Many of America's bloodiest wars were fought around this quaint New England area, and author Josiah Gilbert Holland does not omit any. Beginning with King Philip's War (1675-1676), where Springfield was all but burnt to the ground and one tenth of the colonist's military men were lost, we follow the bloody history to Queen Anne's War, the French and Indian War and even the extremely local event that captured national attention at the time: Shay's Rebellion (an armed rebellion that attempted to take over the Springfield Armory). "It is common fault that in time of pecuniary distress, the people attribute to the government the evils from which they suffer, and it is not a subject of marvel that when a proportion of the people felt themselves helplessly within the power of their creditors, they should grow restive and seek in untried channels the relief which common means failed to command; nor is it new that at such times demagogues should be found ready to take advantage of popular discontent, to win notoriety to themselves, and advance their own interests." -Chapter 16: The Shays Rebellion Focusing his second half more on the geology, agriculture, railroads, newspapers and educational institutions of Western Massachusetts Holland states that the newspaper, "is the daily intellectual food of millions," and further that, "the newspaper press is always the center as a star is the center... of light and influence." Outlining many facts about the four of the counties in Western Massachusetts: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties; Josiah Gilbert Holland states his desire to account for the area's scientific aspects and leading interests while highlighting the 100 towns of Western Massachusetts. Whether you are a Bay Stater or just a Mass-phile, this glimpse into the past can satisfy even the keenest historical scholar. First published in 1855 by publisher Samual Bowles and Co. Springfield, Massachusetts.
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