Old Towns in a New Nation: New England Village Life in the Early Republic
By Mary Babson Fuhrer
We sometimes romanticize New England towns in the first decades of the nineteenth century as peaceful, bucolic havens -- they were not. In this talk, Mary Babson Fuhrer will discuss the remarkable stories of conflict and transformation that reshaped local communities in the decades leading up to the Civil War. The Boylston, Massachusetts, diaries, letters, and account books she draws on form the basis of her recent book, Crisis of Community: Trials and Transformation of a New England Town, 1815-1848 (2014).
Mary Babson Fuhrer is a public historian and independent scholar who lives in Littleton, Mass. She specializes in using primary sources to recover everyday lives from the past; she was recently honored by the MassHumanities with their 2014 History Commendation for 20 years of contribution to public history. Her research has been supported by MFH, Old Sturbridge Village, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the American Antiquarian Society.