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A Puritan Outpost: A History of the Town and People of Northfield, Massachusetts

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Length: 574 pages12 hours

Summary

A Puritan Outpost by Herbert C. Parsons, which was originally published in 1937, is the history of Northfield, Massachusetts, “a distinctive New England town, the farthest venture of Puritan pioneering to the west and north in the seventeenth century, which had to be claimed by venturesome settlers three times before its foothold was even relatively secure. Through nearly a century it was exposed to the recurrent assaults and the constant peril of French and Indian invasion, with intermissions when the settlers were dislodged, during one of which it was the thronging seat of the command of the arch-enemy of white occupation, the dubiously crowned King Philip.

“Toughened through generations of hardihood, its people developed the sturdy, self-reliant, pious, prudent and independent community, thoroughly characteristic of their unmixed British blood and Puritan heritage. Consistently with such background and distinctly out of such breeding, one of the sons it sent out to varied careers in the world’s affairs came to fame and widespread service as an evangelistic leader and by his hand the added feature was bestowed upon it of being a school and religious centre.

“The town’s respect for its historic past has led to the writing of the story.”

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