Friday, August 25, 2006

a bit of precarious credit: Emerson's Journal 8/25/1823

From the Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Belchertown, August 25 [1823]

After passing through West Brookfield, I breakfasted among some right worshipful waggoners at the pleasant town of Western, and then passed through a part of Palmer (I believe) and on to this place. I count that road pleasant and that air good, which forces me to smile from mere animal pleasure, albeit I may be a smiling man; so I am free to commend the road from Cutler's Tavern in Western, as far as Babcock's in Ware, to any youthful traveller, whol walks upon a cloudless August morning. Let me not forget to record here the benevevolent landlady of Ware who offered me her liquors and crackers upon the precarious credit of my return, rather than exchange my bills.

This maps shows where Belchertown is located in Western Massachusetts. It looks like Emerson has walked across half the state. {source: Mass Dept of Env Protection, Belchertown page.}

This map shows the townships of Western Massachusetts, including part of Palmer and Belchertown, next to Emerson's destination: Amherst. {Source: Visit Western Mass}

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