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An Address at the Centennial Celebration

An Address at the Centennial Celebration

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Excerpt from An Address at the Centennial Celebration: In Hardwick, Mass;, November 15, 1838

This Address was prepared under many disadvantages, and may seem unworthy of publication; yet I do not feel at liberty to refuse a compliance with the request of my fellow citizens, at whose desire it was written, and whose patience was so laudably manifested during its delivery. It has no literary pretensions, except as a statement of facts; in this point, I have used the utmost caution to secure correctness; and I think no essential error will be detected. The materials have been gathered from various sources. My acknowledgments are particularly due to John P. Bigelow, Esq., Secretary of State, and the gentlemen connected with his office, - to Doct. Joseph Stone, Town Clerk of Hardwick, - and to the several Clergymen of that town, - for access to documents under their charge, and facilities in pursuing my investigations.

Hardwick is situated on the western border of Worcester County, midway between New Hampshire and Connecticut, and seventy miles from Boston. It contains about 20,000 acres of land, which is well described by Whitney, in these words: - "The face of the town is rather rough, hilly, and uneven; although there are no very great and remarkable hills. The soil is, in general, deep, loamy, and very fertile. The lands produce all kinds of grain in sufficient plenty for the inhabitants; but they are best adapted to grass and pasturage. Here vast quantities of butter and cheese are made, and most excellent beef fatted for the market. All kinds of fruit trees nourish here." - Hist. Worcester County, p. 175.

The population has been nearly stationary, - large numbers emigrating annually. The following table exhibits the number of inhabitants at seven different periods.

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