Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Oops! Wrong Brookfield? Mass. Historical backroads prove tricky

Hehe. Thanks to some help from the very kind folks at the West Brookfield Historical Commission, it looks like we may have to revise one of the generally accepted "facts" about William B. Greene's career. The West Brookfield firm of Merriam & Chapin printed a number of the pamphlets Greene wrote and published while he was a pastor in the area, but it looks like he was probably serving the First Congregational Church of Brookfield (identified in some contemporary accounts as South Brookfield), rather than the similarly named church in West Brookfield. With 20/20 hindsight, this looks obvious to me. Now that I know what to look for, it's clear that the 1853 state Constitutional Convention had delegates from North Brookfield (Amasa Walker), West Brookfield (Hammond Brown), and Brookfield (William B. Greene). But Mr. Brown seems to have been quiet during the proceedings (or was silenced by bad OCR in the online versions), so maybe I can be forgiven for not immediately making sense of this town-partitioning maze.

I'm guessing anyone who has driven back roads in New England will cut me at least a little slack.

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