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Colonel Hugh Maxwell's Certificate of Membership into the Mass. Society for Agriculture

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Advances in American agriculture lagged in the years after the Revolution. A conservativeness among American farmers slowed experimentation and innovation. However some saw the value of promoting agricultural innovation. In 1781 the country's first agricultural society was founded in New Jersey, followed by Philadelphia's in 1785. The Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture was founded in 1792. Its first trustees and members were many of the leading citizens of the commonwealth, including John Adams, John Hancock, Fisher Ames, Timothy Pickering, and General William Heath. The presence of so many prominent men led others, like Colonel Hugh Maxwell, to join. Maxwell fought during the French and Indian War under General Heath, settling on land near Charlemont after the war. During the Revolution, he was an activist and served in the Provincial Congress. He later led his village to separate from the town of Charlemont in 1785 and formed a new town, Heath, that he named after his former commander.


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