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"The History of New England.."
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The title page of this 1831 book is illustrated with a woodcut showing a town elder telling stories to a circle of children. History in this author's view was not a science but a way of one generation passing along "Tales, Sketches, Anecdotes and Adventures" from the past. This image of the town historian as a venerable elder was perpetrated by Deerfield's historian George Sheldon who was photographed in a similar scene talking to a young boy on the steps of the Sheldon homestead. This "History of New England" includes an account of New England's early European settlers, known as the Puritans. (Starting on Page 11, select from the menu above.) The school teacher who wrote this book found the Puritans "a remarkable set of men, and everthing that relates to them is interesting." The account is very anti-Catholic, a competing religion in Europe referred to in the book as "Popery" after the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. This anti-Catholic feeling was deeply rooted in 19th century North America and became stronger as larger numbers of immigrants from predominately Catholic countries immigrated to America.
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