Literary Associations of Berkshire County

The Berkshire Athenæum at Pittsfield.

The Berkshire Athenæum at Pittsfield.
From Photograph By S. S. Wheeler.

One wonders that from out so small a cell such mighty and far-reaching influences should have developed. His ancient, black, hexagonal study table now stands in the Stockbridge library, while near the church green a tall monument of Scotch granite lifts its head towards heaven; it was erected to his memory by his descendants. Jonathan Edwards was not a man to show emotion yet it was with tears in his eyes that in January, 1758, he left the quiet, forest clad hills of Stockbridge for the presidency of Princeton, where but a few brief months of life remained to him. Some of the fine old elms which grace the main street in Stockbridge were planted by his grandson, Col. W. M. Edwards.
      Not far from the doctor's three-by-six study, Miss Catherine Sedgwick, one of the pioneers of American fiction, first saw the light. The old Sedgwick homestead, a square, brown, hospitable-looking mansion, stands on the main street in the village, with spacious lawns sloping down to the river. In a room in the southwest corner, one bitter cold December night, in 1786, the young authoress was born. Doubtless she came into the world crying — like any well-regulated child — and was for a time mistress of the house, particularly in the cold night watches. At any rate one of her earliest recollections was a trick of biting the glass from which she was drinking, which shows surely that she was an ordinary child. With years, however, blood tells. Her father was a man of vigorous intellect, first representative to Congress from Berkshire County, and well known throughout the state. In those stage-coach days, when well-to-do gentlemen traveled mostly in their private carriages, his house was a sort of hostelry for journeying friends, and many were the celebrities who accepted his hospitality. Thus in

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