A Tale of New England: The Diaries of Hiram Harwood, Vermont Farmer, 1810-1837

By: Robert E. Shalhope

Price: $45.00

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The extraordinary diary of Vermont farmer Hiram Harwood--a fourteen-volume record of personal, family, and community events from 1808 to 1837--provides Robert E. Shalhope with the material for this rich microhistory. Harwood's struggle to reach full manhood and assume his position as head of the family, his misgivings about challenging--much less displacing--his father, the changes American life brought to this traditional rite of passage, Hiram's relationships with wife and children, seasonal events, and all the day-to-day experiences of this finally tragic figure make for a fascinating story and provide a highly unusual window into antebellum American life.

Although he focuses mainly on the story of a single farmer, Shalhope also incorporates other stories from this wide-ranging chronicle. Readers glimpse the social, political, economic, and religious life of the entire New England region. Most of all, though, the story of Hiram Harwood reveals the personal price exacted of him by one family's unyielding belief in patriarchy.

Title: A Tale of New England: The Diaries of Hiram Harwood, Vermont Farmer, 1810-1837

Author: Robert E. Shalhope

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $45.00

Categories: Vermont, 19th Century,

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press: 2003

ISBN Number: 0-8018-7127-1

ISBN Number 13: 9780801871276

Binding: hardback

Book Details: 320 pages, 5 halftones and 3 line drawings, hardback, Johns Hopkins University Press

Seller ID: 871271

Description: The extraordinary diary of Vermont farmer Hiram Harwood-a fourteen-volume record of personal, family, and community events from 1808 to 1837-provides Robert E. Shalhope with the material for this rich microhistory. Harwood's struggle to reach full manhood and assume his position as head of the family, his misgivings about challenging-much less displacing-his father, the changes American life brought to this traditional rite of passage, Hiram's relationships with wife and children, seasonal events, and all the day-to-day experiences of this finally tragic figure make for a fascinating story and provide a highly unusual window into antebellum American life.
Although he focuses mainly on the story of a single farmer, Shalhope also incorporates other stories from this wide-ranging chronicle. Readers glimpse the social, political, economic, and religious life of the entire New England region. Most of all, though, the story of Hiram Harwood reveals the personal price exacted of him by one family's unyielding belief in patriarchy.

About Author
Robert E. Shalhope is George Lynn Cross Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of Sterling Price: Portrait of a Southerner, John Taylor of Caroline: Pastoral Republican, The Roots of Democracy: American Culture and Thought, 1760–1800, and Bennington and the Green Mountain Boys: The Emergency of Liberal Democracy in Vermont, 1760-1850, the last published by Johns Hopkins.

Reviews
"Shalhope's new book skillfully analyzes Hiram Harwood's diaries and quotes them liberally, resulting in what might be called a retroactive autobiography of a Vermont farmer who lived in the 1820s and 1830s."--Tyler Resch, Bennington Banner

"Presents the life of troubled young Harwood, a Bennington, Vermont farmer who struggled to attain his own identity within a restrictive family environment marked by strong patriarchy and family cohesion."--Choice

"With keen and often profound insight, Robert Shalhope recovers and narrates the often comic, but ultimately tragic, life of Hiram Harwood, a Vermont farmer struggling against the expectations of patriarchy. Shalhope explores an extraordinarily rich set of diaries to illuminate the interplay of family conflict, partisan politics, and culture wars—revealing the dark corners of rural life in the early American republic."--Alan Taylor, University of California, Davis

"This fine book will fascinate American historians and general readers alike. Making wonderful use of an extraordinary document, Shalhope gives us a richly detailed account of life in rural Vermont, showing the familial, economic, political, and religious tensions occasioned by the transition from small-scale, diversified family farming to commercial agriculture in New England."--James T. Kloppenberg, Harvard University