People of the Wachusett: Greater New England in History and Memory, 1630-1860

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Cornell University Press, 1999 - History - 306 pages
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Nashaway became Lancaster, Wachusett became Princeton, and all of Nipmuck County became the county of Worcester. Town by town, New England grew—Watertown, Sudbury, Turkey Hills, Fitchburg, Westminster, Walpole—and with each new community the myth of America flourished. In People of the Wachusett the history of the New England town becomes the cultural history of America's first frontier. Integral to this history are the firsthand narratives of town founders and citizens, English, French, and Native American, whose accounts of trading and warring, relocating and putting down roots proved essential to the building of these communities. Town plans, local records, broadside ballads, vernacular house forms and furniture, festivals—all come into play in this innovative book, giving a rich picture of early Americans creating towns and crafting historical memory. Beginning with the Wachusett, in northern Worcester County, Massachusetts, David Jaffee traces the founding of towns through inland New England and Nova Scotia, from the mid-seventeenth century through the Revolutionary Era. His history of New England's settlement is one in which the replication of towns across the landscape is inextricable from the creation of a regional and national culture, with stories about colonization giving shape and meaning to New England life.

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Town Settlement in the Seventeenth Century
Town Settlement in the Eighteenth Century
Reproducing Families and Farms
The Creation of Greater New England
The Myth of Town Settlement
Bibliographical Essay

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