawley, 
Joel Billings. Jr., 
Samuel Prince, 
Azariah Dickinson, 
Amasa Allen. 
Stephen Cole, 
Edward Roth, 
Levi Dickinson, 
Ephraim Robbin. 
John Kellogg. 
Noadiah Lewis. 
Reuben Cowls, 
Simeon Pomeroy, 
Eli Parker. Jr., 
Henrv Lee. 

Nathaniel Dickinson, 2d, 
Silas Moody. 
Nathaniel Moody. 
Samuel Nash, 
John Fox. 
William Clapp. 
Isaac Robins, 
Aaron Merrick. 
Timothy Green, 
Alexander Smith. 
Moses B. Mings, 
Medad I Hckinson, 
Samuel Ingram. 
William Moody, 
( )liver Cowls, 
Jonathan Field. 
Joseph Dickinson. 
Clark Law ton. 
Robert Ingram. 
Thomas Samuel, 
Reuben Ingram. 
Jonathan Maynard, 
Samuel Thompson. 
David Pomeroy, 
Asa Dickinson. 
Titus Matthews. 
Simeon Cowls, 
Elijah Smith. 
John Ingram. 2d, 
Isaac Hubbard, 
Enos Dickinson, 
James Hendrick, 
Reuben Warner, 
Moses Hastings, 
Elias Smith. 

Waitstill Dickinson, 
Elisha Moody, 
Timothy Smith, 
David Billings. 
John Lee, 
Ebenezer Cooley. 
Ephraim Kellogg. Jr., 
Timothy Green, Jr.. 
Reuben Nash, 
James Merrick. 
Simeon Clark, 
Ephraim Kellogg, 
Jonathan Moody. 
Lemuel Moody. 
David Blodgett, 
Ebenezer Dickinson. 
David Smith. 
Noah Smith, 
Gideon Ingram. 
John Field. 
Thomas Adams. 
Ezekiel Dickinson, 
Nathan Dickinson. Jr., 
Ebenezer Ingram. 
Jacob Warner. Jr., 
Andrew Kimball. Jr., 
Leonard Roth, 
Daniel Kellogg. Jr.. 
Amariah Dana, 
Noadiah Smith. 
Ethan Smith. 
Samuel Hastings, 
Alexander Guill, 
Perez Dickinson. 
Samuel Smith. 
Medad Moody. 

Simeon Smith, 

Reuben Dickinson and John Nash did not take the oath until July, 
and it was not until September that Joel Billing, Aaron Billing and Calvin 
Rich placed their names upon the list. The offence of Medad Mooch- 
was in lending his gun to a rioter, unwillingly. From the foregoing list it 
will be seen that a large majority of the men in Amherst favored the 


rebellion ; how many of them bore arms under Shays cannot be stated 
with accuracy, but when Gen. Lincoln passed through the town in pursuit 
of the insurgents he found but few men at home. 

The government next turned its attention to the trial of the more 
notorious of the insurgents. At a special session of the supreme judicial 
court for the county of Hampshire, held at Northampton April 9, Jason 
Parmenter of Bernardston, Daniel Luddington of Southampton, James 
\\ nite of Coleraine, Alpheus Colton of Longmeadow, Moses Dickinson, 
Jr. of Northfield and Henry McCulloch of Pelham were tried for high 
treason, and all but Dickinson were convicted and sentenced to death. 
The court assigned as counsel for their defence Simeon and Caleb Strong. 
Shortly after sentence was pronounced the governor was overwhelmed with 
petitions for a pardon for the convicts. One of these, in favor of Henry 
McCulloch, was dated at Pelham, but contained many Amherst signatures, 
among others those of Ebenezer Boltwood, Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr., Zebina 
Montague and Noadiah Leonard. Gen. Mattoon also wrote two letters in 
McCulloch' s favor, one addressed to Dr. Robert Cutler and one to Major 
Thomas Gushing. After several postponements of the time for the execution 
of his sentence, McCulloch was finally pardoned. Shays after his retreat from 
Petersham fled to Winchester, New Hampshire, from whence he made his 
way into New York state. He was subsequently pardoned by the governor 
and returned to his home in Pelham, but afterwards removed to Sparta, N. 
V., where he died in poverty in September, 1825, aged 78 years. 

The Shays rebellion brought into prominence two taverns, one located 
in Pelham, the other in Amherst. The old " Conkey tavern," situated in 
the east part of Pelham which in 1822 was set off as a part of the town of 
Prescott. was only a half mile from the residence of Daniel Shays. It was 
built in 1758, fifteen years after the town was incorporated, by William 
Conkey. It was two stories in height and fronted toward the south. There 
were two rooms on the ground floor with a huge chimney between, a small hall 
and a stairway in front of the chimney leading to the second story, which 
also contained two rooms. A " lean-to " extended across the rear of the 
main part, in which was the long low kitchen and the pantry on each end, 
with doors on either side of the great stone lire-place opening into the 
dining-room at the east end of the main building and the bar-room at the 
west end. The apartment over the dining-room was used at times as a 
dancing-hall and had a large tire-place to warm it. No lath or plaster was 
in the tavern, the rooms being sheathed on the sides and overhead. In 
1776, the house was repaired and the stone chimney taken down to the 
tops of the fire-places and rebuilt of bricks. There was an ample cellar 
and an attic. On the corner of the tavern outside hung the sign, a pine 
board about two feet square, on one side of which was painted a horse and 

i in: kathan dickixson house. ( Built before 1745.) 



rider, on the other a horse with 
a groom holding it by the bridle. 
The bar-room was. as doubtless 
it was intended to be, the most 
comfortable and home-like place 
in the building. It contained a 
great open fire-place, in which in 
winter-time the blazing logs were 
piled high and the crackling 
flames bade defiance to the winds 
that came howling down from the 
bleak hills of Shutesbury and 
Prescott. In the southwest cor- 
ner was the bar, which Landlord 
Conkey kept well supplied with 
the favorite drinks of the time, 
including New England and West 
India rum. brandy, wine and cor- 
dials. A receipted bill to Conkey 
from a Boston liquor firm, dated 
in 1772, shows the purchase of 
liquors amounting to over £100. 
A better place in which to 
plan a rebellion against govern- 
ment could hardly have been 
found. Remote from the main 
travel-ways, with no other habi- 
tation in sight, it afforded a safe 
retreat for the discontented and 
debt-burdened yeomanry of Pel- 
ham and surrounding towns, 
where they could meet on winter 
evenings and. their courage rein- 
K \" >/ \ ' forced by the contents of demi- 

A V^ \ iVt )\^ Johns and kegs, prepare for a 

conflict which they had come to 
look upon as inevitable. The 
leading spirit at these gatherings 
was Captain Shays ; he encour- 
aged the talk of rebellion and 
used the open space in front 


of the tavern as a training-field to perfect his men in the manual of 
arms. A natural if not a necessary feature of this training consisted of 
frequent visits to the bar-room, and it is recorded that the casing of the 
huge beam that ran through the center of the apartment, on which rested 
the joists that supported the second floor, bore for many years the imprints 
of the muzzles of the muskets made by the excited rebels in the intervals 
between the drills. It is supposed that Shays made this tavern his head- 
quarters on his retreat from Springfield, and that the letters addressed by 
him to Gen. Lincoln were written there. The tavern remained standing 
until 1883 when it was burned down. The pen drawing on the preceding 
page was made from an autograph manuscript of Daniel Shays, petitioning 
for attending the convention at Hatfield. 

The " Clapp tavern," located at East Amherst, was one of the best- 
known hostelries in the early history of the town. Many facts of interest 
concerning it were furnished for this history, by Charles Clapp, a direct 
descendant of the original owner. From a letter written by him the follow- 
ing is quoted : 

" Preserved Clapp on first coming to Amherst built a house on what is now the 
Sanford Boice place, a portion of which yet remains in the old house on the hill 
back of Mr. Boice's present residence. That place he sold or exchanged for the 
farm adjoining, that at present occupied by Olney Gaylord, extending north from 
that to the road leading to Pelham, and east as far as Pelham line. The site of 
the house was very nearly that now occupied by the barn of the late Noah Dick- 
inson, and it was erected, as nearly as we can ascertain, about the year 1737. On 
the day in which the family first occupied it three bears were brought in and skinned 
on the kitchen floor, so plentiful were they then in that vicinity. Little need of a 
tavern in Amherst in those days, it would seem. I do not know when it was first 
used as a public house, but am under the impression that it gradually assumed that 
character. Oliver, the younger son of Preserved Clap]), was only fourteen years 
of age when Ids father died; he was the one familiarly known as " Landlord 
Clapp," He married Gen. Ebenezer Mattoon's sister Elizabeth, and for many 
years kept the tavern. He was quite famed for the excellence of the flip he served, 
his good wile brewing the beer therefor. During the war of the Revolution, a 
detachment of Burgoyne's army officers, who had gone out to attend a dance near 
Saratoga, wen- captured and brought under a guard to the Clapp tavern, on their 
way to Boston. They remained one night for rest, the floor being covered with 
straw to provide them a bed, causing Landlord Clapp no little anxiety lest the 
straw should be sit on fire and the house burned. 

The oli 1 tavern was the scene of much plotting during Shays rebellion ; indeed 
I think the first plans lor it were made there. Landlord Clapp was a great though 
secret friend of Shays, and when he was stationed in Pelham. every night at [2 
o'clock, a messenger was sent by him to grandfather's window. ' for the news of the 
day." At one time. (Jan. 28, 1 7S7) a number of sled-loads of provisions which had 
been sent for Shays' army with a small escort, stopped at the tavern for entertain- 
ment lor themselves and teams: to their great astonishment they met with a stern 
refusal, as they had been directed to stop there lor refreshments. At the first 


opportunity the commander of the party was taken one side and told to start for 
Pelham as quickly as possible, as government troops were near at hand and in hot 
pursuit. They lost no time in following directions. At the same time another 
friend of Shays (Capt. Billings) mounted a horse and rode up the hill to the West 
street to reconnoitre. Dashing" nearly up to the troops, he suddenly wheeled his 
steed, and. waving his hat and shouting ' Coma on, boys." dashed away at a furious 
rate, the soldiers spurring their horses to their utmost speed and following him 
down the hill, past the tavern and on towards Pelham in a mad race. In the 
meantime the teamsters had reached Thornton hill, from which they caught sight 
of the coming soldiers. The commander of the -supply train " drew his teams up 
across the road resolved to do his best to protect his charge. The steepness of the 
hill proved of great advantage, as he was enabled so to dispose of his men that 
bayonet showed above bayonet, with apparently a formidable barricade in front. 
At the same time a number of men appeared on the Valley road : as the troops 
drew near they caught sight of the formidable array in front and the men on the 
V alley road ; they were sure they were being drawn into an ambuscade. Wheeling 
their horses they rode back at a madder pace even than before. Stopping for rest 
at the Clapp tavern, they reported that they had been led -into the very jaws of 
hell. - - 


Statistics in 1777, 1779. and 17S1. — Counterfeiting. — Industrial 
Movements. — Merchants and Traders. — Amherst in 1800. 
— War of 1S12. 

In 1777, a list of male inhabitants of Amherst over 16 years of age, 
gave the number of whites as 238 ; of blacks, two. From a valuation list 
of the town made in 1779. the following statistics are taken : Polls, 248 ; 
houses and barns. 256, valued at ^"37 each; mowing and tillage, 1266 
acres; pasture land, 31 1 acres: woodland, 3693 acres; 3 mills : money at 
interest and on hand, .£582 ; debts due not on interest, ^"95 ; goods, wares 
and merchandise, ^480 ; horses, 113 ; oxen, 101 ; cows, 1S4; steers, 303 ; 
sheep, 951 ; swine, 206. Two years later, in 1781, the figures recorded 
were as follows: Polls. 251 : houses, 134; barns, 106; stores, etc., 3 ; 
distill houses, mills, etc.. 6; acres of English mowing, 310: acres of 
tillage land, 1271 ; acres of fresh meadow, 1117 ; acres of pasturing, 641 ; 
acres of woodland and land unimproved, 8716 ; barrels of "cyder," 636 ; 
money on interest and on hand, ^"221 ; goods, wares and mdse., ^90; 
horses, 167 ; oxen, 261 ; cows, 413 ; sheep and goats, 949 ; swine, 160. 


Coaches, chaises, etc., were owned to the value of ,£57. There were four 
owners of gold, coined and uncoined, and 252 owners of silver. Statistics 
taken in 17S4 record the following: Polls, ratable, 251 ; non-ratable polls, 
26; dwelling-houses, 136; shops, 6; tan-houses, 3; pot and pearl ash 
works, 1 ; barns, 112 ; grist, saw and other mills, 4; other buildings, 15 ; 
acres of tillage, 11 04: acres of English mowing, 446^; acres of fresh 
meadow, 850^; acres of pasture, 478 ; acres of woodland, 3 144 ; acres of 
other land, unimproved, 5062 ; barrels of "cyder," 862 ; amount of stock 
in trade, ^162 ; horses and colts, 231 ; oxen, 214 ; neat cattle, 397 ; cows, 
385; sheep and goats, 594; swine, 298; debts due, ^740; money on 
hand, ^"30 ; total valuation, ^1950, 19, 6. There were 44 owners of silver 

While the early inhabitants of Western Massachusetts were, in the 
main, orderly and law-abiding, the vicious and criminal element was not 
lacking. The courts in olden times had to deal with all manner of offences 
against person and property. The scarcity of money was a great tempta- 
tion to counterfeiters, who were willing to brave the severe penalties 
attached to the crime in the hope of acquiring great wealth with little 
effort. In 1770, one Thomas Walton was accused of counterfeiting, was 
tried before the court in Springfield and convicted. Nathan Dickinson of 
Amherst, who entered the complaint against Walton, thereupon petitioned 
for the reward offered by the commonwealth for the conviction of such 
offenders, his petition reading as follows : 

•' To the Hon" Thomas Hutchinson Esq Lt Gov. & Commander in chief over 
his Majesty's Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England and the Hon l,le his 
Majesty's Council at Cambridge March 2o lh i770. Humbly shews Nathan Dick- 
inson of Amherst in the County of Hampshire that on the 23 d Day of March last 
Past he made Information to Josiah Chauncy & Simeon Strong Esq. two of his 
Majesty's Justices of the Peace for the County of Hampshire against one Thomas 
Walton, charging the said Thomas with the offence of forging and counterfeiting 
certain Pieces oi Pewti r & Other base Metals with the Resemblance of Spanish 
Mille d Dollars the Current Coin of this Province, by means whereof the said 
Thomas was Recognized by said Justices to appear before his Majesty's Superior 
Courl ni Judicature court of Assize and General Goal Delivery then next to be 
holden at Springfield within & for the County of Hampshire on the fourth Tuesday 
of September then next at which term the said Thomas in Consequence of the 
said Information was at the Same Term of Said Court Convicted of the same 
by the Record of the Conviction in the same Court appears & your 
mei then fore humbly prays that the Treasurer of the Province be impowered 
and ordered to pay your Petitioner out of the Province Treasury the Reward and 
Premium of ^25 according to the Laws of this Province in Such cases Provided 
and as in Duly Bound Shall pray. 

NATHAN Dickinson." 


Eleven years later, in 17S1, Ebenezer Mattoon petitioned the General 
Court to reimburse him for the money he had paid out in journeying "from 
Amherst to Providence, R. I. to prevent the liberating of one Firmine 
Woods of s'd Amherst, then confined in Providence Goal for uttering & 
passing counterfeit Eight Dollar Bills of the New Emission, which was 
contemplated by a number of persons of suspected character of said Town, 
one being actually sent for that purpose." The General Court allowed 
him £'], 1 for his trouble and expense. 

Soon after the ending of the Shays rebellion, a series of industrial 
movements were inaugurated in Western Massachusetts in some of which 
Amherst citizens were engaged and which were calculated to affect the 
growth and prosperity of the town. The constant succession of armed 
conflicts which, beginning with King Philip's war in 1675, had lasted with 
little interruption for more than a century, had greatly retarded the devel- 
opment of the resources of the Connecticut Valley. The means of 
transportation had always been limited and unsatisfactory. Railways were 
as yet unknown, highways were of the most primitive construction, and 
the only water-way of importance, the Connecticut river, was robbed of 
half its value by the existence of the falls at South Hadley and at Mon- 
tague. In 1 792, prominent men of Berkshire and Hampshire counties, 
among them Simeon Strong of Amherst, formed an association for the 
purpose of constructing canals around these falls. The association was. 
incorporated under the name of "The Proprietors of the Locks and Canals 
on Connecticut River." A canal was built at South Hadley at great 
expense, being two and a half miles long, much of it cut through solid 
rock. It was the first canal of any importance built in the United States. 
When completed, it was found that its bed was not low enough to take the 
water from the river, but this difficulty was obviated by the construction of 
a clam. This dam set back the water for several miles, overflowing the 
Northampton meadows and causing an epidemic of fever, so that North- 
ampton people had the company indicted for maintaining a nuisance ; the case 
came to trial, the plaintiffs won their suit and the dam, save its oblique 
section, was ordered to be torn down. Money was needed in order to 
lower the bed of the canal, and in 1S02 the Legislature, on petition, granted 
the proprietors a lottery for raising S2 0.000. The scheme was successful 
and in 1S04 the lowering of the canal was completed; it was in success- 
ful operation for many years. The canal at Turners Falls was completed 
in 1797. 

Turnpikes were built in New England at an early date in its history, 
but did not become common in Western Massachusetts until after the close 
of the Shays rebellion. In the latter part of the 18th century many turn- 
pike corporations were formed in this section, among them the " Sixth 


Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation," for the purpose of building a road 
commencing on the east line of Amherst and passing through Pelham, 
Greenwich, Hardwick, New Braintree, ( )akham, Rutland, Holden and 
Worcester, " to the great road in Shrewsbury leading from New York to 

In the statistics gi\ r en for the year 1784, it will be noted that Amherst 
reported its stock in trade as valued at only ^,"162. This would indicate 
a small development of mercantile or other business. Yet Amherst had 
as many country stores as was customary for towns of its size, stores whose 
stock of goods was as miscellaneous in character, if not as large in volume, 
as those of the modern "department emporiums." Some of these stores 
were developed from taverns, while the greater number of them had liquors 
as a part of their regular stock in trade. Such a thing as a " cash business " 
would have been impossible in the earlier years, and trade and barter 
usurped the place of buying and selling to a large degree. From a review 
of trade in Amherst in 18 15, written 72 years afterward by an old resident 
of the town, the following facts of interest are gathered. In 181401- there- 
about James Kellogg established himself as a merchant at East Amherst. 
He built the brick house now standing near the school-house, and opened 
a store in the south part while his family occupied the north part. He 
continued in business there about ten years, when he closed it out and 
bought a farm at South Amherst, where he opened a small dry-goods and 
grocery store which he conducted in connection with his farming operations. 
Later on, he established a hardware business, engaging in the manufacture 
of joiners' tools in that part of the town now known as " Kelloggville." 
At the center of the town in 1815, H. Wright Strong kept a store at the 
upper corner of what is now known as Phoenix Row ; one of his clerks 
was Luke Sweetser, who afterwards became one of the best known and 
most successful of Amherst's merchants. Across the street, on the oppo- 
site corner, was a building occupied by Jay White as a dry-goods and 
grocery store. Further north, near Mt. Pleasant, was a store conducted by 
Morton Dickinson. 

There was a store at East Amherst near where stands the one now 
conducted by George E. Thayer. This was owned by "('apt." Dyer, who 
in 1818 sold out to Asahel Thayer, the latter continuing the business until 
1834, when he engaged with Lyman Knowles in carriage manufacturing. 
A little to the north was a small store occupied by John Hunt, while across 
the street was one built about 1822 and occupied by Hubbard <!v Lamb. 
The latter continued in business a few years and then sold out to L. M. 
Hills. About the year 1824 a store was started at South Amhersl by 
Philip L. ( ioss, and one at North Amherst by Emerson Marsh. 



Prof. William S. Tyler's History of Amherst College contains in one 
of its opening chapters an interesting sketch of the center village of 
Amherst as it appeared in the year 1800. It gives a list of the houses, 
the names of owners, and occupants, and locations also, all matters of 
historic interest and value. The houses at the center were all built front- 
ing on the highways, forty rods in width ; when the streets were narrowed, 
the land in front of the houses was enclosed, thus forming spacious "front 
yards," such as may now be seen in front of the Cowles house on Pleasant 
street and the Strong house at the corner of Amity and Prospect streets. . 
The same custom prevailed at East Amherst, and Judd in his unpublished 
mss. says that formerly there were five or six houses from 20 to 40 rods 
east of the present East Street ; the old cellars still remained in 1S50, one 
in the rear of John Dickinson's house on a rise of ground, one further 
north and one or two to the south of the Pelham road. 

At the beginning of the present century, Judge Simson Strong 
owned all the land at and near the northwest and northeast corners of 
Main and Pleasant streets, as far north as the Cowles house, and the Cole- 
man house which then stood near the cemetery. Gen. Zebina Montague 
owned the southeast corner, and Dr. Parsons the southwest angle except 
the corner which was occupied, then as now, by a hotel. In 18 15. when 
the college began to be talked of, there were not more than 25 houses in 
the entire village. The hotel and two of the dwelling-houses, those belong- 
ing to Tudsre Strong and Dr. Parsons, had °-ambrel roofs, a favorite stvle of 
architecture at that time. Between the hotel and the Parsons house, which 
stood on the brow of College hill, the only building was a school-house, 
situated about where Hunt's block now stands. The corner now occupied- 
bv Adams' drugstore was then the site of the house and store of H. 
Wright Strong, until about that time the only store in town. At the east 
end of Phoenix Row. on the site of the present Kellogg block, was the 
house which was owned and occupied by Noah Webster from 18 12 until. 
1S22 ; this house was burned in 1838. Further to the east was the house 
which had recently been erected by Samuel Fowler Dickinson, the first 
house in town to be built of brick; the old Whiting house, afterwards known; 
as the Avers house until it was torn down in 1879, fronted on what is now 
known as Fast Pleasant street, standing a little to the north of the barn owned: 
bv John M. Hyde. On the east side of the common stood the Warner house 
and the Merrill house. On Amity street was the house built by SolomoiT 
Boltwood and afterwards occupied by Dr. Cutler. Of these houses four 
are still standing. The " Strong " house, now occupied by Mrs. Sarah E.. 
Emerson, was built in 1744 by Nehemiah Strong, who came to this place 
from Northampton. It was afterwards occupied by his son. Judge 
Simeon Strong, and then by his grandson, Simeon Strong, Jr. Itx 


was never occupied by Noah Webster, as has been often stated. This 
house has never been rebuilt and presents to-day much the same appearance 
as when it was erected, 150 years ago. The same may be said of the 
Boltwood house, now occupied by Dr. E. B. Dickinson. The Merrill house 
has been largely rebuilt, and is now conducted as a students' boarding 
house by Mrs. L. E. Redding. Considerable alterations have been made 
on the Dickinson house, now occupied by Miss Lavinia Dickinson. Such 
was the center village of Amherst, in the year 1800, and the succeeding 
twenty years brought with them little change. In 1820, there were about 
forty dwellings within the radius of a mile from where the Amherst house 
now stands. 

The war of 18 12 caused hardly a ripple on the surface of affairs in 
Amherst. The town, in common with nearly all the neighboring commu- 
nities, was strongly opposed to the war, and at a meeting held June 29, 
1S12, passed resolutions condemning it. A convention representing 57 
towns in Hampshire, Hampden and Frankin counties was held at North- 
ampton, July 14, to consult upon the war. The delegates from Amherst 
were Ebenezer Mattoon, Samuel F. 1 Hckinson and Simeon Strong. The 
convention organized and appointed a committee to report in regard to the 
proper action of the convention, concerning public affairs, and then 
adjourned to the following clay; Mr. Dickinson was a member of this com- 
mittee, which reported that it was expedient to present a respectful memo- 
rial to the president of the United States, praying that commissioners 
might be forthwith appointed to negotiate a peace with Great Britain upon 
safe and honorable terms. Mr. Dickinson was also appointed one of a 
delegation of four to represent Hampshire county at a state convention, 
provided similar measures should be adopted in other parts of the Com- 
monwealth. At the time of holding this convention, Caleb Strong of 
Northampton was governor of Massachusetts. He was a believer in a 
strict construction of the United States constitution, and, believing that the 
mere act of declaring war on the part of the president did not invest the 
latter with the power to call the militia of the several states into service, 
lie declined accession to the requisition made for Massachusetts troops, to 
be placed at the command of the president. In this position he was sup- 
ported by the supreme court of the state. 

In the fall of 1S14, Gov. Strong issued a call for troops to repel an 
expected invasion of the British, who had taken possession of Castine, on 
the Penobscot, then within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, and declared 
their intention to lay waste the coasl from Maine to Georgia. Two regi- 
ments of infantry and one of artillery were raised in Hampshire county 
and marched to Boston. So far as can be learned but few Amherst men 
were enrolled in any of these regiments. Enos Dickinson of South 


Amherst was commissioned as lieutenant in one of the companies raised 
in this vicinity. Joseph Dana and Samuel Prince went with the troops to 
Boston. Daniel Smith served about four months in Capt. YYoodworth's 
company stationed at Charlestown. Rev. Joshua (rosin, a trustee of 
Amherst .Academy and, for a short time after the death of President 
Moore, acting president of Amherst < lollege, went with the troops to Boston 
and served as chaplain. It is stated that men were drafted from the two 
militia organizations in Amherst to serve in the war. Dr. Seth Pish, who 
afterwards located in Amherst, went from Shutesbury as a substitute for 
his father, and served as cook. It is impossible to obtain from the officials, 
either at boston or Washington, a list of the Amherst men who enlisted or were 
drafted into the service. The troops spent some forty days in camp, were 
reviewed by Gov. Strong on Boston common, and were afterwards dismissed 
and sent home. They saw no active military service, and the event was 
alluded to by wits of the time as " Gov. Strong's war." As in the French 
and Indian war and in the war of the Revolution, so in the war of 18 12 
the Bay Road was a favorite military highway. It was a link in the 
great chain connecting the East with the West, and over it were hauled 
many of the supplies for Commodore Perry's fleet on Lake Erie. It is 
related that a team of eighteen horses was required to draw one dis- 
mounted cannon. 


Origin of Amherst Academy. — Petition to the Legislature. — Act 

of incorporation. llfe at the academv. mary lyon. 

Academy Teachers. 

For more than a quarter of a century succeeding the year that marked 
the ending of the Shays rebellion, no event of marked interest or impor- 
tance can be recorded of the town of Amherst or its inhabitants. A peru- 
sal of the old town records shows that special attention was paid during 
these years to the determination of town boundaries, the laying out of new- 
streets and the disposal of the land remaining after the three broad high- 
ways had been narrowed down, to property-owners adjoining. It was not 
until 18 1 2 that the first steps were taken in an enterprise whose success 
and development were to exert a momentous influence on the future of the 


town. The founding of Amherst Academy, which in time was to develop 
into Amherst College, was an event the significance of which was little 
appreciated at the time. It marked an era in Amherst history, determining 
the lines along which the town was to find its broadest development. 
Amherst, even in its earlier years, was the home of learned men, therefore 
it was but natural that they should desire for their children better educa- 
tional advantages than were furnished by the district schools, with their 
school-dames and masters who themselves possessed but little learning and 
less faculty for imparting it to others, with school terms of uncertain length, 
dependent sometimes upon the supply of firewood and always limited by 
small appropriations. Among the earlier inhabitants who had enjoyed the 
advantages of a college education were Dr. David Parsons, Nathaniel 
Dickinson, Jr., Ebenezer Boltwood, Ebenezer Mattoon, Simeon Strong, 
Rufus Cowles, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, Solomon Strong, John Dickinson 
and Moses Dickinson. The subscription for Amherst Academy was started 
by Samuel Fowler Dickinson and Hezekiah Wright Strong, the latter a 
son of Judge Simeon Strong. The land on which the building was erected 
was donated by Dr. David Parsons, who was also active in raising funds 
for the institution and was the first president of its board of trustees. 
Among others who were prominent in the work were Calvin Merrill, and 
Justus Williams of South Amherst. The subscription was started in 1S12, 
and the building erected in 18 14. The charter was not obtained until 
18 16. The petition to the General Court and the charter granted are 
among the manuscript archives in the state-house at Boston, and are copied 
here entire. 


''To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, in General Court assembled, at their winter Session, A. 
D. 1S16. 

Humbly shews, 

The subscribers, that they have, at an expense of about Five thousand 
dollars, purchased in a central & commanding situation in the town of Amherst in 
the county of Hampshire, one half acre of land, and erected thereon & thoroughly 
finished, for the purpose of an Academy, a brick building, fifty feet long, thirty 
eight feet wide, ec three stories high, with a cellar under the whole, one part of 
which is used for a family kitchen. The whole is designed to accommodate two 
schools; one for males: & the other for females: and also a family to superintend 
the building, and keep a house for boarding. The situation is inviting, and the air 
pure, ec the town healthy. It is also in the midst of a rich country & a nourishing 
population, naturally centering at this place, And no town in the Commonwealth, 
perhaps, is better situated, or offers greater encouragements for an institution of 
this kind. Your petitioners would further state, that more than one \ ear ago they 
established a school in this building; under the Care of a Preceptor; assisted 
during the two summer quarters, by a Preceptress; that the average number of 

(Stood on Site of E. D. Bangs' Residence.) 



schollars in the winter has not been less than sixty: & during the two summer 
quarters, more than ninety. And the prospects of usefulness therefrom are such, 
as to excite pleasing anticipations in the patrons and friends of science & useful 
literature. But in order to secure the blessings in prospect, which the youth of 
both sexes so much need ; and the good of society so much requires, funds and 
the public patronage of the Government are necessary. Your Petitioners, therefore, 
respectfully ask the assistance of the Legislature, to aid them in their benevolent 
designs of educating, and training to usefulness the rising generation. And they 
humbly pray that their school may be established by Law. as an Academy : under 
the care of such Trustees, as the Legislature shall see fit to appoint: with such 
endowments as the Government have equally bestowed on institutions of this kind. 
And as an inducement therefor, Your Petitioners offer to release, and do hereby 
release, each for himself, all his right, title & interest, in & to the land & buildings 
above mentioned; with all their appurtenances : to such Trustees as the Legislature 
may appoint: to be used forever as an Academy. & for no other purpose. And as 
in duty bound will ever pray. 

David Parsons, Samuel F. Dickinson, 11. Wright Strong, 

Elijah Clark, Rufus Cowls, Joseph Church, Jr., 

Henry Weeks, Calvin Merrill, Thomas Hastings, Jr., 

Enos Baker, Elijah Boltwood, Justus Williams, Jr., 

Robert Cutler, William Neill, Sylvanus Church." 

Amherst. January 17. 1S16. 


"Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

In the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen. 

An act to establish an Academy in the town of Amherst, in the County of 

Whereas sundry persons, inhabitantsof Amherstin the County of Hampshire, 

have, at the expense of five thousand dollars, erected a suitable building for an 

my in said town, ec have procured an able Instructor to teach the usual 

Academical branches of learning: & it appears that said town is a suitable place 

for such an institution — 

Sect. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate & House of Representatives, in General 
Court assembled, ec by the authority of the same. That there be and hereby is 
establish' 1 in the town of Amherst, an Academy, by the name of Amherst A cadc7ny, 
for the purpose of promoting morality, piety & religion. & for the instruction of 
youth in the learned languages, & in such arts & sciences as are usually taught in 
other Academies, or as shall be directed by the Trustees, and David Pai 
Nathan Perkins, Samuel F. Dickinson, Hezekiah W. Strong, Rufus Cowls, Calvin 
Merrill. Noah Webster, John Woodbridge. James Taylor, Nathaniel Smith, Josiah 
Dwight, Rufus Graves, Winthrop Bailey, Experience Porter & Elijah Gridley, be 
& hereby are incorporated into a body politic by the name of the Trustees of 
Amherst Academy, &. that they and their successors shall be & continue a body 
politic & corporate by the same name forever. 

Sect. 2. Be it further enacted, that all moneys, lands, or other property 6c 

things already given or which shall be hereafter given, granted, devised, bequeathed, 

transferred or assigned to the said Trustees, for the purpose aforesaid, shall be and 

are hereby confirmed to the said Trustees cc to theirsuccessors in that trust forever : 



And that the said trustees may have & hold in fee simple, by gift, grant, devise, 
bequest, or otherwise any lands, tenements, hereditaments or other estate real or per- 
sonal — -provided the annual income thereof shall not exceed the sum oi five- 
thousand dollars; and may sell & dispose of the same & apply the interest, rents 
& profits thereof in such manner as to promote the end & design of said institution. 

Sect. 3. Be it further enacted, That the said Trustees shall have power, from 
time to time, to elect such officers of the said Academy as they shall judge neces- 
sary. & to fix the terms of their respective offices; to remove any Trustee from 
the corporation, when, in their opinion, he shall be incapable by reason of age, or 
otherwise, of discharging the duties of his office ; to fill all vacancies in said 
corporation, by electing such persons for trustees as they shall think suitable ; to 
determine the times & places of their meetings, the manner of notifying the 
Trustees, & the method of removing & electing Trustees : to prescribe the powers 
& duties of their several officers; to appoint preceptors of the said Academy, to 
determine their powers & duties, & to fix the tenures of their offices & to make 
and ordain rules and orders, with reasonable penalties, for the good government of 
said Academy, not repugnant to the laws of the commonwealth. 

Sect. 4. Be it further enacted, That the said Trustees may have a common 
seal, which they may, at pleasure, break, alter & renew; and that all deeds signed 
& sealed with this seal, delivered and acknowledged by the Treasurer or Secretary 
of said corporation by order of the said Trustees, shall be good and valid in law; 
and that the said Trustees may sue & be sued, in all actions, real, personal & mixed, 
& prosecute or defend the same to final judgment & execution, by the name of the 
Trustees of Amherst Academy. 

Sect. 5. Be it further enacted, That the number of said Trustees shall not. at 
one time, be more than fifteen or less than nine: & five of them shall constitute a 
quorum for transacting business. 

Sect. 6. [This is crossed out in the mss. copy.] Be it further enacted. That 
there be & hereby is granted to the said Trustees & their successors forever, for 
the sole use & benefit of the said Academy ; one half a township of six miles square, 
of the unappropriated land belonging to this Commonwealth, in the District of 
Maine, excepting the ten townships on Penobscot River, to he laid out & assigned 
by the committee for the sale of Eastern lands, under the restrictions & regulations 
made in similar grants. 

Sect. 6. Be it further enacted, That the Rev d David Parsons be & herebv is 
authorized to appoint the time & place for holding the first meeting of the said 
Trustees, & to give them notice thereof, in such manner as he shall judge expedient." 

Such was the humble beginning of an educational institution destined 
to become famous throughout Massachusetts and New England. The 
academy building, constructed of brick, three stories in height, with a small 
towei- in the center of the roof and spacious chimneys at the east and west 
ends, stood on the site now occupied by the Amity-street school building. 
It was. at the time of its erection, considered an imposing structure. It 
was built in [814, but was not dedicated until the following year. With 
the exception of the Hopkins grammar school at 1 1 ad ley, Amherst Academy 
would seem to have been the first institution devoted to classical education 
established in the present limits of Hampshire county. Gov. Edward 


Hopkins of Connecticut died in 1657 : from his estate the town of Hadley 
received ^"308, 01, n, to be devoted, according to the terms of his will, 
"to give some encouragement in those foreign plantations for the breeding 
of hopeful youths both at the grammar school, and college, for the public 
service of the country in future times."' The Hopkins school received 
pupils early as 1667. It was conducted for some time as an English 
school ; just when the grammar school began its work cannot be exactly 
determined. Hopkins Academy, in which the school was merged, was 
not incorporated until 1816. the same year that Amherst Academy received 
its charter. Sheldon Academy at Southampton was not chartered until 
1828 ; Williston Seminary at Easthampton was opened for the admission 
of students in 1841 ; Mount Holyoke Female Seminary at South Hadley 
received pupils in 1837. 

Amherst Academy was prosperous from its beginning. It opened 
with more students than any other academy in Western Massachusetts, 
and soon attracted pupils from every part of New England ; it had at one 
time ninety pupils in the ladies' department and quite as many, usually 
more, in the gentleman's department. The early records of the institution 
were burned in 1838. In Prof. William S. Tyler's History of Amherst 
College, published in 1873, are interesting sketches of the academy, which 
are here reprinted. They give an outline of the work carried on and 
suggest the moral and religious influences that surrounded the students. 
The first is by Miss Sarah S. Strong, a daughter of H. Wright Strong, 
who became a teacher in the academy at the age of 16 : 

" Under the government and instruction of such superior teachers, the academy 
obtained a reputation second to none in the state, and indeed the ladies' depart- 
ment was in advance of the same department in other institutions, as might be 
shown by a simple comparison of the studies pursued and text-books in use by the 
young ladies. Among these may be specified chemistry, which was then just 
beginning to be studied in schools outside of colleges, but was taught in Amherst 
Academy with lectures and experiments by Prof. Graves, who had been lecturer on 
chemistry in Dartmouth College, rhetoric, logic, history, Paley's moral philosophy. 
Playfair's Euclid, Stewart's philosophy, Enfield's natural philosophy, Herschell's 
astronomy with the calculation and projection of eclipses, Latin, French, etc. On 
Wednesday afternoons all the scholars were assembled in the upper hall for 
reviews, declamations, compositions and exercises in reading in which both gentle- 
men and ladies participated. Spectators were admitted and were often present in 
large numbers, among whom Dr. Parsons and Mr. Webster, president and vice- 
president of the board of trustees, might usually be seen, and often the lawyers, 
physicians, and other educated men of the place. Not unfrequently gentlemen 
from out of town were present, as for instance Dr. Packard, who early became a 
trustee, and was much interested in the prosperity of the institution. Once a year, 
at the close of the fall term in October, the old meeting-house was fitted up with a 
stage and strange to tell in the staid town of Amherst, where dancing was tabooed 


and cards never dared show themselves, reverend divines went with lawyers and 
doctors, and all classes of their people to the house of God to witness a theatrical 
exhibition !" 

The second is by Rev. Nahum Gould, a graduate of the Academy, 

and of Amherst College in the class of 1825 : 

" I came to Amherst in the spring of 1S19 and studied in preparation for college 
under the direction of Joseph Estabrook and Gerard Hallock. The principal's 
salary was $800 per annum, and Miss Sarah Strong's $20 a month. I found the piety 
of the students far in advance of my own. Perhaps there never was a people that 
took such deep interest in the welfare of students. None need leave on account 
of pecuniarv embarrassments. Tuition was free to any pious student who was 
preparing for the gospel ministry. Board was one dollar a week, and if this could 
not be afforded, there were families ready to take students for little services which 
they might render in their leisure hours. Their liberality was spoken of through 
the land, and it was an inducement to persons of limited means, preparing for the 
ministry, to come to Amherst. To such the church prayer-meeting in the village 
was a school as well as a place for devotion. Daniel A. Clark, the pastor, was 
greatly beloved by the students. Noah Webster resided here preparing his dic- 
tionarv. He took an interest in the academy and opened his doors for an occasional 
reception, which we prized very highly. Col. Graves was a successful agent for the 
academy and a help to the students. Mr. Kstabrook was well qualified for his 
station. Mr. Hallock was a scholar and a gentleman. It was a pleasant task to 
manage a school where there were so many pious students seeking qualifications 
for usefulness, who felt that they were in the right place and were establishing a 
Christian character of high standing." 

For the first ten or twelve years of its existence, the academy received 
pupils of both sexes; this was long before the era of woman's colleges, 
and the only avenue open to young women in search of a higher education 
was found in the " select family schools " which were a feature of New 
England's educational system from an early date. Among the students at 
Amherst Academy in 182 1 was a young woman who, later on, was to solve 
an educational problem for her sex in such successful fashion as to win for 
h :rself fame and the' gratitude of generations yet unborn. That pupil was 
Mary Lyon, who was thus described by the lady principal : "Uncultivated 
in mind and manners, of large physique, twenty-three or twenty-four years 
of age, and receiving her first impulse in education. Sin- commenced with 
grammar and geography, and was soon advanced to rhetoric and logic. 
1 laving a comprehensive mind and being very assiduous in her studies, she 
improved rapidly." Mary Lyon was born in Buckland, Feb. 28, 1797. 
Her parents were in humble circumstances, unable to afford her more than 

rdinary schooling of the time, but she was ambitious and determined 
by her own exertions to gain as liberal an education as the times would 
permit. At Amherst Academy she found sympathy and aid ; itwas, doubt- 
Tile engaged in her studies here that she conceived the idea of 
founding an institution of learning which should be self-supporting, yet 


" where expenses should be so moderate as not to debar those of limited 
means, and advantages so great that the wealthy could find none superior 
elsewhere." Mount Holyoke Seminary, the pioneer institution in Massa- 
chusetts of higher education for females, owes its being to Mary Lyon and 
to the education and training she received at the old Amherst Academy. 

A list of the men who fitted for college and for business at Amherst 
Academy, if such could be compiled, would contain the names of many 
who became famous in after life. It was among the first of the great 
college preparatory schools, attracting pupils from all over New England. 
The reputation and success of its classical department became so great 
that in time the female department was abolished, and the entire energies 
of the institution were directed toward the preparation of young men for 
entrance to college. For many years after the change was made there 
were usually from seventy-five to one hundred students in the classical 
department. The academy prospered greatly, and, during the days of 
depression at Phillips Academy at Andover, and before the founding of 
Williston Seminary, was, without doubt, the leading academical institution 
in Massachusetts. 

The period of its decline began soon after the founding of Williston 
Seminary. The establishment of high schools in many towns, and the rise of 
normal schools, drew largely from its attendance, and although it retained 
the services of superior teachers and returned to the admission of both 
sexes in order to increase the number of its students, it became gradually 
more and more of a local institution being finally superseded by the Amherst 
high school. The old academy building was torn down in 1S68, to make 
way for the Amity-street school-building. 

In Miss Strong's sketch of the academy, before referred to, allusion 
is made to the " superior teachers " that the academy employed. Among 
these teachers in the earlier years were Francis Bascom, Joseph Estabrook, 
John L. Parkhurst, Gerard Hallock. Zenas Clapp, David Green andEben- 
ezerS. Snell. At a later date, among the principals and assistant teachers 
were Elijah Paine, Solomon Maxwell, Story Hebard, Robert E. Patterson, 
William P. Paine. William Thompson, Simeon Colton, William S. Tyler, 
Evangelinus Sophocles, Ebenezer Burgess, George C. Partridge, Nahum 
Gale and Lyman Coleman. Among the lady teachers, while the academy 
was co-educational, were Lucy Douglas. Orra White, Mary Ann Field, 
Sarah S. Strong and Hannah Shepard. These names, and much of the 
information in regard to the academy, are gathered from Professor Tyler's 
History of Amherst College. Professor Tyler was a teacher in the academy 
for one year after his graduation from Amherst College in 1830. He took 
a deep interest in the academy, not alone from its work, but from its intimate 
relationship to the college to which he has devoted his life-work. 




Old-Time Catalogs. — Amherst Students at the Academy. — Academy 
Laws. — Officers of the Corporation. — Principals and 
Instructors. — Courses of Study. 

From the pages of the academy catalogs much interesting and valu- 
able information concerning the institution is gained. The earliest catalog 
known to be in existence bears elate of 1S1S. It is a single sheet of paper, 
a copy of which, framed, is preserved in the town library. It gives a list 
of trustees, the same as named in the act of incorporation, save that the 
names of H. W. Strong, John Wbodbridge and Josiah Dwight are omitted, 
and the names of Joshua Crosby, John Fish and Edward Whipple are 
added. John L. Parkhurst, A. M., was the principal preceptor, Edward 
Dickinson, A. P., assistant preceptor, and Miss Lucy L. Douglas, precep- 
tress. The list of pupils numbered 152, of whom 76 were " masters '' and 
76 "misses." The Amherst names included in this list were as follows : 

Osmyn Baker, 
Porter Cowls. 
Appleton Dickinson, 
William Dickinson, 
George W. Graves, 
Chauncy Merrill, 
Warren Putnam, 
William B. Stetson, 
Simeon E. Strong, 
George White, 
Dorothy Baker, 
Marchia A. Banister. 
Achsah Clark, 
Abigal Dexter. 
Lucinda Dickinson. 
.Mary Ann Dickinson. 

I [epzibah Eastman, 
.Martha .M.Graves. 
Fanny Mattoon, 

I I arriet Montague, 
Sophia W. Parsons, 
Abigail Robbins, 
Sarah Smith. 2d. 
Sarah S. Strong, 

I l.mnah Whiting, 

Aaron Church, 
Robert Cutler, 
Edward Dickinson, 
Oliver H. Dunbar, 
Frederic W. Graves, 
George Montague, 

I Iamilton Smith. 
Charles L. Strong, 
Wright Strong, 
Frederick Williams, 
Joanna Baker, 
Dolly Bixbee, 
Mercy Cooley, 
Caroline Dickinson, 
Lucretia Dickinson, 
Nancy Dickinson, 
Mary Franklin, 
Mary Ann ( 1 raves, 
Lucy Merrill, 
Eliza Nelson. 

I I arriet Perkins, 
Achsah Smith, 
Frances Strong, 
Fliza S. Webster, 
Mary Ann Williams, 

Moses Church, 
Julius A. Dewey. 
Friend Dickinson, 
John Eastman. Jr., 
Frederic Joy, 
Thomas G. Perkins, 
Elijah D. Strong, 
William G. Webster, 
Stephen Weeks, 
Azubah D. Bangs, 
Harriet Boltwood, 
Irene Cowls. 
Fanny Dickinson, 
Mary Dickinson. 
Thankful F. Dickinson, 
Martha Forbush, 
Clarissa Kellogg, 
Nancy Merrill, 
Sophia Nelson, 
I [arriet Phillips, 
Sarah Smith, 
Mary Strong. 
Polly Weeks. 



From this list it will be seen that 73 pupils, or nearly one-half the 
entire number, had their homes in Amherst. Of the remainder, a majority 
were residents of Massachusetts towns; a few came from Vermont and 
Connecticut, one each from Virginia and Canada. The "quarters'" began 
on the fourth Wednesday of May, August, November and February ; there 
was a vacation of one week at the end of each quarter except the one 
beginning in November, at the end of which there was a two-weeks' 

The " Laws of Amherst Academy," published in 1827, contain a 
number of interesting provisions. Every student on admission to the 
academy received a printed copy of the laws, charged in his term bill, and 
was obliged to sign the following agreement: " I hereby promise that I 
will observe all the laws and regulations, made by the Government for the 
Students of this Academy.'* If any student unnecessarily neglected 
attendance on religious exercises, he was held liable to reproof, privately 
or before his class, and in case he persisted in such neglect he might be 
suspended or dismissed. The study hours, from April to October, were 
from 8-30 a. m. to 12. and from 2 to 5 p. M.; from October to April, from 
9 a. m. to 12, from 1-30 to 4-30 i". M. and 7 to 9 P. M. No scholar could 
be absent from his room after 9 P. M. without permission of the instructors. 
Every student was held accountable for injury done by him to the academy 
building and its appurtenances, and if the offender could not be discovered 
the sum was assessed equally on all the students and charged in the term 
bills. If any student should leave the school, or go out of town without 
obtaining permission of the instructors, he was subject to a fine of one 
dollar and a like sum for every week he was absent. Students were not 
permitted to drink wine, spirits or liquors of any kind at any tavern or inn 
in town, or to keep such articles in their rooms, or to indulge in their use 
at any time, on penalty of admonition for the first offence and suspension 
or expulsion for the second. They were also prohibited, under like penal- 
ties, from using any fire-arm in the town, "either in shooting at game or at 
mark, or for amusement in any manner." 

The catalog of 1827 shows a number of changes in the board of 
trustees ; the officers of the corporation were : President, Rev. Joshua 
Crosby : vice-president. Rev. Royal Washburn ; secretary, Rufus Graves, 
Esq.; treasurer, Lucius Boltwood, Esq.; auditor, Martin Thayer. Solomon 
Maxwell. A. M., and R. Everett Pattison. A. B. were asociate principals, 
and William P. Paine, A. B., assistant. The members of the examining 
committee were Rev. Royal Washburn. Rev. James Taylor, Rev. Lyman 
Coleman. Rev. Lemuel P. Bates, Prof. Nathan W. Fiske, Prof. Solomon 
Peck. The students' names were arranged in three divisions, under the 
following headings: " In the Languages," " School Teachers," "English 


Studies." The number of students in the languages was 45, school teachers 
22, in English studies 25, a total of 92 ; at this time there were no females 
in the institution. The course of instruction in the English department 
in< luded reading, grammar, declamation, rhetoric and composition, ancient 
and modern geography, sacred geography, general history, history of the 
United States, intellectual and written arithmetic, algebra, conversations on 
natural philosophy, conversations on chemistry, moral philosophy, intellec- 
tual philosophy, practical mathematics, including navigation, surveying, 
mensuration and astronomical calculations. The class of school teachers, 
in addition to their other studies, received a course of familiar lectures on 
the subject of school teaching. Class reviews were held weekly by the 
instructors, with general reviews at the close of each term by the examin- 
ing committee. The vacations at the end of each quarter had been length- 
ened to two weeks. The catalog of 1829 announced that " In the rear of 
the building there has been erected a good Gymnastic Apparatus for 
healthful exercise." 

In 1832, Rev. Simeon -M. Colton, A. M. was principal, Ebenezer Bur- 
gess, A. !>., assistant, and John H. Wright, Rufus Allen and Isaac F. 
Holton "assistants and students." In the classical department there were 
92 students, in the English 79, in the teachers' department 32. The 
academical year consisted of four quarters of eleven weeks each, begin- 
ning in September, three weeks from the fourth Wednesday in August. 
The vacations were as follows: From the fourth Wednesday in August, 
three weeks ; from the last Wednesday in November, two weeks ; from the 
first Wednesday in April, three weeks. The aim of the teachers' depart- 
ment was to fit young men to take charge of primary schools. The catalog 
"recommended that, in addition to his classical books, each scholar be 
furnished with a bible, and with Webster's or Walker's 8 vo, edition of 
the pronouncing and defining dictionary." The tuition in the English 
department was $4 per quarter, in the teachers' or classical department $5, 
"together with a charge of 12^ cents per quarter for Contingencies." It 
is evident that "contingencies " did not form as important or extravagant 
an item in student expenses as at the present time. board could be 
obtained near the academy at from 75 cents to Si. 75 per week. The prin- 
cipal was willing to take any number of young lads to board with him, 
and to defray all the ordinary expenses connected with board and tuition, 
except wood, for Si 10 per year, exclusive of vacations. 

In [83 |, the corporation had no president ; Prof. Samuel M. Worcester 
was secretary, Lucius Boltwood, Esq. treasurer and Hon. John Leland 
auditor. Amos Bullard, \r., A. 1!., was principal and Horatio Bryant and 
Daniel II. Forbes assistants. The tea (hers' department had been changed 
to a teachers' class, formed in the fall term ; in the classical department 


there were 61 students, in the English department 91. The catalog states 
that "' A new Apparatus has been procured for the benefit of the Academy," 
but neglects to define its nature. 

In 1S39. Rev. Nathan Perkins was president of the corporation. Rev. 
Josiah Bent vice-president, Lucius Boltwood. Esq. secretary and Hon. Itha- 
mar ( 'onkey treasurer. The academy had again adopted the co-educational 
feature. NahumGale, A. 1!. was principal ; Edwin E. bliss. A. B., teacher of 
languages; William (). Gotham, A. B., teacher of sacred music: John \Y. 
Ray. teacher of penmanship ; Miss Emeline S. Gale, preceptress ; Miss Eliza 
M. Judkins, teacher of drawing and painting ; Miss Hannah E. Maynard, 
assistant teacher of mathematics. The students in the different depart- 
ments were separated into two divisions; in the classical department were 
40 male students, in the English department 74, in the female department 
103. Five of the students in the first division of the classical department 
are marked as " in college;" the text-books in use by the first division in 
the English department included, among others, Olmsted's " Natural 
Philosophy," Abercrombie on "The Intellectual bowers," Paley's "Natural 
Theology," Goodrich's " Ecclesiastical History," Alexander's " Evidences 
of Christianity." Hedges' "Logic," Karnes' '-Elements of Criticism," 
Wayland's " Moral Science," and -'Analysis of Paradise Lost." Members 
of the school were required to give particular attention to orthography and 
reading; the text-books were Porter's " Rhetorical Reader" and Young's 
" Night Thoughts." A " valuable library " belonged to the academy, from 
which scholars were permitted to take books on payment of a small tax. 
There was a weekly Bible lesson in which all took part. There was an 
extra charge of $2 per term for instruction in surveying, and a like sum 
for French. A course of 15 lessons in penmanship, including stationery, 
cost 50 cents. Board in private families had advanced to S2 per week, 
with a charge of 25 cents per dozen for washing. Young gentlemen 
boarding at the Academy club could obtain board exclusive of room-rent 
for $1.17 per week; rooms furnished for two occupants could be hired for 
50 cents per week. 

In 1S42, William W. Whipple was principal of the academy. Miss 
Helen Humphrey preceptress, Daniel Temple, Jr. teacher of French, and 
Miss Eliza M. Judkins teacher of drawing, painting and penmanship. 
There were 67 pupils in the classical course and 123 in the English: of 
these, 20, three young gentlemen and 17 young ladies, were studying 
French. All pupils were expected regularly to attend morning and evening- 
prayers in the hall and public worship at one. of the churches in the village 
on the Sabbath. There was a literary society connected with the academy 
which held weekly meetings. Pupils could attend, without charge, the 
lectures of the professors in Amherst College. 


In 1845, Rev. Joseph Yaill was president of the corporation, Leonard 
Humphrey, A. B.,was principal. James Humphrey assistant, Louis P.Ledoux 
teacher of French, Miss Elizabeth ('. Adams preceptress for the fall and 
winter terms and Miss Rebecca M. Woodbridge preceptress for the spring 
and summer terms. In the classical department were 56 pupils, 37 males 
and 19 females; in the English department 56 pupils, 23 males and ^^ 
females. Of the whole number, 112, 79 had homes in Amherst and most 
of the remainder came from towns near by. In 1848, the catalog contained 
the following announcement : " A favorable opportunity, it is believed, is 
offered to those who desire a thorough acquaintance with the French 
language. Mons. Tribur, a native, and till within a few years, a resident of 
France, has a high reputation as a Teacher of the French, German and 
Italian languages." 

In 1850, Samuel N, White was principal, Miss Anna B. White precep- 
tress, Miss A. Juliette Chamberlain teacher of French, and George N. 
Webber teacher of Latin and Greek. In the classical department were 47 
pupils, 15 males and 32 females; in the English department 95 pupils, 62 
males and 33 females. Of the whole number, 142, 91 had homes in 
Amherst. The catalog was for the fall and winter terms, and previous to 
the opening of the spring term the academy building was to be "thoroughly 
repaired within and without, and made in all respects, not only convenient, 
but pleasant and tasteful." The summer term had been shortened from 
eleven weeks to nine, the summer vacation being correspondingly length- 
ened to four weeks. The charge for tuition per term was, for the common 
English branches, $3 ; for the higher English branches, $4 ; for Latin and 
Greek, $4 ; for French in connection with other studies, $5. Penciling and 
crayon-drawing were charged extra. A charge of from one to two shillings 
per term was thereafter to be made "to defray in part the expense incurred 
for fuel for the public rooms and other contingencies." 

In [858, Rev. Joseph Yaill. I). 1)., was president of the corporation,. 
John S. Adams. Esq., secretary, and Hon. Ithamar Conkey treasurer. 
Other members of the board of trustees were Hon. Edward Dickinson, 
Lucius Boltwood, Esq., Rev. William A. Stearns, 1 ). ])., Rev. Edward S. 
Dwight, Rev. C. L. Wbodworth, Rev. David Eastman, Prof. William S. 
Tyler, I). 1 >., Rev. James L.Merrick, Dea. Moses 1'.. Greene. Selah 
Frisbee was principal, Miss Fliza ( '. Haskell preceptress. Miss Henrietta 
F. Shumway assistant in the fall term and Miss Harriet K. Clark assistant 
in the winter term. In the classical department were 72 pupils, 35 males 
and 37 females; in the English department 70 pupils, 32 males and 38 
females. The academic year was divided into three terms, one of thirteen 
weeks, one of fourteen, one of fifteen. The spring term began April 21, 
the tall term Aug. 25, the winter term December 8. The tuition was the 


P AM M & RST9 


same for any or all branches taught. For a term of 14 weeks, those who 
came from a distance and hired board were charged S7: for others, the 
tuition varied from $7 to $10, according to the number of scholars. 


Origin of Amhersi College. — The Charity Fund. — Convention op 
Churches. — Negi m \ m ins wi ih Williams ( a illege. — First 
College Building Erected. — Noah Webster's Address. 

From Amherst Academy, in fullness of time, came Amherst College. 
In laying the foundations of the academy, the Rev. David Parsons and his 
associates were wise beyond their own knowledge. It is not impossible 
that some among their number may have seen, with prophetic vision, in the 
one-half acre of ground and the three-story building of brick, dedicated to 
the promotion of ''morality, piety and religion "' and to "the instruction of 
youth in the learned languages," an opening chrysalis from which was to 
emerge in time the college set upon a hill, with its broad lands and noble 
buildings and its motto, bravely conceived and faithfully interpreted, ••Terras 
Irradient." Certain it is that in 18 17. one year after the academy charter 
was obtained, important measures were undertaken to add to its usefulness 
and efficacy and to extend the field of its labors. The trustees, at a meet- 
ing held Nov. iS, 18 17, adopted a project formed by Rufus Graves, Esq., 
to add to the usefulness of the academy by raising a fund for the gratuitous 
instruction of "indigent young men of promising talents and hopeful piety, 
who shall manifest a desire to obtain a liberal education with a sole view 
to the Christian ministry.'* This "charity fund," as it was afterwards 
designated, was the corner-stone in the foundation of Amherst College. 

The history of Amherst College has been written by one. himself so 
thoroughly identified with the institution, so familiar with all its interests, 
so conversant with all the facts relating to it. that another, working along 
the same lines, must needs at every point lay himself open to the charge of 
repetition if not of plagiarism. The History of Amherst College, written by 
Prof. W. S. Tyler and published in 1873, is so accurate and complete as to 
stand a barrier in the way of one who would attempt original writing in the 
same field. Yet a history of Amherst town, with Amherst College omitted, 
would be so unsatisfactory, so far from complete, as not to be contemplated 


-even for an instant. For the necessarily brief sketch of the beginnings of 
the college and its earlier history, which follows, the writer gratefully 
acknowledges his indebtedness to Professor Tyler. 

Especial attention is given in these pages to the part, a large and 
honorable one, taken by citizens of Amherst in the founding of the college. 
It is a child of the town, for, although the people of all Western Massa- 
chusetts were interested in it and subscribed liberally to its charity fund, 
it was the eloquence and convincing logic of an Amherst man, Samuel 
Fowler Dickinson, that finally secured to the town the location of the 
college; it was an Amherst man, Elijah Dickinson, who donated the land 
for the site of the college buildings ; it was a group of Amherst men, 
headed by Rev. David Parsons, who became personally responsible for a 
balance of $15,000 necessary to raise the charity fund to the sum of 
$50,000 as guaranteed by its constitution. The town and the college have 
been closely associated since the latter was first founded ; there has been 
a recognized community of interest which has been of mutual benefit. 

As early as 1762, thirty years before the incorporation of Williams 
College, the need of a collegiate institution in the Connecticut valley had 
become apparent to many, and measures had been taken for the founding 
of such an institution in Hampshire county. The General Court, in 1762, 
in answer to a petition signed by many inhabitants of the county, brought 
in a bill for establishing " an Academy in the western parts of this 
Province," which passed to be engrossed but was finally lost. Francis 
Barnard, at that time governor of the Province, made out a charter incor- 
porating Israel Williams and eleven others "" a body politic by the name of 
the President and Fellows of Queen's College." The college was to be 
located in Northampton, Hatfield or Hadley. This charter, owing to the 
strenuous opposition of Harvard College, was never issued, but a building 
was erected at Hatfield, known for many years as " Queen's College." 
At a meeting of the Franklin county association of ministers, held in 
Shelburnein 1:815, there was a discussion as to whether a college would be 
likely to flourish in some central town of old Hampshire county, and as to 
what town would be most eligible as a site for such an institution. The 
body were agreed that a college thus located would be most desirable, 
and that the town of Amherst was the most suitable place in which to 
establish it. This is the first associated action on record looking toward 
the establishment of a college at Amherst: it is especially notable as 
coming from outside the town and county. 

The original aim of the promoters of the charity fund was the estab- 
lishment at Amherst Academy of a professorship of languages, with a 
permanent salary equal to the importance and dignity of such an office. 
The committee appointed to solicit subscriptions soon discovered that the 


object was too limited to attract public sympathy or aid ; they therefore 
determined to enlarge their plan, and accordingly framed and reported a 
''constitution and system of by-laws for raising and managing a permanent 
Charity Fund as the basis of an Institution in Amherst, in the county of 
Hampshire, for the classical education of indigent young men of piety and 
talents, for the Christian ministry." This report was accepted by the board 
of trustees of Amherst Academy at a meeting held Aug. 18, 1818. The 
constitution thus adopted was drawn up by Rufus Craves. Esq., one of the 
incorporators of the Academy ; it was submitted to Jeremiah Mason and 
Daniel Webster, and both pronounced it a legal instrument, binding in law 
on the subscribers to the fund. Among its provisions was one for the 
incorporation of Williams College with the proposed institution, should it 
be thought expedient to remove the college to Hampshire county. The 
amount of the fund was to be not less than $50,000 ; rive-sixths of the 
interest of the entire amount was to be appropriated to the classical 
education in the institution of indigent pious young men for the ministry, 
the remaining one-sixth to be added to the principal for its perpetual 
increase. The management and appropriation of the fund was to be 
vested in the trustees of Amherst Academy, until the classical institution 
was established and incorporated, and then in the trustees of the latter 
and their successors forever. There were to be seven overseers of the 
fund, the four highest subscribers being permitted to appoint one overseer 
each, the other three to be elected by a majority of the votes of the other 
subscribers ; this board of overseers were to be self-perpetuating, having 
power to fill their own vacancies. 

Fully impressed with the importance and magnitude of their under- 
taking, and desirous of interesting the public in it to as large an extent as 
possible, the trustees of Amherst Academy resolved to call a convention 
of the Congregational and Presbyterian clergy of the counties of Hamp- 
shire. Franklin and Hampden and the western section of YVoixester county. 
This convention met Sept. 29, 1S18. at the meeting-house of the First Congre- 
gational parish of Amherst. Thirty-seven towns were represented, 16 in 
Hampshire county. 13 in Franklin, four in Hampden and four in Worcester. 
Amherst. Creenfield and Granville had each representatives from two 
parishes. The convention was composed of 36 clergymen and 32 laymen ; 
Rev. Joseph Lyman, D. D., of Hatfield, presided. The constitution and 
by-laws of the proposed institution were read, and, after some discussion, 
the whole matter was referred to a committee of twelve. The committee 
presented their report the next morning; they expressed their approval of 
the constitution, recommended Hampshire county as the most eligible site 
for such an institution, but in regard to the particular town in the county, 
while favorably disposed toward Amherst, it was thought expedient to leave 


that question to the decision of a disinterested committee appointed by 
the convention. Many members of the convention favored Northampton 
as the site for the institution, there was a long and heated discussion, and 
it was not until Hon. Samuel Fowler Dickinson had delivered a strong 
and eloquent address in favor of Amherst that the convention was induced 
to decide on the latter place. 

As early as 1815, the trustees and many of the friends of Williams 
College had begun to agitate the question of removing that institution to 
some place in Hampshire county where it would be more favorably situated 
and easier of access. At that time Williams College had two buildings, 
58 students, two professors and two tutors ; its income fell far short of its 
•expenditures. At a meeting of the board of trustees of the college, held 
May 2, 1815, a committee was appointed "to take into consideration the 
removal of the college to some other part of the Commonwealth ;" this 
committee reported, at a meeting held in September, that such a removal 
was inexpedient, " at the present time and under existing circumstances." 
Zephaniah S. Moore, who had been elected president at the May meeting, 
was from the first decidedly in favor of such a removal. At a meeting of 
trustees of Amherst Academy, held Oct. 26, 1818, a committee of three 
was appointed to confer with the trustees of Williams College at their 
Session to be held in Williamstown on the second Tuesday of November, 
to communicate to them the result of the convention held at Amherst in 
September. The trustees of Williams College made no reply to the com- 
mittee from Amherst, but at their meeting resolved that it was expedient 
to remove the college on certain conditions, and appointed a committee to 
visit the towns in Hampshire county and determine the place to which the 
college should be removed. The trustees of Amherst Academy appointed 
a committee to confer with the Williams College committee, and to represent 
to the latter the claims of the town of Amherst to be the seat of the 
college; the college committee, after a careful inspection of the towns in 
the valley, were unanimous in naming Northampton as the proper site to 
which the college should be removed. In February, 1820, the trustees of 
Williams College petitioned the General Court for permission to remove 
the college to Northampton; the petition was rejected. 

At a meeting of the trustees of Amherst Academy, held in March, 
1820, they took measures for collecting the subscriptions to the charity 
fund, raising additional subscriptions, erecting a suitable building and 
opening the institution for the reception of students. Subscriptions to 
this fund began in May, 1818, and in one year's time they amounted to 
$37,244. Of this sum, citizens of Amherst had contributed #9,210, those 
of other towns in Hampshire county $6,538, those in Franklin county 
towns $12,511, Worcester county l >4.575, Hampden county $745. The 


constitution provided that the fund should amount to at least $50,000; to 
insure the raising of the full amount a guarantee bond in the sum of Si 5.000 
was made out to the trustees of the academy and signed by the following : 
Rev. David Parsons. Samuel F. Dickinson. Jarib White, Elijah Boltwood, 
Hezekiah W. Strong, Knos Baker, John Leland, Jr., Calvin Merrill, Joseph 
Church, Jr. Not one of the Amherst subscribers to this fund was accounted 
a rich man, even in those days of limited fortunes ; they gave not of their 
abundance, but of their poverty ; not because they could spare the money, 
but because the interests of education demanded it. Of the signers of 
the guarantee bond, many were already subscribers to the fund; David 
Parsons had given S600. Samuel 1'. Dickinson S600, Jarib White S150, 
Elijah Boltwood S200, John Leland. Jr. S150. John Eastman was not one 
of the signers of the bond, but subscribed $400 to the fund and then paid 
$1000 more toward indemnifying the signers. Elijah Dickinson gave the 
land for the site of the college buildings, valued at S600. Dr. Rufus 
Cowles gave lands in Maine valued at S5000. 

The trustees of the academy, at a meeting held May 10. 1820. appointed 
a committee to procure a good and sufficient title to the ten acres of land 
conditionally conveyed to them by Col. Elijah Dickinson, to digest a plan 
of a suitable building for the institution, to procure subscriptions, donations 
or contributions for defraying the expense thereof, and to prepare the 
ground and erect the buildings as soon as the necessarv means were 
provided. The committee secured a title to the land, marked out the 
ground for the site of a building 100 feet long, 30 feet broad and four 
stories high, and invited the citizens of Amherst friendly to the project to 
contribute labor and materials and provisions for the workmen. Then and 
not until then did it become fully apparent how deep and how widespread 
was the interest that had been awakened by the project in the community. 
There were many whose circumstances prohibited them from subscribing 
to the fund, but they gave freely and gladly of material and labor. Nor 
were the citizens of Amherst unaided in their labors ; side by side with 
them were residents of Pelham and Leverett and Belchertown and Hadley, 
working together for the advancement of the interests of education and 
religion, as they had in earlier times fought side by side for the " common 
cause." The stone for the foundation was brought chiefly from Pelham 
by gratuitous labor, the first load being furnished as a free-will offering by 
Wells Southworth, then a resident of Pelham. who afterwards removed to 
New Haven, Conn, where he gained wealth and distinction, but ever 
retained his interest in the college on the hill. Donations of stone, lumber, 
lime, sand, materials of all kinds came in from every quarter, and teams for 
hauling and men for handling were provided in abundance without price. 
The work was carried on clay and night, and by the 9th of August the foun- 


dations were nearly completed and ready for laying the corner-stone. 
The exercises attendant on the laying of this corner-stone were 
witnessed by hundreds of people from Amherst and surrounding towns ; 
they were solemn and impressive, worthy of the occasion and of those 
who bore a part in them. A procession was formed at the academy build- 
ing, headed by the building committee and the workmen, who were followed 
in turn by the academy trustees, the subscribers to the fund then present, 
a number of the neighboring clergy and the preceptors and students of 
the academy, and marched to College hill. The order of exercises was as 
follows : Prayer by Rev. Mr. Crosby of Enfield, laying of the corner-stone 
by Rev. 1 >r. Parsons, president of the board of trustees ; an address by 
Noah Webster, Esq., vice-president of the board ; prayer by Rev. Mr. 
Porter, of Belchertown ; sermon by Rev. Daniel A. Clark, of Amherst; 
prayer by Rev. Mr. Grout, of Hawley. The sermon and address were 
printed the same year by request of the trustees ; from the address the 
following paragraphs are quoted : 

" We are assembled this day to lay the corner-stone of an Edifice, designed for 
the accommodation of the beneficiaries, who may be placed on the fund which 
your benevolence has constituted for their education in classical literature and the 
sciences. This act and the ceremonies of the day will witness to you the sincere 
intentions, and ardent desire of the Board of Trustees of Amherst Academy, to 
carry into effect the design of the liberal charity which you have consecrated to the 
advancement of the Christian Church. That they have not sooner commenced the 
execution of the trust reposed in them, by the constitution of the fund, is to be 
ascribed wholly to considerations of prudence and experience, arising out of cir- 
cumstances over which they had no control. If. however, this delay has contributed 
to strengthen the cause, by removing obstacles and illuminating the path of duty, 
we are confident that the patrons of the institution will justify the Board, in this 
exercise of their discretion. 

The object of this institution, that of educating for the gospel ministry young 
men in indigent circumstances, but of hopeful piety and promising talents, is one 
of the noblest which can occupy the attention and claim the contributions of the 
Christian public. It is to second the efforts of the apostles themselves, in extending 
and establishing the Redeemer's empire— the empire of truth. It is to aid in the 
important works of raising the human race from ignorance and debasement ; to 
enlighten their minds; to exalt their character; and to teach them the way to 
happiness and to glory. Too long have men been engaged in the barbarous works 
of multiplying the miseries of human life. Too long have their exertions and 
resources been devoted to war and plunder: to the destruction of lives, and 
property; to the ravage of i ities; to the unnatural, the monstrous employment of 
enslaving and degrading their own species, blessed be our lot! We live to see a 
new era in the history of man an era when reason and religion begin to resume 
their sway, and to impress the heavenly truth, that the appropriate business of 
men. is to imitate the Saviour, to serve their God : and bless their fellow-men. 

Such an institution, with an appropriate destination, in which the views and 

the liberality and prayers of an extensive Christian community, may be 

Concentrated, seems to be a desideratum in our country: and it is believed, will 

noah Webster's address. 161 

command the respect, and receive the patronage of the public. The place selected 
for the seat of this seminary, is believed to be peculiarly well adapted to secure its 
prosperity. It is to be situated in a populous country, abounding with provisions; 
in a climate remarkable for its salubrity: in a village where no peculiar circum- 
stances exist to invite dissipation and extravagant expenditures; surrounded by a 
well cultivated territory, inhabited by people, whose moral, religious and literary 
habits, dispose them to cherish the cultivation of the mind, and the propagation of 
evangelical truth— while the extensive prospect and diversified scenery, presented 
to the eye from this elevation, is adapted by nature and by art. to delight 
the student, and to furnish, to piety, perpetual sources of contemplation and 

Let us then take courage ! The design is unquestionably good, and its success 
must be certain. Small efforts combined and continued, cannot fail to produce the 
desired effect, and realize the hopes of its founders. Prudence and integrity will 
subdue opposition, and invite co-operation : perseverance will bring to our aid new 
accessions of strength, and a thousand small streams of charity from unexpected 
sources, will flow into the common current of benevolence which is to water and 
refresh this nursery of gospel ministers. This institution will grow and flourish, 
and become auxiliary to a thousand associations which Christian philanthropy has 
formed, to reclaim and evangelize the miserable children of Adam. Charity will 
nourish, protect and augment what charity has begun; and the prayers of piety 
will invite blessings on this humble effort to diffuse the gospel of peace." 

The foundations having been completed, work on the superstructure 
was carried on with even greater zeal, so that on the nineteenth day from 
the laying of the corner-stone the roof-timbers were erected on the building. 
When work on the building began, the building committee were without 
funds and dependent upon such contributions as should be made from 
time to time to carry on the enterprise. Repeatedly during the progress, 
of the work they were compelled to notify the president of the trustees 
that they could proceed no further. On such occasions meetings of the 
trustees would be called, and by subscriptions of their own and renewed 
solicitation for voluntary contributions, funds were procured that enabled 
the committee to prosecute the work. And so generous was the response 
to these appeals, that when the roof and chimneys were completed, the bills 
unpaid and unprovided for were less than $1300. Work was suspended 
during the winter months, but was resumed in the spring, and the interior 
of the building finished by similar means and with equal dispatch. By the 
middle of June the building was so near completion that the trustees made 
arrangements for its dedication, in connection with the inauguration of the 
president and professors, and the opening of the college in September. 



Zephaniah Swift Moore, First President of Amherst College. — 
Rufus Graves. — Samuel F. Dickinson. — Hezekiah W. Strong. 
— Life at the College in its Early Days. — Heman Hum- 
phrey Elected President. — How the Charier was Secured. 
—Events of President Humphrey's Administration. 

The trustees of Amherst Academy, at a meeting held May 8, 182 i, 
" Voted unanimously that the Rev. Zephaniah Swift Moore be, and is hereby 
elected President of the Charity Institution in this town." The salary of 
the president, who was also to serve as professor of theology and moral 
philosophy, was to be $1200 per arftium and "the usual perquisites." At 
the same meeting it was voted to build a house for the president, if sufficient 
donations in money, material and labor could be procured. Zephaniah 
Swift Moore was, at the time he received the invitation to become the first 
president of the new institution, president of Williams College. He had 
taken great interest in the movement made to relocate the college in 
Hampshire county, and when it failed he determined to resign from the 
presidency. In his letter accepting the call to Amherst, he wrote : " I 
should be wholly averse to becoming united with any institution which 
proposes to give a classical education inferior to that given in any of the 
Colleges in New England." That the trustees were in sympathy with this 
declaration is shown by the fact that, at their meeting in June, they voted 
that the qualifications of candidates for admission to the institution, and 
the course of studies to be pursued during the four years of membership, 
should be the same as those established in Yale College. The trustees also 
elected Rev. Gamaliel S. Olds to lie professor of mathematics and natural 
philosophy, and Joseph Estabrook to be professor of the Greek and Latin 

September iS. 1821, the exercises of dedication and inauguration were 
held in the church-building of the hirst parish. The exert ises included. 
introductory remarks by Noah Webster, Esq.; prayer by Rev. Mr. Crosby, 
of Enfield; a sermon by Rev. Dr. Leland, of Charleston, S. C.; the induc- 
tion into office of the president and one of the professors, the other pro- 
fessor being absent: brief addresses by President Moore and Professor 
Estabrook, and a concluding prayer by Rev. Mr. Snell of North Brookfield. 
At the close of the exercises a collection was taken for the benefit of the 
institution and the corner-stone of the president's house was laid. The 


following clay the college was opened, and after examinations were held, 
forty-seven students were admitted, some into each of the four classes ; of 
this number, fifteen accompanied Dr. Moore from Williams College. 

In an address delivered at the celebration of the one hundred and 
fiftieth anniversary of the organization of the First Congregational church 
of Amherst, Nov. 7, 18S9, Professor William S. Tyler made the statement 
that the officers and members of the church and congregation were the 
founders of Amherst Academy and Amherst College. This statement 
might have been broadened to include the citizens of Amherst generally, 
but it is true that the leaders in the First church at that time were leaders 
as well in establishing the elder as well as the younger institution. There 
was help from without the town, help that was both generous and necessary, 
but the brunt of the burden fell upon Amherst men, and Amherst women. 
The town, as a town, had no part in the enterprise. From the beginning, 
the relations between the church and the academy and college were most 
intimate and cordial. The first meetings for prayer and conference in the 
village and the social religious meetings of the First parish was held for 
many years in the academy building. When the college was first organized, 
morning and evening prayers were held in the meeting-house on the hill; 
the bell in the same structure summoned the students to their daily exercises, 
and on the Sabbath the faculty and .students worshiped with the people of 
the parish. The people of Amherst were proud of the college which they 
had done so much to establish: they have never lost that pride, although 
in later years the bonds of fellowship between town and college have been 
less closely drawn. 

Zephaniah Swift Moore, the first president of Amherst College, was 
born in 1770, in the town of Palmer. He was graduated from Dartmouth 
College in 1793 ; after graduation he taught in an academy at London- 
derrv, X. H.; studied theology at Somers, Conn.; was licensed to preach 
in 1796; was pastor of the church in Leicester. Mass., eleven years: pro- 
fessor of languages at Dartmouth College, four years until 1815, when he 
was elected to the presidency of Williams College. During his presidency 
at Williams College that institution prospered greatly ; on his removal to 
Amherst, he was followed by a little less than one-fifth of the whole number 
in the three classes to which they belonged at the Berkshire College. 

Before proceeding further with the history of the college, it is desirable 
that a little space be devoted to brief sketches of those who may with 
propriety be styled its k ' working founders." Among these, Professor 
Tyler accords the place of honor to Rufus Graves, familiarly known as 
" Colonel " Graves. Mr. Graves was born in Sunderland in 1758, and was 
graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1791. The precise date 
of his removal to Amherst is unknown, but in 181 7 he united with the First 


Congregational. church in this town. Ik' was a man of intellect and great 
ambition, the originator of many schemes which for some reason persisted 
in refusing to yield good financial returns. When the plan of raising a 
charitable fund for the education of indigent young men for the gospel 
ministry was adopted by the trustees of Amherst Academy, they determined 
to employ Colonel Graves as their agent. No choice could have been 
molt- fortunate ; in his character were embraced qualities that particularly 
fitted him for the task in hand. He was earnest, enthusiastic, persistent ; 
he knew how to appeal, exhort, command. When the project was simply 
the enlargement of Amherst Academy by the addition of a professorship 
of languages, he met with little encouragement, but when it was decided to 
lay the foundations for a collegiate institution he gave himself to the enter- 
prise with an enthusiasm that commanded success. He went to every 
part of the state, interviewed thousands of people of all conditions in life, 
argued with them, pleaded with them, and, if necessary, almost constrained 
them to contribute sums ranging in amount from ten dollars to one thousand 
dollars. To his earnestness and enthusiasm was due in large measure the 
raising of the charity fund, the real corner-stone of Amherst College. 

Associated with him, but in a different line of work, were Samuel 
Fowler Dickinson and Hezekiah Wright Strong. Concerning these two 
men more will be related in following chapters ; at present they will be 
considered only in their relation to the establishment of the college. 

Samuel Fowler Dickinson was graduated from Dartmouth College in 
1795 ; being an educated man he naturally took an interest in educational 
affairs. He was one of the incorporators of Amherst Academy, and when 
the attempt was made to raise the charity fund it was at his suggestion 
that the object was changed from the founding of a professorship to the 
establishment of a collegiate institution. He was among the first sub- 
scribers to the fund and one of the signers of the Si 5,000 guarantee bond. 
It is doubtful if, without his aid, the first college building could have been 
completed. Time and again when the funds were exhausted, he pledged 
his private property at the bank that the work might go on. When there 
was no money to pay for teams to draw the brick or men to handle them. 
he sent his own horses and his own laborers to assist. He boarded some 
of the laborers, paying their wages out of his own pocket. He actually 
made himself poor that the work in which he was so deeply interested 
might prosper. 

Hezekiah Wright Strong was son of Judge Simeon Strong, and 
although not a college graduate took a deep interest in all educational 
matters. He, also, was among the incorporators of Amherst Academy. 
When the proposition was first made to remove Williams College to Hamp- 
shire county he. in common with many others, determined that il should 


come to Amherst. He selected College hill as the proper site for the 
institution, and, one moonlight evening, accompanied by Col. Graves, he 
visited the grounds, measured the land and marked out the spot where 
the first building was to stand. He was one of the men who signed the 
$15,000 guarantee bond, and served for many years as one of the over- 
seers of the charity fund. 

The first year of President Moore's administration was a busy and 
prosperous one at the college. Instructors and students entered upon 
their work with an earnestness and enthusiasm that commanded success. 
From the beginning. President Moore inspired all with whom he came in 
contact with respect and admiration. A scholarly man, of deep religious 
convictions, giving himself unreservedly to his work, he possessed attri- 
butes of mind and heart which won the affection of his fellow laborers, his 
pupils and the community in which he lived. Needless to say, the gaining 
of an education at Amherst College in its earlier years was attended with 
difficulties which, to a student of later years, would seem insurmountable, 
(lass-rooms and recitation-rooms were lacking, there was scarcely anything 
in the way of equipment. Recitations were held in the rooms occupied by 
the students ; the college library, contained in a case scarcely six feet 
wide, was placed in an entry of the first building. The first catalog of the 
institution was issued in March, 1822 : it was a single sheet, 12x14 inches 
in size, printed only on one side. The faculty comprised the president, 
three professors, of whom one was never installed, and one tutor. The 
number of students was 59, of whom three were seniors, six juniors, nine- 
teen sophomores and thirty-one freshmen. The first commencement 
exercises were held Aug. 28. 1S22. in the meeting-house of the First parish. 
The graduates were two in number, Ebenezer S. Snell and Pindar Field ; 
a third member of the senior class, Ezra Fairchild, left before the close of 
the year and did not receive his degree until 1S52. As the institution had 
no charter, and no authority to confer degrees, the graduates were given 
certificates in Latin that they had honorably completed the usual college 

In the summer of 1822, work was begun on the second college 
building, afterwards known as North College; a subscription of $30,000 
was opened to pay for this building, to settle debts already contracted and 
defray other necessary expenses. In the winter of 1S22-23, this building 
was completed and occupied. Two rooms in the fourth story of the new 
building were left without partitions between them or the entry adjoining, 
and were converted into a hall which served as a chapel and lecture-room. 
The second catalog, published in October, 1822, contains the names of the 
overseers of the charity fund, as well as faculty and students. The 
teaching; force had been enlarged bv the addition of two tutors ; the 


students numbered 98, including five seniors, twenty-one juniors, thirty-two 
sophomores and forty freshmen. The term bills including tuition, room- 
rent, etc., were from 'ten to eleven dollars a term ; board was from one 
dollar to one dollar and a-quarter a week, wood from one dollar and a-half 
to two dollars a cord, washing from twelve to twenty cents a week. Two 
literary societies, the Alexandrian and Athenian, and a society afterwards 
called the " Society of Religious Inquiry" were organized soon after the 
opening of the institution. The college felt the influence of its first 
religious revival during the spring term of 1823 ; as a result of this revival 
there were twenty-three conversions, only thirteen students remaining with- 
out a personal faith and hope in Christ. 

The labor and responsibility that devolved upon President Moore in 
the government and management of affairs of the new institution were 
more than any one man could undertake with safety to himself. In addi- 
tion to his duties as president of the college and chairman of the board of 
trustees, he heard all the recitations of the seniors and a part of those of 
the sophomore class. He was also active in promoting the financial 
interests of the institution, and was compelled to make several journeys to 
Boston in its behalf. The revival, which was welcomed by him as by all 
friends of the institution, added greatly to his labors and responsibilities. 
The strain proved too great for his constitution, naturally strong, and on 
June 25, 1S23, he was attacked by illness which, four days later, resulted 
in his death. The college could not, at that time, have suffered a greater 
misfortune. The students were so deeply impressed with their loss, and so 
fearful of what the future had in store for the college, the members of the 
senior class requested of the trustees that they be released from participat- 
ing in any commencement exercises and from all further connection with 
the college. At the earnest request of the trustees they consented to remain 
and were graduated in due form. 

In Jul\-, 1823, Rev. Heman Humphrey was chosen to the presidency 
of the college. Dr. Humphrey was horn in West Simsbury, Conn., 
March 26, 1779. He was graduated from Yale College in 1805: studied 
theology with Rev. Mr. Hooker at Goshen, Conn.; was ordained and 
installed as pastor of the church in Fairfield, Conn., March 16, 1807; 
became, in 1S17. pastor of the church at Pittsfield, Mass.. and was still 
engaged in the duties of this pastorate when summoned to the presidencj 
ol Amherst College. The circumstances attendant upon the inauguration 
of the new administration were far from auspicious. The college had yet to 
gain a place among the recognized institutions of learning in the state; 
its financial resources were inadequate to provide for its numerous and 
pressing needs; its students, who had come to regard President Moore as 
the embodiment of all good in the college, were at first inclined to look 


with little favor upon his successor. He accepted the call to Amherst with 
reluctance, and only after he was thoroughly convinced that it was in the 
line of his duty. He was installed as president, Oct. 15. 1823. His 
inaugural address was remarkable for its sound common sense, its practical 
wisdom, its vigor of thought and felicity of expression; it convinced all 
who listened to it that the trustees had made no mistake in their choice, 
that the right man had been inducted into office. 

The total number of students at the college when Dr. Humphrey 
acceded to the presidency was 126. of whom 19 were seniors, 29 juniors, 
41 sophomores and 3 7 freshmen. The faculty consisted of the same persons 
who had been associated with President Moore, with the addition of Samuel 
M. Worcester as tutor. In 1S24, Rev. Nathan W. Fiske succeeded Joseph 
Estabrook as professor of the Latin and Greek languages. Dr. Humphrey's 
duties were many and arduous ; he was the sole teacher of the senior class, 
presided at the weekly declamations in the chapel, preached occasionally 
at the First parish meeting-house so long as the students worshiped there, 
and when a separate organization was formed became the pastor of the 
College church. He drew up the first code of written and printed -> Laws 
of the Collegiate Charity Institution.'" and did much to introduce order 
and system into the still imperfectly organized seminary; at the same time 
he was actively engaged in the endeavor to raise funds and to secure a 
charter for the institution. 

The first application to the Legislature for a charter was made during 
the winter session of 1823 ; in January of that year, the petition of Presi- 
dent Moore that the " Institution in Amherst for giving a classical education 
to pious young men may be incorporated " was referred to a joint committee 
of the two Houses. President Moore and other friends of the college 
appeared before this committee, suggesting as was common in such matters, 
that the question be referred to the next General Court. The committee 
so reported, but. contrary to precedent and to the expectation of the friends 
of the college, the report was not accepted and the petition was rejected by 
both Houses, nearly all the members voting against it, including the repre- 
sentative from Amherst. Aaron Merrick, who was elected representative 
from Amherst in May, 1822. and who served at the General Court session 
held in the winter of 1823, was son of James Merrick, who was one of 
the original members of the Second parish. The hard feelings that had 
been engendered by the organization of the Second church were still 
cherished by the members of the two parishes, and, as Amherst College 
was closely identified with the First parish, it is more than possible that 
the Amherst representative was influenced in his action by personal 


The friends of the college were not discouraged at the failure of their 
first effort to gain recognition from the state. At the session of the Legis- 
lature held in the spring and summer of 1823, a petition for a charter for 
the college was presented by its president and members of its board of 
trustees, accompanied by a memorial from the subscribers to the charity 
fund, stating that the institution at Amherst had already accomplished 
great good and praying that the petition of the trustees be granted. The 
petition and memorial were referred to a joint committee, which reported 
in favor of the petitioners having leave to bring in a bill. The House and 
Senate concurred in referring consideration of the report to the next 
General Court. This action was taken in June, and the next session of 
the General Court was to be held in January, 1824. The friends and 
opponents of the college spent the intervening time in preparing for the 
struggle that was to come. The friends of Williams and Harvard Colleges 
and of Brown University were active in their opposition to the granting of 
a charter to Amherst College. The trustee of Williams College were 
especialy prominent in their opposition foreseeing that the new institution 
must come in serious competition with the Berkshire college. 

Jan. 21, 1824, the report of the joint committee in favor of granting 
a charter came up in the Senate ; it was debated during the greater part of 
three days by some of the ablest men in that body. The opponents of 
the charter argued that another college was not needed, that Williams 
College would be injured, that it was inexpedient to multiply colleges, that 
the petitioners would ask for money. There was also considerable oppo- 
sition to the new institution on account of its orthodoxy. The weight of 
argument was in favor of the college, and when the question was put to 
vote twenty-two out of thirty-seven senators were recorded in favor of 
granting the charter. The contest was renewed in the House of Represen- 
tatives, and after a debate lasting four days the subject was postponed for 
one week ; at the end of that time, after some further discussion, a vote 
was taken on the question of concurring with the Senate, and was decided 
in the negative by a majority of 19 votes out of 199. 

The trustees and friends of the college was disappointed but not dis- 
heartened; they determined to renew the struggle for state recognition 
immediately. When the Genera] Court met in May, [824, a petition was 
presented for a charter for the college, signed by the trustees ; this was 
harked by another petition of the founders and proprietors, signed by 
about four-fifths of the subscribers to the charity fund. These petitions 
were referred to a joint committee of Senate and House, which, after 
listening to the arguments submitted by friends and opponents of the 
college, reported that the petitioners have leave to bring in a bill. This 
report was accepted by the Senate with little opposition. There was a 


determined effort made in the House to secure an indefinite postponement, 
or reference to the next General Court ; both these motions having been 
voted down by a large majority, it was decided, after extended argument, 
to refer the report of the joint committee and all the papers relating to the 
case to a committee of five members, with power to send for persons and 
papers, to sit at such time and place as they should deem expedient, and 
to inquire in substance, i st, what reliable funds the institution had ; 2d. 
what means had been resorted to by the petitioners, or by persons acting 
in their behalf, to procure subscriptions ; and 3d. what methods had been 
adopted to obtain students. The members appointed to serve on this 
committee were intelligent and fair-minded men, but none of them were in 
sympathy with the orthodox religious opinions held by the founders of the 

The committee met at lioltwood's hotel in Amherst. ( >ct. 4. The 
trustees and friends of the college had made thorough preparation for the 
rigid investigation which they knew was to come. Money was raised in 
Amherst and in Boston to make good the Si 5.000 guarantee bond. The 
investigation lasted for more than two weeks and was thorough and 
exhaustive. All books and papers belonging to the institution were sub- 
mitted to the committee ; every subscription note and obligation was care- 
fully examined. As a result of these labors, the committee submitted to 
the House, Jan. 8, 1S25, a report favorable to the institution in all essential 
features, closing with the recommendation that a charter be granted. This 
report was accepted by the House, Jan. 28: by the Senate, Jan. 29. Feb. 
21. the bill, having been somewhat amended, passed to be enacted in both 
branches of the Legislature, and having received the signature of the 
acting governor, Marcus Morton, became a law. and Amherst College a 
chartered institution. Information of the granting of the charter was 
received with great rejoicing in the town of Amherst. 

Xo one man was more active or influential in gaining a charter for 
Amherst College than was President Humphrey. He realized fully that a 
critical time had arrived in the history of the institution, that without formal 
recognition by the state it could never hope to gain the power for useful 
ness anticipated by its founders. He was a persistent worker, leaving no 
stone unturned, no influence untried, that might aid in gaining the desired 
end. In so doing, he gained greatly in the esteem of his fellow-workers 
and in the respect and love of the students at the college. From unpopular- 
ity, accidental as it was undeserved, he won an esteem and affection as 
generous as the heart of man could desire. His sound common sense and 
practical wisdom, united with high moral and Christian principle had a 
most beneficent influence upon the lives and characters of the students at 
the college. He taught them not aione the wisdom in books, but how to 


think and reason for themselves. He gave as much, if not more, thought 
to the development of character than of intellect. Under his wise and 
careful administration the college grew and prospered, ranking at one time 
in the number of its students above Harvard and second only to Yale 
among the collegiate institutions of New England. 

The protracted struggle to secure its charter brought Amherst College 
prominently before the public ; the result was at once apparent in a great 
gain in its membership. The number of students enrolled in 1823 was 
126, in 1824 it had increased to 136. in 1825 to 152. and in 1836 it attained 
the aggregate of 259. A catalog of the faculty issued in October. 1825, 
printed for the first time in Amherst, contains the following names : Rev. 
Heman Humphrey, I), i)., president, professor of mental and moral philos- 
ophy and professor of divinity : Rev. Edward Hitchcock, A. M., professor 
of chemistry and natural history ; Rev. Jonas King, A. M., professor of 
Oriental literature ; Rev. Nathan W. Fiske, A. M., professor of the Greek 
language and literature and professor of belles-lettres ; Rev. Solomon Peck, 
A. M., professor of the Hebrew and Latin languages and literature ; 
Samuel M. Worcester, A. M ., professor of rhetoric and orator}- ; Jacob 
Abbott, A.M., professor of mathematics and natural philosophy : Ebenezer 
S. Snell, A. M., tutor of mathematics. The same catalog gives the name 
of John Leland, Esq. as treasurer, and Rufus Graves as financier. 

The professors were mostly young men and comparatively unknown 
in the world of letters, but they were filled with ambition and with a pro- 
gressive spirit which were naturally attractive to young men about to enter 
college. The equipment was far inferior to that found at the older and 
wealthier colleges. The college library existed in but little more than 
name, and the apparatus for the illustration of the sciences was rudimentary 
and imperfect. There was, however, a promise of better things to come ; 
friends of the college, who had stood by it in its darker hours, were pre- 
paring to aid it still further and add to its means of usefulness. 

Leading events of the administration of President Humphrey were 
the adoption, and subsequent withdrawal, of the " parallel course," the 
erection of the chapel building and a new dormitory, the unsuccessful 
appeal for aid from the state treasury, the raising of a fund of 850,000 
anion- friends of the college, the organization of the College church, the 
ds of 1831 and [835, the organization of the Antivenenean and Anti- 
slaver) societies and the rebellion of one of the classes against the college 
authorities. Of these events, important in themselves and especially "inter- 
esting from the influence excited by them on the fortunes of the college, 

e permits but passing mention. 

At the annual meeting of the trustees held in 182G, the faculty sub- 

d a detailed report of the state of the seminary and the course of 


instruction, together with remarks upon the inadequacy of the prevailing 
systems of classical education in America to satisfy the public demands. 
The trustees requested the faculty to draw up a plan providing for such 
improvements as they deemed desirable. This plan was submitted to the 
trustees at a meeting held Dec 6. 1.S26. received their hearty endorsement, 
and it was determined to embody these suggestions in a parallel or equiva- 
lent course to be offered to the students. This new course was to differ 
from the old in a greater prominence given to English literature, the sub- 
stitution of the modern for the ancient languages, an enlargement of the 
courses in physical science, natural history and modern history, and the 
study of the elements of civil and political law. The new course proved 
popular the hist year, but the teaching force at the college was too small to 
properly care for it. so at a meeting of the trustees held in 1S29. it was 
voted to dispense with it. 

With the increase in the number of students, the need of a suitable 
place for public worship became apparent. At the annual meeting of the 
trustees in 1S25. the prudential committee- were authorized to contract for 
the erection of a chapel building and also for a third college edifice, should 
they deem it expedient ; they were empowered to borrow such funds as 
were needed to erect these buildings from the charity fund, from banks or 
from individuals. Work on the chapel was begun in the spring of 1826, 
and it was dedicated Feb. 28, [827 ; it was named "Johnson chapel." in 
honer of Adam Johnson of Pelham, who had bequeathed some $4000 to 
the college for the express purpose of erecting such a building. It con- 
tained in addition to the chapel proper, four recitation rooms, a room for 
philosophical apparatus and a cabinet for minerals on the lower floor, two 
recitation rooms on the second floor, a library room on the third floor and 
a laboratory in the basement. A third dormitory building was erected and 
completed so as to be occupied by students during the college year of 
1828-29. It stood on the site now- occupied by Williston hall; this dormi- 
tory, which was known as " North College," was destroyed by fire in 1S59. 

When the two new buildings were completed, the college was heavily 
in debt. An application for pecuniary assistance was made to the Legis- 
lature at its winter session in 1827. The petition was referred to a com- 
mittee, whose members manifested a willingness to aid the college, but as 
the state finances were at a low ebb they felt constrained to make an 
unfavorable report, which was accepted by both Houses. The appeal was 
renewed in 183 1 and 1S32. but to no avail: the state had funds, but was 
unwilling to grant them to an institution of such orthodox religious character 
as Amherst College. The necessities of the institution being urgent, it was 
decided to appeal to the public for the aid which the Legislature had 
refused. A committee composed of members of the board of trustees was 


appointed to solicit subscriptions. They met with greater success than they 
had dared to hope; the committee was appointed in March ; at the com- 
mencement held in August it was announced that $30,000 had been 
subscribed, and December 31, 1832, the sum amounted to $50,000. Of 
this amount, the people of Amherst contributed $3,000 ; they had given 
but little short of $20,000 in money before this time. 

In 1825, shortly after the grant of the charter, measures were taken 
for the establishment of a college church. At a meeting of the trustees 
held in April, Rev. Heman Humphrey, Rev. Joshua Crosby and Rev. 
James Taylor were appointed a committee to consider the expediency of 
establishing such an organization. The committee met in Amherst, March 
7, 1826, resolved themselves into an ecclesiastical council, and acting in 
such capacity they voted to proceed to form a church in Amherst College. 
They prepared a covenant and articles of faith, to be subscribed to by 
those desiring to enter into membership. Thirty-one students were 
examined by the council, and having publicly assented to the articles and 
covenant, were constituted the " Church of Christ in Amherst College." 
In October, members of the faculty, together with the wives of President 
Humphrey and Professor Hitchcock, were admitted to the church. The 
church remained almost a year without a pastor, but in February, 1827. 
I >r. Humphrey was formally installed as the first pastor of College 
church. Eleven churches were represented in the council assembled on 
this occasion, including three in Amherst. The pulpit of the new chapel 
was occupied by the pastor every other Sabbath, and by the other clerical 
members of the faculty, in rotation, on alternate Sabbaths. In the year 
1827, the college experienced a great revival of religion, as one result of 
which twenty persons united with the church. The first communion service 
of the church was held in the College chapel, Aug. i<), 1S27. Other 
revivals of religious interest occurred during President Humphrey's admin- 
istration, in 1828, 1 S3 1 and 1835. 

In August, 1830, the Antivenenean society was organized, on the basis 
of a pledge of total abstinence from the use of alcoholic liquors, opium 
and tobacco. In [833, an anti-slavery society was organized among the 
students. The college at that time had on its rolls many students from 
the Southern states, who were as ardent believers in the institution of 
slavery as those from the Northern and Eastern states were its opponents. 
Such a society, formed at such an institution, was bound to lead to trouble 
among the students. The college was divided into hostile camps, and the 
faculty, feeling that tin' institution was not founded as a school of moral 
or political reform, and fearing that its reputation as well as its peace and 
prosperity might be in danger, endeavored to persuade the members of the 
society to dissolve their organization. The society comprised in its 


membership about one-third of the students at the college; they were 
sincere in their convictions and declined to give up their organization with- 
out the express command of the faculty: the latter hesitated for a time to 
adopt extreme measures, but when it became apparent that the prosperity 
of the college was at stake, they decreed that the society must cease to 
exist. This decision was very unpopular among the students, and some 
of them determined to sever their connection with the college, but wiser 
counsels prevailed. It is interesting to note that in less than three years 
thereafter, in the autumn of 1S36. the society was revived with the express 
consent and approbation of the faculty. 

As early as 1834, dissatisfaction existed among the students at the 
system of honorary appointments in college ; the junior class in that year 
petitioned that the system be abolished, but the trustees denied the 
petition. In 1836, the petition was renewed, signed at this time by nearly 
if not quite all the members of the three upper classes; the trustees again 
refused to make changes in the system. Meanwhile the faculty received 
man}' applications from individual students to be excused from the parts 
assigned them, on the ground of conscientious opposition to the system of 
honorary distinctions. For a time the faculty granted these requests, until 
it became evident that there was a purpose on the part of the students to 
break down the system in this manner. In 1S37. W, O. Gorham, a member 
of the junior class, refused to accept an appointment for the junior exhibi- 
tion, accompanying his refusal with a note to the trustees, expressing his 
contempt for the system. The matter was referred to President Humphrey, 
who talked very plainly to the young man ; the result of the interview was 
reported to the faculty, who determined that Gorham must sign an 
acknowledgment that the language he had employed was highly improper,. 
and that he deeply regretted his action. This paper Gorham refused to 
sign, but submitted instead a paper prepared by himself that was far from 
satisfactory to the faculty, and he was accordingly removed from college. 
The members of the junior class rallied to Gorham's support, and with one 
exception signed a resolution declaring that in their opinion be had made 
every concession that duty and justice required. For this expression of 
opinion, the members of the class were required to sign a written confes- 
sion that they had acted in the wrong. For some time it was in doubt 
whether the class would submit to this discipline, or would retire from the 
college, but in the end they submitted to the decision of the faculty. 

As a result of the anti-slavery excitement and the Gorham incident, a 
feeling of discontent and disaffection was infused into the student body 
which could but have a disastrous effect upon the college. The number of 
students, which had steadily increased from the beginning, now began as 
steadily to diminish. Many of the alumni, instead of remaining warm 


friends, became critics of the institution as concerned its management, 
which was never more efficient and admirable. The finances were in a 
bad way, the expenses yearly exceeding the income by several thousand 
dollars. The college had no endowment, and at the time of its greatest 
prosperity was constantly adding to a debt for the payment of which there 
was absolutely no provision. The Legislature was appealed to in vain ; 
the trustees finally decided to make an effort to raise $100,000 by private 
subscription. Rev. William Tyler, the first agent appointed by the trustees, 
during the years 1839 and 1840 raised between $4000 and $5000, mostly 
in Amherst. In 1841, Rev. Joseph Vaill, a trustee of the college from the 
beginning, was appointed financial agent of the institution. For four years 
he labored earnestly and persistently, to such effect that in August, 1845, 
he reported subscriptions, conditional and unconditional, amounting to 
$67,000, of which over $50,000 had been collected and paid into the 
treasury. During these four years David Sears had given $10,000 to the 
college, and two other persons had expressed their intention of giving 
sums sufficient to increase the fund to $100,000. This sum was largely 
diminished by the payment of debts already contracted, so that little 
remained to meet the current expenses or provide for an endowment fund. 
A determined effort was made to retrench in expenses, the number of tutors 
being reduced from four to one. and the salaries of president, professors 
and general agent being cut down. 

All this time the clamor among the alumni and in the community was 
growing stronger for a change in the administration. Seldom has a popular 
movement had less foundation in reason or justice. President Humphrey, 
by his wisdom and energy, had been largely instrumental in raising the 
college from the slough of despond into which it had fallen at the time of 
the death of President Moore, in making of it a chartered institution, in 
providing for its constantly increasing necessities, in bringing it up to the 
prosperity and popularity which blessed it so abundantly in 1837. That 
same wisdom and energy and an untiring devotion to the interests of the 
college marked the closing years of his administration, but were not 
rewarded with a like success. President Humphrey was a victim of cir- 
cumstances which he was powerless to control. He could not prevent the 
irrepressible conflict between slavery and anti-slavery opinion which created 
dissensions among the students, he could not reconcile the differences of 
Opinion in regard to college appointments and awards, he could not make 
tnancial success of an institution that had no funds and no endowments. 
All that one Mian could do for an institution whose welfare was as dear to 
him as his own life President Humphrey did for Amherst College, and 
when, with heavy heart, he realized that his administration did not command 
that full respect and hearty sympathy from the public which was absolutely 


essential to the welfare of the college, he promptly handed in to the 
trustees his resignation, which they, with reluctance, but recognizing the 
exigences of the case, accepted. 


Edward Hitchcock Elected President. — Generous Endowments 
by Samuel Williston wo Others.— President Hitchcock's 
Resignation. — Professors and Instructors. — Original Deed 
of College Land. 

The meeting of the trustees at which the resignation of President 
Humphrey was tendered and accepted, was held in Worcester in January, 
1844. At the same meeting, the trustees chose Prof. K. A. Park of 
Andover to fill the vacancy, an honor which Prof. Park declined. At the 
annual meeting of the trustees, held the following August, Prof. George 
Shepard of Bangor was chosen president, but he. also, declined the office. 
At a special meeting held in December. Rev. Edward Hitchcock. LL. D.. 
was elected president, and professor of natural theology and geology. 
Dr. Hitchcock accepted the appointment, and was duly inaugurated as 
president, in April. 1845. 

Edward Hitchcock was born in Deerfield, May 24. 1793. In 1826, 
he was a special student of theology and science at Yale College, from 
which institution he had already received the honorary degree of A. M. in 
1818. From 1816 to 1819, he was principal of Deerfield Academy; from 
182 1 to 1825, pastor of the Congregational church at Conway : from 1S25 
to 1845. professor of chemistry and natural history at Amherst College. 
In 1830. he was appointed'state geologist of Massachusetts; in 1840. he 
receiyed the degree of LL. D. from Harvard University. His work in 
geology early attracted the attention of the scientific world. During his 
pastorate at Conway he made a scientific survey of the four western counties 
of the state, leading in later years to the geological survey of the entire 
state, undertaken by the government at his suggestion. He was a lover of 
nature and nature's Supreme Ruler. 

When he entered upon his duties as president, the affairs of Amherst 
College were in a criti'cal condition. Before the resignation of President 
Humphrey, the trustees and faculty had come to an agreement concerning 


the disposition of the college income so that any increase of the debt 
might be avoided. According to this plan, the income of the college, 
administered and appropriated by the permanent officers themselves, after 
the deduction of all necessary expenses, was divided among them as their 
salary and means of support. For several years the president received for 
his salary at the rate of $550, and each professor at the rate of #440 a 
year. The first collegiate year of the new presidency opened with the 
same number of freshmen as the previous year, and in 1846-7 the number 
was increased by one only. For a long time it was in doubt whether the 
college was to continue its existence as a college, or revert into a seminary. 
But better things were in store. On the day of President Hitchcock's 
inauguration, Hon. Samuel \\ 'illiston of Easthampton by a donation of 
$20,000 founded the Williston professorship of rhetoric and oratory. In 
1846, Hon. Abbott Lawrence subscribed $1000 to a fund for the 
erection of a building for scientific purposes, and the balance of the 
funds needed for the building were easily raised. During the same 
year, Mr. Williston and Samuel A. Hitchcock, Esq. of Brimfield contrib- 
uted $20,000 for the founding of a professorship, afterwards known as 
the Hitchcock professorship of natural theology and geology ; Mr. \\ illis- 
ton gave still another $20,000 as the foundation of the Graves professor- 
ship of Greek and Hebrew. The state, which had refused aid to the college 
in its hour of greatest need, proved more kindly disposed when others had 
come to its rescue, and in 1S47 the Legislature appropriated 825,000 for 
the use of the college. These sums, in addition to $12,000 received from 
David Sears, amounted to over $100,000, and for the first time placed 
Amherst College on a secure financial foundation. As a result of these 
generous benefactions, the debts of the college were paid, the term-bills were 
reduced from $48 to $42 per year, and arrangements were made for 
making up in full the deficient salaries of the president and professors. 

The Woods Cabinet and Lawrence Observatory were completed in 
ICS48. They were dedicated June 28 of that year, with public exercises to 
which the friends and benefactors of the college were invited, and at which 
an appropriate and eloquent address was delivered by Hon. William B. 
Calhoun ; it was a day of general rejoicing. With the college out of debt 
and generous additions being made to its equipment, there came a corre- 
sponding increase in the number of its students. Doubt as to the perma- 
nency of the institution no longer existed. President Hitchcock, who had 
accepted the office in an emergency, was now desirous of retiring, but the 
trustees would not listen to such a suggestion. They urged him, instead, 
to make a tour of Europe for the benefit of his health, a suggestion which 
he reluctantly accepted. In company with Mrs. Hrtchcock, he was absent 
from Amherst live months, during which time he traveled over 10,000 



wi H I i;^ i i i ii i.i.i.i. 

:i. [851 

president Hitchcock's resignation. 177 

miles ; on his return he was welcomed by the students with enthusiasm, 
the college buildings being illuminated in the evening in his honor. 

At the annual meeting of the trustees in 1850. measures were adopted 
for increasing the number of books in the college library, and for the 
erection of a suitable library building. The sum of $15,000 was raised 
by subscription, of which $10,000 was devoted to building purposes and 
$5000 to the purchase of books. The building was completed in 1853, 
the first granite structure upon the college grounds. In 1852, the trustees 
established a scientific department which met with little favor at the hands 
of the students and in a few years was withdrawn. In 1838, before his 
election to the presidency, Dr. Hitchcock had donated to the college his 
valuable mineralogical and geological collections. In 1S53. he made a 
further donation to the institution of his collection of fossil foot-marks, 
valued at several thousand dollars, the most complete and interesting in 
America. At the same time Edward Hitchcock. Jr. presented to the college 
a fine collection of Indian relics. 

In 1854, President Hitchcock suffered so much from ill health that he 
felt compelled to resign his office ; his resignation as president was accepted 
by the trustees with much regret, but he was induced to retain his position 
as professor of natural theology and geology. The closing clays of his 
administration witnessed one more generous donation to the college, the 
sum of $10,000 being given by the trustees of the estate of Samuel 
Appleton for the erection of a cabinet of natural history. The administra- 
of President Hitchcock marked something more than an era in the history 
of Amherst College ; it witnessed a new birth of the institution. When 
he assumed the presidency, the college was struggling amongst the quick- 
sands of debt, apparently on the verge of dissolution; within the ten years 
of his term of office it was, by the aid of generous friends, placed on the 
high grounds of financial prosperity. For the first time since the founda- 
tion stones of old South College were laid, the college was out of debt 
and had ample funds with which to carry on its work. Nor was the success 
of his administration to be measured by college finances alone. It was 
the age of growth and expansion in cabinets, collections and materials for 
the illustration of the physical sciences. It witnessed the erection of a 
library building and a great increase in the number of books upon the 
library shelves. It was marked by two great religious revivals, in 1846 
and 1S50. With President Hitchcock's term of office what may be known 
as the formative era at Amherst College ended ; of its subsequent growth 
and development more will be recorded in another chapter. 

Among the names of the instructors who were associated with the 
college in its earlier years, are those of Charles B. Adams, Amos Eaton., 


Joseph Estabrook, Thomas P. Field, William C. Fowler, Nathan W. Fiske, 
Gamaliel S. Olds, Edwards A. Park, Ebenezer S. Snell, Charles U. Shepard, 
and Samuel M. Worcester. Of these, Professors Eaton, Estabrook and 
Olds were in office during President Moore's administration. Joseph Esta- 
brook was born in Lebanon, N. H., in 1792. He was graduated at Dart- 
mouth College in 1815 ; from 1817 to 1820 he was principal of Amherst 
Academy, and from 1821 to 1824 professor of the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages and librarian in Amherst College. After leaving Amherst, he con- 
ducted schools for young ladies at Staunton, Va. and Knoxville, Term., 
being afterwards appointed to the presidency of the University of East Ten- 
nessee, an office which he held thirteen years, during which time the institu- 
tion prospered greatly. Gamaliel S. Olds was born in Granville in 1777, 
was graduated at Williams College in 1801, served as tutor at that institution 
for several years and as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy 
from 1S06 to 1808. From 1819 to 182 1, he was professor of mathematics 
and natural philosophy at the University of Vermont; and from 182 1 to 
1825, professor of the same branches in Amherst College. After leaving 
Amherst, he taught for several years in the University of Georgia. He 
was a man of strong mind, a good classical scholar and master of the 
whole field of mathematics. Amos Eaton was born in 1776 and was 
graduated from Williams College in 1799. At Amherst College, during 
President Moore's administration, he lectured on chemistry and some 
branches of natural history. 

I Hiring President Humphrey's administration, many professors were 
connected with the college who gained more than local reputation. Nathan 
W. Fiske was born in Weston in 1798, and was graduated at Dartmouth 
College in 18 17. He served as a tutor at Dartmouth College, studied 
theology at Andover Seminar}-, was ordained as evangelist, labored at the 
South in the cause of home missions, and in 1824 was elected professor of 
languages and rhetoric at Amherst College. For over twenty years he was 
a member of the college faculty, in charge of various departments. Among 
the earlier instructors at the college few did more efficient work or 
won more fully the respect and affection of their associates and 
pupils. Kbenezer S. Snell was born in North lirookfield in 1801. He 
fitted for college at Amherst Academy, entered the sophomore class at 
Williams College in 1819, came with President Moore from Williams to 
Amherst and was a member of the first class that was graduated from 
Amherst College. From 1822 to 1825, he taught in Amherst Academy, 
first as an assistant and then as principal. In 1825, when the college 
faculty was organized under the charter, he was appointed tutor; in T827, 
instructor in mathematics and natural philosophy ; in 1829, adjunct profes- 
sor, and in 1834, professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. 


Professor Snell is described by Professor W. S. Tyler, for many years an 
associate on the college faculty and a lifelong friend, as " a man who, for 
exactness, clearness, and method in teaching, has had no equal in Amherst 
and no superior anywhere ; who, as an experimental lecturer, to say the 
least, cannot be surpassed; and who, by his own mechanical ingenuity and 
handicraft and his progressive mastery of the science, with a comparatively 
trilling expenditure of money by the college has kept his cabinet abreast 
of the most costly apparatus of the richest colleges in the land." 

William C. Fowler was a graduate of Yale College, where he served 
as tutor four years after completing the college course ; he was afterwards 
professor of chemistry and natural history at Middlebury College, a position 
that he held until called to Amherst in 1838, to become professor of rhetoric 
and oratory, to which department the following year was added English 
literature. He remained at Amherst five years, doing excellent work both 
in the class-room and in the improvements made about the college grounds. 
He was a good citizen as well as a good teacher, and in 185 1 served the 
town as its representative in the General Court. Rev. Edwards A. Park 
was for one year professor of intellectual and moral philosophy at Amherst 
College, resigning that office to accept a professorship at Andover Theolog- 
ical Seminary. Brief as was his stay in Amherst, his genius and eloquence 
left a lasting impress upon the minds and hearts of those students who 
came under his instruction. 

Samuel M. Worcester was born in Fitchburg in 1801, was graduated 
from Harvard College in 1S22, studied theology at Andover Seminary and 
was engaged in teaching at Phillips Academy when, in 1823, he accepted 
an appointment as tutor in Amherst College. In 1824. he was appointed 
teacher of languages, and librarian, and in 1825, atthe organization under 
the charter, professor of rhetoric and oratory. In 1S27, in company with 
a fellow instructor Bela 11. Edwards, he undertook the editorial charge of 
the New England Enquirer, the second newspaper to be published in 
Amherst, its predecessor, The Chemist and Meteorological Journal, having 
been conducted during its brief existence by Prof. John B. Cotting. The 
Enquirer died a peaceful death in 1828 ; in 1829, the members of the 
college assisted by the citizens elected Professor Worcester a member of the 
General Court. In 1832, Professor Worcester was ordained as evangelist; 
from April, 1830, to March, 1S33. he preached regularly at •• Hadley 
Mills," now North Hadley, where his labors were blessed with an extensive 
revival of religion. He severed his connection with the college in 1834, 
and for more than a quarter of a century thereafter served as pastor of the 
Tabernacle church in Salem. 

Of some among the professors who served the college during President 
Hitchcock's administration, special mention will be made in later chapters 


of this work. Charles I!. Adams was born in Dorchester in 1S14. He 
entered Yale College in 1S30, but during the second year of his course 
came to Amherst, where he was graduated with the highest honors in 1834. 
For one year he was a tutor in Amherst College, then accepted an appoint- 
ment as professor of chemistry and natural history at Middlebury College, 
a position he held for nine years until, in 1847, he was appointed professor 
of astronomy and geology and curator of the cabinet in Amherst College. 
He held this position five years, his death occurring in 1852 while engaged 
in scientific explorations on the island of St. Thomas. He was a diligent 
scholar, and able teacher, and his deatli at an early age was a great loss 
to the college and to the scientific world. 

The grounds on which the first college buildings were erected were a 
part of the farm owned by Col. Elijah Dickinson, who, when the $50,000 
charity fund was being raised, agreed to give three acres of land, valued 
at $600. Col. Dickinson died in 1820, but in November of that year his 
widow, Mrs. Jerusha Dickinson, and his son, Moses Dickinson, gave a 
deed to the trustees of nine acres of land. In 1827, two and one-half 
acres more were purchased by the trustees of Col. Dickinson's heirs. In 
1828, the trustees purchased of Dea. John Leland eleven acres on the 
west side of the highway, which belonged originally to the estate of Rev. 
Dr. Parsons and included the old " Parsons' house " and other buildings. 
In 1S41, the town on petition of the trustees deeded to them the land in 
front of the original college lot, to be used for college purposes only. In 
1861, the College purchased of Judge John Dickinson five acres in the rear 
of the original purchase. In 1866, the College purchased of Lucius Bolt- 
wood, Esq. two and one-half acres of land on the north side of the 
campus. Following is a copy of the original deed dated May 15. 1X1N, 
by which Elijah Dickinson conveyed land to the trustees of Amherst 
Academy, on certain conditions : 

To all People to whom these presents shall come, GREETING. 

Know ye that I Elijah Dickinson of Amherst in the County of Hampshire 
& Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Esquire, For and in consideration of tin- sum 
of Two Thousand Dollars current money of the Commonwealth aforesaid, to me 
in hand paid, before the ensealing hereof, by the Trustees of Amherst Academy 
the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge and am fully satisfied, contented, and 
paid. HAVE given, granted, bargained, sold, aliened, released, conveyed and ion- 
firmed, and by these Presents, do freely, clearly and absolutely give, grant, bargain, 
sell, alien, release, convey and confirm unto them the said Trusti es, their Sum ssors 
in said office and assigns forever, A certain tract of land lying in .Amherst afore- 
said on the North-West corner of my home Lot bounded West on the Common: 
North on land of Elisha Warner & East & South on my own land containing about 
res: begining at the NorthWest corner of said premises by said Common 
thence runing easterly by the south line ol said Warner's Lot Forty rods, thence 
Southerly on a parrallel line with the West line of said lot about forty rods to 


within about three feet of a fence, thence Westerly about forty rods to said 
Common to a point about one rod South of an Apple tree by the fence, supposed 
to be about thirtytwo rods South of said North West corner. If this Deed goes 
into effect the said Trustees of said College are to make a good fence around the 
whole of said premises & always keep the same in good repair: said Elijah is to 
improve & remain in possession of said premises until the conditions of this Deed 
are complied with.— To HAVE and to hold the before granted Premises, with 
the appurtenances and privileges thereto belonging, to them the said Trustees, 
their Successors in said office and assigns : To -their own proper use, benefit and 
behoof, forevermore. And I the said Elijah Dickinson for myself my heirs, execu- 
tors and administrators, do covenant, promise and grant unto and with the said 
Trustees, their Successors in said office and assigns forever: Thatbefore and until 
the ensealing hereof I am the true. sole, proper and lawful owner and possessor of 
the before granted Premises with the appurtenances. And have in me good right. 
full power and lawful authority, to give, grant, bargain, sell, alien, release, convey 
and confirm, the same as aforesaid : and that free and clear, and freely and clearly 
executed, acquitted and discharged of and from all former and other gifts, grants, 
bargains, sales, leases, mortgages, wills, intails, jointures, doweries, thirds, execu- 
tions, and incumbrances whatsoever. 

And FURTHERMORE, 1 the said Elijah Dickinson for myself, my heirs, execu- 
tors, and administrators, do hereby covenant, promise and engage the before granted 
Premises, with the appurtenances, unto them the said Trustees, their Successors 
in said office and assigns forever, to warrant, secure and defend against the lawful 
claims and demands of any person or persons whatsoever. 

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifteenth day 
of May in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and eighteen. 

Whereas it is contemplated to procure the establishment, in the Town of 
Amherst aforesaid, of a College University, or Classical Institution for the educa- 
tion of young men for the gospel Ministry, — wherin shall be taught all the branches 
of learning usually taught in Colleges in New England: ec whereas part of the 
Consideration for this conveyance is the establishment of such College University, 
or Classical Institution on the premises: Now the conditions of this deed is ec such 
is the full and explicit understanding of the Parties thereto; that the same is to be 
utterly void & of no effect in Law. unless such College, University or Institution 
shall be established at Amherst & located on the premises, in three years from this 
date unless also the said Trustees of Amherst Academy shall forthwith after such 
establishment, or within one year thereafter, assign to such College, University, 
or Classical Institution, the same premises for the uses & purposes above mentioned : 
& unless also the Trustees of such College. University, or Classical Institution shall 
within one year after the establishment thereof, pay to me or to my heirs the sum 
of Two Hundred Dollarst an acre for all such quantity as shall exceed three acres 
(said three to be given) as part of the consideration of this conveyance. Any of 
the above conditions failing to be performed, this Deed to be of no effect in Law 
but utterly void. — 

Elijah Dickinson [Seal] 
Signed sealed & delivered in presence of us 
Moses Dickinson 
H. Wright Strong 

tThe words an acre for all such quantity as shall exceed three acres, (said three acres to be 
given) interlined before signing— in the original Deed.— H. \Y. Strong. 


Hampshire ss. May 23' 1 1S18 Personally appeared Elijah Dickinson Subscriber 
to the above Instrument & acknowledged the same to be his Deed. — 

Before me II. Wright Strong Justice of the Peace. 
May 10"' 1S19 I agree to receive pay for such quantity of Land above described 
as shall exceed six acres only, meaning that I give Six acres of the Land afore- 
said if Williams College is located in said Amherst, provided Williams College is 
erected on said premises. — 

Elijah Dickinson. 


Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens Who were Born in 
the Years Dating from 1686 to 1720. 

In preceding chapters of this History, the aim has been to present in 
chronological order the principal events that have marked the history of 
the precinct, district, and town, and its inhabitants. In chapters that are 
to follow, particular subjects will be considered under appropriate chapter 
headings. It may be well in this place to give in outline brief sketches of 
the lives of men who were prominent in town affairs, up to the time that 
Amherst College was organized. These sketches must, of necessity, be 
brief and incomplete. Many of these earlier inhabitants have no desendants 
living in Amherst at the present time, and little information concerning 
them can be obtained from any source. It is known that they were men 
of prominence in their day and generation, taking an active part in town 
and church affairs, but as to their personality, the elements of character by 
which they gained distinction, the records are silent. Sketches of some of 
the more prominent men have been given in preceding chapters in connection 
with special events. 

Of the earliest inhabitants of the settlement, the date of whose birth 
is prior to 1758, the following appear, from the town records and from 
other available sources of information, to have attained special distinction : 
Samuel Hawley, Moses Warner. Klisha Ingram. Alexander Smith. Moses 
Dickinson, John Field, John Nash, John Hillings, Simeon Pomeroy, Moses 
Cook, Hezekiah Belding, Preserved Clapp, Jonathan Moody, Eli Parker, 
Seth Coleman. Joseph Eastman, Robert Cutler, Elisha Smith, Daniel 
Kellogg, Zebina Montague, Daniel Cooley, Oliver Dickinson. Of all but 
eight of these, brief sketches have ahead}- been given in connection with 


the early settlement. But little can be added, a word here, a line there, 
as information has been obtained. Samuel Hawley was the moderator of 
the first meeting held in Hadley Third Precinct, a member of the first 
committee chosen to call precinct meetings, and served at various times on 
committees to hire a minister and build a meeting-house. Moses Warner 
was among the earliest of the innkeepers, his tavern being a favorite place 
of resort for the citizens in attendance at town-meetings. Moses Dickin- 
son was equally prominent in town and church affairs, was a member of 
the committee of correspondence at the outbreak of the Revolutionary 
war, a delegate to various conventions, representative to the General Court, 
and served on many of the important committees appointed by the parish. 
Alexander Smith served as selectman and held other offices of importance. 
John Field was commissioned as lieutenant in the militia by Gov. Hutchin- 
son in 1773, but gave up his commission the following year. John Nash 
was among the early tavern-keepers ; he was also one of the officers com- 
missioned by Gov. Hutchinson. He was the first precinct clerk, an office 
he held many years, serving also as precinct treasurer and moderator. 
John Billings was a deacon in the Second church ; he served as represen- 
tative to the General Court two years. Moses Cook represented the town 
for two years in the General Court; he also held many town offices. 
Hezekiah Belding was a deacon of the Second church. Jonathan Moody 
held many important town offices, including that of selectman. There is 
hardly a page in the old precinct and district records but bears the name 
of Joseph Eastman. He served as selectman, assessor, treasurer, school 
committee, and was a member of nearly all the important committees 
appointed during the earlier years of the settlement. He was the first 
district treasurer appointed after the district had been set off from the 
town of Hadley. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 
says of him, " He was intelligent, frugal and Godly." Daniel Kellogg was 
selectman, assessor, and served on many important committees. In 1770, 
he was one of the largest property holders, his estate being valued at £1 19. 
It is impossible to state with accuracy the precise date when Eli 
Parker came to Amherst. He is first mentioned in the district records 
under date of 1769, when he was elected a "vorden," or warden. He 
married Elizabeth, daughter of John Hubbard, by whom he had children, 
Eli, Levi, Samuel, Deborah, Hannah and Elizabeth. In the war of the 
Revolution he was lieutenant of militia, leading a company of minute men 
to Cambridge at the time of the Lexington alarm. He afterwards com- 
manded a company in Col. Leonard's regiment that marched from Hampshire 
county to Ticonderoga in 1777. He was active in both town and church 


Elisha Smith was son of Peter, who came to the Third Precinct between 
1739 and 1745, and grandson of Chiliab Smith of Hadley. He married 
in 1782, Ursula, daughter of Dea. John Billings, by whom he had children. 
Jerusha, Lucretia, Achsah, Peter, Polly and Elisha. 

Zebina Montague, son of Major Richard Montague, was born in 
Hadley, July 23, 1754. He married, Dec. 30, 1778, Jemina Gunn. He 
removed from Hadley to Amherst, where he lived many years, devoting 
much of his time to the public service, respected and honored by all. In 
company with his brother Luke he conducted successfully a mercantile 
business in a store on Main street, adjoining the " Montague house" still 
standing. For ten years, nine successively, he represented the town in the 
General Court. He was for many years a justice of the peace, and during 
the latter part of his life held the office of brigadier-general of militia. He 
was a prominent member of the First church, benevolent, kind-hearted, a 
valued member of the community. He built and resided in the house 
just south of Palmer's block which was destroyed by fire during the blizzard 
in March, 1888. General Montague died in 1809. 

Seth Coleman was son of Nathaniel, and was born in Hatfield, March 
1 j, 1740. When two years of age his parents removed to Amherst. At 
the age of twenty-one he entered Yale College, from which he was 
graduated in the class of 1765. He studied medicine with Dr. Hubbard 
of New Haven, and entered upon the practice of his profession in Amherst 
in 1 767, where he remained until his death in iS 16. He was twice married, 
in 1765 to Sarah Beecher, who died in 1783 ; in 1785 to Eunice Warner, 
who died in 1822. By his first wife he had children, William, Thankful,. 
Sarah, Fanny, Seth, Eliphalet. Dr. Coleman was a man eminent for his 
zeal in religious matters. He served for several years as a deacon in the 
First church ; from 1785 to 180G, he was clerk and treasurer of the parish. 
Robert Cutler was son of Rev. Robert, and was born at Epping. N. 
II.. Oct. 2, 1748. He studied medicine at Hardwick, Mass., and began 
the practice of his profession in Pelham in 1770. He was married. Pec. 
22, 1773, to Esther, widow of Isaac Guernsey of Northampton; by her he 
had seven children, all born in Pelham. He removed to Amherst in 1787, 
where he soon acquired a large practice, being for many years the leading 
physician of the town. He has been described, by one who remembered 
him well, as the most polite man in town. Mounted upon a bay horse, 
wearing a three-cornered hat, knee breeches, white-top boots, his snow 
white hair done up in a queue, and with saddle-bags across his horse's 
back, he would ride through the village bowing and smiling at all he met, 
whether young or old. An interesting incident is related concerning Mrs. 
Cutler, which occurred before the family removed to Amherst, during the 
Shays rebellion. Dr. Cutler was strong in his opposition to the rebellion 


and made himself so obnoxious to the Shays party that he was frequently 
warned to change his views or be more guarded in their expression. "< )n 
a given night the Shays men had arranged to make him a visit, and either 
compel him to join them in their march to Springfield, as a surgeon, or get out 
of the town. Learning of their movements, he made it convenient not to 
be at home on the appointed night. Being enraged at his departure, they 
demanded of Mrs. Cutler food and shelter, whereupon she spread her 
tal/ies and gave them all the food she had in the house. They then 
demanded cider and whatever liquor she chanced to have in her cellar. 
but she defied them by placing herself before the cellar door, at the same 
time informing them that she had given them all her food, but not a drop 
of cider nor liquor could they have unless they obtained it by passing over 
her dead body. After many threats and not a little show of violence, they 
proceeded to break the dishes and table, when they took their departure 
for Springfield.*' 

Daniel Cooley, son of Abner, was born in Sunderland, Feb.21, 1752. 
He was graduated at Yale College in 1753. He represented the town two 
years, 1787 and 17S8, in the General Court, and in 17S8 was delegate to 
the first convention that met in Boston to consider the United States con- 
stitution. Mr. Cooley was three times married: he died May 27, 1S10. 

Oliver Dickinson was son of Azariah who came to Amherst from 
Shutesbury prior to 1763. and was born March 27. 1757. He conducted 
for many years a tavern at North Amherst, gaining the name of "Landlord 
Oliver," by which he was generally known. His labors in organizing the 
North Congregational church and in erecting the church-building will be 
referred to in a later chapter in this book. He was twice married, (1) to 
Hannah Strickland; (2) to Dorothy Whiting: he had no children. He died 
in Amherst. May 12, 1S43. 

Of a little later generation, dating in birth from 1758 to 178S, were 
Samuel Fowler Dickinson, Noah Webster, Rufus Cowles, Justus Williams, 
Enos Dickinson, Hezekiah Wright Strong, Elijah Boltwood, John Dickin- 
son, Aaron Merrick, Medad Dickinson, Daniel Mack, Noah D. Mattoon, 
Ithamar Conkey and Timothy J. Gridley. 

Medad Dickinson was son of Moses, who came from Hadley to 
Amherst prior to 1745 ; he was born June 9, 1755 ; was three times married, 
(1) to Sally Smith, (2) to Eleanor Morton, (3) to Esther Dickinson: he 
had children, Sally, Hannah, Thankful, Olive, Moses, Pliny, Oliver, Esther, 
Aaron, Eleanor, Medad and Julia. He served the town as representative 
in the General Court in 18 10 and 181 1. 

Noah Webster was not a native of Amherst, but resided here for several 
years, during which time he was prominently identified with the town and 
its institutions. Born in Hartford, Conn., Oct. 16, 1 7 5 S , he was graduated 


from Vale College in 1778, admitted to the bar in 1781, engaged in teach- 
ing, compiling school-books, writing essays on political and literary subjects 
and delivering lectures till 1789, a lawyer in Hartford till 1793, editor of 
a daily and semi-weekly paper in New York till 179S, and soon after 
devoted himself solely to literary and philological pursuits at New Haven, 
Conn. He removed to Amherst in 18 12, and remained here about ten 
years, devoting himself to labor upon the dictionary which was his great 
life-work and which was destined to make his name known wherever the 
English language is spoken. He lived in an old-style wooden house that 
stood not far from the site now occupied by Kellogg's Block, surrounded 
by a thriving orchard. During his stay in Amherst he took a leading part 
in town affairs, often serving as moderator at town-meetings and representing 
the town in the General Court three years. A prominent member of the 
hirst church, he was, in 1819, one of the committee chosen to confer with 
the Rev. Daniel A. Clark on settling in the ministry. He was one of the 
incorporators of Amherst Academy and bore a prominent part in the 
labors attendant on the organization of the college. 

Justus Williams, son of Justus, one of the early settlers of Amherst, 
was born in this town, April 7, 1766. He engaged in farming for mam' 
years in the south part of the village. When the project of establishing a 
college in the town first attracted public attention, he favored the proposi- 
tion strongly and his name is honorably mentioned by Professor Tyler as 
among the most active in aiding the enterprise. Mr. Williams was married, 
Jan. 1. 1800, to Sarah, daughter of Jonathan Warner, by whom he had 
five children, Zebadiah, Jonathan, Mary A., Oren and Onam. He died in 
Amherst, in 1824. 

Rufus Cowles was son of Oliver, who came to Amherst from Hadley 
prior to 1763; he was born Dec. 16, 1767, was graduated from Dartmouth 
College in 1792, studied medicine and practiced his profession in New 
Salem and Amherst, and during the latter part of his life was engaged in 
mercantile business in the latter town. He owned considerable property 
in Amherst and a large tract of land in Maine. He was prominent among 
the founders of Amherst College, serving as a member of the board of 
trustees b :fore the charter was granted. He is described as ••bluff, hearty 
and generous, lull of force and of the unrestrained individuality so preva- 
lent in his time, at the front and with the best in everything affecting the 
prosperity of Amherst." He lived in the house on North Pleasant street 
now occupied 1>\ the Misses Cowles. His death occurred Nov. 22. t.837. 

( )f Hezekiah Wright Strong something has already been recorded in 
connection with the founding of Amherst College. He was son of Judge 
Simeon Strong, and was born in Amherst. Dec. 24, 1768. lie studied law 
in his father's office, practiced his profession for a time in Deerfield, and 


afterwards in Amherst. He was one of the founders of Amherst Academy 
and Amherst College. He was an energetic man. tireless in laboring for 
any cause that enlisted his interest, progressive, by many deemed visionary. 
The first ice-house and the first bathing-house in Amherst were built by 
him. In 1S25, he was appointed postmaster at Amherst, continuing in 
office until 1842. For several years he conducted a store on the present 
site of Adams' drugstore. He died in Troy, N. Y., Oct. 7, 184S. 

Aaron Merrick was son of James, who came from Monson to Amherst 
prior to 1763 ; he was born in May, 1770; married, June 22, 1800, Mary 
Howe: died in Amherst, Dec. 3, 1843. He represented the town in the 
General Court in 1822. 

Samuel Fowler Dickinson has already been mentioned in connection 
with the founding of Amherst Academy and Amherst College. Distin- 
guished as were his services in the cause of education, they were but the 
reflex of a public spirit that was interested in all progress and bore a 
prominent part in affairs of church and state. A descendant in direct line 
from Nathaniel Dickinson, who was among the original settlers of Hadley, 
lie was the embodiment of those qualities and virtues that gave to New 
England strength and character from the earliest times. He was born in 
Amherst, Oct. 9, 1775, and was graduated at Dartmouth College in the 
class of 1795, with distinguished honors. After leaving college, he taught 
for one vear in the academy at New Salem, and then studied law in the 
office of Judge Simeon Strong. He opened an office for the practice of 
his profession in Amherst, where he soon acquired an extensive business, 
being accounted among the ablest lawyers in the county. He was married, 
March 31, 1802, to Lucretia Gunn of Montague, by whom he had children, 
Edward, William, Lucretia, Mary. Samuel Fowler, Catharine, Timothy, 
Frederick and Elizabeth. He united with the First church in Amherst, 
and when but twenty-one years of age was chosen deacon, an office which 
he held for nearly forty years, taking an active part in church and parish 
affairs. In the community he was highly honored; he served as town 
clerk many years and for twelve years represented the town in the General 
Court. He was a natural leader in every enterprise looking toward the 
public welfare. He took a prominent part in the founding of Amherst 
Academy, and Amherst College owes to his memory a debt which has been 
acknowledged but can never be fully paid. For the college he sacrificed 
his property, his time and his professional opportunities. In 1833, he 
removed to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he held the office of steward of Lane 
Seminary, afterwards serving the Western Reserve College at Hudson, 
Ohio, in the same capacity. He died at Hudson, April 22, 1838. 

David Mack was born in Middlefield in February, 1778. He fitted 
for college at Windsor Hill, but his eyes failing he was compelled to give 


up his studies. For twenty years he was a merchant in Middletield, 
removing to Amherst in 1S3J. He was several times representative from 
Middletield in the General Court, and at one time was a member of the 
state Senate from Hampshire county; he was also a member of the 
governor's council. In 1812, he commanded for some months the militia 
in Boston, thus acquiring the title of "General" by which he was usually 
known. For many years he was deacon of the First church. He was for 
eighteen years a member of the Amherst College board of trustees and for 
several years a member of the prudential committee. He was a man of 
great decision of character, a devoted Christian, and liberal in his 

Elijah Boltwood, son of Samuel, was born Feb. 19, 17S0. He 
married, Nov. 5, 1807, Fliza Almy, and died April 13, 1855. He was, for 
many years, proprietor of the Boltwood tavern, which stood on the site 
now occupied by the Amherst house. 

Thomas Hastings was son of Thomas and grandson of Lieut. Thomas 
Hastings, who removed from Hatfield to Amherst about 1753, and served 
in the war of the Revolution. Thomas Hastings, the subject of this 
sketch, was born in Amherst, Feb. 6, 1782. He was married Nov. 1, 1S03, 
to Eunice Clark, by whom he had thirteen children. He served the town 
as selectman and overseer of the poor. He lived on the place now 
.occupied by Edmund Hastings. The original homestead was just south 
of the Frederick Williams place. 

John Dickinson, son of John, was born Feb. 25, 1782 ; was graduated 
from Williams College in 1800, studied law and was judge of probate at 
Machias, Me., returning to Amherst about 1S37. He was twice married, 
(1 ) Oct. 12. 1S07, to Rebecca Ellis; (2) Jan. 5, 184S, to Olive S. Shepard 
of Lenox. He was a prominent man in the community and the church. 

Enos Dickinson was son of Jonathan, and was born in Amherst. Oct. 
23, 1785, in the house in which he died, Jan. 14, 1870. His early educa- 
tion was limited to the knowledge which could be gained at the public 
schools, then of inferior quality, but was supplemented by reading and 
stud}' in later years. brought up on his father's farm, he early acquired 
habits of industry, economy and temperance, which remained with him 
through life, and doubtless were responsible for much of the success which 
he attained. He devoted his life to farming, by which he acquired a 
handsome property, much of which was donated to benevolent objects, 
lie united with the First church in [816 ; in 1S24, he was one of the 
founders of the church in South Amherst, contributing liberally to its 
support during his life, and at his death bequeathing it funds with which the 
parsonage now in use was purchased. He was a regular attendant at 
town-meetings, seldom taking part in the discussions, but when he did 



speak his words bore with them the weight of character and wisdom. He 
served the town as selectman and. in 182S, as representative to the General 
Court. In 18 1 2, he received a commission as lieutenant, and went with a 
company raised in this part of the state to Boston, but was not called into 
active service. From this time he was known as " Lieutenant " Dickinson. 
He was married, April 27, 1S09, to Lois Dickinson of Amherst; having 
no children, he devoted, in later years, the income of his large propertv to 
charitable and benevolent objects. He gave generously to Amherst 
Academy, Amherst College and Mount Holyoke Seminary. The expenses 
of the •' Nineveh Gallery " at Amherst College were borne by him ; in his 
will he provided for a perpetual scholarship at the college, which bears his- 

Ithamar Conkey was born in Pelham, May 7, 1788. He was son of 
John Conkey, a strong-minded and intelligent farmer. His mother was 
daughter of Rev. Robert Abercrombie, the first minister settled in Pelham. 
He studied law with Noah D. Mattoon, Esq. in Amherst; in 1814, he opened 
an office for the practice of his profession in Pelham, remaining there until 
[817, when, on the removal of Mr. Mattoon to Ohio, he succeeded the 
latter in his practice at Amherst. In 1S28, he accepted the office of 
special commissioner, and in 1830, that of county commissioner. In 1834, 
he was appointed by Gov. Armstrong judge of probate for Hampshire 
county, an office he retained until 1858 when the court was abolished. 
In 1853, he was a member of the convention for revising the state 
constitution. For many years he was a trustee of Amherst Academy, and 
at the time of his death he was treasurer of that institution. He was a. 
member and firm supporter of the Second church. 

Timothy J. Gridley was born in Connecticut in 178S; he was grad- 
uated at Yale College in 1S18. and studied medicine with Dr. Nathan 
Smith. He came to Amherst in 1S22, and here practiced his profession 
until his death in 1852. During this time he sustained a reputation as 
physician and surgeon second to none in the western part of the state. 
His reputation was not confined to Hampshire county, but his advice was 
sought in consultation by physicians throughout this section. He served 
the town as representative in the General Court two years and was member 
of the Governor's council for one year. Dr. Gridley was a man of great 
native talent, excellent education and strong character. To a thorough 
knowledge of his profession was added keen judgment and strong com- 
mon sense. Few men of his time enjoyed so generally the confidence of 
the community. 

Noah Dickinson Mattoon, son of Gen. Ebenezer Mattoon, was born 
in Amherst, Sept. 19, 1783. He was graduated from Dartmouth College 
in 1S03, read law with Hon. Samuel Fowler Dickinson, and in 1806 began. 


the practice of his profession in his native town. He was prominent in 
town affairs until his removal, in 181S, to Painesville, Ohio. He married 
Lucy, daughter of Aaron Billings of Amherst; he died in Unionville, Ohio, 
March 15, 1870. 

Among the prominent residents of Amherst whose birth dates from 
1789 to 1807, were Lucius Boltwood, Daniel Dickinson, Frederick A. 
Palmer, Silas Wright, Leavitt Hallock, Seth Nims, John Nash, Luke 
Sweetser, Osmyn Baker, O. M. Clapp, Edward Dickinson, L. M. Hills, 
J. R. Cushman, R. B. Hubbard. Albin P. Howe, Oliver Watson, Simeon 
Clark, John Leland, Calvin Merrill, and W. S. Howland. 

Lucius Boltwood was son of William, and was born in Amherst, March 
16, 1792. His father, a farmer in moderate circumstances with eight 
children dependent on him for support, could ill afford him the liberal 
education on which his heart was set. He studied Latin at the district 
school and attended the grammar-school at Hadley for a few weeks, 
spending the greater part of his time in labor upon the farm. In the fall 
of 1810, he entered the freshman class at Williams College, graduating 
with high honors in the class of 18 14. During the winters of his fresh- 
man, sophomore and senior years he taught the center school in Amherst. 
After graduation, he read law with Hon. Samuel Fowler Dickinson, was 
admitted to the bar in iS 1 7, and entered into partnership with his instructor. 
In 1820, he opened an office of his own in Amherst, continuing in practice 
until 1836 ; at about the latter date he made extensive purchases of land in 
Michigan, the care of which gradually compelled him to abandon the law. 
He served Amherst College for several years as secretary of the corpora- 
tion : from 183310 1866, he was commissioner of the charity fund. From 
November, 1835, t0 October, 1836, he was president of the Amherst 
hank. In 1835, he built what was for many years known as the " boltwood 
house" and now as " Hitchcock hall," where he resided until his death in 
1872. At the time of his death he was senior member of the Hampshire 
county bar. He was an able lawyer, a wise counsellor, a magistrate whose 
decisions were respected. He was noted for public spirit and for benevo- 
lence. He was a warm friend of Amherst College, and among those who 
favored the establishment of the Agricultural College in Amherst. He- 
was one of the organizers of the Liberty party, serving, in 1S41, as its 
first candidate for governor of Massachusetts; with this exception, he was 
never a candidate for elective office. For nearly sixty years he was a 
member the First church in Amherst. He married, Aug. 30, 1824, Fanny 
H. Shepard of Little Compton, R. I.: their children were, Lucius M., 
George S., Fanny S., Charles S., Charles l\, Edward, Thomas K. and 


Daniel Dickinson was son of Azariah, and was born in Amherst, 
June 18, 1793. His early education was obtained at the district schools 
of his native town. His father died in 1813, leaving to his care, while he 
was not yet of age, the management of a farm which he conducted success- 
fully for many years. He represented the town in the General Court in 
1829 and 1833. In 1833, he was appointed a justice of the peace, holding 
the office for thirty-five years. He was, for many years, an elector under 
the provisions of the Oliver Smith will. He took a prominent part in the 
organization of the North Congregational church ; he served the church 
as a member of its prudential committee, twelve years ; as clerk, fourteen 
years, and also, for many years, as assessor. When, in 1828, a board of 
trustees was appointed by the General Court to hold in trust a permanent 
fund for the benefit of the parish, he was chosen a member of the board. 
an office he held for more than forty years. Mr. Dickinson was twice 
married, (1) in 18 19, to Miss Louisa Adams of New fane. Yt., by whom he 
had two children ; (2) June 25, 1829, to Miss Tammy Eastman of Granby 
by whom he had five children. 

Silas Wright, although a native of Amherst, removed when less than 
one year of age, with his father's family, to Weybridge, Vt. He cannot, 
therefore, be rightly classed among the prominent men of Amherst, but in 
view of the national reputation that he afterwards acquired, a history of the 
town would be incomplete without some reference to one of its most 
distinguished sons. He was son of Silas Wright, whose farm in Hadley, 
with the farms of three other men. was annexed to Amherst in 1789. 
Silas Wright, Sr. was married, Sept. 26, 1780, by Rev. David Parsons, to 
Eleanor, daughter of Isaac Goodale, of Amherst. Silas, Jr. was born 
May 24, 1795. He was graduated at Middlebury College in 1815. studied 
law, and in 18 19 was admitted to the bar. He practiced law in Canton, 
N. Y., but soon turned his attention to politics, and was elected successively 
state senator, comptroller, representative and senator in the U. S. Congress, 
and governor of New York state. He died Aug. 27, 1847. 

Leavitt Hallock, son of Rev. Moses Hallock. was born in Plainfield 
in 1796. ' He spent the greater portion of his life in his native town, 
carrying on a farm and at the same time conducting a large tannery and a 
country store. He came to Amherst for the purpose of educating his two 
sons, both of whom were afterwards graduated at Amherst College. During 
his stay in Amherst, he was prominently identified with the development 
and beautifying of the town. He purchased the Cowles farm from Hon. 
Osmyn Baker, and made building-lots of it, opening up Prospect, Hallock 
and McClellan streets. He also purchased the Baker farm and grove, laid 
out Snell street, circled the grove with a gravel road and presented it to 
Amherst College to be held as a grove forever; the College christened the 


property Hallock park, in his honor. He was for many years identified 
with the First parish, contributing liberally to its support. 

Seth Nims, son of Israel, was born in Conway, Sept. n, 1798. He 
married, Nov. 26, 1823, Emily Dickinson, by whom he had five children. 
He removed from Conway to South Deerfield, where he was in business 
for a few years, a part of the time as proprietor of the Bloody Brook hotel. 
While there he assisted in organizing an independent militia company, the 
"Franklin Cadets," of which he was chosen first lieutenant. He resided 
in Ware two years, removing to Amherst in 1830. He served the town as 
constable and tax collector several years. In 1852, he was appointed 
deputy-sheriff for Hampshire county. May 9, 1845, he was commissioned 
as post-master at Amherst by President Polk, serving four years. June 3, 
1853, he again received a commission as post-master, this time from 
President Pierce, and was in charge of the office eight years, being suc- 
ceeded by Lucius M. Boltwood. He took great interest in town and 
church affairs, and was held in high esteem in the community. He died 
Sept. 25, 1877. 

John A. Nash, son of Elijah, was born in Conway in 1798. He was 
graduated from Amherst College in the class of 1824, taught in New York 
tit}- and at Hopkins Academy in Hadley, studied theology at Yale College, 
conducted classical schools in Bloomfield, N. J., and New York city, was 
pastor of a Presbyterian church in Binghamton, N. Y., several years, 
conducted a boarding-school in Pittsfield eight years, and then came to 
Amherst, where, from 1846 to 1854, he conducted a boarding-school at 
Mt. Pleasant, continued since then by his son, Henry C. Nash. John A. 
Nash was appointed professor of scientific agriculture at Amherst College, 
was a member of the Massachusetts State Board of Agriculture, traveled 
and studied in Europe, and on his return published a book on agricultural 
chemistry. He edited a paper entitled the Valley Farmer for a time, after- 
wards removing to New York city, when he purchased and edited the 
Plough, Loom and Anvil, and was for a time agricultural editor of the New 
York Tribune and New York Evangelist. He was among the pioneers in 
the field of scientific agriculture, being active as well in the causes of anti- 
slavery and temperance reform. He died Oct. 7, 1 cS 7 7 , at the home of 
his son, Henry ( '. Nash. 

Luke Sweetser was horn in Athol, Oct 28, 1S00 ; he entered Amherst 
Academy in the winter of 1820-21. In the spring of 1821, he entered 
the employ of H. Wright Strong, who at that time conducted the leading 
store in the village. In 1X24. he bought the store of Mr. Strong, and 
engaged in business on his own account, associating with hiinsell his 
younger brother, Joseph A. Sweetser, William Cutler and George Cutler. 
He continued in business thirty years, until March. 1 S54, when he sold his 


interest to William and George Cutler. On retiring from active business 
pursuits, he engaged in farming and collected the finest herd of Ayrshire 
cattle in this part of the state. He took a deep interest in agricultural 
matters, and his name is found among the incorporators of the Hampshire 
Agricultural society. He was an active promoter of the Amherst & 
Belchertown Railroad company, the first corporation to build a railway 
line to Amherst ; he served as its first president and had charge of its 
construction. He served the town as selectman and assessor, and in 
1S47-8 was its representative to the General Court. It was largely through 
his efforts that the first almshouse in Amherst was built. For over thirty 
years he was a member of the prudential committee of Amherst College, 
had charge of erecting some of the college buildings and the oversight of 
the buildings and grounds for a time. For ten years he was a commissioner 
of the charity fund. He united with the First church in 183 i ; from iS5r 
to 1871. he served as one of its deacons. Few men have enjoyed the 
respect and high esteem of a community to a greater degree than was 
granted by Amherst to Mr. Sweetser. His name stood for honor, integ- 
rity and high Christian character. He died in Amherst, July 27, 1882. 
Osmyn Baker, son of Enos, was born in Amherst, May 18, 1800. 
He fitted for college in his native town, entered Vale College at the age of 
18 and was graduated in the class of 1S22. He studied law in Amherst 
and at the law school in Northampton ; in 1S25, he opened an office in 
Amherst for the practice of his profession. At about the same time he 
became editor of the New England Enquirer, a newspaper published in 
Amherst by J. S. & C. Adams. In 1830, he was commissioned as captain 
of an independent rifle company, organized in Amherst, which for several 
years was regarded as one of the finest companies in this part of the state. 
In 1833, '34, '36 and '37, he represented Amherst in the General Court. 
From 1834 to 1837, he served as county commissioner. From 1839 to 
1845, ne serve d three terms in Congress, during one of the most interesting 
periods of our national political history. During the presidential campaign 
of 1S40, and the two succeeding congressional campaigns, he came into 
prominence as a political speaker. In 1842, he formed a copartnership 
with Charles Delano, Esq. for the practice of law. which continued, at 
Amherst first and afterwards in Northampton, until Mr. Baker retired from 
practice, in i860. In 1845, he removed his office to Northampton. Mr. 
Baker was one of the counsel for the defence in the great legal struggle 
which took place over the will of Oliver Smith of Hatfield, and it was largely 
owing to his efforts that the will was sustained and the noble charity per- 
mitted to accomplish an even greater and more beneficent work than its 
founder had anticipated. Mr. Baker was chosen the first president of the. 
J 3 


board of trustees under the will, an office he retained until his resignation 
in [870. Mr. Baker was twice married, (1) in August, 1832, to Elizabeth 
Olmstead, by whom he had one child; (2) in 183S, to Cornelia Rockwell, 
by whom he had a son, William Lawrence, who served in the war for the 
preservation of the Union and was killed at the battle of Antietam, in 
1863. Mr. Baker died Feb. 9, 1875. 

Calvin Merrill, son of Calvin, was born in Amherst. Aug. 17, 1797. He 
was twice married, (1) in 182 1, to Cordelia A. Leonard of Sunderland, by 
whom he had five children ; (2) to Mrs. Fannie Dickinson of Amherst. 
He was prominent in town affairs, holding for many years the offices of 
selectman and assessor. He was a member of the First Congregational 
church. After the death of his second wife, which occurred in the summer 
of 1872, he removed to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he resided with his 
daughter, Caroline H. Granger, until his death, Nov. 10, 1872. 

Oliver M. Clapp, son of Oliver, was born in Amherst, Oct. 2, 1S02. 
He married, May 10, 1826, Mary A. Reed of Claremont, N. H., by whom 
he had three children. He spent his life on or near the old Clapp home- 
stead in East Amherst. He assisted in organizing the Amherst rifle 
company in 1830, and served as one of its officers. He was a pioneer in 
the introduction of the silk-worm and the manufacture of silk in Amherst. 
For some years he conducted a hardware business, but later on gave his 
attention to marble and stone cutting, in which he excelled as a workman. 
He took a prominent part in laying outthe walks in the old West cemetery, 
and in adding to its beauty in various ways. For man}- years he was an 
active and influential member of the Second church. He was deeply 
interested in the early history of the town and possessed a fine collection 
of Indian and other relics. He died in Amherst. June 13, 1887. 

Edward Dickinson, son of Hon. Samuel Fowler Dickinson, was born 
in Amherst, fan. 1, 1803; he was educated in the public schools of his 
native town and at Amherst Academy, was a member of the first junior 
class at Amherst College, although the other three years of Ins collegiate 
course were spent at Yale College, where he was graduated in the class of 
1X23. Me studied law two years in his father's office in Amherst, and one 
year at the Northampton law school. In [826, he opened an office for 
the practice of his profession in Amherst, continuing in practice until the 
time of his death in 1874. During this time he was the leading lawyer in 
Amherst, being held in high esteem by his associates of the Hampshire 
county bar. lie was a man of great public spirit, a leader in all enterprises 
looking to the welfare of the town. In 1838 and 1839. and again in [874, 
he represented the town in the General Court ; in [842 and 1843, he was 
;i member of the Massachusetts Senate ; in [845 and 1846, a member of the 
Council: from 1853 to 1855. a member of Congress. He held also many 



other offices of trust, by local election or executive appointment. In 1861, 
he was nominated by the republican party for lieutenant-governor, on the 
ticket with Andrew, but declined the honor. In 1835. ne was chosen 
treasurer of Amherst College, an office which he held until 1873, when he 
resigned and was succeeded by his son, William Austin Dickinson. He 
bore an active part in the labors which resulted in the building of the 
Amherst & Belchertown railway and. later on, was deeply interested in the 
building of the Massachusetts Central road; to assist in this work he 
consented, at the age of 70, to represent the town in the General Court. 
It was while making a speech in the House of Representatives in relation 
t<> this road that he was stricken with apoplexy, resulting in death. The 
General Court and the Hampshire county bar passed resolutions of respect 
to his memory, indicative of the high regard in which he was held by his 
associates in public life. Mr. Dickinson was a man of great strength of 
character, sound learning, keen intellect, spotless integrity and deep-seated 
religious principle. He was held in high esteem by all with whom he came 
in contact, and honored by the community as few other men have been. 

Leonard M. Hills, son of Leonard, was born in Ellington, Conn., 
Jan. 8, 1803. He came to Amherst in 1829 and entered the employ of 
Knowles & Thayer, carriage-makers; he remained with them but a short 
time, leaving them that he might engage in the manufacture of palm-leaf 
hats, of which branch of industry he was the pioneer in Amherst. Con- 
cerning this business, more will be related under the heading of manufac- 
tures, later on. The business increased so rapidly as to demand the 
greater part of his time and care. Soon after the Amherst & Belchertown 
railway company was organized, he was elected president, holding that 
office until the road passed out of the hands of the original corporation. 
On the organization of the First National bank he was chosen president, 
remaining in office until his death in 1872. In 1836, he lost all the 
property he had accumulated and found himself heavily in debt through 
the failure of a friend, for whom he had endorsed notes to a large amount. 
With characteristic honesty, he paid every cent of his indebtedness. He 
united with the Second church in 1864, but three vears later became a 
member of the First church. He was a liberal contributor to the church 
and to many objects of benevolence. Mr. Hills was twice married, (1) in 
1829, to Amelia Gay of Stafford, Conn.: (21 in 1843, to Betsey Hunter of 
Lee. He died in New York city, Feb. 8, 1872. 

John R. Cushman, son of Ephraim, was born in Amherst, Sept. 6, 
1803. His father, Ephraim Cushman, was a veteran o^ the war of the 
Revolution. In 1835, m partnership with his brother Ephraim, he engaged 
in the manufacture of paper, at North Amherst. He was a prominent 
man in the community, ever ready to lend his aid to all matters that made 


•for public improvement. He served the town as selectman, and in 1862 
was its representative in the General Court. He united with the North 
Congregational church in 1839. He was active in temperance matters, 
serving as president of the first temperance society organized at the 
"City." Me married, Sept. 14, 1826, Rhoda Crafts of Whately, by whom 
he had ten children. He died at his home in Amherst, Aug. 30, 1883. 

Rodolphus B. Hubbard, son of Giles, was born in Sunderland, Sept. 3, 
1803. He fitted for college at Amherst Academy, entered Amherst Col- 
lege in 182-,, remained a member of that institution two years, then went 
to Union College, where he was graduated in 1829. Having studied 
theologv with Rev. Nathan Perkins at East Amherst, he preached for a 
few years in Northampton and surrounding towns. The greater part of 
his life was spent in teaching. For three years he was principal of Mount 
Pleasant institute, and from 1855 to 1868, conducted a boys' boarding- 
school in Amherst. During his residence of twenty years in Amherst he 
took an intelligent interest in town affairs and was well known and highly 
esteemed. For ten years a deacon of the hirst church, he served as a 
member of the building committee when the church edifice now in use was 
erected. For a number of years he was a member of the school committee. 
He died, Sept. 29, 1875, in California. 

Albin P. Howe was born in 1806 ; he came to Amherst in 1825 and 
resided here for more than forty years, during which time he was one of 
the most prominent members of the community. He served the town 
several years as selectman, assessor, clerk and treasurer, and for many 
years as justice of the peace, before whom cases were tried, the town 
having at that time no trial justice. For more than twenty years he was 
proprietor of the Amherst house, a genial landlord, held in high esteem by 
the traveling public. He was for a time secretary of the Hampshire Agri- 
cultural society; he also served as chairman of the building committee 
w hi( h had in charge the erection of the present high school building. He 
gained the military title of captain by serving in the Amherst cavalry com- 
pany. His public duties were discharged with intelligence and fidelity, 
and his superior judgment was much sought by the town and by individuals. 
He died at West Marlboro, Feb. 14, 1879. 

Oliver Watson, son of David, was born March 17, 1806. His father 
dying when < tlivcr was but nine years of age. he was apprenticed to the tan- 
ner's business, serving his time until he was 21 in Hadley, under the care 
ol \sa and Flihu Dickinson. When he became of age, he succeeded 
his father in the tanner's business at East Amherst ; in 1832, he 
erected a building for the manufacture of boots and slioes. He served 
tin- town as selectman, and in 1852 was its representative in the General 



Court. He married, in May, 1839, Sarah White of Florida, Mass., by 
whom he had five children. He died in Amherst. Jan. 9, 1S70. 

Simeon (lark, son of Simeon, was born in Amherst, Oct. 15, 1807. 
He was educated in the public schools of his native town and at Amherst 
Academy. His principal occupation in life was farming, although he 
studied field-surveying and practiced it more or less for forty years. He 
served the town as selectman, assessor and overseer of the poor for many 
years. For thirty years he was justice of the peace. He united with the 
First church in 1831, and served as one of its deacons for sixteen years. 
When but twenty years of age, he was chosen captain of a militia company, 
holding the office for several years until the company was disbanded, 
gaining the title of "Captain" Clark, by which he was generally known in 
later years. He was a godly man, whose religion entered into all the acts 
of his daily life, mingling kind words with charitable deeds, that to many 
made life seem better worth the living. He married, May 21, 1828, Myra 
Cowles, by whom he had nine children. He died, July 31, 1883, in the 
house at Mill Valley, which his father had built in 1780, in which he was 
born and where he had spent his happy and useful life. 

John Leland, son of John, was born in Peru, Mass., in 1807. In 1820, 
he removed to Amherst : the same year he was appointed by the trustees 
of Amherst Academy their agent to receive donations for the charity insti- 
tution other than those made to the permanent fund. From that time 
until 1835, ne was treasurer of the institution. Soon after his removal to 
Amherst he united with the First church, which he afterwards served as 
deacon for thirty years. He represented Hampshire county in the Massa- 
chusetts Senate in 1833 and 1834, and in 1847 was member of the House 
of Representatives, from Amherst. He was active in promoting the 
building of the Amherst & Belchertown railway, serving after the comple- 
tion of the road as one of its directors. He died in Amherst, Feb. 
18, 1864. 

Frederick A. Palmer was born in West Springfield, Nov. 20, 1793. 
He was a descendant, of the sixth generation in direct line, from Governor 
William Bradford. He also numbered among his ancestors representatives 
of the Edwards, Hoar, Dwight and Ripley families. He came to Amherst 
in December, 18 13. He took a prominent part in town affairs, was 
frequently elected to public office and held many places of trust. He was 
well read, a man of good judgment whose counsel was frequently sought 
in business matters. He early won and ever retained the confidence of 
the public by his upright and honest business methods. He was commis- 
sioned as deputy-sheriff in 1838, and held the office until his death in 1874. 
Mr. Palmer was twice married, (1) in 1877, to Lucy, daughter of Simeon 


Clark of Amherst: (2) to Hannah, daughter of Samuel Smith. He had 
five children, Albert R., Lucy C, DwightW., Frederick, and Sabra D. 

Warren S. Howland was born in Conway, Aug. 31, 1798. He learned 
the carpenter's and joiner's trade, and came to Amherst in 1821, to assist 
in building the Amherst College chapel. The remainder of his life was 
spent in Amherst. He was among the best-known contractors and 
builders in this section, erecting, among other buildings, the Congrega- 
tional church at the center, now known as College hall, the house built by 
Amherst College for its president, the church at East Amherst, churches in 
Pelham and Belchertown, the Russell church in Hadley, besides several 
private residences in the village. He also assisted in finishing the build- 
ings of the Mt. Pleasant Institute. He early became interested in tem- 
perance reform, and furnished no liquors for his workmen or at raisings 
after 1827. He was one of the first to assist in organizing an anti-slavery 
society in Amherst. Mr. Howland served in the state militia, gaining the 
title of " Col." Howland, by which he was generally known. When the 
civil war broke out, he was anxious to engage in active military service, 
but was debarred by age. 


The First Church. — Pastors and Terms of Service. — Meeting- 
Houses. — Vestry and Agricultural Hall.— Church Music. 
The Parsonage. — Parish Funds. — The Present Church 

The pastorate of Dr. David Parsons over the First Congregational 
church, although ushered in by a revolution among its members, was long 
and successful. He was a man of marked ability, possessing in a high 
degree those social qualities that make warm and lasting friendships. That 
he was of more than local reputation is proved by the fact that on one 
occasion he delivered, on imitation, the "election sermon " before the 
governor and legislature at boston; he was. also, on recommendation of 
President Dwight, appointed professor of theology at Yale College, an 
honor which he did not accept. Under his care the church prospered 
exceedingly and large additions were made to its membership. Numerous 



anecdotes are related of him, one to the effect that, when expostulated with 
by a kinsman for regarding things too frequently from a humorous stand- 
point, he replied, ""I know it all, Pro. Howard, and it has been my burden 
through life, but I suppose after all grace does not cure squint eves." On 
another occasion, it is said, he found his hired man resting in a held where 
he had been sent to plow. Dr. Parsons told him to take a bush-scythe 
and cut brush while he was resting. The man thereupon replied that the 
Dr. ought, on Sunday, while the choir was singing, to take a little flax and 
hetchel it out. 

In 1795, trouble arose in the parish concerning Dr. Parsons' ministry, 
and a vote was passed on the question of dissolving the ministerial relations 
existing between them, being decided in the negative. Aug. 3, 1819, a 
committee was appointed to confer with Dr. Parsons, to see if he was 
willing to be dismissed from the pastorate, and if so, on what terms. Dr. 
Parsons agreed to submit toa mutual council the question of his dismission, 
and the further question as to what compensation he should receive. The 
council met, Aug. 31, 1819, and adjourned to the next daw when it decided 
that the civil contract existing between the parties should be dissolved, 
and that the parish should pay Dr. Parsons St, 300. Sept. 20. 1S19, the 
parish voted to raise Si. 450 for making a final settlement with Dr. 1'arsons, 
so that he should have no further claim on the parish. 

Sept. 20, 1819, at the meeting when it was voted to raise Si .450 to 
settle all claims that Dr. Parsons might have against the first parish, the 
parish made one more and, it is believed, a final effort, to bring about a 
union with the Second parish. It was voted that a union of the First and 
Second parishes, so as to constitute but one church and one congregation, 
under charge of one minister, would be for the furtherance of the Gospel, 
the peace, tranquility and respectability of the town, and a source of very 
great economy. The parish offered to unite with the brethren of the 
Second church, if the latter saw fit, in calling a council of churches from 
adjacent counties to bring about such union. The calling of Dr. Parsons 
to the pastorate of the First church had caused the breach that led to the 
organization of the Second : with the dismission of Dr. Parsons, it was 
hoped and believed that the differences might be adjusted and the churches 
united. But the breach had become too wide ; the Second church, now 
firmly established, had no thought of giving up its independence. 

Nov. 22, 1819, the First parish voted to unite with the church, if tire 
latter saw fit, in extending a call to Rev. Daniel A. Clark to settle in the 
ministry, offering him a salary of $675 per annum. 'Pile church concurring, 
Mr. Clark was installed as pastor. Jan. 26. 1820 ; he had previously been 
settled at Weymouth and at Southbury, Conn.' Mr. Clark was a preacher 
of great power. Three volumes of his sermons were published, and were 


regarded as among the ablest sermons of the times. In a biographical 
sketch by Rev. 1 )r. George Shepard, of Bangor, Me., contained in one of 
these volumes, he is described as follows : " Mr. Clark's person, voice and 
entire manner were in perfect keeping with his style, a large masculine 
frame ; a voice harsh, strong, capable of great volume though not very 
flexible ; an action, for the most part, ungraceful, but significant and 
natural; a countenance bearing bold, strongly marked features at every 
opening of which the naked and working passions would look intensely 
out; — altogether gave the idea of huge, gigantic power." He was an 
aggressive reformer, taking a leading part in the warfare, then in its 
infancy, against intemperance. During his pastorate Amherst College was 
founded; he took great interest in the enterprise and preached an eloquent 
sermon at the laying of the corner-stone of the first college building. 
The closing year of Mr. Clark's ministry was marked by serious dissensions 
between pastor and people. Nov. 24, 1823, the parish appointed a 
committee to bring charges against Mr. Clark; April 12, 1824, he was 
requested to take a dismission, but refused to comply with the request. 
July 5, 1S24, the parish requested the church to unite in calling an ecclesi- 
astical council, to consider the subject of Mr. Clark's dismission, and 
should he refuse to join them in calling such a council, then an ex-parte 
council was to be summoned. It was also voted to inform Mr. Clark that 
it was not the wish of the parish that he should supply the pulpit prior to his 
dismission. Mr. Clark consented to refer the matter to an ecclesiastical 
council, and on the advice of this council was dismissed, Aug. 5, 1824. 
The records contain no hint as to the nature of the charges against him. 

Nov. 7, 1825, the parish voted to concur with the church in extending 
a call to Rev. Royal Washburn to settle in the ministry. The salary 
offered was $600, and a stipulation was made that either party to the civil 
contract entered into might terminate the same on giving a six-months' 
notice to the other party. Mr. Washburn was installed as pastor, Jan. 5, 
1826, and continued in the pastorate until his death, Jan. 1, 1833. He 
was married, in 1827, to Harriet, daughter of Dr. Parsons. Mr. Wash- 
bum won the respect and love of his people to a marked degree. He was 
not only an eloquent preacher, but a loving pastor, whose advice was freely 
given and highly valued, whose sympathy in the hour of affliction was 
very grateful, who possessed in full measure the graces that go to round 
out a Christian character. In May, 1832, Mr. Washburn tendered his 
resignation to the parish on account of ill health ; the parish was unwilling 
to dismiss him, and voted, Aug. 13, not to sever the connection, but to 
discharge him from his duties and supply the pulpit for a time. 

Nov. 13, 1832, the parish appointed a committee to procure a perma- 
nent supply for the pulpit, with reference to the settlement of a minister. 


July 29, 1833, the parish voted to concur with the church in inviting Rev. 
George E. Adams to settle in the ministry, offering him a salary of SGoo 
per annum. Nov. 29, 1833, the parish voted to call Rev. M. T. Adam and 
to offer him a salary of $650. The latter call was accepted and Mr. Adam 
was installed Dec. 28, 1833. He was a native of Scotland, having been 
educated at Glasgow and London. Oct. 31, 1834. the parish voted to 
dissolve the connection with Mr. Adam ; he objected and asked for 
reasons ; among those offered were that his practice of associating with 
neighboring ministers, exchanging with them and conducting social 
meetings, was not agreeable to the usages of parishes and churches in the 
vicinity. He agreed to leave the questions at issue to the decision of a 
mutual council. Dec. 10, 1834, he was dismissed, the council testifying 
that he had been " unwearied in his labors, faithful and conscientious in 
the discharge of his ministerial duties and above all suspicion as to high 
moral and Christian character." 

June 5, 1835, the parish extended an invitation to Rev. Edward P. 
Humphrey to settle in the ministry, offering him a salary of S800 ; Oct. 1 
of the same year, a similar invitation was extended to Rev. Daniel Crosby 
of Charlestown, and Dec. 30, Selah R. Treat was invited to become the 
pastor of the church. These " calls " were none of them successful, but 
better luck attended the parish when, March 7, 1S36, Rev. Josiah Bent was 
given an invitation to settle in the ministry ; the salary offered was $800 and 
he was to be granted Si 00 for moving expenses. He had previously been 
settled at Weymouth. He was installed April 19, 1837. anc ^ died in office, 
Nov. 19, 1839. His ministry though short was fruitful, 22 persons being 
admitted to the church in 1838 and 99 in 1839. He was consecrated to 
his work and did not spare himself in his Master's service. 

April 1, 1840, the parish voted to extend a call to Rev. Aaron M. 
Colton to settle in the ministry; the salary offered was S800. Mr. Colton 
accepted and was ordained June 9, 1840. Mr. Colton seems to have been 
the first pastor of the church who was allowed a vacation, the parish voting, 
April 6. 1847, that by the terms of his settlement he might be absent from 
church not exceeding four Sabbaths a year, when the pulpit would be 
supplied without expense to him. In August, 1852, Mr. Colton requested 
the church and parish to unite in calling a council for his dismission ; the 
parish voted against such action at the time, but in October complied with 
his request. Mr. Colton was dismissed, Jan. 4, 1853, after a pastorate 
during which the church and parish were greatly prospered. During his 
ministry the church experienced three seasons of religious awakening, one 
of marked power in 1850, as a result of which there were 95 additions to 
the church the following year. Mr. Colton took an active part in temperance 
work and was a leader in the movement that suppressed the sale of liquor 


in Amherst. After his departure from Amherst, he was settled for many 
years over a church in Easthampton, in which town he died in the sprint; 
of 1895. 

May 24, 1853, the parish invited Rev. E. S. Dwight to settle in the 
ministry, offering him a salary of $900, "he to have four Sabbaths during 
the year for his own use and vacation." Mr. Dwight became acting pastor, 
Aug. 21, 1853; was installed, July 19, 1854; dismissed. Aug. 28, i860. 
He was greatly beloved by parish and congregation and the church prospered 
greatly under his ministry. 

11'. 5, [861, Rev. H. L. Hubbell was called by the parish to become 
its minister, at a salary of $1,000. He was installed. April 24, 1861 ; 
dismissed, April 4, 18G5. His pastorate, lasting through the period of the 
civil war, was marked by one general revival of religious interest. In the 
summer of 1864, Mr. Hubbell visited and ministered to the Amherst 
soldiers who were fighting at the front. He was held in high esteem by 
the church and community. He is now president of Lake Charles College, 
Lake Charles. La. 

Dec. 4, 1865, a call to settle in the ministry was extended to Rev. 
David Tony, D. D., at a salary of $1,500 and the use of the parsonage. 
(Jet. 1, 1866, a similar invitation was extended to Rev. J. P. Skeele. 
Early in 1867. propositions looking to a settlement were made to Rev. J. 
L. Jenkins, and Jan. 28 of that year, a letter was addressed to the parish 
by Mr. Jenkins, agreeing to supply the pulpit at a salary of ^2.700 and the 
use of the parsonage, the question of settlement to be postponed. Sept. 
2, 1868, the parish invited Mr. Jenkins to settle in the ministry ; he accepted, 
and was installed, Sept. 24. [868; he resigned, Jan. 23, 1877. Of the 
pastors of the First church since its organization, few have been held in 
such high esteem as was Mr. Jenkins. An eloquent preacher, he possessed 
social qualities, as well, that especially endeared him to his congregation. 
He was a natural leader of men, and the impress of his character was 
manifest upon the history of church and parish during all his pastorate. 
Each year there were large accessions to church membership, each year 
marked progress in all lines of religious work. 

Oct. S. 1S77, Rev. Howard Kingsbury was called to the pastorate. 
The parish offered him a salary of $2,000, the use of the parsonage and an 
annual vacation of four weeks. lie was installed. Dec. 6, [877, and died 
in office, Sept. 28, 1S7S. During his brief pastorate he won the love of 
his people as lew ministers have done, before or since, and his death caused 
mourning in the parish and in the town as well. 

May (1. 1X7.). Rev. honest F. Emerson was invited to settle in the 
ministry. He was installed the same year and continued in office until his 
resignation, which was accepted by the parish, Feb. 14, 1883. All who 


knew Mr. Emerson during his pastorate in Amherst will bear witness to 
his sterling qualities as a man and as a minister of the Gospel. Better 
sermons were never delivered from an Amherst pulpit than were listened 
to by his congregations. 

June 13, 1883. Rev. George S. Dickerman was called to the pastorate. 
He was installed the same year and continued in office until his resignation, 
March 5. [891. Dining his pastorate the church prospered greatly, 
enjoying many seasons of revival and gaining largely in membership. 

Oct. 21, 1891, the parish extended a call to Rev. 1''. L. Gooclspeed. 
lb' continued in office until Nov. 3. 1S94. when he resigned. Mr. Good- 
speed was very popular both as a preacher and a pastor, and his departure 
to another field of labor was a cause of deep regret. 

Oct. 15, 1 S . , - . the parish called to the pastorate Rev. Oliver Huckel 
of Philadelphia; he accepted, and was installed Dec. 4. 

In 1787. the parish voted to build a new meeting-house on the hill 
where the old one then stood : its foundations were to be of hewn stone, 
it was to be 65 feet long and of proportionate width, and twelve months 
was allowed for erecting and enclosing it. A committee of nine was 
appointed to make preparations for the building, to prepare estimates of 
all articles that should enter into its construction, and to " divide the 
Inhabitants of the parish aforesaid as equally as may be into eight classes, 
with a descriptive list of each and every one's proportion of all and every 
article necessarv for carrying into effect the aforementioned votes." The 
committee was to " assign to each class and individual of classes their 
respective proportion of every article which may be necessary for erecting 
and finishing the proposed house." and also to assign to every one "his 
and their proportion of all labor supposed to be necessary in framing, that 
each class may do their proportion thereof." The building committee was 
selected later on, and consisted of Simeon Strong, Esq., Capt. Eli Parker, 
Elijah Dickinson, Daniel Kellogg and Zebina Montague. 

June 1S, a committee of five was appointed to superintend the taking 
down of the old meeting-house ; this was to be done without cost to the 
parish. The spectators were to be "served on raising days at the frame 
with cake and cheese and liquor at the parish expense." Work on this 
building was carried on with far greater expedition than on the building of 
the first meeting-house, and in November it was so well advanced that a 
parish meeting was held in it. The galleries were put in the following 
summer, but the inside was not finished until 1 79 1 . Viewed from an 
architectural standpoint, the new building was a great improvement over its 
predecessor. It had a porch built on the west side and this was crowned 
by a belfry. The parish voted, Sept. 5, 1788. that "any of the parish who 
are inclined have liberty to build a belfry at west end of meeting-house, by 


subscription." In 1789, S20 were appropriated to erecta lightning-rod on 
the steeple. In 1792, /Too was appropriated for a bell; the " konk " had 
outlived its usefulness. In 1797. it was voted to have the bell struck at 
twelve of the clock in the day : in 1799, to have it struck at 12 of the day 
and 9 of the night : the latter vote was repeated for many years thereafter. 
The 9 o'clock bell was to warn orderly citizens that it was time they were 
in bed. In 1815, it was voted to build a cupola. There were three doors, 
one each on the east, the west and the south side. As regarded interior 
arrangement, the pulpit was at the north end, about on a level with the 
galleries, and over it hung the sounding-board. Directly under and in 
front was the deacons'-seat where the deacons sat facing the audience. 
The singers occupied the gallery opposite, the boys the gallery on the right 
and the girls that on the left. Dec. 3, 1801, it was voted to seat young 
people in the galleries. Tithing-men were appointed to regulate the 
behavior of the young people. Samuel Abbv was engaged to finish the 
meeting-house, but before the work was completed he became financially 
embarrassed ; as a consequence, the parish was called on to defend several 
lawsuits brought by Mr. Abby's creditors. The building when completed 
was esteemed one of the finest meeting-houses in the region, and was a 
source of pride to those who worshiped therein. 

The second meeting-house, completed in 1791, satisfied the needs of 
the parish for nearly forty years. It had some imperfections ; the roof 
leaked, and the parish passed many votes in regard to repairing it. As 
has been stated in a previous chapter, when Amherst College was first 
established and for many years thereafter, the students worshiped in the 
First parish church. The students rapidly increased in numbers, and as 
there was also a steady, though less rapid growth, in the membership of 
the parish, it became apparent, as early as 1827, that measures must be 
taken to provide greater accommodations for the worshipers. Dec. 10, 
1821, it was voted that the officers and students of the charitable institu- 
tion might occupy the meeting-house as a chapel the ensuing year, on 
condition that they would make good all damages caused by them. Dec. 
28, 182(1. the parish committee was authorized to consult with the college 
faculty and to rent pews to them. April <j, 1827. it was voted that the 
scat-- in the meeting house heretofore occupied by the faculty and students 
should henceforth " be by them enjoyed without interruption." 

Jan. s, 1828, it was voted to build a new meeting-house or remove and 
rebuild the presenl one if sufficient funds could be raised l>v a previous 
sale ot pews. A committee was appointed to have charge of the matter: 
this committee reported. Jan. 17. 1828. that it was expedient to build a new- 
house. The trustees of the college had offered to convey to the parish a 
piece oi hud ten rods square, on the northeast coiner of the farm lately 

4 Jtfna*, f_ 




owned by heirs of Rev. David Parsons, for a meeting-house, provided the 
parish would take clown the present house and allow the college to hold its 
annual commencements in the new building ; the committee considered 
this a most advantageous location. They had also procured plans of a 
house, 80x65 f ee t, with 124 pews on the ground floor, which could be built 
at an estimated expense of SO.500. They presented a series of regulations 
to govern the management of the property, among them the following: 
"No person shall sell or lease his or her pew to any black or mulatto, or 
to any person of notoriously infamous character :"' " The parish have no 
right to allow town-meetings to beheld in said house." The parish voted 
to a< cepl the report, to dispose of the old house and appropriate the avails 
toward the erection of a new house on land proposed in committee's report. 

The location proposed was not. apparently, satisfactory to all. for 
March 11. [828, a committee was appointed to procure subscriptions for 
purchasing the " Strong corner " as a site for the new building. March 12, 
[828, the latter vote was rescinded, and it was voted that if the college 
would give the paiish $y 00, and sufficient money could be raised, to build on 
the site- proposed by the college. The first sale of pews was held Jan. 22. 
a{ Boltwood's hotel, with Col. Smith as auctioneer. Thesale was adjourned 
from time to time until March 20, when it was begun anew, with Luke 
Sweetser as auctioneer; the amount secured was $5,427 ; this sum was 
increased by payments received for pews at private sale until it amounted to 
$6,635. -^ s l '^ s sum exceeded the estimated cost, it was decided to begin 
the building at once. Elijah Boltwood, Horace Kellogg and John Leland 
were the building committee. W. S. Howland the designer and builder. It 
was voted to build of brick, if funds could be obtained, and also to build a 
basement. Contrary to precedent, the work was carried on with despatch 
and the building was finished in season for the commencement exercises 
of the college in 1829. 

As '"College Hall" the building still stands, a substantial monument 
to the good workmanship of its builder. Its appearance is slightly altered, 
the portico in front, supported by huge pillars resting on a stone platform, 
having been removed, by vote of the parish, in 186 1. The building, 
without and within, was plain even to austerity ; without, the only deviation 
from a straight line was found in the belfry and the rounded pillars ; within, 
the square and rectangle governed all. The pulpit and pews and galleries 
were as square and as orthodox as was the preaching of the Rev. Daniel 
( lark. The pews all had doors and their occupants were buttoned in 
during the service. The pews for blacks and mulattos were located in the 
further corners of the house, over the gallery stairs. In 1828, it was 
voted that if the trustees of the academy would pay $150 toward the meet- 
ing-house, the students at the academy should have seats in the gallery.- 


In 1829. it was voted that the lightning-rod should be transferred from 
the old to the new meeting-house ; in 1836, to procure blinds for the gallery 
windows in the west end of the meeting-house; the same year, to "stain 
the plaistering" inside the meeting house; in 1845, to paint the part of 
the slips that border on the " isles." In 1832, the parish gave consent to 
place stoves in the meeting-house if the same should be purchased and 
put up by subscription. In 1835, the question of removing the stoves was 
referred to the parish committee. In 1858, the parish committee was to 
have charge of providing a place for the parish wood, and also to prevent 
the stoves from smoking and the pipes from leaking. In 1859. the parish 
committee reported in favor of partitioning off a space ten feet square in 
the basement and putting in two furnaces. In 1857. a committee was 
chosen to procure chandeliers and lamps for lighting the meeting-house : 
in 1862, it was voted that the lamps in the church and " Agricultural hall" 
(in the basement) should be changed so as to burn kerosene oil. 

In 1830. several votes were passed in regard to "finishing" the base- 
ment: Dec. 27 of that year, the first mention is made of a "vestry." 
Town-meetings were held in the vestry, when completed; in 1842, the 
parish voted to charge the town S30 per annum for the use of the vestry, 
and, in case this was not paid, to prohibit its use. Feb. 2. [856, a committee 
was chosen to negotiate with the town, concerning the fitting up of the 
basement of the meeting-house for a hall, for town, agricultural, and other 
purposes. The basement was finished and furnished, and was known for 
a number of years as "Agricultural hall. " being the headquarters of the 
Hampshire Agricultural society. In 1861, the parish voted to offer the 
Agricultural society and other owners S250 for their right and interest in 
the hall and the furniture contained therein. In [865, it was voted "to 
purchase of Amherst College the right they have in the meeting-house." 
In [854, a •■lecture-room" was built, a modest structure of wood in the 
rear of the meeting-house. In 1838, individuals were given leave to erect 
horse-sheds in the rear of the meeting-house; from this time on the 
"horse-shed question" has a prominent place in the parish records. 

From an early date, the parish was interested in the question of church 
music. For many years the singing was by the congregation, and while this 
assured a goodly volume of sound the quality wassubject to improvement. 
Singing-schools were held under direction and pay of the parish, to which 
all were invited. In 1790, the parish voted £ 16 " to pay the singing maister 
and defray the expenses of cone; ting the music in this parish ;" at the 
same meeting it was voted to "higher" Mr. John Stickney to keep a 
singing-school in the parish three months. In 1821, $75 was appropriated 
for •• reviving" the church music: in 1829, $20 to "recruit" the singing. 
In 1830. there was a -'quire "of singers. In [837, the clerk was authorized 


" to make an explanation to Colo. Barr, and ascertain what damage has 
accrued to him in consequence of his not having the singing-school." In 
1839, the parish voted to substitute "Church Psalmody" for ••Watts' 
Select Hymns;" at the same meeting, Si 25 was appropriated for the 
"double bass viol lately procured for use of the singing choir," and for 
room, lights and fuel. In 1850. the parish voted to pay $250 and what it 
could get for the bass-viol for an organ, provided that not less than $250 
be obtained from other sources for the same purpose. In 1855. it was 
voted to raise $200 for the purchase of an organ, and give the bass-viol in 
addition, if $800 could be raised in three months by subscription ; the 
organ, a small second-hand one. was purchased the same year. In 1856, 
$200 was appropriated for singing. 

The attitude assumed by the parish on the anti-slavery question, at 
the time the matter was receiving so much attention from the students at 
Amherst College, is made apparent by a vote passed April 9. 1838, dis- 
missing the article relating to granting the use of the meeting-house for 
the purpose of holding lectures on the subject of slavery. In 1861, it 
was voted to allow the use of the church for a lecture by John 1!. Cough. 

The parish first showed recognition of the need of a parsonage in 
[841, when a vote was passed to purchase the house and lot lately occupied 
by Mrs. Deborah Shepard, for a parsonage; this vote was rescinded, Aug. 
21, at an adjourned meeting. The next minute in regard to the matter is 
found under date of Jan. [8, [854, when it was voted "desirable that this 
parish have a parsonage." Feb. 15, the foregoing was qualified by a vote 
that it was "not expedient for the parish as a parish to build or purchase a 
parsonage by taxing its members." In [854, the General Court passed an 
act incorporating the proprietors of the parsonage of the First Con; 
tional parish in Amherst. Nov. 16, i860, a committee was appointed to 
report in regard to the purchase of a parsonage. Jan. 3. 1861, it was 
voted to purchase a parsonage for $2,500. 

The parish, at its organization and for many years thereafter, raised 
the funds needed for its expenses by a rate laid upon its members. It was 
not until well along into the nineteenth century that the plan of renting 
pews went into effect. In 1S13. Josiah Warner gave a note of Sioo, 
which was to remain in the parish treasury as a permanent fund, the interest 
to be paid each year to Rev. David Parsons and his successors in the 
ministry, as a free gift and not as a part of their salary. Feb. 13, 18 16, 
a special act was passed by the General Court, incorporating Noah Webster, 
Rufus Cowles, Moses Hastings, Enos Baker and Calvin Merrill as trustees 
of the ministerial fund of the First parish in Amherst. They were 
authorized to hold property not exceeding $12,000 in value. The office of 
collector was put up at auction annually and went to the lowest bidder. 


Jan. 6, 1825, the pews were rented for the first time, the sum realized being 
$605. In i860, the parish voted to avail itself of the provisions of an 
act passed by the General Court in 1845, permitting the assessment of all 
religious charges upon the pews in the meeting-house. 

In 1840, the parish voted that its minister should not accept gifts 
from one not a member of the parish, without accounting to the parish 
treasurer therefor; this vote was rescinded the following year. In 1859, 
it was voted that when a person died the sexton should toll the bell five 
minutes and then strike the person's age, at sunrise or sunset. 

As early as 1864. the need of a new meeting-house became apparent 
and forced its way into prominence at parish meetings. In 1866, a com- 
mittee was appointed to consider building a new church. Jan. 30 of that 
year, the parish voted to offer to sell to the trustees of Amherst College 
the meeting-house and the land on which the lecture-room stood for 
Si 0,000 ; if the trustees refused to purchase, then the property was to be 
offered to the town; if both parties declined to buy, then it was voted to 
build upon the same site. A committee was appointed to solicit subscrip- 
tions for erecting a new church amounting to at least $15,000. The 
committee met with little success, and April 9, 1867, a proposition was 
made to erect the new church on '"the Montague lot." April 15, of the 
same year, it was voted that in order to secure new strength to the parish 
and prevent the forming of a new society, steps should be taken looking 
to the erection of the new building on land belonging to George Montague. 
April 29. a committee appointed for the purpose reported that they had 
secured the land desired as a site for $3,900, and that the estimated cost 
of the church, if built of stone, was $30,000. July 8. the parish accepted 
the plans presented, and the bid of C. W. Lessey to construct the church 
for$38,950. The corner-stone of the new building was laid Sept. 21, 1867, 
and it was dedicated, Sept. 23, 1S68. Jan. 20, 1869, the building" committee 
reported that the cost of the church, parsonage, land, grading and organ 
had been $66, 182.86. The parish debt was a few dollars less than $34,000. 
Feb. 1 1. 1889, a committee appointed to solicit subscriptions to cancel the 
debt reported that sufficient money had been paid in and pledged to pay 
the debt in full. At the same meeting it was voted to celebrate in fitting 
manner the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the church and parish. 
The anniversary was celebrated, Nov. 7, 1889, and in connection with this 
event a historical review of the church and parish was printed. 





The Second Church. — Pastors and Terms of Service. — First and 
Second Meeting-Houses. — Janitor's Duties. — Church Music. 
— Differences Between the First and Second Church. 

The Second church and parish grew and prospered under the minis- 
trations of Rev. Nathan Perkins, Jr., whose pastorate began in 1810 and 
continued until his death in 1842. Shortly before his installation, the 
First church had voted to remove all the censures it had placed upon those 
who had gone out from it and organized the Second church, and the latter 
henceforth was recognized and treated as a sister organization. Mr. 
Perkins was a man greatly beloved by his parishioners. In an obituary 
notice published in the New York Observer soon after his decease, which 
it is supposed was written by his intimate friend President Humphrey of 
Amherst College, he is described as " a man of highly respectable talents, 
good common sense, and unusual prudence; as kind, affectionate and 
cheerful in his domestic and social relations, always happy himself, and 
always contributing to the happiness of those around him; as a solemn, 
persuasive and affectionate preacher, as possessed of vigorous health, and 
rarely absent from his pulpit on the Sabbath, and as holding more occasional 
meetings than most of his brethren were able to hold ; as instant in season 
and out of season, in times of revivals ; as deeply interested in the cause 
of popular education ; as a pattern of punctuality in all his appointments ; 
as for many years the oldest active member of the ministerial association 
to which he belonged ; and of his loss as one which would be severely felt 
for a long time." Oct. 4, 1831, a committee was appointed to confer with 
Mr. Perkins on the subject of his dismission. Oct. 12, a committee was 
appointed to consult with him and see if he would make any reduction in 
his salary, if so, how much. Oct. 14. it was voted that the parish would 
not take any measure at that time to dismiss Mr. Perkins. • He died after 
an illness lasting but two days, his dying words being "I love my people.'" 

During the 32 years of his pastorate the church experienced no less 
than six extensive revivals of religion, as the fruit of which 300 members 
were added to the church. On his settlement the church numbered 83 
members ; before the North and South churches were organized, each of 
which drew largely from its numbers, the membership had increased to 349. 
The whole number of admissions up to 1840, by profession and letter, was 
360, the whole number during his ministry 373. The whole number of 


deaths, as given by him in his 30th anniversary sermon, preached Oct. 1 1, 
1840, was 410, including nine deacons and 138 heads of families. At that 
time, of those who were legal voters at the rime of his ordination there 
were only 12 or 13 remaining, while the number of families or parts of 
families left was about 80. In August, 1822, the church accepted a full 
set of furniture for the communion table presented by Oliver Dickinson. 
In October, 1824, Samuel Hills and sixteen others were dismissed, to unite 
with members of other churches, in forming the church in South Amherst. 
Two years later, in October, 1826, Oliver Dickinson and 25 others were 
dismissed to join with persons from other churches in forming the church 
at North Amherst. 

Rev. Nathan Perkins, the second pastor of the Second church, died 
March 28, 1842. July 18 of the same year, the parish voted to unite with 
the church in extending a call to Rev. Pomeroy Belden. The salary 
offered was $550 per annum, and it was voted to allow him four Sabbaths 
in each year "in case he wishes to journey for health or other purposes." 
The parish also voted that it considered the settlement of a minister a 
civil contract, which could be terminated by either party after a three 
months' notice had been given. Mr. Belden was a native of East Whately, 
where he was born March 15, 181 1. He was graduated at Amherst College 
in 1833, and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1836. From 1837 to 
1842, he preached as stated supply at Deerfield ; he was installed as pastor 
of the Second church in Amherst, Sept. 14, 1842, and continued in office 
until his death, which occurred, after a brief illness, March 2, 1849. Mr. 
Belden was an earnest, faithful and successful minister, winning, to an 
uncommon extent, the confidence and love of his people. 

Oct. 8, 1849, a ca41 was extended to Rev. C. L. Wood worth to 
settle in the ministry. The salary offered was $550, and he was to be 
allowed three Sabbaths in the year " for journeying and visiting his 
friends if he sees fit so to be absent for that purpose." Mr. Woodworth 
was installed Nov. 7, 1849. He was born at Somers, Conn., May 22, 1823, 
was graduated at Amherst College in 1845, anc ' a t Hartford Theological 
Seminary in 1S48. In January, 1854, he tendered his resignation as pastor, 
but the parish requested him to withdraw his resignation, at the same time 
voting him an increase of salary. He continued in office until dismissed, 
at his own request, Sept. 2,1863. March 30, 1S62, he was chosen chaplain 
of the 27th Mass. regiment, recruited in this neighborhood and containing 
many men from .Amherst. He remained at the front with his regiment 
until after the battles in and around Cold Harbor, in which the regiment 
was all hut annihilated, and was mustered out of service in July, 1864. 
The parish at first voted him a year's leave of absence; when this expired 
he tendered his resignation, but the parish responded by extending his 


leave of absence six months. Before the latter term had ended he again 
resigned and this time insisted that the resignation be accepted. During 
his pastorate there were several notable revivals of religious interest, as a 
result of which the church added largely to its membership. Resolutions 
of regret were passed by the parish at the meeting when his resignation 
was accepted. 

Aug. 6, 1863, the parish instructed its committee to hire Prof. Vose to 
preach, if possible ; if not, to hire some one else " as long as the money 
lasts." Dec. cS, 1S64. the parish voted to unite with the church in giving 
a call to Rev. Jay Clizbe ; the salary offered was $1,000 for the firstyear. 
Mr. Clizbe was born at Amsterdam, X. Y., June 16, 1836; was graduated 
at Union College and at Andover Theological Seminary. He was installed 
as pastor of the Second church, April 5, 1865. In 1867, he offered his 
resignation ; the parish voted, March 16, 1867, that he be requested to 
withdraw his resignation, offering, at the same time, an increase of $400 
in his salary and to give him three months vacation. Although the offer 
w as esteemed by him a generous one, owing to poor health he felt compelled 
to decline it. He was dismissed, March 25, 1867, much to the regret of 
his parishioners. 

Aug. 6, 1867, the parish invited Rev. Franklin P. Chapin to settle in 
the ministry. The salary offered was $1,200, and four weeks vacation 
was granted him. Mr. Chapin was born in Gill, Aug. [4, 1827; he was 
graduated at Amherst College in 1852 and at Bangor Theological Seminary. 
He was installed as pastor of the Second church, Jan. 21, 1868, and 
dismissed, at his request, Nov. 27. 1871. After his dismission, he served 
for some time as superintendent of schools in Amherst. 

June 11, 1873, the parish voted to hire Rev. C. A. Conant to preach 
one year at a salary of $1,000. He served as pastor of the church four 
years, though not installed. Mr. Conant was a native of Temple, Me., a 
graduate of Union College and Auburn Seminary. 

Sept. 20, 1S76, a call was extended to Rev. Chester W. Hawley to 
settle in the ministry. The salary offered was $1,000; in addition, Mr. 
Hawley was to have the use of the parsonage and an annual vacation of 
three Sabbaths. He accepted the call, and was installed, Nov. 15, 1876, 
remaining in service until Sept. 15, 1879, when his resignation was accepted 
by the parish, with much regret. Mr. Hawley was born in Hadley, Sept. 
20, 1834; he was graduated at Amherst College in 1858, and at Auburn 
Theological seminary in 1861. 

Nov. 4, 1879, a ca 'l t0 tne pastorate was extended to Rev. G. E. 
Fisher; the salary offered was $800, he to have the use of the parsonage 
and an annual vacation of three Sabbaths. He was installed, Dec. 10, 
1879, and his resignation was accepted by the parish, March 31, 1885. 


Mr. Fisher was born in Harvard, in 1823 ; was graduated from Amherst 
College in 1846. and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1849. 

Feb. 17, 1886, Rev. Francis J. Fairbanks was invited to settle in the 
ministry, at a salary of $800 and the use of the parsonage. He continued 
in office until 1893, when the parish, at a meeting held March 28, accepted 
his resignation. Mr. Fairbanks was born in Ashburnham, Sept. 8, 1835 ; 
he was graduated at Amherst College in 1862, and at Union Theological 
Seminary in 1864. 

July 20. 1893, the parish extended a call to Rev. C. L. Woodworth, to 
become acting pastor; he entered upon his labors shortly after and is still 
in office. 

The original meeting-house erected by the parish was first occupied 
for public worship in 1784. For over half a century it served the purposes 
for which it was designed by its builders, not, however, without undergoing 
various alterations and repairs. In 1793, a committee was appointed to 
"seat" the meeting-house; in 1794, a committee to keep it swept and the 
doors shut. In April, 18 15, the parish voted that the body pews might be 
altered into slips, in case money enough could be raised by subscription. 
In 1790, it was voted "to omit building the pew called the deaf pew, or 
pew for deaf persons." The glazing of the meeting-house was the subject 
of many parish votes ; the underpinning, also, needed frequent repairs. 
In 1820, the sum of $1,200 was raised for repairs, and the committee 
appointed to carry on the work was instructed to build a belfry, a cupola 
and one porch, also to shingle and paint the house ; later on the committee 
was directed to omit building the porch, to " open the house in the center," 
and build an addition. These alterations and repairs were completed 
in 1822. 

As early as 1836, measures were undertaken for the erection of anew 
meeting-house. At a meeting held April 11, it was voted to build a new 
meeting-house if subscriptions could be procured amounting to $2,000, 
and in that case, to sell the old house and appropriate the proceeds toward 
building the new one. May 26, it was voted to accept a piece of land six 
rods wide and nine rods deep presented by Ithamar Conkey. Ksq., asasite 
for the new meeting-house. A building committee was appointed, and 
authorized to determine the size of the house and the materials of which 
it should be constructed. The committee were to begin the work as soon 
as ^^oo should be added to the sum already subscribed. It is impossible 
to ascertain just when work on the new house of worship was begun, but 
it was finished sometime in 1839. when the building, still occupied as a 
church edifice by the Second Congregational society, was dedicated. Its 
architect and builder was Col. W. S. Howland, who had, some ten years 
before, built the new meeting-house for the first parish. Its cost was 


some $3,000. Feb. 28, 1839, the parish voted to appropriate the old 
meeting-house toward building a new one and appointed a committee to 
dispose of the old building. 

The new building was not the property of the parish, but of those 
who had contributed to its construction. The latter met. Dec. 3, 1845, 
and voted to organize as a corporation by the name of " Proprietors of the 
East Meeting-house in Amherst." They adopted a code of by-laws, 
which provided, among other things, that the Second parish have the use 
of the meeting-house for religous purposes or meetings until the proprietors 
should otherwise direct, on condition that it be kept in good repair and 
suffered no damage. It should be used for no purpose but religious 
meetings without the consent of the proprietors. It should only be used 
and occupied by the orthodox or trinitarian denomination of Christians. 

The parish records contain no minutes in regard to the introduction 
of heating or lighting appliances in the building. In 1852, it was a part 
of the janitor's duties to build the fires. In 1859, it was voted to relieve 
the last parish committee of all personal responsibility in reference to the 
furnace put in the building ; also, not to accept of the furnace as it failed 
to heat the church properly. In October of the same year, it was voted 
to remove the furnace and get a stove and pipes to put in the vestry to 
heat the house. In 1S79. the old bell was broken and a new one purchased 
which is still in use. In 1881, the parish had an extended controversy 
with C. M. Smith & Co. in regard to the use of the meeting-house cellar. 
In 1809. it was voted "'to build one horseblock." As late as 1S65, a vote 
was passed to build a new fence in front of the church. 

The social religious meeting of the church were held, at first, in private 
houses and afterwards in the upper story of the old brick school-house 
that stood not far from the present school-house. The chapel was built in 
1859, and stood at first directly in the rear of the present church edifice. It 
was moved to its present location when the parsonage was built. 

As early as 1S60. the parish committee was instructed to take into 
consideration the building of a parsonage. 

Feb. 25. 1867. a resolution was passed in favor of increasing the 
pastor's salary sufficient to pay the rent of a small house, or to provide a 
house by purchase or renting. Sept. 7 of the same year, the parish com- 
mittee was instructed to rent a suitable house for Rev. F. P. Chapin. Oct. 
22, it was voted "to buy the Thornton place." A few months after the 
latter vote was passed, a committee was appointed to build a parsonage, 
provided $2,000 should be subscribed, in addition to $2,000 guaranteed by 
Oliver Watson, Bela U. Dickinson, William W. Dickinson and Harrison 
Hawley. The building was completed in 1868. 


In 1804, the care of the meeting-house cost the parish at the rate of 
$3 per year. In 1S41, it was voted that the meeting-house should be 
"faithfully swept once a month," and the seats and backs of the pews 
dusted down with a brush at each time of sweeping. In 1843, tne parish 
voted that those who swept the meeting-house should furnish their own 
brooms and brushes. In 1848, it was voted that the carpets should be 
taken up, laid down and dusted once a year. In 1852, the duties of the 
sexton or janitor had become more onerous ;■ they included ringing the bell, 
sweeping and dusting the meeting-house twelve times a year, taking up 
the carpets, dusting them and laying them down once a year, building fires 
in the church and hall, lighting the lamps for all religious meetings, winding 
up the clock in the meeting-house, furnishing their own brooms and brushes, 
cleaning the snow from steps and paths, and putting the wood in the meeting- 
house, all these things to be clone to the acceptance of the parish committee. 
For these services the munificent sum of $22.50 was paid. 

The first entry in the parish records concerning church music is found 
under date of April 30, 1795, when it was voted that Ebenezer Mattoon, 
Jr. be " allowed money to pay Master Stibbins the note he gave him for 
teaching singing school the past winter." In 1801, $40 was appropriated 
to procure a singing master. In 1815, the parish appropriated $15, 
" toward paying Mr. Goodman for a bass viol;" in 1816, Mr. Goodman 
was to be paid one dollar for keeping the bass viol in repair. In 1846, 
it was voted to " sell the old bass viol." July 11, 1857, it was voted to 
purchase a melodeon, and $125 was appropriated for the purpose, but 
within a week this vote was rescinded. The following year, it was voted 
to raise $200 for the purchase of a melodeon, or some other instrument 
suitable for the church. The same year an " organ harmonion " was 
purchased at an expense of $225. The parish records give a list of the 
subscribers to the instrument, accompanied by this note : " This Record 
is made for the Protection of those Persons that have put there hands in 
there Pockets and bought a Organ Harmonion for the church with this 
understanding that the Parish shall have the use of said Instrument as 
long ;is they keep it in repair and Furnish a Person to Play on the same." 

For many years alter the Second parish was set off, its interests came 
in real or apparent conflict with those of the parent organization. There 
are, in the Second parish records, occasional allusions to these troubles. 
March 27, 1788, it was voted to raise ^10 for the charges in establishing 
the incorporating act of the parish. November 25 of the same year, a 
committee was appointed to receive any money that might be due the 
parish from the sale of lands when the average between the parishes was 
made, and this committee was to act with a committee appointed by the 
hirst parish in making the averages. In 1815. a committee was appointed 


to give certificates to such person or persons as considered themselves 
members of the parish or who might wish to become members. This was 
in accordance with the act passed by the General Court in 1788, for the 
protection of those who desired to connect themselves with the Second 
parish. In 1822. the First parish attempted to assess certain persons who 
claimed connection with the Second parish, and from this resulted a series of 
lawsuits. In October. 1819. the parish made answer to the communication 
received from the First parish, in regard to a union of the two churches 
and societies. The authors of this response expressed their full sensibility 
of the civil and religious benefits which would arise from such a union, 
but previous to considering the question they desired to know whether. 
in case it was brought about, Rev. Nathan Perkins was to have charge of 
the two churches. When this question should be answered in the affirmative, 
they expressed their willingness to consider the matter further. 

The expenses of the church and society were for many years raised 
by a parish tax. to which all those residing in the parish limits were subject. 
In 1S03. the parish treasurer received Si for collecting this tax. Later on, 
the office of parish treasurer was set up at auction and struck oft to the 
lowest bidder. In 1836. it was voted to sell all the pews in the meeting- 
house at public auction, to raise Mr. Perkins' salary. In 1863, it was voted, 
informally, to tax the pews one year to defray the expenses of the parish. 
In 1874. it was voted to give cards to all in the parish for them to mark 
their subscriptions on, and the treasurer was instructed to open an account 
with each man. 

In 1845, a committee was appointed to keep the "alleys" clear at 
the opening and closing of the meetings. In 187S, four ushers were 
appointed. In 1845. the parish committee were instructed to get the 
meeting-house insured. In 1876, it was voted to abandon the afternoon 
service. In 1S92, trustees were appointed to take charge of the funds 
bequeathed to the society by James Hastings. 


The South Church. — Pastors and Terms of Service. — Troubles in 
the Church. — Organization of a New Parish. — The 
Meeting-House. — Church Music. 

The organization of the third or South Congregational church and 
parish in Amherst does not appear to have been the outgrowth of any 
relie;ious feud or controversv, but resulted from a natural desire on the 


part of a respectable number of residents in an outlying district to enjoy 
parochial privileges of their own. The persons who took part in the 
organization were nearly all members of the First or Second parish, but 
they withdrew in orderly fashion, and neither the civil courts or the General 
Court were called upon to settle disputes consequent thereon. Among the 
earliest settlers in Amherst were several who established their residence in 
the southern part of the town ; as they increased in numbers, and their 
property grew in valuation, they began to consider the question of a separate 
parish organization. At a meeting held May 31, 1824. in the " South East 
Middle School house," with Dea. Nathan Franklin serving as moderator 
and Elisha Smith as clerk, it was voted as the sense of the meeting that a 
society be formed and a meeting-house be built in the south part of Amherst. 
A committee, consisting of Luther Nash, Elisha Smith, Luther Fox, Martin 
Smith, Oliver Dickinson, David Dexter and Augustus Bridgman, was chosen 
to prepare and circulate subscription papers to ascertain how many persons 
would join such a society and how much money could be raised for building a 
meeting-house. This committee must have met with encouragement in its 
labors, for at a meeting held June 28, 1824, a society was organized and 
the following officers elected : Moderator, Dea. Nathaniel C. Dickinson ; 
clerk, Elisha Smith ; treasurer, Lieut. Enos Dickinson ; committee. Jonathan 
Bridgman, Samuel Hills, David Moody, George Nutting, Joel Green. A 
covenant and agreement was drawn up, and during the year 1824 was 
signed by 93 persons. 

At a meeting held in the school-house above-mentioned, in 1824, the 
particular month and day not being recorded, thirty-one persons were 
present who held letters purporting membership in the First church in 
Amherst, fifteen with letters from the Second church in Amherst, one mem- 
ber of the church in Belchertown and one of the church in Granby. The 
meeting was organized by the choice of Dea. N. C. Dickinson as moderator, 
and it was voted to call a council for the purpose of being organized into 
a church state. Oct. 14, 1824, an ecclesiastical council met at the house 
of Lieut. Enos Dickinson and agreed to proceed to the organization of a 
church. A sermon was preached by Rev. John Woodbridge of Hadley, 
after which the following officers were elected and installed: Deacons, N. 
C. Dickinson. John Payne, David Moody ; moderator, Dea. N. C. Dickinson ; 
scribe, John Payne. It is recorded that Rev. H. B. Chapin came into the 
meeting, and supplied the church until he was ordained and installed. 

At a meeting of the parish held March 28, 1825, a committee was 
appointed to see that the society was organized according to law. It was 
voted " that the society approve of the ministerial character and perform- 
ances of the Rev. Horace 15. Chapin and are willing to set under his 
ministry." A committee was appointed to consult and act on the matter 


of Mi". Chapin's salary and settlement. May 23, 1825, the parish voted 
to unite with the church in a call to Rev. Mr. Chapin to settle with 
them in the ministry. The salary offered was S400, together with twenty 
cords of hard wood annually, the wood to be " cut suitable for his use, 
split and piled up in his wood-house or such other place as he might 
direct." The contract between the parish and Mr. Chapin might be 
annulled after six months' notice had been given by either party. Mr. 
Chapin was ordained and installed, Nov. 3. 1825: April 24. 1826. the 
parish voted that Elisha Smith be paid $21.13 tor providing for the council 
at the settlement of Mr. Chapin, and that P. L. Goss be paid S2.81 for 
liquor furnished the council. Mr. Chapin served until Feb. 26, 1829. when 
his resignation was accepted. 

In March, 1830. the parish voted to hire Rev. Aaron Gates to supply 
the pulpit one year, at a salary of S300. Mr. Gates accepted, and 
Nov. 29, 183 1. it was voted to unite with the church in a call to him 
to settle in the ministry. The salary offered was S400. Mr. Gates 
accepted the invitation in a letter dated Dec. 29, 183 1. His pastorate 
continued for five years. July 23, 1S36, it was voted not expedient for 
Mr. Gates to continue his ministerial labors another year, and church and 
parish united in calling an ecclesiastical council for his dismission. In 
July, 1S37, the church and parish united in a call to Rev. E. L. Clark, 
which was not accepted. Nov. 1. [837, the parish voted to concur with 
the church in calling Rev. Gideon Dana to the pastorate; the salary offered 
was S500. Mr. Dana accepted and was duly installed, his pastorate con- 
tinuing for a little less than three years. During this time a controversy 
arose, which necessitated the calling of an ecclesiastical council for its 
settlement. The question at issue was the right of the pastor to maintain 
a supervision of the Sabbath-school, with especial regard to the '-question- 
books" in use. Mr. Dana maintained that he had such authority, butthis 
was disputed by Dea. X. ( '. Dickinson and others. The council decided 
in the pastor's favor, but hard feelings had arisen which led to his resigna- 
tion in August, 1S40. Jan. 28, 1841. the parish extended a call to Rev. 
Dana Goodsell to settle, at a salary of S500. In April. 1842, it was voted 
that Mr. Goodsell should have the privilege of being absent two br three 
Sabbaths in each year, without charge to him. Mr. Goodsell continued in 
office until 1846 ; May 12 of that year, it was voted not expedient, under 
present circumstances, to retain Mr. Goodsell as minister ; he was accord- 
inglv dismissed, the following November. Jan. 11, 1847. it was voted to 
offer Rev. H. B. Smith $500 to serve as minister one year. 

Jan. 8, 1849, the parish invited Rev. James L. Merrick to settle with 
them in the work of the ministry, offering him a salary of $500 per annum. 
He accepted and was duly installed. Mr. Merrick's pastorate covered the 


most eventful period in the history of the South church and parish. Jt 
witnessed a struggle of exceeding bitterness among the members of church 
and congregation, whose echoes have hardly as yet died away, and which 
at last resulted in the formation of a new parish. The trouble began, as 
church quarrels frequently do, over dissensions in the choir. Early in the 
present century the old style " congregational " singing had in many 
churches been superseded by choir-singing, under direction of a leader or 
chorister. To be a member of the church choir was esteemed an honor, 
and rivalry among the singers was as aggressive as that existing among 
" prima-donnas " of a later period. The first cause of contention in the 
present instance was the choice of a leader for the choir. At first only 
the singers were involved in the quarrel, but it rapidly spread among their 
relatives and friends, until soon the whole church and parish were divided. 
As the controversy continued and grew more bitter, new factors were 
introduced, old jealousies and quarrels were revived, until neighbors and 
old-time friends passed each other upon the street without recognition. 
The time has not yet come, perhaps never will, to judge of the rights and 
wrongs of such a quarrel. The church and parish records devote much 
space to it, and from them are gathered the following facts. 

In January, 1852, the parish invited William Dickinson totakecharge 
of the choir and direct the singing, without compensation ; this Mr. Dick- 
inson consented to do. December 30, 1853, the parish voted to choose a 
committee of conference in relation to the singing. January 13. 1S54, it 
was voted that the singers in the parish should choose a chorister. The 
church records, under date of July 30, 1S54, state that " Difficulties having 
arisen concerning the church singing, certain members desired the church 
to unite with them in calling a mutual council." This the church refused 
to do. The minority called an ex-parte council, which .met Aug. 30, and, 
after listening to the evidence presented, advised that the matter at issue 
be submitted to a mutual council, to which proposition both parties agreed. 
September 4, the church appointed a committee of six, including three 
each from the majority and minority parties, to devise a plan of settlement, 
without calling a council. The committee held several meetings, but 
reported to the church, Sept. 8, that the members were unable to agree. 
October 3, 1854, a second council, summoned by the minority, assembled, 
and after considering the matters brought before it, decided that the 
minority had a just grievance, but advised them to exercise Christian 

February 4, 1855, Rev. James L. .Merrick tendered his resignation. 
Mr. Merrick had, so far as able, abstained from taking any part in the 
controversy, and had, in every way possible, endeavored to bring about a 
reconciliation. March 14, the parish chose a committee to confer with 


Mr. Merrick in regard to his request to be dismissed, to see if he could be 
persuaded to withdraw it. The committee was successful in its mission. 
The members of the minority party had withdrawn their financial support 
and at a parish meeting held April 1 2, 1855. it was voted to invite those 
who formerly belonged to the society to unite with it again. It was also 
voted to choose a committee to comply with the request of Mr. Merrick, 
and unite with the church in calling a council for his dismission ; the latter 
vote was rescinded at a meeting held May 22. April 30, the parish voted 
to make this proposition to the minority part}-, that they pay their propor- 
tion of the last year's expenses of the society, that all who wished to sing 
in the church choir should have that privilege, and that the singers should 
choose their own chorister. September 4. 1855, the church voted to call a 
mutual council to remove, if possible, the differences existing among its 
members, and further agreed to abide by the decision of such a council. 
The council met, Sept. 25, 1855, when Mr. Merrick presented a formal 
statement of the question at issue and the efforts that had been made to 
effect a reconciliation. Testimony having been given by all the parties in 
interest, the council decided that the minority should pay up all arrearages 
in fair proportion and return and join the parish. The majority were 
instructed that they should consent to a reorganization of the choir on the 
basis of mutual concessions, both parties were admonished to cease from 
strife and live together in Christian unit} - . The advice of the council 
seems to have been followed in letter, if not in spirit, and for a little more 
than two years there were no open measures of hostility. 

But the breach was not healed, nor could it be. January 29, 1859, the 
parish voted to sever its connection with Rev. James L. Merrick, 28 voting 
in the affirmative and 25 in the negative. At a meeting held Feb. 1. the 
church voted. 16 to 14, not to concur with the parish in its action. Mr. 
Merrick resigned as pastor of the old parish and church, Feb. 7, and, 
Feb. 26. a new parish organization was formed and Mr. Merrick was invited 
to settle with it in the ministry. June 8, 185S, an ecclesiastical council 
met and voted to dismiss Mr. Merrick as pastor of the church of Amherst, 
South ; it also voted that it was expedient to organize a new church under 
the name of the Congregational church of South Amherst. The first 
meeting of the new church was held July 2, 1858. At a meeting held 
Aug. 6, Nathaniel C. Dickinson, R. 15. Bridgman and Thomas Reed were 
chosen deacons. Oct. 20 of the same year, a new creed and covenant 
were adopted. 

The old society continued in existence for more than a year after the 
new parish was organized. The principal efforts of the former were 
directed toward the protection of its property interests in the meeting-house. 
March 10, 1858, the society committee was directed to begin legal proceed- 


ings against the late clerk and treasurer of the parish, or against the 
committee of the new society, or against any other member of that society, 
to recover all books, papers, notes, subscriptions, etc., belonging to the 
South Congregational society in Amherst. June 9, 1858, it was voted to 
commence actions in the name of the parish against certain named persons 
for trespass in "breaking and entering" the meeting-house on the 30th day 
of May, or at any other time, the same to be prosecuted to final judgment. 
June 28 of the same year, it was voted to submit to arbitration all tres- 
passes and questions of ownership and proprietorship of the meeting-house, 
and all rights and claims in dispute between the parish and individuals 
then or formerly members of the same. March 22, 1859, the parish 
committee was instructed to use legal means to obtain the personal property 
in the meeting-house owned by the society. The last meeting of the old 
society was held June 29, 1859. 

The first meeting of the Congregational Society of South Amherst 
was held Feb. 26, 1S58. It was voted to extend a call to Rev. James L. 
Merrick, to offer him a salary of $600 a year and to give him a vacation 
of three Sabbaths each year. Mr. Merrick accepted the call, Feb. 28, 
and continued in the pastorate until May 14, 1863, when he resigned. 

Sept. 25, 1863, the parish concurred with the church in extending a 
call to Rev. H. S. Kelsey, offering him $800 for his salary, but Mr. Kelsey 
declined. Jan. 5, 1864, a call was extended to Rev. Walter Barton, at a 
salary of $700 ; Jan. 11, it was voted to make Mr. Barton's salary $750; 
he accepted and was installed, remaining in the pastorate until Nov. 6, 
1866, when his resignation was accepted. June 10, 1S67, Rev. M. L. 
Richardson was offered a salary of $1,100 to settle in the ministry, but 
declined. Dec. 9, 1868, a call was extended to Rev. I). H. Rogan, the 
salary offered being $1,200, but Mr. Rogan declined. The parish was 
more successful in its next offer, which was made to Rev. George Lyman, 
in March, 1869; he accepted, and continued to serve as pastor until Jan. 
7, 1873, when his resignation was accepted. 

P'eb. 23, 1874, the parish committee was instructed to employ Rev. 
Mr. Merrill for the remainder of the year, and to pay him at the rate of 
$1,200 per annum. Jan. 6, 1875, the committee was instructed to hire 
Mr. Marsten until July 1. and Rev. Mr. Bennett the remainder of the year; 
this vote was rescinded, Feb. 1. In February, 1875, it was voted that Rev. 
Mr. Pullan be hired at the rate of $800 per year for the remainder of the 
year. Mr. Pullan supplied the pulpit until the close of the year 1876. 
Jan. 5, 1S77, Rev. C. S. Walker was offered $800 to act as pastor the 
ensuing year. Oct. 22, 1879, the committee was instructed to engage 
Rev. H. ]!. Smith to act as pastor until Jan. 1, 1880, at a salary of $600 per 
annum. April 1 1, 1881, a call was extended to Rev. C. S. Walker to settle 


in the ministry, at a salary of S700 and the use of the parsonage. Mr. 
Walker accepted and continued in office until 1886, when he resigned to- 
accept a professorship at the Agricultural College. Jan. 15, 1877, the 
parish voted to secure the services of Rev. C. C. Bruce for one year, at a 
salary of S700 and the use of the parsonage. Sept. 3, 1888, a call was 
extended to Rev. H. W. Boyd to become pastor of the church by the year 
for an indefinite time, on the same terms offered to Mr. Bruce. Mr. 
Boyd accepted and continued to supply the pulpit until Oct. 25, 1894, 
when his resignation was accepted. March 9, 1895, Rev. J. F. Gleason 
accepted an invitation to supply the pulpit. 

At the first parish meeting, held June 28, 1824. a committee was 
appointed to visit Greenwich and view the new church recently erected 
there, and report whether in their opinion such a house would be suitable 
for the needs of the society, and whether it could be built for $3,300, the 
sum it was proposed to raise by subscription. The committee went to 
Greenwich and was favorably impressed with the meeting-house in that 
place. Aug. 19, 1824. a meeting was held of " persons who had subscribed 
for the purpose of building a meeting-house in the south part of Amherst." 
A committee was appointed to select a suitable site for the building. 
This committee reported that a " spot " for the meeting-house, free of 
expense to the subscribers, could be obtained a few rods north of Jonathan 
C. Warner's shop, and that under all circumstances it would be advisable 
to build in that place. A committee was appointed to receive proposals 
for erecting a building similar to the one in Greenwich. At a meeting of 
the subscribers held Aug. 30, 1824. it was voted to accept the proposals of 
George Nutting and Philip L. Goss for erecting a meeting-house ; the cost 
was to be S3. 300, and the subscribers were to draw the hewn stone for the 
underpinning. The house was to be completed before Jan. 1. 1826. At a 
later date, committees were appointed to "bank up " around the meeting- 
house and build a fence around it. Sept. 5, 1825, a committee was 
appointed to arrange for the dedication of the meeting-house " now building," 
and for the ordination at the same time of Rev. Horace B. Chapin. The 
dedication took place, Nov. 3. 1825. 

That the house was provided with a bell soon after its completion is 
shown by a parish vote passed April 14, 1828, that the parish committee 
should "contract with some man to ring the bell on the Sabbath and at 
other necessary times." In 1833, it was voted to purchase a lock for the 
meeting-house. April 25, 1838. it was voted to make alterations in the 
meeting-house to accommodate the singers. In 1844. it was voted that 
liberty be granted to remodel the meeting-house, if it could be done without. 
any tax being assessed on the parish. As a result of this vote the building 
was completely remodeled, the expense being borne by subscription. The 


audience-room was raised to the level of the original galleries. Blinds 
were put on the building in 1849. The same year, horse-sheds were erected 
in the rear of the church. In 1851, a vestry and a conference-room were 
partitioned off and fitted up on the lower floor. In 1852, it was voted to 
shingle the house and repair the bell-deck. In i860, a partition and doors 
were placed at the entrance to the audience-room, the building was pointed 
and papered, and carpets were placed in the aisles and pulpit. In 1868, 
a vote was passed to repair the meeting-house. In 1876, it was voted to 
shingle the house, and to raise the money by holding a parish festival. In 
1885, it was voted to repair the meeting-house at an expense of $1,000. 
During the year 1895, expensive repairs and alterations have been made 
on the building, including the putting in of memorial windows. 

When, in 1858, a new parish was organized, the question arose as to 
whether the old or the new organization should have the use of the meeting- 
house. Subscribers to the fund were represented in both bodies, and, 
pending a final settlement of their respective rights, for nearly eight months 
the unusual spectacle was witnessed of two separate and antagonistic con- 
gregations meeting for religious worship in the same house at the same 
time. Meetings were held alternately by either organization in the 
audience-room above and the vestry below, and members of the church 
now living state that the notes of prayer and praise and exhortation, 
descending from" above and ascending from below, were frequently blended 
in manner far from edifying. The two parishes at length agreed to leave 
the question of their rights in the building .to disinterested parties for 
decision, and Feb. 12, 1859, the arbitrators decided as follows: That the 
legal title to the meeting-house and land rested in Enos Dickinson, the 
surviving grantee under the deed of Nathaniel C. Dickinson, in trust for 
himself and the subscribers therein referred to. being the persons who 
subscribed the funds for building the house, and also for such persons 
as had obtained the rights of original subscribers, each man's light 
being in proportion to the amount of his subscription. It being expected 
that the house would be occupied by the South Congregational society as a 
house of worship, and Enos Dickinson and his associates objecting to the 
same, and as many persons for whom said Dickinson held the property in 
trust were members of the society, it was therefore ordered : The house 
being appraised at >2,2oo, two-thirds of its first cost, that the said Dick- 
inson should pay to said society, for the benefit of such members as were 
entitled to an interest in said property, two-thirds the amount of the 
original subscription of each member, they to give him in return a release 
and transfer of rights, he to pay for no rights not so released and trans- 
ferred. His associates were to contribute equally with him to said payments, 
and also to pay the society seventy-five per cent, of their subscriptions 
for 1858. 




The first minute in regard to church music is found on the parish 
records under date of Dec. 4, 1829, when it was voted to raise $4° to pay 
a singing master. April 29, 1830, the parish voted to allow Aaron Henry 
67 cents for cash paid for violin strings. In 1840, the singers were given 
permission to move to the west side of the meeting-house if they chose to 
do so. The same year, it was voted that the double bass viol, "so called," 
be repaired at the expense of the parish. As early as 1830, a committee 
was appointed " to assist Mr. Gates in finding a house to hire." In 1849, 
it was voted desirable that a house be procured for a parsonage. In 1S67. 
it was voted to procure a parsonage by purchase or building. May 6, 1840, 
the parish voted " that the standing committee be consulted by all lecturers 
that wish to lecture upon any subject of public reform, and get their 
approbation before entering the meeting-house for the purpose of lecturing 
upon said subject." As the anti-slavery question was being extensively 
agitated at this time, and the members of the South parish had shown a 
deep interest in it, the lecturers at whom this regulation was aimed were 
doubtless apostles of the anti-slavery crusade. March '8, 1 S 4 1 . the parish 
voted to procure one cord and a half of good hard wood and prepare it 
for the stoves and put it into the meeting-house before the hr>t of June : 
also, to procure some person to make hies in the meeting-house. Dec. 29. 
1842, the parish clerk was authorized to procure a " trunk " at the expense 
of the society suitable for keeping its books and papers in. In early 
times, the church observed many days of fasting and prayer. In 1877, the 
church voted to use unfermented wine for sacramental purposes. 

When the parish was first organized, it followed the custom of nearly 
all religious societies in raising funds by a parish tax. Jan. 22, 1830, the 
following vote was passed : " That the money may be raised hereafter in 
.Said Society by free toleration — that is, that every person may pay the 
Sum he Sees fitt." In 1836, it was voted to raise money by selling the 
slips, and the following year, to raise money by assessment. May 12. 1846, 
it was voted "That the meeting-house be open for all (members of the 
society or not) who feel disposed to meet with us for public worship, with 
the privilege of paying according as their conscience shall dictate." In 
1859 and 18G0. a tax was laid upon the members of the parish, who 
expressed their willingness to be taxed according to their estates. In 1862, 
some expressed a willingness to pay by subscription, and were allowed to 
do so, and the balance needed was made up by a tax on those who did 
not subscribe. In 1867. it was voted to sell the pews at auction to pay 
current expenses. In 1871, the society appointed trustees to have charge 
of the bequest of Lieut. Enos Dickinson, and in 1894, it acknowledged a 
gift of $5 00 from Mrs. E. J. Williams. ' 



The North Church and Parish. — Organization and Officers. — 
Pastors and Terms of Service. — Oliver Dickinson's Meet- 
ing-House. — The Pew Deeds. — The Pulpit and Communion 
Service. — The Ministerial Fund. 

In 1823, there were but two church organizations in Amherst ; in 
1826, there were five. The South Congregational church was organized 
Oct. 14, 1824; the College church, March 7, 1826 ; the North Congrega- 
tional church. Nov. 15, 1826. It is probable that the same influences 
which led to the establishment of a church at South Amherst had part, 
also, in the organization of still another religious society and church in the 
north part of the town. The churches, South and North, drew their 
membership in the beginning from the First and Second churches, but 
while the South church drew the larger number from the original organiza- 
tion, the North church obtained its original membership largely from the 
church at East Amherst. When the Second church was organized, a large 
percentage of its members resided in the north part of the town, and 
others resident in that section had withdrawn from the First church during 
the pastorate of Rev. Daniel A. Clark, to unite with the Second church. 
Mr. Clark was dismissed from the First church, Aug. 5, 1824. He was 
then invited by residents at North Amherst to conduct religious services 
on the Sabbath in their part part or the town. He complied with their 
request, and preached for a time at the school-house in the " City." His 
were the first regular preaching services to be held at North Amherst. 

In the summer of 1826, the precise date not being a matter of record, 
a parish organization was formed by 59 persons, who signed the following 
agreement : 

" We whose names are hereunto subscribed do associate and form ourselves 
into a religious society for the public worship of God and public instruction in the 
Christian religion. And we do hereby covenant and agree eacli for himself with 
said society that we will use our best endeavor to promote the best interests of 
said society and to obtain for them as soon as may be the powers and privileges of 
a parish according to law. 1 ' 

The "powers and privileges" referred to were the right to assess and 
collect taxes for parochial purposes, and exemption from taxation by any 
other parish. The name assumed by the new society was "The Congrega- 
tional Union Society of Amherst ." By a special act of the General Court, 


passed March 17, 1831, this name was changed to "Amherst North 
Parish." Of the 59 members of the society, eight were women, either 
widows or those owning property in their own name, who had no vote in 
parish meetings ; of the remainder, only 13 were church members. At the 
first parish meeting, held June 8, 1S26, the following were elected as 
officers of the society : Moderator, Oliver Dickinson ; clerk, Charles 
Cooley ; treasurer, Chester Dickinson; parish committee, Joseph Cowles, 
Noah Smith, Jr., Daniel Dickinson ; assessors, Daniel Russell. Jr., Jonathan 
Cowls and Ashley Hubbard. The office of collector was put up at auction. 
and struck off to John Ingram, Jr., at two cents on one dollar. 

The church was organized by an ecclesiastical council which met at 
the house of Joseph Cowles, Nov. 15. 1S26 ; Rev. Heman Humphrey, 
D. D., president of Amherst College, served as moderator of the council. 
Letters of dismission and recommendation were presented by 47 persons, 
each of whom had previously signed a confession of faith and covenant. 
which were submitted to the council and pronounced by the latter satisfac- 
tory. The council then ackourned to the church building, where the church 
was formally organized. The first regular meeting of the church was held 
Dec. 20, 1826, when the following officers were elected: Clerk. Daniel 
Dickinson; deacons, Daniel Russell, Jr., Ransom Dickinson; treasurer, 
Ransom Dickinson. At the same meeting, it was voted that the expenses 
of the Lord's table be met by an equal tax on the members of the church. 

The first pastor of the church was Rev. Y\ 'illiam \V. Hunt. He was 
born in Belchertown, Sept. 7, 1796, was graduated at Williams College in 
1820, and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1824. He first preached 
for the South parish at Woodstock, Conn., for about a year, and then 
supplied the church in Conway for a little less than three months. He was 
ordained as pastor of the church at North Amherst, March 7, 1827, and 
continued in" office until his death, which occurred Oct. 5, 1837. The 
salary offered him by the parish was ?45o per annum. Mr. Hunt was 
greatly beloved by his parishioners. Although, previous to his settlement, 
his health had become greatly impaired, he entered into his ministerial 
labors with an earnestness and enthusiasm that commanded success. 
During his pastorate of less than eleven years, in persons were admitted 
to the church. A great revival season was experienced in 1831, as a result 
of which 35 persons were admitted to church membership on confession 
of their faith. Mr. Hunt was an ardent advocate of the causes of tem- 
perance and anti-slavery. 

In 1838, the church and parish united in calling to the pastorate Rev. 
Corbin Kidder, but he declined. The same year, a call was extended to 
Rev. George Cooke; he accepted, and was ordained, Jan. 15, 1839. Mr.. 
l 5 


Cooke was a native of Keene, N. H. and was graduated at Dartmouth 
College in 1832. He served as pastor for thirteen years, and was dismissed 
on account of ill health, May 20, 1852. During his pastorate 105 persons 
united with the church. The third pastor of the church was Rev. George 
E. Fisher, who was installed, Sept. 16, 1852, and continued in office until 
Jan. 6, 1858. A brief biographical sketch of Mr. Fisher has been given 
in connection with his pastorate at the Second church. In 1853, the 
church enjoyed the greatest revival season in its history, 89 persons uniting 
with it on confession of their faith. The fourth pastor was Rev. John W. 
Underhill, who was born in Ipswich. April 22, 1829, and was graduated at 
Amherst College in 1854. He was ordained Oct. 5, 1859, and died in 
office, Oct. 17, 1862. Mr. Underhill was succeeded by Rev. Daniel H. 
Rogan, who was born at Kingsport, Tenn., June 4, 1S30; he was graduated 
at Amherst College in 1857, studied theology at Auburn Seminary, and 
was ordained in Bristol, Tenn., in 1859. On the breaking out of the civil 
war, he came North, and served successively as pastor of the church at 
Bernardston and the First church at Greenfield. He was installed as 
pastor of the church at North Amherst, Oct. 5, 1865. and dismissed, Nov. 
21, 1866. 

In 1864, a call was extended to Rev. William L. Gage, but he declined. 
In 1864-65, Rev. S. O. Dyer served thechurch as actingpastor. In 1867, 
Rev. C. H. S. Williams was called to the pastorate, but declined. The 
sixth settled pastor was Rev. William I). Herrick, who was born in 
Methuen, March 26, 1831. He was graduated at Amherst College in 1857, 
studied theology at Andover Seminary, and was ordained at Redding, Conn., 
in i860. He served as pastor of the church in Redding and of the First 
church in Gardner. He was installed as pastor of the church in North 
Amherst, Sept. 19, 1867, continuing in the office until May 25, 1S74. 
During his ministry the church enjoyed three revival seasons, one of marked 
power in 1872, when 53 persons were added to the church on confession 
of faith. Mr. Herrick was succeeded in the pastorate by Rev. George F. 
Humphreys, who was born in Athol, May 4, 1847. After a partial course 
at Williams College, he entered Auburn Theological Seminary, where he 
was graduated. He was installed as pastor of the North Congregational 
church, Jan. 7, 1875, and was dismissed Nov. 4 of the same year. For 
two years, 1876-78, Rev. D. W. Marsh, D. D. served the church as acting 
pastor. The eighth settled pastor was Rev. George H. Johnson, born in 
Worcester, Dec. 29, 1850, graduated at Harvard College in 1873, and at 
the theological seminary in Bangor, Me. He was installed over the church 
in North Amherst, July 3, 1879, and was dismissed, Dec. 31, 1888. 
•During Mr. Johnson's pastorate there was a steady gain in church member- 
ship, and in 1885 the church enjoyed a revival season resulting in the 


addition of 26 persons to membership on confession of faith. To Mr. 
Johnson the church is also indebted for the preparation of a historical 
manual of the church and society, published in 1889. Mr. Johnson was 
succeeded in the pastorate by Rev. Kber W. Gaylord, who was born in 
Union, N. Y., Nov. 27, 1845. He was graduated at Amherst College in 
1866, and at Lane Theological Seminary in 1872. He was ordained and 
installed as pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian church at Georgetown, 
Md., May 13, 1873. He afterwards served as pastor of Presbyterian 
churches at Paradise and Wrightsville, Pa. He was installed as pastor of 
the church at North Amherst, Dec. 4, 1890. 

The original meeting-house occupied by the society is still in use, 
though dignified in later years by the name of church. It was built and 
owned by Oliver Dickinson, " Landlord Oliver," who was the guiding and 
propelling force in the organization of church and society. This meeting- 
house has a history that can hardly be paralleled bythatof any other house 
of worship in New England. It is a monument to the generosity, energy, 
business sagacity and Christian activity of its originator. Mr. Dickinson 
was one of the first to suggest the possibility as well as desirability of 
establishing a church at North Amherst. Having committed himself to the 
idea, he permitted nothing to stand in the way of its realization. The first 
step taken was the raising of a church fund, to which Mr. Dickinson and 
others were liberal contributors. The income of this fund was to be used 
in paying the salary of a minister: in raising it, the resources of the com- 
munity had been so heavily taxed it was deemed impossible to secure by 
further subscription the money needed for building a meeting-house. 
Here, as in other matters, Oliver Dickinson proved equal to the emergency. 
He advanced the necessary funds and became responsible for all liabilities. 

The building was constructed by (apt. Winthrop Clapp of Montague. 
The stone for the foundation came from Pelham, the residents of North 
Amherst drawing it with their teams. The people generally contributed 
freely of their time and labor. Here was repeated, on a smaller scale, the 
scene enacted five years earlier on the brow of College hill, when the walls 
of the old South dormitory of Amherst College arose as by magic. There 
was this difference, however; the dormitory had no Oliver Dickinson to 
stand behind it and guarantee the payment of all bills. The cost of the 
building to Mr. Dickinson was $2,900. The corner stone was laid by Rev. 
Nathan Perkins, at that time pastor of the Second church. There had 
been the customary dispute as to the location of the building ; residents at 
the "City" desired that it should be placed nearer their homes. The 
question was settled by Mr. Dickinson, who declared that the house should 
occupy its present site if he had to pay every cent of the expense. The 
raising was made a gala occasion, liquor being generously provided and 


consumed, the expenses being met by contributions. Mr. Dickinson, being 
a man of leisure, superintended the construction of the building and care- 
fully inspected all the material used. He determined that nothing save 
the very best should be employed in building the house of the Lord ; as 
usual, he had his way. The house was dedicated, Nov. 15, 1826, Rev. 
Nathan Perkins preaching the sermon and Rev. John Woodbridge, 1). D., 
of Hadley, delivering the prayer of dedication. 

Oliver Dickinson received partial compensation for his liberal expendi- 
ture of time and money by selling the pews in his meeting-house. To 
each purchaser he gave a deed, in which he described himself as "'sole 
owner and proprietor of a meeting-house lately erected at the north part 
of said Amherst." These deeds conferred the right of perpetual owner- 
ship to the purchasers and their heirs, subject to two conditions. The 
proprietors were not to allow their pews to be painted or otherwise altered 
as to their external appearance without the permission of a majority of their 
own number ; neither were they to sell or lease them to any negro or mulatto, 
or allow any such person to occupy them, under penalty of forfeiting their 
rights. These deeds were made out long before the anti-slavery question 
had come into prominence, so that Mr. Dickinson's motive in inserting this 
proviso was doubtless to prevent the pews from coming into the ownership 
of persons of a questionable character. When the building was remodeled 
in 1842, it became necessary for the proprietors to surrender their original 
deeds, and through the influence of Daniel Dickinson, his nephew, Oliver 
Dickinson consented that the provision in regard to negros and mulattos 
should be omitted from the new deeds. The pews have since become the 
property of the church. A pew in the gallery was set aside for the accom- 
modation of colored persons, as was customary in the earlier times. 

Some alterations have been made in the external appearance of the 
building, but the general outline remains the same as when first constructed. 
Within it conformed to the prevalent style of church, or rather meeting- 
house, arrangement of the times. The pulpit, a high, round wooden 
structure, stood at the west end of the building, faced by the high-back 
wooden pews. There were galleries on all sides of the building, and seats 
for singers behind the pulpit. The pews were destitute of cushions and 
there were no carpets upon the floors. There were no means for providing 
artificial light or heat. Stoves were put in the building in January, 1835 ; 
the expense was #83.23 and the sum was raised by subscription. The 
interior of the house was remodeled in 1842, and since that time extensive 
alterations and repairs have been made. The matter of church music 
received attention from the parish at an early date. In 1828, a parish tax 
oi $12 was laid for the support of sacred music. In 1835, $75 was 
appropriated for the support of a singing-school. The parish owned a 


bass viol as early as 1827, for in that year Augustine Parker was allowed 
a bill of Si. 7 2 for bass viol strings and $1.35 for a case for the instrument. 
In 1828, it cost the parish S5.00 for repairs on the bass viol. Within a 
few years, a very handsome and expensive organ has been presented to the 
church by Mrs. George E. Fisher, who has also contributed most generously 
for repairing and beautifying the church building. 

Oliver Dickinson not only gave deeds to the purchasers of the pews, 
but also gave a deed of the pulpit to Rev. \Y. W, Hunt, the first settled 
pastor, and to his successors in the gospel ministry. The provisions of 
this deed were that the pulpit should be used only for the worship of God 
and the preaching of the gospel, and that the grantee and his successors 
should believe and inculcate in said pulpit the principles of the gospel as 
contained in the Westminster Assembly's shorter catechism, forever. 
Should he or they depart from the standard of faith as above set forth, 
then their rights in the pulpit were to be forfeited, and to pass to the next 
successor in the ministry who should fulfil the conditions. A communion 
service was purchased at an expense of $94, which sum was raised by 
subscription. This service was not given to the church, but loaned to it 
forever, on conditions very similar to those outlined in the deed for the 
pulpit. These conditions attached to the use of the pulpit and the com- 
munion service were but an echo of the orthodox faith of the founders of 
the church as embodied in their creed and confession. It may seem 
strange that such stringent provisions should be adopted, but it must be 
borne in mind that at the time the church was organized the Unitarian 
faith was making alarming inroads upon the orthodoxy of New England 
churches and congregations. Among the residents in the new parish were 
many whose orthodoxy was not beyond question, as was proved in after 
time by their uniting with a Unitarian society which they assisted in organ- 
izing at Leverett. The conflict between the old faith and the new was 
bitter in the extreme ; the founders of the church at North Amherst were 
firm believers in the ancient doctrines and determined that their church 
and their pulpit and their communion service should never pass into the 
hands of those unfriendly to their faith. A change in the confession of 
faith was made by the church in 1872, but it remains orthodox to-day as it 
has been since the beginning. 

Before the organization of church or parish, subscriptions were made 
to what was at first known as the " ministerial fund" and afterwards as the 
" church fund." The prime mover in the raising of this fund was Oliver 
Dickinson. The purpose of the fund may be gathered from the following 
extracts from the original subscription paper : 

•• Whereas it is in contemplation to erect a meeting house by the inhabitants 
of the northern section of the town of Amherst and others in adjacent towns, and 


Whereas doubts have arisen whether the circumjacent population would be 
able to support at all times the preaching of the gospel without the aid of a perma- 
nent fund. We therefore the subscribers feeling through the blessings of Heaven 
able and willing to assist in so laudable an undertaking and desirous to perpetuate 
to posterity the uninterrupted dispensation of the gospel do hereby agree to pay 
over to Oliver Dickinson the sums severally annexed to our names." 

The list is headed by the name of Oliver Dickinson, with a subscrip- 
tion of $800 ; Joseph Eastman and Jonathan Cowls gave $400 each, and 
fifteen others smaller sums, from #150 to $2. The total amount subscribed 
was ^2,387 ; of this sum $134 was never paid, but interest on some delayed 
payments brought the amount up to $2,392.65. Four persons subscribed 
land, which was afterwards sold for $962.70. The only subsequent addition 
to this fund was one of $10 made in 1845. The original intention of the 
subscribers was to raise a fund the interest on which would amount to a 
sufficient sum to pay the entire salary of the minister. Trustees were 
appointed, and were incorporated by an act of the General Court passed 
in 1827. They were authorized to hold property, the annual income from 
which should not amount to more than $1,200. Vacancies in the board 
were to be filled by election by the parish, and the trustees were held 
liable for any loss that might come to the fund through their mismanage- 
ment. If at any time a minister was hired who did not preach the orthodox 
faith, the income was to be added to the principal until an orthodox minister 
was secured. The subscribers were to have votes in regard to the invest- 
ment of the fund in accordance with the amount of their contributions. 
When the question of locating the church came up, a provision was inserted 
in the regulations governing the fund to the effect that it should be forfeited 
to the subscribers or their heirs if the house should ever be moved more 
than fifty rods from its present site, or should a new meeting-house be 
erected more than fifty rods distant. In 1828, the income of the fund 
amounted to $170 ; the greatest sum realized from it in any one year was 
$270, in 1846. 

The parsonage was built in 1839, a subscription amounting to £ I 4°9-99 
being raised for that purpose. Two special subscriptions for repairing the 
church were raised, one of $1,232.08 in i860, another of $1,471.88 in 1879. 
In 1868, money was subscribed for the purchase of the pews, all but two 
of which are now parish property. In 1869, the parish purchased for a 
little over $1,000 the town's interest in the building known as "Parish 
hall," formerly used, in part, as a school-room. Money for parish expenses 
was first raised by voluntary subscription in 1834. 



The College Church. — Its Pastors. — Church Building. — Zion 
Chapel. —College Mission Work. 

The organization of the "Church of Christ in Amherst College," in 
1826/'" on the principles of the Congregational Platform," has been referred 
to in the historical sketch of Amherst College. Rev. Heman Humphrey, 
its first pastor, was installed Feb. 28, 1827, continuing in service until he 
was dismissed, at his own request, April 4, 1845. During his pastorate 
the church was greatly prospered, enjoying several revival seasons and 
gaining largely in membership. July 13, 1828, occurred the first baptism 
of a child of a member of the church, the son of Prof. Edward Hitchcock, 
christened Edward. In a list of additions to the church in 183 1, appears 
the name of Henry Ward Beecher, then in his freshman year. 

April 4, 1845, the day that Rev. Heman Humphrey was dismissed 
from the pastorate, Rev. Edward Hitchcock was installed as his successor. 
President Hitchcock continued in service until 1S54, resigning in April of 
that year and being dismissed the following November. Under his ministry, 
the church experienced two great revivals of religious interest, one in 1846, 
as a result of which 27 persons united with the church on confession of 
their faith; a second in 1850, resulting in 33 conversions. President 
Hitchcock believed that the highest aim of education is the winning of 
souls to Christ. He taught- and lived the faith that was in him, so that 
while under his administration the college prospered greatly in temporal 
affairs there was even greater prosperity in its spiritual interests. Rev. 
W. A. Stearns was installed as pastor of the College church, Nov. 21, 
1854. He continued in office until his death, June 8, 1876. During his 
ministry the college experienced several revivals of religious interest, some 
of marked power and fruitfulness. 

Rev. Julius H. Seelye, who succeeded Dr. Stearns as president of the 
college, was installed as pastor of the College church, May 24, 1877. 
Sept. 12, 1878, Rev. Thomas P. Field was invited to become associate 
pastor of the church, and accepted. He was appointed to the " Samuel 
Green professorship of Biblical history and interpretation and pastoral 
care," established in 1864 by John Tappan, Esq. of Boston, and held by 
Dr. Stearns, in connection with the presidency of the college, until his 
death. Dr. Field served as professor in the college and associate pastor 
of the College church until 1886. when he resigned, and was succeeded by 


Rev. George S. Burroughs of New Britain, Conn. Dr. Seelye served as 
pastor of the church until he resigned the presidency of the college, in 
1890. Dr. Burroughs continued in office until 1892, when he resigned, to 
accept a call to the presidency of Wabash College at Crawfordsville, Ind. 
Rev. John E. Tuttle, D. D., was appointed to the Samuel Green professor- 
ship in 1893, and installed as pastor of the College church, Nov. 17 of 
that year. 

The college chapel was dedicated in February, 1827. For more than 
forty years this building served as the home of the College church. In 
1864, William F. Stearns, son of President Stearns and a prosperous 
merchant in Boston, gave $30,000 to the college to be used in erecting a 
suitable church edifice. There was a difference of opinion among the 
college authorities as to the most suitable location for the building. Its 
present site was decided on by several distinguished architects, and the 
corner-stone was laid, Sept. 22, 1870. The building, constructed of 
granite, is, perhaps, the handsomest edifice on the college grounds. 
Shortly after the close of the civil war, George Howe, Esq. of Boston, 
whose son, a graduate of the college, was killed in service, presented to 
the college a fine chime of bells, which were placed in the tower of the 
College church. 

From its beginning, the church has been a great power for good in 
the college. Some of the best-known preachers in America have occupied 
the pulpit of the College church. In the earlier history of the church 
revivals of religious interest were of frequent occurrence and a very large 
percentage of the students were admitted to church membership. There 
were many cases of church discipline. Councils were frequently held to 
ordain missionaries for the foreign service. Feb. 23, 1864, Joseph A. 
Leach was ordained as chaplain of the 19th Regiment U. S. colored troops. 
In 1859, n was voted to adopt the "Sabbath Hymn and Tune Book'' in 
chapel worship and other religious meetings. Sept. 26, 1S69, E. S. Snell 
and Edward Hitchcock were elected as the first permanent deacons. The 
practice before that time had been to elect as deacons two members of the 
senior class, to serve one year. In 1877, a leader of the choir and an 
organist were chosen. In 18S9, a plan proposed by Dr. Burroughs was 
adopted, for receiving students from other churches on certificate, who did 
not transfer their relation to the church by letter. 

In connection with the College church, and under its immediate super- 
vision, an interesting and valuable mission work has been conducted among 
the colored residents of Amherst. The years immediately succeeding the 
close of the civil war brought with them to Amherst, as to many towns in 
New England, a considerable increase in the colored population. A 
majority of these people were useful and industrious citizens, abundantly 


* : 0$*r 



able to provide for their own bodily needs, but lacking for many years the 
religious privileges enjoyed by their Caucasian brethren. The missionary 
enterprise which resulted in the building of Zion chapel was inaugurated 
by three women connected with the College church, two of them wives of 
college professors, the other a resident of the town while her sons were 
being educated at the college. As early as 1.SO1, a Sunday-school class 
had been organized among the colored people. Its meetings were held, 
at first in the Amherst Academy building, and after the latter was torn 
down, in the brick school-house on Pleasant street, and later in the chapel 
of the hirst Congregational church, in the rear of what is now known as 
College hall. 

In 1S6S, the trustees of Amherst College gave permission for erecting 
a building for chapel purposes on land owned by the college at the corner 
of Northampton and Parsons streets. The sum of $697.90 was raised by 
subscription for a building, of which $117.30 was contributed by colored 
persons ; the largest cash donation was Si 00. the smallest ten cents. The 
building was erected, and was dedicated March 12. 1869. The exercises 
of dedication were conducted by President Stearns. assisted by Professors 
Hitchcock. Tyler and Seelye, and Rev. J. L. Jenkins. The cost of the 
building was $601. Many articles of furniture were contributed, some by 
persons living in Amherst, others by men and women living in distant 
towns and cities who had been impressed with the nature and importance 
of the work that was being carried on. At the time the chapel was dedi- 
cated, there were 91 colored people resident in Amherst, and the average 
attendance at the school was 30. J. 1!. Seabury, a student at the college, 
had been in chnrge of the school for the two years preceding. 

The first mention of Zion chapel found in the College church records 
is under date of Feb. i, 1S77, when it was voted to appropriate $25 during 
the year for the expense of fuel and lights at regular meetings in the 
chapel, if the receipts from collections should be sufficient after defraying 
the current expenses of the church. Dec. 13, 1877. the church voted to 
expend the balance of receipts for 1878, from collections on communion 
Sundays, after the regular church expenses had been paid, as follows : 1st, 
$25 for lights and fuel at Zion chapel; 2d, S25 to Rev. S. L. Hobbs : 3d. 
an additional §25 to Rev. S. L. Hobbs if the colored people should pay 
an equal amount in addition to what they paid in 1S77. Feb. 29, 1880, 
$25 was appropriated for expenses of the mission school, to be placed in 
the hands of the lady teachers; also $25 per quarter to Rev. Mr. Hobbs 
for services at the mission branch, provided those in attendance paid at the 
rate of $8 per quarter. Oct. 5, 1882. it was voted to pay Si 00 to Rev. 
D. W. Marsh for his services at Zion chapel during the coming year. 

In addition to the mission work conducted under the auspices of the 



College church at Zion chapel, students at the college have for many years- 
engaged in regular mission work at two stations, one at the school-house 
in the southeast part of Amherst, the other at a school-house in what is 
known as " Pratt's Corner " in Shutesbury. Regular services are held in 
these places Sunday afternoons during the college terms. The missionary 
spirit has ever been strong among the alumni of Amherst College, as is 
testified by the considerable percentage of their number who have engaged 
in home and foreign mission work. The words of wisdom and eloquence 
uttered from the pulpit of the College church have echoed " from Green- 
land's icy mountains to India's coral strand." 


The Baptist Church. — Connection with Churches in New Salem 
and Northampton. — Independent Organization. — Pastors and 
Terms of Service. — The Meeting-House. — Methods of Raising 
Funds. — Misc Ella n eous Votes. 

It was nearly ninety-three years after the organization of the church 
in Hadley, Third Precinct, ere another church, differing from it in faith 
and doctrine, was regularly organized in the town of Amherst. In Novem- 
ber, 1827, the following communication was addressed to the First Baptist 
church in New Salem : 

■■ The Undersigned, being so situated that we can enjoy but little of gospel 
privilege with you & finding many students in tin- .Academy & College ec others 
members scattered through Amherst & vicinity belonging to different Chhsof our 
faith & in der, all as sheep without a Shepherd — We feel it our indispensable duty 
to unite & exert ourselves to remedy these existing evils & procure greater religious 

Therefore, to promote the honour ec glory of God, the good of his cause and 
the wel fa 1 e of our own souls, & others in the establishment of the worship of < lod & 
the privileges of the Gospel among us, we wish to be set off as a branch of this 
Chh. vested with certain rights & privileges necessary to carry our objects into 
effe< 1 .is shown in the following proposed resolution."" 

This paper was signed by Stephen S. Nelson, an elder of the Baptist 
church in New Salem but resident in Amherst, and the following members 
of his family : Emilia Nelson, Emilia 1). Nelson, William F. Nelson and 
Ephraim k. Nelson. The " resolutions " submitted were agreed to by the 



church in New Salem, as testified by the clerk of the church under date of 
Nov. 18, 1827. They conferred the following rights and privileges upon 
the members of the church resident in Amherst : To be setoff as a branch 
of the church, by the name of the " Branch of the First Baptist Church in 
New Salem :" to notify and hold meetings for worship and business, and 
vote and do business among themselves independently ; to employ ministers 
of their own choosing and support them in their own way: to admit 
members among them, watch over and discipline them, and, if found 
necessary, to remove them ; to enjoy the ordinances and privileges of the 
gospel among themselves or with the parent church ; to pay ami support 
individually with the parent church only in accordance with the privileges 
enjoyed by them; to establish for themselves any constitution, creed or 
covenant not inconsistent with the Bible or with churches in their fellow- 
ship : to enjoy all other rights and privileges of an independent church and 
be considered as such except that they be called a branch of the church 
in New Salem ; but in case they should cease to keep up their worship 
then they were to be considered as members of the parent church. 

The first meeting of the Amherst branch of the First baptist Church 
in New Salem was held at the house of Rev. Stephen S. Nelson, Dec. 7, 
1827. Mr. Nelson was chosen moderator, and Rev. Solomon Peck, pro- 
fessor of Latin and Hebrew at Amherst College, clerk. The moderator 
and clerk were appointed a committee to prepare a creed and covenant. 
This committee reported at a meeting held Dec. 12, and after discussion 
and amendment, the articles submitted by them were adopted, at a 
meeting held Dec. 18. At the latter meeting a committee was appointed 
to prepare a code of articles whereby to express the sentiments of the 
church on important principles of faith and practice, not specially noted in 
creed and covenant. Feb. 29, 1S28, the church voted that the Lord's 
Supper be celebrated on the evening of Sunday, March 9 ; on the latter 
date the communicants met at the house of Rev. S. S. Nelson and held 
their first conlmunion service, ten members of the church taking part, 
eight males and two females. Sept. 19, 1830. it was voted expedient that 
the church be dismissed from the church in New Salem, and become a 
branch of the Baptist church in Northampton. Oct. 1 of the same year, 
it was reported that a letter of dismission had been received from the 
New Salem church ; this was afterwards presented to and accepted by the 
church in Northampton. July 3. 1831, the church voted to approve the 
maintenance of public religious worship every Tuesday evening " at the 
home of Bro. Woods." The first baptism occurred Aug. 21, 1831, two 
persons being baptized in the river at "Mill Hollow." Nov. 19, 1831,. 
it was voted that a contribution for contingent expenses and for the poor 


of the church be taken regularly after the administration of the Lord's 

At a meeting held May 5, 1832. it was voted to request a dismission 
from the church in Northampton, for the purpose of constituting a church 
in this town, to be known as "The First Baptist Church of Christ in 
Amherst." Julyc}, 1832, it was voted expedient to take immediate measures 
to constitute a church of Christ in Amherst. A committee was appointed 
to draw up articles of faith and a covenant. Invitations were sent to the 
Baptist churches in Shutesbury, Northampton, Belchertown, Sunderland and 
Montague to send pastors and delegates to a council to be held for the 
purpose of forming a church organization. This council met, Aug. 3, 
1832, at the house of Solomon Peck. Rev. L. Austin served as moderator 
and Solomon Peck as clerk. A church was organized with 40 members, 
19 male and 21 female. Public exercises were held at the brick school- 
house that stood on Pleasant street. The church voted to adopt the 
articles of faith and covenant of the Federal Street Baptist church of 
Boston. Isaac Robbins and Fli Cowls were elected deacons. Sept. 16, 
1S32, the church voted to join the Wendell association of Baptist churches, 
and was received into its fellowship the 26th of the same month. 

The first pastor of the church was Rev. Mason Ball. The precise 
date when he began preaching in Amherst is not recorded; the minutes of 
a meeting held Aug. 31, 1834, are signed by " Mason Ball, pastor." March 
10, 1835, a committee appointed to supply the pulpit engaged the services 
of Mr. Ball, "who had supplied the church for two years." Oct. 31, 1836, 
it was voted to extend a call to Rev. N. G. Lovell of Princeton, to offer 
him a salary of $500 per year, to give him three Sabbaths for a vacation 
and to move his goods to Amherst. Mr. Lovell accepted the call and 
began his labors Nov. 20. Dec. 26, 1S39, ^ r - Lovell requested a dismis- 
sion which was granted ; he preached his farewell sermon, Jan. 19, 1840. 
April 6 of the same year, Elder S. S. Nelson was requested to preach until 
a minister should be settled; he agreed to supply the pulpit until the first 
Sabbath in May. July 19, Elder Joseph Hodges was invited to supply the 
pulpit at a salary of $300. Mr. Hodges accepted and began his labors 
Aug. 2, continuing with the church for one year when he left and went to 
Coleraine. At a meeting of the church and society, held Aug. 8, 1841, it 
was voted unanimously to keep up the worship in the meeting-house every 
Lord's day, "preaching or no preaching." Such was the temper of the 
men and women who were the founders of the Baptist church in Amherst, 
not easily discouraged, but determined under no circumstances to abandon 
the undertaking in which they had engaged. At this meeting the deacons 
invited Elder S. S. Nelson to preach to them. Soon afterwards. Rev. Mr. 


Chase was sent by the Baptist conference to supply the pulpit, and remained 
until December. 

Dec. 1, 1842, the church extended a call to Rev. George Waters of 
Norwich, Conn., to become its pastor, at a salary of $500. Mr. Waters 
accepted, and began his labors Dec. 25. He served very acceptably to 
church and congregation for three years, but in the spring of 1846 dissen- 
sions arose between pastor and people which led to a serious schism in the 
church. The primary cause of trouble would seem to have been a disturb- 
ance of church meetings by some of the younger members of the 
congregation, together with the punishment indicted upon them. This led 
to argument and ill-feeling, and soon the church-members were arrayed in 
two opposing parties. The pastor's opponents called an ex-parte council 
of delegates from baptist churches in towns near by, which met at the 
meeting-house, Feb. 10, 1846. The pastor and his adherents also called 
an ex-parte council, which met the following day. The members of the 
two councils decided to join forces and hold a mutual council to considei 
all matters at issue. To this action both parties to the controversy 
consented: the council having considered all the testimony presented 
decided that there was fault on both sides and advised a reconciliation. 
Feb. 22, 1X46, the church, at Mr. Waters' request, voted to give him a 
letter of dismission. As a result of this trouble, many members withdrew 
from the communion and the usefulness of the church was seriously 

Feb. 28. 1846. the church extended a call to Rev. Mason Ball. Mr.. 
Ball accepted and served the church for several months. April 21, 1851, 
Rev. F. A. Cummings was called to the pastorate : he accepted, and was 
ordained and installed, May 8. He continued in service until Oct. 17, 
1852, when he was dismissed at his request, the church at the same 
meeting which acted on his dismission voting to extend a call to Rev. E. 
Anderson. Mr. Anderson accepted, and recognition and consecration 
services were held Dec. 15. His pastorate was brief, terminating, at his 
request, Sept. 3, 1853. Dec. 31, 1S53, the church invited Rev. E. A. 
Cummings to become its pastor again, " as soon as consistent with his 
previous engagements." He accepted the call and continued in service 
until January, 1855, when he resigned. During the greater part of 1855, 
the pulpit was supplied by George S. Stockwell. Oct. 5, 1856, a call was 
extended to Rev. J. T. Smith of Bristol, Conn., which he accepted. He 
continued in the service for more than eight years, resigning his office, 
Jan. 27. 1865. The church voted not to accept the resigation, but Mr.. 
Smith insisted and preached his farewell sermon, April 31. 

Feb. 18, 1866, the church extended a call to Rev. A. J. Padelford ; he 
accepted and began his labors Feb. 25. Recognition services were held. 


March 21, and on the same day the church was rededicated having under- 
gone extensive repairs and alterations. Mr. Padelford continued in office 
until March 1, 1868. when he tendered his resignation. The church 
appointed a committee to request him to reconsider his action, but he refused. 
The church voted, in May, to secure the services of Prank E. Tower of 
Petersham as stated supply for the remainder of the year. In October of 
the same year, it was voted expedient to ordain Mr. Tower and install 
him as pastor of the church. He accepted the call in a letter dated Nov. 
18, and was ordained and installed, Dec. 23. The first year of his ministry 
was marked by a great revival, resulting in many conversions. Dec. 23, 
1S71, Mr. Tower resigned, and March 24, 1872, Rev. A. P. Kuel of New 
London, Conn, was called to the pastorate. He did not accept at the 
time, but consented to supply the pulpit. The call was renewed, June 30, 
and this time was accepted. The date when Mr. Buel's pastorate ended is 
not recorded, but April 6, 1873, the church extended a call to Rev. J. V. 
Osterhout of Webster, which he declined. May 18, 1873, a call was 
■extended to Rev. D. F. Lamson of Northboro ; this also was declined. 

Rev. Sylvester Burnham supplied the pulpit for a time, and in July, 
1873, was called to the pastorate. He accepted, and continued in service 
until March of the following year, when he resigned. In May of the 
same year, a call was extended to 1). W. Hoyt which he accepted, and was 
ordained, July 29. In 1875, a branch of the church was organized in 
Erving. Mr. Hoyt resigned in March, 1880; Dec. 12 of the same year, 
a call was extended to Rev. G. F. Genung. He accepted, and recognition 
services were held in January, 1881. He continued in office until January, 
1884. when he resigned. The church at first refused to accept his resigna- 
tion, but he insisted. Rev. J. B. Child was called to the pastorate the 
same year, continuing in office until March, 1S92, when he resigned. In 
October of the same year. Rev. G. W. Holman accepted an invitation to 
settle as pastor of the church. 

The first mention of a meeting-house is found in the church records 
under date of May 11, 1834, when an agent was appointed to solicit aid 
from abroad to build a meeting-house. Oct. 24, 1834, the church passed 
the following vote: " Where'as several individuals have taken efficient 
measures to erect a meeting-house by subscription to be the property of 
the First Baptist Chh. in Amherst, and whereas they have connected with 
the said house a basement story which the Chh. may own as their property 
provided they will defray the expense of said basement story. And whereas 
the building Committee have made the above proposal therefor. Voted to 
take the Basement Story as our property." A committee of five was 
appointed to finish the basement, and authorized to hire money to pay the 


expense. April 25, 1836, Seth Fish, Salvader Andrews and Austin East- 
man were appointed deacons to hold the meeting-house in trust. 

July 6, 1837, the church adopted a constitution and series of regula- 
tions for the management and disposal of church property. The preamble 
reads as follows : "The 1st Baptist Chh. in Amherst having erected a 
house for divine worship for the accommodation of themselves and others 
who choose to meet with them wish to be guided by the following regula- 
tions in the management and disposal of their house of worship and other 
property." This constitution contained, among others, the following 
provisions : That the meeting-house and all other property belonging to 
the church should be " considered as theirs, under their management and 
at their disposal ;" the settled pastor or stated preacher should ever be a 
" regular Orthodox Baptist minister ;" if the church should ever be 
dissolved or become extinct, the meeting-house and all other property 
belonging to the church, except such slips or other property as were owned 
by private individuals, should revert to the treasury of the Massachusetts 
Baptist Convention ; every pew in the meeting-house should be subject to 
the provisions of the constitution ; should the church at anytime consider 
it expedient to demolish, move, alter, repair or rebuild the meeting-house, 
each pew-owner should give up his pew for that purpose and be allowed 
full value of his pew when thus surrendered, provided he should take the 
amount of said valuation in a pew or pews in the meeting-house when 
rebuilt or so altered and repaired. 

At a meeting held May 23, 1837. it was voted " To give back the bonds 
to our trustees that the basement of our meeting-house may be sold for 
$2500 and clear the Chh. of all debt for our meeting-house except about 
$ioooor $tioo." June 22. 1837, the trustees were authorized to sell 
enough of the " pew ground" or slips in the meeting-house to pay the debt 
due the building committee of said house. No pews were to be sold at a 
less price than appraised, and they were to be sold only on such conditions 
as should secure the pulpit forever to a regular orthodox Baptist minister. 
July 7, 1839, the church extended a vote of thanks to persons who by 
generous assistance had enabled them to pay off the debt on the meeting- 
house. April 21, 185 1, it was voted "to approve and encourage the 
painting and repairing of the meeting-house. " For many years the base- 
ment of the meeting-house was used for store purposes. Oct. 4, 1862, it 
was voted to see whether the church could have a room in the basement 
for prayer and conference purposes, if so, what must be done to put it in 
order. March 23, 1864, a committee was appointed to fit and furnish the 
southwest room in the basement as a vestry ; the first meeting in the new 
vestry was held June 4, 1S65. Sept. 12. 1864, a committee was appointed 
to procure plans and estimates for repairing the house of worship ; they 


reported a plan involving the expenditure of $1000, and a committee was 
appointed to raise funds for carrying on the work. July 7, 1879, the 
church voted to rent the vestry to Postmaster Jameson for $50 a month. 

In the years immediately following the organization of the church, 
various methods were resorted to for the purpose of raising funds, for the 
payment of current expenses. Feb. 1, 1834, an agent was appointed to 
attend the state convention, to secure aid to support the gospel ministry. 
March 10, 1835, two agents were appointed to solicit aid to pay arrearages 
for preaching. A committee was appointed to circulate subscription papers 
to raise money to be paid monthly for the purpose of supporting preaching 
the coming year. Dec. 12, 1836, it was voted that all the pecuniary 
expenses of the church, with the pastor's salary, be averaged upon each 
member of the church, according to their ability. Jan. 17, 1837, it was 
voted to make all the pews in the meeting-house free. May 6, 1866, a 
committee was chosen to have charge of the church finances. In 1869, it 
was voted to make the seats free and to take collections for current 

Oct. 31, 1836, a committee was appointed "to procure an apparatus 
to warm the meeting-house." June 22, 1837, it was voted that the sexton 
be furnished with oil to light the house. In 1838, the trustees were 
authorized to deed a pew to the pastor of the church and his successors 
in office, to be held by them as a " minister's pew " forever. April 5, 1844, 
it was voted " to authorize the committee heretofore appointed by the 
church to put in the baptistery into the Baptist meeting-house to finish 
said work by placing a carpet upon the platform of the desk and the platform 
in front of the desk, and whatever is necessary to complete the work." 
Oct. 2, 1870, it is recorded that the ordinance of baptism was omitted 
owing to a lack of water to fill the baptistery. Mention is first made of 
the appointment of ushers, in 1838. June 30, 1833, a set of communion 
vessels was presented to the church by Elisha Bogue, Esq. In 1846, it 
was voted to procure the juice of the grape for communion services. In 
1852 it was voted to dispense with the use of the juice of the grape and 
to use "sweet wine" at communion. In 1866, a silver communion service 
and set of table linen was presented to the church. The subject of 
temperance seems to have attracted the attention of the church at an early 
date. It was voted, in 1835, to form a temperance society. In 1843, it 
was voted that it was the duty of every member of the church to belong 
to some temperance society, and the following resolution was passed : 
" We as a church cannot hold fellowship with any member of the same 
faith and order with ourselves, or receive to the ordinance of baptism and 
subsequent fellowship any person who will not adopt the aforesaid 


In 183S, new articles of faith and a new covenant were adopted. In 
1840, a committee was appointed to meet in Gummington with other 
churches, to form a society " to promote gospel preaching and Christian 
edification among churches in destitute places in this region." Feb. 24. 
1843, standing rules and regulations for the church were adopted. May 
19, 1848, it was voted " to form the church into a benevolent association, 
with a constitution and by-laws." In 1857, it was voted to sustain a 
weekly prayer-meeting. Another change in creed and covenant was made 
in 1864. Rules for the regulation of the Sunday-school were adopted in 
1878, and a Sunday-school constitution in 1881. In 187S, a committee 
was appointed to take charge of a series of entertainments to be given 
during the winter. Many cases of church discipline are recorded, quite a 
number on account of members absenting themselves from religious 
services. In 1835, a committee was appointed to visit a brother, "for the 
purpose of stirring him up to his duty in attending meetings." 

The first mention in regard to church music is found in the records 
under date of 1838, when there was a little trouble in the choir. Dec. 5, 
1840, it was voted, "To draw 6 dollars from our treasury to pay for a 
flute for the use of the Chh in aiding their Chh music. It is ever to be 
considered as the Chh's property exclusively & wholly and always at their 
disposal." In 1878, an organ society was formed and purchased an organ 
and put it in ; in the same year, a committee on singing was appointed. 
The " old organ " was presented to the Baptist church in Wendell. June 
18, 1879, a committee was appointed to investigate and report in regard to a 
parsonage. This committee reported, June 30, that H. I). Fearing had 
offered to give them his house if they would grade the cellar for his new 
house. The committee advised the church to accept this offer and to 
purchase the lot north of D. W. Palmer's house as a site for the building, 
at an expense of $800. The offer was accepted, but the committee after- 
wards purchased what was known as the " Hannah Wedge lot " as a site 
for the parsonage. 



Methodist Episcopal Churches. — Grace Church. — St. Bridget's 
Church. — Second Advent Church. — Universalis'! - Church. 
— Church Associations. — Hampshire East Association. — 
Hampshire East Conference. 

Within a little more than a half century three Methodist churches 
have been organized in Amherst, one of which has gone out of existence, 
another is continued in union with the church in West Pelham, while the 
third, the Wesley M. E. church, is well supported and bears an honored 
place among the church organizations of the town. Of the church at 
North Amherst, the parent organization, complete and interesting records 
have been preserved, to which the writer is largely indebted for the follow- 
ing facts. In the month of August, 1842, Rev. E. S. Potter began to 
preach in the school-house at North Amherst "City." He held his 
appointment under the presiding elder of the Springfield District, New 
England M. E. Conference. A part of the time he preached at Hadley. 
As a result of his labors at North Amherst, a society was organized, with 
45 members. In 1843, the New England Conference re-appointed Mr. 
Potter to Hadley and North Amherst. He resided in the latter place and 
preached with great acceptance. In June, 1843, he withdrew from the M. 
E. church to unite with the " Wesleyan Connection." Through his influence 
many of the members withdrew from the M. E. society to unite with the 
same " Connection." He continued his labors at North Amherst until 
the meeting of the Wesleyan M. E. Conference in 1844, when he 
received another appointment. The Wesleyan Conference, in 1844, 
appointed Rev. James Billings to North Amherst and Hadley ; he remained 
until October, when he removed from town and was succeeded by Rev. 
fohn Pike, who continued his labors until the close of the conference 
year. In 1S45, Rev. William Bevins preached at North Amherst and 
Hadley, under appointment of the Wesleyan ('(inference; the same Con- 
ference appointed Rev. Mr. Palmer to the charge in 1S46, but on visiting 
the station and becoming acquainted with its prospects he declined the 
appointment, and left the pulpit unsupplied. From April to November, 
the church was without a regular preacher; in November, Rev. J. W. 
Dadmun of the M. E. church was engaged to supply the pulpit until the 
next session of the New England M. E. Conference, held in April, 1847. 
Prom April, 1847, to April, 1848, the station was without a preacher. 




In April. 1848, Rev. J. M. Clark of the M. E. church was appointed to 
the charge. On his arrival, he found a few friends of the M. E. church, 
but no members. March 9, 1S49, an official Board was organized, accord- 
ing to the usage of the M. E. Church. The Conference met at the house 
of the minister, and Jonas M. Clark was elected secretary. The minister 
reported but three church members in full communion, but the probationary 
term of several others had nearly expired. The minister's " disciplinary 
allowance " amounted to S370. In April, 1849, Rev. H. M. Nichols was 
appointed as -Mr. Clark's successor, and was continued in the charge two 
years. During his ministry, the church declined in spirituality and there 
was a considerable deficiency in the finances. From April. 1851, to 
December, 1854, there were no records of church doings. In October, 
[854, Rev. W. M. Hubbard was pastor, continuing in charge until 
the close of the conference year. From 1855 to 1858, there was no 
regular pastor, but students from Amherst College preached occasionally. 
From 1858 to i860, Rev. John Peterson served as pastor, the church 
enjoying a good degree of prosperity. From i860 to 1861, Rev. J. O. 
Peck, a student at Amherst College, served as pastor; he was succeeded 
by Rev. Robert IF Wilder and Rev. Rufus Gerrish, each of whom served 
for one year. 

In 1863, Rev. John Jones, a local preacher resident in Pelham, supplied 
the pulpit on the Sabbath and continued his services with the society until 

1867, From 1867 to 1868, Rev. John W. Fee served as pastor of the 
church, under appointment of the New England M. F. Conference. In 

1868, Rev. John Jones was once more pastor in charge. From April, 

1869, to August of the same year, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Lorenzo 
Dibble, a local preacher; for the remainder of the year local preachers 
from Wilbraham Academy preached occasionally. In 1870. William S. 
Jagger, not then ordained, was the preacher in charge. Rev. John Jones 
supplied the pulpit in 187 1 and in 1872. and in 1873, Rev. D. K. Banister 
was appointed to the charge. In 1S74, Rev. S. L. Rodgers was appointed 
to the "Amherst circuit" and remained in charge until 1876. For several 
years the church was without a regular supply for its pulpit. Rev. Jason 
Hatch serving as preacher for a time in 1S81, and in 1S82, the charges at 
Amherst and North Amherst were combined, under the care of one pastor. 
In 1887, the church at North Amherst and the church at West Pelham 
were united as one charge. The pastor appointed in 1S94 was Rev. George 
Hudson, and 1895, Rev. E. B. Marshall. 

The chapel building, located at the "City." was built in 1844. and 
was dedicated Jan. 1, 1845, rne dedication sermon being preached by Rev. 
E. S. Potter. The chapel was built by a stock company and owned by 
them, the principal stockholders at the time of its construction being Peter 


Ring and L. J,. Draper. Repairs costing some $400 were made on the 
building in 1S67 ; in 1874, a vestry was built and alterations made on the 
chapel at the cost of 5600. 


Of the Methodist church at South Amherst, no records are in exist- 
ence. The only accurate information in regard to it is found in the records 
of the New England M. E. Conference, which contain a list of the preachers 
in charge. The church was probably organized in 1847, as tne church 
building was erected in that year and completed in the spring of 1848. 
This building stood at the corner of the Bay Road and East street at South 
Amherst, on land owned by Dwight E. Dickinson. It is still standing, 
though moved from its former location since the church organization was 
given up. It is now used for other purposes. 

For several years the station was united with that at North Belchertown, 
with one preacher in charge. The list of ministers, as found on the 
conference records, is as follows : 1848, John Smith; 1849—51, Ephraim 
Scott; 1851-53, Daniel Wait; 1853-54. David Todd; 1858-60, John 
Jones; 1862-63, John Jones; 1864-65, J. M. Hascall : 1866-67, J. W. 
Eee ; r866-68, E. F. Pilcher; 1869-70, Lorenzo Dibble and YV. S. [agger. 
There is no record of preaching at the Methodist church in South Amherst 
after 1875, anc ' 't is probable that church services were discontinued at 
about that time. 


The Methodist church at Amherst center was organized in 186S as a 
branch of the church at North Amherst. It was composed, in part, of 
members of the latter organization, together with a few members from the 
church in Pelham. It was organized as a separate society in August, 
1875, when the first quarterly conference was held. The first meetings 
were held in Parmenter's hall at East Amherst. At the first meeting of 
the church. Cummings Fish, ( ). S. Latham and Hiram Ballon were appointed 
trustees, and O. S. Latham Sunday-school superintendent. Committees 
were appointed on missions, on Sunday-school, church extension, church 
records, parsonage and furniture, church music, and estimating preacher's 
salary. The first pastor was Rev. S. L. Rodgers who was appointed to the 
"Amherst circuit " by the New England M. E. Conference. Attheendof 
the first year of its existence, the church had a membership of about 30, 
and the Sunday-school of over 50. In 1876, Rev. D. S. Coles was appointed 
pastor of the Amherst circuit, comprising the church at North Amherst 
and the new organization. After being pastor about a month, he was 
advised by the presiding elder that the interests of the church and the 
cause of Christ would be advanced if the relation between the societies 


was severed. This suggestion was promptly acted upon, and Mr. Coles 
continued as pastor of the new society at East Amherst. 

In 1877, Rev. E. C. Ferguson was pastor of the church. He was 
succeeded by Rev. E. P. King, who was appointed by the conference in 
1878, and continued in the pastorate until 1881. For the first few years 
after the church was organized, the pastor's salary was S500. Rev. W. G. 
Richardson was appointed pastor in 1881, and served for three years. 
He was succeeded, in 1884. by Rev. W. H. Daniels, who remained but one 
year. In 1885, Rev. J. H. Emerson began his pastoral services continu- 
ing in office three years. For three years, 1887-90. Rev. ('. R. Sherman 
served as pastor, he being succeeded, in 1890, by Rev. S. A. Bragg, who 
continued in office until 1894, when Rev. A. L. Squier was appointed. 

At a meeting held June 15, 1876, the trustees were instructed to buy 
a lot on which to build a church edifice. The pastor and two members 
were appointed a committee to secure funds for building purposes. 
The pastor. Rev. I). S. Coles, expressed the opinion that the 
society should take steps at once to build a church costing not more than 
$5,000. Aug. 13, 1876, the committee reported that they had received 
subscriptions, amounting only to$i, 325. Aug. 15, 1S77. the society decided 
to build a church that fall and to use all available resources. Sept. 3, the 
society accepted plans submitted for a building, appointed a building com- 
mittee and voted to secure the " Dickinson lot." The committee reported, 
Feb. 13. 1877, that they had purchased the " Whitney lot." The corner- 
stone of the church was laid. Oct. 17, 187S. and the work progressed so 
rapidly that services were held in the vestry, Jan. 26. 1S79. In 1880, a 
committee was appointed to superintend the building of sheds on the 
church lot. In 1886, the grounds about the church were graded and 
improved. A bell was procured in 1887. 

In 1880, a committee was appointed to consider the matter of building 
a parsonage. In November, 1890, Miss Betsey Locke died, bequeathing 
to the church her house and lot, the house to be used as a parsonage, or 
the property to be sold and the proceeds devoted to building a parsonage. 
The new parsonage, a neat and ornamental structure, was built in 1894. 
In 1876, it was reported that an organ had been purchased and partly paid 
for. In 18S2, a vote was passed to purchase a pipe organ. The whole 
number of church members in March, 1S77, was 25. In 188 1, a vote 
was passed to publish a small weekly paper, if it could be made self sup- 
porting, but the project was abandoned. The church has been blessed 
with many revivals of religion, one of especial interest occurring in the 
spring of 1886, another in 1890. A class-meeting was conducted from the 
beginning, in charge of Cummings Fish, lovingly remembered as " Father" 
Fish. It was given up for a time, but was revived in 1894. 



Sept. 20, 1864, a number of men residing in Amherst met at the 
residence of Mrs. Mary H. Jones, to consider the practicability of forming 
in Amherst a parish of the Protestant Episcopal church. The meeting was 
organized by choice of I. K. Conkey as chairman and O. G. Couch as 
secretary. It was voted practical and expedient at that time to elect wardens, 
vestrymen, and a parish clerk. In accordance with this vote, officers were 
chosen as follows: Senior warden, George Burnham ; junior warden, John 
M. Emerson; vestrymen, 1. F. Conkey, H. C. Nash, Horace Ward, Charles 
Deuel, Luther 1). Sheppard, John C. White, M. M. Marsh, M. N. Spear, 
R. W. Stratum ; clerk and treasurer, (). G. Couch. Rev. Frederick D. 
Huntington, at that time rector of the Emanuel church in Boston, was 
present at the meeting; it was largely owing to his efforts that the parish 
was formed. being invited to give a name to the parish, he selected that 
of " Grace church." A meeting of the vestry was held two days later, at 
which time committees were appointed to secure a place for holding 
religious services, to prepare by-laws for the government of the parish, to 
form a choir, and to recommend a location for a building for the use of 
the parish. Arrangements were made with the Baptist society for the 
temporary use of their house of worship in which to hold services, but the 
agreement was promptly canceled when Rev. Mr. Huntington announced 
that on a certain Sabbath he would preach a doctrinal sermon ; in this 
emergency, the First Congregational society offered the use of their meet- 
ing-house for the service referred to. 

Oct. 20, 1S64, the parish voted to extend a call to Rev. S. P. barker, 
I). 1)., to become the rector of Grace church, offering him a salary of 
$1,200, including S200 per annum to be paid by Rev. F. 1). Huntington. 
Mr. Parker's acceptance of the call was read at a meeting held Jan. 15, 
1865. The agreement to become members of an Episcopal parish, should' 
one lie formed, was signed by 41 names. That the parish might have a 
legal standing, and be enabled to hold property, it was necessary that it 
should be organized under the provisions of statute law. April 10, 1865, 
the following petition was addressed to Henry A. Marsh, a justice of the 
peace, resident in Amherst : 

' l The undersigned members of an unincorporated religious Society in Amherst 
in said County known as the Protestant Episcopal Society known as Grace Church 
and containing more than ten qualified voters hereby make application to you to 
issue your warrant to one of the subscribers requiring him to warn the qualified 
voters of said unincorporated Society to meet at such time and place as you may 
appoint to organize a religious Society under the Statutes of this Commonwealth 
and to act on the following articles: 

First. To choose a Clerk for said Society. 



Second, To choose a moderator to preside in said meeting. 

Third. To adopt such Bye-Laws or rules to govern said Society as shall be 
deemed best. 

Fourth. To elect such other officers for said Society as may be determined 
by its Bye-Laws or rules or as the Society may direct. 

Fifth. To determine the manner of notifying and calling future meetings of 
said Society.*' 

justice Marsh issued his warrant to John C. White, requiring him to 
notify and wain the members of the Protestant Episcopal Society known 
as ('.race Church to meet at the hall in the Academy building, April 17. to 
act on the articles set forth in the petition. The meeting was held on the 
date specified, and was organized by the choice of < >. G. (ouch as clerk 
and George Burnham as moderator. It was voted that the parish be know- 
as Grace Church parish: the officers should consist of a rector, two 
wardens, seven vestrymen, a clerk and a treasurer. The officers chosen 
were: Wardens. George Burnham. Horace Ward: vestrymen. E. I . Cook, 
I). W. Palmer. George M. Lovell. I. V. Conkey, H. ('. Nash, J. A. Faker, 
K. W. Stratton ; treasurer. ( ). G. Couch. Rev. S. P. Parker served as 
rector for four years, until Jan. 17, [869, when he tendered his resigna- 
tion, which was accepted with deep regret ; resolutions were passed express- 
ing the sense of loss experienced by church and parish in parting from one 
whose labors among them had been so untiring and crowned with such 
success. March 29. 1S69, a call was extended to Rev. Andrew Mackie, 
who accepted in a letter dated April 7. Mr. Mackie remained in office 
only two years, resigning April 12. 1871. The third rector was Rev. Henry 
K. Allen of Stockbridge, who was called to the parish in February, 1872, 
and served for five years, his resignation bearing date of Feb. 19, 1 S 7 7 . 
During his ministry the church was greatly prospered. In the spring of 
1S7S. the precise date not being recorded in the parish records. Rev. 
Frederick Burgess became rector, continuing in office until 1882. when he 
resigned. Feb. 12, 1883, a call was extended to Rev. Louis A. Arthur of 
New York city, but Mr. Arthur declined. During a part of the year 1883 
the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Mr. Tisdal. June 6, 1883. a call was 
extended to Rev. Samuel Snelling of Charlestown ; he accepted in a letter 
dated June 12. Mr. Snelling's ministry was most successful and he gained 
to a marked degree the esteem and affection of his parishioners. He 
tendered his resignation, Nov. 20, 1886, but it was voted unanimously not 
to accept the same, and he was prevailed upon to withdraw it. His resig- 
nation was tendered a second time, Dec. 19, 1887, and again a unanimous 
vote was passed against its acceptance, but although repeated and urgent 
efforts were made to retain his services, they proved unavailing. March 
26, 1888, a call was extended to Rev. W. ]. Tilley of Brandon. Vt. ; he 


accepted, and continued in office until Dec. 20, 1892, when he tendered 
his resignation, which was accepted. Mr. Tilley was a faithful and efficient 
minister, and was highly esteemed both by his parishioners and by the 
general public. In 1893, a call was extended to Rev. Walter M. Breed, 
but he declined. Aug. 28, 1893, a call was extended to Rev. David Sprague 
of Amsterdam, N. V. He accepted and began his ministry in Amherst in 
the fall of 1893. 

At a meeting of the parish held in Academy hall, Jan. 9, 1865, a 
committee was appointed to consider the matter of securing a site for the 
erection of a building, and to examine such plans for a Sunday-school room 
as might be presented to them. This committee reported, Jan. 25, in favor 
of buying the "John Emerson lot" on Prospect street as a location for the 
church, and also in favor of accepting the plans presented by R. Turner. 
The committee was authorized to buy the Emerson property, or any other 
property that they might deem more suitable. The parish voted, May 26, 
to ratifv the purchase of a part of the Newman estate as a site for the 
church building, and the wardens and vestrymen were instructed to 
purchase for the parish what was known as the Palmer estate, at such a 
time and for such a price as they should deem expedient. At the same 
meeting, it was voted that the parish build a stone church, a committee of 
five being appointed to have charge of the work. Work on the building 
was begun that year, and was carried on so rapidly that the parish held a 
meeting in the basement of the church. April 2, 1866. The building was 
consecrated by the Bishop of the diocese, July 17. It was designed by 
Henry Dudley of New York, the type of architecture being 13th century 
English. It was built of a gray gneiss, quarried in Leverett. The 
audience-room affords seating accommodations for 420 persons, and there 
is a commodious and finely-arranged Sunday-school room in the basement. 
At the time of its consecration the church contained six handsome memo- 
rial windows. A beautiful set of communion plate and linen was presented 
to the church by members of Grace church in Boston. Other articles of 
church furniture were donated by friends in Boston, New York. Springfield 
and Amherst. June 27, 1868, the parish voted, "That we accept the very 
generous offer of Rev. George Champion Shepherd, 1). D., to erect the 
tower and place therein a clock and bell." 

The parish voted, June 1 1,1866, that the pews in the church lie appraised 
yearly on or before the first Monday after Easter, and be rented at the 
annual meeting at public auction, at not less than the appraisal, by bid 
for the choice oi the same. In April, [867, the parish appropriated $2,025 
for the year's expenses, including S150 for heating and lighting, $150 for 
an organist and '-blower," and $125 for a sexton. In 1869, it was voted 
" to doawav with the assessments." In March, 1871, a committee appointed 


to consider the subject of liquidating the parish debt of some $5,000, 
proposed a plan to divide the debt into 250 shares of S20 each, to be 
assumed by subscription and paid for by promissory notes without interest, 
payable in four equal amounts on the first day of June, 1871, 1872, 1873, 
1874. A committee appointed to carry this project into execution reported, 
two months later, that all the shares had been subscribed for. 

The Kpiscopal church in Amherst, in common with its sister churches 
in neighboring towns and cities, has ever been noted for the excellence of 
the music at its religious services. At the first meeting of the vestry, a 
committee was appointed to form a choir. The records contain frequent 
allusions to the church music, and liberal sums were annually appropriated 
for its maintenance. Soon after the church was erected it was furnished 
with a fine organ. As early as 1875, ladies were engaged to sing in the 
choir. Jan. 26, 1870, it was voted. " That the parish accept the propo- 
sition of the proprietors of the rectory property, to give us a deed of the 
same to be held by the parish for its use only, and when it ceases to be 
used for parish purposes it shall revert to the above proprietors for the sum 
specified in the legal writing.'* In 1879, a proposition was made to place 
the church property in the hands of the diocese, but was decided in the 
negative. The first vote in regard to the appointment of ushers is found 
under date of 1879. In 1880. the parish accepted the offer of Professor 
Tuckerman to surround the grounds with a neat fence, at his own expense. 
The same year, it was voted to accept the bequest of a theological library 
from Rev. Samuel P. Parker, the first rector of the church. July 17. 1891, 
the church held exercises in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of 
the dedication of the church building. An interesting historical discourse 
was delivered by Bishop F. I). Huntington. 


The first communicant of the Roman Catholic church to settle in 
Amherst was John Slater. Other Catholics had lived in the town for a 
short time, but he was the first to make Amherst his home. Mr. Slater 
was born in Ireland in 1803 : in 1832. he came to Quebec, and having 
resided there some two years, in government employ, he removed to 
Vermont and afterwards, in 1840, to Amherst. He was a devoted 
adherent of the church, and frequently journeyed as far as Springfield to 
attend upon its ordinances. The first mass held in this town was celebrated 
at his house more than forty years ago. and frequently thereafter religious 
meetings were held there before a church was built. Mr. Slater was 
highly esteemed in the community, and was known as one of the pioneers 
of the Roman Catholic faith in the Connecticut Valley. He resided in 
Amherst until his death, in 1886. The first priest to officiate at religious 


services in Amherst was Rev. Father Blinkensop of Chicopee. Other 
priests who visited the town occasionally and held services, before a church 
was organized, were Fathers O'Callahan, Sullivan, Straine and Cavanaugh. 
When Rev. P. V. Moyce came to Northampton, a mission was established 
at Amherst. 

As early as 1870, Father Moyce conceived the idea of building a 
Roman Catholic church in Amherst. He at once began to take subscrip- 
tions for this purpose, being assisted in the work by Professor and Mrs. 
Charles A. Goessmann. In less than one year $3,000 had been subscribed. 
In August, 1870, the contract for the building was let to McDonald Bros, of 
Waterbury, Conn. Work on the structure was begun at once, and it was 
completed in March, 187 1. It stands on Pleasant street, is a Gothic 
structure, built of wood, 48x81 feet on the ground floor, with a gallery at 
the west end for a choir-loft. It will seat about 480 persons, and its cost 
was some $13,000. It was dedicated, June 25, 1871, Right Rev. Bishop 
O'Rielly of Springfield officiating, and was given the name St. Bridget's 
church. The sermon was preached by Rev. Father Hendricken of 
Waterbury, Conn. Previous to the erection of this building, church 
services had been held for a time in the school-house on Pleasant street, 
and later in 1'almer's hall. 

It is to be regretted that the only records of the church available are 
baptismal records. The church has been a power for good in the commu- 
nity ; doubtless there are many interesting events in its history that should 
here be recorded, but the few facts presented were obtained with difficulty. 
The older members of the church have died or removed from town, and 
while those remaining have offered all assistance in their power the records 
here given are of necessity brief and incomplete. The first settled pastor 
of the church was Rev. Francis Brennan, who came to Amherst from 
Holyoke in February, 1872, remaining until July, 1878. For several years 
thereafter the church was conducted as a mission of the church in North- 
ampton, with Rev. M. K. Barry in charge. In 1887, Rev. J. 1!. Drennan 
became the pastor in charge, remaining until September, 1891. Rev. J. 
H. Gavin took charge of the parish in 1891. The Sunday-school connected 
with the church was organized in 1872. In 1870, the cemetery at Plain- 
ville. Hadley, called St. Bridget's cemetery, was consecrated by Archbishop 


for more than seventeen years a church holding to the faith of the 
Second Advent has been in existence at South Amherst. Although small 
in numbers, and destitute of a building in which to hold religious services, 
its members have held meetings with great regularity and a good degree 




of interest has been maintained. Several members of the church were 
former members of the Congregational society at South Amherst, and 
when the new organization was projected it met with little favor at the 
hands of those who adhered to the orthodox faith. The hard feelings that 
were first excited by the action of its founders have worn away, and their 
neighbors have learned to respect their motives however little the}' may 
sympathize in their faith. Following the custom of their sect, they observe 
the seventh day of the week as their Sabbath. Their meetings are held 
in the homes of the church members. Feb. 28, [878, a meeting was held 
at the call of Elder I). A. Robinson, for the purpose of forming a church 
organization. At this meeting a church was formed with eleven members, 
six men and rive women. J. F. Sanderson was chosen treasurer. G. H. 
Murphy clerk and F. (7. Bolter leader. July [3 of the same year, F. G. 
Bolter was chosen superintendent of the Sunday-school. Sept. 29, the 
ordinance of baptism was administered to six persons. At a meeting held 
Jan. 5, 1879. nearly every one present agreed to give up one-tenth of their 
earnings for the year to the cause of the church. Vpril 8, [893, F. G. 
bolter resigned as leader of the church and Oct. 13. 1894, E. A. Dickinson 
was chosen elder. The meetings of the church are frequently attended by 
persons of the same faith living in neighboring communities. 


The latest church organization to be formed in Amherst was that of 
the Universalist faith. From time to time main persons holding to the 
LTniversalist doctrine and belief have resided in Amherst, but no attempt 
was made by them to form an organization or hold religious services until 
1SS7. In the fall of that year, nineteen persons signed articles of agree- 
ment to associate themselves together to constitute a corporation in accord- 
ance with the provisions of the public statutes. The name of the corpor- 
ation was to be "The First LTniversalist Parish of Amherst." Its purpose 
was, to establish and sustain public worship, to cultivate the spirit of the 
Christian religion and perform the work usually done by religious parishes, 
and to do these things according to the principles and rules of the LTniver- 
salist Convention of Massachusetts. The first meeting of the signers of 
this agreement, duly warned, was held in Grand Army hall, Nov. 15. 1887. 
A code of by-laws was read and adopted. ( )fficers were elected as 
follows: President. T. W. Sloan; clerk, Henry F. Newton; treasurer, 
Lewis W. Allen ; committee, G. M. Chamberlain, J. F. Gilbert, E. G. 
Thayer, Mrs. Amelia M. Pierce. Mrs. Martha F. Cushman. The clerk 
was instructed to notify the Massachusetts Fniversalist Convention of the 
legal organization of the parish, and to request the fellowship of the con- 
vention. A charter was granted to the parish. Nov. 17. 1S87. Oct. 25, 


1888, committees were appointed on church extension, on hospitality and 
on music. 

The religious services of the parish were first held in the hall in 
Palmer's block, preachers being supplied by the state convention. When 
Palmer's block was burned, in the spring of 1888, meetings were held for 
a time in the hall in Hunt's block, and later in Pacific hall. In July, 1888, a 
call to become the settled minister of the parish was extended to Rev. J. 
Harry Holden; he accepted and began his labors, Sept. 9. Mr. Holden 
was very successful in his ministry, the parish gaining in numbers and in 
strength during his stay in Amherst, while many important lines of relig- 
ious work were marked out and developed by him. He continued in office 
until June 12, 1895, when his resignation was regretfully accepted. Jan. 
3, 1889, the parish committee was instructed to secure a lot of land as a 
.site for a church building ; the committee purchased a lot from George M. 
Chamberlain, the same year. Nov. 20. 1890, a committee was appointed 
on church building. Jan. 15, 1891, the parish voted to build a church. 
The parish committee was instructed to negotiate for the purchase of a lot 
north of the property owned by Daniel Long and to dispose of the land 
already purchased. A committee was appointed to solicit funds for 
building a church. The building committee reported, March 22, 1892, 
that $1,500 had been pledged for the church, and that the state convention 
would probably give as much more. July 19, it was voted to build a 
church in accordance with the terms of the vote of the executive committee 
of the state convention. The building was erected in 1893, and was 
dedicated Oct. 12. The church was not organized until April 22, 1894. 
The officers chosen were : Clerk and treasurer, Malcolm A. Carpenter ; 
deacon. Timothy W. Sloan ; deaconess, Martha F. Cushman. 


( )f the many associations working within and together with the church 
organizations, for religious, benevolent and charitable purposes, the scope 
of this work will permit but passing mention. Their number is legion and 
they have exerted great power for good, but many have passed from exist- 
ence and of those remaining but few have manuscript records that furnish 
authentic information. The Sunday-schools, the ladies' societies, the home 
and foreign mission organizations, the societies of young people, all have 
done faithful and efficient work and are deserving of all praise. If all are 
not here mentioned, it is not because they are undeserving of the honor, 
but space forbids. 

The first Sunday-school of which there is any existing record was 
established in England near the close of the eighteenth century. Sunday- 
schools in New England were unknown prioi to 1813. In 1820, during 


the pastorate of Rev. Daniel A. (lark, a plan and constitution for a 
Sunday-school for the First church in Amherst was prepared and presented 
by Noah Webster, Esq. It was adopted at a meeting held April 12, and a 
board of managers was appointed; April 18, the managers elected Noah 
Webster. H. Wright Strong and Samuel F. Dickinson directors; Joseph 
Fstabrook. superintendent; John Leland, Jr., treasurer ; Lucius Boltwood, 
secretary. For several years the school was indebted to Amherst College 
for superintendents and teachers. The first report of the school in exist- 
ence bears date of 1826. The school was kept only in the summer season, 
some 22 weeks. The number of pupils in the school was 150, divided 
into 19 classes, the average attendance 130 ; the library contained 165 
volumes. As late as 1850. scholars were incited to commit large numbers 
of verses from the Bible to memory ; it is related that one scholar com- 
mitted to memory in twelve weeks 450 verses. In 1820. the managers 
voted that "'the value of premium books be fixed at the retail price, and 
the same be delivered to scholars in exchange for tickets, tickets to be 
valued at one cent each." Among the earlier superintendents of the 
school were Rev. Pindar Field, Prof. Samuel A. Worcester. Rev. Joseph 
S. Clark. Rev. Justin Perkins, Rev. Simeon Colton and Prof. W. S. Tyler. 
When the meeting-house now known as College hall was elected in 1829, 
a vestry was built in the west end of the basement ; this was occupied 1>\ 
the school about ten years, when, on account of dampness and bad venti- 
lation the school was removed to the audience room above, although the 
parish voted against such action. A ladies' society was organized in the 
church in 1863, during the civil war, to aid the soldiers engaged in the 
conflict. In 1867, the ladies of the parish organized themselves into a 
•' Society for the Furtherance of Benevolent Purposes," and adopted a 
constitution. Since then, $8,500 has been raised by the society for church 
and parish purposes, and an average of over $100 per annum for home 
missionary work. Considerable work has also been done for the needy in 
the town. The Christian Endeavor society connected with the parish was 
organized Dec. 17, 1887; its first president was James Fairley ; its present 
membership is 135. 

There is no existing record of the date of organization of the Sunday- 
school connected with the Second Congregational church. The oldest resi- 
dents living in the vicinity of the church state that the school was 
established before their earliest recollection. It is probable that its 
existence dates back more than seventy years. Among the earliest super- 
intendents were Fliab Thomas, Asahel Thayer, Nelson Rust, Moses Cowles 
and Horace Gray. A ladies' society was organized in the parish, June 17, 
1868. under the name of '"'The Ladies' Benevolent Society of the Second 
Congregational Church, Amherst." It expressed purpose was to form a 


more perfect union, establish social intercourse, mutual good will, and 
hearty cheer, also to derive means for procuring funds for benevolent 
purposes." It had a membership of 20 and its first president was Mrs. 
H. H. Adams. A Christian Endeavor society was organized Nov. 8, 
1886. It first president was A. L. brush ; its present membership is 56. 

Of the earlier history of the Sunday-school connected with the South 
Congregational church, no records are in existence. B. E. Smith, a resi- 
dent of the parish when it was first formed, writes from East Granby, 
Conn., as follows : " I can fix no definite date of the organization of the 
Sunday-chool at South Amherst. I remember very distinctly attending 
meeting while the meeting house was building, in Mr. Warner's carpenter's 
shop, which stood nearly opposite Dea. Reed's house, and am confident 
that no Sundav-school was held there. My memory of Sunday-school 
commences in the meeting-house, I think very soon after it was first 
occupied. My father led me up the north aisle to the superintendent, 
who I think was Dea. N. ('. Dickinson." A ladies' society was organized 
in the parish. May 20, 1868, under name of "The Ladies' Benevolent 
Society." Its object was to raise funds for benevolent purposes and pro- 
mote Christian sympathy in the community. It had a membership of about 
50, while 20 men were associated with it as honorary members. Its first 
officers were : President, Mrs. E. C. Miller ; vice-president, Mrs. E. Graves ; 
secretary, Mrs. J. W. Dana; treasurer, Mrs. E. H. Allen. A Christian 
Endeavor society was organized, Nov. 20, 1885, with Rev. C. S. Walker 
president. The original membership was 20, present membership 53. 

The Sunday-school of the North Congregational church was organized 
in the spring of 1827. The first superintendent was Daniel Dickinson. 
Until stoves were put in the church the school was suspended in the fall, 
from Thanksgiving until May 1st. The "North Amherst Female Sewing 
Society " was organized June 5, 1837. Mrs. William W. Hunt, the pastor's 
wife, was the first president. It had an original membership of 36. In 
1854, a branch of the society was organized at the "City," with Mis. 
Dea. .Loomis as president. At the society's fiftieth anniversary it was 
announced that it had raised for benevolent purposes $4,228.60, of which 
$314.18 had been given to soldiers' hospitals during the civil war. The 
society is known at present as the "Ladies' Social Circle." A Christian 
Endeavor society was organized Jan. 14. 1885, with the pastor of the 
church, Rev. G. H. Johnson, as president. At its organization it had 14 
active and 14 associate members. Present membership 65. 

Of the organization and early history of the Sunday-school connected 
with the baptist church there are no records in existence. It is probable 
that the school was organized about the year 1832. The "Amherst baptist 
Ladies' benevolent Society " was organized March 4,1852. Its expressed 


object was " To do good and to communicate, forget not, for with such 
sacrifices God is well pleased. Believing we can best obey this injunction 
by efficient and systematic action, in behalf of the benevolent and charitable 
objects of the day. we form ourselves into a society for the promotion of 
these objects.'' The directresses of the society were Mrs. E. ("ummings, 
Mrs. C. A. McMaster, Mrs. A. Welhrian. The Christian Endeavor society 
connected with the parish was organized March 1. 1891 ; its first president 
was Frank B. Bigelow, its original membership 28. Present membership 35. 

At the first conference meeting of the M. E. church at Amherst 
center, O. S. Latham and Emma King were appointed a Sunday-school 
committee. Feb. 20, 1876, six months after the church was organized, the 
pastor reported that the Sunday-school had 50 members. (). S. Latham 
was the first superintendent. From time to time various organizations 
have been formed by the young people connected with the parish, includ- 
ing an Oxford League, a Christian Endeavor association and a Y. M. ('. A. 
In the fall of 1889, an Epworth League was organized with Walter Pember 
as president. This league belongs to what is known as Group 5 in the 
Springfield district. A Sunday-school was organized in connection with 
the Methodist church at North Amherst prior to 1849. In that year it 
had six teachers, 30 scholars, one Bible class and a library of 120 volumes. 
The total expenses of the school for the year were $11, of which $5 was 
donated to the M. F. Sunday-school association. 

The Sunday-school of Grace church parish was organized at about 
the same time as the church ; the first superintendent was Rev. S. P. 
Parker, the rector. The "Ladies Sewing Society " was organized in 1865. 
Its original object was to provide for the poor of the parish, but this was 
afterwards changed to raising funds for parish purposes. Mrs. S. P. 
Parker, wife of the rector, was the first president. The society purchased 
the building used as a parsonage and deeded it to the parish on certain 
conditions. A society of Daughters of the King was organized in 1891, 
with a membership of about 18, Miss Flora E. Lessey being its first 
president. Its object is parish work. 

The Sunday-school connected with the Universalist church was 
organized Sept. 10. 1888. Rev. J. Harry Holden was elected temporary 
superintendent ; at the end of three months, W. M. Shepardson was chosen 
superintendent. The school when organized had about 30 members. 
The " Universalist Ladies" Social and Sewing Circle of Amherst " was 
organized May 10. 1887, the first president being Mrs. George M. Cham- 
berlain; its object was parish work. At the annual meeting in May, 1895, 
the name of the organization was changed to the " Ladies' Aid Society of 
the Cniversalist Church of Amherst." A Young People's Christian 


Union was organized April 18, 1894, with 14 members: its first president 
was Elma S. Newton. 

A Christian Endeavor society was organized at Mill Valley in 1889, 
as the outgrowth of a series of neighborhood prayer-meetings. Its first 
president was Miss Grace Phillips. The society disbanded April 1, 1895. 


The reiigious history of Amherst would be incomplete without reference 
to two institutions which, while not distinctively of Amherst origin, have 
exerted a powerful influence upon the religious life of the place, and, from 
their frequent meetings in this town, and the large number of Amherst 
citizens connected with them, have come in time to be regarded as local 
organizations. The Hampshire East Association of Congregational ministers 
is of ancient and honorable origin. The body from which it was derived 
was known originally as the " Northern Association of Hampshire in the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts." David Parsons of Hadley Third 
Precinct was admitted to its membership in 1745. Eater on it was known 
as the "Central Association in the County of Hampshire." To its fellow- 
ship were admitted the following pastors of churches in Amherst : Rev. 
Ichabod Draper, in 1786; Nathan Perkins, Jr., 1810; Daniel A. Clark,. 
1820: Zephaniah S.Moore, 1822; Royal Washburn. 1826; Horace B. 
Chapin, 1826; \V. W. Hunt, 1827; Heman Humphrey, 1826; Thomas 
Shepherd, 1834; Josiah Pent, 1838; Gideon Dana, 1838; George Cooke, 
1838; Aaron M. Colton, 1841. 

The Hampshire East Association was organized Nov. 16, 1841. by a 
division of the Hampshire Association. The Amherst members at the 
time were Nathan Perkins, Heman Humphrey, William Tyler. John San- 
ford, John Whiton, George Cooke, Aaron M. Colton and Dana Goodsell. 
Of those who signed the constitution of the new organization but one. 
Rev. Warren H. Beaman, at that time a resident of North Hadley but 
later of Amherst, is now living. The constitution declared as the basis of 
assocation "the system of doctrines contained in the 'Assembly's Shorter 
Catechism.''" Its business was " to examine and license suitable candi- 
dates for the Gospel ministry, to inquire after religious intelligence, to 
give advice, when requested, respecting Gospel Order, to consider Cases 
of Conscience, discuss questions and criticise sermons, exegeses. Skeletons 
and Dissertations, presented for that purpose." The first meeting was 
held Nov. 16, 1841, at the house of Rev. A. M. Colton, 17 persons being 
present. Rev. Nathan Perkins served as moderator and Rev. George Cooke 
as scribe. The vote of the Hampshire Association, passed in answer to a 
petition, was read; it gave the petitioners dismission from the old asso- 
ciation with leave to organize a new one. It was voted to adopt the name 


of the Hampshire East Association. At a meeting held Feb. 8, 1842, a 
committee from the Hampshire Association was present and urged a 
reconsideration of the action in forming the new body, but the request was 
refused. A constitution and by-laws were adopted Feb. 9, 1842. 

In addition to discussion of questions relating distinctively to theology 
and religion, the association considered leading questions of the times. 
Slavery, intemperance, the Mexican war, these were among the topics 
discussed in the earlier years. Careful attention was devoted to the 
position of the human body while its owner was engaged in prayer, and to 
the question as to whether Saturday or Sunday evening should be observed 
as "holy time." In 1847, tne association passed resolutions of approval 
of the American Peace society. In 1 851, it endorsed the Maine liquor 
law. Feb. 10, 1S58, it voted to pay $250 toward the support of the 
ministry in Prescott, the sum to be assessed upon the churches. In 1859, 
the question was discussed, " Are there any good and efficient reasons 
why the annual Fast should be abolished?" it being decided in the negative, by 
unanimous vote. The same year, it was voted, " That in the opinion of 
this Association the raising of tobacco is an immorality." May 11, 1859, 
it was voted to raise $300 for the support of the Gospel in Pelham the 
ensuing year. It was voted, in February, i860, to adopt the report of a 
committee in favor of establishing a conference of churches in the district ; 
a constitution to govern such a conference was adopted May 6. In i86i t 
the association became engaged in a controversy with the Eastern Hampden 
Association, as to the " regularity " of the organization of the Congrega- 
tional church at South Hadley Falls, but the question was finally settled in 
an amicable way. June 6, 1865, the wives of the brethren present were 
invited to participate in the exercises. 

In i873,itwas voted to hold all meetings of the association in Amherst. 
The practice had been, from the beginning, to hold the meetings in 
succession at the homes of the members of the body. In 1876, an invi- 
tation was extended and accepted to hold the meetings in the parlors of 
the First Congregational church. In 1874, resolutions were passed in 
favor of committing the churches to active temperance work. At a meet- 
ing held June 1, 1880, it was voted to devote fifteen minutes to "prayer 
for the country, with special reference to the political conventions of the 
month for nominating candidates for the presidency." In September, 1881, 
resolutions were passed in respect to the memory of James A. Garfield, 
the martyr president. At the same meeting, it was voted to approve the 
plan of securing an evangelist to labor within the boundaries of the 
conference, and to recommend to the conference to take steps at their 
next meeting t3 institute such an enterprise. Dec. 2, 18S4, on invitation 


of President Seelye, the place for holding the regular quarterly meetings 
was changed to Walker hall, where they have since been held. 

Sept. 20, 1887, a committee was appointed to memorialize the national 
government, on behalf of the association, with reference to Indian schools. 
At a meeting held Feb. 5, 1889, the following resolution was adopted, a 
copy being forwarded to President-elect Harrison : " Resolved, that in our 
opinion, out of respect for the character of General Harrison, president- 
elect, and for the highest general good, on so public an occasion as the 
approaching inauguration ceremonies, intoxicating liquors should be 
dispensed with ; and that in place of the usual ball, a reception, acceptable 
to all classes of citizens, should be substituted." Dec. 5, 1893, it was 
voted that the churches connected with the conference ought not to employ 
unordained and unlicensed men to do the full work of the ministry. The 
association voted to approve of their doing such evangelistic work as 
might open before them, but expressed its special disapprobation of such 
a departure from the established usage of Congregational churches, as the 
administration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper and baptism by any 
but ordained ministers. This resolution was directed toward practices that 
had obtained in the churches at Packardville and Pelham, where services 
were conducted by college students. 

The "Conference of Churches in Hampshire East Association" was 
organized at a meeting held in Granby, Nov. 13, i860. Its expressed 
object was, "the promotion of Christian Fellowship and the spiritual 
welfare of the churches." Ecclesiastial jurisdiction was expressly 
disclaimed. The churches represented at the meeting were Amherst First, 
Amherst Second, Amherst College, Amherst North. Belchertown, Enfield, 
Granby, Greenwich, Hadley First, Hadley Second, Hadley Russell, Hatfield, 
Leverett, Prescott, South Hadley First. A temporary organization was 
effected, Rev. Warren H. Beaman being chosen moderator and Rev. 
Franklin Tuxbury scribe. A constitution, prepared and submitted by a 
committee of the Hampshire East Association, was discussed, amended 
and adopted. Semi-annual meetings were to be held in the towns repre- 
sented by the churches in the conference. Soon after organization, 
the conference turned its attention to the collection of church statistics. 
At a meeting held April 24, 1866, it was voted that the committee on 
statistics be instructed to have blank tables for statistics printed and sent 
to all the pastors before the next session of the conference, so that they 
could be filled out and entered at that time, and that the committee combine 
these tables in one and have enough copies printed to put one in each 
family of the churches connected with the conference. Since this vote was 
adopted, the conference has adhered to the plan of printing and issuing 
annually the church statistics in tabulated form. 


In October, 1867, a Sunday-school convention was organized in connec- 
tion with the conference, and continued thereafter. In 1874, it was voted 
that the conference recommend to the churches composing it that a collec- 
tion be taken up by each of them during the year in aid of the sustenative 
fund for aged and infirm ministers and their families. Oct. 26, 1875, a 
memorial was adopted addressed to the managers of the Centennial Expo- 
sition, against the opening of the exposition buildings on Sunday. Oct. 
16, 1877, it was " Resolved, that we endorse the recommendation of the 
General Association at its meeting in 1876, that the churches employ at the 
sacrament of the supper the unfermented fruit of the vine." In October, 
1880, the church in Whately was dropped from the roll of the conference. 
In 1882, the conference heard the report of Rev. Jason Hatch, an evan- 
gelist employed by the body to do mission work in outlying districts. In 
1884, the committee on local evangelization were authorized to carry on 
their work in the hill towns at the east in such a way as seemed to them 
advisable, and to assess the necessary expense connected therewith upon 
the churches. The same year, a memorial was adopted, addressed to the 
Massachusetts Legislature, requesting that body to pass a law making it 
the duty of teachers in the public schools to give instruction respecting the 
evils of using intoxicants, and to make provision for text-books to be used 
in such study. In 18S5, it was voted to send a special invitation to the 
Sunday-school meeting at Zion chapel to be represented at future meetings 
of Sunday-school conventions. A new constitution was adopted in 1886. 


Education in Amherst. — School Buildings. — School District Rec- 
ords. — Grading the Public Schools. — The High School. — 
Superintendents and Teachers. — School Appropriations. 
—Terms and Vacations. — Private Schools. — Mt. Pleasant 
Classical Institute. — '-Amherst Female Academy." — Other 

Amherst is known throughout the nation as an educational center. This 
distinction is due primarily to the work of its collegiate institutions, but 
that work has been ably supplemented by the instruction given in its public 


and private schools. The schools established in Hadley Third Precinct 
soon after its first settlement were, probably, no better and no worse than 
those sustained by neighboring communities. It was not until Amherst 
Academy was founded, in 1S12, that residents of Amherst turned their 
particular attention to educational development. It was nearly a half 
century later ere the public schools were graded, and the foundations laid 
for that system of free public education, in which the town has come to 
take such just pride. Of privately conducted educational institutions, 
Amherst has been the home of many during the century that is now draw- 
ing to a close. Some of these have passed away, leaving no records save in 
the deeds of those whose characters they helped to form ; others yet 
enjoy a prosperous existence. For obvious reasons, it is impossible to 
present here any complete or extended list of the "family schools," 
" boarding-schools," seminaries and other institutions for educational 
purposes that have flourished in Amherst from time to time. Careful 
investigation has secured the names, and fragments of information con- 
cerning some few of these private schools, and these are here presented. 
Of the public schools the records are more complete. 

Of educational work as conducted in Amherst in the earlier years, a 
brief review has been given in a preceding chapter. The population being 
scattered over a wide extent of territory, there was a natural division into 
school districts, but no definite boundaries were assigned to these until 
1792. In 1764, when the first school-houses were erected, there were but 
four districts, a "north," a "south," an "east middle " and "west middle." 
For many years these districts afforded adequate educational facilities for 
the inhabitants of the various sections of the town. In 177 1, a new 
school was established at the West street in North Amherst. In 1784, 
the number of districts was increased to six. In 1S3S, there were eight 
districts in the town. In 1864, the town voted to abolish the school 
districts. Subsequent to the grading of the schools, in 1861, and largely 
due to that cause, the number of schools was greatly increased, and for 
many years the town supported not less than nineteen. 

The early school-houses, like all buildings, public and private, of the 
times, were erected at the least expense possible. Such a thing as an 
attempt at ornamentation was unthought of. The buildings afforded 
protection from the heat of the summer's sun, and in winter, aided by 
wood-fires of generous proportion, from the season's cold. They had doors 
and windows, but no blinds or curtains to keep the sun from shining in the 
scholars' faces. A row of desks extended around three sides of the school- 
room, with other rows built across the center. In front of these desks 
were corresponding rows of wooden benches, generally without backs, 


hard as the nether millstone and worn smooth by the generations of boys 
and girls who found in them a support but not a rest. Both desks and 
benches bore witness to the decorative skill of the American boy aided by 
his jack knife. Scientific heating and ventilation were unknown, but the 
box-stoves gave forth a generous heat and the wind found ready access 
around the door and window-casings. The school-houses were frequently 
built at private expense "and afterwards purchased by the town. In 1786, 
the town voted to allow a reasonable sum to the persons who had built a 
school-house in the north part of the town on the road leading to Sunder- 
land ; also, to build a school-house in the north-east part of the town. In 
1788, £30 was allowed for the school-house in the north-east part of the town. 
In 1790, it was voted to sell the school-house near Landlord Parsons' tavern 
at vendue, and to have but three schools in town the coming year. In 
1 79 1, it was voted to build two school-houses, one near the Second parish 
meeting-house, the other in the south part at East street. The appropri- 
ation made to pay the expense of these two buildings was £8,0, or some- 
thing like $200 for each. The following year, a vote was passed to erect a 
school-house in the South-west district, /"40 being appropriated to meet 
the expense. In 1796, it was voted to build a school-house in the South- 
east district of the same dimensions as the one that had been burned ; also 
to build a school-house in the North-west district. Appropriations were 
made, for the former $300, for the latter $200. In 179S, it was voted to 
raise $300 for building or purchasing a school-house in the West Middle 
district. In the same year, later on. it was voted to build a school-house 
one story high and with two chimneys. In 1799. it was voted that the 
school-house in the East Middle district be moved to a more convenient 
spot. In 1804, a vote was passed to build a new school-house in the East 
Middle district, and in 1806, similar provision was made for the North-east 

It was but natural that school-buildings erected at an average expense 
of from $200 to $300 should stand in need of frequent repairs, and serve 
their purpose but a few years ; yet it is -not until a comparatively recent 
date that the town has thought advisable to spend more money in con- 
struction and less in repairs and rebuilding. The grading of the schools 
in 1 86 1, and the establishment of a high school at the center village, 
rendered imperative the erection of new school-buildings. The school 
report for the year ending March 1, 1861, states that high school bonds 
had been issued to the amount of 512,000, of which $9,500 had been sold 
and the remainder were engaged. During the following year, the total 
amount expended on high and grammar school buildings was $12,836.70. 
In 1S64, when the district system was abolished, a committee of eight was 


appointed by the town to appraise the school-houses, lands and property 
belonging to the various school districts. In 1865, the school-house in 
District No. 4 (at the "City") was sold to the New London Northern rail- 
way company ; the following year, a new school-house was built in the 
district, at a cost, including land, of $1,221. In 1866, the school-house in 
District No. 3, at South Amherst, was remodeled at an expense of $680.44; 
during the same year, lightning-rods were placed on all the school buildings, 
the cost being $213.75. 

At the annual town-meeting in March, 1866, the selectmen and school 
committee were authorized to confer with the trustees of Amherst Academy, 
and directed to report at a future meeting the expense of repairing the 
academy building, also to report the expense of other locations for school- 
houses. The academy trustees agreed to sell the real estate belonging to 
the academy to the town for $5,000, and to appropriate the income from 
the sum received towards the support of a classical department in the 
town high school. The town willingly accepted this proposition ; in 1868, 
the old academy building was torn down, and the present Amity-street 
school-building erected. The cost to the town, as recorded in the annual 
reports, was, in 1868, $8,010 ; in 1869, $6,711.84. In 1870, a new school- 
house was erected in the North-west district at a cost of $8,000 ; the old 
school-house had been sold to the North parish. In 1S71, there were 
eleven school-houses owned by the town. In 1880, an addition was made 
to the high school building at a cost of $2,064.72, to accommodate a 
grammar school. In 1889, the building occupied by the North grammar 
and intermediate schools was burned. The schools were held for a time 
in the lecture-rooms of the Congregational and Methodist churches ; after- 
wards, the grammar school was installed in an unoccupied room in the 
brick school-house, and a new building was erected at the " City " at a 
cost of $1,924.82. The last, and one of the most notable additions to the 
school-buildings owned by the town, was made in 1894. Dec. 5, 1893, 
the school-house at East Amherst was burned ; at a town-meeting held 
Dec. 14, a building committee was chosen and instructed to procure plans 
and estimates for a new building. The committee reported at a meeting 
held Jan. 24, 1894; their report was accepted and they were authorized to 
erect a brick building, conforming to plans selected, at a cost not exceeding 
$7,600. The building was completed in readiness for use at the opening 
of the fall term in 1894, and its entire cost to the town amounted 
to $9,498.46. 

Under the old system, the district stood for much the same in educa- 
tional and neighborhood matters as did the parish in ecclesiastical affairs. 
There was this important difference ; the parish assessed and collected its 


own taxes, while the school district expended the sums appropiated by the 
town, as well as those raised within its own limits. 

From the records of the "West Middle" School district, beginning 
with the year 1S26, the following facts are obtained : At a meeting held 
April 4, 1826, of the inhabitants of the West Middle School district, 
Artemas Thompson was chosen moderator and Luke Sweetser clerk 
and treasurer. A committee of five, consisting of William Boltwood, 
Chester Kellogg, Aaron M. Chandler, W. S. Howland and Elijah Boltwood, 
was chosen, to view land and ascertain where a suitable place could be 
had for erecting a school-house, and also to determine whether it would be 
expedient to erect a new house or repair the old one. At a meeting held 
April 25, it was voted to build a school-house. A committee was appointed 
to find the center of the district, having regard to scholars, assessment and 
distance, also to ascertain where and for how much land to build on might 
be secured. At a meeting held May 2, the district voted not to repair the 
old school-house. Voted, "that the district will not tax themselves for the 
purchase of land to build a school-house on." The district expressed 
willingness to purchase either the plot of land owned by S. F. Dickinson 
north of Col. Smith's, or the plot of land owned by David Parsons' heirs 
near Jacob Edson's. It was afterwards decided to purchase the land owned 
by Mr. Dickinson. Two committees were chosen to solicit subscriptions 
for the purchase of land. 

May 16, the district voted to spend $25 from money appropriated for 
summer schools in repairing the old house sufficiently to use for school 
purposes. At a meeting held June 20, it was voted to build a school- 
house the present season, that the building should be of brick, two stories 
in height, and not exceeding 40 by 28 feet. Some of the residents in the 
district were dissatisfied with the proposed location of the school-building 
and appealed to the selectmen ; the latter decided that the house should 
stand on the land purchased. Dec. 25, the district voted to allow the bills 
presented by individuals and passed by the building committee. Sept. 3, 
1827, it was voted to finish the upper story of the school-house, to paint 
the outside woodwork and whitewash the brick, to build a wood-house, 
dig a well and put a pump in the well. The prudential committee were 
authorized to dispose of the old building as they should think proper, but 
the latter vote was rescinded at a subsequent meeting. The land on which 
the old school-house stood was sold at auction to Nathan Dickinson 
for $42.50. 

Jan. 17, 1839. it was voted not to unite with other districts to form a 
union school district. June 6, 1842, it was voted that $25 be assessed on 
the district, to purchase alibrary for the use of the schools. April 10, 1848, 


a committee appointed at a previous meeting reported in favor of erect- 
ing an additional building on the school-house land. April 17, it voted to 
divide the schools in the district. July 7, 1854, it was voted to unite with 
the Mill Valley district in providing a suitable place for holding the West 
high school, under the provisions of the vote passed by the town at its last 
annual meeting. The name of the district was changed from "West 
Middle " to " West Center " in 1842 ; after 1847 it was known as " District 
No. 1." The last entry in the record book bears date May 2, 1864. 

The records of the North-East School district, from 1826 to 1863, 
have been preserved and contain matter of interest. At the first recorded 
meeting held April 27, 1826, Daniel Dickinson served as moderator and 
clerk. May 5, 1826, Solomon K. Eastman was chosen treasurer and Peter 
Ingram committee to superintend repairs upon the school-house. It was 
voted to raise $40 for repairs and to pay for a stove to be placed in the 
school-house. March 1, 1829, the district chose a prudential committee, 
highway surveyors, field-drivers, hog-reeves and surveyors of wood. To 
this list of officers there were added in subsequent years, surveyors of 
lumber, tythingmen, and a sexton. A committee of six was appointed, 
" whose duty it shall be to visit the winter school by at least two of their 
number once every two weeks during its continuance." At the annual 
meetings wood was purchased for the use of the schools, the amount 
needed being set up at auction and sold to the lowest bidder. The average 
price in the '3o's was about $1.50 per cord, but there was a gradual increase 
yearly until in the '50's it reached $3.00 per cord. March 6, 1831, the 
district was so greatly pleased with the services of Miss E. Warner as 
teacher, instructions were given the district treasurer to pay her $6.50 in 
addition to her stated wages. Feb. 26, 1S37, a committee was appointed 
to prosecute all persons who should damage the school-house in any way. 

As early as 1838, the district began to consider the question of erect- 
ing a new school-house. There was the usual difficulty in deciding upon 
plans, and the place for erecting the building, as is shown by the following- 
extracts from the records. March 2, 1S38, a committee was appointed to 
prepare a plan for a school-house suitable for the district. Nov. 5 of the 
same year, a committee was appointed to examine the old house and see 
if it was worth repairing; if not, to draw plans for a new house, select a 
place to locate the same and make an estimate of the cost. At a meeting 
held Nov. 14, it was voted to build a new house and a committee of three 
was appointed to find a location. This vote was rescinded Nov. 23, and 
a vote passed to repair the old house. Feb. 8, 1839, the matter of forming 
a union district with the North-west district for maintaining a high school 
was considered and the proposition voted down, 84 to 19. Feb. 24, 1840, 


still another committee was appointed to decide on a site for a new school- 
house. Feb. 28, the district voted to build a new school-house provided a 
suitable location could be secured at reasonable expense. An offer was 
made to L. L. Draper of $75 for a piece of land upon his farm, but he 
declined to sell. March 4, it was voted to call on the selectmen to decide 
where the school-house should be placed. March n, votes were passed to 
buy a piece of land of W. Roberts for Si 20, and to erect a school-house 
with two rooms. March 20, it was voted to build the house of brick, one 
story in height. The building was erected during the summer of 1S40, 
and March 5, 1841, the old house was put up at auction and sold to Alvan 
Barnard for $34. 

March 5, 1841, the district voted to raise and appropriate £25 for pur- 
chasing and establishing a school district library. Nov. 21, 1842. rules 
for the management and use of the library were adopted. Every family 
in the district was given the privilege of drawing one book from the library 
every second Monday, while every family having one or more members 
between the ages of 11 and 21 could draw two books. The head of the 
family was held responsible for the safe keeping, careful usage and return 
of these volumes. March 1, 1844, the district voted to allow Ruf us Adams 
his proportionate share of the school money for schooling his children in 
the district in Leverett, near his home. April 9, 1851, a committee of 
conference between districts numbers 4 and 5 agreed that the first session 
of the North high school should be held in District No. 4. at the •'City ", 
and the second in District No. -. at the \Yest street. Atthesame meeting 
it was voted to set out ornamental and shade trees on the school-house lot 
and to build a fence on the south and west sides. The last entry in the 
record book bears date of 1S63. 

The records of the North-west school district, from 1S41 to 1862, are 
in existence and contain matters of general interest. In 1841, the district 
held several meetings to consider the matter of building a new school- 
house. It was voted first to build of wood, then of brick, then again of 
wood. Several locations were viewed and priced, and each in turn rejected. 
An attempt was made to procure money by subscription to build, in con- 
nection with the school-house, a hall, to be used for singing-schools, lectures 
and other public events. In 1S42, it was voted to raise S20 for the purpose 
of purchasing and establishing a school district library. The district 
reserved S5 to fit up a place for keeping the library, and voted a salary of 
$6 per year to the librarian. The district succeeded in getting its new 
school-house built in 1S45, and voted, July 14, to let Mr. S. V. White have 
the use of it the coming fall, for a select school, for Si 2. The building 
committee was authorized to put a bell upon the house, providing the 


expense should be defrayed by subscription. At a meeting held in 1846, 
a committee was appointed to exchange the district library for that of some 
other district. It was also voted to lay on the table an article to see 
whether the district would let its hall for a dancing school. In 1847, a 
committee was appointed to have charge of the hall, and instructed to let 
the same " when they can get anything for it." In 185 1, committees from 
the North-west and North-east districts concurred in recommending that 
the fall session of the North high school be held in the school-house of the 
North-east district, and the winter session of the school in the school- 
house of the North-west district. In 1853, the district appointed a com- 
mittee to take action to procure pay for the wood burned by the high 
school that belonged to the common school, and also instructed the hall 
committee " not to let the high school in the hall the coming winter." 
the latter vote was rescinded at a meeting held later, and it was voted 
" to let the high school in the hall this winter, and the high school to make 
good all the damedge that is done to the same by the high school." In 
186 1, it was voted unanimously not to favor the abolition of the school 
districts in town. The records of other school districts of the town may 
be in existence, but careful investigation has failed to discover them ; the 
foregoing will serve to show as fully as desirable the nature of the district 
organizations, and the character of the business transacted at their 

Soon after 1840, the question of grading the public schools in 
Amherst began to be agitated. At the outset the proposal encountered 
strenuous opposition, many believing that the peculiar outline of the town, 
the extent of its territory, and its division into a number of distinct settle- 
ments would render the proposed system inadvisable if not impracticable. 
Yet the old system of "mixed" schools had little to recommend it. The 
grouping of pupils from five to twenty years of age, and differing more in 
educational attainments than in years, in one school and under the instruc- 
tion of one teacher, was little calculated to afford desirable results. In 
the smaller districts, nearly every pupil might with justice be placed in a 
separate class, and the multiplication of classes and of studies rendered 
it impossible for the teacher to do full justice by any. 

From instruction in the primer to that in higher mathematics was a 
step no teacher could take at a moment's notice, and do full justice to 
himself or to his pupils. It was not until i860, that the town voted to 
adopted the graded system in its public schools, and not until the follow- 
ing year was the work of examining and classifying the pupils undertaken 
and successfully carried out. The school committee in 1861 consisted of 
Rev. Charles L. Woodworth, Rev. George Cooke and Dr. D. B. N. Fish. 


The town contained at the time between 700 and 800 pupils of school age. 
The task involved in the examination of each pupil and in assigning each 
to the proper grade required time and patience as well as keen intelligence. 
The problem was complicated by the fact that, as in all communities, many 
of the older pupils were not qualified to join the advanced grades, causing 
dissatisfaction among their parents. That the work was done, and well 
done, is to the lasting credit of the town and its committee. 

The committee, in their report to the town on the matter of grading 
the schools, submitted at the annual meeting in 1862, say : " The classifi- 
cation which has been adopted in the schools, as now organized, is similar 
to what is practiced in most of the towns of the Commonwealth, in which 
the schools are graded. * * Our standards of examination and class 

rank will, if well maintained, give us a highly creditable position, and 
secure to our schools a range of educational advantages as comprehensive 
and complete as can be found in any of our towns." The committee 
established one high school, four grammar schools, four intermediate 
schools and eight primary schools, into which were admitted, at the first, 
764 scholars, of whom eight were residents in other towns. The high 
school, two grammar, one intermediate and one primary were located at the 
center ; one grammar, one intermediate and three primary at SouthAmherst ; 
one grammar, one intermediate and two primary at North Amherst, one 
primary and one intermediate at East Amherst and one primary at Mill 
Valley. To the high school grade, 3 1 pupils were admitted : to the grammar 
school, 133 ; to the intermediate school, 195 ; to the primary school, 397. 
From the center and East Amherst, there were 91 pupils in high and 
grammar schools, from North Amherst 50, from South Amherst 23. In 
the intermediate schools, at the center and East Amherst, there were 99 
pupils ; at North Amherst. 53 ; at South Amherst. 43. In the primary 
schools, at the center and East Amherst, there were 195 pupils ; at North 
Amherst, 103; at South Amherst, 99. The average age of pupils admitted 
to the grammar school grade was 14 years, to the high school grade 17.. 

The course of study, marked out for the different grades, was, in 
outline, as follows : Primary schools, reading, spelling, primary arithmetic, 
arithmetical notation and numeration, introductory geography : intermediate 
schools, reading, spelling, writing, intellectual and practical arithmetic, 
modern geography, parts of speech and inflections; grammar schools, 
arithmetic. United States history, English grammar, map drawing, algebra,, 
physical geography, book-keeping, composition and declamation ; high 
school, algebra, geometry, English analysis, general history, book-keeping, 
surveying, United States constitution, natural philosophy, rhetoric, astron- 
omy, chemistry, political economy, moral science, natural history, logic. 


Pupils in Latin at the high school were required to pursue only those 
studies which were necessary for admission to college. Pupils at the high 
school were divided in three classes. Applicants for admission to advanced 
grade were examined at the close of the winter session, or of the summer 
session, of each school, and a certificate was required from the teacher of 
the school that the pupil was properly prepared for advancement ; also, 
that he or she sustained a good moral character. No children under five 
years of age were allowed in the public schools. Each teacher was 
required to keep a record of the scholarship and deportment of every 
pupil, to be ready for the inspection of the committee at the close of each 

In the records of the North-west school district for the year 185 1, 
mention is made of a high school. The report of the school committee 
for 1853 shows that three high schools were maintained in town, one at 
the center, one at North Amherst and one at South Amherst. The com- 
mittee advised the building of three houses to accommodate these schools. 
The course of studies pursued at these schools was in mariy features 
similar to the high school course of the present day, with the omission of 
Latin and Greek. At the annual town-meeting in i860, when the town 
voted to grade the schools, it was also voted to establish one high school 
at the center village. The high school building was erected in i860, and 
dedicated Sept. 2, 1861. The school was opened in September, 1861, 
with Samuel J. Storrs as principal and with 26 pupils in attendance ; in 
December of that year, five more pupils were admitted. In July, 1862, 
two young men were graduated from the school and entered Amherst 
College. Mr. Storrs resigned his position as principal in 1862, to enter 
the Union army ; in the winter term of that year, Charles D. Adams served 
as principal. The first graduation exercises were held at the end of the 
school year in 1864, the graduating class consisting of four young ladies 
and one young gentleman. Charles H. Parkhurst, the noted divine, served 
as principal of the school from the spring term in 1S67 to the end of the 
school year in 1869. In the winter of 1871-72. a school lyceum was 
instituted and supported for a time with much enthusiasm ; the library was 
considerably enlarged at the same time. The income of the " Academy 
fund," so called, rests in the hands of a board of trustees, and is applied 
by them, at their discretion, toward the support of the classical depart- 
ment of the high school. It is generally used to pay for the services of an 
instructor in the Greek language. During the year 1893, the high school 
building was altered, repaired and enlarged, at a cost of some $2,500. 

In 1867. the town authorized the appointment of a superintendent of 
schools, at a salary not to exceed $800. From time to time the town has 


employed a superintendent, outside the school committee, with satisfactory 
results. It is safe to say that the public schools of Amherst were never 
more prosperous and never accomplished better work than when in 
charge of H. L. Read as superintendent. The present superintendent, 
W. D. Parkinson, began his services in Amherst in 1893 ; since that time 
the schools have been brought up to a higher standard than for many 
years preceding. The town of Amherst has been fortunate in securing 
the services, as members of its school committee from year to year, of 
persons exceptionally well qualified for the position. Ministers of the 
gospel, college professors, lawyers, doctors, men prominent in professional 
and social life, have given of their time and talent for the benefit of the 
public schools, for compensation which, to say the least, was entirely inad- 
equate for the services rendered. The town owes a debt of gratitude to 
the public-spirited citizens who have done so much in the interest of its 
educational system. The town has been fortunate, also, in the character 
and attainments of the teachers it has employed in its public schools. 
Many of them were born in Amherst, and gained their education at the 
schools which in time they came to serve as teachers. It has been cause 
for regretful comment in the past that other towns and cities have been 
so quick to recognize the merits of Amherst teachers, and to draw them 
away by the temptations of larger salaries and broader fields of labor. 

The items of school appropriations and expenditures will be considered 
in another chapter, where they will be presented in tabulated form. The 
town has ever been generous in providing funds for carrying on the work 
of education. With the growth of the town, and the increase in school 
population, there has been more than proportionate growth in the sums 
expended upon the public schools. For the school year ending in 1862, 
when the grading of the pupils was accomplished and 764 pupils were 
admitted to the various schools, the amount of the school appropriations 
was but $3,200. In 1S94. with a total enrollment of S15 pupils, the school 
appropriation was $13,600, and this was increased by a special appropria- 
tion for repairs and by receipts from various sources to over $14,500. It 
is true that it costs more to conduct a public school to-day than it did 
thirty-five years ago ; books and supplies must be furnished by the town 
which were formerly purchased by the pupils, the schools must be better 
equipped in every way, the buildings better cared for, and transportation 
afforded for scholars living in the more remote parts of the town. But it is also 
true that the public is willing to spend more money for educational purposes 
than it was a generation ago, and the demand is for better rather than for 
cheaper schools. In the committee's report for the school year ending in 
1853, the statement is made that the best female teachers could be 


procured in winter for $21 per month, including board, while the best male 
teachers commanded a salary of from $35 to $40 per month, including 
board. The town from motives of economy, has made it a practice to 
employ female teachers in nearly all its schools, and with generally satis- 
factory results. 

With the grading of the schools came greater uniformity in the length 
of term and vacations. In 1861-62, the committee arranged, for the 
primary schools, three terms of 1 1 weeks each ; for the intermediate 
schools, three terms of 12 weeks each; for the grammar schools, two 
terms, one of 12. the other of 14 weeks. By statute law the high school 
must be in session 36 weeks. In 1878, the primary schools were in session 
32 weeks, the intermediate schools ^t, weeks, the grammar schools 34 
weeks. Other matters of interest are gathered from the school reports. 
In 1861, there were eight school districts in town, designated as follows : 
No. 1, at the Center ; No. 2, East Middle; No. 3, South Middle; No. 4, 
"City;" No. 5, North Amherst; No. 6, South-west; No. 7, Mill Valley; 
No. 8, South-east. The report for the school year ending in i860 gives 
the following as the number of pupils in each district: No. 1, 149; 
No. 2, 147 ; No. 3, 56 ; No. 4, 7 1 ; No. 5, 107 ; No. 6, 31 ; No. 7, 38 ; 
No. 8, 50; total, 649. In 1S61, the town voted that the school appropri- 
ation should be divided as heretofore, one-third equally to the eight districts, 
the remaining two-thirds in proportion to the number of scholars in each dis- 
trict. In 1869, an ungraded school was maintained during the winter months 
for the benefit of those unable to attend the public schools at other seasons of 
the year. In 1872, it was voted by the school board " That hereafter the 
only corporal punishment to be inflicted upon pupils of the schools shall 
be by a rattan or ruler upon the hand, and that no other corporal punish- 
ment shall be allowed." In 1S78, a uniform length was adopted for the 
daily sessions, of three hours in the forenoon and two and one-half hours 
in the afternoon, all schools opening at 9 a. m. In 1880, the following- 
terms were fixed upon for tuition in Amherst schools of pupils resident in 
other towns : High school, $10 per term ; grammar schools, $5; interme- 
diate, $4; primary, $3. In 1881, the provisions of the state law in regard 
to the vaccination of scholars were enforced. In 18S4, music was first 
taught in the schools, and books and supplies were purchased by the town 
for use of the pupils. In 1885, systematic instruction was first given in 
regard to the effects of the use of alcohol on the human system. In 1887, 
the first appropriation, $300, was made for the transportation of pupils 
from the "ends" of the town to the high school. In 1888, the plan was 
adopted of holding but one session daily at the high school, from S-30 a. 
m. to I 1'. M. 




Of the many private educational institutions which have been main- 
tained in Amherst, the most noted, aside from Amherst Academy, was the 
Mount Pleasant Classical Institution. Nowhere within the length and 
breadth of the Connecticut Valley could be found such an ideal location 
for an institute of learning as is furnished by Mount Pleasant. A com- 
manding eminence, a little way out from the center village of Amherst, 
surrounded by a noble grove of oaks and chestnuts, it affords a compre- 
hensive view of the valleys to east and west, a range of scenery covering 
historic ground, in itself a memory and inspiration. In January, 1827, 
Chauncey Colton and Francis Fellowes, graduates of Amherst College in 
the class of 1826, issued a prospectus for a classical school which they 
proposed to establish in Amherst. Mr. Colton was a native of Long- 
meadow, and was born Aug. 30, 1800 ; Mr. Fellowes was born at 
Montville, Conn., Nov. 20, 1803. The buildings of the institution, 
capacious in size and of greater architectural pretention than was custom- 
ary at the time, were erected in 1826 and 1S27. The clasps were 
organized June 1, 1S27. and the chapel dedicated the following Sabbath. 
From a catalog issued in January, 1828, the following facts are derived. 

In addition to the principals, seven instructors were employed, the 
course of instruction embracing the following departments : Modern 
languages, intellectual and moral philosophy, elementary English and 
commercial study, belles lettres and oratory. Latin and Greek languages. 
ancient and modern Greek, mathematics, natural philosophy and drawing. 
The number of pupils was 68. a majority coming from New England, six 
from the Southern states, two from Greece and one from France. Their 
ages ranged from four to sixteen years. The second name upon the roll is 
that of Henry Ward Beecher. The expressed aim of the institution was : 
"to combine the highest advantages of public and private education by a 
liberal and necessarily expensive provision of instruction in the various 
departments of Ancient and Modern Learning, Commercial Theory, etc. — 
by a regular and systematic course of physical culture in the Gymnasium, 
and that moral and religious influence which contributes to fit man for the 
high purposes of existence." The government of the institution was strictly 
parental in character. From the whole body of students a " Class of 
Honor " was chosen, consisting only of those who were distinguished by 
unexceptionable deportment, a just sense of right and unimpeached moral 
courage. From this body, an offender against the rules of the institution 
was, at the discretion of the principals and according to the nature of the 
offence, allowed to select a jury of twelve to sit in judgment upon his 
case. In this " jury of twelve " it is easy to discern the germ of the 
Amherst College Senate and " student self-government." 


The whole number of students was divided into five sections, over 
each of which was placed a " Praefect," whose duty it was to notice any 
departure from established laws of correct deportment and render weekly 
reports to the instructors. The morning bell for rising rang, in summer, 
at 4-30 a. m. and a half-hour was allowed for the toilet. At 5 the pupils* 
assembled on the muster-grounds and spent an hour in gymnastic exercises 
and games. From 6 to 7 o'clock the time was spent in the class-room; at 7 
breakfast was served, after which came morning devotions in the chapel 
and exercises upon the play-grounds until 8. From 8 to 12 the time was 
spent in recitation and study. From 12 to 1 came gymnastic exercises in 
the grove, and dinner was served at 1-30. The time from the dinner hour 
until 2-30 was devoted to recreation, from 2-30 to 6-30 to study and recita- 
tion, from 6-30 to 7-30 in gymnastic exercises and recreation. At 7-30 
supper was served, after which evening worship was attended in the 
chapel. At 8 the smaller boys retired, the older ones studying until 9, 
when all retired. 

The annual charges were fixed at $250, "one-half payable semi- 
annually in advance." These charges included tuition, board, room, 
furniture, fuel, lights, mending and washing. For apparel, books, station- 
ery, etc., the parent or guardian was expected to place a reasonable sum 
for expenditure in the hands of the principal. There were two vacations 
each year, one of two weeks from April 1, the other of three weeks from 
the first Thursday in August. Students might remain at the institution 
during the vacations, or travel with some of the instructors. The annual 
examinations, lasting from six to ten days, began on May 20. The pupils 
were not allowed, save in special cases, to leave the institution unless 
accompanied by one of the instructors. They wore a simple uniform. 
At the end of the catalog are letters of commendation for the institution 
signed by T. H. Gallaudet, principal of the American Asylum for the 
education of the deaf and dumb, Rev. Lyman Beecher, D. I)., and Heman 
Humphrey, D. D., president of Amherst College. Under a special law- 
passed by the General Court, Feb. 16, 183 1, Francis Fellowes, Joel W. 
Newton and Martin Thayer were incorporated as the proprietors of the 
Mount Pleasant Classical Institution, "for the advancement of the pur- 
poses of education and instruction in the liberal sciences and arts." They 
were authorized to hold real estate not exceeding $50,000 in value, and 
personal estate to the amount of $30,000. 

For five years the institution prospered and then, for some unexplained 
reason, was discontinued. The buildings were unoccupied for a time, and 
then were disconnected, the central structure remaining in its present 
location, while the buildings at the sides were removed to other parts of 


the village. One of the " wings " was located on Pleasant street, where 
Dickinson's block now stands, where it served as a tenement-house, and 
from the multiplicity and motley character of its tenants won the name of 
the " Bee Hive." It was torn down sometime during the '60s. Two 
other sections of the buildings are yet standing, on Northampton street. 
In 1846, the Mount Pleasant Institute was re-established, as a boarding 
school for boys, by Rev. John A. Nash. It was successfully conducted 
by him for eight years, when it passed under the control of his son, 
Henry C. Nash, who, assisted by his son, William K., has conducted it 
since. The school has enjoyed something more than a local reputation, 
many of its pupils coming from foreign countries. 

The first institution established at Amherst, expressly designed for the 
higher education of females, was the " Amherst Female Seminary," which 
began its work in 1S32. But little information can be obtained in regard 
to this school, which seems to have been prosperous in its day. From a 
catalog published in 1835, li 1S learned that the whole number of pupils 
in attendance during the year was 191. Of these, many were resident in 
Amherst; some came from other towns in Massachusetts, from Connecti- 
cut. Xew Hampshire, Vermont, Georgia and Alabama, and one from 
Michigan " Territory." The school was held in Mack's Hall, in the upper 
part of the building occupying the site where Cook's block now stands. 
The principal was Miss Hannah White, an intimate friend of Mary Lyon. 
The teachers were the Misses Mary Proctor, Harriet Partridge. Mary A. 
White, Elizabeth Stone, Sarah J. Kimberly and Anne C. Payson. The 
executive committee of the institution consisted of Luke Sweetser, Charles 
Adams and Lucius Boltwood, Esq. Miss White was succeeded as principal 
by Mrs. Washburn. The seminary was incorporated by an act of the 
General Court passed April 8, 1S36. The incorporators were Heman 
Humphrey, Edward Hitchcock, Solomon Pitkin and others. They were 
authorized to hold real estate to the amount of $10,000, and personal 
estate to the same amount, " to be devoted exclusively to the purposes of 
education." The seminary was a day school, having no accommodations 
for boarding pupils. It continued in successful operation until February, 
1838, when the building in which it was held was destroyed by fire. 

In 1827, Miss J. Draper kept a boarding-school in Amherst for young 
ladies. In 1S45, Samuel N. White conducted a "select school for young 
ladies and gentlemen," at North Amherst. Mr. White was at a later date 
principal of Amherst Academy. The General Court, by a special act 
passed in 1854, incorporated Lemuel Porter, Amory Gale and E. A. Cum- 
mings as the " Ladies Collegiate Institute " to be established in the town 
of Amherst. They were authorized to hold real and personal estate to a 


value not exceeding $150,000. There is no further record concerning this 
ambitious project, and Amherst College yet awaits its "annex." In 1855, 
the Misses F. J. and A. E. Emerson conducted a school for young ladies 
at their home in the old " Strong house." From 1855 to 1868, Hon. R. 
E. Hubbard conducted a boys' boarding-school in the house on Lincoln 
avenue now occupied by Rev. J. E. Tuttle. Mr. Hubbard had served for 
three years as principal of the Mount Pleasant Institute and had devoted 
much of his life to educational work. His school was ably conducted and 
was held in high repute. Among his pupils who gained distinction in after 
life was Eugene Field, poet and journalist, recently deceased. In 1856, 
Miss Brewster kept a school in the second story of the academy building. 
This school was fitted to accommodate from 20 to 25 pupils, and instruction 
was given in the elementary and higher English studies and in Latin. In 
i860, Rev. George Cooke conducted a young ladies' institute in the " Sellon 
house," now occupied by the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. A three years' 
course of instruction was offered, and the proprietor announced that no 
expense would be spared to secure the most able instructors. 

As early as 1S47, a project was formed for establishing an agricultural 
school at Amherst. In 1848, the General Court passed a special act incor- 
porating Edward Hitchcock, William B. Calhoun and Samuel L. Hinckley 
by the name of the Massachusetts Agricultural Institute. They were 
authorized to hold real and personal estate to the amount of $50,000. for 
the purpose of establishing in some one of the towns lying on the banks 
of the Connecticut river an agricultural school and experimental farm, the 
object of which should be instruction in agricultural science and improve- 
ment in all the arts connected with the practice of farming. Edward 
Hitchcock, president of Amherst College, was deeply interested in the 
subject of agricultural education. His scientific studies had given him a 
thorough acquaintance with the geology of the Connecticut Valley, its 
rocks and soils. Scientific agriculture was at the time almost unknown in 
America, and presented problems which he considered worthy his careful 
attention. The " Massachusetts Agricultural Institute " had nothing but 
corporate existence, but it prepared the way for the Agricultural College. 
In 1850, President Hitchcock was appointed a member of a board of five 
commissioners, whose duty it was to consider the expediency of establishing 
agricultural schools or colleges in the Commonwealth. The same year he 
traveled extensively in Europe, visiting and inspecting many agricultural 
institution in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland and France. 
The results of his investigations were embodied in a report submitted to 
the General Court in 1851. In 1855, John A. Nash announced through 
the columns of the Hampshire and Franklin Express, that arrangements 


had been made in connection with Amherst College for instruction in 
agriculture and kindred sciences of young men not permanently connected 
with the college, but who might resort to it, for longer or shorter periods 
at pleasure, for this specific purpose. This instruction was to be given 
only during the fall and winter terms. It included lectures on geology and 
physiology, by President Hitchcock; on mechanical philosophy, hydro- 
statics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electricity and magnetism, by Prof. K. S. 
Snell ; on organic and inorganic chemistry, by Prof. W. S. Clark, the latter, 
in after years, president of the Agricultural College. In the summer of 
[828, the New England Inquirer published for several weeks the announce- 
ment of a law-school to be opened in Amherst by Samuel Fowler 

Of schools established at a later date, and still maintained, are those 
conducted by Mrs. W. F. Stearns. Miss V. \Y. Buffum, Mrs. R. G. \\ 'illiams, 
Rev. F. C. YVinslow and Mrs. W. D. Herrick. Mrs. Stearns' home school 
for young ladies was established in September, 1877 ; Mrs. Stearns has 
acted as principal since its beginning. There is no age limit required of 
pupils for entrance. The pupils are given a liberal education but are not 
fitted for college. The school is well and favorably known throughout a 
wide section and draws its pupils from many states. In the fall of 1883, 
Mrs. Emma Owen Buffum established a preparatory school for young 
ladies in the house of Rev. George Lyman on North Prospect St. She met 
with such success that in the summer of 1885 she leased the Sweetser 
place on Lessey street and opened the Oak Grove school for young ladies. 
Mrs. Buffum died Feb. 7, 1SS7, and was succeeded, in the conduct of the 
school, by Miss Vryling W. Buffum. The school has an established 
reputation, its graduates being received at Smith, YYellesley or Vassar 
College, on certificate. Mrs. R. G. Williams' family school was established 
in 1 8S5. Its first principal was Rev. R. G. Williams. Rev. E. C. Winslow 
opened a boading school at " Amoena Hall " in the fall of 1S95. For 
several years Mrs. W. D. Herrick has successfully conducted a school for 
invalid children and those backward in their studies. The first kindergar- 
ten in Amherst was established by Miss E. M. Munsell in 1S79, in the 
house occupied by the Misses Cowles. Later on money was raised 
by subscription and a building erected for the use of the school on ground 
owned by Amherst College at the corner of Northampton and Parsons 
streets. Miss E. M. Munsell later established another kindergarten at her 
home on Amity Street. 



Agriculture in Amherst. — Farm Products. — The First Agricul- 
tural Society. — Cattle Shows from 1846 to 1850. — East 
Hampshire Agricultural Society. — Dissensions among the 
Members. — Hampshire Park and Hall. — Creamery Associ- 

Amherst is, as it has ever been, essentially an agricultural community. 
For more than a century after its first settlement no other interest came in 
active competition with the culture of the soil. For the past fifty years 
Amherst has become better known to the world as a college community, 
an educational center, yet its prosperity rests with those who labor in the 
fields. Agriculture in Amherst dates from the time when its lands were 
the "common feeding place " for the cattle owned by Hadley farmers. 
For many years these lands were accounted of little value save for pasturage. 
From some motive, never fully explained, the early settlers of Hampshire 
county, as of many other sections of New England, built their homes on 
the rocky hillsides and cultivated the sterile soil of the uplands, while the 
rich bottom-lands were frequently neglected. The soil of Amherst was 
fertile, not so productive as the meadows of Old Hadley, but yielding far 
better return to the labor of the husbandman than the fields of Pelham, 
Prescott, or Shutesbury. Farming in olden times was conducted as a 
means of livelihood, with little thought and little hope on the part of the 
laborer of acquiring wealth. The farmer raised the grain and vegetables 
and meat that provided himself and family with food, and any surplus was 
sold or exchanged for other simple necessities of life. Engaged in such 
occupations, the people of a community would be neither very rich or very 
poor. There was little display of wealth, and, on the other hand, but little 
real poverty. Scientific agriculture was but a possibility of the future. 
The same acres were tilled and crops of similar kind were raised by father, 
son, and grandson, down through succeeding generations. Farming con- 
sisted largely of manual labor; the countless number of labor-saving 
appliances now in use had existence then, if at all, only in the brains of 
their inventors. 

for many years alter the first settlement of the Connecticut Valley 
by the English, the staple crops there produced were wheat and Indian 
corn. The latter staple was easily cultivated, produced generous crops, 
and from the Indians the settlers learned how to fashion it into many 


toothsome articles of diet. To "rye and Indian " bread New England 
theology and education and industry are deeply indebted. To these staple 
crops additions were made from time to time. Rye and oats and barley 
and flax, peas and beans and pumpkins, all were early introduced and 
furnished profitable crops. Bat few potatoes were raised until near the 
end of the eighteenth century. Spanish potatoes were in use by some ; it 
is stated that Amherst people were compelled to call on Pelham residents 
to learn from them how to raise potatoes and turnips. A little tobacco 
was raised in the earlier years, but it did not gain prominence as a crop 
until a comparatively recent time. Considerable broom-corn was raised 
and the product manufactured into brooms and brushes by local industry. 
Doubtless there were many interesting facts and incidents connected 
with agricultural pursuits in Amherst in the olden time. They were 
unchronicled, and from lack of accurate data must remain so. It was not 
until societies for the promotion of agriculture were establised that records 
were kept of the farmers' doings. The flrst agricultural society in Western 
Massachusetts was organized at Pittsfield in 18 10. It was incorporated 
the following year, under the name of ,v The Berkshire Agricultural Society, 
for the promotion of Agriculture and Manufactures." Three years later, 
the General Court passed the following special act, under date of June 11 : 

" An act to incorporate the Hampshire Agricultural Society : — 
Be it enacted, etc. — 

Sect. 1. That Robert Cutler, Calvin Merrill. Rufus Cowls, Samuel F. Dick- 
inson, Hezekiah W. Strong, Enos Baker, John Strong. Elijah Boltwood, Simeon 
Strong, Giles C. Kellogg, Horace Merrill, Charles Phelps and Isaac Abercrombie, 
their associates and successors, be, and they are hereby made a Corporation, by 
the name of the Hampshire Agricultural Society, for the purpose of promoting 
Agriculture; and for this purpose shall have the same powers and privileges, and 
be subject to the like duties and restrictions, as the other incorporated Agricultural 
Societies in this Commonwealth ; and the Corporation may hold and possess real 
estate, not exceeding the value of five thousand dollars, and the annual income of 
its personal estate shall not exceed the value of three thousand dollars. 

Sect. 2. Be it further enacted, That any Justice of the Peace for the county of 
Hampshire is hereby authorized to issue a warrant, directed to one of the members 
above-named, requiring him to notify and warn the first meeting of said Society, 
to be held in Amherst, in said County, at such convenient time and place in said 
town as may be appointed in said warrant, to organize the said Society, by electing 
the necessary officers, and forming rules and regulations for the government of the 
society. 1 ' 

Neither town or county records contain any mention of this society. 
There is nothing to show that it was ever organized or existed in anything 
else than name. The charter is of interest as showing that Amherst men 
were fully abreast of the times in agricultural as well as educational matters. 
It is interesting to note that among the names of the incorporators are those 


of two men who were connected with the organization of Amherst Academy 
in 18 12. In 18 18, the " Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin Agricultural 
Society " was organized and incorporated, representing with distinguished 
success for many years the agricultural interests of the large territory 
embraced in the limits of old Hampshire county. Amherst men took 
part in its organization and Amherst farmers were among its strongest sup- 
porters. The old "Three Counties " society has a long and honorable 
history, in which its members living in Amherst take just pride. During 
the decade beginning in 1840, great interest was awakened throughout the 
state in matters pertaining to agricultural education and scientific agricul- 
ture. President Edward Hitchcock was a leader in this movement, and 
Amherst naturally became a center of intelligence and activity in connec- 
tion with it. The interest in agricultural matters thus aroused took practical 
shape, in 1846, in the holding of Amherst's first cattle-show. 

In the autumn of 1S46, meetings were held in the town, at which 
committees were appointed to make arrangements for a cattle-show. 
These committees prosecuted their work with diligence ; the show was held 
on the common, Nov. 12. and was pronounced by a spectator " one of the 
greatest, if not the greatest, display of cattle ever exhibited in Hampshire 
county." The exhibits included neat stock, horses, swine and sheep; 
there were 144 yoke of cattle and 40 horses. Over one hundred persons 
sat down at table at the dinner which was prepared and served at the 
Amherst house. Hon. Edward Dickinson presided, with President Hitch- 
cock on his right and Rev. Professor Warner on his left ; divinity, science 
and law bestowed their blessings on the enterprise. A committee was 
appointed, consisting of one member from each school district in the town, 
to make necessary arrangements for the organization of a town agricultural 
society. The second cattle-show was held in 1847. It was described by 
the Express as a " mass meeting of the farmers.'' By the middle of the 
forenoon of the day appointed the common was covered with men and 
animals. There was a large display of cattle. An exhibition of fruits 
and vegetables was made in Sweetser's hall ; there, also, the ladies presided 
at tables where articles were sold for charitable purposes. North Amherst 
provided a band, which "discoursed sweet music at different times through- 
out the day." At the cattle-show held in 1848, premiums were first 
awarded. The committee of arrangements had no money, but they 
distributed patent right deeds on inventions of Major Joseph Colton, of 
a nominal value of $10,000, but in actual value problematical. Thecattle- 
show of 1849 was held Oct. 31. It surpassed in many features anything 
of similar nature that had taken place in Hampshire county east of the 
Connecticut river. The display of cattle was larger than ever before pre- 


sented at a similar show in Massachusetts. There were exhibited 260 
pairs of working cattle, including 69 yoke from Leverett and 52 yoke from 
South Amherst. Over 200 persons were present at the dinner, which was 
served at the Amherst house. After the dinner, Hon. Myron Lawrence of 
Belchertown delivered an address in favor of railroads. It was determined 
to organize an agricultural society. On motion of Alfred Baker, it was 
voted that the farmers of the eastern part of Hampshire County form 
a society for the promotion of agriculture, and. as a preliminary step, a 
subscription paper was passed to raise the necessary funds. Over S300 
was subscribed at the time. The statement was made that the town of 
Amherst was pledged to raise S500 of the Si, 000 necessary to secure a 
charter from the state, if other towns in the neighborhood would make up 
the remainder. 

In April, 1850, the following act was passed by the General Court: 

"An Act to incorporate the East Hampshire Agricultural Society: - 
Alfred Baker. Edward Dickinson, Luke Sweetzer, their associates and suc- 
cessors, are hereby made a corporation, by the name of the East Hampshire 
Agricultural Society, for the encouragement of agriculture and the mechanic arts. 
by premiums and other means, in the town of Amherst, in the county of Hamp- 
shire, with all the powers and privileges, and subject to all the duties, liabilities 
and restrictions, set forth in the forty-second and forty -fourth chapters of the 
Revised Statutes, and all subsequent acts concerning agricultural societies: and 
said corporation may hold and manage real estate, not exceeding in value the sum 
of fifteen thousand dollars, and personal estate not exceeding the same sum, for 
the purposes aforesaid." 

This act was approved by the governor, May 1. The following act 
was passed by the General Court in May. 1S51 : 

"An Act concerning the East Hampshire Agricultural Society: 
The East Hampshire Agricultural Society, in the county of Hampshire, shall 
after the passing of this act, be called and known by the name of the Hampshire 
Agricultural Society. 

Sect. 2. The said society shall be entitled on the same terms as other incor- 
porated agricultural societies, to receive annually, out of the treasury of the Com- 
monwealth, such sums as any other agricultural society may receive, under the 
provisions of chapter forty-two of the Revised Statutes, notwithstanding the 
restriction of section seven of that chapter." 

When the act of incorporation was passed in 1S50, the incorporators 
did not possess, in that capacity, property to the amount of $3,000, which 
was necessary in order to secure an annual bounty of S600 from the state. 
Measures were at once instituted to raise a permanent fund sufficiently 
large to secure this state bounty. These measures were successful, and 
in 1S51 the treasurer reported a permanent fund, securely invested and 
bearing interest, amounting to S^,t;o. The societv was organized under 


the charter, Aug. 20, 1850. Alfred Baker was elected president and James 
W. Boyden secretary and treasurer. The Massachusetts Agricultural 
society donated to the Hampshire society, in 1850, a pair of North Devon 
cattle. The society voted at its first meeting, " that ladies be admitted to 
seats on cattle-show day." The society held its first fair and cattle-show, 
after organization, on the common, Oct. 30, 1850. It was a gala occasion 
for the residents in Amherst and adjoining towns. The day was ushered 
in by the firing of cannon. Soon after sunrise the common was dotted 
with oyster-booths, auction-stands, gingerbread and cider-carts and all the 
side-shows which in olden time were considered a necessary adjunct of the 
cattle-show and which in some places still survive. Long before noon the 
common was crowded with men, women, children, cattle and horses. A 
procession was formed and, headed by the Amherst Artillery company, 
marched to the First church building, where an address was delivered by 
Professor Fowler. There were many ladies present on this occasion. 

The society grew and prospered. At the cattle-show in 1851, 500 
cattle were exhibited, 390 working oxen, 123 horses, 600 specimens of 
poultry. Of the working oxen, 202 came from Belchertown, decorated 
with flags and attached to a spacious car which was occupied by 181 
persons, including the Belchertown brass band. During the year, the 
society had gained 300 life members and its total membership was 640. 
Its officers were : President, Alfred Baker ; vice-presidents, Luke Sweetser, 
Joseph Smith of Hadley, Paoli Lathrop of South Hadley, J. B. Woods of 
Enfield, Horace Henderson of Sunderland ; secretary and treasurer, 
James W. Boyden; executive committee, Horace Kellogg, Samuel Powers 
of Hadley, Charles Adams, William Thayer of Belchertown, Asa L. Field 
of Leverett, Benjamin Witt of Granby, W. M. Kellogg. Marshall P. 
Wilder represented the state board of agriculture at the fair, and delivered 
an interesting address, in course of which he said: "It is particularly 
cheering to all who have at heart the advancement of agriculture, to witness 
the large number of professional gentlemen, for which Amherst is so 
celebrated, coming forward, with a helping hand, and cooperating with the 
intelligent farmers of Hampshire County, in behalf of an institution for 
the promotion of that most important and useful pursuit, the culture of 
mother earth." In this one sentence Mr. Wilder struck the keynote of the 
society's prosperity in its earlier years ; it had the good wishes and hearty 
support of all classes in the community. 

In 1853, the executive committee met in April and prepared a list of 
premiums, which was printed and copies were posted in more than 200 
public places in the towns from which the society drew its support. 
Thirty-four committees were appointed to award premiums in as many 


different classes. Many of these classes correspond with those in 
which premiums are offered by the society at the present time ; 
others, no longer in existence, were : Plowing with oxen, plowing with 
horses, subsoil plowing, meadow lands and manures. In 1S54, for 
the first time, the fair and cattle-show was held two days. Over 600 
persons competed for premiums. On the second clay, a procession was 
formed and marched through the streets to the First Congregational church 
building where the annual address was delivered, after which the procession 
again formed and marched to the Amherst house, where dinner was served. 
The society voted that its prosperity and usefulness would be promoted by 
a larger and more convenient hall. The indoor exhibits were displayed in 
Sweetser's hall and Phoenix hall. The fair in 1855 was graced by the 
presence of Governor Gardner and Lieutenant-Governor Brown. The 
permanent fund amounted to $3,570.20. of which §2. 427. 77 was invested 
in loans on mortgages of real estate. Premiums were awarded amounting 
to $367.37. In the report of the transactions for the year, the following 
prediction is found: "The public spirit of the inhabitants of Amherst 
will doubtless soon furnish that enterprising town with a suitable town hall, 
which will also accommodate an annual exhibition and secure its contin- 
uance at Amherst." An interesting prophecy, but a generation was to 
pass away ere it was fulfilled even in part. From 4,000 to 5,000 persons 
attended the society's exhibition in 1S56. There were nearly 800 entries 
for exhibit and premium. During the year a part of the basement story 
of the First Congregational church building had been partitioned off, 
suitably fitted and furnished, and christened Agricultural Hall. The room 
was 75 feet in length by 62 in width. One-half the expense was borne by 
the Agricultural society, on condition that it should have the use of the 
room for exhibitions, on payment of a suitable rent, and also have one-half 
the income from the rent of the hall. 

Nothing occurred to mar the prosperity of the society until the year 
1859, when there arose a controversy which threatened for a time its very 
existence. The facts of the case appear to be embodied in a statement 
made by Levi Stockbridge, at that time a resident of Hadley and a member 
of the society's executive committee, which forms a part of the report of 
the society's transactions, published in i860. This statement may be 
summarized as follows : For several years after its organization, the society 
was dependent on individuals and the towns for grounds and halls for exhibi- 
tion uses. In course of time, the officers found it necessary to build a hall, 
unauthorized by the society, which up to i860 had been the only public 
hall in Amherst. At its annual meeting in 1859, the society was informed 
that the grounds on which its shows were held had been granted to another 


association and would not again be opened to their use. There had been 
for many years a growing conviction in the minds of many members of 
the society that it should own grounds on which to hold its annual exhi- 
bitions, in order to increase its income and add to the pleasure of the 
occasions. Nearly all the agricultural societies in the state had grounds 
of their own and were prospering, while the Hampshire society seemed to 
be losing its hold on the interest and sympathies of the farming community. 
The income of its permanent fund and a large portion of the state bounty 
was used in payment of current expenses, and no additions were made to 
the fund. Notice had been received from the secretary of the State Board 
of Agriculture that the bounty would be withheld unless it was used in 
payment of premiums or added to the fund. The society had arrived at a 
point where something must be done to revive its waning prosperity. 

With all these facts and reasons before them, and after a full and free 
discussion of the subject in all its bearings, the society voted by a large 
majority to instruct its executive committee to purchase or lease grounds 
and fit them for exhibition purposes, if it could be done within the limits 
of the fund. Some members expressed fears that the measure would be 
demoralizing in its influence, from the undue preponderance it would give 
to the exhibition of horses ; they feared, also, that the permanent fund 
might be lost or impaired by taking it from mortgage investments and 
spending it on grounds and fixtures, but all appeared willing to give the 
plan a trial. As soon as possible the committee began their labors in 
accordance with the vote. It was considered very desirable to procure 
grounds near the center village, and much time and labor was expended 
in efforts to that end. But the attempt was a failure. Owing to the nature 
of the soil, inequalities of surface and the price of land in that vicinity, it 
was found impracticable. A location was selected at East Amherst, one 
and one-fourth miles from the common. A plot of land containing sixteen 
and one-half acres, with soil well suited for the intended purpose, was 
bought for .'sfj^o. When it became known that a site had been selected 
and probably purchased, great dissatisfaction was expressed in certain 
quarters, and an attempt was made to prevent the accomplishment of the 
plans decided on by the officers. A meeting of the disaffected was held 
and resolutions were- passed, couched in strong terms, impugning the 
motives and condemning the course of the officers. The officers thereupon 
called a meeting of the society, to see what action it would take in refer- 
ence to show-grounds. The meeting was held in April and attracted a 
large attendance. After a protracted hearing of the facts in the case, 
resolutions were passed approving the course adopted by the committee in 
d to location, and instructing them to proceed in their work of fitting 


up the grounds. A vote was also passed, by a large majority, authorizing 
them to build a hall on the grounds, provided they could raise S 1,000 and 
do it without involving the society in debt. 

The committee continued their work with renewed activity. The 
grounds were inclosed by a high board fence, a model half-mile track was 
graded, all ground in the enclosure was plowed, leveled and smoothed, 
seats for the people and a judges' stand were erected, and wells were dug 
for the accommodation of stock. The time approached for holding the 
exhibition, but no hall had been built ; the committee were unable to secure 
the S 1,000 needed. In this emergency, several public-spirited citizens 
came forward and gave their personal obligations to the amount of S500. 
As this made up the sum needed, a contract was made with John II. 
Haskins to erect a building 100 feet long by 50 wide, with a hall below 
for exhibition purposes and one above for dinners and addresses. The 
contract was made in September, and not a stick of timber had been cut 
for the building, but by the energy and skill of the contractor the founda- 
tions were laid and the superstructure completed ready for use by Oct. 10. 
The hall was large enough to seat 1,000 persons comfortably. 

An article in the Hampshire Express under date of March 16, i860, 
affords some additional information. The executive committee were unan- 
imous in their decision to purchase 16 acres of land at East Amherst, of 
Charles Dickinson and Philip D. Spaulding. They had used every exer- 
tion to secure land near the village, but were unable to do so without 
incurring a debt, which was expressly forbidden by the society. The com- 
mittee bargained for a piece of land belonging to Pomeroy Cutler, which 
is now intersected by Lincoln avenue, but when this had been examined 
by a civil engineer they learned that the cost of grading alone would 
exceed the cost of both land and grading at Past Amherst. The soil of 
the grounds at the center was also unsuitable for a race-track. The com- 
mittee were influenced somewhat in their choice by a desire to awaken 
interest and secure stronger support for the society from the farmers in 
Belchertown. In the same issue of the Express was published a call for a 
meeting of the disaffected members, signed by 172 names, embracing those 
of many men who had been prominent in the organization of the society. 

Hampshire Hall and Park were christened and dedicated on the 
evening of Nov. 2, 1866. In the early part of the evening a concert was 
held in the hall, attracting an audience which filled it to the doors. At 
the conclusion of the concert, an historical sketch of the society was pre- 
sented by Levi Stockbridge, who moved that the hall and grounds be 
named in honor of the society's president, William S. Clark. Hon. Ithamar 
F. Conkey moved that the name be Hampshire Hall and Park, and this 


motion was carried by unanimous vote. The christening ceremony was 
■then performed by President (lark, who said: " By virtue of authority 
conferred upon me by a special vote of the executive committee of the 
Hampshire County agricultural society, and by the unanimous consent of 
this assembly, composed as it is largely of members of this society, I .for- 
mally set apart and solemnly devote these grounds and this hall to the 
noble purposes of the society, to wit : ' The encouragement and promotion 
of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts,' and I denounce as profanation 
any use of them which conflicts with the principles of sound morality. 
In performing the last act of this ceremony. I shall sprinkle the floor of 
this building not with oil or wine which have been commonly employed 
upon similar occasions, but with pure water of our own famous New England 
river, the beautiful and ever bountiful Connecticut. Now, therefore, I 
declare the name of this edifice to be Hampshire Hall ; and the name of 
this enclosure to be Hampshire Park, and may these names be preserved 
and untarnished to remotest generations." The assembly then joined in 
singing a hymn of dedication, composed by Charles H. Sweetser, to the 
tune of " Auld Lang Syne." 

The purchase of the grounds and erection of the hall alienated from 
the society's support many who had heretofore been active in the promo- 
tion of its interests. The total membership of the society in i860 was 
1056. Of these, 438 were residents of Amherst, 128 of Hadley, 126 of 
Sunderland, 71 of Leverett, 48 of Belchertown, 36 of Granby, t,^ of 
Pelham, 32 of South Hadley, 27 of Northampton, 20 of Enfield, 12 of 
Ware. Others were resident in various parts of New England, the Southern 
and Western states. As these were all life memberships, there was no 
immediate decrease in the list, but many of the farmers and business men 
ceased to take an active interest in the society's affairs and in the annual 
exhibition. The distance of the fair-grounds from the center village 
detracted largely from attendance at the cattle-shows, and this was still 
further reduced by the charging of an admission fee. The building of a 
race-track and the holding of horse-races was disapproved by many. 
The excitement attendant on the civil war had an unfavorable effect on the 
society's affairs, and it entered upon a period of decline from which it has 
never fully recovered. Within the past few years an earnest effort has 
been made to restore the society to the commanding position in public 
favor which it once enjoyed, and with a measure of success. A new and 
commodious grand-stand has been erected, new horse-sheds have been 
built, the old fence has been partially rebuilt and extensive repairs have 
been made upon the hall. The society is to-day in a more prosperous 
condition than for many years in the past, with an encouraging outlook for 
the future. 


The dairy industry in Amherst attained prominence at an early date.- 
In the early '40s it was the fourth town in the state in the amount of butter 
produced. It was not until 1SS2 that the owners of dairy herds decided to 
avail themselves of the advantages of cooperation in carrying on their 
business. The Amherst Cooperative Creamery association was organized 
June 1, 1882, with a capital stock of $2,700, which in 1889 was increased 
to $3,700. The first officers elected were : Directors, Edmund Hobart, 
Flavel Gaylord, Charles Lawton, J. E. Merrick, Henry C. West ; president, 
Edmund Hobart; treasurer, Charles S. Smith ; clerk, William A. Magill. 
The above were the only charter members of the association, but the stock 
was soon distributed among 59 farmers, and since the increase of capital 
the membership has averaged close to 100. Membership has been 
restricted to "persons directly engaged in agricultural pursuits." The 
first creamery building was built in 1882, and the product was first placed 
on the market in December of that year. The second building was erected 
in the fall of 18S8. The receipts of cream in 1883 were 399.324 spaces ; 
in 1892 this had risen to 1,907,206 spaces, equivalent to something like 
300.000 pounds of butter. In the first ten years of its existence, the 
association paid to its patrons over a half-million dollars for cream. The 
stockholders have received an annual dividend of six per cent, per annum 
on their investment. The principal market for the product is found in the 
cities and towns of Hampden county. The Bay State Creamery associa- 
tion was organized in January, 18S9. The capital stock was S2.500, the 
number of charter members 15. The creamery building was erected in 
1888. The original officers were : Directors, E. A. King. Salmon Wake- 
field. F. L. Stone, Philip D. Spanieling, W. A. Dickinson ; president, E. A. 
King; clerk and treasurer, E. O. Curtiss. The annual product is about 
155.000 pounds of butter, valued at some $45,000. The principal market 
is found in Holyoke. 

Of interest and value in this connection are the following agricultural 
statistics, those for 1837 taken from Bigelow's " Branches of Industry " for 
the year ending April 1, those for 1845 from Palfrey's manual, and those 
for 1855 from the Massachusetts census report. 

In 1837, there were owned in Amherst 42 Saxony sheep, 698 merino, 
and 1090 of other kinds. The Saxony wool produced amounted to 105 
pounds, the merino to 1832 pounds, other kinds to 3068 pounds. The 
average weight of fleece was two and three-fourths pounds, the value of 
the wool product Si, 6 10, and the capital invested $3,264. 

In 1S45, there were owned in Amherst 2.054 sheep, valued at $2,568 ; 
336 horses, valued at $15,120; 1,668 neat cattle, valued at $30,083 ; 625 
swine, valued at $9,375. The farm crops produced and their estimated 


valuation was as follows: Corn, 18,930 bushels, $12,683; wheat, 311 
bushels, $389 ; rye. 6.586 bushels, $4,940- oats, 8,903 bushels, $3,116; 
beans, 200 bushels, $250: buckwheat, 500 bushels. $250; potatoes, 1,691 
bushels, $4,022; other esculent vegetables, 750 bushels. $137; hay, 3,900 
.tons, $29,250; fruit, 4,805 bushels, $1,600; hops, 950 pounds, $100; 
tobacco, 29,638 pounds, 81,630; butter, 82,447 pounds. $10,306; cheese, 
37.425 pounds, $2,2 15 : honey. 422 pounds. $53 ; broom seed, 4,526 
bushels. Si. 13 i : broom brush, 65,659 pounds, $3,939. 

In 1855, there were owned in Amherst 429 horses, valued at $33,900 ; 
741 sheep, > r.41 7 ; 541 oxen and steers, $23,448 : 1.1 27 cows and heifers, 
$27,691 ; 525 swine, $4,500. Farm products and their valuations were as 
follows : Butter, 62,875 pounds, $12,575 I cheese, 30.750 pounds, $3,075 ; 
honey, 220 pounds, $44; Indian corn, 873 acres, $28,512 ; broom corn, 
84 acres, $5,040; broom seed, 50 bushels per acre, $1,260; wheat. 19 
acres, $648 ; rye, 593 acres, $6,685 : barley, 2 acres, $63 ; oats, 310 acres, 
$4,090; potatoes, 238 acres, $11,348: onions, one acre, $315; turnips, 
•one and one-acre, $19. 



Amherst Cotton Factory. — Woolen Mills. — Hat M \.\r- 


1 \< tills. — Kellogg Plane Factory. — The Roper Repeating 
Rifle. — Bowie Knife Pistols. — Hoop Skirts. — Wire Goods. 
— Cooking Stoves. — Carriage Making. —Children's Car- 
riages and Sleds. 

While Amherst has never been a manufacturing center, it has been 
•he home of extensive and diversified manufacturing industries. The two 
Streams that flow through the town furnish a water-power which has been 
utilized for fully an hundred years for manufacturing purposes. Some of 
these industries were successful for a time, but the great majority proved 
losing ventures for those who engaged in them. In olden times, before 
the railroad era, the banks of New England streams and rivers were bor- 



dered by mills and factories, located where good water-power could be 
secured at small expense, with little regard for centers of population or for 
markets. As railways were built, and steam-power came into more general 
use, there arose a tendency toward the centralization of manufacturing 
industries in the cities and larger villages. Ready access to the sources 
of raw materials and to the markets for the manufactured product became 
a necessity, lacking which an industry, no matter how old-established or 
prosperous heretofore, was crowded to the wall by competitors more favor- 
ably situated. To one who has never made a study of manufacturing in 
Amherst, the number and variety of industries which have flourished here 
at various times must prove a source of surprise. Concerning some of 
these but little reliable data can be secured ; the records of others are 
more' full and interesting. 

The first factory in Amherst of which there is any existing record was 
situated on Mill river, just above the "City." It was owned in 1795 by a 
man named Rowe, who was engaged in the manufacture of paper. About 
1807, Reuben Roberts came from Hartford, Conn, to Amherst, and in 
company with a man named Cox bought out Rowe. About 1809, Cox 
disposed of his interest in the concern, and Reuben Roberts was joined by 
his brother Ephraim, the business being conducted for many years under 
the firm name of Roberts Bros. They engaged at first in the manufacture 
of writing paper, most of the work being done by hand, the stock being 
reduced to pulp by the rude machinery which was then in use. They 
gathered rags through all the counties in the state to supply their mill, and 
carried the finished product to Albany by teams. Their mill stood in the 
ravine across the stream from the highway leading from the "City" to 
" Factory Hollow." The business established one hundred years ago was 
continued by the descendants of Ephraim and Reuben Roberts until 1894, 
when the mill,- then owned by William L. and Manning Roberts, was 
destroyed by incendiary fire, Aug. 3. For several years preceding the mill 
had been employed in the manufacture of wrapping paper, straw and 
leather-board, with an output of about one ton per clay. 

Ephraim and John R. Cushman began the manufacture of paper in 
what was subsequently known as the "old mill," far up on Mill river, in 
1835. They were sons of Ephraim Cushman and were born in Amherst 
early in the century. In 1S54. they obtained a patent for a process of 
drying thick paper whereby it was prevented from warping out of shape. 
In 1859, they purchased a water privilege further down the stream and 
erected what is known as the " red mill." They manufactured straw-board 
and leather-board, the latter under a patent granted to John R. Cushman. 
The leather, in scraps and waste bits, is ground into pulp as in the manu- 


facture of paper and made into sheets of any required thickness. Before 
the introduction of railroads, the products of the mills were carried to 
Boston by teams. The business thus established by the Cushman broth- 
ers has been conducted by their descendants up to the present time. In 
recent years there has been added to the business the manufacture of 
" button-board," a material from which small pieces are punched with a 
die and manufactured into shoe-buttons. In 1863 A. R. Cushman bought 
out the interest of Ephraim Cushman, and the firm name was then 
J. R. Cushman & Son. Ephraim Cushman then bought a water 
privilege in "Factory Hollow" and erected a mill where, in part- 
nership with his sons, he engaged in the manufacture of printing and 
manilla paper. In 1866, the Cushman Bros, paper mill furnished paper 
for printing the New York Tribune. This mill was burned in 1873 and the 
business was given up. J. R. Cushman & Son continued the business at 
the "old" mill and the "red" mill until 1878, when it passed into the 
hands of Avery R. Cushman. son of John R., who still conducts it. In 
1S71, the business of the firm amounted to $75,000 annually; since then 
it has increased considerably. The mills at present employ about 20 
hands, turning out about three tons of straw, leather and button-board per 
day. Feb. 5, 1891, the "old" mill was burned and a new one has-been 
erected on the same site. 

Some time in the '50s, William H. Smith and John Wiley built a paper 
mill in what was known as " Westville," west of North Amherst, and con- 
ducted business under the name of the Westville Paper company. This 
mill was burned March 17. 1858. An item in the Express, referring to the 
fire, states that the mill had not been running for some time and the lire 
was doubtless of incendiary origin. 

Bigelow's statistics for the year ending April 1. 1S37, show that at 
that time there were two paper-mills in Amherst; 42 tons of paper were 
manufactured, valued at $7,000. Eleven males and seven females were 
employed and the capital invested was $8,000. In 1845, there were two 
mills; the stock consumed amounted to 175 tons, from which 105 tons of 
paper were made, valued at $7,700. The capital invested was $7,700, the 
number of employes ten. In 1855, there were two mills in operation ; the 
stock consumed was 600 tons, from which was made 300 tons of paper 
valued at $24,000. The capital invested was $15,000, the number of 
employes 25. In [865, four mills were in operation; these produced 150 
tons of wrapping paper valued at Si 5,000, and 700 tons of paper and 
leather-board valued at $70,000. The capital invested was $26,000, the 
number of employes 38. 

At " Factory Hollow," about 1809, Ebenezer Dickinson, a well-to-do 
farmer, built a three-story wooden building in which to spin cotton yarn by 




machinery. He had no experience in the business and, as a natural con- 
sequence, soon became hopelessly involved. He borrowed money from 
neighbors and friends, but failed to put the business on a paying founda- 
tion and it passed out of his hands. A company was formed in 1812 to 
conduct the business, ten men investing $1,000 each in the enterprise. 
The company was legally incorporated in 18 14, under the following charter, 
the first to be granted to Amherst citizens for a manufacturing enterprise : 

"An Act to establish the Amherst Cotton Factory : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court 
assembled, and by the authority of the same. That Levi Collins, Ebenezer Mat- 
toon, Samuel F. Dickinson, Elijah Eastman, Robert Douglass, Nathan Gilson, 
Asa Adams and Samuel Perrin, together with such other persons as may here- 
after associate with them, their successors and assigns, be, and they hereby are 
made a Corporation, by the name of the Amherst Cotton Factory, for the purpose 
of manufacturing cotton yarn and cloth, in the town of Amherst, in the county of 
Hampshire ; and for that purpose shall have all the powers and privileges, and be 
subject to all the duties and requirements contained in an act entitled An Act 
defining the general powers and duties of Manufacturing Corporations. 

Be it further enacted, That the said Corporation may be lawfully seized and 
possessed of such real estate, not exceeding the value of thirty thousand dollars, 
and such personal estate, not exceeding fifty thousand dollars, as may be neces- 
sary and convenient for carrying on the manufacture of cotton yarn and cloth in 
said town of Amherst." 

This company conducted the mill for several years, manufacturing 
cotton yarn and giving it out to families to be woven on hand looms. As none 
of the incorporators had any knowledge of the business, they engaged the 
services of an Englishman named Odber to take charge of the machinery. 
In 1814, L. Collins, agent for the Amherst Cotton Manufacturing company, 
advertised chat machinery of all kinds for cotton and woolen manufacturing 
could be bought of the company. In June, 1814, the name of the concern 
was changed to the Amherst Cotton Factory. In the Hampshire Gazette, 
under date of July 24, 1822, appears the following notice : 

"All persons indebted to the Amherst Cotton Factory, either by Book or 
Note, are hereby called upon to make payment by the First of August next. 
Should anyone neglect this call, they may expect their accounts will be put into 
other hands for collection. 

For the Amherst Cotton Factory, 

Israel Scott, Treasurer." 

The investment proved a permanent one, the capital being exhausted 
by poor management and business reverses. Most of the parties engaged 
in the enterprise gave up the business in disgust, but Gen. Mattoon would 
seem to have been connected with it as late as 1830. Ebenezer Dickinson, 
the original owner of the mill, broke into the building after it had passed 




from his possession and stole a quantity of cotton yarn. An officer armed 
with a search warrant found the yarn stored in the garret of his dwelling. 
Dickinson fled to Ohio, where he died in poverty, but before leaving 
Amherst he recorded his curse upon the " Hollow,*' where he had lost his 
property. The ill fortune that attended for many years the various enter- 
prises there conducted was ascribed by many to the effects of this curse. 

Elnathan Jones was in possession of the first mill as early as 1836, 
and owned and conducted the business until the mill was burned in 1842 ; 
in company with his son Thomas he rebuilt the mill and continued the 
business. In the early '40s, Thomas Jones owned three mills in the 
" Hollow," where he manufactured Kentucky jeans. He sold these mills 
to the Amherst Manufacturing company. This company was chartered in 
1846, the act of incorporation bearing dateof Feb. 7, and giving the names 
of Thomas Jones, John S. Adams and J. M. Whitcomb as principals in 
the venture. The business of the corporation was the manufacture of 
cotton and woolen goods in Amherst, and it was authorized to issue capital 
stock to an amount not exceeding $100,000. The company sunk all its 
capital, and Jones bought the mills again in 1854. It would appear, from 
such sources of information as are available, that Jones sold at least two 
of his mills to Dana YYheelock in 1854. In the Hampshire Express, under 
dateof Nov. 8, 1 854, is published an account of the burning of " Wheelock 
Mill No. 2." The loss on the building and machinery was estimated at 
$12,000, on which there was no insurance. About 40 persons were 
employed in the mill. The Express also records, under date of April 30, 
1857, the burning of the "Jones factory " at North Amherst. The flames 
spread with great rapidity, and the operatives, many of them females, 
saved themselves by jumping from the second-story windows. The building, 
including a large stock of raw material and cloth ready for the market. 
was destroyed. The factory was built in 1851 and was owned by Thomas 
Jones & Bros.; it cost $10,000, and was insured for $7,000. The stock, 
owned by Jones i\: Alexander, was valued at $3,000 and was not insured. 
A statement of the affairs of the Amherst Manufacturing company, 
printed in the Express under date of Jan. 18, 1848, is signed by Thomas 
Jones as president and by (Jharles Adams and William Kellogg, Jr. as 
directors The capital stock paid in amounted to the debts to 
$23,783.98. Bigelow's " branches of Industry " published in [837 contains 
no notice of cotton manufacturing in Amherst. Palfrey's statistics for 
1845 show that there was one cotton mill in Amherst with 672 spindles. 
The amount of cotton consumed was 120,000 pounds, from which was 
manufactured cotton yams valued at $7,500 and cotton batting valued at 
$150. The capital invested was $5,000, the number of employes 17,5 


males and 12 females. The state census for 1855 shows that there was 
one cotton wickirig mill in Amherst. The amount of cotton consumed was 
50,000 pounds, the value of wicking manufactured $7,000, the number of 
employes 5. 

In 1830, Peter Ingram built a small woolen mill on Mill river above 
the " City." The business was successful for a time, but succumbed to the 
panic of 1837. It was afterwards reorganized under the firm name of 
Peter Ingram & Co., and the business continued until 1847 when the mill 
was burned. The loss was about $6,000, partially covered by insurance. 
In 1837, Peter Ingram, as agent for the factory, advertised that wool would 
be carded for customers and woven into cloth at the factory. Wool would 
be taken in the fleece and returned cloth, the work to be done upon shares 
or for an agreed price per yard. In 1S45, Thomas Jones and a Mr. Brad- 
ford built a woolen mill which was burned in 1857. In 1852, the West- 
ville company, consisting of William H. Smith, George Cutler, Luke 
Sweetser and Thomas Jones, built a woolen mill on the site now occupied 
by S. E. Harrington & Son's wood-working factory. This mill was burned 
March 26, 1855 ; the loss was $8,600, the insurance $5,150. 

Statistics for 1837, show there were two woolen mills in Amherst with 
four sets of machinery. Wool was consumed to the amount of 39,000 
pounds, from which was manufactured 62,195 >" ai "ds of cloth valued at 
$40,337. The capital invested was $30,000, the number of males employed 
was 22, females 30. In 1S45, there were two woolen mills: the amount of 
wool consumed was 102,200 pounds from which 252,000 yards of Kentucky 
jeans were manufactured, valued at $52,600. The capital invested was 
$18,000, the number of males employed 25, of females 30. In 1855, there 
was one woolen and cotton mill ; amount of wool consumed 16,000 pounds, 
cotton consumed 20,000 pounds, Kentucky jeans made 145,600 yards 
valued at $28,000, number of employes 20. The series of disastrous fires 
that destroyed so many mills proved a death-blow to the textile industry at 
North Amherst. After the year i860, there is no further mention of any 
attempt to manufacture either cottons or woolens in Amherst. 

Early in the present century, palm-leaf was brought from Boston to 
Amherst and manufactured into hats. It was brought to Boston by vessels 
trading with the West Indies. \\ 'hen the Boston & Albany railway was 
opened for business the palm-leaf was carried to Palmer by rail and thence 
carted to Amherst in teams. Henry Jackson, the veteran teamster, brought 
many loads of leaf to Amherst before the Amherst &: Belchertown railway 
was built. The leaf was distributed among many families living in Amherst 
and adjoining towns, where it was split by hand, braided, sewed, fashioned 
into hats and the latter disposed of to the local merchants in exchange for 


goods. Many persons were engaged in the business, but it was not until 
the fall of 1829 that an attempt was made to systematize and develop it as 
a distinctive industry. In 1829, Leonard M. Hills came to Amherst from 
Ellington, Conn, and engaged in the manufacture of palm-leaf hats in a 
little shop at East Amherst. The business prospered and was soon enlarged 
to include the making of " Shaker " hoods, at that time and for many 
years thereafter a popular article of female wearing apparel. The old 
" hood shop," yet standing on Main street and now owned by the New 
London Northern railway company, was erected by Mr. Hills in 1859 ; it is 
a large and commodious building and the business of hood-making there 
conducted for many years gave employment to large numbers of people. 
In 1856, L. M. Hills erected mills at "Factory Hollow," where in partner- 
ship with his son Henry F. he carried on the business of hat manufactur- 
ing. The mills were carried away by the great freshet in 1863, when Hills 
& Son erected a large wooden factory building on the site now occupied 
by the mill of Burnett & Son. The first building on this site was occupied 
by a factory for splitting palm-leaf, which was burned in i860. L. M. 
Hills continued in business until his death in 1872. In July, 1868, a 
patent was issued to John C. Smith of Chicopee and L. D. Hills, son of 
L. M. Hills, for a loom for weaving palm-leaf by power, work that formerly 
been done by hand. 

Some idea of the extent of the business conducted by L. M. Hills & 
Sons may be gained from a long article published in the Boston Advertiser 
in 1 87 1. At that time Massachusetts was the only state in the Union 
where palm-leaf was manufactured into hats. The only factories for carrying 
on this work were located at Amherst. Barre, Palmer and Fitchburg. Of 
these, the factories at Amherst were the most important as regarded the 
size of buildings, the amount of business and the completeness of the 
work done. L. M. Hills <.\: Sons were the largest operators in the business 
in America. All the leaf used in the work came from Cuba. The straw 
was bleached, split and dyed at the factory, and then sent out to be braided 
into hats and woven into webs for shaker hoods. This work was all done 
by hand, generally by the wives and daughters of farmers. The firm had 
agents in all the New England states to handle the braid. Country mer- 
chants frequently took the leaf and distributed it among the families in 
their neighborhood. The hats were gathered up and returned to the factory 
to be bleached a second time, pressed, trimmed, and packed for the market. 
Hydraulic presses were used. The business for the year 1S71 amounted 
to about 100,000 dozen hats. In addition to the palm-leaf business, large 
quantities of hats were imported from Malaga. Spain, and from Leghorn, 
Italy, to be bleached, pressed and bound. Braid was also imported from 




Canton, China. About ioo persons were employed in the building, but 
this was a small proportion of those engaged in the palm-leaf business. 
The hood-factory employed a large number of hands. The products of 
the factories were sent to New York city, where they were sold by a resi- 
dent member of the firm. The first year that L. M. Hills was engaged in 
the business his receipts amounted to about $5,000. Before his death, 
the business of the factories amounted annually to hundreds of thousands 
of dollars. 

On the death of L. M. Hills in 1872, the hat business was purchased 
of his heirs by H. D. Fearing & Co., a firm organized at that time and 
consisting of H. D. Fearing, C. M. Osgood and E. A. Thompson. They 
carried on the business of finishing hats for other parties. Their business 
prospered, and in 1880 their monthly pay-roll amounted to upwards of 
$5,000 and 250,000 dozen hats were sent out from their works. April 23, 
1880, their factory was destroyed by fire, and the same year a fine brick build- 
ing was erected which cost, with machinery and other equipment, upwards 
of $100,000. From the time that ground was broken for the new factory 
until it was finished and ready for business only eighty days elapsed. The 
contractor was John Beston, Jr. In October, 1891, C. M. Osgood withdrew 
from the firm, and in 1892 the business was sold to George B. Burnett & Son. 
The latter firm now employs upwards of 250 hands during the busy season 
and their business is rapidly increasing. The Hills Co. was organized in 
1877, with Henry F. Hills as president. A factory was erected on the east 
side of the New London Northern railway tracks, but this was burned in 
1880, at the same time time that Fearing & Co's factory was destroyed. 
The fire started in the factory of The Hills Co.; the loss of the two concerns 
was something like $150,000. The Hills Co. rebuilt on the same site, 
where they now conduct a flourishing business, the number of hands 
employed in the busy season averaging about 325. E. L. Dean & Co. still 
continue to split and bleach palm-leaf and manufacture palm-leaf hats. 

Statistics for 1837 show that there were two hat factories in Amherst; 
the number of hats manufactured was 1,200 dozen, the value of the product 
$3,600, the number of males employed 5, of females 2. In 1845, the 
number of palm-leaf hats manufactured was 317,236, valued at $56,696; 
the number of males employed was 5, of females, 65. In 1855, there were 
two straw hat and bonnet factories ; the value of their product was $32,000, 
the number of employes 173. In 1865, there was one establishment for 
the manufacture of palm-leaf for hats, hoods and bonnets. The value of 
stock used was $20,000, tons of leaf prepared 120, capital invested $8,000, 
employes 20. There was one establishment for the manufacture of hats, 
hoods and bonnets. The value of stock used was $30,000, number of hats 


made 50,000 dozen, of hoods made 30,000 dozen, value $135,000, capital 
invested $17,000, number of employes 55. 

Many industries for the manufacture of articles constructed in whole 
or in part of iron or steel have been conducted at Amherst. Perhaps the 
most important, certainly the most successful in its day, was the manufac- 
ture of planes at East Amherst. About 1835, James Kellogg bought from 
Eli Dickinson a shop at South Amherst that stood on the site now occu- 
pied by C. E. Hayward's factory. There he engaged in the making of 
bench planes and molders' planes. The business prospered, and a part- 
nership was formed under the name of Kellogg, Washburne & Vox for its 
development. This firm was dissolved in April, 1839, and immediately 
thereafter James Kellogg and Hiram Fox formed a partnership " for the 
merchandising and manufacturing of joiners' tools in Amherst." The 
capital stock was $8,000. The firm was dissolved in 1840, Mr. Kellogg 
continuing the business. In 1839, the business was removed to that part 
of Amherst which subsequently acquired the name of " Kelloggville." 
Here two factories were erected, one of brick and one of wood, which were 
stocked with machinery of the latest pattern. Success attended the new 
venture, the business increasing so rapidly that the factories were frequently 
unable to fill the orders which came from all parts of the country and even 
from abroad. Experts declare that better planes were never made than 
those sent out from Kellogg's factory in Amherst, and many years after the 
business was suspended orders for the goods continued to come in. When 
the works were in full operation some twenty men were employed and 
planes of all kinds were manufactured. The operatives were well paid, 
and residing near the factories they formed a flourishing little community 
which, as stated above, was christened " Kelloggville.'' James Kellogg 
retired from business in 1867, and was succeeded by his son William. A 
sketch of the business, written in 1869, states that the woodwork of the 
planes was made from beech, box and rosewood, and the irons were brought 
from New Haven and fitted at the factory. The average daily output from 
the factory was 150 to 200 planes. In 1886 the dam of the pond that 
furnished power for the factories was carried away and for several years 
the works have remained idle. 

Previous to 1829, the firm of Hills. Wolcott & Co. was engaged in 
the manufacture of joiners' tools at South Amherst. The firm was dis- 
solved, March 16, 1829, and the business was continued by Samuel and 
1 [ervey 1 1 ills, who manufactured joiners' tools of the latest and most approved 
patterns; they advertised to make any kind of tools according to drafts 
that might be furnished, also to supply wholesale purchasers on the most 
liberal terms. 


For several years George Burnham conducted a factory at East 
Amherst where planes were manufactured. In 1857, Ebenezer Nutting 
and E. Porter Nutting manufactured planes and other tools at a factory in 
South Amherst. The following statistics serve to show the rise and decline 
of this industry: In 1837, the value of planes manufactured was $8,000, 
the number of employes 10, the amount of capital invested $3,000. In 
1845, the value of tools manufactured was $14,975, the number of employes 
22. In 1855, the value of tools manufactured was $18,000, the number of 
employes 20. In 1865, the value of the product had declined to $3,000, 
the number of employes to 3. Porter Dickinson built a shop at East 
Amherst about 1835, where for many years he manufactured hammers, 
forks and edged tools. On his death in 1S79, n ' s son E. P. Dickinson, 
succeeded him, but has given his attention mainly to general job work. 

The " Roper Repeating Rifles" were first manufactured in 1866. A 
company was formed to conduct their manufacture and sale, in which 
Amherst capital was largely interested. 

The Hampshire Express, under date of April 19, 1866, published the 
following sketch of this enterprise : 

■• A new enterprise has recently been commenced in Amherst, and a corpora- 
tion formed. The parties concerned are Mr. S. II. Roper of Roxbury, the inventor 
of the rifle proposed to be manufactured and of numerous other valuable machines, 
Mr. Spencer, the inventor of the Spencer repeating- rifle, which has proved so 
effectual in the late war. and Messrs. H. D. Fearing and L. M. & H. F. Hills. 
The capital stock is Si 00.000. The company will commence operations in the red 
building connected with Messrs. Hills Palmleaf works, which building they are 
now converting into a machine shop. The machinery introduced is of the very 
best and latest patterns, and will be sufficient to manufacture every part of the rifle 
but the barrel. These can be manufactured abroad easier than here. The rifle is 
the invention of Mr. Roper and has just been patented. So unlike any other fire- 
arm is it, that no difficulty attended the procuring of the patent. It is a novelty, 
and at the same time one of the neatest sporting pieces we have ever seen. The 
rifle which we were shown weighs but 4^ lbs., carries a common pistol cartridge 
No. 30, and will do execution at 20 rods. It is hreach-loading and contains eight 
cartridges. The action of cocking brings the cartridge into its right position and 
discharges the empty shell. The eight cartridges can be discharged in less than a 
minute. The inventor claims that he can attain a larger range with this gun than 
with any now manufactured. They will also manufacture a shot-gun on the same 
principle. This will be supplied with a quantity of steel shells for cartridges which 
can be loaded with common ammunition and capped with common percussion caps. 
Thus a sportsman can charge 50 or 100 cartridges at home, and with any ammuni- 
tion he chooses, and all he has to do in the field will be to load the revolving breech, 
and remove the empty shells. The company will employ at the outset about 30 
first-class mechanics, and increase their force as the market for their guns shall 
demand. They have purchased a lot of land on the east side of the railroad tracks, 
and will soon erect houses for the accommodation of the workmen. We welcome 
this new enterprise to Amherst, believing that it is but a pioneer of many others 
that will embrace the advantages offered by this town." 


The company was organized under its charter with the choice of Henry 
F. Hills as president, H. D. Fearing as treasurer, and these officers, 
together with L. M. Hills and S. H. Roper as directors. 

In 1868, the company occupied a building situated near the New 
London Northern railway tracks. The guns first made and put on the 
market were found to be defective, and an unavailing effort was made to 
secure their return to the factory. The pattern was afterwards improved 
and a large number of the guns were made and placed upon the market 
where they met with a ready sale. A newspaper paragraph, under date of 
May 21, 1868, states that the company were just completing a second lot 
of guns, fifty in number, made after the new pattern, and had commenced 
on a new lot of 100. In addition to orders from all parts of this country, 
they had recently received an order from China. In July of the same year, 
announcement was made that the Roper shot-guns were meeting with unpar- 
alleled success. The demand for the product of the factory was so great 
that it was necessary to increase the capital stock, employ more hands and 
manufacture on a larger scale. The company had recently been granted a 
patent for a " close-shooting attachment " to the muzzle of their shot- 
gun, enabling one to shoot close or scattering as desired. The prosperity 
was short-lived, for in November, 1868, announcement was made that the 
company had sold patents, tools and fixtures to D. W. C. Perry, who with 
C. M. Spencer, inventor of the Spencer rifle, would carry on the business. 
The guns were loaded with four charges, which could be discharged in two 
and one-half seconds. Some of these guns are still in existence in Amherst. 
An article in the Springfield Republican, printed in December, 1868, states 
that it was proposed to remove the works to Springfield and form a stock 
company with a capital of $100,000 to continue the manufacture. The 
works were in operation in Amherst as late as April, 1869. Later on, they 
were removed to Hartford, Conn. 

At East Amherst, just across Fort river on the road leading to Pelham, 
there was, as early as 1837, a shop were cutlery and pistols were manu- 
factured. April 1, 1836, Henry A. Morrill, Silas Mosman, Jr. and Charles 
Illair formed a copartnership for the manufacture of cutlery and machinery. 
From a Georgia man, who was the patentee, the firm secured a contract for 
manufacturing "bowie-knife pistols." For a description of this unique 
weapon the writer is indebted to the Boston Courier, which published the 
following item under date of Aug. 30, 1837 : 

" At Amherst about a mile east of the principal village is a small establish- 
ment, now in its infancy, which we found was entirely unknown to its near neigh- 
bors. The principal article which it produces is a weapon, which has yet hardly 
made its appearance, and which will not, probably, for many years, if ever, be 
much used in New England. His called the Bowie-Knife Pistol, a combination 

KIM I I A< "1 OR\ 

t*>>ssa— if 



of these two articles, the knife being fixed by means of a spring to the lower side 
of the pistol barrel. These instruments are intended for the hunter, and the man- 
ufacturer has a contract for one thousand for a Georgia man who is the patentee. 
They are made in three sizes." 

The business panic of 1837, and the failure of Knowles & Thayer, 
who had endorsed the firm's paper, proved a death-blow to the enterprise. 
An advertisement published in the Hampshire Gazette under date of March 
8, 1837, is of interest in this connection. It reads as follows : 

" Wanted — Six or eight filers, who can do first-rate work, and who feel smart 
enough to do a day's work in ten hours, without raising higher pressure of steam 
than cold water will make, and can leave their long yarns until their day's work is 
done. Such will find good encouragement by applying immediately to 

Morrill, Mosmax & Blair." 

The partnership was dissolved in July, 1838, the business being car- 
ried on by Silas Mosman and Charles Blair until February, 1839, when the 
water-power, machinery and patents were disposed of at assignee's sale. 
Statistics for 1837 show the value of bowie-knives and pistols manufactured 
to have been $2,000, the number of employes four and the capital invested 

The manufacture of wire hoop-skirts was at one time a flourishing 
industry in Amherst. It was established in 1863, by Charles D. Clapp ? 
who employed from three to four hands. The work was carried on in a 
shop located west of the meeting-house, where L. M. Hills had developed 
his palm-leaf business. In 1865, H. J. Bardwell and E. H. Haskell, the 
latter coming from Gloucester, were taken into partnership in the business, 
a patent on a " collapsing skirt " was secured, and the number of employes 
was increased to about 30. The firm was known as the " Odessa Skirt 
company;" they manufactured the "Odessa patent collapsing skirt," 
described in an advertisement as "the greatest invention of the age." It 
could be altered in an instant from the " Empress trail " or "tilting" skirt 
to a " Paris trail " or " Parlor invisible " skirt. The shape was "the most 
beautiful in the market;" it could "never move of its own accord," but 
would "always stay in the position placed by the pleasure of the wearer." 
In 1867, S. H. Emanuel of Gloucester bought an interest in the business, 
and its rapid development calling for increased accommodations, it was 
thought best to remove the works to Gloucester. 

B. F. Allen & Co. began the manufacture of wire goods in Amherst in 
1855, in the building now occupied by E. P. Dickinson. They sold out 
the business in 1856 to Allen Bros., and in i860 it was bought by L. H. 
Allen who has since conducted it. The goods manufactured consist of 
wire cloth, screens, corn-poppers and wire goods of all kinds. The busi- 
ness in its best days, before these goods were made by machinery, employed 


about ten hands. The product was formerly sold throughout New England 
and the West, but in later years the market has been confined to New. 
England. Statistics for 1855 show that 4,000 wire covers, riddles, etc. 
were manufactured and the number of employes was 13. 

About the year 1834, the firm of Clapp & Rust was formed for the 
manufacture of cooking-stoves, which were then a great novelty, very few, 
if any, being in use in Amherst at that time. The castings were made at 
Trask's foundery in Springfield, and brought to Amherst where the work 
was completed. The shop stood on the site now occupied by G. E. Thayer's 
store. The firm employed two or three men beside themselves in the 
factory and opened a store at the center village for the sale of their wares. 
In November, 1S35, tne nrm 0I Clapp, Spencer & Co. was organized, con- 
sisting of Oliver M. Clapp, John H. Spencer and Timothy Hubbard. In 
an advertisement published in the Hampshire Gazette in 1835, they invited 
the attention of the public to an examination of ''anew and highly 
improved cooking-stove which they are now manufacturing at their shop in 
Amherst." They continued in business until about 1837, when the "mulberry 
craze," in which ( ). M. Clapp was early interested, and the failure of 
Knowles & Thayer and Morrill, Mosman & Blair, whose paper Clapp & 
Rust had endorsed, put an end to the manufacture of stoves in Amherst. 
One of the stoves, bearing the name of Clapp & Rust, was in use in the 
family of Joseph Dickinson until about 1885. Statistics for 1837 give the 
value of stoves manufactured as $2,500, the capital invested $800. the 
number of employes ten. Statistics for 1S37 also show that 70 plows and 
300 axes were manufactured in Amherst. Berioni Rust was for some time 
engaged in the manufacture of steel springs in a shop located near the 
New London Northern railroad. Statistics for 1845 give the value of steel 
springs manufactured as S 1,600. 

Lyman Knowles began the manufacture of carriages in a shop front- 
ing on "the Green " at South Amherst about 1827. In 1S30, he removed 
to hast Amherst, where in partnership with Asahel Thayer he carried on a 
large business in the manufacture of fine carriages under the firm name of 
Knowles <N: Thayer. For several years this was one of the largest and best- 
known concerns engaged in carriage manufacturing in Massachusetts. 
Their product was of superior workmanship, commanding a ready sale at 
good prices. Their factories were located on the road leading to 
Pelham, including shops for wood-working, iron-working, upholstering 
and painting. From 100 to 150 hands were employed in the various 
departments. Asahel Thayer was a deacon in the Second Congrega- 
tional church, endowed with all the shrewdness and sagacity in bargain- 
ing proverbial in Yankee deacons. A story is told of him, in the time 


when the carriage-making industry was in its infancy and the members of 
the firm were their own traveling salesmen. Dea. Thayer had a carriage built 
which he intended to sell to the president of a bank in Greenfield. 
Especial pains was taken in its manufacture, the best of materials being 
employed. The night succeeding the day when the last coat of varnish 
was applied was bitter cold and the varnish cracked badly. Another coat 
was applied but this served only to bring out the markings in bolder relief. 
The deacon started for Greenfield with three carriages, including the one 
of special make. Having disposed of two carriages, he called on the bank 
president and told him that he had a chaise of superior quality for sale, 
adding, " It has a peculiar finish known as the turtle shell, and there is 
only one man in the United States who can do that kind of work." The 
president inquired the price, and was told that he could have chaise and 
harness for $275. After a little bargaining a sale was effected at $250. 
There is no record to show if other carriages were adorned with the 
" turtle-shell " finish. The panic of 1837 caused the firm of Knowles & 
Thayer to suspend. The business was sold to Loren Blanchard who con- 
tinued it, on a smaller scale, some little time. 

A petition dated at Amherst. Jan. 22, 1838, was addressed to the Gen- 
eral Court. It stated that the subscribers, having associated themselves 
together for carrying on the business of manufacturing carriages and 
harness at Amherst, were satisfied that the business could be conducted 
more advantageously to all concerned by a corporation, and therefore 
prayed that they might be incorporated under the name of the Amherst 
Carriage company, with the right to hold real estate to the amount of 
$10,000 and personal estate to the amount of S20.000. The first name 
signed to the petition was that of Robert C. Kid ; other names of well- 
known men were those of Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr., Leonard M. Hills and 
Oliver Watson. The petition was accompanied by a memorial signed by 
50 persons, nearly all resident in Amherst, requesting that it be granted. 
No less than three remonstrances were filed against the petition. The first 
was signed by 23 persons, who protested against incorporating any business 
already safe and flourishing in the hands of individuals ; the second signed 
by 47 names of persons resident in Cambridge and engaged in carriage- 
making and allied trades ; the third signed by 47 journeymen, also engaged, 
in the business of carriage manufacture. Despite these remonstrances, 
the committee on manufactures reported a bill favorable to the petitioners, 
but it failed to be enacted. Statistics for 1837 show that during the pre- 
ceding year carriages were manufactured to the value of $100,000, capital 
was invested amounting to $30,000 and the number of employes was 100. 
When the carriage business was given up the factory buildings were dis- 


connected and parts are yet standing, in use as dwelling-houses. A. W. 
Hall has carried on a small but prosperous business in the manufacture of 

■carriages, express and farm wagons, sleighs, etc., in a factory at North 
Amherst} since 1879. He employs from three to six hands. 

The manufacture of children's carriages and sleds has for many 
years been a prominent feature of Amherst's industries. Thousands of 

• dollars have been invested in it and hundreds of persons have found in it 
the means of securing a livelihood. The fast Amherst man to engage in 
this line of manufacture was Eli Dickinson, whose factory was located a 
little north of the site of C. E. Hayward's present factory at South Amherst. 
Mr. Dickinson had previously been engaged in the manufacture of faucets, 
but had no water-power connected with his shop. Benjamin Allen and C. 
E. Hayward began the business in 1845, and about a year afterward Mr. 
Hayward's brother, C. F. Hayward, went in partnership with him. For 
five years they manufactured children's carriages exclusively, and then 
engaged in the making of sleds. The business was very successful until 
"hard times" came in 1857-58. In 1864, C. F. Hayward conducted two 
factories at South Amherst. During the year he disposed of his interest 
in one- to his nephew, C. E. Hayward, who has conducted it since that 
time. In its busiest clays from ten to fifteen men were employed the 
product of the factory being about 10,000 wagons a year. Children's 

•carts and wheelbarrows have also been made at this factory. The material 
used in the business is bought in Amherst and vicinity, and the product 
is sold to jobbing houses in New York. The present output of the factory 
is about 5,000 sleds and 3,000 to 4,000 wagons each year. C. F. Hayward 

-continued in business until his death in 1879, wnen the stock was bought 
by C. E. Hayward and A. J. Robinson, who carried on the business in 
partnership for almost a year. At the end of that time Mr. Robinson 
bought out the business and continued it until 1888. The average annual 
output of the factory was valued at $10,000, the average number of hands 
employed was ten, the amount of lumber used per year was 30,000 feet, 
the amount of capital invested $6,000. C. L. & S. H. Goodale engaged in 

'the same line of business in 1865, and continued in it about ten years; 
they occupied a shop a little south of Mr. Hayward's. In 1869, their 

.annual output was about 5,000 children's sleighs, 1,000 tip-carts, 700 
wagons and 500 wheelbarrows. They employed from three to five hands. 
At Mill Valley, David Dexter, in 1869, was engaged in the manufacture of 
children's sleighs and saw-horses. He employed from one to three hands 

;and the annual output was 500 sleighs and twenty dozen saw-horses. 

Statistics for 1837 snow the value of children's wagons manufactured have been $1,500, the number of employes ten. In 1845, the number 


of wagons made was 7,000, valued at $8,500, the value of velocipedes, 
made, $1,200. In 1S55, the number of wagons and sleds manufactured 
was 74,900, valued at $14,985, the amount of capital engaged, $2,800, the 
number of employes, 18. In 1865, there were three establishments in 
town devoted to the manufacture of this line of goods ; the number of 
children's carriages and sleds made was 17,750, valued at $18,000, the 
capital invested, $2,000; the number of employes, 12. 


Miscellaneous Manufactures. — " Burnham's Mills." — Wood-work- 
ing Establishments. — Faucets. — Tanneries. — Brick-making.. 
— American Button Company. — Bonnet-making. — Lesser 

Many branches of wood-working industry have been conducted in 
Amherst. Among the most important were the various enterprises carried on. 
at "Burnham's Mills" at East Amherst. In view of Mr. Burnham's promi- 
nence as a manufacturer in Amherst, a brief sketch of his career is here 
presented. George Burnham, Jr. was born in East Hartford. Conn., Jan. 
28, 1S17. He received a common school education and served an appren- 
ticeship at bench plane making in New Hartford, Conn. Completing his 
apprenticeship, he removed to Amherst, April 10, 1841, taking a position 
as journeyman plane maker with Luther Fox then carrying on a bench 
plane business near the river in the eastern part of the town. In the 
course of a year, a company was formed of Hiram Fox, Benoni Thayer, 
Aaron Ferry and George Burnham, they buying the business from Luther 
Fox and carrying it on for about two years. The business was then bought 
and continued by George Burnham for a number of years, being finally 
sold to a company in Middletown, Conn, to which place it was removed. 
Mr. Burnham then equipped his shop with presses for pressing straw hats, 
and for sometime did a general pressing business, pressing hats for L. M. 
Hills and others through the Connecticut Valley. Later a partnership 
was formed with Stephen W. Gilbert for the manufacture of axe and other 
handles, this partnership terminating with the new year, Mr. Burnham 
continuing the business alone. In 1S55, axe -handles were manufactured 
to the value of $30,000; the capital invested was $12,000, the number of 
employes ten. July 22, 1858, one of the buildings being struck by light- 


ning during a hard shower, the entire plant was destroyed by fire. Mr. 
Burnham immediately rebuilt and continued the handle business. Later a 
run of stone for grinding corn was added and he did a general milling 
business. Still later a steam plant and saw-mill were added to the business. 
In the fall of 1868, he formed a parthership with E. B. Fitts for manufac- 
turing pumps, which business was carried on for some time, the whole works 
being disposed of to Mr. Fitts. They manufactured an " anti-freezing 
glass cylinder pump," owning a patent on a new process for boring logs. 
In the spring of 187 1, Mr. Burnham removed to Worcester and was engaged 
in various kinds of business in that city. He died in Worcester July 
n, 1893. 

In 1863, Asahel Dwight and William Dickinson conducted a factory 
at South Amherst on the site now occupied by Merrick's saw mill and 
cider-mill. They manufactured wooden pumps, shingles and broom- 
handles. In 1870, the business was removed to Mill Valley, where it was 
conducted by Asahel Dwight and his brother Nathaniel until 1878. Many 
of the pumps they manufactured were sold in Hadley, and a few in Con- 
necticut. Asahel Dwight has continued the manufacture of pumps up to 
the present time, his shop being located at Mill Valley. 

Sometime in the '60s, Charles H. Bangs and George E. Howes formed 
a partnership for the manufacture of doors, sashes, blinds and tobacco- 
boxes. The business was conducted in a building which stood on the site 
now occupied by A. W. Hall's carriage-shop, which they bought of Elijah 
Gibbs. In 1S69, Charles H. Bangs sold out his interest to Dwight Graves, 
and the firm of Dwight Graves & Co. was organized, consisting of Dwight 
Graves, B. F. Kellogg and George E. Howes. In 1876, Mr. Howes dis- 
posed of his interest to ().( '. Bangs. When Cushman's paper mill was 
burned at " factory Hollow," Dwight Graves & Co. bought the water priv- 
ilege and built a new mill in 1880, which they now occupy, doing sawing, 
planing and matching of lumber, and also manufacturing door and win- 

In 1866, S. E. Harrington came to Amherst and bought of Messrs. 
Church and White a mill which had been built some two or three years 
before by Edward Graves, who had used it for dressing lumber. Mr. Har- 
rington bought from Greenfield machinery for the manufacture of seed- 
sowers and cultivators, making this line of work a specialty for several 
years, but at the same time carrying on a general business in wood-working. 
In 1881, his son. F. W. Harrington, became associated with him under the 
firm name of S. E. Harrington & Son. The business as carried on at 
present embraces the dressing of lumber, and the manufacture of mould- 
ings, brackets, window-frames, blinds, screens, etc. Most of the product 
of the mill is used by Amherst builders. 


In 1872, Levi E. Dickinson bought from Jonathan Cowls a saw-mill 
at North Amherst where he engaged in a general line of job work. The 
following year he engaged in box-making. In 1879, ne removed to the 
center village, and built the factory he has since occupied, below the tracks 
of the New London Northern railway. In 1882, he began the manufac- 
ture of boys' tool-chests, which has since become an important feature of 
his business. The factory is equipped with machinery of the latest pattern, 
but little work being done by hand. Mr. Dickinson works up about one 
million feet of lumber annually, nearly all pine and of native growth. 
About 40,000 boys' tool-chests are made each year, being sold to jobbers 
in New York. Several hundred carpenters' and machinists' chests also 
form a part of the annual product, and a good business is done in the 
manufacture of creamery butter-boxes from whitewood. The average 
number of hands employed is fifteen. 

Early in the present century. Eli Dickinson began the manufacture of 
wooden faucets in a little shop at South Amherst on the site of the house 
now occupied by his grandson. Edwin K. Dickinson. His friend, ""Squire" 
Rood, drove an old horse hitched to a lumber wagon about the town, 
gathering up old boots and shoes to be used by Dickinson in the manu- 
facture of his faucets. He made them by a process on which he had 
secured a patent. His factory contained a turning lathe and a few other 
rude tools. His lathe was turned by horse-power. He had several boys, 
who assisted their father at his work when not in school. I lis principal 
market was Baltimore, where he went once a year to dispose of his wares. 
It took him from two to three weeks to make the trip. He moved his busi- 
ness to Plainville but remained there only a short time. Later on, two 
brothers, Luther and Dexter Fox, engaged in the same line of business, 
making competition so sharp that Dickinson gave up work and sold his 
shop in 1 S3 5 to James Kellogg. 

In 1865, a man named Gardner manufactured Inciter matches in a 
shop at East Amherst that had been built by Oliver Clapp. These matches 
had not long been in use and were commonly known as " Loco Foco " 
matches. The business was small, and was continued only for a short 

David Watson came from Spencer to Amherst in the early part of the 
present century and started a tannery near the house now occupied by 
Oscar F. Morse, where he continued in business until his death in 1815. 
In 1 82 7, his son Oliver, having served an apprenticeship to the trade in 
Hadley, started in the tanners' business on the same site where his father 
had located. Meeting with good success he continued the business until 
about 1832, when he sold out to William B. Caswell who carried it on for 


a number of years. For several years before and after 1827, Enoch Whit- 
ing conducted a tannery near the premises now occupied by John M. 
Hyde; it was from the location of this tannery that the name "Tan 
Brook " was derived. Statistics for 1837 show there was one tannery in 
operation in Amherst ; the number of hides tanned was 1,200, the value 
of leather $2,500, the capital invested $1,000, the number of hands 
employed two. In 1845, there was one tannery; the number of hides 
tanned was 650, the value of leather tanned and curried $1,600, capital 
invested $1,500, number of employes two. 

When Oliver Watson sold out his tannery in 1832, he engaged in the 
manufacture of boots and shoes at East Amherst. In this he was very 
successful, soon acquiring a handsome competence. The boots and shoes 
he manufactured were honest goods, commanding a ready sale wherever 
introduced. Statistics for 1837 show that during the preceding year 1,150 
pairs of boots and 3,000 pairs of shoes were manufactured, valued at 
$8,550; the number of males employed was 11, of females three. In 
1845, the factory turned out 918 pairs of boots and 2,833 pairs of shoes, 
valued at $5,870 : the number of males employed was 18, of females 
four. In 1855, there were manufactured 3,650 pairs of boots and 2,700 
pairs of shoes, valued at $13,500 ; the number of employes was 29. In 
1865, 1,400 pairs of boots and 250 pairs of shoes were manufactured, 
valued at $11,000; the capital invested was $10,000, the number of 
employes 12. 

Roswell D. Howard began the manufacture of brick at Hadley in 
1820. In 1S36, he removed to Amherst and started a brick-yard in the 
east part of the town in what is known as Kelloggville. He continued in 
business until his death in 1889. In 1869, the product of his yard was 
upwards of 700,000 brick, that sold from seven to ten dollars a thousand. 
In 1830, Hervey Gilbert advertised for sale a good brick yard about one 
and one-half miles south of Amherst College. In 1887, C. L. Alexander 
& Co. leased land of W. F. Williams at South Amherst and engaged in 
the manufacture of brick, on a large scale. They became insolvent in 
1892, and the property passed into the hands of Marcy & Gardner who 
have since conducted the business. The average number of brick made 
at the yard in the course of a year is from three to four million, the average 
number of employes is from 35 to 40. Most of the product is sold in 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Statistics for 1845 show 
the number of brick manufactured in Amherst the preceding year to have 
been 85,000, valued at $225 ; the number of employes was two. In 1855, 
250,000 brick were made valued at $1,125 > tne number of employes was 


In the early '60s, the American Button company was organized, com- 
posed mainly of Amherst men. for the manufacture of a patent 
button. The following paragraph, quoted from the Hampshire Express 
under date of May 3, 1866, gives a good idea of the beginning and 
nature of the enterprise : 

■• A new enterprise has been developed by the business men in this vicinity 
within the past few days. Mr. I. F. Palmer of Springfield has invented a patent 
button which is attached to any kind of clothing without sewing. The shank and 
cap of the button are made separate. The cloth is pierced with a bodkin and the 
shank, which has a cap upon the under side, inserted. The button then fits on to 
the shank and is fastened in its place with a spring, and can only be removed by 
cutting the cloth. This patent was assigned by Mr. Palmer to Rev. George Cooke r 
J. S. & C. Adams, and W. H. Keith, president of the Waltham Watch Co. They 
have organized a joint stock company, with a capital stock of £100.000, to promote 
the manufacture. All of the stock was taken in a week's time, and a large portion 
of it in this vicinity. Parties are now offering 10 per cent premium for it. Although 
the company is not yet organized, yet the proprietors of the patent have machinery 
already manufacturing, and have made contracts for the manufacture of the button 
until they shall have established a factory of their own. The location of the fac- 
tory is not yet decided upon. The button has been patented in England, France 
and Belgium." 

The factory was situated a little south of the Xew London Northern 
railway depot. A notice of the annual meeting held in Boston 
in May, 1S68, gives the following list of officers : President, Henry F. 
Hills ; clerk and treasurer, E. A. Kingsley ; directors, J. S. Adams and W. 
M. Cutler of Amherst. Charles Roberts of Boston, Hon. Edward Southworth 
of Springfield, L. N. Granger of North Hadley ; general agent, Edward 
Kingsley. The company met with little success in its enterprise, and a 
notice in the Amherst Record under date of Nov. 19, 1S68, announced that 
the Button company had disposed of half its machinery, tools and fixtures 
at private sale, but had not disposed of its patents. 

David Mack engaged in the business of manufacturing ladies' hats 
sometime between the years 1835 and 1S40. The business was carried on 
in a block built by him on the site now occupied by Cook's block. His 
son Samuel E. was associated in business with him. They employed about 
100 hands, on an average, sometimes, in the busy season, as many as 140. 
These employes were nearly all girls and women, only about ten men being 
engaged in the business. They used foreign straw, bought in New York, 
and carried on the complete business of hat manufacture. The goods were 
sold in New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans. The business was sold 
out in 1848 to Joseph Payson of Easthampton, who conducted it until 1852 
or '53, when it was given up. David Mack died in Amherst in 1854. 
Samuel E. Mack removed in 1848 to St. Louis, Mo., where he died in 1866. 


For many years O. M. Clapp was engaged in the manufacture of 
bonnets and artificial flowers. Concerning this industry, his daughter, 
Mrs. A. M. Bardwell, now a resident of California, writes as follows: 

" It was about 1840, I think, that father began, in the front room of the house 
in ,n occupied bv the family of Noah Dickinson, the manufacture of straw bonnets, 
the material being largely furnished by the busy lingers of Pelham's industrious 
daughters. Some six or eight girls were employed in the sewing-room at that 
time, but as the goods found favor with New York parties, imported braids were 
used and the number of employes in the shop was increased to about 25. The 
business having been removed to the house north of the store, general millinery 
was added, and the demand for artificial flowers caused father to engage in their 
manufacture. In 1844, I was sent to New York to learn the business, and that 
department was given into my charge. The greatest number employed at any one 
time, 1 think, was ten. It was continued three or four years, many of the flowers 
going to wholesale houses in Boston. The importation of French flowers increas- 
ing rapidly, rendered the business less profitable and it was abandoned. The large 
importation of foreign braids, and the introduction of machinery in their manufac- 
ture, rendered the making of straw goods also unprofitable, and about 1S48 he 
gave it up, but enlarged the millinery department so as to retain most of his old 
employes. The millinery business was continued until about 1S56." 

About 1850, O. M. Clapp bought out the marble works which had 
been established by Chandler Sabin. He manufactured monuments, head- 
stones and all kinds of marble work, employing three or four men most of 
the time. He continued in the business until his death in 1887. On his 
death the business was purchased by Samuel P. Clutia, who has since con- 
ducted it, removing the works to the center village in 1890. 

As early as 1854, Ira C. Haskins began the manufacture of gold pens 
in Amherst. For several' years his brother, J. C. Haskins. was associated 
with him in the business under the firm name of Haskins Bros. Gold 
pens were manufactured in nearly fifty different patterns. In 1867, by 
special act of the General Court, the Haskins Gold Pen manufacturing- 
company was incorporated, for the manufacture of pencils and gold pens in 
Shutesbury and Amherst. The capital stock was not to exceed $100,000. 
The company was never organized under the charter. 

In [839, the General Court passed an act to incorporate the Amherst 
Silk association. The persons whose names were given in the charter were 
Nelson Rust, Oliver M. Clapp and Matthew Porter. The business of the 
association was to manufacture silk in the town of Amherst, and the capital 
stock was not to exceed $20,000. So far as can be learned, there was 
never any organization under the charter. 

For several years William Cutler conducted a lampblack factory on 
the site now occupied by The Hills Co's factory. At different times many 
persons have engaged in the manufacture of brooms and brushes in 
Amherst. Since 1880, A. H. Brown has conducted a broom and brush 


factory at North Amherst, employing from three to five hands, the annual 
product being about 4,000 brooms. Shoe-heels were manufactured for a 
time by C. O. Parmenter and S. W. Gilbert. C. R. Stickney manufactured 
in 1869 a patent pocket light, consisting of a small match-box and candle- 
stick combined, the whole not larger than an ordinary match-box. Edward 
P. Cushman was for a time engaged in the manufacture of cigars. ( >f 
saw-mills and grist-mills and cider-mills the town has had its quota, but it 
is a practical impossibility to trace their ownership from generation to 


The First Railway i\ Massachusetts. — Connecticut River Road. — 
Hampshire and Franklin Railway Company. — Mount Hol- 
yoke Railway Company. — Amherst Branch Railroad. — The 
Amherst and Belchertown Railway Company. — New Lon- 
don Northern Road. — Massachusetts Central Railway 

The efforts made by Amherst's citizens to secure railway communica- 
tion with the outer world furnish material for an interesting chapter in 
local history. These efforts began at an early period in the history of 
railway construction in New England, and were continued until crowned 
with success, witnessed to-day by the two railway lines that pass through 
the town, the one accommodating travel to the north and south, the other to 
the east and west. The story of their construction is one of persistent 
labor, liberal expenditure and patient waiting; labor that engaged the time 
and talents of the most prominent citizens of the town, expenditure that 
added largely to the town's indebtedness and burden of taxation, waiting 
which taxed patience and public spirit to the utmost. The first railway 
project designed to benefit the citizens of Western Massachusetts originated 
in 1S27, when a board of commissioners was appointed to survey one or 
more routes for a railway between Boston and Albany. The board 
examined two routes, one crossing the Connecticut river at Northampton, 
the other at Springfield. In making their estimates, they figured on the use 
of horses for motive power, the development of steam power being as yet 
in its infancy. As a result of these surveys, the Boston & Worcester rail- 


road company was incorporated; later on, in 1833, the " Western Railroad 
Corporation " was chartered, for the purpose of constructing a road from 
Worcester, the terminus of theBoston& Worcester railroad, to the New York 
state line, with a capital stock limited to $2,000,000. The corporation 
was organized in January, 1836, the work of construction began in 1837, 
ami ( )ct. 1, 1S39. the road was opened to travel from Worcester to Spring- 
field. The western extension of the road to Albany was not open for 
travel until September, 1842. 

The completion of the Western railroad was a signal for the inaugu- 
ration of new enterprises in railway building in Western Massachusetts. 
In March, 1842, John Clarke, Samuel L. Hinckley, Stephen Brewer, 
Jonathan H. Butler, Winthrop Hillyer and their associaties were granted a 
charter as the " Northampton and Springfield Railroad Corporation," for 
the purpose of building a road "commencing within one mile of the Court 
House (Northampton), crossing Connecticut river near Mt. Holyoke, and 
passing down the valley of said river on East side thereof, through a 
portion of Hadley, South Hadley and Springfield, to meet the track of the 
Hartford and Springfield corporation at Cabotville, or diverging from 
said line, at or near Stony Brook in South Hadley, and passing over the 
plain, and crossing the Chicopee river near the Falls, uniting with the 
Western Railroad, easterly of the depot in Springfield." The capital stock 
was limited by the original act of incorporation to £400,000, but by special 
act of the General Court, passed in 1S44, was increased to $500,000. In 
January, 1845, Henry W. Clapp, Ralph Williams, Henry W. Cushman and 
their associates were incorporated as the " Greenfield and Northampton 
Railroad Company," and were authorized to build a railroad from North- 
ampton to Greenfield. By the act of incorporation, the Greenfield and 
Northampton and Northampton and Springfield companies were authorized 
to unite under the name of the Connecticut River railroad company ; this 
union was brought about in July, 1845. March 21, 1845, a special act was 
passed authorizing the Northampton and Springfield company to change 
its route to the present location on the west side of the Connecticut, cross- 
ing the river at Willimansett. In April, 1846, an act was passed authoriz- 
ing the Connecticut River railroad company to extend their tracks north- 
ward to the Vermont state line. 

The inhabitants of towns on the east side of the Connecticut, having 
every reason to believe that the tracks of the Northampton and Springfield 
road were to be laid on their side of the river from Springfield to Mt. 
Holyoke, took prompt measures to secure an extension of tin- road to the 
north through Hampshire and Franklin count}- towns. With that end in 
view, a railroad convention was held at Sweetser's hall in Amherst, Dec. 
17, 1844. Martin Grout of Montague was chosen president of the con- 


vention and Horace Lyman of Sunderland and Newton Fitch of Amherst 
secretaries. Resolutions were passed to the following effect : That the 
prospect of the early completion of the Vermont and Massachusetts rail- 
road as far west as Grout's in Montague, and the increasing business upon 
the route through the valley of the Connecticut river, justified and required 
that immediate efforts be made to secure a charter for a road to connect 
the Northampton and Springfield road at Hockanum with the Vermont and 
Massachusetts road at or near Grout's ; that the construction of a road 
over the proposed route would complete a great circle of railway commu- 
nication between New York and New England, and furnish a more direct 
communication between this part of the Connecticut valley and Boston ; 
that the survey made by an experienced engineer on the contemplated 
route showed it as feasible as any that had been examined and that the 
road could be constructed as cheaply as any in New England ; that a com- 
mittee be appointed to take all necessary measures to obtain a charter 
from the next Legislature. A committee of six was appointed. Amherst 
being represented by Dr. Timothy J. Gridley. The Hampshire and Frank- 
lin railroad company was incorporated by an act of the General Court 
passed Feb. i, 1845. The names of the incorporators were Timothy J. 
Gridley, Luke Sweetser, Parsons West, and others. They were empowered 
to locate, construct and fullv complete a railroad with one or more tracks 
from some convenient point in the village of Hockanum in the town of 
Hadley, passing through the towns of Amherst, Hadley and Sunderland, to 
some convenient point on the Vermont and Massachusetts railroad, in 
either of the towns of Montague or Frving. The capital stock was not to 
exceed $600,000. The location of the road was to be filed with the county 
commissioners in two years and the road to be completed in four years. 
The road might unite with the Vermont and Massachusetts road at either 
Montague or Erving, and with the Northampton and Springfield road at 
Hockanum, should the latter road be constructed to that village. The 
Vermont and Massachusetts railroad company was incorporated in 1844, 
and authorized to build a railroad from Fitchburg to Vernon, Vt. 

When the incorporators of the Hampshire and Franklin railway com- 
pany learned that it was proposed to alter the route of the Northampton 
and Springfield road, and lay its tracks on the west side of the river, great 
indignation was aroused. The action was considered a breach of faith on 
the part of its projectors and of the General Court. It was realized that 
the Hampshire and Franklin railroad, if constructed, must have a southern 
connection, and if this could not be secured at Hockanum, with the North- 
ampton and Springfield road, then an independent line must be built. 
With this end in view the incorporators of the Hampshire and Franklin 
road secured from the General Court in March, 1846, a charter for the 


Mount Holyoke railroad company. The names mentioned in the act of 
incorporation are John S. Adams, Luke Sweetser and Samuel Nash. They 
were authorized to locate, construct and complete a railroad from the 
southern terminus of the Hampshire and Franklin railroad, in the village 
of Hockanum in the town of Hadley, passing through a part of Hadley, 
South Hadley and Springfield to some convenient point on the Connecticut 
River railroad at or near Willimansett in Springfield. The capital stock 
was to be not more than $200,000 in shares of $100 each. The location 
of the road was to be filed in one year and the road completed in three 
years. It might unite with and take the name of the Hampshire and 
Franklin railroad. 

A meeting of friends of the Hampshire and Franklin railroad was 
held at Sweetser's hall in Amherst, May 5, 1846. It was called to order 
by Hon. Edward Dickinson. Permanent officers were chosen as follows : 
President, James White of Northfield ; vice-presidents, Hon. Zebina Field 
of Leverett, Gen. Parsons West of Hadley; secretaries, E. G. Bowdoinof 
South Hadley, Newton Fitch of Amherst. A committee was appointed to 
report business to the meeting. The incorporating acts of the Hampshire 
and Franklin and Mount Holyoke railway companies were read, also the 
acts authorizing the extension of the Connecticut River railroad, and an 
act in addition to an act incorporating the Vermont and Massachusetts 
railroad. The committee reported a preamble and resolutions, in substance 
as follows : 

Whereas, the Legislature in 1842 granted a charter to the Northampton 
and Springfield railroad company to build a railroad on the east side of 
the Connecticut river from Cabotville to Hockanum, thence crossing the 
river to Northampton, and 

Whereas, the Legislature of 1S44 extended the charter two years, and 

Whereas, the people living on the east side of the river in 1844 made 
application to the Legislature, procured the necessary surveys and took all 
preliminary measures required by law for obtaining a charter to extend 
the road up the east side of the river, and obtained a charter for such 
extension from Hockanum to Grout's at Millers River, and 

Whereas, after a charter was granted for such extension, the Legisla- 
ture gave leave to the Northampton and Springfield railroad to cross the 
Connecticut river between Willimansett and West Springfield, and build 
their road on the west side of the river for eight out of the twelve miles 
between Cabotville and Northampton, and thus abandon two-thirds of the 
originally chartered route on the ground of saving in expense of construc- 
tion, and 

Whereas, the friends of the originally chartered route have felt obliged 


to apply to the Legislature for leave to build a railroad over the route above 
named, and have obtained a charter for that purpose, 

Resolved, that a railroad on the east side of the Connecticut river is 
needed as imperatively now as when the charter of the Northampton and 
Springfield railroad was granted in 1S42, and as when, in 1844, the time 
for construction was extended, and that a road on the west side of the 
river does not afford us reasonable accommodation ; 

Resolved, that the route of the Mount Holyoke and Hampshire and 
Franklin railroads is feasible, that they can be built at reasonable expense 
and in our opinion would pay good dividends ; 

Resolved, that the interests of the people on the line of the road, in 
the valley of the Connecticut river, and the interests of the public gener- 
ally, require that a railroad should be built from Grout's on Miller's river to 
Willimansett at the earliest practicable period, and that we will exert our- 
selves to the utmost of our ability to accomplish this object. 

After brief discussion, these resolutions were adopted by unanimous 
vote. Professor E. S. Snell addressed the meeting, giving the results of 
his investigations as to the feasibility of constructing a railroad around the 
west end of Mt. Holyoke, illustrating his remarks by drawings. He 
expressed the belief that such a road could be built at reasonable expense. 
Hon. James White, president of the convention, stated that in his opinion 
the proposed road between Grout's and Willimansett would prove an 
important part of the river road and that in many respects its interests 
were identical with those of the Vermont and Massachusetts road. A com- 
mittee was appointed to solicit subscriptions for stock in the towns through 
which the road would pass ; those appointed from Amherst were John 
Leland, Thomas Jones and Charles Adams. The Express, under date of 
May 14, 1846, announced that stock subscription books had been opened 
in Amherst, May 7, and in one week over $72,000 had been subscribed, 
with the prospect of a considerable increase. Within three weeks, at least 
one-fourth of the capital stock of $425,000 was subscribed for in the towns 
of Amherst and South Hadley. June 25, 1846, announcement was made 
that Amherst citizens had subscribed $90,000 of the amount needed. 
These subscriptions were made by no less than 200 individuals ; the largest 
amount subscribed by any one man was $6,000. Hadley citizens had 
subscribed to the amount of $20,000. All this time a fierce controversy 
was being waged between the residents of Northampton and those in 
Amherst over the merits and demerits of the railway lines projected on the 
east and west sides of the Connecticut. The weight of money, if not of 
argument, rested with Northampton. The Connecticut River road was 
opened for travel, from Springfield to Northampton, Dec. 13, 1845 ; the 
extension to Greenfield was completed in November, 1846. 


In October, 1846, the Express announced it was probable that the 
Hampshire and Franklin and Mt. Holyoke railroads would be united and 
the line definitely located that fall. Oct. 27, the stockholders of the Hamp- 
shire and Franklin road met at Sweetser's hall in Amherst and proceeded 
to organize under their charter. The following persons were chosen as 
directors of the company : Charles Adams and John Leland of Amherst, 
Horace Henderson of Sunderland, John S. Ward of Montague and Samuel 
Powers of Hadley. The directors chose Hon. John Leland president and 
John S. Adams, Esq. clerk and treasurer. On the same clay, the stock- 
holders of the Mount Holyoke railroad company met at Smith's hotel in 
South Hadley, for organization, and chose as directors, William Bowdoin, 
Alonzo Bardwell, Erastus T. Smith, Moses Montague and Hiram Smith, 
all of South Hadley. Hon. William Bowdoin was elected president and 
E. G. Bowdoin, Esq. clerk. Nov. 4, 1846, the two corporations agreed to 
unite under the name of the Hampshire and Franklin railroad company. 
The united companies chose as directors Hon. John Leland, Luke 
Sweetser, Esq. and Charles Adams of Amherst, Hon. William Bowdoin of 
South Hadley, John A. Morton of Hadley, Horace Henderson of Sunder- 
land, John S. Ward of Montague, Hon. Otis Everett of Boston, and George 
W. Warren, Esq. of Charlestown. A party of eight or ten men was set at 
work, under direction of A. F. Edwards of Fitchburg, civil engineer, to 
make the preliminary survey and locate the road. 

Early in December, 1846, the surveys of the road had been completed 
from Grout's to Hockanum. At a meeting of the stockholders held at 
Sweetser's hall, Jan. 28, 1847, a report was submitted of the location of 
the road. The route at Sunderland passed from So to 100 rods east of 
the church, thence crossed Dry Brook near the house of Zebina Hunt, 
passed a little east of the house of John Wiley, some 80 rods west of the 
" Plumb Trees," crossed the North Amherst and North Hadley road a 
little east of the home of E. Spear, and continued to a point some six or 
eight rods west of Elijah Boltwood's house, or about a half-mile west of 
the Amherst house, thence turning to the west. The length of the route 
as surveyed was 23.11 miles. The estimated expense of building, equip- 
ping and putting it in running order was a little more than $437,000. In 
February, 1847, the directors levied the first assessment, of $1.00 per 
share on the capital stock, payable before March 24. 

The enthusiasm shown by the projectors of the road was shared to 
1 1 extent by the general public, but while the residents of Amherst and 
South Hadley subscribed liberally to the stock the inhabitants of other 
towns along the proposed route failed to supply the money needed for 
carrying the enterprise to a successful conclusion. Earnest, almost heroic 
efforts were made to raise the necessary funds, but they were unavailing. 


In April, 1S4S, the General Court passed a special act extending the time 
in which the road might be constructed to Feb. i, 1850. At a meeting of 
the corporation, held in Amherst, July 3, 1848, to take action on this 
measure. 585,000 of the capital stock of the road was represented. After 
a full discussion of the matter, a vote was passed not to accept of the pro- 
visions of this act. The directors were instructed to collect all assessments 
and settle all claims as early as practicable. Thus came to an inglorious 
ending the first railway enterprise in which Amherst men and Amherst 
capital engaged. It is interesting to speculate on the possible results had 
the road been constructed along the route proposed. Sunderland and 
Montague Center would have been placed in railway connection with the 
outside world a half-century ago; what this might have meant t.) these 
towns in the way of progress and development can only be estimated by 
the stimulating effect of railway facilities upon communities of like 
character. Although the Hampshire and Franklin railway had nothing 
but corporate existence, the labor expended in its behalf was not entirely 
fruitless. A popular interest was aroused in railway matters, and the 
public was educated in regard to the value of railway facilities so that 
when, a few years later, another road was projected it encountered but 
little of the opposition against which the original enterprise was forced to 

The next railway enterprise to enlist the attention of Amherst citizens 
was the "Amherst Branch Railroad Company." By an act of the General 
Court passed April 10. 1S4S. Samuel L. Hinckley. John Dickinson. Jr. 
and Jason Stockbridge, their associates and successors, were incorporated 
by the name of the Amherst Branch Railroad company, with power to 
loeate, construct and maintain a railroad, with one or more tracks, from 
some convenient point in the town of Amherst, within half a mile of 
Amherst College, through the town of Hadley, to some point on the Con- 
necticut River railroad in Northampton, or in the southerly part of Hatfield ; 
they might also construct and maintain a bridge across the Connecticut 
river between the Northampton bridge and the site of the old Hatfield 
bridge. The capital stock was not to exceed 5250,000, and unless the 
road should be completed in 18 months the charter would become void. 
The company was authorized to unite its road with the Connecticut River 
railroad. The company was organized under its charter at a meeting held 
in Amherst, Aug. 25. 184S. Samuel L. Hinckley served as chairman of 
the meeting and J. W. Boyden, Esq. as secretary. It was voted that the 
capital stock of the company should be Si 60,000. Subscription books 
should be opened in Amherst. Hadley and Northampton. As soon as the 
subscriptions to the capital stock should amount to $75,000, a meeting was 
to be held for the choice of directors, who should hold office until the cor- 


pt nation became merged in the Connecticut River railroad company. 
Some two weeks later, announcement was made that Amherst citizens had 
subscribed to the capital stock to the amount of $31,300. From a map of 
the survey of the " Northampton and Amherst Railroad," made in 1847 
and now on hie in the State Library at Boston, the proposed route of the 
road may lie ascertained. Two lines are marked out on the map, one 
leading to Northampton, the other to Hatfield. The route through Hadley 
passed near the southerly end of Mt. Warner, and entered Amherst con- 
siderably north of the line of the Central Massachusetts road. The same 
causes that led to the abandonment of the Hampshire and Franklin road 
proved fatal to the " Amherst Branch." The necessary funds were not 
forthcoming, and the project was abandoned. As the Hampshire and 
Franklin road was the forerunner of the New London and Northern, so 
the Amherst Branch may be regarded as a prophecy of the road which 
forty years later was to join the town of Amherst and the city of North- 
ampton in the bonds of commercial intercourse. 

In 1847. the Connecticut Legislature chartered the New London, Wil- 
limantic and Springfield railroad company, authorizing it to locate and 
construct a railroad from New London to Willimantic, and thence to the 
" North line of the State towards Springfield in the State of Massachu- 
setts." It was subsequently deemed advisable to make Palmer, instead 
of Springfield, the northern terminus of the route. In 1848, the company 
was granted a charter by the Massachusetts General Court for continuing 
the road from the state line, a distance of nine miles, to the Western rail- 
road at Palmer. Sept. 20, 1850, the road was opened from New London 
to Palmer, a distance of 66 miles. The road was successful from its 
beginning, but its owners and operators early felt the need of an extension 
of the line to the north. Herein lay Amherst's opportunity, an opportu- 
nity promptly recognized and embraced. The Express, in its issue for 
March 7, 185 1, called the attention of its readers to the railway route for 
which a petition was then pending before the General Court. It was 
esteemed a better route, in many respects, than others previously planned 
to pass through Amherst, and would, when completed, form an important 
link in a great railroad chain reaching across New England. 

The Genera] Court, by an act passed in May, [851, incorporated 
Edward Hitchcock, Ithamar Conkey, Edward Dickinson, Myron Lawrence, 
Luke Sweetser and others, under the name of the Amherst and Belcher- 
town railroad company. Hon. Myron Lawrence was a resident of Del- 
town, the others named of Amherst. They were empowered to locate, 
construct and maintain a railroad from the depot of the New London, 
Willimantic and Palmer railroad in Palmer, crossing the Western railroad at 
or near its depot in Palmer, by the most convenientroute northerly through 


the towns of Palmer, Belchertown, Amherst, Leverett, Sunderland and Mon- 
tague, to the Vermont and Massachusetts railroad at the point most con- 
venient to intersect the same in the town of Montague. The capital stock 
was not to exceed $600,000, in shares of $100 each. Within rive years 
after the completion of the road the General Court might reduce its tolls 
or profits, but the same should not be reduced, without the consent of the 
corporation, to less than ten per cent, on the capital stock subscribed for 
and paid in. Other roads might enter upon and use its tracks under 
reasonable conditions. The road must be located in two years and com- 
pleted in four years. Under certain conditions, the Xew London, Willi- 
mantic and Palmer road could unite with the Amherst and Belchertown 
railroad, and become one corporation under the name of the New London, 
Palmer and Amherst railroad. The corporation, so far as its road was 
situated in Massachusetts, should be subject to the general laws of the 
state. No shares in its capital stock should be issued for a less sum or 
amount, to be actually paid in on each, than the par value of the shares 
first issued. For purposes of construction, the road should be divided into 
two sections, one reaching from Palmer to Amherst, the other from Amherst 
to Montague. A moiety of the capital stock authorized by the act should 
be set apart for the construction of each section, and work was not to 
begin on either section until a certificate had been filed in the office of the 
secretary of the Commonwealth, signed by the president and a majority of 
the directors, stating that all the stock appropriated and set apart for the 
construction of such section had been subscribed for by responsible parties, 
and that twenty per cent, of the par value of each and every share so set 
■ apart had actually been paid into the treasury of said company. 

The citizens of Amhetst were not the only ones to appreciate the 
advantages of a railroad extending north from Palmer. As early as May, 
185 1, no less than three routes had been petitioned for and charters for 
each had been granted. In addition to the road leading by way of Amherst 
to Montague, the General Court authorized the construction of a road via 
Enfield to Athol, also a road via Ware. Pa ire and Templeton to the New 
Hampshire state line. The Amherst and Belchertown railroad company 
was organized under its charter, June 30, 1851. Luke Sweetser, Edward 
Dickinson, Ithamar Conkey, Myron Lawrence and Joseph Brown were 
chosen directors. At a meeting held by the directors, Luke Sweetser was 
elected president and John S. Adams clerk and treasurer. The directors- 
voted that a survey should be made with reference to the construction of 
the road between Palmer and Amherst. They engaged the services of 
Gen. James N. Palmer as engineer; his report, with estimates for construc- 
tion, was as favorable as had been anticipated. Books of subscription 
were opened, and up to Aug. 22, 185 1, persons resident in Amherst had 


subscribed upwards of $50,000 for stock in the road. At the annual 
meeting of the stockholders, held at Sweetser's hall in Amherst, Feb. 6, 
1S52, about 400 persons were present. Announcement was made that, by 
the energy of the agents employed, the whole amount needed for the 
construction of the section between Amherst and Palmer had been sub- 
scribed. A contract for building- the road had been made with Willis and 
George W. Phelps of Springfield. Nearly all the stock subscribed for had 
been taken by persons living on or near the line of the road. A contract 
had been made with the New London, Willimantic and Palmer railroad 
company, by which the latter was to equip the road and run it for a term 
of years on conditions favorable to both parties. The officers originally 
chosen were re-elected, T. W. Williams and J. C. Lippett of New London 
being added to the board of directors. 

Early in February, 1852, J, S. Adams, treasurer of the corporation, 
gave notice that the first assessment of $20 per share had been made by 
the directors, payable on or before March 10. Ground was first broken on 
the line of the road in February, and the road was fully completed by May 
1, 1853. There was some dissatisfaction with the management of the 
road. Thomas Hastings, a stockholder, petitioned the Supreme Court for 
an injunction against the company, for issuing stock below its par value. 
and beginning to construct the road before the necessary amount of stock 
had been subscribed. He also charged that the survey as filed located the 
terminus of the road at a distance of one-half mile from the village. The 
case was argued before the Supreme Court at its September term, and the 
petition was dismissed. May 3. 1853, the first locomotive was run over the 
road from Palmer to Amherst, making the trip in 55 minutes. The first 
passenger train passed over the route Saturday, May 14; George Ford was 
the conductor and William Bond the engineer. The first time-table went 
into effect Monday, May 16. Trains left New London for Amherst at 10 
A. M. and [-45. P. M.; returning, left Amherst at 5 A. m. and 1-15 P. M. 
Connections were made, at Palmer, for Boston, Albany, Worcester and 
Springfield; at Willimantic, for Hartford and Bristol; at Norwich, for 
Worcester and boston ; at New London, for New Haven and New York, 
and for New York by boat. Through tickets were sold at the following 
rates: From Amherst to Springfield, Si. 00: to Worcester, Si. 75: to 
Boston; $2.85 ; to Albany. S3. 75 : to New York, cabin passage, $3.50; 
deck, $3.00. The road was operated by the New London. Willimantic and 
Palmer company a little less than six months, but the arrangement between 
the companies proved unsatisfactory, and early in November, 1853, the 
Amherst and Belchertown company assumed control. The first passenger 
train run under the new management passed over the road Nov. 7: George 
L. West was the conductor and John Rich, now a resident of Palmer, the 


engineer. The locomotive was the " Amherst," a fine machine, new from 
the Taunton locomotive works. 

For four years the Amherst and Belchertown company operated its 
railroad, with varying success. Considerable business was transacted, but 
expenses were heavy and the balance on the wrong side of the ledger grew 
greater with every passing year. In December, 1857, friends of the road 
sent copies of a circular to every voter in the towns of Belchertown and 
Amherst. This circular stated that the Amherst and Belchertown company, 
in order to complete its road, had issued bonds for £60,000, payable in live 
years and had mortgaged the road as security for their payment. A second 
mortgage of $40,000 had been given to secure bonds issued to raise funds 
for the purchase of locomotives, passenger and freight cars and to dispose 
of a floating indebtedness, amounting in all to $25,500. The first mortgage 
bonds became due January 1. 185.X. if they were not paid, the trustees 
would take possession of the road and rent it to the company's directors 
until Oct. 1, 1S58, at which time, according to the provisions of the mort- 
gage, the trustees would sell the road for the benefit of the bondholders. 
The friends of the road proposed that the towns of Amherst and Belcher- 
town should guarantee the bonds for twenty years, with interest payable 
semi-annually, each town in proportion to its state valuation, which would 
make Amherst's share $50,500 and Belchertown's $35,000. In return for 
this guarantee, the company would give a mortgage on all its property to 
secure the towns from loss. It was apprehended that if the bondholders 
gained possession of the road they would probably sell the property and 
discontinue the road. As the road had cost more than $350,000 it was 
surely worth more than $85,000, without considering the damage that 
would be done the towns by the loss of their railway facilities. A special 
town-meeting was held in Amherst, Dec. 4, 1857, and a resolution was 
offered that the town petition the General Court, in connection with the 
town of Belchertown, to afford material aid to the Amherst and Belcher- 
town railroad in order that the road might be kept in operation. This 
resolution was voted down, yeas 86, nays 138. 

In January, 1858, the road passed into the hands of trustees who 
were chosen by the bondholders to represent their interests. By special 
act of the General Court, passed in March, 1858, the company was 
empowered to issue any of the remaining shares of its capital stock, 
already authorized by law to be issued, not exceeding 1,000 in number, as 
a preferred stock for the purpose of paying the bonds and the debts of the 
company. Of this preferred stock, 600 shares should be entitled to such 
dividends as the company might determine, not exceeding eight per cent., 
and the remainder to dividends not exceeding six per cent., said dividends 
to be paid out of the first net earnings of the company. If the company's 


railroad, fixtures and franchise, already mortgaged to the trustees for the 
security of the bondholders, should be lawfully sold by the trustees for the 
benefit of the bondholders, then the purchasers at such sale were authorized 
to associate themselves under any name they might assume, and the said 
purchasers, their successors and assigns, should remain a body corporate 
with all the powers and privileges of the original corporation. This act 
was to take effect when ratified by a majority of the stockholders. 

In October, 1858, the road and all its belongings were purchased by 
Samuel F. Cutler and Charles Adams acting in the interest of the bond- 
holder, for $42,500, about half the amount for which the property was 
under mortgage. Preparations were at once made for a reorganization 
under a new name, as permitted by the special act of General Court. The 
name selected was the Amherst, Belchertown and Palmer railroad company. 
The stock of the new company was fixed at $85,000, of which the holders 
of the first mortgage bonds proposed to take $60,000, and the holders of 
the second mortgage bonds $25,000, exchanging the bonds for stock at par. 
In March, 1S59, tlie Amherst, Belchertown and Palmer railroad company 
began to operate the road, continuing in possession some five years. When 
the road was opened to Amherst, the first agent at the Amherst station was 
Samuel C. Carter. .Many amusing incidents occurred in the earlier history 
of the road. The Express, under date of July 3, 1857, tells of a "scrub" 
race between a train and a belated passenger. The passenger hailed from 
North Amherst and his wife was on board the cars ; the train had one or 
two minutes start when it left the station, but the passenger was a sprinter, 
had run for office several times and never been defeated, and he caught 
up with that train "in the deep cut in Judge Dickinson's pasture.'" The 
Express naively remarks at the conclusion of the paragraph that the 
locomotive drawing the train was not the best in the company's service; 
had it been the " Vermont*' instead of the " Kates," the result might have 
been different. In 1858, the managers of the road advertised that passen- 
gers in the village, with their baggage, would be taken to and from each 
train for a sum not exceeding twelve cents each way, within limits as 
prescribed in the books at the hotels. In January, 1858, the trustees 
secured the services of J. Iv. Parsons as superintendent, larder his 
•efficient management, the road earned, over and above all expenses, from 
$800 to $900 per month. 

By special act of the General Court, passed in 1864, the Amherst. 
Belchertown and Palmer railroad company was authorized to lease its road 
and franchise to the New London Northern railroad company, and the 
companies thus united were empowered to issue bonds to an amount not 
exceeding $300,000, for the construction of the road from Amherst to 
•'.lout's in Montague. At a meeting of the stockholders of the Amherst, 


Belchertown and Palmer railroad company, held at Palmer, Feb. 22, 1864, 
it was voted unanimously to unite with the New London Northern railroad 
company. The basis of union was two shares of the N. L. N. stock for 
three shares of the A. B. & P. The union, or sale, was ratified by the 
stockholders of the New London Northern railroad company. The Gen- 
eral Court had, from time to time, granted extensions of time during which 
the section of the road from Amherst to Montague might be constructed. 
Wlu-n the New London company assumed control, it was decided to begin 
work immediately upon the extension. A survey of the route was made 
by A. R. Field of Greenfield. In October, 1S64, the company advertised 
for 35,000 railroad ties to be delivered along the line between Amherst and 
Grout's Corner. The road was completed as far as Grout's Corner, 
(Miller's Falls) in 1866, and the company having purchased of the Ver- 
mont and Massachusetts railroad company an extension of its line from 
Grout's to Brattleboro, Vt., began, Oct. 8, 1S66, to run through trains 
between New London and Brattleboro. Three passenger trains were run 
over the line daily in each direction. In November. 1871, the Vermont 
Central railroad company leased the New London Northern road for a 
period of 20 years, paying S240,ooo per annum; at the expiration of this 
lease in 1891, a new lease was executed for a period of 99 years. 

Having secured the construction and operation of a railway running 
through Amherst to the north and south, the residents of the town next 
turned their attention to gaining railway connection with the towns and 
cities to the east and west. By a special act of the General Court, approved 
April 13, 1S64, the act passed in 1848, incorporating the Amherst Branch 
railroad company, was partially revived, and Leonard M. Hills of Amherst 
and Thaddeus Smith of Hadley were added to the list of incorporators. 
The capital stock was limited to §200.000. The company was authorized 
to locate, construct and maintain a railroad, from some convenient point 
connecting with the New London Northern road in Amherst, within one- 
half mile of Amherst College, through the towns of Hadley and Hatfield, 
crossing the Connecticut river and connecting with the Connecticut River 
railroad at any point between the station of said road in Northampton and 
" Cutter's Crossing," — so-called, in Hatfield. It might cross the Connec- 
ticut River railroad and connect with the New Haven and Northampton 
road on land owned by the latter in Northampton. The company must 
file the location of its road on or before June 1, 1866, and complete it 
within two years thereafter. Special acts were passed in 1866 and 1S69, 
extending the time-limit for construction. In March, 1870, an act was 
passed authorizing the company to increase its capital stock by an amount 
not exceeding $100,000. The company might locate its road as authorized 
in the act of 1864, or wholly within the towns of Amherst, Hadley and 


Northampton. Any part of the road located in " Hadley meadows," 
so-called, should be constructed under direction of the board of railroad 
commissioners, and in strict compliance with such requirements as they 
should deem essential to secure a free and uninterrupted flow of the waters 
of the. Connecticut river at all seasons. The towns of Amherst, Hadley, 
Northampton and Hatfield were authorized at town meetings called for the 
purpose, to subscribe for and hold shares in the capital stock of the company 
to an amount not exceeding five per cent, of the assessed valuation of 
said towns, if a two-thirds vote was passed in favor of such subscription. 
The towns might pay for such stock out of their town treasuries, and were 
authorized to raise money by loan, upon bonds, or by tax or otherwise, 
and might hold and dispose of the stock like other town property. The 
selectmen, or any agent especially selected for the purpose, might repre- 
sent the towns at meetings of the company, and might vote upon the 
amount of stock held by said towns. The company might by vote adopt 
as its corporate name the Northampton and Amherst railroad company. 
This charter was accepted at a meeting held in Amherst, Nov. 2, 1870. 
The incorporation of the Massachusetts Central railroad company at about 
this time caused a suspension of effort towards building an independent 
road, by the incorporators of the Amherst Branch railroad. 

By a special act passed by the General Court in 1867, approved by the 
governor, March 23, Thomas E. Hastings, Eleazer Porter, Levi Stockbridge 
and others were incorporated as the Northampton and Amherst Street 
Railway company, for the purpose of constructing and using a street railroad 
from the town of Northampton to the town of Amherst. Its capital stock 
was not to exceed $200,000. By a special act passed in 1868, the town of 
Hadley was authorized to subscribe to stock in this company to an amount 
not exceeding $6,000. In 1868, the original act was amended so that the 
capital stock might not exceed $75,000. The town of Hadley might 
subscribe to this stock an amount not exceeding one-half of one per cent, 
of its assessed valuation. There are no existing records to show that any 
further action was ever taken under this charter. 

The Massachusetts Central Railroad company was incorporated by an 
act of the General Court, approved May 10, 1869. The names of the 
incorporators were as follows : Edward Denny, Joel Hayden, Erancis Brig- 
ham, James S. Draper, Constance Southworth, Edward Atkinson, Francis 
Edson, B. H. Tripp, Charles A. Stevens, C. C. Aldrich, Lafayette Maltby, 
Henry F. Hills and Philo Chapin. They were authorized to locate, con- 
struct, maintain and operate a railroad with one or more tracks, beginning 
at some convenient point in the town of Williamsburg, thence running by 
the most convenient route through the towns of Northampton, Easthampton, 
Westhampton, Hatfield, Hadley, South Hadley, Amherst. Granby, Ludlow,, 


Belchertown, Enfield, Greenwich, Ware, Palmer, West Brookfield, New 
Braintree, Hardwick, Dana, Petersham, Barre, Phillipston, Oakham, Hub- 
bardston, Rutland, Princeton, Holden, Sterling, Boylston, West Boylston, 
Clinton, Lancaster, Northborough, Berlin, Bolton, Hudson, Stow and 
Marlborough, or any of them, to Mill Village in Sudbury, thence over the 
line of the Wayland and Sudbury Branch railroad company, incorporated 
in 1 868, to its terminus near the Stony Brook station on the Fitchburgroad. 
The Wayland and Sudbury Branch railroad might be consolidated with and 
merged in the Massachusetts Central railroad company. The Williamsburg 
and North Adams railroad company, incorporated in 1867, and the Massa- 
chusetts Central railroad company were authorized to merge and consolidate 
their capital stock, rights, powers and franchises, if the stockholders of 
both companies should so vote. The Massachusetts Central railroad 
company might enter upon, unite with and use the Ware River railroad 
company, and the latter company might sell, assign, convey or lease its 
road and franchise or any part thereof to the Massachusetts Central. 
The Central railroad was also empowered to unite with the New Haven 
and Northampton, the Connecticut River, the New London Northern, the 
Worcester and Nashua, the Boston, Clinton and Fitchburg, the Lancaster 
and Sterling Branch, and the Fitchburg railroads, or with either or any of 
them, and either of them might enter upon and unite with the road of the 
Massachusetts Central. The towns named in the act, and also the towns 
of Wayland and Weston, or any of them, were authorized to subscribe for 
and hold stock in the Massachusetts Central to an amount not exceeding 
five per cent, of their assessed valuation. They might pay for the same out of 
their town treasuries, and raise the money by a loan upon bonds, by tax or 
otherwise, and might hold and dispose of the stock like other town property. 
The capital stock should be not less than S3, 000, 000 and might be increased 
to $6,000,000, divided into shares of $100 each. The road was to be 
located within three years and constructed within six years. 

From the comprehensive nature of this charter, the number of towns 
through which the road might be constructed and the different railroads 
with which it was granted power to unite, it was plain that the incorpora- 
tors had in view the construction of a through line, and intended to con- 
solidate under one management the routes of several smaller railroads that 
had already secured charters. Connection with Boston was to be secured 
over the tracks of the Fitchburg road, and the western terminus was to be 
North Adams. The company was organized under its charter, Sept. 2, 
1869, when the following officers were chosen: President, J. M. Stone; 
treasurer, Francis J. Parker ; chief engineer, Edward Frost ; directors, J. 
M. Stone of Charlestown, C. A. Cutting of Boston, J. S. Draper of Way- 


land, Francis Brigham and George Houghton of Hudson, E. B. Shattuck, 
J. E. Smith and Hiram Wadsworth of Barre, B. H. Tripp of Rutland, H. 
F. Hills of Amherst, L. J. Dudley of Northampton and Joel Hayden of 
Haydenville. By a special act of the General Court, passed in June, 1S70, 
the company was authorized to issue bonds in sums not less than $100 
each, payable at periods not exceeding twenty years from date, bearing 
interest not exceeding seven per cent, per annum, to an amount not 
exceeding the capital stock actually paid in, and might mortgage the road 
to secure the bonds. The capital stock might be reduced to $2,000,000. 
For purposes of construction, the road might be divided into four sections. 
Subscriptions might be received for the construction of the sections sepa- 
rately, and work on constructing each section might begin when stock had 
been sold to the full amount needed for the construction of that section 
and twenty per cent, of the purchase money had been paid into the 

A public meeting was held at Amherst, May 16, 1S70, at which time 
President Stone and Engineer Frost explained the plans of the company, 
and gave statistics tending to show that the road as projected would be a 
paying property. The location of the road would depend on the action 
taken by the towns in regard to subscriptions. If Amherst subscribed, 
then the route between Belchertown and Northampton would be definitely 
fixed. A special town-meeting was held in Amherst, Sept. 6, 1870. Hon. 
Edward Dickinson offered a motion that the town treasurer be authorized 
to subscribe immediately in the name of the town for $100,000 of the 
capital stock of the Massachusetts Central railroad company, agreeably to the 
terms of the charter, and to borrow money on credit of the town to pay 
assessments as they were made, on condition that not less than $3,000,000 
in bona-fide subscriptions be made to such stock, that a contract be made 
with responsible parties to construct the road through Hadley, the central 
part of Amherst, stations for passengers and freight to be built within one-half 
mile of the Amherst house, and through Belchertown, Enfield, Greenwich, 
and so on to make a continuous line to the Stony Brook station on the 
Fitchburg railroad. The motion was voted down, 153 votes being cast in 
the affirmative and 228 in the negative. 

The friends of the road regretted this action, but were not discouraged. 
They entered at once upon a short but sharp campaign to influence public 
sentiment in favor of the project. In this they were assisted by the mer- 
ciless ridicule that was heaped upon the town and its citizens by individ- 
uals and by newspapers in adjoining communities. A special town-meeting 
was held Oct. 4, to take action on the matter. There was a larger attend- 
ance than at any town-meeting ever before held in Amherst. Edward 
Dickinson offered a motion substantially the same as that which had met 


with defeat at a previous meeting. Discussion began at 2-30 o'clock and 
was continued about two hours. The leading arguments in favor of the 
road were made by Edward Dickinson and Levi Stockbridge ; the princi- 
pal speakers in opposition were Cummings Fish, Aaron Ingram and 
Simeon Clark. The voting, by ballot, began at 4-30 o'clock and was con- 
tinued until 7 o'clock, soon after which the result was announced, 369 
votes having been cast in favor of the road and 270 in opposition. There 
was great excitement while the vote was being cast and intense anxiety as 
to the result. Both friends and opponents of the road were confident of 
success. When the vote was declared it was greeted with deafening cheers. 
A salute was fired and a huge bonfire was built on the common. The 
opponents of the road were accused of resorting to all manner of means 
to defeat it. When they found themselves outnumbered, they claimed that 
7 7 more votes were counted on the ballot than had been checked, and threat- 
ened to call another meeting to rescind the vote. But the charge was 
proven false, and as public sentiment grew in favor of the road the oppo- 
sition was given up. 

In October, 1870, President Stone issued a circular, in which it was 
stated that the efforts made in behalf of the road had been successful 
beyond the most sanguine expectation of its originators. The speedy 
construction of the road was assured, a contract having been made with a 
responsible builder of railroads to construct the entire line from Weston to 
Northampton. As soon as a definite location of the road was made in the 
several towns in the chartered limit the work of construction would begin, 
and would be completed in about two years. The preliminary surveys 
made by Engineer Frost, showed that it would be impracticable to locate 
the road through the southern part of Pelham into Enfield. At a meeting 
of stockholders, held in Boston, Oct. 26, a pledge was given, by what 
authority is not stated, that residents of Amherst would raise $30,000 for 
the road, in addition to the sum subscribed by the town. The Boston 
Journal announced in April, 187 1, that a contract had been made for 
building the road from Northampton to Stony Brook station, and work 
would begin at once. In August, 187 1, President Stone was in Amherst 
to confer with land-owners along the proposed line of the road in regard to 
land damages and also to determine a location for the bridge across Fort 

In the summer of 1871, the directors of the road laid the first assess- 
ment of 20 per cent, upon the stock subscribed. The treasurer of the 
town of Northampton refused to pay the assessment on the $300,000 of 
stock subscribed for by that town, on the ground that as certain conditions 
had been attached to the subscription its legality was doubtful. In this 
contention he was sustained by eminent legal authority. At a town-meeting 


held in Northampton in September, a new and unconditional subscription 
of $300,000 was made to the company's stock, and the town treasurer paid 
the first assessment. The town of Amherst paid its first assessment of 
$20,000 early in October. The Amherst Record, under date of Sept. 27, 

187 1, stated that it was the company's intention to begin the work of con- 
struction on the west end of the line, and that as soon as the bridge across 
the Connecticut river was completed cars would run to Amherst. The 
first grading on the road was done at Hardwick in October, 187 1 : it was 
expected at the time that grading would be begun in Amherst in a few 
days. In 187 1, the General Court granted permission to the company to 
extend its road to Brookline and there connect with the Boston and Albany 
road. The same year, the Holyoke and Belchertown railroad company was 
incorporated and authorized to unite with the Massachusetts Central 

In February, 1872, the second assessment of 20 per cent, was levied 
by the directors upon the capital stock, payable on or before March 1. 
Considerable dissatisfaction was expressed by Amherst parties over the fact 
that the road had not yet been located through the town. The Record made 
the following announcement, under date of March 13, 1872: " The Central 
Railroad will enter the town parallel to the Northampton road, pass through 
College grove (formerly Baker's grove), cross the Mill Valley road by a 15- 
feet cut, meander through Prof. Snell's garden, and then strike across the 
fields to the southeast. It will hit Freshman river near Dana's bridge and 
cross the road by an 18-feet cut and continue on to the southeast." 
Under date of March 27, announcement was made that the location of the 
road through the town had been filed. It would cross the Dickinson farm 
south of College hill, and the highway near W. B. Smith's place. In June, 

1872, the company made a contract with J. H. Smith of Springfield, 
to build the bridge across the Connecticut river ; work was to begin 
at once and the bridge was to be completed by Sept. 1, 1873. The third 
assessment of 20 per cent, was levied by the directors of the road in 

By a special act passed by the General Court in 1872, the company 
was allowed an extension of time for two years in which to file its location. 
The subscriptions by towns and individuals amounted to nearly $1,000,000, 
and under authority of an act passed in 1870 the road was bonded to the 
amount of $995,000, and a mortgage was placed upon the property for that 
amount. The general work of construction began in 1872, Norman ('. 
Munson of Boston having contracted to build the road from Stony Brook 
to Northampton. Grading was done in several towns at the eastern end of 
the route, land was purchased for terminal facilities at Northampton, and a 
contract made for building the Connecticut river bridge. Considerable 


work had been done upon the bridge piers, when ill success in raising 
funds and the failure of Contractor Munson put an end to all work. Up 
to the fall of 1878, the total cost of construction had been §2,782,932.78. 
The company at that time had a funded debt of $995,000 and a floating 
debt of S37.428.76. 

It was not until the summer of 1878, that an effort was made to revive 
the fortunes of the road. A meeting of the stockholders was held at 
Boston, June 5, when it was unanimously recommended that the stock- 
holders, both town and individual, should transfer their stock to a trustee 
to be held by him two years ; if at the end of that time the entire road 
was completed and in running order, then the trustees should convey three- 
fourths of the stock to the order of the directors and one-fourth to the 
original owners. If the road was not completed and ready for use, then 
all stock should be reconveyed to the original owners. At a special meeting 
held June 29, Amherst voted to act in accordance with this recommenda- 
tion. At a meeting of the directors held in Boston, July 24, Thomas 
Talbot was chosen a trustee to represent the interests of the towns. Anew 
board of directors, including several New York capitalists was chosen, 
new capital was subscribed, and the total indebtedness of the company 
was provided for by an issue of six per cent, bonds, to run twenty years. 
to the amount of $1,843,000. The General Court granted permission to 
the company to extend its tracks through Waltham to Cambridge, there to 
connect with the Arlington branch of the Boston and Lowell road, and also 
from Amherst to West Deerfield, thence to connect with the Tunnel road. 
In May, 1S79, a new survey was made by Engineer S. D. Kendall. Enfield 
and Greenwich, where grading had been nearly completed, were omitted 
from the route, the line running further south, while beyond Amherst the 
survey was continued north to a junction with the Tunnel road at Old 
Deerfield. The contract to build the road was again awarded to N. C. 
Munson, he sub-letting the contract for the grading and mason-work between 
Northampton and Belchertown to W. C. McClellan of Chicopee. The 
selectmen of Amherst in May, 18S0, accepted the plans of the road and its 
location through the town, as presented by the company's officials. Early 
in 1880, work was resumed on the road-bed on all parts of the line. 
Grading was begun in Amherst, Sept. 20, 1880, on land of Patrick Hurley, 
west of Blake-field. Thus ten years lacking two weeks had elapsed from 
the time when Amherst voted a subscription of Si 00,000 to the company's 
capital stock ere its citizens were permitted to witness in their town any 
sign of the road's construction. Oct. 4, the first rail was spiked down at 
South Sudbury. In October, 1881, the road was opened from Boston to 
Hudson, a distance of 28 miles ; in June, 1882, it was opened to Oakdale, 
41 miles. Soon afterward the road was opened to Jeffersonville, seven 


miles west of Oakdale, but the latter became for a time the western termi- 
nus of the road. 

The misfortunes that had attended the road from the beginning 
seemed destined to continue with it. In 1882, C. A. Sweet & Co., of 
Boston, who had been made the selling agents of the company's bonds, 
became insolvent, bringing about a crisis in the company's affairs and 
putting an end to the work of construction. In 1883, the road was sold 
under foreclosure to a committee of the bondholders, consisting of S. N. 
Aldrich, T. H. Perkins and Henry Woods. This committee, in 1885, 
made a contract with the Boston and Lowell railroad conipany to put the 
line in working order and operate it so far as it had been completed. The 
Boston and Lowell company advanced the sum of $200,000 to meet neces- 
sary expenses, taking in return the entire receipts of the road. This 
arrangement continued one year, the road being operated at a loss. In 
December, 1886, the road was leased to the Boston and Lowell company for 
99 years. Under the agreement then made, the Massachusetts Central 
company issued bonds to the amount of $2,000,000, and gave them to the 
Boston and Lowell company, the latter, in return, having made good the 
loss of $200,000 already sustained, agreed to complete the road to North- 
ampton. The Boston and Lowell company further agreed to pay the 
Massachusetts Central company 20 per cent, of the gross receipts of the 
road up to $1,000,000 annually, and 25 per cent, of all earnings in excess 
of that amount. If the earnings should not amount to $1,000,000, the 
Boston and Lowell company agreed to pay the interest on the bonds at five 
per cent., thus guaranteeing interest and all fixed charges. Under this 
agreement, the previous bonded indebtedness became preferred stock, and 
the old, amounting to about three and one-half millions, remained common