Massachusetts Historical Society


Farm, Factory, and Mine: Worcester Coal and the Role of Extractive Industries in Early 19th-Century New England

Author: Katheryn Viens, Independent Scholar
Comment: Brian C. Black, Penn State

This is a hybrid event. The in-person reception will begin at 4:30 PM.

Rural entrepreneurs were consumed by the effort to mine, quarry, and transport natural resources such as granite, soapstone, graphite, iron, coal, and limestone in the early national period. This essay will focus on the Worcester Coal Company (1828) and its founder, William Elijah Greene, who doggedly pursued the knowledge, capital, markets, and transportation necessary to exploit his Massachusetts landholdings. In so doing, he joined a rural movement that offered the prospect of new wealth in a democratic society and was infused with patriotism for its role in the economic and scientific advancement of the young nation.

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The in-person reception starts at 4:30 PM and the seminar will begin at 5:00 PM.

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