The Hoosac Valley: Its Legends and Its History


The history of the Hoosac Valley and the Taconac region, encompassing parts of three states, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts, "is inextricably interwoven with that of the very foundation of our great Republic."

First published in 1912, this text covers the history and legends of the region from 1540 to 1910, the greater emphasis given to the first 250 to 300 years of that period. From early conflicts among vying Indian tribes through the American Revolution, control of the valley was regularly disputed. Since colonial times, there have been no less than ten forts built within the Hoosac Valley through the attempts of one group of peoples to defend it against others. Among those claiming rights to and occupying the region were the Hoosac, Mahican and Mohawk Indian tribes, as well as the French, English, Dutch and American nations.

Through the author's efforts "to present the story of beginnings in Historic Hoosac and Saratoga in their true relations to the world's great history of war, peace, and progress," she has compiled over 500 pages of information. She begins with an introductory chapter providing a physical description of the Hoosac Valley. The next seven chapters cover the control of and struggles for the land by the various Indian tribes, their early relations with the European settlers, and the ensuing presence and conflicts between the French, Dutch and English through the battle of Lake George ending in the year 1755. Following this section are descriptions and histories of a number of settlements or districts, including Williamstown, Adams, Bennington, Schaghticoke, Cambridge and Petersburgh from their earliest days to 1815.

A chapter on the Green Mountain Boys' Militia from 1764-1815 serves as a transition between these histories and chapters covering the Revolutionary War. The first case of open rebellion, Fort Ticonderoga, and Saratoga are a few examples of the Hoosac Valley's direct involvement in the greater Revolutionary conflict. Throughout the remainder of the book various other topics are addressed. Among these are schools, slavery, missions, industry, "literary shrines of the Valley" and a history of the (Ethan) Allen family. The last 40 pages is a section of "notes," consisting of muster rolls, treaties and political correspondence. An every name plus subject index is an added benefit to this informative volume.

Grace Greylock Niles 

(1912) reprint, index, 584 pp.

ISBN: 9780788406867