In June 1826 the Berkshire Association of Congregational Ministers voted to commission a written history of the county. It was an ambitious project: The group envisioned a book that "would embrace everything important in it, whether natural or artificial, civil, literary, or religious."*
A History of the County of Berkshire, published in 1829, is the result of a fruitful collaboration. The two men most responsible for the finished book, Rev. David Dudley Field and Professor Chester Dewey, took their instructions to heart. They and the book's contributors produced a wonderfully detailed portrait of western Massachusetts: its natural history; the formation of settlements and local economies; its religious, political, and social history; and biographical sketches of eminent residents.
Anyone interested in the early history of Berkshire County, its landscape, and people will find this book to be a bountiful resource.
*A product of its time and authors' personal worldviews and backgrounds, A History of the County of Berkshire does not include insight or depth into the multiple indigenous and native cultures of the area.
Paperback, 465 pages.