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History Press

A Brief History of Old Newbury: From Settlement to Separation

A Brief History of Old Newbury: From Settlement to Separation

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In the first ten years of its settlement, the town of Newbury witnessed murders, kidnappings, earthquakes and a plague of caterpillars. The century that followed—marked by religious conflict, Indian uprisings and public scandal— proved no less challenging to the early Puritan community. In 1640, Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop noted, "As people increased, so sin abounded." But through the turmoil, Newbury's citizens harnessed the region's abundant natural resources and developed a thriving community. Author Bethany Groff introduces the compelling personalities that shaped the history of Old Newbury up until 1764, when Newburyport received its independence from the mother town. From the scandalous exploits of Dr. Henry Greenland to the courageous and sacrificing acts of founding families like the Emerys, Dummers and Pikes, A Brief History of Old Newbury provides a captivating glimpse into the verve of this early New England town.


The author, Bethany Groff, is the Executive Director of the Museum of Old Newbury and a native of Newbury going back eight generations, Bethany can trace her roots to Tristan Coffin, one of the earliest settlers of the region. 


Galvinzed, wrapped steel.


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